I have been spending some time reading Luke's Gospel account over the last few weeks and this week I came upon this familiar text:
"Lord, teach us to pray." (Luke 11:1)
When you and I come to the Lord in prayer, I think we often wonder if we are approaching the throne acceptably. It may even seem cavalier the way we talk to God as if God were our best friend, or come running to the throne at any hour unannounced. But we come as we are --- dirty, dusty, tired, or hurting --- we come when we are excited, expectant, frustrated or even angry. We come running like children -- messy, transparent, and trusting.
Jesus related several parables about the nature of prayer in Luke 11. He described prayer as a type of knocking and seeking that demands response. Even the person who is asleep in bed will rise to answer the door, if only to appease the one knocking. But we are also shown that if we ask our Father in heaven for bread, will God who loves us give us a stone? It's not a matter, you see, of how we come to God in prayer... but that we come!
So I can pray, Teach me to pray, when I'm not sure what to say, when my problems seem overwhelming or when I am discouraged. Lord, teach me to pray!
+++ This Sunday we celebrate World Communion Sunday in both our 8:30am and 10:00am worship services. Our scriptures take us to Moses seeking water from a rock in Exodus 17 and to the chief priests questioning the authority of Jesus in Matthew 21. And both of these lessons offer us glimpses of people whose "hearts were hardened" (Psalm 95). So my message "Keeping our Hearts Soft" has me thinking about how we should condition our hearts to remain soft to God and others. We will continue to "live-stream" the 10:00am worship service on our Facebook page and then "upload" the completed worship to our YouTube channel for home viewing. Since it is World Communion Sunday we too will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion and we hope you will join us, however you can, for worship on Sunday!
+++ We will also receive a special, second mile offering on Sunday for the United Methodist Church's World Communion Sunday offering. This offering empowers a diverse mix of national and international young adults to make a global impact for Christ. By providing needed scholarship help we assist graduate students here in the U.S. and other countries and provide ethnic scholarships for undergraduate students throughout the world. Look for the special offering envelopes in the Narthex on Sunday and thanks for supporting this important work!
+++ Our Trustees meet next Wednesday, 10/4 in the Fireside Room at 4:00pm. We hope to accomplish much at this meeting! Thanks to our Trustees for caring so well for our buildings and grounds!
+++ Our upcoming Second Sunday Lunch is on October 8th and will be our annual Chili/Chowder/Soup Cook-off! Excitement is building and cook books are being scoured for the best of our recipes! In addition to the samples we will also enjoy fruit, homemade cornbread and some of Marilyn's famous desserts. It is NOT necessary to bring an offering to sample to attend... but we do need you to SIGN UP outside the Fireside Room so we can prepare for all to have a wonderful time!
+++ CROP WALK is coming on October 15th at Onondaga Lake Park. We need walkers and sponsors to support the wonderful ministry done by Church World Services CROP WALK! We are walking to end hunger in our community and around the world. Please consider joining us on the walk or sponsoring a walker on Sunday! Thanks for your support!
+++Bishop Hector has invited all United Methodists to join him in a 12-month prayer pilgrimage. To learn more check out our website Together in Prayer.
+++We give thanks to God that Dan Miller is on the mend. Lisa and Dan are very grateful for your prayers and support.
Make this day a great day and remember to ask Jesus to Teach me how to pray!
As we complete these last days of summer, I read these words from John's Gospel account...
"This is my commandment, that you love one another,
as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
These three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
If we could walk in the love of God all of the time, we wouldn't ever need to be afraid. Why? Because there is no fear in love. (See 1 John 4:18) When we are convinced that we are truly safe in God's love, that God's will really is the best thing for us, and that God will never fail to meet our need; we can stop being afraid. Along with that fear, greedy and prideful thoughts can fall by the wayside. We are certain deep down inside that we are safe, no matter what circumstances surround us. Sounds like a happy peaceful life to me. How about you? So... why not begin today trying to build a life where you feel safe all the time, and pray that you too will be convinced of the depths of God's love for you?
Pray... Help me to rest in your love, when our patience is tested, or others are critical of us, or we are frustrated. Lord, help us rest in Your love. Amen.
+++ Sunday worship is at 8:30am and 10:00am this week. The 8:30am worship group is enjoying being back in the warm, cozy Fireside Room while 10:00am sees us in our beautiful Sanctuary. And, of course, we "live-stream" worship at 10:00am on the church's Facebook page for those who are unable to join us in the Sanctuary. We notice that worship attendance continues to grow throughout the week and we know that people are also worshipping on our YouTube channel throughout the week. However you worship... we are blessed to have YOU as a member of our worshipping community. This week our Lectionary takes us to the Parable of the Workers in the Field and my message, "Living Into God's Story" has us comparing fairness with grace. Join me as we think this through together!
+++ KIDZ CLUB continues at 10:00am for our young people. Julie Bills has been with the kids for the first few weeks and we are trying a new path of developing a team of 3-4 volunteers who might take turns leading this energetic group of kids. We have a curriculum and with a little bit of preparation and the time on Sunday mornings, you too can enjoy a whole lot of blessings from the kids you'll be with! To become part of this exciting ministry, contact me, Julie Bills, or the church office!
+++ Giving Statements are available on the table in the Narthex. Please pick yours up this week and you can help save the church the cost of postage! Thanks for all the gifts you give to support the ministry we do around the world!
