8:30 A.M. Sunday Worship 9:30 A.M. Sunday School (beginning September 24th)
Blooming Grove United Methodist Church
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

Pastor's Page


Link here for an introduction to Pastors J.J. and Stefanie


Link here for the Announcement of Appointment from Bishop Ough



October 2017 - Thoughts From Pastors J.J. and Stefanie Morgan...



My mother recently gave me a gift. It was not the actual physical item that she gave me which brought me joy. Rather, it was the memories attached to that physical gift. My mother gave me the board game “Risk.” It was the same board game that I used to play on with my dad growing up; only it smelled old and musty because no one had played it for years. The memories that it generated, however, were alive and vibrant. They included hours of laughter, strategizing, some tears, and colorful conversation. I admit that I lost most of the games I played as a kid. But it was not the game, it was a special time and opportunity to grow in my relationship with my dad that I will hold close to me forever.

Something even more special to me now that I am a dad is that I get to play this game with my kids and do the same things with them. In fact, just 2 days after my mom gave me the board game, we set it up and began the joy of playing the game together as a family, just me and the three kids. Incidentally, it has been on our game table now for a week and each night we get a chance to play a little while together.

So, what if we gamified our faith? According to Wikipedia gamification is “the application of game -design elements and game principles in nongame contexts.” A current area that you can see this lived out is the area of fitness. The Minnesota Annual Conference of United Methodists currently en- courages all clergy to be a part of a wellness program that relies on a “FitBit” which records a person’s steps and after so many steps a person wins virtual “prizes.” Pastor Stefanie and I both regularly com- pete in health games with each other and with others throughout the conference as we intentionally work on being healthy.

The gamification of faith is not a new concept. In fact, throughout the New Testament, the disciple Paul often used athletic metaphors to convey aspects of faith. Throughout his writings, he offers these insights:

“And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain” Phillippians 2:16.

“I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.” Galatians 2:2.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

In being intentional about our faith, we need to regularly practice our faith just like athletes practice before their various games. Aspiritual practice moves a person along a path towards a goal, and our ultimate goal is union with God. Much like an athlete or gamer, the more a Christian practices their faith, the stronger they become. Some of the ways we can practice our faith include these spiritual practices: reading scripture, praying, tithing, taking Holy Communion as often as possible, fasting, and worshiping God. This list is not exhaustive, but it does contain ways in which to keep your faith lively and vibrant.

I encourage each of us to find a way to practice our faith so that we can grow in confidence and strength. Our faith in God is ours to attend to. The best way to ensure that your faith remains healthy and does not get old and musty is to risk practicing our faith regularly. The rewards are eternal.


Pastor JJ and Pastor Stefanie