Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Boy Scouts

                                            Troop 106 in the Memorial Day parade in Ashley

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Dealing with AIDS in West Africa

An educator from the Alliance Biblique de Côte d'Ivoire conducts a public health lesson on AIDS in the sanctuary at Jerusalem Parish United Methodist Church in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire in this November 2008 file photo. Preventive education is among the topics that will be discussed during the United Methodist Global HIV/AIDS Committee West Africa Summit May 19-21 in Abidjan. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.
An educator from the Alliance Biblique de Côte d'Ivoire conducts a public health lesson on AIDS in the sanctuary at Jerusalem Parish United Methodist Church in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire in this November 2008 file photo. Preventive education is among the topics that will be discussed during the United Methodist Global HIV/AIDS Committee West Africa Summit May 19-21 in Abidjan. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.
By Linda Bloom 
May 16, 2019 | UMNS

A 2017 report jointly published by UNICEF and UNAIDS, showed that West and Central Africa lagged behind in HIV prevention and treatment for children and adolescents. In 2016, an estimated 60,000 children were newly infected with HIV in West and Central Africa, with the highest number among those aged 15 to 19 years.

In addition, the use of life-saving antiretroviral therapy among children living with HIV is the lowest in the world, the report said, because of the limited capacity to perform the tests needed for early infant diagnosis of HIV. 

The West Africa summit was proposed by Patrick Abro, a United Methodist missionary in Congo who served on the Global AIDS Committee from 2008 to 2016. Previous educational forums sponsored by the committee have taken place in East Africa (Nairobi), the Philippines (Manila) and the United States (Indianapolis)

The rest of the story...

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Easter Egg (1) Thomas





Easter Egg (1): Thomas 
27-28 Apr 2019, Christ Mountain Top, Easter 2
Praying the Psalm, Psalm 118.14-29 (19-29 at 6:00 and 10:45)
Children, Acts 5.17-42, with Easter eggs
Message, John 20.19-31
Mission Moment, EarthKeeper pastor saves turtles

At a carnival event in our front lawn, a guest, mother of a young child enjoying the bounce house, remarked, “I’m not really into religion. What kind of a church are you?” There are a lot of potential answers to that question, but I did not know anything about this person except the lead – not into religion. How would you respond?
·       “We’re United Methodist.” But, she’s not religious.
·       “We do a lot with kids and families.” But that’s obvious from the nature of the event and does nothing to address her reservations.
·       “I’m not religious either.” Of course, once people know you are a pastor, they will struggle to believe that. Unless they’ve played soccer with you. Then it’s like, “You’re a pastor?! Do you throw elbows when you preach?”
Do you appeal to the mom in her? Do you appeal to the skeptic? Or do you just put it all out there? Over the years, I’ve tried on a number of different answers. On this day, I didn’t have time to reflect. I just reacted: “We’re just all about Jesus.”

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Pastors cope with sons' overdose deaths

The Rev. Paula Napier lost her 32-year-old son, Lincoln Nutter, to a drug overdose in June 2018. Napier, who pastors Canaan United Methodist Church in Charleston, W.Va., says she lives in the midst of the opioid crisis. “I think people need to know it hits everybody,” she said.
The Rev. Paula Napier lost her 32-year-old son, Lincoln Nutter, to a drug overdose in June 2018. Napier, who pastors Canaan United Methodist Church in Charleston, W.Va., says she lives in the midst of the opioid crisis. “I think people need to know it hits everybody,” she said.
Story by Joey Butler, photos by Mike DuBose
April 30, 2019 | CHARLESTON, W.Va.
Early in the morning of June 26, 2018, the Rev. Paula Napier received the call that no parent is prepared for: Her son, Lincoln Nutter, had died of an overdose.
The toxicology report said he had 16 times the lethal amount of fentanyl — a synthetic opioid many times more potent than morphine — in his system. Lincoln, 32, had struggled with alcohol since he was a teenager. After hurting his back at a job, he became addicted to his prescribed pain pills. It escalated into whatever he could find, though he tried to stop, even going to rehab a few years prior.
“Nobody expects their children to die before they do,” Napier said. She had lost her stepfather in April and her ex-husband in May, and called the three deaths in as many months “a spiritual attack.”
“I kept hoping that he had grown out of his problems and we could trust him,” she said, but Lincoln actually stole medication from her a few times. “You just keep praying for them and hoping that they’ll get away from it.”
The Rev. Sheri Kernik, who said she “prays continually for people,” can relate to that ongoing hope for an addict to turn their life around.
Kernik has been working with addicts in recovery for almost 10 years, hosting Narcotics Anonymous meetings at her church, St. Paul’s United Methodist in Paden City. She is also certified to mediate support groups for the loved ones of substance-abuse sufferers.
But running a recovery ministry does not make one immune to the danger of addiction, as Kernik learned tragically. Her youngest son, Tony, died of an overdose in July 2018, not long before his 21st birthday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Music!


