Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Scouting for Food

Our Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts gather in the parking lot for their annual Scouting for Food collection.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Contemporary Worship


A "bibliodrama" during the Open Table service on Saturday evenings at 6:00 pm, and the Open Table band (this time playing on Sunday morning).

Monday, November 28, 2016

Girl Scouting!

Girl Scouts gathering at Christ Church, led by a couple of our own members.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giving Thanks, a Prayer

FATHER GOD, THE FAMILY COMES BEFORE YOU

HUMBLY THANKING YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE BROUGHT US THROUGH.

WE THANK YOU FOR THE GENERATIONS WHO HAVE COME BEFORE US AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE TIME THAT WE AGAIN BECOME PART OF THAT NEVER ENDING CIRCLE.

YOU HAVE MADE A WAY FOR EACH OF US AND WE THANK YOU FOR THAT. 

WE ASK YOUR FORGIVENESS FOR ANY WRONG WE’VE DONE. 

YOU WELCOMED PEOPLE WHO CAME TO YOU AND JOINED IN THEIR FAMILY PARTIES AND THEIR MEALS.  BE WITH US THIS DAY AND BLESS OUR FAMILY GATHERING WITH YOUR PRESENCE. 

KEEP US ALWAYS IN YOUR LOVE AND GRANT US THE JOY OF CELEBRATING THE MYSTERY OF YOUR LOVE IN EACH OTHER AS MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY AND THE GRIMM BOHANAN PICARDI FAMILY. 

BLESS OUR TIME TOGETHER AND MAKE US THANKFUL FOR THE FOOD AND LOVE WE SHARE.

BLESS THE STRENGTH YOU GIVE US AND LET EACH OF US USE OUR LIFE TO HELP OTHERS EACH DAY. 


IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST WE PRAY.  AMEN.

From a prayer written by my father-in-law, Jesse Grimm, for a family reunion.

They'll Know We Are Christians (Children's Choir, 2016-1113)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bikes for evangelism in Ivory Coast

United Methodist lay leaders present clergy members with new bicycles at Emmanuel Port-Bouet 1 UMC  in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The bikes will help clergy evangelize in remote areas of the conference. Photo courtesy Emmanuel 1 COCOM
By Joe Tueche Ndzulo
Oct. 28, 2016 | ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire (UMNS)
A gift of 25 bicycles to the clergy in Abidjan, means they can evangelize in areas with few or no passable roads, and while they are pedaling, they can “meet the faithful” along the way.
Lined up in front of United Methodist Emmanuel Port-Bouet 1 in Abidjan, the bicycles were the first of 75 to be distributed to pastors and lay leaders to boost evangelism nationwide, said Louis Aboua, lay leader of the Côte d’Ivoire Annual Conference.
The bikes were donated by the Côte d’Ivoire laity in partnership with Bikes and Bibles, a nonprofit ministry of the U.S. North Georgia Conference. The organization donated $7,000.
“These 25 bicycles represent one third of our gift to support evangelism,” Aboua said on Laity Sunday, Oct. 16.
Of the 17 districts that make up the conference, 10 are missionary districts, covering the center, west, northern and eastern parts of the territory. In three missionary districts, there is less of a United Methodist presence compared to the southwestern, south and southeastern areas.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Post Election Reflection and Prayer



THE DAY AFTER AND THE DAYS FOLLOWING

November 9, 2016

Yesterday, across the United States, citizens exercised their right to vote for the leadership of their country.  Today, may we stand united in prayer for all those who have accepted the mantle of leadership: that they might find strength and wisdom to lead our communities and country in the days ahead. We pray that they remain always focused on the common good, continually shaping through their words and actions a more just and peaceful world.

We are grateful for the dedication of public servants who devote their lives to serving all peoples of the United States. We are especially grateful and pray for the countless United Methodists who live out their faith as county commissioners, sheriffs, judges, state legislators, and members of the U.S. Congress.

Despite the long and rancorous road to this election, let us pray that we, as faithful witnesses, find renewed strength for the journey ahead as we hold leaders accountable to supporting policies that transform our world into a more just and peaceful home. May we all renew our promises to be faithful to the ways that lead to peace and abundant life. Let us hold onto the promise that peace will come in our day.

Peace,

Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, The United Methodist Church

A word, a prayer, and a song for the world after the 2016 election

Remembering the words of Abraham Lincoln

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and will all nations.

May we pray with the great Methodist theologian, Georgia Harkness,

This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth's kingdoms;
Thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done.
Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him,
And hearts united learn to live as one.
O hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations;
Myself I give thee; let thy will be done. 

Let us sing together, For the Healing of the Nations

Lead us forward into freedom;
from despair your world release,
that redeemed from war and hatred,
all may come and go in peace.
Show us how through care and goodness
fear will die and hope increase,
fear will die and hope increase. (Fred Kaan 1965)

The prayer and song can be found in the United Methodist Hymnal

Trunk or Treat (2 of 2)




Monday, November 7, 2016

Living the Adventure (Trail Blazing #5, 2016-1030)


10/30/2016 Christ Mountain Top
Call to worship, Prayer of St Augustine, No psalm or sung response
Children, Matthew 14.25-33 – walking on the sea (with Peter)
Message, Mark 3.14-19 and Acts 2.37-47

We’ve been moving through a message series titled “Trail Blazing”, showing the white blaze of the Appalachian Trail, the “AT”, that Steve Ross is hiking. We’ve heard him share the tradition of “Trail Magic” – unexpected kindness and friendship encountered along the way. This is one more of those stories:
      VIDEO – Steve Ross (water jugs)

Theme Scripture for the series:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,
and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
who for the sake of the joy that was set before him
endured the cross, disregarding its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
from Hebrews 12:1-3

Overlapping spheres of discipleship: Worship, Community, Mission
Tagline: Friends. Purpose. Life.
Spirituality: Giving, Faithful, Real.

