I have been thinking a lot about location lately and today these words struck me...
"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world,
yet forfeits his soul?" (Matthew 16:26)
Sadhu Sundar Singh was born into an Indian family of high caste. When he became a Christian he told his parents of his decision to follow Christ, and they said, "You have broken caste." They immediately banished him from their home.
It was the wet season, and the rain was coming down hard as he left his home, clad only in his insubstantial Indian robes. He sat under a nearby tree all night, soaked to the skin. He said that he felt so radiantly happy, however, that he forgot any physical discomfort. He now had the freedom to travel throughout the region telling the Gospel story of Jesus.
In fact, he became known as the apostle of India. Once he went into Tibet, where he was arrested, put into a pit, and branded with irons. He bore those scars for the rest of his life. While speaking later in England he said, "I am going back to do what I have done. I am quite aware of the cost." Sometimes after his return to India, he disappeared and appears to have suffered a martyr's death.
Singh willingly moved from "high caste" in India into "servant's caste." Why? Because He believed that the best life this world has to offer could not compare to the promise of eternity in God's presence. Where will you spend eternity?
When it comes to eternity, three things matter,
location, location, location. --GOD
+++ This week worship is at 9:00am for the last time this summer! Our lectionary takes us to Romans 12 and Paul's thoughts about loving and living in harmony. And my message, "Overcoming Evil with Good" has me thinking about how each one of us is called to forgive without expectation of a return. Be here and think this through with me. We will, of course offer a "live-stream" of the worship at 9:00am on our church's Facebook page and then "upload" the completed worship to our YouTube channel. So you will have many ways to worship with the people of Immanuel this holiday weekend. We will also be celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion together, as well. We can't wait to "see you" in worship on Sunday!
+++ A supply of 2024 calendars have arrived and are on the back table in the Narthex, from our friends at Buranich Funeral Home. Pick up your copy when you visit the church.
+++ Remember that the Chair Yoga group resumes on Tuesday September 12th at 9:30am in the church Nursery. Barb M. has some fun planned and that class is at a skill and ability level so that everyone can participate safely. See Barb M. for details!
+++ Our Choir resumes rehearsals next Thursday night, September 7th at 6:30pm. Rehearsals are about an hour and Dan has some great music picked out for us to sing. If you have been thinking about trying the choir.... this is the perfect opportunity to do so! We not only sing God's praises... we have great fellowship, as well. See you on Thursday evening!
+++ Next weekend is our BIG fall season ministry kick-off! On Saturday, September 9th lots of folks will be gathering in our parking lot to help with building beds for Sleep in Heavenly Peace. We have jobs for all skill levels and lunch will be served as we work. Sign up on the white board outside the Fireside Room and help us make sure that every child in Central New York has a bed to sleep in at night! Then... on Sunday, September 10th we return to 2 worship services at 8:30am and 10:00am and welcome back the choir to worship at 10:00am. And after worship we gather for the first of our "Second Sunday Lunches"! Barb B's homemade Mac and Cheese is on the menu and there is nothing to bring except your appetite and smiling face. But we need you to sign up so we have enough Mac and Cheese for all!
Make this day a great day and remember... location, location, location!
As we get ready for another weekend of worship and ministry, here are some words from Proverbs for us to consider...
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before
a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)
Antonio Salieri was an ambitious, although mediocre eighteenth-century composer who offered this prayer in the popular film on Mozart's life, Amadeus:
"Lord make me a great composer. Let me celebrate Your glory through music and be celebrated myself. Make me famous throughout the world, dear God; make me immortal. After I die, let people speak my name forever with love for what I wrote. In return, I will give You my chastity, my industry, my deep humility, my life."
When it became obvious to the superficially pious Salieri that he would never be as gifted as the roguish Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, he became insanely jealous of Mozart and planned to destroy him. He also turned from God. As far as Salieri was concerned, God had betrayed him. God had failed to answer his prayer. In a very powerful scene in the movie, Salieri takes a crucifix from the wall in his room and places it into the fire.
Don't let pride and ego keep you from the love of God. No matter what you may have planned for your life, God's plan is still grander. Put away selfishness and cruel ambition. God will give you a life of fulfillment and peace in exchange.
LEGGO YOUR EGO. --- GOD
+++ This Sunday we worship at 9:00am and my message, Living Sacrifices, is based on Paul's letter to the Romans. I am hoping to think about what true spiritual worship looks and feels like. Of course we will offer a "live stream" at 9:00am on the church's Facebook page and then an "uploaded" recorded version on YouTube following the service's completion. We do understand that YouTube continues to make small changes that have delayed the posting of worship the last couple of weeks and we are working to correct that situation this week! Pray for us!
