First United Methodist Church Westfield

Minister’s Message


March 2019

What do you want to grow?

My first memory of planting a garden was at the age of 9. We were living in Wood River, Nebraska where my father was serving the First United Methodist Church of Wood River. Wood River was and continues to be the epitome of midwestern rural living. It was in this city that I learned the joy of playing and working in cornfields, the dedication it takes to labor on an ostrich farm, the blessings of watching a
horse deliver in the middle of the night, and the tempered amazement of the inner workings of a slaughterhouse. Until the age of 11, I lived in this small-town of 1300 people. Though all these experiences shaped me, the one experience of profound impact was my father asking me, what do you want to grow? It was my first garden, and I decided to be a part of what I
saw all around me, and so I planted corn. The act of preparing for, planting, and harvesting a garden has shaped my understanding of God and God’s activity in the world.

In many ways, I have asked you the same question, what do you want to grow? Through the work of listening sessions, surveys, retreats, lunch and learns, and strategic plan developments, as a church, you indicated a desire to want to grow more of what you already see all around you – love. So now, that you know what you want to grow, will you grow a little love or
a lot of love?

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously”

~ 2 Corinthians 9:6

As a neighbor in this community, First United Methodist Church Westfield believes our purpose is grounded in serving, being a place of openness and diversity, and always ensuring everyone feels the welcoming and inclusive
love of Jesus Christ. In growing love, these are the seeds we generously want to plant. Thus, during the month of March, we are preparing our  hearts to live into this purpose with the theme Preparing to SOW Miracles.

Turning our hearts to God helps us discern with more clarity the act of preparing, planting, and soon harvesting all that we are growing. Whether you worship with this congregation or another one, let the month of March be an opportunity where you are planning to spend time with God. God has a plan for us all, a plan that is rooted in a love that is patient, kind, selfless, forgiving, and unfailing. It may not always be easy to see, but this is the love that is all around us; this is the love you can choose to plant in your homes, in your jobs, in your community, and in our church, because without a doubt, this is the love that will bear the fruit of miracles.

I invite you to prepare your hearts to generously sow miracles,

Rev. William M. Williams, III