Monday, February 28, 2011



Many of us know our IQ (intelligence quotient), but what about our SQ (spiritual quotient)?

Lent is a good time to think about the quality of your spiritual life. Do you think about God often …or rarely?
Do you pray often … or occasionally? How well do you know the Bible? The Commandments? The Beatitudes? The lives of biblical heroes and heroines?

During Lent, commit to spending more time in prayer. Also consider selecting a book of the Bible or a particular Bible character to study in-depth during this period.

Some people give up particular items or habits during Lent. If used wisely, this discipline can help you abandon things that have been interfering with your relationship with God.

Seek out devotions and books that can help strengthen your spiritual life. Examples include: Show Me the Way by Henri Nouwen, A Season for the Spirit by Martin Smith, Six Hours One Friday by Max Lucado, and Lent and Easter Wisdom From Thomas Merton edited by Jonathan Montaldo.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Lane


A special Ash Wednesday Service will be held at FUMC on Wednesday, March 9 at 7:00p.m.

Beginning Wednesday, March 16, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Chapel at Knoxville First United Methodist Church, pastors from local churches will give a 30 minute Lenten Devotion, followed by a light lunch served in West Fellowship Hall. The noon ecumenical services will continue through April 13.

Also beginning on March 16, there will be a light meal served in West Fellowship Hall from 5:45-6:30p.m. followed by a 30 minute devotional presented by FUMC lay speakers. These Lenten devotionals will continue subsequently each Wednesday in lent through April 13.

There are Lenten devotional books from the Society of St. Andrews available in the church office or outside the church office on the window ledge. The season of Lent is a journey in which we have been given the opportunity to grow closer to God through Jesus Christ. This year the society of St. Andrew’s Lenten devotion booklet is entitled “We’ve a Story to Tell.” Each day, one of the gifted writers use this theme to describe how knowing Jesus has touched their life. As you make the journey to the cross this year, use this devotion booklet and ponder, through the devotions and prayers, how being in a relationship with Jesus has made a difference in your life. This Lenten season is an opportunity to grow in your faith so that Easter and the resurrection of Jesus might be the glorious celebration of a risen Christ that lives with each of us.

A clergy-laity session sponsored by the Iowa Conference Board of Laity will be presented in the Des Moines Conference Center and video streamed throughout Iowa on Saturday, March 12 from 9:00 a.m. to noon (no lunch provided). The speaker is Sandy Jackson from Nashville and Director of Connectional Laity Development from the General Board of Discipleship. Sandy will include a section on “Joining God’s Mission” about ministry in daily life. How do Clergy and Laity work together for the best ministry? It’s understanding our call in all areas of our lives, including a way to renew the world. The “training” will be based on the Guidelines for Local Church Lay Leaders booklet, with an emphasis on spiritual leadership in the Wesleyan tradition. Sandy is also the author of the curriculum currently used for the basic course for Lay Speaking Ministries. Sandy is an inspirational speaker who will help us feel God’s presence as she leads us to a better understanding of how Laity and Clergy can partner to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. She is spirit-filled and will help us connect our roles in the Church with Jesus’ call to “Follow me”. Be a part of this conference wide event as we rethink the roles of the laity and clergy in our local churches. Please notify the host where you plan to attend so they will know the number of people attending at their location. Locations for the Central and South Central District include Conference Center, Des Moines at and Chariton First UMC, Chariton at

The next education cluster meeting will be Thursday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room.

Good Friday day camp will be held Friday, April 22 from 9am -12pm at the church. Children in preschool through 5th grade are encouraged to attend. If you are interested in helping with this great event contact Katie, Cheryl, or one of the Education Cluster members.

On Sunday, March 20 from 4-6 pm the Salt & Light Company will be having a kick-off party. Youth in 6th to 12th grade are encouraged to attend. This will be a fun time for youth to get together and learn about God. We will be meeting once per month for a time of fellowship and learning. If you have questions or are interested in helping contact Brian & Katie Bishop or Jill Findley.

VBS will be held Sunday, July 24 through Thursday, July 28 from 6 to 8:30 pm.

