|THE JOYFUL NOISE
Greetings to All!
One of my parishioners from a previous church, Mary, always sat in the same pew in the same spot every week. She loved sitting there because she could see and hear everything. She loved going to her church for the fellowship, the music, and the message. When the day came when she could not go back because of her arthritis, she really missed church and everybody missed her. Her spot on the pew remained empty as if to suggest she was coming.
I visited Mary many times and I filled her in on church activities. She always wanted to talk about church and when we did, she became animated and came to life. It occupied a special place in her heart. When I asked her what made it so special, she responded, “Well, everything. I just feel like God always speaks to me at church. The people are caring and the service is always wonderful. It’s like my spiritual home.”
In this world where there is so much turmoil and uncertainty, Mary found peace, safety and purpose at church. She could not have imagined her life without it. Many of us feel the same way. We find safety, peace and God’s love here in church. We can’t imagine life without it. It is our spiritual home.
Unfortunately many people feel exactly the opposite. They can’t imagine being at a church service. They can’t see all of the wonderful qualities that churches bring to our lives. In our highly secularized culture, it’s as if people have been inoculated from the Gospel message and church life.
There is much misunderstanding and misrepresentation of church in society and the media. For example, I was speaking with a friend the other day about social issues and somehow church came into focus. She made a comment, “Christians are so narrow-minded and judgmental.” I responded to her comments by saying, “That sounds pretty narrow-minded and judgmental to me.” She was blind to all of the good that churches do in serving community needs. I would argue that people of faith provide the stabilizing force in this crazy world. Church is the major civilizing force in this society. Beyond this, Christ offers us safety and security that the world around us cannot offer.
Mary loved her church because it was her spiritual home. It was a place of grace, love, mercy, and generosity. It brought her spirit to life and gave her a renewal for daily living and energy for reaching out to others. We understand her sentiment, because we share it.
Recently we gathered for a study and games here at Wheatland. There were seven of us for dinner, a devotional and Yahtzee. Kelvin & Kathy L., Ann C., Darlene B., WillaJean W., Irene J., and myself. We had a great time studying, talking and laughing. It was great to be with these people in fellowship.
Previously, on the first Sunday in January, Chugwater folks gathered for dinner and Bible Study. Twelve of us showed up for Lindy’s hamburger soup, bread and dessert. Yum! We had an energizing study and lots of fun sharing our faith and bringing the spirit to life. We plan on having both of these activities again this month and hope that you will join us. Information for each is here in the newsletter.
It is here, in church, that we share fellowship and relate to one another in a redemptive way. We offer one another support and friendship that the world cannot offer. Here too, we provide spiritual power for our community. Together we make the world around us a better place to live. So when you think about coming to church next time, remember how important it is for renewing your spiritual vitality. Remember how important your involvement is to the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember all of the benefits you gain from being a part of this Christian community. Then, invite someone you know to join you at a church function.
Peace and grace!
IN OUR THOUGHTS AND IN OUR PRAYERS:
WE LOVE VOLUNTEERS
**Please remember to write down any meetings, gatherings, etc. on the calendar in the Fellowship Hall
***EQUAL EXHANGE, FAIRLY TRADED COFFEE
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL
New Sunday School Activity Forming - Reading and Discussion Class
February 18th: Wheatland Sunday School @ 10:15 a.m. in Fellowship Hall
Pastor’s scheduled weeks off - Seventh Week Dates: Feb. 26-Mar. 4; April 16-22; June 4-11
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
The ladies of the UMW met on January 11, 2018, for our first lunch and meeting of 2018.
We also scheduled our annual clean-up of the church kitchen and storage rooms for March
The UMW decided to continue offering the free trade coffee for sale again this year.