Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The other day I came upon a devotion that spoke about a particular painting that had hung in the back of a church that the author had known as a child. As I read the description of the painting, I thought to myself that I have seen that picture at sometime but the picture I recalled seeing was by the artist Warner Sallman of Jesus knocking on the door. Yet the writer attributed the painting to a Holman Hunt this I thought must have been an error. The picture sounded the same, but because the devotion focused on the painter and his thought about the picture I decided to do more research. Though the descriptions seemed to match, the author of the devotion was describing a different artist picture. This caused me to investigate and locate the artist and the picture mentioned in the devotion.
What a wonder the Internet is. I was able to locate not a Holman Hunt but a William Holman Hunt a British artist that painted nearly one hundred years before Sallman. Hunt, a British artist, was well noted in his own time. His paintings hang at the British Museum and National Gallery in London. The devotion focused on his unveiling of his painting entitled "The Light of the World." When he had completed the painting, he invited friends to a private showing. All marveled at the painting until one particular friend pointed out that there seemed to be an error in the painting. "Uh, Holman - it's a beautiful painting. But - didn't you forget something?" "What did I forget?" The friend said, "The handle. There's no handle on the door." To which the artist simply replied, "Oh! No, I didn't forget the handle. When Jesus knocks on the door of your heart - the handle is on the INSIDE."
In my research of the similar paintings by two famous artist I also discovered that Sallman painting of Jesus is titled "Christ at Heart's Door” which lead me to believe that Sallman himself was aware of the story behind Hunt’s (an earlier generations famous artist) rendition of Jesus' famous statement "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." Luke 11: 9-10.
This exercise reminded me of the breadth and depth art can have. As I looked at both of these paintings I was reminded of a higher level to the meaning the pictures are conveying. I have seen various Sallman paintings over the years in countless churches yet I hadn't stopped to observe them in a way that allowed them to truly speak to me.   Analogously our spiritual lives are the same. We don't really spend the time we need in seeking out the Holy. We expect God to do it all. Like what the artist William Holman Hunt wanted us to recognize in his painting we need to be about the task of working with God. We need to open ourselves to receive what God is showering on us. What Jesus is conveying to us are action words (verbs); ask, search, and knock! "And it will be given you."     
If you do not perceive God as a real presence in your life maybe it is because you haven't paid enough attention, haven't looked beyond the obvious, haven't put forth effort? Remember Christ is at the door waiting for you.

Together in Christ,
Pastor Lane

P.S. check out the artists and painting mentioned above, they can be easily found on the internet.

Park Lane Village Assisted Living/Lane Memory Center are looking for volunteers to spend some time with their residents.  The residents really enjoy music and any instrument you might play.  The Memory Center does not currently have a piano so we would be looking at prerecorded music and we are also looking for any members of the church that would feel comfortable giving a small church service on Sunday’s.  It would only have to be 15 or 20 minutes long.  If you or anyone that you may know of would like to volunteer, call Dee or Maggie at Park Lane Village Assisted Living at 641-828-7878. 

April is FUMC’s month to help with grocery assistance at Helping Hands Food Pantry.   On April 9 and April 23 volunteers are needed from 10:15-11:00 to unload the truck and 11:00-3:00 to sack and handout groceries.   

Donations can be made to UMCOR Advance #901670 to help relief efforts needed for those area affected by the recent tornadoes.

Help make our Church beautiful this Easter by donating flowers.   Any type of spring flowers can be brought to the Church by Friday April 6, by noon.  Your generosity is always appreciated. 

NATIVE AMERICAN ministries sunday
Your Generous Gifts help develop and strengthen Native American ministries within the annual conference.   It provides scholarships for Native Americans attending United Methodist schools of theology and other schools approved by The United Methodist Church. 

The Iowa Annual Conference Golden Cross Sunday Offering goes to support health projects in Iowa.   Examples of projects that received funding for this year are Children and Family Urban Ministries in Des Moines and New City Ministries in Waterloo.

Prayer Stations DURING Holy Week
Come experience the prayer stations at FUMC Sunday, April 1st-Wednesday, April 4th 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Various prayer experiences will be set up throughout the church to guide our reflections on Holy week events.

For those who are new to the church or starting back, a member orientation will be held Sundays April 15, April 22, and April 29 from 9:40 to 10:30 in WFH. This is a nice way to get acquainted with the church and others.  If interested, please contact Pastor Lane

The United Methodist Women invite the men and women of the church to a Guest Day breakfast at FUMC on April 21, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. Make your reservations by April 14 to Pat Haning at 641-842-2790 or pahaning@iowatelecom.net  We look forward to seeing you there.  

Fun ‘N Fitness for senior citizens will begin Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:30am to 11:30 am in East Fellowship Hall. This will be a six week event aimed at increasing flexibility and balance led by Sherry Haney, healthy eating with Carolyn Avon and devotional time with Bonnie Crook. Registration is not necessary but we would like an idea of how many are interested. Call the church at 842-3712 or Bonnie at 828-8750.  

Vermeer Charitable Foundation invites you to an evening with Dr. Ruth Haley Barton, founder of the Transforming Center, as she speaks about “Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation.”   This free, public event will be held Wed, April 11, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Vermeer Global Pavilion.  More information can be found at http://www.vermeer.com/.

MSPS is holding its annual catalog fundraiser.  If you would like to place an order, the packet is available on the church window ledge. 

On Friday, April 6 from 9:00 a.m. to noon all 3 year old through 5th graders are invited to attend a spiritual fun filled morning to learn about the true meaning of Easter.  Kids will be split into groups of similar ages and will go to stations for crafts, games, stories, and snacks.  This year we will be showing the Veggie Tales movie "An Easter Carol" to correspond to our Bible message.  We hope many children will be able to attend!!

If you will be graduating in May 2012, please let the office know by April 20th so that we may add your name to the recognition list for May.

Fundraiser for Youth
On Friday, April 13 join the FUMC Youth for a spaghetti dinner with all the fixings and then stay to watch the movie "Courageous".  The meal will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 in WFH and the movie will start at 6:30 in the sanctuary.  A free will offering will be taken to help support the Youth trip to Chicago this summer.

Condolences to Chick and Linda Rankin on the passing of their grandson. 

Condolences to Joyce Brooks and family on the passing of her sister. 

Condolences to Sharon and Rollie Rigg on the passing of their brother-in-law and the passing of their nephew.

We wish to thank everyone for the lovely cards received for our 60th wedding anniversary.   Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.   John and Darlene Scott

Thank you to Virginia and Ken Rayl for their upkeep of the flower bed island at the church.  It looks great!

Thank you to everyone who donated to Blanket Sunday.  To date, we have received $726.00. 
Thank you to all of those who have donated to Midwest Tornadoes Advance #901670.  To date, we have received $890.00.

I want to thank all for your cards, thoughts, and especially prayers for the healing of my husband, Jack, and our family at this time of his battle with lung and brain cancer.   They are very much appreciated.  
Phyllis Force and Family

Congratulations to Roberta Orr and Harlan & Delaine Clark on the birth of their great granddaughter/granddaughter, Anna Hazel Harrington, born February 27.

A certificate of appreciation was presented to First United Methodist Church as a thank you for your generous time and support which contributed to the success of the 2011 Salvation Army Bell Ringing Campaign.  In addition, individual certificates for those of you who rang last year can be picked up from the church office.

FUMC college scholarship applications are now available on the church window ledge.

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