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Lower United Methodist Church
June 2nd, 2021

 

“If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister." Matthew 18:15
 

The day I confronted a bully, was one of the most horrible days of my life. I was too young to understand that bullies always think they are right. I was too naïve to think that with a conversation explaining how his attitude and actions were affecting others would be enough to change his behavior and fix the problem.
 
I really thought he would agree with me. The truth is everyone else was talking about the problem in our group. Many times, his name was mentioned as the cause of the problem, but no one dared to do something or attempt to say anything to him. That is until I was brought to the leadership team, and I decided to speak up. What a great mistake! Not only he turned against me, but he also turned everyone I knew against me with false accusations, even our pastor.
 
Yes, this was at a church if you can believe it. After I candidly confronted him, he turned against me with all his power, manipulating everyone against me and accusing me of plotting to bring him down. Then he resigned, naming me as the cause of his resignation and refusing to participate in any event, or attend any of our activities at all.
 
I lost many friends and at 19 years old I found myself as the leader of a divided group who didn’t trust me and refused to follow my lead. I thought of leaving everything, but I just didn’t know how to give up. So, I took the lead and did the best I could with whoever would want to help.
 
All the strong leaders joined the bully, so I began to bring into leadership those who had been ignored and marginalized in the past. All those who had been bullied, rejected, and offended by him, suddenly were there to help me keep moving forward as the old leaders stood back, laughing, and waiting for us to fail.
 
It was one of the most horrible years of my life. Every Sunday morning, I would get ready with my heart pounding, knowing that every Sunday he would try to do something against me, but I never stopped coming to church. I remember how we accomplished all the goals, finished all the events, and continued to grow in spite of everything. At the end of the year, we got a special commendation from our District Superintendent at the church Charge Conference, something that had never happened before.
 
Even though this was a difficult experience for me, and they made me feel like it was all my fault, when I look back, I realize this helped me become who I am today. Yes, it was my fault because no one else had the courage to confront him, except me. As I look back, I realize that God was training me to be a better pastor, a better leader, someone not afraid to confront a bully and able to bring into leadership the rejected.
 
I learned that bullies need to be confronted no matter what. I learned that when a bully is removed from power, that’s when we can see the rejected, the oppressed, the confused, all those people that were suffering in silence. When a bully is stopped in their tracks, the rest of us have a chance to work together, to grow and to lead using our gifts and skills.
 
Rev. Ileana Rosario
 

 
 
Please pray for:

Family of David Taylor
Family of Leonard Wiley Levis Jr.
Thomas Thornton
Virginia Bagby
Mary Hoinkes
Robin Atwood's sister
Sue French Lewis
Gail Keefe
Family of Donna Fitchett
Jimmy Pitts
Jim "Sully" Sullivan
Richard Bankert
Jim Johnson

We give thanks for:
The joy of our Choir
Susan Thomas brother's safe return to work
Traveling blessings for Judy Evans' son Mike & Family
Flags in our Cemetery on Memorial Day
Save the date!

You are invited to a farewell reception for Pastor Ileana and Julie on
June 13th from 3:00-4:30 pm at Piankatank Golf Club. Details to follow!

Please note we are collecting monetary gifts for them. You may send a check with Pastor Gift written on the Memo line of your check.  
Thank you for you support!
 
Last week:
 
Attendance:    58    
Offering:     $2,035.00
 E-giving     $   195.00       
 Total           $2,230.00
 
Needed for weekly goal:
$4,135.00
 
Our offerings to date:
                 $84,125.59
Our 2021 YTD Goal:
                 $90,970.00
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Our mailing address is:
Lower UMC
120 Lower Church Road
PO Box 98
Hartfield, VA 23071-0098

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