The Council of Bishops has issued a response to the election of Karen Oliveto, an openly gay woman, by the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church (we are in the South Central Jurisdiction). It is a measured, pastoral response and I commend it to you. Let me know if you have questions about the process or what happens next. I’ll try to have some answers, but at this point, I’m merely speculating and I don’t want to commit mere speculation to writing.
The Bishops’ statement is here: http://bit.ly/revcollins160716-2
A summary of what happened from The United Methodist Reporter (a reliable, unofficial publication) is here: http://bit.ly/revcollins160716-3
Everyone who works in the main church office is presently at 8th Grade Recognition. For that reason the office will not open until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, May 25, 2016.
The following quote from G. K. Chesterton dropped into my inbox today:
A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. — G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy.
What a great explanation of why God does not give up on us and how God will be able to spend all eternity in our company without getting bored of us. And with the understanding that in the new life to come we shall shed our sin and once again become young at heart, what a hopeful outlook on our ability to spend all eternity with God without becoming bored with God or ourselves.
The fifth Sunday of a month has once again snuck up on us. There will be a potluck meal this Sunday (January 31, 2016) in Wright Fellowship Hall following the 10:30 service. If you want you can go over to the Relay for Life Chicken Noodle Dinner, purchase some chicken and noodles and bring them back.
Don’t forget to enjoy an extra hour of sleep tomorrow (Sunday, November 1, 2015) as daylight savings time comes to an end and we “fall back” one hour.
A podcast version of my sermon from August 9, 2015, titled “Forgiving on a Deadline.” My textual reference was Ephesians 5.15-20. There were some technical issues with the podcast, but I think it’s all audible.
If you have an Apple product you can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes.
May is the month that First UMC collects food and funds for the operation of the Food Pantry. The following is a list of items that are needed: Jiffy cornbread mixes, Raman noodles, Hamburger Helper, dry pasta, macaroni & cheese, cold or dry cereals, laundry soap, dish soap, hand soap, toilet tissue, Kleenex, paper towels, napkins, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and tooth brush. Gifts of money for utilities are always welcome.
Grocery bags are available on Sunday morning throughout the month of May to take home with you to fill and return on Sunday mornings or during the week.
This article about Fifty Shades of Grey was shared by a few of my friends on facebook this week. My disclaimer is that I have not read the book or seen the movie. However, I think the issues she brings up in her article are important ones to remember regardless of whether or not one reads the book or watches the movie.
“Because the God who knows us thoroughly loves us fully, our lives have a worth that cannot be taken from us—by others or ourselves. The value of our lives does not come from what we achieve or possess or what others may think of us. It comes fro the God who knows and names us, from whose steadfast love nothing in all creation can ever separate us.” —Allen C. McSween, Jr., Feasting on the Word, Year B, Vol. 1.
Abilene Schools have cancelled classes tomorrow (January 6, 2014) because of the windchill advisary. According to church policy, this means that all Wednesday after-school and evening events are cancelled. We’re taking the additional precaution of closing the office tomorrow as well. Please stay home (if you can), stay warm, and stay safe.
Jenny and I will be working from home tomorrow. Please don’t hesitate to call us on our mobile phones If you have a question or concern.