God is One

November 9, 2016

trinity3 Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6(NIV)

 

Through faith we are united despite political affiliation, denomination or cultural preference.

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Jesus Prays for All Believers

 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23 (NIV)

God is the author of unity, especially in the demonstration of the Trinity

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 “They’ll Know We Are Christians,”

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. And we pray that all unity may one day be restored And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love; They will know we are Christians by our love. We will work with each other, we will work side by side. We will work with each other, we will work side by side. And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love; They will know we are Christians by our love. By our love, by our love, And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. They will know we are Christians by our love. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love They will know we are Christians by our love By our love, by our love. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. They will know we are Christians by our love.

 “We Are One in Christ,”

What a wonderful church life, All the saints truly are one, No matter where and who we are,     We are one! Nothing can set us apart, For we have the same life, Although Satan tried and tried,     We are one!

We are, we are, we are one in Christ! Abiding in the true vine, Receiving all the riches of the life divine,     We are one! We are, we are, we are one in Christ! Growing in the tree of life, In Him we fellowship unto eternal life,     We are one!

What a glorious church life, Christ in us has made us one, Eating the tree of life,     We are one! How can we ever depart Such a sweet and blessed life? Christ in us and we in Christ!     We are one!

  “Blest Be the Tie That Binds.”Blest be the tie that binds Our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds Is like to that above. Before our Father’s throne, We pour our ardent prayers; Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, Our comforts, and our cares. We share our mutual woes, Our mutual burdens bear; And often for each other flows The sympathizing tear. When we asunder part, It gives us inward pain; But we shall still be joined in heart, And hope to meet again.

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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.


A Charge to Keep have I

February 24, 2016

circle.cross.flame

A World Worth Knowing

Lenten Spiritual Practices for Action

Wednesday 24, 2016

 

John Wesley described Methodism’s purpose as a movement in this way: to “reform the nation and, in particular, the Church; to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” The Wesley brothers came to this perspective after much Bible study and prayer. In eighteenth-century England, the Church of England was the national church. The Wesleys felt, however, that it did not speak to the needs of the people or address the social ills within the nation at the time. The Wesleyan understanding of mission took shape during this era as John and Charles addressed social needs like education, poverty, disease, and mental health in their preaching and teaching.

Methodist Christians began the first Sunday schools to teach children how to read. They collected offerings to alleviate the conditions of those in poverty. In a time when medical doctors were concentrated in London, Methodist circuit preachers carried copies of Primitive Physick with them, a book by John Wesley that helped diagnose and apply medical techniques to those who were ill.

Methodists also worked to change the appalling conditions in mental institutions and jails. By proclaiming the grace of Jesus Christ, the Wesleys brought change to many of the social ills in England. Persisting in this mission remained a challenge in the lifetime of the Wesleys. John was not always welcomed in places where he preached and ministered. Other Methodists faced contempt and ridicule.

James Logan, in How Great a Flame, tells the story of Martha Thompson, a housemaid in London born in 1731. While doing errands she passed a crowd of people who were singing outdoors. She listened to the singing and then noticed a small man who began preaching to the crowd. It was John Wesley. When she returned home and told her mistress what she saw, the mistress told her to avoid Wesley because “he will drive you mad, he will ruin you.”

Martha, however, returned often to hear John Wesley preach. One day during the singing of “The Lord Jehovah Reigns,” she experienced an inner peace, which Wesley called the “inner witness of the Spirit.” She continued to praise and give glory to God, even after she had returned home. Ultimately, this led to her committal at Bedlam, a notorious mental asylum. At Bedlam she continued to witness for Christ. Thompson was eventually released from Bedlam and remained an active Methodist Christian witness until her death.

Stories similar to Martha Thompson’s were common in eighteenth-century England. Methodists were often unwelcome in society, and their words and actions brought hostility. Charles Wesley, inspired by his reading of Matthew Henry’s commentary on Leviticus 8:35, wrote a hymn of encouragement to the early Methodists who were experiencing animosity from the public.

A charge to keep I have,

a God to glorify,

a never-dying soul to save

To serve the present age,

my calling to fulfill;

O may it all my powers engage

to do my Master’s will!

Arm me with jealous care,

as in thy sight to live,

and oh, thy servant, Lord, prepare

a strict account to give!

Help me to watch and pray,

and on thyself rely,

assured, if I my trust betray,

I shall forever die.

 

This hymn offers strength and comfort to Christians of the eighteenth- and twenty-first centuries alike, all of whom have received as their calling to fulfill, “to serve the present age.” The hymn speaks to all aspects of Christian ministry and mission. Whenever we sing this hymn, we reaffirm the call of Christ to engage in ministry with the world. O may it all my powers engage to do my Master’s will!

We may pay no attention to the meaning of these words as we sing them, but they speak of our common ties with Christians around the world to bear witness to grace through word and deed. We find one of the clearest statements of God’s will in Matthew 25:31-46 where Jesus speaks about the judgment of the nations. Jesus says to those at his right hand:

Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (vv. 34-36).

These words express the actions that Christ wills for us. Not only are these actions a charge we have been given, they are a charge we have to keep. God invites us to find deep satisfaction in the work.

For Your Growth

Read the words of “A Charge to Keep I Have” again. Consider why you believe that God thinks the world is worthy of redemption and love. Today, pray for each of the situations on the list you created the day before. Pray that God will bring reconciliation where division exists and justice where oppression rules.

Sent by: United Methodist Communications 810 12th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37203-4704 umcom@umcom.org   |  Phone: 615.742.5400


“Crafternooners” gather!

November 16, 2015

Crafternoon! Youth and adult crafters gathered for an informal session of creativity on Saturday, November 14.

We recalled how the Bible teaches us that, “In the beginning God created…”  Genesis 1:1 . . .
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And that even though we were creating an afternoon of reindeer, mangers, and general fun,
God calls us to create goodness and love with all our being.
We all enjoyed it “deerly”  ;0 )
Stay tuned for our next session which we will announce ahead of time.

G-Force Adventures set for FUMC

May 28, 2015

vbs2014At the G-force: God’s Love in Action VBS, children will discover that they can use God’s power in their lives to help them MOVE! ACT! CARE! FOLLOW! and SHARE! The Hemphill First United Methodist Church Vacation Bible School will be held Monday, June 15 through Friday, June 19. Mark your calendars. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children in Hemphill to share in VBS.

At G-Force VBS, children will discover an inter-active, energizing, Bible-based program that will give them an opportunity to experience God’s love in action. During G-Force Vacation Bible School, children will become navigators and explore how to serve God and others with active love.

Each day the children will participate in making their own art projects, singing new music, exploring science activities, taking part in recreational activities and enjoying tasty snacks. Bible stories will reveal five Action Words for following God’s plan  for their lives. Along the way, they will hear about a mission project that will move them in their faith while having fun.

So LET’S GO!! Join us at Hemphill First United Methodist Church June 15 through June 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon; children ages 3 years through students entering grade six. To register or to find out more about G-Force: God’s Love in Action, call the church office at 409-787-2183.