Rev. Rhodes Delivers Final Message as FUMC Hurst's Senior Pastor
Jun 30, 2021 | by Rev. Philip Rhodes
Dear Members and Friends of First United Methodist Church of Hurst,
I am writing to you from my office on June 30, 2021. This is my last official day as your Senior Pastor. I just want to reiterate how much of a blessing you all have been to me in my various roles over the past 22 years. In many ways, this faith community has raised me and I find myself on this day both reflective and filled with gratitude for my years here.
I want you all to be aware of some upgrades your Trustees, Finance Committee and Administrative Board have unanimously voted for with respect to our sanctuary. We are in the process of bringing multimedia into our sanctuary in the form of two video boards. I urge you to not panic at this change. We are not, I reiterate, NOT, changing how we worship. We are, and have been, highly committed to excellence in traditional worship and we will remain so. These video boards are a tool to help us continue that commitment to excellence in our traditional worship. Many of you will remember how much we changed our online worship experience due to the pandemic. We moved from a broadcast software to a production software and incorporated picture, videos, lyrics to hymns and liturgy into our Livestream experience. We currently have stepped backwards from this on the Livestream side of our worship experience simply because we don’t have the technology in the sanctuary to do it. This is a critical upgrade to our sanctuary that will allow us to continue to deliver a quality online traditional worship experience as well as a quality in-person traditional worship experience.
The scriptures repeatedly beckon God’s people to fear not. So fear not. Drum sets, fog machines, laser light shows and electric guitars are not on the horizon! We simply live in a day and age where we have digital tools that can help us communicate the Gospel in multiple ways. Let us all remember that technology allowed us to stay connected during the darkest days of the pandemic. So I invite us all to live into this new possibility as a faith community. An artist rendition of this upgrade (many thanks to James Henderson) is shown above.
Finally, I want to thank you for every kind word, every card written and every gift given to me over the past month. You have showered me with prayers and blessings for the next chapter of ministry that I am about to embark on. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t even come close to describing the feelings I have for you as a church and faith community.
It has been my honor to serve as your Senior Pastor and that honor will continue as I begin to serve as your District Superintendent. Peace and God Bless,
Rev. Philip Rhodes