For my sermon tomorrow (Sunday, October 11, 2020), I’ll be preaching Exodus 20:1-17 with a focus on commandments 5 through 10. We’re still virtual only, but you can stream the service online. You can download a bulletin and—if you want—make a donation.
In a discussion this morning, one of my friends shared this quote from Brene Brown: “When we are in pain and fear, anger and hate are our go-to emotions.”  It’s a great insight and it’s convinced me to buy the book.
 Brown Brené, Braving the Wilderness: the Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone (New York: Random House, 2019), chapter 4, Kindle.
This Sunday, we’re going to try something new with the livestream and I’m both excited and nervous. Braden Adams came down yesterday with his computer and worked it out so that we can use two cameras. Two cameras means a close up of the pulpit and a long shot of the chancel (the platform at the front of the sanctuary) will both be available. If all goes well we might add another. It seems a small thing to pray for, but prayers that it will all work as planned are appreciated.
For health and safety reasons, Pam Simpson, the Administrative Assistant, is working from home from now until Tuesday, October 13, 2020. Please call the church number at 785-263-2623 and leave a message if you need to contact her.
From Wendy Robinson: Due to the High School still holding classes virtually we will wait one more week for Youth Group and Power and Light to begin to meet in person. We are now planning on meeting Wednesday, October 14, 2020, in person at the church. Power and Light at 3:30 p.m. and Youth Group at 6:00 p.m. Please use the South doors (6th street entrance) and bring your mask. I pray to see you on the 14th!
You can also view this video and previous worship services on our Vimeo page at vimeo.com/abilenefirstumc.
Following the injunction of 1 Timothy 2:1-4, we list those in authority on our prayer list in the bulletin every week. This week it seems appropriate to pray for Donald Trump not only as one who is in authority but also as someone who has fallen ill. I encourage you to pray regardless of your political persuasion—there is nothing that says that praying for someone indicates affection or approval. Pray for the President; pray for all those sick with COVID-19; pray for all those who have lost loved ones to this pandemic. Pray that God’s mercy and justice might roll down like waters over our afflicted country.
Verna Cook passed away on October 1, 2020. Visitation will be on Sunday, October 4, 2020, from 2-4 p.m. Her graveside service will be the following day, Monday, October 5, 2020, at 11 a.m. at the Abilene Cemetery.
This Sunday (October 4, 2020) is World Communion Sunday. I want to issue a friendly reminder that we are virtual only for worship this Sunday. We will, however, be taking communion. You’re encouraged to check and see if you have bread/crackers and grape juice available. If you don’t, we have prepackaged containers and volunteers to deliver them. Just let me know at email@example.com.
On June 8, 2020, the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church issued a “statement on the scourge of racism.” Somehow I missed it then but stumbled across it today. I want to share an excerpt.
“As bishops of the United Methodist Church, we ask every United Methodist to reclaim their baptismal vows to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. We ask every United Methodist to name the egregious sin of racism and white supremacy and join together to take a stand against the oppression and injustice that is killing persons of color.”
Racism and white supremacy are sinful. We must resist them in whatever forms they present themselves. The bishops rightly suggest using “our voices, our pens, our feet and our heart[s] for change.”
We’re restarting the Prayer Vigil in virtual form from our homes. It’s a full day of prayer from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. We have the following openings. Please email John or call the church office if you are interested in participating. Here are the slots that remain open:
8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
11 a.m. to Noon
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.