Next Sunday Morning, August 13, 2015, we’ll have the blessing the backpacks. All children are invited to bring their backpacks up to the chancel with them during the children’s time. The backpacks, and more importantly the children they belong to, will be blessed for the new year of school.
All week long I’ve been trying to think of ways to observe fair Sunday today (July 30, 2017). And all week long, I’ve been forgetting that we normally just encourage people to wear their western wear to church. My apologies for the (very) late notice.
I just polished off a big bowl of Malt-O Meal* and I’m settling into work on next Sunday’s sermon. I had great success crowdsourcing part of this morning’s sermon and I want to try it again. Here’s my question: is there a Kansas version of kudzu?
*A reference to this morning’s sermon.
We are looking forward to receiving Glen and Joan Dawson into membership at the 10:30 service tomorrow morning. Jenny and I encourage you to take the time to welcome them to First United Methodist Church.
Recently there has been a question about whether or not previously appointed pastors can come back and participate in a funeral at Abilene First United Methodist Church. The answer is yes. We were given some great guidance in this matter by former Bishop Scott Jones. Our practice is for at least one of us to serve as host for all funerals held at Abilene First United Methodist Church, but we gladly welcome former pastors, other United Methodist pastors or pastors from other denominations to come and participate in the service (including the delivery of the sermon). We will happily issue an invitation under ¶341.4 of The United Methodist Book of Discipline (2016).
This coming Sunday, July 9, 2017, I’ll be preaching on Matthew 11:25-30, but that’s not what will get me out of bed in the morning. Instead, I’m really excited that we’ll have Braden Adams accompanying the congregation on drums (I believe for the first time) and special music by Emily Shrader. (Emily has been worshiping with us while playing “Dainty June” at the Great Plains Theatre.)
Clark Williamson, director of music ministries, has asked me to share the following:
For the special music this Sunday, I’ve invited Nick Wright to return and play a flute solo. The selection is called “Find Us Faithful,” an arrangement by Stan Pethel. The words and music are by Jon Mohr. The lyrics are so inspirational, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share them with you.
We’re pilgrims on the journey of a narrow road.
And those who’ve gone before us line the way.
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary.
Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace.
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.
Let us run the race not only for the prize.
But as those who’ve gone before us.
Let us leave to those behind us.
The heritage of faithfulness, passed on through godly lives.
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful.
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe.
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful.
After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone.
And our children sift through all we’ve left behind.
May the clues that they discover, and the memories they uncover.
Become the light that leads them, to the road we each must find. (Chorus)
(CCLI license #811889)
Jenny and I are looking forward to the baptism of Jared Thomas Vinduska this coming Sunday, June 18, 2017, at the 8:15 a.m. service. Jared is the son of Kristina and Jason Vinduska.
This Sunday we’ll be observing All Saints/Memorial Sunday. We combine the two because All Saints Day is the church’s ancient memorial day. As The United Methodist Book of Worship puts it:
All Saints … is a day of remembrance for the saints, with the New Testament meaning of all Christian people of every time and place. We celebrate the communion of saints as we remember the dead, both of the Church universal and of our local congregations. 
I’ll be preaching on 1 John 3:1-3. We’ll also celebrate Holy Communion, name the honored dead and recognize memorial gifts.
 The United Methodist Book of Worship (Nashville, TN: United Methodist Publishing House, 1992), 413.
Allie Walters has given the church the artwork pictured above. It’s named “Sanctuary.” In real life, it’s 22″ by 30.” The piece was made with compressed charcoal, 2B Conté (a specific kind of sketching pencil), pencil, and ink wash. It’s wonderful and we’re looking forward to getting it framed and displayed.
There was an intermittent* high-pitched sound not unlike the early phase of a feedback cycle during worship morning. I just wanted you to know that we’re aware of it and we’re working on it. Thanks for your patience.
*A big part of the problem is that it’s intermittent. We haven’t managed to reproduce the noise outside of worship when we could better troubleshoot it.
I just returned from the bank with three rolls of nickels for tonight’s Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. The cross, the nails, the vinegar, the water, the cock crow, the gavel, and the crown of thorns are also prepared. This is an interactive worship service intended to be meaningful for both children and adults.