Our prayers and thoughts are with the people of Moore, Oklahoma and all the first responders. For information from the Oklahoma Conference UMC on their needs at this time in the aftermath of the Tornado of May 20, 2012 you can click on this link. We will communicate in our webpage, bulletin information, newsletter and emails what is needed as we learn of specific needs.
I am very aware that we all feel the need to help right now! But, we lived in Wichita Falls when the tornado of April 10, 1979 hit and also remember the stages of needs following a tornado. This week we need to listen to their needs and respond accordingly. My experience is that the real work from communities like ours for Moore, Oklahoma will come in financial contributions now and rebuilding support in Stage 3 and beyond described below.
For inspiration after our wonderful Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday celebrations, may I recommend that we all become a bit more "Crabby". That's an odd assertion after Easter, isn't it? Unless we take a lesson from the world of the crustacean.
Unlike most animals that grow as an entity during their lifespan, crabs, with their hard outer shells, cannot. As we grow as humans, our organs, limbs, and facial features grow right along with us. But a crab's shell stops growing when it gets to a certain size. Crabs have to shed their outer shell in order to grow a new one. They have to leave the old behind in order to step into something new. This process is called "molting" and the crab can teach us a powerful lesson about growing our faith. Sometimes, in order to grow, we have to leave behind something – or many things.
We soon will enter the season of Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday, February 13. The season of Lent is the 40 days, not including Sundays, between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Whenever you see the number 40 in the Bible, it represents a time of preparation. We see this in the Old Testament as it rained 40 days and nights and in the New Testament as Jesus was in the wilderness 40 days.
Our Lenten emphasis will be “Questions on the way to the Cross”. A Lenten devotional book is being prepared which addresses at least one question among the more than 4,000 questions which appear in the Bible. I will be preaching a sermon series “Questions on the way to the Cross” which addresses a question in the Bible.
Here's a look at what's for supper. Meals begin at 5:15 pm and are $5/person. RSVP required (call church office @374-2891) by noon on Monday prior to the meal (standing reservations are accepted). All meals in January are catered by Market Street United on Georgia Street.
Wednesday, January 9th
Wednesday, January 16th
Spaghetti with meat sauce
Wednesday, January 23rd
King ranch casserole
Wednesday, January 30th
Potatoes & carrots
Macaronni & cheese
Faithful Christian disciples always have responded to God’s call on their lives by giving generously in times of financial crisis. In fact, according to Giving USA, which track charitable giving, total giving in the United States declined by a modest 2 percent in 2008 over 2007, but giving to religious institutions actually increased by around 5 percent.
We are made in the image of God, the ultimate source of all we are and all we have. We look the most like God when we are generous. We reflect the face of Jesus when we compassionately and generously share God’s gifts. Generous giving grows from our need to give as part of our spiritual journey, rather than the church’s need to receive. The question is, “What is God calling me to give?” rather than “What does my church need from me?”
Now is our time to focus on open‐handed giving – God’s continuous giving to us, and our giving to God through the mission and ministry of our United Methodist Church.
From the December 14 edition of the church newspaper.
It generates 2,380,000,000 links in a Google search in .26 seconds. Compare that to “God” which generated 1,830,000,000 links in .26 seconds.
The first link to this word provides the definition, “the emotional state which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life.” Despair is its opposite. What is it?
It is hope.
In the midst of political conversations about the “Fiscal Cliff” we are facing as a nation, we all are hoping for some cooperative resolution that helps move our nation forward.
When we are waiting for test results to diagnose a medical condition, we hope for the best.
We hope and pray for children are wrapping up semesters, taking tests and traveling.