Happy Memorial Day Weekend! On this traditional "start of the summer" I found this little meditation, based on Psalm 91:4....
"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings
you can hide. His truth will be your shield and protection."
(Psalm 91:4 NCV)
There's a lot more to your skin than meets the eye.
First of all, your skin is actually an organ -- just like your heart, lungs, and kidneys. In fact, it's the largest organ of your entire body. The average-sized person has 22 square feet of skin! That's about the size of a small blanket. Skin comes in all different colors -- all created by God using a pigment called melanin. Think of melanin like an artist would think about paint. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin. The less you have, the paler your skin.
Skin not only covers your bones and muscles, it also senses the environment around you and helps control your body's temperature. Your skin sweats to cool you off when you get hot, and it closes up its pores to keep in the heat (think of the goose bumps!) when you're cold. But one of the skin's most important jobs is to protect the rest of your body from injury and disease. It's like a shield for your body.
And while your skin is a shield for your body, God is the shield for your heart, mind, spirit, and body. It's easy to be anxious and afraid about the bad things that could happen in the world. But the Bible is filled with God's promises to watch over and protect you, like these...
The list could go on and on. So, when you're feeling scared or threatened, run to God, and God will be your shield!
+++ Worship on Sunday begins at 8:30 and 10:00am. This week we celebrate PENTECOST, the arrival of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church! Please try to wear something RED to help us celebrate! If you can't be with us in the Sanctuary, catch us in our weekly worship "live-stream" at 10:00am on the church's Facebook page. Or... join us on our YouTube channel after worship is completed. However, you are able.... we hope to "see you" in worship on Sunday!
+++ Our church picnic is next Sunday, June 4th following the 10:00am worship service and WE NEED YOUR FAMILY TO SIGN UP this Sunday! We will have a great time with lots to celebrate but we need to know how many people to prepare for! Please, sign up this week so we can be ready for a great time together!
+++ The church office is closed on Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. The office will reopen on Tuesday morning at 9:15am!
+++ The Upper NY Annual Conference session is next week from Thursday 6/1 through Saturday 6/3 at Onondaga Community College. Immanuel is represented by Helen Forward and Pam Kelsey-Gossard. My cell phone will be available in case of any emergencies while we are attending Annual Conference.
+++ Next Sunday, June 4th is also our Shut-in Meal Ministry for June. Thanks to all whom prepare and deliver these wonderful meals to folks unable to attend worship each week!
+++ The deadline for summer Campership requests is June 9th! Please make sure your request is into the church office by that date so the funds can be at the camp prior to the kid's arrival.
+++ Our summer worship schedule begins on Sunday, June 11th and continues through Sunday, September 3rd. During this time, we will gather for ONE worship service on Sunday mornings at 9:00am. Our "live-stream" will also change to 9:00am during the summer!
Make this day a great day and always look to God as your shield!
Happy Friday! On this start to another weekend, my reading takes me way back into the book of Genesis....
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother
and be united to his wife, and they will become one
flesh." (Genesis 2:24)
God invented relationships. God invented marriage. But can a project really be successful if we leave the Master Designer out of the picture?
Our heavenly Father understands better than we ever could what it takes to make a relationship work. God knows best what we need, and only when we submit to God are we truly able to love each other. We can't really make our spouses happy on our own for the long haul.
A marriage not built on God's foundation is structurally flawed -- destined to suffer cracks of selfishness and pride. It will be unable to withstand the storms and quakes of life. If you want a strong foundation for your marriage, check out the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians in the New Testament. Read about true love -- the stuff from which strong marriages are made.
Remember, God used marriage to illustrate God's relationship with God's people. The Church is often called "the bride of Christ." The One who created us to be together, first created us to be with God. God wants only what is best for us, and God wants to be involved in all human relationships, especially one as significant and life-changing as marriage. Invite God into your marriage. God's wisdom will be the best wedding gift of all.
