Every time I visit a church for the first time I see something surprising. If you have ever served as a trustee you will back me up on this: churches find creative solutions to challenges (sometimes in ways that leave future generations shaking their heads). We are adaptive and adaptable, adjusting to meet the needs of a community in a time and place. Above all else, our faithfulness drives us to be resourceful. Continue reading “Sharing Our Resources”
For parents and those who have nieces, nephews, grandchildren, neighbors and more, the schedule for Sunday morning looks like this:
10:30AM: worship begins, all children present. Opening prayer, one hymn, scripture reading, and children’s message all take place with children to receive and participate.
10:45AM: Children follow Kim or other teachers downstairs to the one Sunday School room. There they will find two tables, one for younger children, and one for our bigger kids, where each will receive a lesson geared toward their learning level.
It is our hope that the children will be awakened to the gracious love of God and felt called to pass that on.
The 100th Psalm is a favorite of many, myself included. It’s short and memorable:
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. (NIV)
It’s officially the last day of summer vacation. Tomorrow big backpacks, buses, crossing guards, and all the other signs that schools are back in session will be on full display here in Flemington. Continue reading “Identifying Marks”
I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at images coming out of Houston and surrounding areas, images of flooding and destruction and of the thousands of people whose lives have been turned upside down. Ordinary neighborhood streets have become canals where a combination of professionals and volunteers are working to ferry trapped people to safety. Continue reading “Don’t Look Away”
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20 (NIV) Continue reading “By your side I will seek other seas.”
Forgetfulness is a part of life. The more we see, learn, and experience, the more stuff gets… pushed aside and left behind. The sacrament of Holy Communion speaks to this reality every month. Continue reading “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8”
I have a bread machine that I like quite a bit. I dump in ingredients, push a button, and leave the room as it clangs and clatters. This is a very different sort of baking to what my great grandparents and their great grandparents would recognize. Still, if I look through the little window at the top of the machine after its initial kneading cycle, I can see something incredible happen: the tiny little packet of yeast I added, when given a little heat and time, causes this wet, gloppy mess to rise. Instead of dense, heavy teeth cracking bread we end up with something light, flaky and delicious.
Some people believe this short parable may be the most revolutionary of all Jesus’s teachings. God’s kingdom is like a small amount of yeast that mixes into a whole big mess of flour until “all of it was leavened.” The greatest movements of God in the world start small, with people not sure of themselves, their gifts, or anything else. And yet, when the Holy Spirit is in the mix, we all rise.
What gifts do you bring? How might they mix into this church, this community, and this world to help spread the Kingdom of God?
Prayer: Lord, help me to use what you’ve equipped me with to bless this world as you would have me do.
God’s Grace and Peace,
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!
Page vii in the United Methodist Hymnal relays “Directions for Singing” that come straight from John Wesley in 1761. They include admonitions to know and “sing all” the hymns contained within (can you imagine?) as well as other direct criticisms and instructions: “sing lustily and with good courage… beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep… sing modestly… do not bawl… sing in time… above all sing spiritually… have an eye to God in every word you sing.” Continue reading “Sing Boldly”
Our church is getting a new pastor this Sunday, July 2nd.
We invite everyone to come hear Pastor Ben Lee’s first message for us at 9:30AM, then stick around for brunch and meet his wife, Melissa, and their four children.