Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Last Word on Hope

17-18 Feb 2018, Christ Mountain Top
Call to Worship, Psalm 25.1-10
Children, Matthew 4.1-11
Message, Luke 23.36-45

Discussion guide

The most painful things that have happened in my life:
      Loss of children to miscarriage
      Transition from evangelical/Pentecostal world to UMC
            And my parents’ doubts
      Loss of a lifetime dream – starting a church from scratch
      Loss of dad
Always found myself in Robin’s arms
And in the arms of God

Two main characters in the exchange around this last word:

1. The criminal who prays to Jesus
·       From the perspective of the Romans, he was a radical terrorist, out to upset their kingdom
·       From the perspective of Jesus’ kingdom, he was someone who advocated violence instead of peace
·       If you were aligned with his world view, he was dying a martyr’s death. Otherwise, he was either a terrorist or a failure.

Youth skating adventure!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Branden & Lauren Bender

If you want to be part of their team, you can contact them through the church office.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Confirmation Hoagie Sale

Thanks to everyone who supported the hoagie sale, which provides for some of the confirmation class learning events (like the trip to Sight and Sound and Boehm's Chapel on April 28). If you are interested in that trip, contact Kim Hirt!

Crown Him

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A New Eagle Scout

Congrats to Brayden, pictured here with mom and dad, Wendy and David, at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Last Word on Reconciliation

10-11 Feb 2018, Christ Mountain Top, The Lord’s Table
Call to Worship, Psalm 32.1-5
Children, Mark 2.1-12
Message, Luke 23.26-37

Everyone wants to know how things are going with the puppy. Sleep – but then I lay there awake, praying for many of you and wondering how I might reflect on Jesus seven last words. I am so excited about this message series because I am convinced that these words are so powerful and because I know that I am going to learn and study. My excitement comes with a bit of fear. This is, in one sense, Jesus’ last will and testament. It is so important for us to get right, and to get life right. So, I’m reflecting on the text all the time, asleep and awake.
      Reading theology at the kitchen table. Zoe, eating the wooden stand for our Amish-made kitchen nook instead of the chew toys that are right next to her.
      Forgive her, for she knows not what she does
      Jacquie Fine, Puppies get a pass

Accident forgiveness commercial, AllState

Souper Bowl food drive

Thanks for supporting our annual Souper Bowl food drive! The total pounds of food given for each team: Vikings, 24 pounds, Jaguars, 18 pounds, Patriots, 63 pounds and EAGLES 353 pounds! Total weight of food given for our Mountain Top Food Bank: 458 pounds. (I do not yet have the cash totals, so we can’t quite call the game until then

Monday, February 19, 2018

Serving all God's children

By Jessica Brodie
ROCK HILL, SC—Bethel United Methodist is a small church with a big heart, and it’s doing some bold things for its community in the name of Jesus.
With an average of 50 members in worship each Sunday, it still manages to host a thriving soup kitchen for the entire community each Thursday throughout the winter, plus for the past 10 years, it has offered a warm place to stay for homeless men.
“It allows us to live out the Gospel, specifically Matthew 25 and I would even say Deuteronomy 15:11, and as we live out those passages, I as a pastor find myself fulfilling my call to serve all God’s children and make space for all people,” said the Rev. Emily Sutton, Bethel’s pastor for the past six years, noting the soup kitchen and warming center are a vital ministry of the congregation.
The soup kitchen started roughly 30 years ago and has morphed into what Sutton calls a “rather unique” ministry that serves most every segment in the Rock Hill community. Initially launched to serve the church’s sick and homebound members, Bethel began hosting it onsite after great request. Not only does it feed people in need, but local teachers and county employees frequent the soup kitchen weekly, as does the former mayor, retirees, and others seeking fellowship during what can be the lonely winter months.
The warming center began 10 years ago to provide a warm meal and a place to stay for adult men who had no place to go during the winter. In the beginning it served just a few men, but it has grown steadily. Last year, it hit 25-30 men each night, and this year sheltered 31 the first night and saw a high of 56 men one night, largely because of the booming population and lack of affordable housing.
“This is just what the church does,” Sutton said, calling their actions “Kingdom work.”

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Light at Joplin

The story of a new church in Joplin, Missouri, part of our United Methodist connection.

Rev. Andrew Moyer’s ideas about his church are a bit more ethereal than most pastors. First, he doesn’t really like calling it a church. He prefers to think of it as a movement. And he isn’t praying to build a church. He’s praying to transform a community. When Moyer was launching The Light at Joplin in the fall of 2016, he went around Joplin asking people to dream. What change would they like to see in the world? People said they would like to see an end to divorce, child abuse and racial division, to name a few things.
“We said that we believe God wants the same thing,” Moyer said. “Our vision is to have a small group or home church on every corner. A small group on every block could be aware of things like abuse or neglect, and be able to help. We think it’s the only way to tackle this God-sized dream.”
That’s not to say they are eschewing the traditional church practice of gathering together for worship on Sunday morning. They actually have that area covered quite well. Now just over a year into their launch, The Light at Joplin has close to 300 people in two services and is considering expanding to a third service.

