Join us for church and stay for the party!
The entire church family is invited to “Celebrate the Son” on July 10, 2011 between the services at 9:30 a.m. Come out to the FUMC front lawn at 9:30 a.m. and have some refreshments, root beer floats and watermelon, while playing games and having a great fellowship time. Smitty’s inflatable rides will also be on hand and there will be many lawn games. This is the perfect opportunity to invite friends and family that don’t normally attend church to come and visit for the day. Registration materials for VBS will be passed out and a drop box for completed forms will be available. The theme for the day will also be carried through the services as everyone will be encouraged to wear their best beach/summer wear for the day. Please plan to join us for a fun filled day as we “Celebrate the Son”. Don’t miss the fun, fellowship, and opportunity to get others to church!
Youth Programming Schedule
K - 2nd - Monday Mornings at
9:00 -10:00 a.m.
3rd -5th - Monday Mornings at
3rd -5th - Monday Mornings at
K - 5th - Wednesday Evenings at
MONTGOMERY STREET PRESCHOOL NEWS
MSPS still has a few openings available for fall 2011. Classes are available for two through five year olds. Spaces are going quickly so contact the preschool today if you would like more information or to enroll, 842-2193 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting in July, the Salt and Light Company will begin meeting twice per month. The following schedule is for the remainder of the summer and early fall. The group is also planning some additional events so watch the Youth Blog on the web page for more details. All meetings times are from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Dear First United Methodist Church, Thank you for the picture frame. Also, thank you for the great amount of support that you have given me as I have grown up. Once again thank you for the picture frame. Sincerely, Timothy Shepherd
The Rayl family humbly thanks the FUMC prayer warriors for prayers for our daughter-in-law who was diagnosed with fast growing stage III breast cancer. Surgery revealed no lymph node involvement with only radiation treatment required. “The fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much”. Our deepest thanks. Ken and Virginia Rayl
Dear First United Methodist Church, I would like to thank you for providing me with this generous scholarship. It will be useful as I continue my education at the University of Iowa. I would also like to thank you for the wonderful diploma frame. I appreciate all the support I have from my church family. Sincerely, Kaitlyn Meyer
Condolences to the family of Mabel Vinson on her passing.
After serving as Pastor of Visitation of our church for 10 years, I have decided to retire on July 7, 2011. I will be 75 years old on July 15, 2011 and at this age and with some health concerns, I felt it is time for someone else to assume these responsibilities.
I have developed precious friendships with the older adults and those with health problems in our church family over the past decade and will miss my visits with them. I have also lost a number of them to death over that period, and gained a lot of wisdom from sharing our lives together.
I appreciate the opportunity I have had to continue ministry the last 10 years on behalf of First United Methodist Church. When we moved to Knoxville in 2000, I had just retired after 37 years as a full-time pastor in the Iowa Conference. When I was asked to assume this position as Pastor of Visitation in June 2001, I was pleased to be back in ministry on a part-time level. This job enabled me to do the part of ministry – one-on-one relationships, visiting of shut-ins, elderly and those in hospitals – that I always enjoyed and felt I had gifts for doing well. It has been a fulfilling ministry that I have treasured this past decade, and for that I give you thanks. – With Gratitude, Rev. Art Hill
John Wesley’s on Connection in the Christian Life
Randy I. Maddox
What is the essence of "Methodism" as a distinctive part of the Christian family? Wesley's most common response to that question refused identifying a particular doctrine or set of worship practices, presenting Methodists instead mainstream Christians who simply sought to experience and embody the fullness and the transforming impact of God's love in their lives (see Character of a Methodist) the same time, if one watches carefully, a stress on the importance of connexion the British spell it emerges repeatedly in Wesley's accounts of Methodism.
