Living in Uncertain Times
In these recent days, fear and anxiety have been in abundance. Much of it stems from the uncertainty we face together as to what the future holds. How will things change if so-and-so is elected as president? What will happen if our denomination makes a decision on such-and-such issue this year? We don't know what will happen or what the consequences will be, and - for the most part - those things that could have such an impact on our lives together are out of our hands as individuals. Feeling powerless and uncertain, it's hard not to live in fear and to be angry at others, especially those who are in the place to do something. Yet, as children of the God of heaven and earth, we know who holds the future. No matter the results of these issues that cause great anxiety among us, we know that God can and will work through it all in faithfulness to us. No matter what may happen, God will still be with us, and God will continue to call us to be faithful and true to our calling - to feed and teach the children of our community, to worship and pray together, to embrace and encourage the lonely and ill, to be family to one another, and to put on the best Vacation Bible School that this community has ever seen - all through the power of the Spirit! Come what may, God will always be with us, and we can choose to serve God as we have.
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Tongues of Fire
his week, we kicked off our worship series "Tongues of Fire" - an exploration of how we as God's people are called to talk with one another.
Sunday's Sermon Snippet:
Learning to Talk (Acts 2:1-21)
What is the miracle of that day of Pentecost when the disciples first received the power of the Holy Spirit? The sound of violent wind, the appearance of tongues of fire resting upon them, the speaking of foreign languages? I wonder if the great miracle of that day is not that the disciples could speak of God to so many in their native tongues but that anyone heard them at all. There were among the crowd those that saw and heard these signs and wonders, and yet their response was to mock that which they did not understand. "They have had too much wine." In today's world, we far too often find reactions like those of the mockers. If I disagree with you or do not understand you, I attack you and dismiss you as something less than faithful, than good, than Christian, than human. We see it in national politics as folks across the political spectrum insult one another based on who they support, even within the same party. We see it in our churches as we refuse to trust the faithful intentions of those with whom we disagree and assume they are up to no good. We see it in our daily lives every time we deride people with whom we disagree as being inherently bad instead of simply seeing what they have done as bad from our point of view. We need a a new Pentecost to help us to hear each other plain through God's spirit so that we can see each other as the miracles we are - children created by God and redeemed through the love of Jesus Christ by the power of the very Holy Spirit that binds us together even when we are opposed. That is the miracle we refuse to see when we mock others and say, "They have had too much wine." Peter stood up to defend the disciples gathered there that day but not with vengeful attacks. He simply preached the good news of Jesus as he knew, and thousands came to know him. How might we serve this world if we let the Spirit work in, through, and around us! May today be a new Pentecost for us!
Please remember to return your booklet from our On-the-Job Training worship series. Your answers - especially to those about spiritual gifts, skills, and where you feel God leading you and our congregation - will help us to discern God's calling individually and together. Additional copies are available in the vestibule. Please return to Pastor Jim as soon as you can.
Living in Community
Please pray for all of our VBS leaders and teachers who will be preparing over this next month to welcome and share the love and gospel of Jesus Christ with the children of our community!
Please continue to pray for the bishops and delegates meeting at our denomination's General Conference in Portland this week.
Verse of the week: How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity! - Psalm 133:1
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, May 18
9:30 am - 2:00 pm - Office Hours
Thursday, May 19
9:30 am - 12:00 noon - Office Hours
10 am - Sunshine Seniors
Sunday, May 22
9:30 am - Worship Service: "Tongues of Fire: Taming the Tongue"
11:00 am - Sunday School
12:30 pm - VBS Training at 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!