We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

Pastor Paul's Blog

Nehemiah Weekend: Building the Walls, Breaking Down the Barriers

I don’t know how familiar you are with Nehemiah in the Bible. To understand who he was and what he did, you have to understand a bit of history. In 587/586 B.C., invaders from the East (present day Iraq) attacked Jerusalem and the surrounding area in southern Israel, known then as Judah. They set up a blockade around the walled city of Jerusalem and literally starved the city to death. In 586 B.C., these Babylonians completed their conquest of Jerusalem, tore down the walls of the city, and captured the people who remained. Many of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were drug away into “Exile”, re-settled in new areas away from family and friends. Many were taken and re-settled within Babylonia itself.

Nehemiah was born to those who had been taken away into Exile. He is known for rising to high rank within the Babylonian government, in spite of his Jewish heritage, and then leading a campaign to re-build Jerusalem’s walls. He sought permission and support from the King to lead this effort. Through many hardships and in the face of opposition, Nehemiah began the restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple and set the stage for Jerusalem to once again become the Holy City, the “city of God.” Nehemiah’s work set the stage for a return for many Jews to the promised land, for in the building of the walls the barriers for returning were broken down. God always seems to take the despairing times we face and restores us to blessing and home with him.

Our church has certainly faced some challenging times, and these have been well documented. The great recession and the move from our previous location were enormously difficult. But now, God is in the midst of a restoration and a rebuilding that is so encouraging! Our Western N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church is eager to help us continue this growth and journey forward, and are helping us in what is now known as the “Nehemiah Project.”

Back in December, Dan Pezet, Director of Congregational Development, made presentations as to what the steps would entail if we wanted to engage in this process. We eagerly agreed as a Church Council and have begun to put into motion the Nehemiah Project.

Over the last few weeks we have been asking you to fill out a “Readiness 360 Survey” on-line. This survey is critical. Your responses will drive the direction of our church in the future. We will identify 3-5 initiatives our church desires, and the Conference will agree to provide resources, human and otherwise, to help us launch these initiatives. Based on feedback from the surveys, and from conversation we will have on March 24 at our Church Workshop, Dan Pezet and others from the Conference will present to us a report on Sunday, March 25. This report will be received in our COMBINED worship service at 10:30 that day. I am asking that EVERYONE gather at 9:30 for a time of fellowship around coffee and donuts, and then we will worship together. At the end of the worship time, we will receive copies of the written report. We will be given time over the next weeks to talk about the report in “community gatherings” and set the stage for us as a church to vote on the results. It will require 70% of the church to affirm the work of the Nehemiah Project at the vote. This is an exciting time as we consider what steps God is calling for us to take next.

Could I invite you to pray for this Nehemiah Project? Could I ask you to please take the survey if you have not already done so? Could I ask you to think big, bold, God-sized visions for us? I have become convinced that this is an opportunity for us as a church that could help us truly impact the community around us in even greater ways than we thought possible. Will you join with Nehemiah and re-build walls and break down barriers to God’s work?

To take the survey go to https://app.readiness360.org/survey/login and enter survey code 7161432193.