FILL THE TRUCK 2011 IOWA ANNUAL CONFERENCE CHALLENGE
Higher Power will be in concert at Ag in the City on June 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Marion County Fair Grounds.
2011 CONFIRMATION CLASS
Congratulations to the 2011 Confirmation Class as they were received into membership on May 22. The following are the members of this year’s class: Connor Bailey, Kiara Kappelmann, Trevor Meyer, Courtney O’Field, Jenny Petersen, Alex Purvis, Emily Redden, Kamryn Ryan, and Alexander Wadle.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
MSPS will be hiring a new assistant teacher for the 2011/2012 school year. If you know someone that might be interested, please contact Katie at the preschool at 641-842-2193.
On June 21 the group will be meeting together to go to the Movie in the Park. Meet at Auld Park at 5:00 p.m.
Condolences to the family of James O’Boyle on his passing.
To My Church Family – Thank you for your help, your prayers, love, and concern in the loss of my brother, Bob, and at this critical time in my son Larry’s life. It has helped me very much. Gratefully, Frances Kirkwood
Condolences to John Haning and family on the passing of his brother.
Condolences to the family of James O’Boyle on his passing.
Condolences to the family of Robert “Bob” Sherwood on his passing.
Condolences to Donna Otto and family on the passing of her father.
Condolences to the family of Ruth Jones on her passing.
Condolences to the family of Ruby Shannon on her passing.
Thank you to all that attended the MSPS spring concert and graduation ceremony! Your support was greatly appreciated!
Congratulations to our students who have completed their college year. The following people offered their support throughout the academic year by maintaining contact through letters or email with the college students: Phyllis Robinson, Cheryl Hennefeld, Peg Stevenson, Virginia Rayl, Pat Haning, Bonnie Crook, Christa Belknap, Merna Furney, Roberta Dennison, Folmer Petersen, Brent Hanna, Joel Johnson, Park Woodle, Loretto Kono, Pearl Legler, Janna Kassel, and Sherry Haney. Thanks to each of you for your participation and support. Sherry Haney
Thank you, First Church for the wonderful diploma picture frame. It is just the thing I needed as I receive my diploma later this week. I hope to keep coming back throughout my Central College years to worship with you. Robert Woodle, KHS 2011
All your prayers, phone calls, visits, e-mails, and cards helped so much. It is so nice to be a part of such a wonderful church family. Don and Maxine Harrison
First United Methodist Church: Thank you for providing me with a scholarship of $400. It will be used for books and classes. Thank you for helping me continue my education at Des Moines Area Community College. It is greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Alex Larson
Dear First United Methodist Church, I would like to thank you for this generous scholarship. I know as I further my education you will always be there to help support me. Once again, thank you for this scholarship. Sincerely, Timothy Shepherd
Thank you for contributing to Church World Service through our Blankets+ program. With your help we can continue to assist people overcome by natural and human-caused disasters as well as supporting community efforts to develop sustainable agriculture, reliable safe water supplies, and other means to break the grip of grinding poverty. The following represents some of the many ways Church World Service is creating a rainbow of help and hope through the Blankets+ Program. Blankets were distributed domestically to the homeless and economically disadvantaged in California, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. In addition, blankets were also distributed in Missouri and Texas following the winter storms. CWS also continues to provide assistance in Nicaragua, Kenya, and Japan.
Heifer International gratefully recognizes Knoxville First United Methodist Church for your contribution of healthy animals and training in their care to help struggling families overcome a life of hunger and poverty.
The Finance Committee would like to thank all who generously support our church. Our income total, January through April this year, is $104,509.12 with expenses of $103,345.32. In order to meet our budget, income needs are approximately $26,000 to $27,000 each month.
“Each of us will one day be judged by our standard of life --- not by our standard of living: by our measure of giving --- not by our measure of wealth: by our simple goodness --- not by our seeming greatness” ---- by William Arthur Ward
Thinking of you in Faith and Love…the Finance Committee
It is The SPRC pleasure to announce the hiring of Joel Johnson as Ministry Coordinator. Joel will be starting this new ¼ time position June 1. The position will work with the Pastor(s) and Leadership Development Committee in planning, encouraging and promoting servant leadership. Joel will help work to plan our annual Gifts Weekend and help manage the database of service responses. Joel will help lead efforts to guide, mentor, recruit and train non-paid servants at First UMC Knoxville. Joel will also work in outreach and new member ministry. We are excited about Joel joining the staff and invite you to welcome and pray for Joel as he begins his new position.
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 June 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 Method] 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.