Traditional Worship | 9:30 & 11:00 am | Sanctuary | Dr. Tim Bruster
DiscipleChurch | 7:20 am | Community Breakfast | Wesley Hall
8:30 am | Chapel | Rev. Lance Marshall
9:30 am | Discussion Groups
nine:thirty-nine | eleven:eleven celebration
9:39 am | Todd Kirk
11:11 am | Rev. DeAndrea Dare
The Gathering | 9:30 am | Room 350 | Rev. Lance Marshall
Chapel Communion | 10:35 am | Chapel | Dr. Len Delony
Connections | 10:30 – 11:00 am & noon – 12:30 pm | Garden & Wesley Hall
“The Joy of Giving”
Dr. Tim Bruster
Acts 2:42-47 & 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Third in the series: “Healthy Plate Discipleship”
Giving opens us to the joy and freedom of living as disciples of Jesus Christ.
This week as we continue our exploration of Healthy Plate Discipleship, our focus will turn to the portion of our healthy plate called “Give.” We talk about giving in a lot of different ways in the church setting — partly to raise funds for all of the life-giving ministries of our church, and partly because Jesus spent a lot of time talking about the place of money and possessions in our lives and the importance of giving.
This Sunday we’ll look at a passage from the Apostle Paul — 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. Here the Apostle Paul tells us how our own thoughts and feelings about giving as a spiritual practice can impact the very quality of our lives:
What I mean is this: the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop. Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver. God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.
Why give? There are a lot of reasons, to be sure, but here Paul speaks of the sheer joy of giving. There is a particular kind of joy you can only get from giving — and that is coupled with the joy of those who are blessed by your giving. Paul also emphasizes that as you give generously, God “provides you with more than enough of every kind of grace.” Now, to be clear, this is not “prosperity gospel” stuff we’re talking about here. What you reap abundantly when you give abundantly is more than enough of every kind of grace.
The joy we can reap from giving is in knowing that our practice of giving is a way we love God. In our giving we express our love for God’s children and God’s work in the world in a tangible way. In our giving, we also declare our trust in God and our freedom from the hold of “stuff” on our hearts and lives. A few years ago in the season of Lent, a member of the church was talking about giving up “stuff” for Lent, saying, “You know, whatever you can’t give up possesses you.” That statement really struck me. Echoing that Lenten discipline, I’ll have to agree that if there’s something we can’t give up for 40 days, we are not free. And, while that’s a Lenten idea, it also says a lot about giving as an expression of freedom.
To practice healthy discipleship, we must give generously. When we examine the life and teachings of Jesus, it becomes very easy to see that this spiritual practice is all about giving of oneself with generosity. Holding this picture of giving as our guide, we open ourselves to the joy and freedom of living — and giving — as disciples of Jesus Christ. When Jesus said that he came to give abundant life, he surely had in mind that abundance of life that comes from giving.
I look forward to exploring these ideas more with you on Sunday!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster
Community of believers (Acts 2:42-47)
The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. All the believers were united and shared everything. They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.
FUMCFW has an exciting new vision for the future of our church. Join us in all worship services
Sundays | October 9 – November 13
for a sermon series introducing Healthy Plate Discipleship. It’s good stuff for the whole family.
I just have to say kudos to our Good Neighbors Sunday School class, out in full force last Sunday as hosts of Connections. They were everywhere — in the Welcome Center, parking lots, church entrances, and the Garden — making sure everyone here felt welcome. Read more.
Pancakes, Pizza, and Pumpkins!
Pancakes: We have two more weeks in our October Attendance Challenge for Academy. It is way too close to call right now! We’ve had outstanding attendance the last two weeks. Can you smell the pancakes? Read more.
Hello Families! By now I hope you’ve heard of Healthy Plate Discipleship. This coming Sunday is GIVE. And here are a couple of ways to “get some green” on your kid’s plate. 1. Each Academy Class takes up an offering every Sunday. We want kids to know that they’re never too young to make a difference. Read more.
Well Balanced: A Healthy Plate Youth Ministry — “Pray”
This week we continue our Youth Ministries blog series on Healthy Plate Discipleship. We are drawn into considering a uniquely intimate part of discipleship journeys, prayer. Honestly, when we as a church think about prayer, we usually don’t look to our youth as an exemplar. Read more.
Rev. Chuck Graff
All women are invited to come visit the Tapestry Women’s Sunday School class that meets this and every Sunday morning at 9:45 am in Room 313. Mary Weathers, an excellent classroom teacher, will be leading the class in a new series “Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say” by Adam Hamilton. Read more.
Dr. Len Delony
This past week, as part of our Healthy Plate Discipleship, we began a new and intentional focus on prayer. In reality, I believe prayer relates to everything we do, because it helps us know who we truly are. But it can be helpful to focus on specific prayer practices to grow in our relationship with God. Read more.
Kay Allen Nelson
Peggy Von Duynn
GIFTS & MEMORIALS
First Street Methodist Mission in Memory of:
Bill Mizell by Felecia & Brian Eaton
Bill Mizell by Joan & Lee Roy Hahnfeld
Bill Mizell by Ronda & Raymond Riffle
Ed Petrushka by Joan & Lee Roy Hahnfeld
Foundation Memorial Fund in Memory of:
Chick Leach by Mrs. Pat Merrill
General Memorial Fund in Memory of:
Bill Mizell by Gail & Carl Simmons
Ed Petrushka by Barbara & Carol Amond
Elaine Yamagata by Mary Ann & Diego Giordano
United Methodist Committee on Relief in Memory of:
Eileen Richards by Gaye Fuller
Roland Stewart by Gaye Fuller
Healthy Plate for Giving
Healthy Plate Discipleship, an exciting new vision for the future of our church, will use a variety of practices to help you more faithfully follow Jesus Christ. Try all six areas — worship, serve, give, learn, play, and pray — to grow strong in faithful discipleship. Read more.
Kooky, Spooky, Ookey Church Family Fun
Our 2016 Halloween Carnival is this weekend! Come dressed in your best (costume, that is) and bring canned food donations for First Street Methodist Mission. We’ll have bounce houses, pony rides, a petting zoo, games, prizes, crafts, and more. Read more.
Our United Methodist Women (UMW) will continue this exciting year of programming with yet another sacred space we all know and love. At the November UMW Luncheon: Sacred Hymns, Robert Stovall, FUMCFW Director of Music & Worship Arts, will uncover our rich history of Methodist hymns. Read more.