"Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me." Matthew 10:40
This Sunday, July 2, 2023 we welcome back Pastor Candace Lawrence as our worship leader. During worship, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We will continue to offer our service via Facebook live at 9am and following the service, it will be uploaded to our YouTube channel. We welcome you however you are able to worship with us!
This Sunday we will share a meal with our shut-in church friends. Every month Sam Paventi and Marilynn Vannelli work together to prepare a meal and recruit volunteers to deliver them. We are grateful for their work and to be able to bless our shut-in friends.
Our church is teaming up with the Camillus Police Dept. to build a wheelchair ramp for a family in the town of Camillus. We are looking for skilled or not-so-skilled folks to help build and install the ramp on July 6, 7 and 8. Any day or amount of time will help this great project. Home Depot has donated all of the materials. Any questions, please contact Shelley Dawson Smith or Mike Block. We will even feed you too!
The church office will be closed on Monday and Tuesday next week, July 3 and 4. We will re-open on Wednesday. Please call the office phone for emergency pastoral care. Also, starting on July 14, the office will be closed on Fridays until after Labor Day.
Mark your calendars for our Annual Mini Golf Tournament scheduled for Saturday August 5.
Blessings from the church office.
Isaiah 40:31 (New International Version)
"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
This Sunday, June 25, 2023 we welcome Pastor Candace Lawrence as our worship leader. Some of you may remember Pastor Lawrence as she was an associate Pastor here at Immanuel when Gordon Williams was here. Pastor Lawrence will be with us throughout the summer and we are very grateful for her leadership while Pastor Jack is away. We will continue to offer our service via Facebook live at 9am and following the service, it will be uploaded to our YouTube channel. We welcome you however you are able to worship with us!
This Sunday, we will also welcome our new Accompanist, Michael Passarelli. Michael is excited to be joining our worship team and we are excited to have him. Michael has a brief bio on our website. Please introduce yourself and give Michael and Pastor Lawrence a warm welcome!
On Monday, June 26, we will be welcoming a mission team from Harrisburg PA. This team will be staying at our church all week while they do work each day at the Onondaga Nation. Please keep them in prayer as they reach out as the hands and feet of Jesus.
Speaking of mission, our church is teaming up with the Camillus Police Dept. to build a wheelchair ramp for a family in the village of Camillus. We are looking for skilled or not so skilled folks to help build and install the ramp on July 6, 7 and 8. Any day or amount of time will help this great project. Any questions, please contact Shelley Dawson Smith or Mike Block. We will even feed you too!
Pastor Jack and Becky have begun with Hospice care and appreciate all of the love, prayers and support from our congregation. Please continue to surround them in prayer as they continue their journey.
Blessings from the church office.
Today we read these words from the Acts of the Apostles...
Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him,
"Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
Today we encounter Saul, a man who experienced one of the most profound heart transformations in all of Scripture. The man who had ruthlessly ravaged and persecuted the Lord's beloved sons and daughters became one of God's greatest preachers and advocates.
At one point, Saul, filled with hatred and zealousness to protect his Jewish Heritage, sought official permission to pursue the believers who had escaped Damascus after Stephen's death and bring them back to Jerusalem to imprison them. If you want to know more about what Paul has to say personally about his background, read Philippians 3: 1-10 and Galatians 1: 13-17.
Don't you love those words? God interrupted Saul's plans because God had even greater plans in store for him. While on the road to Damascus, Saul witnessed a light from Heaven flash about him, a light so brilliant he fell to the ground. And in that moment, he heard that voice, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" The men with him stood speechless, hearing nothing but seeing its effects. And when Paul asked who was speaking, the Voice replied, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."
Jesus instructed Saul to get up and head into the city for more instructions. As Saul gets up to leave, he realizes he is blind. For the next three days, Saul remained unable to see and did not eat or drink. The Lord put him in a place where he was dying to self. Letting go of what drove him for years. His heritage. His name. His identity. His intelligence. All would be brought low compared to the glory of his God.
This man who ruthlessly ravaged and persecuted the Lord's beloved sons and daughters became perhaps God's greatest preacher and advocate. Today I pray that each of us would hear that same Voice calling us to advocate and minister on God's behalf, as well!
+++ On Sunday we worship at 9:00am in the Sanctuary. We will be celebrating the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost and my message, "God Loves with Compassion" will have us looking at the extravagant love of God and how we are called to love, as well. Our worship will be "live-streamed" on the church's FaceBook page and then "uploaded" to our YouTube channel when completed. We will also be recognizing Father's Day this weekend as we acknowledge and give thanks for those who serve as fathers in our lives.
+++ Last Sunday we were blessed to award 2 scholarships to graduating High School students when we celebrated Sophia P. and Kelly J. in worship. And this week we sent off campership support for 5 of our young people who will be headed off to summer camp this summer! Thanks be to God!
+++ The deadline for articles for the July/August edition of our church newsletter is Tuesday, June 20th. Please have all articles into the church office by Tuesday. Thanks!
+++ The July/August edition of the Upper Room magazines are available on the table in the Narthex.
+++ Next Sunday, June 25th we will welcome Michael Passarelli, our new church accompanist. We hope you can be here to welcome Michael as he starts his ministry among us.
+++ And on June 26th we will welcome a mission team from the Susquehanna Annual Conference who will be doing mission work on the Onondaga reservation. These folks will be lodging here at Immanuel after completing their work each day. Please keep this group in prayer as they do this life-changing work on behalf of Jesus!
Make this day a great day and always be listening for the Voice of Jesus!
Today's reading takes me into the Gospel according to Luke where we read...
"Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
According to an old legend, two monks named Tanzan and Ekido were traveling together down a muddy road one rainy day. Heavy monsoon rains had saturated the area and they were grateful for a few moments of sunshine when the clouds parted on their journey. Before long, they came around a bend and encountered a lovely girl in a silk kimono. She looked forlorn as she stared at the muddy road before her.
At once, Tanzan responded to her plight. "Come here, girl," he said. Then lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the slippery ooze to the other side of the road.
Ekido didn't speak again to Tanzan. Then that night after they reached their intended lodging, Ekido could no longer contain his anger and disappointment. "We monks don't go near women," he said to Tanzan in an accusing tone. "Why did you do that?"
"I left the girl back there, Ekido," replied Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
Ekido thought he has insulated himself from temptation by constructing rigid laws of conduct. Because he was focused on the letter of the law, he succumbed to the temptation to be ruled by anger, resentment, intolerance, and a lack of kindness. Don't be fooled; only God can help you master temptation by writing God's living laws on your heart.
FLEE TEMPTATION --- AND DON'T LEAVE A FORWARDING ADDRESS. --- GOD
+++ This week we begin our summer worship schedule and worship starts at 9:00am! That means our "live-streaming" on the church's Facebook page also starts at 9:00am. And then, of course, we will upload the completed worship service to our YouTube channel. We hope to "see you" in worship this week. Although our Kidz Club program is also in summer recess, we will have a Children's moment in worship for the young folks and offer some crafts, etc. for the kids during worship. We will also be awarding scholarships to our graduation High School seniors this week, as well. Our lectionary reading, from Matthew's Gospel, will hear Jesus calling Matthew the tax collector and then raising a dead girl and healing a sick woman. Boy... that's the definition of a busy day for sure! My message, "Inside or Outside -- God Offers Blessings", will have us looking at the many blessings God offers to us.
+++ TODAY is the deadline for campership scholarship requests. Please make sure this information gets to the church office TODAY so the funds can arrive at camp before the campers do!
+++ Our Finance Team meets on Tuesday, 6/13 at 6:00pm in the Fireside Room and then the Administrative Council gathers at 6:45pm that same evening. Members, please try to be here as we conduct the "business" of the church in these important meetings.
+++ The deadline for the July/August edition of our church newsletter is coming up on 6/20. We need to have all articles into the church office by this date so we can meet our publishing deadlines. Thanks!
+++Helen Forward, Pam and I had an exhausting but uplifting time at Annual Conference last week. We were inspired by our new Bishop and are hopeful for our conference. Our conference has revealed a new logo and will now go by "United Methodists of Upper New York" (notice the emphasis on "United Methodists"). To see and learn more, including full-session videos, visit the Conference website or ask one of us about it.
Make this day a great day and always rely on God to guide you through temptation! Pastor Jack
As a new month is upon us, I read these words from the Book of Job...
"Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way
prosperity will come to you." (Job 22:21)
So many times in our lives we seem to lose track of God's promise of peace. We get running on the treadmills we create for ourselves moving from home obligations, to work obligations, to family obligations, to church obligations.... and after a short period of time we begin to feel like the proverbial mouse on the treadmill. And the old adage, "The hurrier we go... the behinder we get" seems to describe our daily lives!
In these times in my life I usually find that I have gotten really far away from submitting to God. I get so wrapped up in trying to do it all myself and the result is that not only am I miserable, I can make life miserable for people around me. And then some very wise person will remind me that God doesn't ask me to accomplish all things at the same time! Only God is capable of doing that! I, as a frail human being, need to take things in stages, at a controlled pace, and according to God's timetable... not mine! But boy is that often hard to remember!
Today... as summer schedules begin to take effect... I invite you to be more intentional about submitting to God and really resting in God's peace. You will suddenly find your life so much easier and God's true prosperity will increasingly become more a part of your life. And that's why God gives us seasons... in our weather and our lives! Thanks be to God!
BE STILL IN MY PRESENCE. THIS IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO RECEIVE MY PEACE. --- GOD
+++ Your prayers are requested for our Upper NY Annual Conference gathering taking place at the SRC arena on Thursday-Saturday of this week. Immanuel is represented by Helen Forward, Pam Kelsey-Gossard and myself. Please pray that God's will would be done in our Annual Conference this weekend!
+++ This week is our last for worshipping at both 8:30am and 10:00am until after Labor Day. Our 8:30am worship will have us celebrating Trinity Sunday... while at 10:00am we have some celebrations planned. We will celebrate Alex's ministry here at Immanuel as this is our last day for Kidz Club until the fall and we will also celebrate with Dan and Lisa and our musicians as they get ready to take a summer break. Look for our Facebook "live-stream" at 10:00am and then we will "upload" the recorded service to the church's YouTube channel. We'll have lots of music, lots of laughs, and we'll hear from John Wesley about how we should worship through singing. We will also celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion at both worship services.
+++ Following the 10:00am worship we will gather for our Church Picnic in the churchyard. Hopefully you are planning to join us and bring a dish to pass. We need some really good cornhole players for the tournament as well!
+++ We will also deliver our June installment of our Shut-in Meal Ministry on Sunday! Thanks to Sam and those who prepare the meals and to Marilyn and all those who make these important deliveries each month.
+++ Our Board of Trustees will be meeting on Wednesday, June 7th at 4:00pm in the Fireside Room. All members please try to be present to help us complete this important work!
+++ The deadline for Campership Requests is June 9th! Please let the church office know which camp your young people are attending and we will make sure the church's sponsorship support is there when the kids arrive at camp! We are so blessed to be able to support our young people as they head off for church camp!
+++ Next Sunday, June 11th, we begin our summer worship schedule with one worship service each week at 9:00am in the Sanctuary. We will also switch our Facebook live-stream to 9:00am as well. Our summer schedule will continue through Labor Day weekend.
Make this day a great day and take time to be still in God's presence today!
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