Where did Good Friday get its name?

April 12, 2017

The source of our term for the Friday before Easter, “Good Friday,” is not clear.  It may be a corruption of the English phrase “God’s Friday,” according to Professor Laurence Hull Stookey in Calendar: Christ’s Time for the Church (p. 96). It is the common name for the day among English- and Dutch-speaking people. It is a day that proclaims God’s purpose of loving and redeeming the world through the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is a day that is good because God was drawing the world to God’s self in Christ. As seen in John’s gospel, particularly, God was in control. God was not making the best of a bad situation, but was working out God’s intention for the world — winning salvation for all people. We call it “good” because we look backward at the crucifixion through the lens of Easter!

Join us for Good Friday Service, April 14, 2017 @ 5:00 p.m.

 


UMCOR Sunday

March 16, 2017

“A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water.” Proverbs 11:25, NRSV

March 26 is UMCOR Sunday, formerly One Great Hour of Sharing.

 

GIVE NOW – A SPECIAL SUNDAY

Your gift offers people everywhere help and hope.

For more information on the vision, the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, go to:

http://www.umcgiving.org/UMCOR

 


As we enter into a Sacred time of Prayer

November 6, 2016

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

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In the words of Christian activist and author Shane Claiborne, we’re not called to follow an elephant or a donkey — we’re called to follow the slaughtered lamb,” he said. “We’re inviting churches to join with us as we gather to proclaim our allegiance to Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God,” The Rev. Michael Scarlett, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Pocatello, Idaho.

Let us pray

God of creation,

Give us eyes to see your handiwork all around us. Give us ears to hear the music that you have stirred to life in the swaying of the trees and the singing of the birds. Give us heightened senses to be aware of your creativity, even as we take this breath. Draw us into your life that spans far beyond our own days and years.

God of each season,

You hold all things together. Even when seasons are difficult or uncertain, you are always present and available. Even as our nation approaches a season of change in leadership, we pray for reminders that you are sovereign.

God of this nation,

We thank you for the many privileges that we enjoy as Americans. May we not take for granted the gift and responsibility that accompany those privileges. Let us not lose sight of the fact that all around the world, there are people who crave the opportunity to cast a vote once in their lifetime. Guide us in our voting.

We pray for Donald Trump and we pray for Hillary Clinton. We pray for those seeking the presidency who are neither Republican nor Democrat. Regardless of our preferences, we give you thanks for the desire of these people to lead and serve. We pray for wisdom for these individuals. May wisdom manifest in their actions, speech, and attitudes. Guide them in their leading.

We pray for your presence in the days to come. May your peace guide our hands and hearts. May your love be seen and known in communities near and far.

In the name of Christ — the one who could not be stopped by death — we pray, Amen.

The Rev. Brad Greene

Election Day Litany

Lord, listen to your children praying

Campaign season is noisy

press conferences

national conventions

protests

rallies

debates

Our ears are overwhelmed

Despite all the noise, the sound of uncertainty reverberates throughout our nation

We struggle to perceive the movement of the Spirit over the clamor

We claim to separate faith and politics

And yet the two cannot help but collide: melody and harmony

Woven into the composition of our social order

And so on this Election Day we gather and pray

Lord, send your spirit in this place

our homes and work spaces

our houses of worship

our polling stations

our voting booths

and campaign headquarters

That your healing presence would resound through broken places in our systems and government

Lord, listen to your children praying

Make your ways, our ways

Your tune, our tune

Ground us in your melody of goodness

Bless us as if we were each an instrument of peace

Creating harmonies of love that ring louder than the static of indifference

Send us love that frees us from hatred and bitterness toward one another

Send us power that resonates justice and protects human dignity

Send us grace that we would sing songs of hope and unity

Send us love, send us power, send us grace

Rev. Sarah Casey, 2016

Psalm 23 – A psalm of David.shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.


Good Friday Service

March 24, 2016

Please join us for our Good Friday service March 26, 2016, @ 5:00 in our sanctuary.

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The word “tenebrae” comes from the Latin meaning “darkness.” The Tenebrae is an ancient Christian Good Friday service that makes use of gradually diminishing light through the extinguishing of candles to symbolize the events of that week from the triumphant Palm Sunday entry through Jesus’ burial.

This increasing darkness symbolizes the approaching darkness of Jesus’ death and of hopelessness in the world without God. The service concludes in darkness, sometimes with a final candle, the Christ candle, carried out of the sanctuary, symbolizing the death of Jesus. A loud noise may also sound symbolizing the closing of Jesus’ tomb. The worshipers then leave in silence to ponder the impact of Christ’s death and await the coming Resurrection.

 

Why those who are forgiven should be forgiving

From A UMC.org Feature by Joe Iovino March 18, 2016

“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive,” C. S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity. In Christ, we receive forgiveness of our sins. Yet when someone hurts us, we find the process of forgiving others, difficult and painful..

“Forgiveness is the means by which we open our hearts and lives to those who might have wronged us or demeaned us and find a way to say, ‘You are forgiven,’” retired United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert shares.


Maundy Thursday service to be held

March 21, 2016

maundy th

Please join us for our Maundy Thursday service March 25, 2016, @ 5:00 in our sanctuary.

 

What is Maundy Thursday?

 

Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment.” As recorded in John’s gospel, on his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34). This is why services on this night generally include the washing of feet or other acts of physical care as an integral part of the celebration.

While John’s gospel does not record the institution of the Lord’s Supper among the events of this night, the other gospels do. Christians therefore keep this night with celebrations both at the basin (footwashing, optional) and at the Lord’s Table (Holy Communion).

Service will begin @ 5:00; The United Methodist Church holds an Open Table for Communion. All who seek to earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another are invited to the Table.

 

The members of First United Methodist Church of Hemphill


United Methodism 101

March 7, 2016

The United Methodist Church offers a FREE on-line course about Methodism.

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Click on the following link:

http://view.esp.umcom.org/?j=fece13717064007d&m=fe9512727760077475&ls=fe2816787166067b711679&l=ff65107675&s=fe6313767663067d7715&jb=ff9b1070&ju=fe50157873630c7b7d17&r=0

If you have any problems registering, call Donna in the church office for assistance @ 787-2183.


Remembering the deaths of Wesley, Asbury

March 7, 2016

lisa-katzenstein-painting-full_frame-535x388Considered the founder of Methodism, John Wesley died 225 years ago this week. For more information about his works and that of Francis Asbury, click the link below:

http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/remembering-the-deaths-of-wesley-Asbury