Author Archives: John Collins

NRSVue

Last week, you may have noticed that instead of the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version), we used the NRSVue. The “ue” stands for “updated edition.” It’s been more than 30 years since the NRSV was first released, and it was time for an update

I did some research, compared the two, and liked what I saw. One example is that in Matthew 2, “wise men” is now “magi.” You can read more about it here.

Voices: The Last Scene in the Bible

I think we all know this, we simply need reminding of it from time to time.

“The last scene in the Bible isn’t about “saved souls” going up to heaven. It is about the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven to earth as the centerpiece of the “new heaven and new earth” promised by the prophets and reaffirmed by Jesus himself and his first followers.” — N. T. Wright [1]

I’m sharing this reminder now because it fits with my sermon for this Sunday.


[1] N. T. Wright, On Earth as in Heaven: Daily Wisdom for Twenty-First-Century Christians, ed. Oliver Wright (San Francisco, CA: HarperOne, 2022), ix.

Things I Want You To Know #7 1/2

Something I need to add to #7: you don’t need to pay your pastor’s way when you invite them out. What my mother calls “Dutch Treat” is fine, even preferable. We’re not looking for a free lunch, just your company.

For easy reference, “Things I Want You to Know #7” can be found below.

The seventh thing I want you to know is that I’m not particularly eager to go to places/events by myself. I wish I had shared when we first came. Like most people, I get nervous going to places where I don’t know anyone (or even where I know only a few people). Many, if not most, parishioners want their pastor to be active in the community. The best way you can help this along is to extend an invitation to a ball game, a concert, a play, a club meeting, the parade, the fair, etc.

Things I Want You To Know #7

The seventh thing I want you to know is that I’m not particularly eager to go to places/events by myself. I wish I had shared when we first came. Like most people, I get nervous going to places where I don’t know anyone (or even where I know only a few people). Many, if not most, parishioners want their pastor to be active in the community. The best way you can help this along is to extend an invitation to a ball game, a concert, a play, a club meeting, the parade, the fair, etc.

Bible Study and Communion

Today, May 18, 2022, at 6 p.m. we’ll be celebrating our final Wednesday Communion in room 200. 

Prior to that, beginning at 5:15, we’ll have our final Wednesday Bible Study on eternal life. You can attend in person in room 200 or you can join us via Zoom at wp.me/P3IZ7l-nZ. You don’t need to read anything ahead of time to participate. (Most people don’t.) We’ll begin with a short video introduction and then continue the discussion from there. If you want to watch the video or study the materials ahead of time you can go to bit.ly/3PuXznc. For the past nine years I’ve been trying to explain how salvation begins here and now and continues into forever in the life to come. If you want to hear an explanation of the same phenomena from a different perspective, this is the Bible Study for you. I hope to see you there.

Things I Want You To Know #6

Sometimes, in a sermon, I’ll ask you “does that make sense?” A tweet from Twitter user @DrAmyPsyD explains what I’m thinking:

“When I say, ‘Does that make sense?,’ it’s not because I don’t think you’re smart. It’s because I think that I am incoherent.” [1]

I wish I had seen this nine years ago and been able to share it with you then, but this is exactly what I’m thinking when I ask that question in a sermon.


[1] Dr. Amy, Psy. D., Twitter post, April 19, 2022, 2:55 p.m., twitter.com/DrAmyPsyD.

Worship — Sunday, May 15, 2022

Our apologies that this video begins later in the service (at the time of the children’s message). If you want to follow along with bulletin you can follow this link or the link in the menu above.

If you’re having trouble streaming our worship videos, you may want to simply download the entire video to your device and then play it. You can do that by clicking on the link in the Vimeo logo above and then selecting download.

You can make a contribution online via tithe.ly. Other options can be found here.

Previous worship services can be found at abilenefirstumc.org/onlineworship/.

Honoring Seniors Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning (Sunday, May 22, 2022), we’ll have our regular in-person and livestreamed services at 8:15 and 10:30. We’ll be recognizing members of the Abilene High School class of 2022 at both services, but they will only be present in person at the 10:30 service. Those being honored are Braden Adams, Samuel Burton, Joy Clemence, Nick Holmes, and Maren Meneley.

Baptisms and Confirmations

We had baptisms and confirmations both this past Sunday. Jackson and Tyler Green were both baptized and confirmed. Others in this year’s confirmation class, who had been previously baptized, were Shane Bryant, Ethan Gonzales, Eyler Holt, and Luke Hunter. They were confirmed. Please congratulate all these youth and welcome them into the congregation when next you see them.

Worship — Sunday, May 8, 2022

If you want to follow along with bulletin you can follow this link or the link in the menu above.

If you’re having trouble streaming our worship videos, you may want to simply download the entire video to your device and then play it. You can do that by clicking on the link in the Vimeo logo above and then selecting download.

You can make a contribution online via tithe.ly. Other options can be found here.

Previous worship services can be found at abilenefirstumc.org/onlineworship/.