A Window into Time
Last week, Mr. Bill shared this picture of our church taken by his grandmother with me. It was taken on July 23, 1916 - the Sunday that our current sanctuary was dedicated. In some ways, of course, little has changed. The church today looks much the same. Looking carefully, though, a few differences become obvious. The biggest is that there is only one stained glass window - the large central one. The others are ornate but regular windows. The picture windows we enjoy now were installed about thirty years later. The stained glass window seen in this picture - now a 101 years old - is the one we just restored and that was just reinstalled last week. If you haven't seen it yet, you owe it to yourself to make a special trip out this Sunday morning to do so.
Seeing this picture makes me wonder what folks 101 years from now will see in the pictures we take today. What changes will happen in the next century? What will be the same? What will they think of the foundation we lay today for their future? One thing is certain: whatever may happen between now and then, whatever changes and whatever remains the same, God will be leading us and our children and grandchildren faithfully through it. The question is whether we will remain faithful in our following along the way. May those who come after us find us to have been faithful in our discipleship, stewardship, and vision!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
A Life-Changing Gift: A Worthy Cause (2 Corinthians 8:16-24)
The opportunity to give is a life-changing gift from God - because it gives meaning to our lives as we build a lasting legacy, and because giving is an essential part of what it means to be a human made in God's image. When we give, whether it is hurricane relief today or the collection Paul was gathering for the poor in Jerusalem almost 2000 years ago, we want to give to something that will really make a difference in someone else's life. Being able to give in such an opportunity is truly a gift to us. Sometimes it is hard to see it that way because opportunities to give not only abound but overwhelm us on a daily basis. Whether it is appeal in the mail or on TV, the chance to add a dollar at the checkout counter, or fundraisers that our children bring home from school or their clubs, we have more opportunities to give than we can possibly do. So how do we choose what to give to? We want to know who is doing the most good, the kind of good we care about, the kind of good God cares about, an urgent good that cannot wait. We want a truly worthy cause to give to. The Corinthians two millennia ago were no different. Some of Paul's rivals had sown seeds of doubt about the collection for the Jerusalem poor so he addresses this concern. He tells the Corinthians that Titus, whom they respected, was in support of it and would be coming along with others chosen by the churches to oversee the contributions they had to give. "Is this collection the best way to participate in God's work?" the Corinthians seemed to have asked Paul. His answer is a resounding "Yes!" We might ask the same question of our giving to the church today. I once heard the story of a pastor and stewardship consultant who paid a visit to a lady they hoped would lead a financial campaign for the church. As they talked with her, she expressed her concern over the work (or lack thereof) that their church was doing, especially compared to other organizations. She asked her pastor this question, saying that if he did not believe that the church was the best place for her to give she could not lead the campaign with integrity. The pastor was shocked and had no answer for her. I feel sorry for that pastor and church member because I have been there, leading a church whose work made me question the wisdom of my own giving. That is one reason I am so thankful for the opportunity to give here at Port Church - a people that, as Paul puts it, "shows the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you." We envision a community where all children are safe, well-fed, nurtured, and love unconditionally, AND we are working hard to make that vision more of a reality every day! This is an important work, one I care about, one God cares about, and one that is definitely urgent. The lives of children and families hang in the balance. Thanks be to God for the opportunity we have to give to such a worthy cause!
Wednesday at the Port Is Back!
Come out this Wednesday for some good home-cooking whipped up by some of the best cooks in Rockingham County! This week's menu includes meat loaf and mashed potatoes. Classes for children and youth will follow. If you have not signed up to help serve or clean one week, please talk with Sue. There is no cost to the meal, but a donation of $5 or more will help cover the cost of your meal and help provide for the meals of hungry children and families in our community. Invite your friends and neighbors, and plan on joining us at 6 pm this Wednesday for Food, Friends, and Faith!
You Can Have Financial Peace
What if you could always buy what you need interest-free? What if you could actually keep a percentage of your paycheck? Guess what? You CAN! With Dave Ramsey’s class Financial Peace University, you CAN take control of your money. If you’re interested in learning more about the class, message Pastor Jim right now—because we’re offering it at Port Church just for you on Sundays starting September 17, 6:00-8:30 pm. Our class is open to anyone so pass along this invitation to your friends and family!
Living in Community
Thanks to everyone who contributed for the window restoration project!
Please pray for our cooks and teachers at Wednesday at the Port.
May God make this our best season yet!
Please pray for everyone affected by the recent hurricanes.
This Week at Port Church
Monday, September 11
9:30 - 10:45 am - John Bible Study at Dianna's
Tuesday, September 12
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
7:00 - 8:15 pm - John Bible Study at Dianna's
Wednesday, September 13
6:00 pm - Wednesday at the Port
Menu includes Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes!
Cleaning Kit supplies due!
Thursday, September 14
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, September 17
9:30 am - Worship - "A Life-changing Gift: Prepared to Give"
11:00 am - Sunday School
6:30 - 8:00 pm - Financial Peace University Class
Chili Cookoff & Silent Auction in support of Youth Missions - October 14th!
Paint Night on Friday, September 22nd - Enjoy fellowship and fun painting a fall scene!
See Lee for more details. Cost of $25 is due by 9/13.
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!