Sunday, December 31, 2017

The church responds to five-month ISIS siege in the Philippines

Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan (left), gives a set of pajama to an injured soldier during a two-day relief effort in June by Filipino United Methodists for wounded military and people displaced by violent conflicts in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Capt. Eduardo Copliting.
Photo courtesy of the Rev. Capt. Eduardo Copliting
Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan (left), gives a set of pajama to an injured soldier during a two-day relief effort in June by Filipino United Methodists for wounded military and people displaced by violent conflicts in the Philippines.
By Gladys Mangiduyos
Dec. 12, 2017 | MARAWI CITY, Philippines

The United Methodist Church was instrumental in alleviating the pain of Filipino civilians enduring the five-month siege of Marawi City by pro-Islamic State forces, says a United Methodist chaplain in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
"I am privileged to join the relief operations done by the UMC and was able to extend help in terms of mobility, security and some relief goods," said the Rev. Eduardo Copliting, who expressed his gratitude for the church’s efforts.
United Methodists were among those who reached out to assist those caught in the continuing battle between government forces and Islamic State militants on the island of Mindanao. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Prison ministry, baptisms, in Sierra Leone

The Rev. Daisy Gbloh (center, standing), supported by the Rev. Winston Ashcroft and the Rev. Alex Josiah, baptizes a woman at the Female Correctional Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.
By Phileas Jusu
Nov. 28, 2017 | FREETOWN, Sierra Leone


Encouraged by regional missionary Finda Quiwa to “keep the faith, fight the good fight and continue to trust in God,” seven inmates of the Freetown Female Correctional Center were baptized and confirmed in The United Methodist Church. 
The women led choruses — a practice now very popular among them — before the Rev. Daisy Gbloh conducted the November baptism and confirmation service.
Rejoicing as they celebrated Christ’s presence in their lives, the new confirmands took their first sacrament of Holy Communion.
See the rest of the story. It was a gift to welcome Daisy and Phileas here a couple years back.

Sunday School




Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Around the World

Jesus' Family Album: Mother Mary and Uncle Zechariah


16-17 Dec 2017, Christ Mountain Top
Luke 1.46-55 (call to worship, Magnificat)
Isaiah 61.1-4 (advent wreath)
Luke 1.5-23 (kids)
Luke 1.26-45, 1.57-71, 2.1-7 (message focus)

We’ve been looking at Jesus’ family album, through the origin stories in each of the four gospels.  The first week of Advent, we looked at Matthew and found a portrait of Father Joseph.  The second week, we looked at Mark’s gospel and found a portrait of Cousin John, all grown up.  Today, we look at Luke’s gospel, together with Matthew the only gospels to record any story of Jesus before his baptism as an adult.  Unlike Matthew, Luke focuses not on Joseph but on Mother Mary.  And, Luke includes the family connection with John by introducing John’s parents as well.
      Did your family ever have two moms pregnant at the same time?  In our family, Robin was pregnant with Caleb (our second) at the same time that her sister Marcy was pregnant with Tony (their first).  Tony was born a month before Caleb.  A generation before, Robin’s grandmother had her third child, Mark, one of those late life surprises, only one year before Robin’s sister was born, two years before Robin.
      In cases like that, comparing notes on first words, crawling, walking, potty training, teething, and – eventually – driving, is just what you do, particularly in the family and even with other parents whose children are close to yours in age.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Candlelight Christmas Eve

"Family service" at 7:00 pm, with music by our children's musical groups
"Reflections service" at 11:00 pm, with music by our choir and sharing in the Lord's Table
A pre-service concert of Christmas music begins about 10:15ish

Bring a friend!

Please note that our usual Saturday evening and Sunday morning schedule remains unchanged as we celebrate the 4th weekend of Advent.

Christmas Greeting from our Council of Bishops

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Children's Choir

A great opportunity for young people to connect with each other, learn to sing, lead in worship, and grow in faith.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

November Habitat Team (1)




Thanks to Steve for coordinating and everyone who signs on. A fantastic opportunity for hands-on service.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Jesus' Family Album: Cousin John


09-10 Dec 2017, Christ Mountain Top
Isaiah 40.1-11 (advent wreath)
2 Peter 3.8-15a (kids)
Mark 1.1-8 (message focus)

This Advent, we are looking at the opening of each of the four gospels and leafing through Jesus’ “family album”.  Last week, we looked at Matthew’s gospel and Father Joseph.  This week, we open to Mark and Cousin John – probably a couple times removed; all we know for certain is that their mothers are related.  In the next two weeks, we’ll look at Luke and John.

