Friday, June 28, 2019

VBS 2019 Program

Partnership in the Gospel (2019-0616)

15-16 June 2019, Christ Mountain Top
Praying the Scripture, Psalm 105.1-11
Message, Philippians 1.1-11
Mission Moment, None (VBS)

The bond between Paul and the Philippians
      Thank, joy, long, affection
Paul’s confidence, that God will finish God’s work
Their partnership in the gospel and the grace of God

      Christian faith is future oriented
      French woman (oldest living human at the time): “Brief”
      Dad’s visible decline

Thursday, June 27, 2019

No Longer Scattered (2019-0609)

Thanks to Joel Shuman for speaking on Pentecost Sunday when I was visiting with my parents. Unfortunately, we did not get any video from the day.

A sermon for Pentecost Sunday
Christ United Methodist Church
June 9, 2019

Genesis 11:1-9
Psalm 104:24-34
Acts 2:1-21 (MSG)

The Reading:

When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.

There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?
Parthians, Medes, and Elamites;
Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia,
    Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
    Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene;
Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes;
Even Cretans and Arabs!
“They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!”

Their heads were spinning; they couldn’t make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: “What’s going on here?” Others joked, “They’re drunk on cheap wine.”

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Singing Hymns

1-2 June 2019, Christ Mountain Top, Lord’s Table
Praying the Psalm, Psalm 97
Children, Luke 24.44-53
Message, Acts 16.16-40
Mission Moment, None

2 contrasts in the passage:
1.     Captivity and liberty
2.     Hostility and community

1. Captivity and liberty
·       Slave girl (ventriloquist, Plutarch) and “these men are slaves of the Most High God”
·       Suicidal jailer and imprisoned disciples
·       Chastened officials and beaten apostles

Only the slaves of the Most High are free
And they offer freedom
      To the slave girl, in the name of Jesus
      To those in prison, by the power of praise
            A two-edged sword… Psalm 149.6

Story of the “cheerful hearts” SS class

Monday, June 24, 2019

Freedom in calling myself an addict

<p><u>Photo above</u>: The Rev. Matt Hall stands outside his church office. <u>Photo at top of page</u>: Hall leads Wednesday-night recovery worship at First UMC in Maryville.</p>
By Annette Spence

“I found freedom in calling myself an addict,” he says. “One of the reasons why I’m in ministry is because I want to be beside people in the bad times of life, because people were there for me.”
From age 15 to 23, Hall was a user of drugs and alcohol, including opioids. His addiction got him discharged from the army and later put his life and mobility at risk, after an early-morning truck accident damaged his spine.
“It was humbling being 21 years old and having your mother bathe you,” said Hall. After the wreck, he woke up in a hospital with a doctor drilling bolts into his head for the halo and neck brace he would wear for three months.
As the 872 congregations of Holston Conference prepare to devote their annual missions offering to fight opioid addiction, Hall is one of many church recovery workers who know firsthand how ingrained and widespread the disease is.

“It was normal where I was from and for the group of people I was with,” says Hall, a native of Hillsville, Virginia. His addiction started with getting drunk with other high-school athletes after football and soccer games. When he took a job in a fast-food restaurant, Hall used cocaine to sober up for work after a night of drinking.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Memorial Day planting

The annual planting of the geraniums, along with the reading of the roll of the honored dead. Even the well dressed pastor took part in some weeding!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

To Mars and Beyond, Tuesday 1

Children's Bells

Fear to Faith: Earthquake, Vacation Bible School, and more

Children from Camachile Elementary School in the Philippines receive the school bags from Camachile United Methodist Church and God's Helping and Healing Hands Ministry. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Leslie C. Dela Cruz.
Children from Camachile Elementary School in the Philippines receive the school bags from Camachile United Methodist Church and God's Helping and Healing Hands Ministry. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Leslie C. Dela Cruz.
By Gladys P. Mangiduyos
May 31, 2019 | UM News

After a deadly earthquake struck the towns of Porac and Floridablanca in northern Philippines this spring, United Methodists were among those picking up the pieces.

Faith kept them going.

The Rev. Jestril Alvarado, superintendent of the church’s West Pampanga District on the main island of Luzon, remembered the fear that more tremors would follow in the quake’s immediate aftermath. The April 22 earthquake registered a magnitude of 6.1 and killed at least 16 people. Local churches and homes were among the buildings damaged.

"But we were flooded by help, encouragement, prayers and support from different churches and conferences," Alvarado said.

The love and prayers sent to the region were transformative, he added. "The earthquake was an overwhelming experience from fear to faith." 
For more than a month now, the earthquake-stricken community has continued its life and mission, as demonstrated by Camachile United Methodist Church in Nabuclod, Floridablanca, whose congregation members are all Aeta families. The Aeta are an indigenous people who live in isolated mountainous parts of Luzon.

Despite the devastation, the Camachile church resumed its summer vacation church school, which started the day of the earthquake. United Methodists also have been rebuilding their damaged houses, using donated wide tarpaulins and sets of concrete nails and wire. 

The rest of the story...

