On Sunday, Dinah shared with us about a practice she picked up from a friend that has been fruitful for her over the past year. The idea is to choose one word to focus on in our lives of faith. While there are certainly many things we might consider improving in our relationship with God, this one word represents the thing we most hope that God will do in us. Is it learning to "trust" in God and others? Is it finding "joy" in everything? Is it looking for "hope" in the hardest of days? Is it finding the "focus" to become the person God wants us to be? This word becomes a theme for the year to help us grow deeper in our faith and closer to God. When we face whatever the new year may bring, we keep our word in our mind, heart, and soul to help us see our lives differently than we would otherwise and move past obstacles that might have stood in way in years past.
Last night, Dinah led the youth group in a lesson to help them each discover their one word for the year. When I went to pick up our oldest, the youth put me on the spot, too. I had anticipated that they might and had given it some thought. The word that resonated the most for me was "path." While I shared with them that I have not yet settled on it, I am feeling a certain draw to this word. For me, it means seeking God's path for me (and for our church) when there are so many good possible paths out there.
What word might you choose for your new year? What word might you choose for our congregation or community as a whole to work on together? I would love to hear from you on your thoughts.
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Called: Paul's Journey into Ministry
Over the next few weeks, we will explore how God calls us to join the work of Jesus in the world as we learn more about the Apostle Paul's journey into ministry.
Sunday's Sermon Snippet: Whom Does God Call?
Acts 21:39, 22:3; Philippians 3:5-6; Galatians 1:14-16
What kind of person does God call to do the work of Jesus? Many of the examples we might lift up are folks who have become famous for their work - not folks like us. Sometimes, we figure we are not good enough, smart enough, faithful enough, ready enough to be the kind of folks that God would call to any work that matters, but to think this way misses the point of the folks that God has called. Most of them were ordinary folks before they were called. If we look at the Apostle Paul - a man who would become the greatest missionary and write almost half of the books of the New Testament - we find his story told in his own words reveal whom and how God calls. In a few passages, Paul talks about his background and early life. He was born in Tarsus - a free city that had become a center of Greek thought. He was likely educated in the schools there, giving him the ability to reach out to Gentiles using their own language and ways of thinking. He was citizen - not many people were - which accorded him special rights including the right to appeal any charges against him to the emperor, something he would do in the course of his ministry. He was a faithful follower of God according to the law and studied under Gamaliel, one of the greatest rabbis of his generation. All these different pieces came together to make Paul the ideal person to carry the gospel of Jesus into the world of the Gentiles. Paul recognizes this as he says that God set him apart before his birth and through grace called him to this work before he even knew Jesus. That is the way God works - creating pieces of our lives and putting them together in just the right way to equip us for the work God has intended for us. We are all called to a specific work and God has shaped our lives to prepare us for that work. What are the pieces of your life that prepare you to work for God? How is God putting them together to reveal the work you are called to do?
Game Night: Progressives Hearts Dice Game
Join us on Sunday, January 29, at 7 pm for a game night! We will be playing a party game for all ages called Progressive Hearts. It is fun and easy for all ages - if you can roll six dice, you can play! Prizes will be awarded and snacks will be provided. Please let Pastor Jim know if you are interested in coming, so that we can plan ahead.
With winter weather upon us and sure to bring us more snow before spring returns, we want to touch base with everyone regarding our closing policy. We will make every effort to hold worship if Pastor Jim can safely make it to church and we are able to clear the parking lot sufficiently. We will send out an email update to let you know if we have any concerns about the roads in and around the village or our parking lot. We ask that you use your best judgment to keep your family safe. If you do not feel safe coming, we will understand. If you are one of our volunteers for the week and do not feel that you can make it under the weather circumstances, please contact Pastor Jim to let him know. We will make sure things are covered. Check email, our Facebook page, or WHSV for updates. For Wednesday at the Port, we cancel if the Rockingham school system cancels or releases early due to weather concerns.
Living in Community
Volunteers are needed for Wednesday at the Port.
Please see Sue Good if you are available to help one week!
Deadline for Stories about Jesus extended due to winter weather this past Sunday.
Thank you, Keith and Brad, for clearing our parking lot and sidewalks of snow
and keeping us all safe Sunday morning!
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, January 10
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
7:00 pm - Administrative Council Meeting
Thursday, January 12
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, January 15
9:30 am - Worship with Communion
"Called: Our Way or God's Way"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Mondays at 9:30 and Tuesdays at 7 pm starting January 23
Four-week Bible Study on Parables - See Dianna for more details!
Wednesday, January 25
Wednesday at the Port resumes!
Sunday, January 29
Join us for Progressive Hearts - an easy dice party game for all ages! Prizes and snacks!
Let Pastor Jim know if you are interested in coming.
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!