Today, we’ll have three stories, one each from these three dimensions of discipleship. We’ll examine some of the themes raised by the Scriptures of the day. We’ll bounce back and forth a bit and finish with a time to prayerfully consider how God is calling each of us to grow.
      Scripture on the three themes:
            Mark, selection of disciples (3.14-19)
                  To be with him, preach/deliver
      Acts 2.37-47 – devotions
            Teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer
            And, day by day, the Lord added

Power: Saints and the Kingdoms (message, 2016-1106)


11/06/2016 Christ Mountain Top, All Saints
Call to worship, Psalm 149
Children, Luke 6.20-31 – beatitudes
Message, Daniel 7.1-18

Today we are confronted with confusion and anxiety, and with our uncertain relationship with power. Perhaps we feel the same way about Election Day?
      Today we face one of the strangest passages offered for All Saints, this section from Daniel that usually has the middle – the four beasts – removed from the reading because it is simply weird. Now you know where the Revelation gets its imagery! It is harvested from some of the least understood and most figurative texts in the rest of Scripture. Who or what are these beasts? Traditionally, they are understood as four great ancient kingdoms or empires, from Babylon to Medo-Persia to Greece to Rome. And what does this passage have to do with saints? It is the last line of the text: “But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever – forever and ever” (Daniel 7.18). “Holy ones” is another translation for the Hebrew and Greek word for “saints.”
            Today is All Saints Sunday. There are various meanings of “saint” – someone whose life is an example for me, someone from New Orleans, unique persons in the history of the church, those who are exemplary in holiness, those whom God uses to perform miracles. One of the best and simplest definitions, one that fits today’s passage, is that saints are God’s people, warts and all, holy because God has claimed them. It fits with a wonderful phrase from Lutheran theology, that we are simultaneously saint and sinner.
Story: Compared to his brother, he was a saint. One of the dangers in the political process, for God’s people, is that we overlay our favorite candidate with the mythic potential and character of a “saint”, however we understand sainthood (see Hunter, 186). Once we do that, we lose our ability to think critically about our decision, and we lose the ability to interact positively with those who disagree with us. This week, I asked one of our groups if I should talk about politics today. “No … You’ll have to provide separate exits for those for Hillary and those for Trump.” Of course, the Scripture is not always cooperative. We’re stuck with a passage all about kingdoms – politics, power, and public life – and where God’s saints fit into the picture.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Ebola Survivors in Sierra Leone

Ebola survivor and former Mercy Hospital employee nurse, Dennis Karimu, is chairman of the Post Ebola Treatment Center in the Bo District of Sierra Leone. He also works as a nurse and counsellor at the center.
Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS
Ebola survivor and former Mercy Hospital employee nurse, Dennis Karimu, is chairman of the Post Ebola Treatment Center in the Bo District of Sierra Leone. He also works as a nurse and counsellor at the center.
By Phileas Jusu
Oct. 13, 2016 | FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS)

Normal life has proved elusive for Ebola survivors who struggle with health complications and face discrimination from people who still fear the deadly virus. It’s also been difficult for the country’s 8,500 children orphaned by the disease.
Abubakarr Sillah and his brother lost their parents to Ebola.
“We rely on handouts from neighbors, otherwise there is no reliable means for our everyday survival,” Sillah told United Methodist News Service eight months after the tragedy.
The brothers, who live at Deep Yai Wata in rural Freetown, also lost three siblings to Ebola.  Abubakarr, an older teenager, dropped out of school because there was nobody to pay his fees after his parents died.
The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history killed 3,589 people in Sierra Leone, including 221 healthcare workers. 

Trunk or Treat (1 of 2)




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Confirmation Class kicking off


The confirmation families gathering for dinner and an introduction to the spiritual journey, the beginning of a lifetime adventure. And a younger brother photo bombs! (Oct 9)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The PURPOSE of Mission (2016-1023)


10/23/2016 Christ Mountain Top
Call to worship, Psalm 84 (804-805)
Children, Mark 2.1-12
Message, Luke 14.25-33

Dad’s purpose: Nail in the coffin of universal communism

Three weeks back, we introduced this series of messages on the spiritual practices that help us walk with God. We’ve discussed the LIFE of Worship and the Community of FRIENDS. This week, we’re focused on the PURPOSE of Mission. We’ll wrap it all up next week with an invitation to step out on new adventures, to follow the trail blazed by Jesus and the great cloud of witnesses, and to leave a few blazes of our own for those who come after us. Please be sure to be here for this special service.
      The white blaze that we show is from the Appalachian Trail, the “AT”, that Steve Ross is hiking. He told me about the tradition of “Trail Magic” – unexpected kindness and friendship encountered along the way. This is one of those stories:
      VIDEO – Steve Ross (sodas for the shelter)