+++ Remember our BIG MINISTRY weekend coming up on September 9th and 10th! On Saturday 9/9 we will gather in the parking lot to build beds for our friends at Sleep in Heavenly Peace! There is a sign up sheet outside the Fireside Room and if you can't make it that day but still want to be involved we are looking for NEW sheets, comforters, blankets and pillows for twin size beds. OR... you can make a monetary donation and we'll do the shopping for you! See Shelley D-S. to get involved. THEN... on Sunday 9/10 we return to our schedule of 2 worship services at 8:30am and 10:00am. We will also enjoy the first of our "Second Sunday Lunches" following the 10:00am worship service! Again we need you to sign up to make sure we have enough of Barb's world famous Mac and Cheese for everyone! There is nothing to bring except yourself to this month's lunch! Check with Barb M. for more information!
+++ On Tuesday, 9/12 the popular Chair Yoga class returns at 9:30am! Barb M. will be offering this time to help you limber up and enjoy some physical activity geared for many different levels!
+++ Saturday, September 16th is our Trustee's Fall Work Day! The Trustees have several jobs needing to be completed and again, all skill levels are needed. If you can help for a few hours, sign up outside the Fireside Room to get involved!
We received this note from Pastor Candace Lawrence:
"Dear Immanuel UMC family,
I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of Immanuel again and to help out when needed these past several weeks. Even though I was with you for a sad reason, it was a pleasure to worship with you, to spend time with old friends, to meet new friends, and to support one another through this time. Thank you for your warm welcome. Thank you for the gift certificate, which was a lovely surprise. We will enjoy using it. Most of all, thank God for all of you, and for the blessings we shared in our time together.
Grace and peace,
Make this day a great day and look for a way to share God's love with someone around you today!
It is good to be back at work and doing ministry once again! Today I found these words in Philippians....
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
(Philippians 4:13 NIV)
The words "I can't" or "I'll never" echo through our minds many times in our lives. Self-doubt might be keeping you from accomplishing all that God has for you to do. How often have you felt "unable" to pursue a dream that keeps tugging at your heart, maybe even keeping you awake at night? You may find yourself continually feeling dissatisfied with the status quo.
Fortunately, those who put their hope in Christ can rely on God's promises. God assures us that all things are possible for those who believe; that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength --- especially when we are weak. If God is for you, who can prevail against you? God will help you to accomplish all the things that God has put in your heart to do.
So when you feel weak or afraid, are not sure what to do, or lack confidence in your own skills--- just remember to pray"I can do all things through you, O Lord!"
+++ This Sunday we worship at 9:00am in our beautiful, air conditioned and prayer conditioned Sanctuary! We hope you'll join us and if summer has you traveling just join us live on our church's Facebook page at 9:00am. Or you can watch the recorded service which we will "upload" to our YouTube channel when the service is complete. This Sunday we will hear the story of Joseph and I will be talking about our human proclivity to judge others. My message "How Can We Judge?" will see us looking at how so often our judgments are based on incomplete or inaccurate information. I can't wait to greet you all in worship on Sunday morning at 9:00am!
+++ This Sunday is also the deadline for newsletter articles for the September/October edition of our church newsletter. Please have all your articles into the office on Sunday to help with our publication date! Thanks!
+++ The Upper Room magazines for September and October are available on the back table in the Narthex.
+++ Mark your calendars now for 2 great events on the weekend of September 9th and 10th. On Saturday the 9th we will be building beds in our parking lot in a joint mission work with Sleep in Heavenly Peace. We'll need lots of helpers of varying skill levels. See Shelley for more information and to get involved. Then on Sunday September 10th we'll enjoy our first "2nd Sunday Luncheon" after the 10:00am worship service. The menu includes Barb's world famous Macaroni and Cheese! Look for the sign-up sheet outside the Fireside Room soon and join us for this new monthly ministry here at Immanuel.
+++ Also happening on Sunday, September 10th we will return to our fall worship schedule of 2 worship services at 8:30am and 10:00am. Mark your calendars!
Make this day a great day and remember to fully rely on God's promises! Pastor Jack
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Pastor Candace Lawrence will be leading our worship service this Sunday, August 13 at 9am. We will livestream the service on Facebook and afterwards, it will be uploaded to our YouTube channel. However you are able to join us, we are happy to have you be part of worshiping our God. We are grateful to Pastor Candace for her ministry here while Pastor Jack has been away on Family Medical Leave.
Pastor Jack will be returning to his role here at Immanuel on Monday, August 14. He will return to leading worship on Sunday, August 20. Please continue to keep Jack and his family in prayer.
Saturday, August 12, we will celebrate the life of Irv Wood at 3pm at Immanuel. Irv had relocated to Florida in the fall but had spoken so highly of his time at Immanuel that his family decided to have the celebration of his life here. Irv went home to our Lord on May 29, 2023.
We will celebrate the life of Becky Keating on Friday, August 18. There will be a time to greet Pastor Jack and his family from 10am -12. There will be a service of remembrance at 12. All here at Immanuel.
The deadline for the September/October newsletter is August 20. Please have all information to the church office no later than that date.
Blessings from the church office.
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