Michele's piano studio gets ready for pictures at their recital. So glad to host some wonderful music!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Bo's Story


(The rest of the message was not recorded.)

4-5 May 2019, Christ Mountain Top, Easter 3; Lord’s Table
Praying the Psalm, Revelation 5.11-14 (read within hymn on Sunday and responsively on Saturday)
Children, Acts 9.1-20
Message, John 21.1-25
Mission Moment, None

All about Jesus –
      It is the Lord! (3x, Bruner, 1204, 1210)
      Revelation (3x) – showed himself (2x in 21.1); appeared (21.14)
            (Bruner, 1204)
      Fishing story, “hooked on Jesus”
Two images for ministry – (Hoskyns in Bruner, 1225)
      Fishing – emphasizing evangelizing with the Word
      Shepherding – feeding with the Word
Three fold question: Do you love me?
      Using 2 different Greek words
Three fold response: You know that you love me.
      Using 2 different Greek words
Last week, Jesus appears when the church gathers.
      Don’t be absent, Thomas, or you’ll miss out
      This week, Jesus appears when the church is at work (real jobs)
            Ash Wednesday on the road?
Unsplit net – (Bruner, 1213-1214, 1219-1221)
      church unity and diversity, the struggles of the UMC
      evangelical effectiveness
      can we here at Christ Church stay together and stay focused on our mission?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Supporting cyclone victims

Irene Chingwaru eats with two of her surviving children at Ngangu United Methodist Church in Ngangu, Zimbabwe, after Cyclone Idai ravaged the region in March. She and her husband lost two sons, ages 9 and 14, in the cyclone. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.
Irene Chingwaru eats with two of her surviving children at Ngangu United Methodist Church in Ngangu, Zimbabwe, after Cyclone Idai ravaged the region in March. She and her husband lost two sons, ages 9 and 14, in the cyclone. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.
By Kudzai Chingwe
May 1, 2019 | NGANGU, Zimbabwe (UMNS)

As relief efforts continue in parts of Zimbabwe ravaged by Cyclone Idai in March, local pastors are tending to survivors’ spiritual needs.
Those who lost loved ones, homes and belongings are struggling to pick up the pieces, and pastors in Zimbabwe are doing their best to help.
The Rev. Stephen Chitiyo, pastor in charge for the Chimanimani East Circuit stationed at Ngangu United Methodist Church, swiftly offered accommodations in the sanctuary to the homeless and injured in the aftermath of the cyclone, which killed more than 900 people in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.
He also provided space to hold bodies awaiting identification and burial.
“I had to program (two hours daily) as time for counseling sessions, because at one time in the sanctuary, there were bodies, the injured and the homeless. I had to either do individual or group counseling, depending on the situation, and set aside time to bury the dead,” said the soft-spoken Chitiyo.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Nonsense (Easter message)


20-21 Apr 2019, Christ Mountain Top, Easter
Scripture integrated into hymns:
      Psalm 118.1-2, 14-24
      1 Corinthians 15.19-26
      Isaiah 65.17-25
Children, Acts 10.34-43, with Easter eggs
Message, Luke 24.1-12
Mission Moment, NONE

Years ago, an international student and Muslim in an English class I was teaching asked, “So, why do you call it GOOD?” I was introducing the customs and story of the season. She believed, as Islam teaches, that God took Jesus from the cross directly to heaven before death. To think that followers of Jesus would call the day of his brutal execution GOOD was mind-boggling for her. Yes, there is a lot about our faith that is mystery, that does not seem to make sense. Indeed, the women who came back from the empty tomb reporting their story to the Twelve were thought to be uttering “nonsense” (Luke 24.11).

