An Offering to God
This week, we have held our yearly charge conference. Charge conference is our annual planning meeting in which we report to the district superintendent or someone else from the district about what we have done over the course of the past year and what plans we have made for the upcoming year. To prepare, we draft our new budget, make nominations for leadership, and fill out forms related to many of our areas of ministry. In fact, we collect reports written by dozens of your leaders and compile them into a large folder. It would be easy to look at all of this as busywork or wasteful administrative tasks. I know there have been times I have take this cynical view of the this annual ritual of paperwork and stress. After all, I have never known of anyone to come to faith in Jesus as a result of filling out paperwork.
Yet over the years I have come to see all this paperwork and preparation for charge conference in different light: as an offering to God. Each report we submit, however tedious it may be to draft, represents ministry that we have done or plan to do in the name of Jesus Christ. Each piece of paper we submit represents the hard work of our leaders and volunteers alike. The budget represents a vision for ministry to come and the nominations list represents people committing themselves to serve God through various roles in the church. Taken all together, our preparation for charge conference is an offering to God of what we have done and what we dream of doing for God.
With that in mind, I want to share a few of the things that we have offered to God this past year. We have witnessed eight youth commit their lives to Christ and welcomed eight more adults and three children into our covenant. We have said farewell to two faithful sisters and entrusted them into God's heavenly care. We have purchased a new bus to continue our ministry to the children of this community. We have blessed almost forty prayer shawls and prayed for the healing and comfort of our friends and family. We have restored one of our beautiful stained glass windows and have developed a plan to restore and/or care for all of our other windows over the course of the next ten years or so. We have renewed our children's church to help them grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Bible. This is but a small number of the things we have offered to God, some of the things that do not stand out as much as some of larger programs and yet are equally important.
Thanks be to God for the opportunity to offer these ministries for building of the kingdom of heaven in our midst!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Worship This Week
The next two weeks will bring many opportunities in worship for us to give thanks to God for our many blessings. This Sunday, we will dedicate the offering of our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes and will hopefully reach our goal of 225. We will also hear from children and youth who have been preparing a special song for just this occasion. Also for our music, Keith Robinson and his friends Randy and Janis along with David Holsinger will be leading our praise team with a special set of songs.
Next Sunday, November 22, our worship will center on our favorite Scriptures. Bring your favorite Scripture to share as we give thanks for the transforming power of the Word of God.
Join us these next two weeks as we give thanks to the Lord for all that is good!
Go Big or Go Home
Sermon Snippet: Go Big or Go Home (Matthew 9:35-10:1)
Often in our faith lives we are willing to settle for the bare minimum or just good enough to get by. We pray a little, worship a little, give a little, serve a little. We are satisfied with small thinking about how we live our lives. Yet the world around us is facing not small issues but truly big problems: children going hungry, women being abused, the senseless violence of war, children shuffled from one foster home to the next, water supplies being poisoned by greed, illness, loneliness, hopelessness, hunger, poverty, homelessness, despair - the list is seemingly endless. We continue with our small thinking in the face of big problems because we are afraid to try harder: afraid of failing at something that really matters that we have given our hearts and souls to, afraid of being left exhausted and having nothing to show for it, afraid of being alone in bearing the huge burdens of this world. So we stick with small thinking, but deep down we know that God wants more. God wants us to give it our all in the face of these challenges - because it truly matters. God wants us to go big or go home. Jesus saw the problems of his day and looked with compassion on those who suffered. He told his disciples that the harvest was plentiful - the problems of this world are an opportunity for there to be a harvest of hope for the future, faith that we are not alone, and being loved. The harvest is plentiful because of the many problems in our world, but the laborers are few because there are few who are willing to give their all and go big. The harvest is plentiful: will we go big or go home?
This Week's Challenge
Where is God calling you to go big in your life today? Where does God need you to enter the harvest fully and willing to risk failure?
Christmas Baskets for Food Pantry
Part of the outreach of the Food Pantry is to distribute Christmas Baskets to their clients during the month of December. This year PRUMC will have 4 baskets set up at various locations in the church and the goal is to fill those 4 baskets with a variety of things. Christmas baskets are not limited to only food – gloves, hats, scarves, games, gift cards, books, soft toilet tissue…whatever you would like to donate. The baskets will be set-up starting Sunday, November 15th, and the deadline to have all baskets filled is Sunday, December 13th. See Davida for more details.
The Widow's Mite: Small Ways of Helping
Just as Jesus commended the widow who gave two small copper coins, even the smallest of our gifts for God's work in our community are pleasing to God when we offer what we have to give. In addition to our tithes and offerings in worship, there are many opportunities to give in small ways to promote God's work. One such small way is to donate empty printer cartridges - inkjet or laser - so that we can recycle them. In doing so, the church can get a small bit of money to offset the administrative costs of the office, thus freeing more resources for God's mission in the world. You can make a small offering by bringing your empty cartridges to the church office during office hours or on Sunday morning. Thank you for your support!
Living in Community
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, November 11
9:30 am - 2 pm - Office Hours
6 pm - Wednesday at the Port - Honoring Veterans
Thursday, November 12
9:30 am - 12 pm - Office Hours
10:30 am - Prayer Time
Sunday, November 15
9:30 am - Worship: "Drawn to Our Weakness"
Dedication of Christmas Shoeboxes
Children's Choir Singing
11 am - Sunday School
2:30 pm - District Conference and Training at Bridgewater UMC
6 pm MORE Worship at Mountain View Fellowship in McGaheysville
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!