Praying for a Way Forward
As I mentioned in worship on Sunday, this has been designated as a week of prayer for our conference. We at Port Church along with our brothers and sisters across the state are invited to pray for our United Methodist churches and leaders across the world in a season of division and uncertainty. Please read the following note from our bishop:
On April 2-8, the Virginia Conference will participate in a week of intentional prayer for the mission of The United Methodist Church and for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward which began meeting in January. This week of Praying Our Way Forward is an initiative of the Council of Bishops as a part of their larger commitment to lead the church in every part of the world in times of worship, study, discernment, confession and prayer for God’s guidance.
Each annual conference in The United Methodist Church will participate in this prayer ministry which was launched on January 1 in the North Carolina Conference and will conclude in the West Angola Episcopal area in June 2018. Churches in each of the 16 districts of the Virginia Conference will be invited to participate in focused times of prayer by their district superintendents. In addition to participating in each conference’s designated week of prayer, individuals are invited to join the initiative beyond the week of April 2-8 by praying daily and fasting weekly for the church, mission and future.
Resources for both congregational and individual participation in Praying Our Way Forward may be found at http://umcprays.org. In addition, Virginia Conference prayer resources may be found at www.vaumc.org/PrayForward
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
Living in a Mess
As we continue our look at how sin affected the family of Adam and Eve, we come to the end of their story and how God helped piece their family back together.
Sunday's Sermon Snippet: Living in a Mess (Genesis 4:25-26)
Adam and Eve had sinned and were banished from the Garden of Eden out into a harsh world. Their son Abel was murdered at his brother's hands, and Cain was made to wander the earth far from his family for his punishment. This family - indeed their whole world - was shattered by sin. To this family, God gave another son - Seth. While we know very little about him, these two short verses about his life tell us about what God was up to in the midst of this messy situation. First, we know his family - a family that is messy. Imagine the burden that fell on this child even from his birth. His parents long for the paradise that they lost through their sin. His older brother was dead, and his parents looked to him to fill the void that was left. His oldest brother was the perpetrator and cast out far away - a shameful individual no one spoke of in polite company. It is too much for one person to bear, yet this is the mess Seth is born into. In fact, Eve says that he was appointed to their family; his name actually means "appointed." Eve sees that he was sent by God to their family for a purpose - to replace Abel. How many of us have found ourselves "appointed" to a mess not of our choosing or our own making? We take a new job and realize how messy it is only once we get there. A family member falls into addiction, and we are called upon to fix it. It may not be fair, but it does not change the reality that people are looking to us to clean up the mess that we did not make. So what becomes of this new son Seth? He grows up and has a son named Enosh, a name that means "humanity." In this, Seth's true purpose is revealed. He is a fresh start for this broken family. He is a new father for all of humanity. He does not replace Abel as much as the violent Cain. In Seth, God gives humanity a new start and a future. Seth was appointed to this mess of a family to begin God's work of redemption. When we find ourselves living in a mess, it may be that we are a part of God's plan for redemption.
Living in Community
There are still a lot of opportunities to be a part of VBS 2017 Maker Fun Factory!
See Dinah to find out what's open.
Condolences to Mark and his family on the passing of his father.
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, March 28
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, March 30
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, April 2
9:30 am - Palm Sunday Worship - "From Garden to Garden: Planting a New Crop"
11:00 am - Sunday School
5:30 pm - Financial Peace University
April 13, 7 pm - Maundy Thursday Service
April 14, 7 & 7:30 pm - Good Friday Prayer Walk & Worship Service
April 16, 6:45 am - Easter Sunrise Service
April 23 - Youth Sunday
June 26-30 - Vacation Bible School
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!