Thank You. I Meant It. I Mean It.

Those of you who give to the church online, by EFT, or by check will soon be receiving a letter thanking you for your giving for the first six months of 2020. I don’t know how many of you read those letters carefully—to be honest, when I’m on the receiving end, I tend to scan them at best. With that in mind, I wanted to draw your attention to the following first paragraph:

We are living in interesting, difficult times, with a lot of uncertainty about what is to come next. In these times, I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve First United Methodist Church. This congregation has worshipped with what may be the most rigorous COVID-19 countermeasures of any faith community in Abilene. I am not ashamed of that. In fact, I rejoice in it as a demonstration of your commitment to loving not only God but also your neighbor. Jesus calls us to care for one another, you have done that even when doing so means staying six feet apart. The countermeasures you adopted have meant some profound changes to when, how, and where we worship, but you have taken them all in stride. Thank you.

Thank you. I meant it. I mean it. We’re all in this pandemic together and together, we’ll all get through it.

Does Predestination Bug You?

This Sunday I plan to preach on Romans 8:26-39 which includes these verses:

“28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (NRSV)

These verses used to bother me a lot because of Paul’s use of the term predestination and my firm belief that we have free will. Has that bothered anyone else? Has it bothered you? Either way, please let me know at john@revcollins.com. If it’s worried a lot of people, I’ll do a whole sermon on it, if it hasn’t, I’ll comment on it briefly and then continue to other parts of the passage.

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

We have a Zoom meeting scheduled for the Wednesday Evening Bible Study at 6:15 p.m. We’ll be looking at the fifth chapter of Luke. Here are the details:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://bit.ly/2BTwgBn
Meeting ID: 931 9116 5788
Password: 67410

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,93191165788#,,,,0#,,67410# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 931 9116 5788
Password: 67410

Please note that I have set up separate meetings for the Communion Service and the Bible Study on the Gospel of Luke.

Wednesday Evening Communion Service

We have a Zoom meeting scheduled for the Wednesday Evening Communion Service at 6:00 p.m. Here are the details:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://bit.ly/38bf9qZ
Meeting ID: 937 0998 7388
Password: 67410

One tap mobile
+13462487799,,93709987388#,,,,0#,,67410# US (Houston)

Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 937 0998 7388
Password: 67410

Please note that I have set up separate meetings for the Communion Service and the Bible Study on the Gospel of Luke.