We are in need of a couple of youth workers for the summer. If you know of any young adults that would be great with kids and would like 15+ hours a week working in a faith filled environment, please submit their name to Pastor Lane, to one of the Education Cluster members, or to the church office by March 10th.

MSPS Registration Open House will be Wednesday, March 23rd from 5 -7pm in the preschool rooms. If you know of children ages 2-5 that would be interested in preschool, please pass along this date. Teachers will be on hand to meet parents and students and enrollment packets will be distributed. If you have questions call the preschool at 842-2193.

The MSPS spring catalog fundraiser will be kicking off the week of March 7th. All orders are due by April 1st and will be received at the preschool by April 20th. If you are interested in looking at the catalog stop by the preschool or office.

Congratulations to Joel and Barb Johnson on the birth of their grandson, Jacob Michael Hadfield, on January 25, 2011. Parents are Michael and Kelly Jo Hadfield.

Congratulations to Dick and Diane Cushman on the birth of their grandson, Kyler Beau Cushman, born on January 29, 2011. Parents are Jason and Kristy Cushman.

Thanks to those who helped with kitchen inventory and cleaning. You are very much appreciated. Dorothy Danner

Thank you to Dave and Peggy Johnson who donated a 54 inch Sony TV and stand to the church which has been placed in the youth room.

Thank you to all who helped deliver Valentine gifts to our shut-ins. I appreciate your help very much. Frances Kirkwood, Membership Chairman

Thank you to the UMW for supplying the cookies for Family Fun Night! They were enjoyed by all that attended. Also, thank you to those that attended and supported the event. Jim Austin put on a great show and everyone had a great time!!

Thank you, Tom Kamp, for repairing the drawers in the West Kitchen. It is very much appreciated! The Kitchen Committee

I thank all those of the church who sent me the flower for Valentine’s Day. Sincerely, Esther Fridlington

The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) reports that 15 annual conferences paid 100% of their apportioned funds in 2010. The conferences are Alaska, Baltimore-Washington, Dakotas, East Ohio, Greater New Jersey, Illinois Great Rivers, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma Indian Missionary, Peninsula-Delaware, Red Bird Missionary, West Michigan, and Wisconsin. In 2009, 14 conferences gave 100% to all seven apportioned funds.


March 5-6
Exod. 24:12-18 Ps. 99 2 Pet. 1:16-21 Matt.17 1-9

March 12-13
Gen. 2:15-17; 3:1-7 Ps. 32 Rom. 5:12-19 Matt. 4:1-11

March 19-20
Gen. 12:1-4a Ps. 121 Rom. 4:1-5, 13-17 John 3:1-17

March 26-27
Exod. 17:1-7 Ps. 95 Rom. 5:1-11 John 4:5-42


ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE – Wednesday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m.

(Meal 12:30-1:00)
• Wednesday, March 16 – Message by John Chadwick, Good Shepherd Lutheran church.
• Wednesday, March 23 – Message by Doug Brady, Living Word.
• Wednesday, March 30 – Message by Suzanne Vogel, Celebrate Church.
• Wednesday, April 6 – Message by Steve Ebel, Catholic Church
• Wednesday, April 13 – Message by Lane Riggle, First United Methodist Church.

(Meal 5:45 to 6:30 p.m.)
(Devotion 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MARCH 2011

John Wesley’s Call to Personal and Social Holiness
F. Douglas Powe Jr.

PEOPLE DO NOT OFTEN confront us by asking, "Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart?" John Wesley believed that this was an important question and one that all Methodists (indeed, all Christians) should be able to answer affirmatively. For Wesley, the core of the Christian journey was a heart so filled with love that there was no room for anything else. The theological language we use in Methodism to describe this is "holiness of heart and life."

Wesley understood the journey into holiness to be a movement toward becom¬ing fully human, as Christ was fully human. He described it in the following way:

For what is holiness, according to the oracles of God? Not bare religion, external religion, a round of outward duties, how many soever they be, and how exactly soever performed. No; gospel holiness is no less than the image of God stamped on the heart. It is no other than the whole mind which was in Christ Jesus ("The New Birth," II.5).