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sunday, June 16, 2019

O Chicken of Little Faith

From the production itself, set design, the chickens, and crash week. Great job!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Labor for the Lord

Thanks to the team (these and others) who came out to do deep cleaning and dirty work. Pastor JP's famous blueberry pancakes were served to all!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Mission in Cambodia

Lee missionaries Picture4
The entire UMC missionary team in Cambodia.Back row, left to right: Ken Cruz, Clara Biswas, Samuel Om, Andrew Lee. Front row: Helen Carmarce, Marilyn Chan, Esther Gitobu. Photo: Courtesy Methodist Church in Cambodia

By Christie R. House
May 6, 2019 | Atlanta, Ga.

The Rev. Andrew Lee started off his session by describing his journey from being a pastor in Hawaii to a country coordinator for the Methodist Church in Cambodia. Lee was born and raised in South Korea and immigrated to the United States to attend university in Hawaii. After completing his Master of Divinity, he became a clergy member of the California-Pacific Conference, returning to his Hawaiian home as a pastor. He seemed quite surprised by his leap of faith to become a missionary. “I was a pastor in Paradise. Who would leave that?” he asked. The church he last served in Kaneohe doubled its size during his tenure, but with God’s insistence, Lee, his wife Janice and their two daughters found themselves in Phnom Penh.

“Welcome to the country of wonders and surprises!” was how their missionary colleague, Esther Gitobu, greeted the Lees when they arrived in Cambodia. Lee admitted that, at first, his family felt like they had landed in a 1980s Jackie Chan movie. What struck them at first were things like a motorbike transporting six family members, or the speed and chaos of traffic. But in the two years they have lived there, Lee has discovered deeper truths and made more mindful observances.

“Cambodians are special people,” he explained “They show you respect before you’ve earned it, and they offer forgiveness before you’ve asked for it. That is the DNA of the Cambodian people. Many of them are not Christian, but Buddhist. Yet, they are more forgiving, respectful and embracing than Christians in many ways.”

There is room in the Cambodian culture for Christianity, and there are a lot of things to do, he said, so that people may be filled with the wonderous work and love of Jesus. The Cambodian Mission Initiative is an evangelistic outreach of Global Ministries that began in the 1990s and was established officially in 2003 with four other Methodist communities working in Cambodia: the Swiss-French United Methodist Church, now represented by the mission agency Connexio; the Methodist Church in Korea; the Methodist Church in Singapore and the World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches. The various missions were working separately in Cambodia with groups of refugees, who had discovered Christianity in exile, returning home after the terror of the Pol Pot regime subsided. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Come Help Us (Philippians #1)

25-26 May 2019, Christ Mountain Top
Praying the Psalm, Psalm 67
Children, John 5.1-9
Message, Acts 16.6-15
Creed, Hispanic Creed by Justo Gonzalez
Recognize Veterans
Mission Moment, None

Intro series:

Paul’s Drive: What gives him joy
Romans 15:20  Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else's foundation,
Discovering God’s will: Where to next?
Paul’s struggle:
Acts 16:6-7  … having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.  7 … but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them;

Much of God’s will is crystal clear:
      Draw near to God, be transformed, in prayer
Life choices:
      Which job? God’s will is that we work SO THAT we can give
            Eph 4.28

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Hast thou no scar?

From the daily devotional Celtic Daily Prayer, shared by my parents. For June 4 in the Finan Readings.

Hast thou no scar?
no hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star:
hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent;
leaned Me against the tree to die, and rent
by ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
and piercèd are the feet that follow Me:
but thine are whole. Can he have followed far
who has no wound, no scar?

~ Amy Carmichael

Monday, June 3, 2019

Stretcher Bearers

Thanks to Jason Mackey, director of connecting ministries and administrative services, for sharing the message on May 19!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Hispanic Creed

Used in worship on May 19
By Justo Gonzalez

We believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of the heavens and the earth;
Creator of all peoples and all cultures;
Creator of all tongues and races.

We believe in Jesus Christ, his Son, our Lord,
God made flesh in a person for all humanity,
God made flesh in an age for all the ages,
God made flesh in one culture for all cultures,
God made flesh in love and grace for all creation.

We believe in the Holy Spirit
Through whom God, incarnate in Jesus Christ,
Makes his presence known in our peoples and our cultures;
Through whom God, Creator of all that exists,
Gives us power to become new creatures;
Whose infinite gifts make us one people: the body of Christ.

We believe in the Church
Universal because it is a sign of God’s Reign,
Whose faithfulness is shown in its many hues
Where all the colors paint a single landscape,
Where all tongues sing the same praise.

We believe in the Reign of God – the day of the Great Fiesta
When all the colors of creation will form a harmonious rainbow,
When all peoples will join in joyful banquet,
When all tongues of the universe will sing the same song.

And because we believe, we commit ourselves:
To believe for those who do not believe,
To love for those who do not love,
To dream for those who do not dream,
Until the day when hope becomes reality.

The United Methodist Spanish Hymnal, Mil Voces para Celebrar