February 8, 2023
A Note from Ryan Freudenburg
Growing up in my family, there were two constants: music and church. The two were often a package deal. My childhood was full of Sunday services, youth group, church camp, worship bands, choirs, the list goes on.
Not only is music a huge part of my life, but it is also a huge part of my faith.
I grew up in a conservative church, and as I left college and entered adulthood, I began to question many of the beliefs I had gained in my upbringing. I started seeking a faith community that was more welcoming of all people.
Over the years I became more and more disillusioned with my church experiences and wasn’t sure I would ever find a faith community that truly reflected what I saw as the Kingdom of God.
Warehouse 839 Worship
I wandered into Warehouse 839 in October 2022. I hadn’t stepped foot in a church in over 3 years. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I was still compelled by the message of Jesus and wasn’t ready to give up on finding a faith community.
I also desperately wanted to start playing music again. The gathering was small, but the energy was palpable. People were excited about what Warehouse 839 had been and what it could become again.
At the end of the service, there was an invitation for musicians to play for future services. As an introvert, I really wanted to ignore the call. I didn’t know anybody there. I had no connection to HUMC. I could have walked out and forever maintained my anonymity.
But, the Spirit gently pushed me to take that step, to make a connection. I have been part of music at Warehouse 839 ever since, serving as the volunteer band leader on an interim basis while we rebuild.
What step might God be inviting you to take?
I encourage you, friends, in the coming days, to think about this: What step is God gently pushing you to take? Is he asking you to give of your time, talents, or resources? Asking you to reach out to befriend someone who is different from you? Asking you to mend a broken relationship?
Whatever God has placed on your heart in this moment, remember this: God does not ask us to be religious elites or super Christians who do and say all the right things.
He only asks that we have a little faith and humbly take that next step. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
I leave you with an invitation to come join us at Warehouse 839. We are planning some very meaningful evenings of worship as we journey through the Gospel of Matthew, and we would love for you to be part those experiences (photos below from October 2022 Warehouse 839 worship).
Upcoming Warehouse 839 Services
The next Warehouse 839 services are Sundays, February 19 and March 19, at 5pm. Following that we’ll try new times, with worship on Sundays, April 23 at 1pm & May 14 at 10am. At this point we’re worshipping once a month as we discern the movement of the Spirit and build back up our band and hospitality, media, and livestreaming teams. If you’re interested in getting involved, sign up on your Sunday Connect Card or reach out to one of the pastors.
PS re: Stewardship & Finances
Hopefully you received in the mail last week a letter about our finances and giving from our Finance Chair, Will Thorsberg, along with an Estimate of Giving card for 2023 (aka pledge card). We’ve posted the stewardship letter on our website (also here), along with a 2022 & 2023 Financial Update.
This Sunday we will invite you to bring your pledge card to worship, as we renew our commitments to invest in Hilliard UMC. You can also complete your Estimate of Giving online through our website here; it’s completely confidential.
Despite the recent financial challenges, Will writes that “It is important for you to know that your leadership remains energized and optimistic about what God will do through HUMC in 2023. Thank you for all the ways in which you contribute and participate with the work we are doing at Hilliard United Methodist Church to share God’s love ‘no matter what.’”