See You at Church

I do enjoy social media.  I like that it gives me the choice to read what is out there or to scroll past it if I so desire.  Recently, on facebook, I came across a post from a fellow parishioner and it made me smile.  Here is what he had to say:

“You will want to make plans now to attend the Sunday services of the Hampton United Methodist Church. For the first time in 54 years, they are rolling me out to be the reader of not ONE, but TWO Bible verses in church.

About six months ago our trustees committee was in the sanctuary listening to the new sound system when someone said, “Hey Pat, read something and we’ll see how it sounds in the back and in the balcony.” SO, there had been a funeral there earlier in the day and so I read the back of their program which was the person’s obituary. Word seemed to spread fast and I was told I needed to be a reader in church. I said, “OK.” A month ago someone said, “Pat, have you ever been the reader in church?” I said, “No, I was never asked.” — So this Sunday is my debut.

You never know what you will get if you don’t ask.

I’m sure there will be full house for this monumental event…. and listenership on KLMJ will increase as well. 

There are a couple of things happening in this post that are marks of a Christian intentionally practicing his faith.

First, he said yes.  Whenever the church asks something of you, do you say ‘Yes’, or is your mind racing in one hundred different directions thinking about how to say ‘No.’?

Our society has changed so much over the years, especially here in the United States.  There was a time when the the church was the central location for all activities in a community.  A time when the entire day of Sunday was spent at church with the church family.  Today, people have to check their calendars to see if they can make Sunday worship.  They might have scheduled something else.  I appreciate my family, they know if it Sunday morning, they will find me at the church.  If they want to have a dinner on Sunday and want me there, it needs to be scheduled late enough for me to get there.

Second, he invited people.  He didn’t just invite, he shared his story on why he was extending the invitation.  He let people know what was going on with him, why he was reaching out and projected an outcome, an expectation that people would turn out and either meet him at church or listen to the radio broadcast.  I personally did not make it to the church that Sunday, due to the weather, but I did listen on the radio.  Pat Palmer, you did a great job, I have heard many compliments regarding your part in the service and thank you.

The mission of the Hampton United Methodist Church (HUMC) is ‘to make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ.’  This cannot be done without extending oneself to the work of the church or to the people around us.  Here, at HUMC we are growing in our faith, we are living out our call to go and make disciples, we are family, brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • I wish to extend the invitation Pat put out there on his facebook page and invite you.  Not only to worship on Sunday mornings (or Saturday evenings) but also to Bible Study on Sunday evenings and Tuesday afternoons.

  • I invite you to join the groups who like to sew, knit and crochet on Monday evenings or Tuesday afternoons.

  • I invite you to be part of the youth organization with Children 1st on Wednesday afternoons or Wednesday evenings.

  • Those who have the gift of music and enjoy singing our choir meets most Wednesday evenings and shares their gift on Sunday mornings.

  • There is also a group that meets on Thursday mornings called BeFrienders, this group reaches out the the community through cards and pray for those with health issues and provides communion to the assisted living facilities in the community.

  • Monthly a men’s group meets for breakfast, sharing in fellowship and devotion.

  • The United Methodist Women meet monthly throughout the year, during the winter months they deviate from their meeting duties and offer fellowship during their meeting time for anyone who drops by.

  • Thursday evenings HUMC provides the site for the Community Meals.  Organizations from the community work collaboratively with the church to provide nutritious meals and fellowship for whoever stops in.

  • I know I am forgetting things, but off the top of my head I would say this is a great beginning for sharing what the life of HUMC is like.

I look forward to seeing you at church…

The Walk by Adam Hamilton – Lenten Study

Lenten Bible Study:

How do we walk with Christ—daily follow him, grow in him, and faithfully serve him? Join Adam Hamilton this Lent and Easter in The Walk and discover five essential spiritual practices rooted in Jesus’ own walk with God. In each chapter, Hamilton’s engaging teaching style will help you explore one of these practices-each of which is intended to be a part of our daily walk with Christ—its New Testament foundation, and its potential effect on our personal lives and our lives together as the church.Thursdays during lent beginning February 27 @ 6:00 PM in the Wesley Room.  Pastor Lewis will lead the class.  Sign up to order books by February 12th.  The class will run through Lent.  Will discuss ‘snow dates’ at the first class and how we will handle them.  (Let the office know of your interest: 641-456-4238.)

The Journey Continues

Our last night of Vacation Bible School, the Grand Finale’ will be at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary of St. Paul.  It has been a great week, “Wild About Jesus.”  As every year, there are new faces and old faces.  It has been a fun filled week.  As with any adventure, it comes to an end here in the churches of UMC and St. Paul, I do believe the children and the adults will be sharing the story of what was found here, Jesus.  “One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left.     Matthew 19:14-15  The Message

And as this adventure ends, another begins.  Three days from now a group will be leaving for Perryville, Arkansas to spend a week on the Heifer International Ranch.  We will say ‘good-bye’ to Bossie and her sister, Bessie, who will be returning to greener pastures until they are needed to assist with fund raising again.  They did a great job!  I do believe, over all, the people of the UMC community enjoyed hosting them over the summer.

Time to look towards the fall and the changes in routine that comes with school beginnings and summer vacation endings.  I am so excited to share the beginning of a Bible Study series that will be held on Sunday evenings.  We will begin in the New Testement with the book of Matthew.

Transition from Vacation to Reality

John Wesley’s Sermon, The Character of a Methodist

  1. One who has the love of God shed abroad in the heart.
  2. One who cannot but rejoice, having peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ
  3. One who has the hope of immorality
  4. One who prays without ceasing
  5. One who loves and does good to neighbors and friends, strangers and enemies
  6. One ho is pure in heart and shows mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, long suffering and forgiveness
  7. One who seeks to please God and keeps God’s commandments

I have always said “returning from vacation is a trip back to reality.”  I am blessed my reality is easy to return to these days.  There were times when I wanted to stay on vacation forever, but God calls me back, there is work to do.  I was reading a post yesterday that said “Choose a Job You Love, and You Will Never Have To Work a Day in Your Life.”  That is what it feels like here at HUMC.

  

This year I did not travel.  No beach fronts, no visits with friends here in the midwest, no exotic cities, no trip to the mountains.  Just me at home, doing what I wanted to do, spending time with grandchildren.  So, no, these are not vacation pictures.

Now, back to my reality and in reading over John Wesley’s list of characteristics, I find myself reflecting, as I continue to strive toward the life of perfection, life has become easier.  I know perfection in this life is not attainable, yet, with the Lord Jesus Christ at my side, I will strive.

Now I find myself on the eve of the Franklin County Fair Parade, The Franklin County Fair, coordinating volunteers for the Chapel in the Pioneer Village, Vacation Bible School, The Mission Trip to Heifer International.  I would say that HUMC is doing ministry out in the world, yes, we may spend Sunday morning inside the church, the rest of the time we are out doing ministry, being the hands and feet of Jesus.  HUMC does so much more and I am blessed to be a part of this ministry!

In his sermon, Wesley ends with these words:  “Is thy heart right; and my heart is with thine?  I ask no further question.  If it be, give me thy hand.”

I feel my transition back into my responsibilities here at @Hampton United Methodist Church was smooth because God has made it so.

***  Side note:

Now, if you know me, I am often asking, “Does this make sense?”  What is going on in my head doesn’t always transfer into thoughts on paper or the spoken word as I would want them to.  So, for today, these are my thoughts and I thank you for taking the time to read, and please let me know if this makes sense to you.