Loved the wedding! Invite me to the marriage. --- GOD
+++ The Cornell Master Gardeners group will be offering a plant sale here at Immanuel on Saturday from 8:30am to 12:00noon. If you are looking for some beautiful plants for your garden, stop in to the Fellowship Hall on Saturday morning. They will have a great selection of plants and those plants will look beautiful in your home gardens!
+++ This Sunday is Ascension Sunday and the 7th and last Sunday of the Easter season! Worship will be at 8:30am and 10:00am and our guest preacher is Shelly Peters. Pam will be serving as worship leader and Shelly's message is entitled, "The View from the Other Side of the Cross". We hope you make an extra effort to be here and support Shelly and Pam as they lead worship this weekend! We will be "live-streaming" worship at 10:00am on the church's Facebook page and then "uploading" the completed worship service to our YouTube channel. It will be a great Sunday of worship this weekend!
+++ Also on Sunday, Adam Parish and Chris Cockram will be joining us at 10:00am from Casowasco! Adam and Chris will offer us our Children's Moment and then spend some time with the kids in Kidz Club. Casowasco alumni.... we hope to see you in worship at 10:00am to welcome Adam and Chris and hear about the ministry at Casowasco! We are also approaching the deadline for campership requests for this summer's church campers! Please make sure all requests are in to our office by June 9th so we can get the funds to the camp prior to your arrival. Last summer we were able to cover 50% of the cost of camp for all of our youth who attended camp!
+++ Next Sunday is PENTECOST SUNDAY! Check your closets and try to wear RED for worship next week, as we celebrate the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church!
+++ Next Sunday, May 28, is also commitment Sunday for our M2 campaign. You should have received a mailing this week and we will hear about the amazing things your gifts have allowed us to do in both Missions and Maintenance this Sunday, May 21. Please bring your completed commitment card and place it in the offering plates on Sunday! Thanks for supporting the ministry work here at Immanuel.
+++ Our summer celebration picnic is coming up in just 2 weeks... on June 4th following our 10:00am worship service! So we need your family to sign up on Sunday! We are hoping for a great crowd as we celebrate Alex, Lisa and Dan's ministries and the completion of our Kidz Club and the choir's seasons! Wear your best picnic attire on June 4th as we celebrate!
Make this day a great day and fully rely on God's wisdom!
Happy Friday to you all! On this beautiful morning, I read these words from Paul's letter to the Ephesians....
"For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and this is not your own doing; it is the gift
of God." (Ephesians 2:8)
Somedays, when I am looking to strengthen my faith by pausing and spending time with Jesus, I will open one of our hymnals and just re-read the words to a song or two. These words are such great testimonies to the faith of the authors! Today I read...
"Every promise we can make, every prayer and step of faith, every difference we will make, is only by his grace.
Every mountain we will climb, every ray of hope we shine, every blessing left behind, is only by his grace.
Grace alone which God supplies, strength unknown he will provide. Christ in us our Cornerstone, we will go forth in grace alone."
Scott Wesley Brown and Jeff Nelson worked together in 1998 to bring together the words and music of this popular song from our Faith We Sing hymnal. And today that song reminds me that not only is God's grace always available to us, it is, in fact, the only way you and I can ever hope to succeed at living our lives to the fullest. It is always God's grace that guides us and sustains us. And, whenever I might start to forget that by thinking that I am doing all this myself... God draws me once again to the remembrance of my own in-adequacies.
Thank you Lord, for the gift of music to help me remember!
+++ This Sunday, Mother's Day, is the 6th Sunday of Easter. Our lectionary takes us further into John's 14th chapter and has Jesus not only promising the Holy Spirit, but instructing us to love as He loves. And that is a mighty big order, huh? I will be thinking about that in my message, "He Abides in You". We worship at 8:30am and 10:00am and, of course, we will be "live-streaming" the 10:00am worship on the church's Facebook page. And, in case you're not a Facebook user, you can watch the completed worship service on our YouTube channel after it is completed! However you join us, do try to worship with us this Sunday!