For example, Wesley's various historical accounts of Methodism begin not with the deepened stress on grace after Aldersgate, but with the gathering of a small community at Oxford to support one another in pursuit of more vital Christian Conversely, when assessing George Whitefield's ministry, Wesley's strongest critic was not his preaching of predestination, but that Whitefield did not follow up powerful preaching by organizing those who responded into supportive group "They had no Christian connexion with each other, nor were ever taught to watch over each other's souls. So that if any fell into lukewarmness, or even into sin, he had none to lift him up" ("The Late Work of God in North America," 1.7). It was this contribution of connection to spiritual growth that Wesley had in mind when insisted, "there is no holiness but social holiness."
For all of its benefits, if one stresses only such connection to a small group, this is danger of insularity and bigotry. Wesley recognized this danger and suggested that the best counter lay in a further layer of connection—with the larger Christian family. His sermon "Catholic Spirit" is a classic call for embracing the full spectrum of the Christian community in fellowship and honest dialogue. Importantly, he grounded this call in the recognition that, as humans, we ought always to be open to the possibility that we could gain further insight into Christian truth through encounters with those who differ from us (and offer them insight as well). Ideally, such a connection would draw us all toward more adequate understanding and greater consensus.
Implicit in the sermon "Catholic Spirit" is a third important dimension of connection for Wesley. He sought to strengthen cooperative ministry among the wings of the evangelical revival in England. Wesley recognized that the church exists for more than just the edification of believers; it is called to participate in God's redemptive mission to all persons. He also sensed that a broad connection with other Christians enhances effectiveness in this role, both because it spreads the labor and because it embodies the reconciliation that we proclaim.
In some of Wesley's last sermons he directs attention to yet another important dimension of connection—our integral relationship with the whole creation and our accountability for its care (see particularly "The General Deliverance"). Wesley's emphasis on this point led to Methodists being strongly associated with concern for animal rights in England at the turn of the nineteenth century!
While other dimensions could be distinguished, the preceding is sufficient to make the point that when we describe United Methodism as a "connectional church" we have in mind more than just a particular polity. We are inheritors of Wesley's appreciation for the vital contributions of connection within the life and work of the church.
A Time to Celebrate Our Connectional Church
in many parts OF THE United States, the month of July is time for the yearly meeting of the annual conference. This gathering of clergy and lay members from the churches in a geographic region is a reminder that our United Methodist Church; "connectional church," which means that every local church belongs to a larger end Wesley's teaching that "the world is my parish" provides the foundation for United Methodist understanding that the local church is also a part of a global church connection.
In addition to participating fully in your annual conference, your local church may teach and demonstrate this connection by some of these activities:
• Pray each Sunday for other United Methodist congregations in your area including the names of those pastors and churches in your prayers.
• Consider relating to a United Methodist congregation in Africa, Europe, the Philippines as a partner, eventually even visiting that congregation.
• Pay your apportionments (shared giving) in full as a demonstration of your church's participation in the global ministry of our denomination.
• Learn about missionaries from your annual conference and pray for them.
• Display maps of the world that illustrate the location of United Methodist ministries with which you are connected.
• Conduct small-group studies about the global mission of the
One of the temptations of American and similar cultures is to become self and localized in our concerns, rather than responding faithfully to God who "so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Some have described the danger of changing John Wesley's famous teaching, "The world is my parish" into the selfish perspective, "My parish is my world." As United Methodists, we struggle to be faithful to God both in our local congregations and in our global ministries. The month of June, including annual conference time (or in whatever month your annual conference meets), is a reminder of our call to minister beyond the walls of our local congregations.
Annual conference time is also an opportunity to learn about
our Wesleyan understanding of "conferencing." John Wesley and his followers were called "Methodists" for their methodical way of organizing, and it is still true that we tend to have many committees and many meetings. However, the theological purpose of those meetings is to "conference" with one another and with God. Before your clergy and lay members go to annual conference, and before you have your next local church meetings this month, remind yourselves that we gather for such meetings in order to follow the model of the early disciples who gathered in the Upper Room praying and waiting for God's Spirit to empower and guide them (Acts 2). Our meetings in the United Methodist Church are intended to be more than meetings; they are meant to be times of praying, conferencing, and receiving God's power for our ministry in our local communities and for our connectional ministries around the world.