Pastor's Note
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Pastor's Note

Senior Pastor, Reverend Bridget Thornton
One of our primary urges is to know where we belong. In psychology, Andrew Maslow created a hierarchy of needs. Every human has physiological needs (food, water, oxygen), these are our base needs in order to survive. But humanity cannot live on food and water alone. The next base need is security and safety. This includes things like health, safety against accidents and injury, and financial security. Even that though, is not enough. Every human also needs socialization. We need friendships, family, social groups, and a sense of belonging to others. It's not until we have those things that we can begin to develop self-esteem and self-fulfillment.

I'm excited to be starting the month of November by welcoming in new members. These folks have shared that they've already felt a sense of belonging here at KWUMC. If you consider KWUMC your church home, a place where you feel you belong, I hope it is helping you develop spiritually and emotionally. Belonging to a people and a place comes with responsibilities to that group or place. When we join the church we vow to support the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. To belong is not just to receive from others, but to give back. This is how God created not just the church, but each of us. Each one of us is put on the earth for a particular purpose. We each have a unique set of gifts, graces, experiences, and a unique circle of influence. When each of us align our unique abilities we are able to accomplish great things, as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future.

However, the reality of the pandemic is that many of us can't get to the levels of belonging, self-esteem, or self-fulfillment because our other base needs aren't being met. For some there are physiological needs such as health and wellness. Others have physiological needs around getting the basic goods and services (many of which have been restricted due to the pandemic). Others don't yet feel safe to interact or to belong as the pandemic continues on.

Yet, those who have stayed and served are weary. How can we help one another to meet each of the needs? This is not about institutional preservation. It's not about "keeping church doors open." We need to be about helping people with their physiological and psychological needs. How can we best help people who need the basic essentials? How can we help people feel safe enough that they can get to a place of belonging, and move beyond belonging to grow to a place where they become contributing members of the group? The answer is we start where we are. If you are able to help others don't wait. If you have ideas for ministry, or a desire to help serve in the ministries of the church, don't hold back. You are called and needed and there is a place for you to belong and to serve here at Key West UMC.

Amazed by Grace,
Pastor Bridget