This is something far different from the caricatures that equate concern for "holiness" with insistence on a lifestyle or set of practices that emphasize one's supe¬riority to the rest of humanity. It is instead coming to embody the love exemplified by Christ in one's relationships with God and with others. As Wesley understood, such transformation is possible only as we experience the liberating and empowering presence of God's love, shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Wesley insisted that the holiness that characterizes authentic Christian life is more than just our external relationship to Christ. It is deeply personal in character, a transformation of our very nature. To use Pauline language, it is becoming a new person in Christ. The process of this transformation is also personal. It is not simply infused in us by God, but is nurtured through grace as we participate regularly in the means God has ordained—including, among others, prayer, study of scripture, par¬ticipation in Holy Communion, and our conversations. This means that holiness is not something we achieve quickly, moving then to the next thing in life.

Neither is true Christian holiness something that we achieve on our own. One of Wesley's strongest emphases was that "there is no holiness, but social holiness."2 People often take this as a statement about the importance of social service or social transformation. But Wesley's concern in this statement was to highlight the vital role the surrounding community of Christian believers plays in an individual's journey toward holiness. We need the support of a community, serving as agents of the Divine love that empowers our transformation. Just as importantly, we need the voices and ears of other Christians to check our self-deceptions and hold us accountable to our life of discipleship.

Wesley had no doubt that Christians should reach out in love to those who are sick, in prison, or downtrodden. His diagnosis of the reason that so few did engage in such acts of mercy or efforts for social justice was that they were not yet renewed in holiness. What he offered in his day, and would commend to United Methodists today, was a winsome vision of the renewal God is seeking to work in our lives and a balanced emphasis on the personal and social dimensions of the means of grace that nurture this renewal.

A Time to Grow in Personal and Social Holiness
Bishop Coyner
THE MONTH OF MARCH includes the "One Great Hour of Sharing" offering in which we United Methodists emphasize giving for the needs of others. This passion for giving is a distinct aspect of our Wesleyan tradition and an important part of our discipleship in the United Methodist Church.

Wesley claimed, "The world is my parish," and as descendants of Wesley we make that claim, too. The United Methodist Church is a global denomination, and our pas¬sion is for reaching the whole world for Christ and ministering to needs everywhere in the world.

The month of March continues the Lenten journey, and in most congregations this season affords a variety of mission opportunities. Our concern for both personal holiness and social holiness leads many of our congregations to host food pantries, soup kitchens, clothes closets, tutoring programs, and a variety of mission opportu¬nities. United Methodists take the lead in efforts like Volunteers in Mission teams that clean up after hurricanes, rebuild damaged homes, and help people recover from dis¬aster. March is a time to evaluate the effectiveness of these mission projects, to learn about additional social needs in our communities, and to explore new mission opportunities. These questions can help us shape our response to the gift of God'; grace:

• Who are the overlooked persons in your community?

• What needs are going unmet?

• What strengths does your congregation have to offer?

How can a deeper understanding of the Wesleyan Way of discipleship call our emphasis upon growth in personal and social holiness calls for United Methodist people to stretch themselves in love and caring for others. Discipleship in the Wesleyan tradition is never just an individual concern; it is a compelling call to care for the whole of God's world.

As you and your congregation go deeper into the Lenten journey and as you seek to grow in personal and social holiness, spend time in Bible study using a text like Jesus' Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:31-46. Reflect on these ques-tions as an individual disciple and as a congregation:

• In what ways are we ministering to the least, the last, and the lost?

• Where in our community do we need to stand against unjust systems?

• What would Wesley's call to personal and social holiness mean for us today, in our lives and in our church?

Being a United Methodist Christian who stands in the Wesleyan tradition of discipleship does not let us escape such difficult questions. Essentially, we are a people who understand the individual and corporate need to grow in faith in God through Jesus Christ, and we understand our need to hold one another accountable in the Christian social community of the church in order to live out our faith both with other Christians and with all other people across the larger world. The month of March is a time to follow Jesus toward the cross, and it is a time to grow in our holiness.

Hymn by Charles Wesley- O Come and Dwell in Me
Hymnal Page #388

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