Work that Matters
Last week at Wednesday at the Port, our kids in the Little Fishermen elementary class did an awesome job and earned a trip to our Treasure Box. Inside the box were stickers, fun pencils and pens, toy cars, bouncy balls, and a new item. This past week, we added a handful of electric toothbrushes leftover from the Vacation Bible School kickoff party supplies. When they saw these laying in the box, the eyes of several kids lit up and they quickly took their prize and headed on their way home.
One of our kids who rides the bus was headed down the hall when my wife saw their new toothbrush and said, "Wow! You are going to have fun brushing your teeth tonight!" The child said, "No, I can't brush my teeth. I don't have any toothpaste." "You can brush your teeth with just water, and it will still do some good," she encouraged. "No, you can't," he replied. About this time, another child came along and entered the debate, "Yes, you can."
This short incident tells me a couple of things. First of all, there are so many things that I take for granted while others are in need. We made the decision to put these toothbrushes in the Treasure Box because they were leftovers from the supplies we had for a VBS craft that we no longer have a need for, and yet it was a great treasure for those who received them. How often do we live like that - not even recognizing the value and blessing of what we have? Secondly, the work we are doing with these kids each is important - and urgent! Sometimes, it feels like we are making little difference through our efforts and that we are just making it through each week's meal and lesson. But if we are giving something as a simple as a toothbrush to a child in need, that is an important way to show God's love. And you better believe we will have some fun toothpaste in the Treasure Box this week!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
Come and See!: Know Your Story, Grow Your Story (Isaiah 43:8-13, Galatians 1:11-24)
When we talk about evangelism as sharing the good news, one of the words that comes up is "witness." The prophet Isaiah tells us that God has called us to be witnesses to what God has done and who God is. To appreciate what this means, it is helpful think for a moment about what it means to be a witness in a general sense and not only in a faith sense. To witness something is to see, hear, or otherwise experience some event of importance. To be a witness is to then report on what you have experienced in that event in some detail. While this report is certainly from our own perspective, acting as a witness means that we stick to the facts and leave aside speculation or opinion about what happened. To witness to our faith then would mean that we talk about what we have seen God do and how that has impacted our lives. There is, however, also the idea of being a witness not just to what someone does but to the kind of person they are - a character witness. We are called to do this as well, and this is where our opinion and interpretation of events come more into play. Isaiah encourages us to be character witnesses for God as well, declaring that God is the one and only savior. Yet, even to be a character witness means talking about the reasons we believe what we do. We can say someone is a good person, but we need examples of their behavior that leads us to believe that. The Apostle Paul talked a lot about who God is - often in deeply theological language and abstract ways. Yet even he tells his personal story of how God redeemed his own life as he witnesses to the Galatians about how he knows who God is. Paul did not learn about God only from the statements of the ones who knew and followed Jesus but because of how God worked in his life. If we are to be witnesses for God - even witnesses to who God is - it is not enough to simply quote what Scripture tells us about God or what we have learned in Sunday School. To be ready to share the good news, you first need to know your story of how God has changed your life! This may be the story of how you came to believe in God (a conversion story), or perhaps it is the story of how God saved you in a time of need. Maybe it is the story of God's call for you to take a new direction in life. Whatever it is, it is the story that God has given to you alone to tell. What is the story God has given you to be a witness to?
Living in Community
If you are interested in our book study on "Love Does" starting in Sunday School on November 5th,
pick up a copy this Sunday and start reading a story a day.
We will discuss the first seven chapters on 11/5.
If you have a request for our 2018 budget and did not receive a budget request form,
please let Pastor Jim know.
This week, we are having a hymn sing in worship.
Come ready to sing and to share about your favorite songs!
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, October 25
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
6:00 pm - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, October 26
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, October 29
9:30 am - Worship - "Come and See: Sing Your Story" Hymn Sing!
11:00 am - Sunday School
6:30 - 8:00 pm - Financial Peace University Class
Harvest Table for the Food Pantry – November 5th thru November 26th
Operation Christmas Child Packing Party - November 12th
Charge Conference - November 29th
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!