The rest of the story ...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Outcasts and Gates

3-4 Feb 2018, Christ Mountain Top, The Lord’s Table
Call to Worship, Psalm 147
Children, Mark 1.29-39
Message, Psalm 147, read from The Message

      Hymn book, prayer book
            Prayer schedules for morning and evening prayers, 30 days
      Voice of another becomes our prayer
            To read another prayer – a God-inspired prayer

Last week, Psalm 111
      Praise for God’s works in Creation and Redemption
      God’s Word Works
      Poetry: Parallelism (the rhyming of thoughts)
            African-American preaching & this rhythm of Hebrew poetry

He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down hail like crumbs--
who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
      Vv 15-18

Monday, February 12, 2018

Social Hall

Renovation continues, now in the Social Hall. We'll have new paint and trim very soon. Let us know if you would like to help in this process.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

United Methodists among the dead in Nigeria attack

Victims of an early January attack in Benue State are prepared for mass burial at a morgue in Makurdi, Nigeria. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, UMNS.
By the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel
Feb. 1, 2018 | LAU, Nigeria (UMNS)
A recent attack by herdsmen in Lau has left more than 55 people dead, including 38 United Methodists, according to the Rev. Irmiya Bako, superintendent of the Yugorobi District, where the incident took place. 
Bako described January as the saddest month in Taraba State, adding that six villages were consistently under siege by the suspected Fulani herdsmen.
"This sad event has left over 55 people dead and, at the point of talking to you now, 44 people are still missing from these villages. Corpses of people, the majority of whom are women and children, plus defenseless senior citizens, were littered everywhere. They are decomposing (so) we don't have a choice (other) than to bury them in a mass grave," Bako said. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Thanks to members of the Care Team, who visit, write cards, make phone calls and keep folks connected. (The cards, above, are displayed in the kitchen of one of our homebound members.)

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear the story of one person who is part of our extended care ministry. He has been through some significant medical issues recently and says, “It’s a whole new ballgame. I lost my balance, I lost my strength; but I didn’t lose my faith. It is because of God’s grace that I have hope.” Then, remarking on our care ministry, he added, “Without all of you I would be totally disconnected.” Thanks to each of you who are part of our congregational care ministry – sending cards, making phone calls, visiting in nursing homes and hospitals, preparing meals. And thanks to all of you for extending the care of Christ in practical ways in your neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. The impact is real!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Auschwitz survivor in Poland dies

Jadwiga Bogucka-Regulska, 92, died Dec. 19, 2017. She was a member of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church and one of the last survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp. Photo courtesy of The United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe.
By Kathy L. Gilbert
Jan. 18, 2018 | UMNS
A faithful and committed United Methodist who was one of the last surviving inmates of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp died on Dec. 19, 2017, in Warsaw, Poland. Jadwiga Bogucka-Regulska was 92.
Bogucka-Regulska joined the Methodist Church just after World War II. She was a member of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Warsaw for decades and served as secretary at the headquarters of The United Methodist Church in Poland from 1959-1983.
The Rev. Andrzej Malicki, superintendent of The United Methodist Church in Poland, and the Rev. Zbigniew Kaminski, led the memorial service for Bogucka-Regulska. The service was attended by many who wanted to say farewell to a woman who even in inconceivable times held fast to God and put her trust in God, the conference reported.
Malicki described her as “an example of pure Christian love.”
“She actively participated in the life of the church to the last and even attended the Days of Renewal of The United Methodist Church in Poland in the summer of 2017,” Malicki told United Methodist News Service. The Days of Renewal is the largest Methodist gathering in Poland and is an annual evangelical event.
“She was always ready to encourage others to follow Christ,” said Malicki. “She was always ready to help others even when she herself needed some help.”
Bogucka-Regulska was born Nov. 20, 1925. On Aug. 12, 1944, she and her mother were arrested and taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau along with about 4,000 other women and children. At the camp, the 18-year-old was given the identification number 86356.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Great Works, Good Understanding (2018-0128)

27-28 Jan 2018, Christ Mountain Top
Call to Worship, Psalm 111
Children, Mark 1.21-28
Message, Psalm 111, read from The Message

      Hymn book, prayer book
            Prayer schedules for morning and evening prayers, 30 days
      Voice of another becomes our prayer
            Joan: Sing is to pray twice
            To read another prayer – a God-inspired prayer

Psalm 111:
      No historical setting, musical notation
      Alphabet song, an acrostic
            First perfect acrostic psalm, Spurgeon, 5
            Not counting the first line “Halleluyah” (praise the Lord)
            Each of the 10 verses has two lines
            Each line begins with successive letters of the Heb aleph-bet

Saturday, February 3, 2018

New Maternity Clinic in the Congo

Anny Butunga Mwindulwa distributes a mosquito net to new mother Aziza Rachel outside the Irambo Clinic maternity ward in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lononga, UMNS.
By Philippe Kituka Lolonga
Jan. 4, 2018 | BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS)
A new maternity center will allow women to give birth without walking up to 25 kilometers, or 15 miles, to the nearest hospital.
The Irambo district is a suburb of Bukavu City with a population of about 17,000, but lacking adequate infrastructure for maternity. To give birth in acceptable conditions, women have to walk long distances. The church decided to build this maternity center to allow the women of this country to benefit from better conditions for delivery.
The inauguration of the Irambo Health Center Maternity took place on Nov. 13 — a little less than a year after the start of construction work in December 2016 — as part of a project of The United Methodist Church's Global Health Initiative. The center will benefit those living in the area of the Kivu United Methodist Conference.

Thursday, February 1, 2018