Nonsense. This is where some folks would jump off and focus on demonstrating the reasonability of resurrection, particularly in the way the story is told. The canonical gospels do not do what other ancient texts do with a story.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Lift Up the Cup of Salvation


Praying the Psalms (8): “lift up the cup of salvation”  
18 Apr 2019, Christ Mountain Top, Holy Thursday @Presbyterian Ch
Psalm 116
John 13:1-17, 31b-35

NO video recording available

Hallel psalms, for Passover, 113-118, which we know Jesus sang in his last supper (Mt 26.30)
Ps 116 in the church has been associated with the Lord’s Table and Holy Thursday, particularly the language of “lift up the cup of salvation”

How do we read this as one of Jesus’ final prayers?

Pain and death in the moment of truth
“the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me”
      “a power that invades life” (McCann, 1148)
      Examples

I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted” (116.10)
      More literal, and I believe accurate:
      I believed, therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted” (NIV, KJV)
      Quoted as “I believed, therefore I have spoken” in 1 Corinthians 4.13 to refer to the suffering we experience
      Honesty about the pain is a statement of faith
            But the pain does NOT have to define us
“the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me … then I called on the name of the LORD” (116.1-4)
      “for you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I walk before the LORD in the land of the living.” (116.8)

Anna Eklund and the Methodist Mission in Russia


Sister Anna Eklund (right) and the Rev. Oscar Pöeld deliver provisions in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1921. Photo courtesy of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History

Story by Fedor Kim

...

The unique historical document – Journal of the Finland and Saint Petersburg mission conference 1908 – is kept in the Bishop’s office of the United Methodist Church in Eurasia in Moscow, Russia. You can read the report of district superintendent George Simons there. He shares the story of how God blesses the church development in Russia. From his report you may learn that Methodist people in Saint Petersburg had worship services in different languages – Russian, Finnish and Swedish and pastor Hyalmar Salmi could preach in all three languages.

...

Much from the period of the beginning of the twentieth century is described in the two works of Dr. S T Kimbrough, Jr. “Methodism in Russia and the Baltic States” and “Anna Eklund”. The second book was published in Russian in 2014 for the 125th anniversary of the United Methodist Church in Eurasia and is titled “Sister Anna”.  Here you can find the amazing story of sister Anna Eklund.
I’ve been deeply moved by the story of sister Anna, by her faithfulness, her bravery and sacrificial heart in her ministry to God and neighbor. Deaconess Anna Eklund did not spare her energy nor her health when she ministered to people who were dying by thousands from hunger and cholera in 1920s. In winter time many people did not have shoes to keep their feet warm. Sister Anna did the impossible in order to organize help for the poor and sick people of Saint Petersburg. She gave away everything that she had in order to save lives of the people and to care for their souls. Tears come to your eyes when you read her letters because you feel in them the great power of God, hope and willingness to give one’s soul for the redemption of many.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

My Bones Waste Away, Psalm 31



13-14 Apr 2019, Christ Mountain Top, Palm Sunday
Praying the Psalm, Psalm 31
Children, Luke 19.28-40 (triumphal entry)
      With folding of palm crosses
Message, Luke 23.33-49 (crucifixion)
Mission Moment, NONE

“Most prominent feature” Lurches from plea for help to expression of trust several times over (McCann, 800).
·       Psalm 31:10-11  For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.  11 I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.
·       Psalm 31:19  O how abundant is your goodness that you have laid up for those who fear you, and accomplished for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of everyone!

Help:
      Deliver, rescue, save, redeem
      Rock, refuge, stronghold, fortress
God as faithful (amen) and steadfast love (chesed)
      Psalm 31:5  you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
      Psalm 31:7  I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love

Trust vs mistrust, the first stage of development
      If basic needs are not met during that first year, children learn mistrust rather than trust
      Separation anxiety
      Knowledge that we are loved so completely

Pat's story