The prophet Isaiah lived in a time of great brokenness and even hopelessness. With the
people of God experiencing living in exile in a foreign land, while also being separated
from each other and wondering if they would ever be able to return home or reconnect
as family again, life was miserable.

In the midst of all of this, God spoke to Isaiah and in turn, Isaiah shared God’s word with
the people. It was “Breaking News” for God’s people. Isaiah’s prophecy proclaimed the
God was doing a new thing and that they should forget about the past and begin to
experience the new thing God had in store for them. In this proclamation the word
“breaking” signaled their “breaking free” to finally return home and return to normal as
they had remembered that God centered way of life.

Now… today… in 2022… God is moving among us again and doing something new!
Pastor Eric Luczak, Pastor Tom Taylor and I have begun to develop a vision of what it
would look like for our five congregations to intentionally connect with each other and
claim the City of Scranton as our parish! To highlight the mission and ministry we have
already been doing and to discover new ways that we can put our prayers, our
presence, our resources and our witness together to bring Christ to the people in the
communities around our churches.

Being United Methodists mean that we recognize that there is only one United
Methodist Church although we have many locations… and as one church, we have a
single missional focus… “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the

We are not talking about combining churches, or closing churches, or even merging
congregations. In this vision, each of our five churches remains committed to
continuing its ministry in the location God has placed it. These churches include Court
Street UMC, Embury UMC, Asbury UMC, Dunmore UMC, and of course, Elm Park
UMC. Instead, this vision is about seriously seeking out God’s future for the people and
communities around us and helping us serve them in the best way possible.

One example might be as easy as to let the communities know that we have monthly
meals provided free of charge where everyone is welcome to experience good food,
fellowship, and a Christian environment. We call our meal the “Peace Meal”. Between
us we help feed people a few times a month. Together we can promote participation by
sharing our schedule and welcoming folks to each of our meals.

Other visionary possibilities include working with our area schools and teachers to
provide necessary supplies and food for our students who are in need. We already have
a tutoring program for our African children and will be partnering with Marywood
University to reach school age Latino children this Fall.

Please speak to me if you are excited about being a part of a vision group working
together with other folks to discover what God may be calling us to do!!

God is doing a new thing. It is sprouting forth around us. It is breaking forth before our
very eyes! And God is asking us to be a part of this “new thing” in the coming days and

We are Connected... We Are Better Together...