Praying for the Commission on a Way Forward:
The Upper Room: A Prayer Community for the United Methodist Church began a prayer movement in response to the Council of Bishop’s Commission on a Way Forward. http://umcprays.org/ Just a reminder of the work of this commission: “The Commission on a Way Forward” was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and to explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church. http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/commission-on-a-way-forward The commission is representative of the United Methodist Church in a variety of ways including theological. The commission is beginning to sketch options for the way forward. http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/commission-starts-to-sketch-options-for-the-way-forward When you read the previous link to the article, you will catch a glimpse of the arduous process of this group as they seek unity in the midst of differences on behalf of the church. When we read Jesus’ prayer in John 17, we see Jesus’ prayer for unity. When we read the epistles of the Apostle Paul, we read letters written to churches whose groups do not agree around significant issues of faith and truth and yet, Paul writes that we must make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, (Ephesians 4:3).
This week the Indiana United Methodist Church as a whole is invited to pray fervently for this commission and for the United Methodist Church. I write to personally invite you to pray this week and every week. Let us pray to God for:
· God’s wisdom and leadership.
· The hearts of this commission and church to yield to the leadership of God’s Spirit.
· A process that speaks as a witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ to all watching.
· Unity of the Spirit: Division, while a regular part of our history, is not a biblical witness.
Spiritual Practices of Faith:
Worshipping, Serving, Giving, Sharing (the faith), and Growing (in faith) are intentional practices which help us grow in relationship with Christ and help us become more of who we are created to be. Practice is what we teach our children if they want to take a next step in any area of their life such as sports, academics, conflict resolution, and more. The same is true of our spiritual life. Giving to the work of Christ through the church is a practice in generosity…a practice in prioritizing Christ’s work... and a practice in gratitude to God for all that we have.
When you fill out a giving commitment card, you are making a beautiful commitment to God. Yours is an ongoing commitment of faith. If you haven’t yet filled out a giving commitment card this year, you may find them on the welcome desk at church, or you may email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also give electronically, http://www.oldbethel.org/online-giving. You are invited to take this next step of faith with Christ, and as you do may you know the deep blessing of faithfulness and generosity.
Sunday, October 29, 3-5:00pm, join in the fun of Trunk-or-Treat, a safe and fun alternative to trick-or-treating. Congregation members are invited to decorate the trunks or hatches of their vehicles and pass out items (candy, stickers, bouncy balls, etc.) to our neighborhood children; donate a home-baked item for the cake walk; and/or serve at the Welcome tent to greet our community neighbors. The whole community is invited to trick-or-treat, enjoy s’mores and engage in other activities for families in the grove (weather permitting)! To serve, contact Pastor Suzanne at email@example.com.
Get a head start on your holiday shopping as you support local, national and global missions by visiting the annual United Methodist Women’s Holiday Bazaar Saturday, November 4, 9am-3pm. Come shop the many handcrafted items and gourmet foods, including delicious cheeseballs and noodles. A light breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase. NEW THIS YEAR: credit cards will be accepted and vendors, including the Old Bethel Preschool Scholastic Book Fair, will line the lobby.
Serving Christ Together,