There will be a Good Friday service of the stations of the cross tonight (March 30, 2018) at 7:30 p.m. I’m not sure that any Good Friday service can be called “Child-Friendly,” but this one probably comes the closest. It’s very interactive and involves walking around the sanctuary to see and touch the stations of the cross. Hope to see you there.
I wanted to highlight the following announcement that will be appearing in tomorrow’s bulletin:
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REMAIN SEATED: If, for any reason (health, comfort, personal preference, etc.), you need to or would prefer to remain seated during the hymns please do so. Don’t give into peer pressure. You be you!
Sunday, March 18, 2018 — Regular Sunday Worship Services at 8:15 and 10:30 a.m. — Jenny and John on vacation, Tim Johnson preaching.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 — No Wednesday Evening Communion Service (John and Jenny on vacation).
Sunday, March 25, 2018 — Regular Sunday Worship Services at 8:15 and 10:30 a.m. — Palm/Passion Sunday. John and Jenny back.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 — No Wednesday Evening Communion Service
Thursday, March 29, 2018 — Holy Thursday Service of Tenebrae (with Communion) at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 30, 2018 — Good Friday Interactive Worship Service at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 1, 2018 — Easter Sunday — Regular Sunday Worship Services at 8:15 and 10:30 with a Youth Sponsored Potluck Easter Breakfast between services.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 — Regular Wednesday Evening Communion Service at 6:00 p.m.
This year on Palm/Passion Sunday (March 25, 2018) we’ll again be reading the Passion according to Mark in parts (like live radio theater). Drop me a line at email@example.com if you’re willing to read.
We were off the air (KABI 1560 AM) this past Sunday because of technical difficulties with our phone system. We should be back on the air next Sunday—”God willing and the creek don’t rise.”
Jenny and I are putting the finishing touches on the bulletin for Ash Wednesday (February
13 14, 32018). There will be two services, one over the lunch hour from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. and one in the evening from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be communion at the evening service.
I’ll be preaching on 2 Kings 2:1-12 tomorrow. This is the passage with Elijah, Elisha, a whirlwind and the chariot and horses of fire. We will, of course, be singing the hymn Days of Elijah.
We’ll have Ash Wednesday services at 12:15 pm and 5:30 p.m. on February 14, 2018. We expect both services to last about thirty minutes or less. The second service will include communion.
I’m continually amazed by how many people listen to the service on the radio. This is just a friendly reminder that if you find yourself away from church on Sunday morning and want to follow along in the bulletin, you can find it at: https://abilenefirstumc.org/bulletin/.
From what I heard, the Covenant Renewal Service this past Sunday was well received. (Please continue to let me know what you think, I would only ask that you “smite me gently”  if you didn’t like it.) Unfortunately, the extremely cold weather meant that many people were unable to attend. To that end, I want to share the core of the covenant service, A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition, with you here:
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,
Praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely give all that I am and all that I have to you.
And now, O wonderful and Holy God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen. 
 I have a strong memory of finding this wonderful turn of phrase in the writing of John Wesley, but I don’t remember where, Google isn’t as helpful as it could be, and it’s not worth a lot of effort one way or the other.
 There are numerous versions of this prayer floating around in books and online. Because of that variety, I’ve felt free to choose the phrases I hold best suited from several different versions. The closest thing to an authoritative version is found in The United Methodist Hymnal as number 607, but the language is somewhat dated.
If you want an idea of the Covenant Renewal Service for this coming Sunday (December 31, 2017), you can check out the bulletin at: https://abilenefirstumc.org/bulletin/.
This coming Sunday, January 31, 2017, we’ll have a service of Covenant Renewal. Jenny and I have not done one of these in a while and pretty sure that we’ve never done one here; nonetheless, it’s a very meaningful service that has been well received by previous congregations. This old Methodist tradition is a great way to launch yourself into the new year.