The opening verse of Mark’s gospel is a title (Taylor, 152; Boring, 47): “The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”.  It is the beginning of something, not the end.  That is, there is more of the story to come.  It is the beginning of the gospel, a term used throughout the Scripture for the good news of a king’s victory, for the good news of deliverance for God’s people.
      Picture a sports bar in Boston, on the night the Patriots won the Super Bowl last year.  When they sealed the victory, it was “good news” (at least for their fans) and the crowd cheered.  It was the gospel of the New England Patriots, despite Deflategate.  They hope it is only the “beginning” of that gospel, that more super bowl victories are ahead.
      Picture Mosul or Raqqa when they were liberated from ISIS, at least for that majority who were being oppressed.  Cheers, flag waving, guns fired in the air.  It was a gospel, hopefully only a beginning, but with how unstable things are in that part of the world, much is uncertain.  Do you see how important “gospel” is in this bad-news-world?  We crave this sort of news, and when we get it, there is nothing but praise.
      Gospel: Good news of deliverance and victory – through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Remembering ... at Camp Acahela




We were able to celebrate the memory of Ike Roberts at Camp Acahela on Dec 3. So glad that the Scouts were able to build picnic shelters in Ike's memory.

Bohanan open house (1)



Thanks to everyone who came to our Open House, and to everyone who volunteered labor and gave financially to make the renovations possible!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New Members




Congrats to our newest members (Nov 12) - Sheila presenting Cameron & Megan; Carrie presenting Glen & Chelsey; Chris presenting Chrissy & Bonnie; Sue presenting Dan & Jill.

Bells: Come Thou Fount

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Poldark and Methodism

Set in 18th century Cornwall, England, the TV series, “Poldark,” tells the story of Ross Poldark, played by Aidan Turner (right), and his wife Demelza, played by Eleanor Tomlinson. The story takes place around the time when the Methodist movement gained momentum among working class people in Cornwall, and the third season features a Methodist subplot. Photo courtesy of Mammoth Screen.
Photo courtesy of Mammoth Screen
Set in 18th century Cornwall, England, the TV series, “Poldark,” tells the story of Ross Poldark, played by Aidan Turner (right), and his wife Demelza, played by Eleanor Tomlinson. The story takes place around the time when the Methodist movement gained momentum among working class people in Cornwall, and the third season features a Methodist subplot.
By Mary Jacobs
Nov. 14, 2017 | UMNS
How often are Methodists called “those Wesleyan renegades”?
If you’re watching “Poldark” on TV, you’ve heard those exact words — although in reference to fictional Methodists. 

Golden Anniversary Saints




Friday, December 8, 2017

Father Joseph (Jesus' Family Album)


02-03 Dec 2017, Christ Mountain Top
Isaiah 64.1-9 (advent wreath)
Mark 13.24-37 (kids)
Matthew 1.18-25 (message focus)

Study retreat at Steve’s farmhouse: home that has been in the family for generations.  He found the old photos of his parents, grandparents, and great grandparents in the attic and put them up in the dining room.  It’s a mini-portrait gallery that tells the family story, that reveals a little bit about who Steve is.
      The opening of each of the four gospels is a little like that family album.  We have portraits of Jesus’ family; we get a sense of who he is by who he comes from.  Matthew and Luke have extended openings, a series of stories that takes place before Jesus grows up and begins his active ministry.  Matthew focuses on Joseph; Luke focuses on Mary.  Mark and John leap right into Jesus as adult.  Mark dives into the story of Jesus’ cousin John, who baptizes Jesus.  John (the gospel) also refers to cousin John, but opens the gospel by zooming out to get a perspective on Jesus in the world from the beginning.
      Today, we look at Matthew’s gospel and Father Joseph.  Interestingly, there is almost nothing about the pregnancy and birth.  All we have are a couple lines:
      “His mother Mary was found to be with child” (1.18)
      “She had borne a son” (1.25)
The next story, the story of the visiting Wise Men or Magi or “three kings” appears to have taken place when Jesus is a young toddler (2.16, “two years old and younger”), rather than a newborn.  In that story, the parent on whom Matthew focuses is Joseph, who – through another dream – is led to take his family to Egypt as refugees to escape the anger of Herod the King.

Today’s passage has puzzled readers with its language around marriage and divorce, so we need to take a few moments to clarify that.  English lacks the appropriate language for the ancient Jewish customs, and New Testament Greek does as well, for that matter.  “When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together” (1.18) and “He planned to dismiss/divorce her quietly” (1.19).

Cherubs

Getting ready for the choir to sing.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Safe Water for Mayan Communities


By Bella DiFilippo*
Maria Santos Baquiax, a young married mother of two, lives in the Santa Apolonia area of Guatemala. Laden with two heavy jugs and a baby strapped to her back, she often walked 12 times a day to collect water for her family. Although the water was contaminated, Maria used it for cooking, laundry, and personal hygiene.
Today, thanks to a partnership between the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Asociación Bienestar Progreso Desarollo (ABPD), Maria and other Mayan families now enjoy safe water at home and a better life as a result. ...
“When I got married and moved out,” she added, “I had to collect water 12 times a day. I carried a jug on my head, another in my hands, and sometimes I carried my baby on my back. In total, I carried over 75 pounds. All of my mornings, every day, were spent collecting water. I didn’t have enough time to economically support my husband.”
Then, ABPD and UMCOR came to the village. Now Maria simply turns on a faucet to collect all the water her family needs.