Changing Lives through Table Manners
In one week, on January 24th, we will kick off our winter session of Wednesday at the Port! We have great meals planned and hope you will join us. We have been hard at work on our lesson plans for the Little Fishermen - our class for the elementary age kids. In addition to our Bible lessons each week, we are going to focus on basic life skills to help our kids to be successful now and in the future. We have lessons planned on setting the table, participating in worship, shaking hands, and sewing buttons on among other things.
One of the things we would like to reinforce with our kids throughout the session is table manners. With so many families no longer taking the time for a sit-down meal and kids missing out on the practice of good manners, we have a great opportunity on Wednesdays to equip these kids with a skill that will serve them well later in life. It may seem a trivial thing, but table manners can make a difference in life. It affects how we will be seen by others, especially others who have the power to offer scholarships, to hire, and to promote. We can help our kids develop the skill of good table manners the way all kids do - simply by sitting with them, modeling good manners ourselves, and offering correction and encouragement on their behavior - that is, by being a table parent. It's not all about keeping elbows off the table and chewing with your mouth closed, either. It's also about conversation and connection with the kids: "How was your day at school? How are things going? Tell me something good that happened today?" God has given us a great opportunity to connect with our kids at this meal, and we would negligent not to make the most of it.
I hope you will consider joining me as a table parent for one or more weeks during this session of Wednesday at the Port. Let me know by email or phone if you are interested!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
To the Horizon: Leaving the Harbor (Luke 5:1-11)
Following Jesus will lead us on an adventure like no other. What does this adventure look like then? We are going to explore the journey of his disciples who followed him, especially Simon Peter, to get at least a rough map of where we go when we follow Jesus.
Simon Peter's adventure with Jesus began on an ordinary day like any other. Simon had been out fishing all night, and the only thing remarkable that happened was that nothing happened. He had come home empty handed. Probably frustrated, disappointed, and exhausted, he set about cleaning his nets so they would be ready for his next trip out on the lake to fish. Jesus came along, got on his boat, and asked him to set out into the water a little way so he could address the crowd that had gathered to hear his teaching. Simon could have protested but did not. After Jesus taught for a while, he told Simon to head out further and let the nets down. Simon protests a little explaining his lack of the luck the night before but obeys. He is rewarded with the greatest catch of his life - one worthy of a big fish story if ever there were one. Awestruck and fearful, Simon turns to Jesus, who invites him to follow him and fish for people. Simon and his partners James and John left everything and followed Jesus. Imagine that - they walked away from their fishing careers on the singlemost successful day of their lives!
Simon's journey of following Jesus would wind up having him become the leader of his disciples, establishing him as the foundation of the church, and leading him from the backwaters of Galilee to Rome - the center of the known world. All of that began there on his boat. There is a familiar, ancient Chinese proverb: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This is true for Simon. His remarkable journey did not happen all at once - it began with the first step to take Jesus out on his boat. It began with his taking the next faithful step in his journey - with his making a radical decision to obey Jesus and follow along for a little way. This is where the battle of faith is won or lost - not in whether we will follow Jesus for the long journey but in our simple decision whether to take the next faithful step.
We follow Jesus by taking the next faithful step out into the world. We have to decide every morning whether we will follow Jesus on the next step, whether we will go on the mission trip Jesus has planned for that one day. What is the next faithful step in our journey with Jesus? What is holding us back from taking that step?
Living in Community
Thank you, Davida, Meg, and Liz, for helping to serve communion in worship!
Thank you to everyone who helped set up and take down
our Advent and Christmas decorations this year!
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, January 17
Office Hours cancelled
Working with At-Risk Children Workshop to be rescheduled
Thursday, January 18
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
7:00 pm - Trustees Meeting
Friday, January 19
6:00 pm - Paint Night
Sunday, January 21
9:30 am - Worship: "To the Horizon: Navigating the Way"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Monday, January 22
9:30 am - Bible Study at Dianna's house
Tuesday, January 23
7:00 pm - Bible Study at Dianna's house
Wednesday at the Port resumes January 24th
Game Night - January 28th, 7 pm
Vacation Bible School Meeting - February 4, 12 pm
225th Anniversary Planning Meeting - February 11, 12 pm
VBS tentatively scheduled for June 25-29
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!