Just in case you’re like me and you need to hear this:
It’s Friday, and you’ve done enough. I don’t know how much you managed to do, but whatever you did, you’ve done enough. You probably haven’t been productive by your previous standards, but by the standards of surviving a global pandemic, you’ve done enough. Your worth doesn’t come from what you do, but from the fact that God loves you. You are God’s beloved. And you are loved by God not because of what you have accomplished, but because you are made in God’s image. You are loved by God. That’s enough. You are enough. You’ve done enough. Take it easy on yourself. Follow God’s example and show yourself some grace. Follow God’s lead and show yourself some love.
We’ve had a generous donation of fifty cloth masks to the church. Please let me know if you (member or non-member) want one.
A friendly reminder that you can find an online Sunday bulletin, a PDF bulletin, and a children’s activity bulletin for the United Methodist Home Companion on the church website at abilenefirstumc.org/bulletin/.
Illustrated Ministry is providing coloring pages to help people reduce their stress. You can download on the Abilene First United Methodist Church downloads page.
When we decorated for Advent and Christmas this past Sunday, I realized that I had not taken the Advent Candles down to Cypress Bridge to be recast. I have now done that. They can be picked up on Friday. Cypress Bridge is closed on Saturday (because it’s the Sabbath). I really need someone or someones to remind me to pick them up on Friday so that we can have them for Sunday. A little help, please.
Yesterday from the pulpit, I explained that attending church conference is about as exciting as registering to vote or serving jury duty, but that just as those things are essential to a functioning democracy, so attending church conference is important to a functioning church. Yesterday afternoon, at the District Superintendents’ request, Jenny and I set in on a church conference in Chapman, and I stand by what I said, it was not exciting. But there was one exception, Dee Williamston, our District Superintendent, gave an excellent meditation/mini-sermon that made it worth the trip and the time. She’ll be sharing the same message tonight. I encourage you to attend. We’ll meet at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
Don’t forget to enjoy an extra hour of sleep tomorrow (Sunday, November 3, 2019) as daylight savings time comes to an end and we “fall back” one hour.
Abilene made the November 2019 edition of Reader’s Digest because of the Cedar House recovery center started by Patti O’Malley. It was part of their “The Nicest Places in America” round up. Our own Amanda Cormack has a quote in the print edition (but not online) that represents Kansans as smart, articulate, thoughtful people. Both of them have done us proud.
Jesus indeed said, “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.”  Jesus predicted it and it does happen. However, when a Christian finds themselves hated, excluded, reviled, and defamed, it’s always a good idea for them to first do some self-examination and make sure they’re not acting like a jerk. I can confirm this from personal experience.
 Luke 6:22-23 (NRSV)
Just passing on a few things we’ve received via email:
From Neighbor to Neighbor: Sandbags are available at NE Second Street, for pick-up by residents in the 67410 zip code. Need help transporting and placing sandbags? Call 785-200-6750. Willing to help deliver/place sandbags? Call 785-200-6750
From Hollie Tapley, Disaster Response Coordinator for the Great Plains Conference of the UMC, we’ve heard that they are looking for 50 volunteers to help with sandbagging in Chapman. I’ll follow up with more details when I get them.
It keeps raining, and raining, and raining. When time allows, please keep Jenny and I posted as to how the flooding is affecting members and friends of First UMC. (We’re concerned about everyone, but we have a special responsibility for our parishioners.)
I recently heard someone on a podcast say that they are making New Year’s intentions, not New Year’s resolutions. This seems like a good idea to me. If you make a resolution to read the Bible every day, you may just give it up for the rest of the year once you miss a day. If you make an intention to read the Bible every day, then that’s something you can miss one day and then pick up the next. I don’t know why the difference in phrasing makes a difference to me, but it does, and I’m passing it on in case the same applies to you.