Passing the Test
There is only about a month left in this school year, so we have hit the time of the year dominated by yearly. It is a stressful time both for teachers and for students as they try to show how much they have learned. With important consequences resting on the test results, it's no wonder that so many folks at our schools are stressed out and worried this time of year. Please keep them all in your prayers over the next few weeks that they may have a peace about all they do.
Even with the importance of these tests, we know that there is a far more important test that our kids will face - the test we all face everyday. Each day as we awake, we must make a decision whether we will try to live faithfully. Will we seek God's will in all that we do? Will we show mercy and forgiveness to those who threaten or harm us? Will we be generous to those in need? Will we love God with all that is within us and our neighbors as Jesus has loved us? This is the test that will matter far more when all is said and done, and it is one that we try to pass each and every day. It is my prayer for our kids that they learn to pass the test of faithfulness even as they strive to pass their tests at school. It is my prayer for our teachers that, despite the pressures they are under, they may help their students not only to know what they need to but also to succeed at life.
Grace and peace be with our kids and teachers - and with everyone who faces the test of life - today!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Tongues of Fire
Have you ever talked with a friend and, as the conversation went on, you felt that might as well have been speaking different languages? You had thought you knew them well, but, hearing how different some of their beliefs on things were from what you expected, you simply couldn't understand where they were coming from. Day by day, we are facing tough issues in national and church life that are continuously dividing us and making it harder for us to understand each other. Join us this Sunday for our new worship series "Tongues of Fire" as we explore how the Spirit can help us in "Learning to Talk" again.
This past week, we finished up our series "On-the-Job Training" by discovering the greatest way that God prepares us for the good works we are called to do.
Sunday's Sermon Snippet: Loved by God
(1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13)
God has prepared amazing things for us to do in the name of Jesus Christ, and God has given us Scripture, spiritual gifts, and skills so that we will be ready to do them. Yet there is still something more important than any (or all) of these. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who had been squabbling over who was more favored by God based on what spiritual gifts they had received, to show them what was truly important. What does it matter, he asked them, if you can speak in tongues, do wondrous miracles, or give away all you have but do not have love? While we don't tend to fight as the Corinthians did, we at times put too much stock into knowledge, spiritual gifts, and skills. When God needs a task done, we often protest that we are not qualified to do that good work. We are not as knowledgeable as other, someone else has better gifts than we, we are not as skilled as we need to be. While these things are certainly important, Paul claims that it is love, rather, that determines how qualified we are. Even the best knowledge, gifts, and skills are incomplete, but love from God is infinite and unbounded and can overcome any barrier. God doesn't care who has the most knowledge, gifts, or skills for a task; God cares who is willing to show the most love.
General Conference, the once-every-four-years meeting of delegates of The United Methodist Church from across the world, has convened in Portland this week. Over the next two weeks, the conference will address a number of issues important to our life together, how we do ministry, and where we are headed as God's people. You can follow news from the conference online here.
Living in Community
Prayers of Christian sympathy for Jane and her family
on the passing of her step-brother Nicky.
Prayers of Christian sympathy for Jennifer, Lesa, and their family
on the loss of their step-father Bob.
Pray for our General Conference meeting in Portland these next two weeks.
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, May 11
9:30 am - 2:00 pm - Office Hours
Thursday, May 12
9:30 am - 12:00 noon - Office Hours
6:30 pm - Trustees Meeting
Sunday, May 15
9:30 am - Worship Service: "Tongues of Fire: Learning to Talk"
11:00 am - Sunday School
VBS Training - May 22, 12:30 pm, South River Elementary
Praise in the Park with Confirmation and Graduate Recognition - June 5, 10 am
Vacation Bible School - June 27-July 1
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!