+++ Next Tuesday morning we will be celebrating the life of Joe and Vera Honis in the Sanctuary so... if you are a part of a Tuesday morning activity... please check with your leader about where in the building you will be meeting!
+++ Worship at Summerfield Brookdale is next Thursday, September 28th at 1:00pm. You are invited to join us if you'd like for this time of worship and fellowship.
Make this day a great day and always remember to pray... Lord, help me to rest in your love!
Happy Friday Friends!
This week I read these words from Psalm 36….
“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.”
(Psalm 36: 5 NIV)
Maybe you are like me and think that sometimes we might have strayed outside of where God can love us. Maybe we have made some wrong choices in life, or taken a path we should have avoided, or not been the people God calls us to be. And often, in my own guilt, I am embarrassed to have my faults known to God.
But the reality is that God already knows my faults… and still loves ME! And YOU! Isn’t that a joy to remember? And the ability of God’s love to reach even to the skies means that I can never come to the end of God’s love; it is limitless and everlasting! Thanks be to God!
+++ On Sunday we worship at both 8:30am and 10:00am. My message, “Forgiving From our Hearts” has me looking at the story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis and Jesus’ teaching on exactly how many times we need to forgive others. We will be “live-streaming” the 10:00am worship on the church Facebook page and then “uploading” the completed worship to the YouTube channel, as well.
+++ Last week we kicked off our KIDZ CLUB ministry with a great start. Julie Bills spent time with the kids and it seems everyone had a great time! We hope to see all the kids in worship again this week as Miss Julie has another exciting time planned!
+++ We had a good start to our Chair Yoga class this past Tuesday morning. And it’s not too late to get involved. We gather on Tuesday morning at 9:30am in the church Nursery! See Barb M. for details.
+++ Our Trustees have made the decision to cancel the upcoming Fall Workday on October 14th. We will look to organize a springtime event to address some building needs after the long winter ahead.
+++ In October we will enjoy the annual Chili/Chowder/Soup cookoff competition on Sunday, October 8th. Many of our finest cooks are preparing their offerings for the big event. Are you ready to try your hand at making a delicious soup, chili, or chowder that just might be voted the favorite of the day? Sign up on the white board outside the Fireside Room, please.
+++ For the more information and pictures of our events, be sure to check out our News & Events menu item.
Make today a great day and enjoy the limitless love of God!
Happy Friday Friends!
This morning's devotion finds me reading these words from Paul's First Letter to the church in Corinth...
"Love... is ever ready to believe the best." (1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP)
You might have noticed that the human mind seems to focus on the negative. We troubleshoot, criticize, and disapprove. We are all critics, it seems. We hope our criticism is constructive -- after all we mean to bring about positive change through pinpointing problems and shortcomings everywhere we find them. But sometimes magnifying the negative does just the opposite.
But friends, God's wisdom and grace directs us toward a different approach. In Philippians 4: 4-8 we are told to always rejoice, be anxious about nothing, but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving make our requests known to God, and the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds.
Finally, we are told only to think about whatever is true, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. We are to be ever ready to believe the best of every person, remain hopeful under all circumstances. That's why love is always ready to believe the best! So, why not today decide to focus on what's going right?
God, please help me to believe the best in all things!
+++ This Sunday we revert to our fall worship schedule with two worship opportunities... 8:30am and 10:00am! The 8:30am worship will be located in the Fireside Room and the 10:00am worship will, of course, be in the Sanctuary. We will continue reading our way through Paul's letter to the Romans and my message, "Satisfying our Continuing Debt" will have me thinking about how we must respond in love to those who we encounter. But boy, sometimes that is a tall order for sure! The "live-stream" on the church FaceBook page returns to 10:00am, if you are watching at home. And, of course, the worship will be uploaded to our YouTube channel when it is completed. Join us, however you can, for worship on Sunday. And for the kids... KIDZ CLUB RETURNS THIS SUNDAY during the 10:00am worship. We can't wait to see the kids on Sunday!
+++ Many have signed up to help build 40 beds in our parking lot on Saturday morning when we partner with our friends for Sleep in Heavenly Peace! There is a registration form that needs to be completed by all workers prior to starting work. If you are already signed up... look for the email with the registration link. You can also fill out the registration when you arrive on Saturday.... but doing so ahead of time will save time on Saturday. Thanks! And lunch will be served around 12:00noon as we celebrate the work!
+++ Also happening on Sunday, is our monthly Shut In meal ministry delivery... thanks to Sam and our drivers. And we'll enjoy our first "Second Sunday Lunch" with a delicious meal of Barb's homemade Mac and Cheese! What a great way to kick off the fall season!
+++ Next week's schedule has the following:
Chair Yoga on Tuesday morning at 9:30am in the Nursery. See Barb M. for details.
Finance Team meeting on Tuesday at 6:00pm in the Fireside Room.
SPRC Team meeting on Tuesday at 6:00pm in the Nursery.
Ad Council meeting on Tuesday t 6:45pm in the Fireside Room.
+++ The fall Trustee's Workday has been postponed until Saturday, October 14th. A list of needed tasks is being updated and you can check with any of the Trustees to find out about the jobs we hope to accomplish!
Make this day a great day and watch for all the great things God is doing!
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