Resolution Update

Dear Friends,

We have been overwhelmed by the response to John’s resolution. We expected 300 supporters total not more than 300 supporters in less than 24 hours. We are unable to keep up. I thank those who have already responded, but we would please ask you to respond again through this Google Form which will automatically tabulate the results. If you cannot, we’ll migrate your information for you. I apologize for the inconvenience. Please feel free to share the link below.

Blessings, John Collins

Link: https://goo.gl/forms/aG3y9HMlZNY8EoHD3

Annual Conference Resolution

In response to the 2019 General Conference, I’ve written a Resolution for the Great Plains Annual Conference. You can find it here: https://revcollins.com/gpac-petition/. Clergy and any members of any local church in the Great Plains Annual Conference (that’s us) can sign it. Just drop me a line at john@revcollins.com. I’m doing this manually instead of on a site to try and make sure that everyone who signs up is in the Great Plains Annual Conference. But with over 300 responses already we’re a little bogged down. You can help by clearly listing which of the following applies to you: 1. Clergy Member of the Conference; 2. Lay Member of the Conference; 3. Member of a Local United Methodist Church (if so please include the name of the church, and the town/city and state). Thank you for your support.

Today is Dickinson County Donate Day

Today, Friday, March 15, 2019, the Community Foundation of Dickinson County is doubling all donations made to the First UMC Endowment fund (up to $10,000). You can give online at http://www.donatedickinson.com or take a check down to the Community Foundation Office in the old Astra Bank Building. If you want to give before then, you can bring or mail a check made out to “Community Foundation of Dickinson County” to the church office. Either way putting “First United Methodist Church” in the memo line would not go astray.

To be clear: this money goes into the church’s endowment fund which means that we can only draw on the interest. For this reason we’re looking for donations that go above and beyond your regular giving.

The Reflector-Chronicle Ad

I wrote what follows for the bulletin. I’m reprinting it here for those of you who won’t be able to be in church on Sunday.

In case you didn’t see the ad in the Reflector-Chronicle, a copy appears directly below [here on the blog, it’s two posts down]. What Jenny and I have heard over and over again from the members of this church of all theological stripes and persuasions is that you are a church that welcomes everyone. While the recent 2019 General Conference and the negative (and often misleading) headlines it generated prompted our running the ad, the ad was not just for LGBTQ+ folks. It was for everyone who has ever doubted whether or not they would be welcome at a church. That includes a lot of people. Those of us who have always felt comfortable in church can easily underestimate how intense the fear of rejection can be for someone attending for their first time. You all do your best to welcome everyone. Jenny and I love that about you.

How is the Bible Authoritative

In last Sunday’s sermon, I talked about how fundamentalism/biblical literalism doesn’t actually work—the most revealing tell being that even the staunchest fundamentalist are fundamentalist about everything in the Bible (very few people have given away all but one coat). Everyone interprets the Bible, although not everyone admits it. In my sermon this coming Sunday, I plan to talk about one way of understanding biblical authority, or more accurately—since all authority on heaven and earth belongs to God—how God exercises some of God’s authority through the Bible. I’ve got the first draft down, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

Clarification on Donate Dickinson County Day

Share your love for the church with future generations. On Friday, March 15, 2019, the Community Foundation of Dickinson County will double all donations made to the First UMC Endowment fund (up to $10,000). On May 15, you can give online at http://www.donatedickinson.com or take a check down to the Community Foundation Office in the old Astra Bank Building. If you want to give before then, you can bring or mail a check made out to “Community Foundation of Dickinson County” to the church office. Either way putting “First United Methodist Church” in the memo line would not go astray.

Here’s the clarification: this money goes into the church’s endowment fund which means that we can only draw on the interest. For this reason we’re looking for donations that go above and beyond your regular giving.

Ordering T-Shirts

We’ll have a sample t-shirt and an order form in the narthex (church lobby) this Sunday, but if you want to order online, you can just drop me a line at john@revcollins.com. Use “AFUMC T-Shirt Order” in the subject line.

New Church T-Shirts

We’re now taking orders for First United Methodist Church t-shirts. These are of the new design featuring heather gray t-shirts with the Cross and Flame and an open door on the front and a summary of Micah 6:8 on the back. The cost is $11 for adults and $5 for children and youth (the Outreach and Mission Committee is subsidizing the cost for children and youth). We have a wide variety of sizes available: onesie newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months; toddler 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; youth XS, S, M, L, XL; and Adult S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL. We’ll have a sample in the Narthex soon.