Get Over Yourself; God’s Here!

This Lent, Jenny and I want to invite you to join us for “a forty-day journey of repentance” as we read Get Over Yourself; God’s Here! by Kate Moorehead. The title is a pretty good alternative translation of “The kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the gospel.” In this book, author Kate Moorehead deals with serious and weighty theological issues in a very approachable manner that combines wit, wisdom, and integrity. Also, the book has a picture of an ostrich on the cover, and you just can’t beat that. We’ve ordered 25 copies directly from the publisher, and they will be available for $10.

Easter Sunrise Pageant

Received from the Ministerial Alliance:

Just a reminder: this Sunday, Feb. 17th is the kick off meeting for the Easter Sunrise Pageant. It will be held at 1st Baptist Church on Spruce St and 5th at 4:00. It would be good if churches would send a representative–we could use some new “actors” as well!

If anyone is interested in representing First UMC for this event (or participating as an actor), please let Jenny or I know.

Warts and All

Discussing Paul’s letter to the Galatians, N. T. Wright reminds us that:

“Generations of Christians who have read Galatians as part of holy scripture have to remind themselves that, if Galatians is part of the Bible, it is Galatians as we have it [emphasis in the original] that is part of the Bible—warts and all, sharp edges and sarcastic remarks included. Perhaps, indeed, that is what “holy scripture” really is—not a calm, serene lists of truths to be learned or commands to be obeyed, but a jagged book that forces you to grow up in your thinking as you grapple with it.” — N. T. Wright [1]

Scripture (and I’m quite certain Wright would agree) is more than a jagged book, but it definitely has it’s jagged edges. I think it’s incumbent upon those who want to grow into Christian maturity to be willing to acknowledge and accept the “warts” in the book that we hold sacred. Too often we have ignored the Bible we have in favor of the bible we wish we had. The first is sacred and authoritative, the second is not.

[1] N. T. Wright, Paul: A Biography (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2018), 142-143.

Deviled Eggs

A moment of personal privilege: I just made Deviled Eggs for the first time. (I thought that surely anything so delicious would to be hard to make.) I now have a secure supply chain for more anytime I want them, and that makes me so happy. I also know what I plan to bring to the next All-Church Potluck Dinner.

All Means All

Yesterday the Church Council met and approved the following statement welcoming everyone, which has been posted on the church’s website:

Aligning ourselves with the biblical witness, First United Methodist Church affirms Jesus’ example of inviting all people into God’s loving embrace. We believe that the diversity of our community enriches our journey together in faith. All people are welcome to join in our life together as we strive to live as a profoundly Christ-like church of open hearts, open mind, and open doors and work for the coming kingdom of God. And all means all.

Feel free to drop me a line a let me know what you’re thinking.

Little Free Pantry Sunday

This coming Sunday (February 3, 2019) is the first Sunday of the month, the Sunday we collect items for the little free pantry. Here are a few needs if you want to contribute: canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned soup, and canned meat; cereal, breakfast, and granola bars; macaroni and cheese, ramen, spaghetti (and sauce); peanut butter and jelly, crackers (especially saltine crackers—they’re good for putting peanut butter and jelly on); add water only pancake mix and syrup; and fruit snacks.

A few final encouragements: 1. peanut butter, jelly, and crackers go really fast; 2. Ask yourself if you would eat what you are bringing; and 3. remember that the Little Free Pantry is, well, little.