Move your clocks forward THIS SUNDAY for Daylight Savings Time!
Last Sunday was an interesting day with more than expected snow amounts forcing many to stay away. It takes a monumental snow to get me to cancel worship so we plunged ahead and ended up with about 25% of our usual attendance at both services but we had a great time in spite of the crowd. I want to thank the choir and band for showing up in strong numbers. They provided inspiring music and the more intimate setting made all who came feel a unique presence from God. Each service had a new person in attendance which made me glad that we held worship.
Our Reynosa Team has returned from their week in Mexico. It was a challenging trip, as most members passed around a bug that impacted their enjoyment of the week. In spite of that challenge, they were pleased with their accomplishments. In addition to the house built in honor of Jennifer Downing, a new shop was built that will be used to train people in wood working skills. A second mural was painted at the church compound and I understand the team was successful in its mission to make momma smile. The mother of the household the home was built for seemed to wear a frown in all the pictures we had seen before the trip. We will share pictures of their work during worship on March 22. Would the person who donated the Dell computer for the Reynosa trip please call Ben Life at 250-1077? Thank you!
Tuesday in staff we learned that June Hannah launches a new bell-ringing group this week with rehearsals on Thursdays. This is a beginners group so if anyone would like to give this ministry a try please email June at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also learned that our insurance company has given us the approval to repair our 21st Street marquee sign damaged in a car accident a few months ago.
Wednesday Pastor Matthew and I met with the Julian Center and Jamalyn Peigh-Williamson of St. Luke’s UMC to work on our strategy to develop a Circle/Bridges ministry which will assist people who wish to move out of poverty. We hope to launch this effort in 2016 but we learned there are some beginning steps we can take to move in that direction now. The most significant would be offering a 16-week Getting Ahead workshop for selected families who receive financial incentives for attending the training. Some of these families could become a core group that joins with Old Bethel allies to develop this life-changing community. We may also want to send Pastor Matthew for training so he can lead the Bridges Out of Poverty and/or the Getting Ahead workshops which provide critical understandings to our allies and to people who work in other ministries like the food pantry. We will also be scheduling a Poverty Simulation exercise at Old Bethel in the fall to sensitize our congregation to the challenges people face.
This Sunday we will speak once again of our Camp Scholarship Fund Raising effort. We wish to send 15 children to camp by paying ½ of their camp registration. This means raising $3,450. Camp is a life-changing experience, which is critical if we wish to offer Christ to the next generation.
In worship we will take a look at the book of Hebrews. Next to Revelation this may be one of the hardest books in the New Testament to grasp. I think I will provide some keys to unlocking the message written by this unknown author, a message that is encouraging to those who may be having difficulty maintaining their faith. In preparation, read Hebrews 10:19-25, and again, don’t forget to spring forward this Sunday.
See you Sunday,