It’s hard to be patient with any of this, much less all of it! This Sunday, Rev. Linda McDermott will join me in looking at patience as a virtue we might practice in a new, active way that will bring hope and interest to our politically charged, socially distanced, pandemic time.
Thanks to your generosity that supports First Church Ministries and in particular, FUMCFW Youth Ministries, I began my week shedding some tears. Not to worry though because they were tears of joy! Your gifts make this lifeline possible for our youth, some of whom will likely become our future First Church leaders!
This week in The Gathering and Sanctuary worship, we’ll examine how the prophet, Elijah, experienced the presence of God — just when he needed it most. Rather than in dramatic events, Elijah experienced God as a “still, small voice.” How can we make more space to experience God in our lives today?
William Willimon says that the very essence of grace is to receive the gift of laughter — especially when the joke is on us. The reality is that at any age of our lives, perfection is always elusive. Sometimes our learning moments happen in public. One of the gifts of God’s presence is an indwelling awareness of the wonder and enjoyment of graceful growth, and the realization that life is always more meaningful when we invite others to join us.
If this were any normal year, we’d be getting ready for our annual Third Grade Bible Retreat and Presentation, typically the third weekend in September. This is how we’ll be keeping this true touchstone moment in Children’s Ministry special and meaningful while being extra safe with your dear ones.
This Sunday in The Gathering (Lance is on vacation) and Sanctuary worship, we’ll spend some time with the story of Jacob and Esau and we’ll focus on an event in Jacob’s life that was so transforming that he took on a new name: Israel, which means One who strives with God. All night long he wrestled with himself and all night long he wrestled with a mysterious stranger whom he knew to be the very presence of God — tangible and touchable. I look forward to sharing with you on Sunday and I invite you to bring your struggles with you to the time of worship.
In a culture of might and personal rights, the golden rule can easily be dismissed as weakness. Jesus says, “Enter the narrow gate, because narrow is the road that leads to life . . . ” The road is narrow not because the gospel is hard to understand; It’s narrow because love can be hard.
These are interesting times; people feeling unheard, unseen, even compelled to do the unthinkable. There’s a lot of anger out there. Times like these call for extreme measures, radical acts of spiritual resistance. Last Sunday we looked at the importance of our words. This Sunday, it’s time for some radical hospitality.