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,
A special Ash Wednesday Service will be held at FUMC on Wednesday, March 9 at 7:00p.m.
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.
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.
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
ANNUAL CONFERENCES THANKED FOR GIVING TO APPORTIONED FUNDS IN 2010
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 LECTIONARY SCRIPTURE
Exod. 24:12-18 Ps. 99 2 Pet. 1:16-21 Matt.17 1-9
Gen. 2:15-17; 3:1-7 Ps. 32 Rom. 5:12-19 Matt. 4:1-11
Gen. 12:1-4a Ps. 121 Rom. 4:1-5, 13-17 John 3:1-17
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.
ECUMENICAL LENTEN SERVICES (FUMC CHAPEL/WFH) (Message 12:00-12:30)
• 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.
LAY SPEAKER LENTEN DEVOTIONALS (WFH)
(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
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
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
Posted by FUMC at 6:41 AM