Welcome to Ashland First United Methodist Church. 

My name is Rev. Phillip Antilla and I am the pastor for this community.

There is this great quote from Fredreich Nietzsche, yes, I know, the famous atheist. He writes: "The essential thing 'in heaven and earth' is that there should be a long obedience in the same direction...

something that has made life worth living.”

Many years later, one of my favorite authors, Eugene Peterson, used the phrase “a long obedience in the same direction" to describe what “following Jesus” is really all about. 

You see, what Nietzsche saw, that even many "Christians" miss, is that life is meant to be lived. Many of us "live" by moving from one thing to the next — always in a state of chaos and busyness. Never quite finishing our "to-do list" and yet always adding more. 

Have you ever felt this way?

As followers of Jesus, sometimes we forget that the “good news” of the Gospel is that we have been invited into a new way of doing things — a new way of living and being human. 

This new way of living is not always easy, and it’s often seen as radical and subversive. But in my experience, learning to be faithful to “the way” of Jesus has made all the difference. 

This “long obedience in the same direction” is a journey from chaos to peace,

from loss to acceptance,

from brokenness to wholeness; 

from death to life. 

As pastor, my purpose is to walk along side you as we experience this good news together — that life in Christ is indeed worth living. 

I can’t guarantee that it will always be easy, or that the road ahead will be smooth. But if you can commit towards “a long obedience in the same direction,” I guarantee that you will discover grace, and peace, and the beauty of restoration. 

This is an immense world of God's salvation that we are entering. 

Are you ready for the journey?

May Grace and Peace be with you!

- Pastor Phillip