+++ Also on Sunday we will offer our monthly Service of Prayer and Anointing for Healing at 12:00noon. Join us in the Fireside Room if you have a need for healing or know someone who does. This informal time allows us to hear God's Word, enjoy the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and spend time in prayer for our needs or those of others.
+++ I will be at Summerfield Village on Velasko Road next Thursday, May 18th, for worship at 1:00pm. You are invited to join us as we gather with our friends at Summerfield Village.
+++ Sunday, May 21, Kaylee from Casowasco will be with us at 10am to share some camp songs during our children's message. Bring a friend so they can learn about camp too! We have camperships available. Find more information by checking out page 3 or our May/June newsletter.
+++ And please sign up for our Church Picnic coming up on Sunday, June 4th! We have lots to celebrate on this day and what better way than with a picnic? We will provide hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks and we're asking you to bring a dish to pass for the day! But we need to know how many to plan... for so please sign up outside the Fireside Room! Thanks!
Make this day a great day and fully rely on God's grace... always!
May the fourth be with you, Friends! On this 4th of May, here are some words from Colossians 3 for us to consider....
"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe
yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience." (Colossians 3:12)
One of the most interesting of all natural phenomena is the nightly return of the "fairie penguins" to their rookery in the sand dunes off southern Australia.
These penguins, only about a foot in height, swim for days, even weeks, fishing for food. As dusk approaches, one or more groups of fairie penguins return home. As if the waves are spurting ink onto the sand, they spill out of the surf, then assemble together in tight clusters, gathering the courage to cross the naked sands. They make a bold dash for the dunes, hopping up and over any obstacles they encounter, each penguin hobbling toward its nest on a well-worn, tiny path.
Once at home, each penguin greets his or her "spouse" at the opening of the sandy cave. They peck at each other as if kissing. Fairie penguins usually mate for life, and they take equal responsibility for nurturing their young. Amazingly, God has instilled in these little creatures the truth that a house should be a home -- a place where love, respect, and fellowship reside, and where spouses work as a team.
God is in the business of building homes. If your house is just a house and needs some remodeling to make it a home, invite God to do the work.
I build great homes. --- GOD
+++ It is a GARAGE SALE weekend! Sale hours are Thursday and Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm and Saturday 9:00am - 12:00 noon, when there will be a $5.00 BAG SALE. You have lots of time to find a treasure or two so stop in and check out the selection! And thanks to all who have worked so hard on this fund-raising program for our church!
+++ On Sunday we worship at 8:30am and 10:00am and we celebrate the 5th Sunday of Easter! Our lectionary text takes us to John 14 and my message, "People Who Believe and Will Not Give Up" has me thinking about our dreams and God's dreams and how those should line up in perfect harmony. We will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion at each service and we hope to see you in the Sanctuary in person or online for our 10:00am Facebook "live-stream" or the "upload" to YouTube after the service is completed. However you join us, we can't wait to worship with you on Sunday!
+++ Following worship we will offer an informational time to hear about and discuss the current situation in our United Methodist Church denomination. We can bring you up to date, dispel some rumors and try to answer questions you may have about issues like human sexuality, disaffiliation, and schism within the church. Rest assured we will NOT be taking any action at this gathering, just hearing updates and trying to answer your questions! Come with an open mind and heart as we share the current realities of the United Methodist Church.
+++ It's a big week for meetings around here next week! SPRC and FINANCE Teams both meet at 6:00pm on Tuesday night and then our ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL meets at 6:45pm, also on Tuesday night. If you are a member of any of these teams, please try to be present to help us conduct the business of the church!
+++ Next Sunday, May 14th, we will offer our monthly Service of Healing Prayer and Anointing at 12:00 noon in the Fireside Room. If you or someone you know has a need for healing (either physical, emotional, or relational), please plan to join us for this time of worship and prayer.
Make this day a great day and invite God to be an equal partner in building your home!