A Hike in the Clouds
Recently we had a day with some free time, so we decided to make use of it to go on a hike in the mountains - something we enjoy but rarely have the time to do. Despite the fact that it was foggy in the Valley and cloudy at the top of the Ridge that morning, we chose to hike Humpback Rocks in hopes that it might clear up by the time we made the drive and hike. As we drove to the trailhead, it became obvious from the dense fog and clouds that our hopes were unlikely to come to pass. Despite knowing that we would not be able to enjoy the beautiful views of the Valley below that the vista is known for because of the clouds, we parked and began the steep climb. At the top, we came to the outcropping of rocks and were greeted with clouds blowing up the mountainside. We could see patches of forest to our left but other than that it was all wisps of clouds and fog. Still it was remarkable to see the tendrils of fog and clouds twirling in the wind and passing by so close. As we looped our way back down, passing through forest of trees surrounded by ferns and other underbrush, the haze hung close by limiting how far we could see up and down the mountainside. Through the fog, the beauty of towering trunks and unfurling fronds was amazing. We finished our hike and returned to the visitors center to prepare for the drive home. There, one of the rangers asked how the hike and had been and whether we had gotten any of the views of the Valley. When I replied with a "no," she apologized for the weather and hoped we would come back. Another hiker questioned whether to set out on the path if there were no views to be had. I protested that we had seen some beautiful sights even if we had not seen gotten the far-off views of the Valley; in fact, I wonder if we would have even noticed the beauty right there beside us if the fog had not limited our vision. How often do we miss the wonderful things that surround us everywhere because we keep looking for things in the distance? How often do we overlook the blessings we already have because we are worried about what is coming over the horizion?
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Thrive: Growing in Godly Living and Giving
This fall, we are reading Paul's closing words of wisdom in his First Letter to Timothy on how to live in a godly way that will transform our lives.
Sunday's Sermon Snippet:
What We Compete For (1 Timothy 6:11-17)
When we left off with Paul's advice to Timothy last week, he had warned against the dangers of making money and the things it buys the driving goal of our lives. As Paul continues, he urges Timothy to run away from such distractions and pitfalls. Instead, he encourages the young man to pursue the godly life and chase it down, to compete in the good fight of faith, and to grab hold and wrestle with the blessing of eternal life. Using these images of running a race, boxing in a fight, and wrestling in a match, Paul shows the struggle that is following Jesus. Being a disciple is not easy and requires the same kind of effort of an athlete competing to win. These images echo Paul's counsel to the Corinthians that they run the race in order to win the prize of eternal life. He encouraged them that winning takes self-discipline and keeping the goal in clear sight. For us, self-discipline comes in our spiritual disciplines of prayer, study, worship, giving, fasting, serving, and remaining accountable to one another. We share the goal of eternal life, but each of us should also keep in sight the goal of what God has called us specifically to do and the life we leave behind. Keeping our sight on our goals of faith, each day we must wake up and make the decision of whether we will pursue, fight for, and grab hold of them. May we run the race of faith in pursuit of our goals as those prepared to win!
Looking Ahead in Worship
Paul has warned Timothy - and us along with him - to avoid making money the driving goal of our lives. This is a difficult thing that Paul asks of us, because money does drive so much of our lives. We cannot live in our world without it, and life obviously has some benefits when we have more of it. So how are we to balance this need for money with the danger of making it our goal. Join us this Sunday as we consider "What We Hope For"!
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee is accepting resumes to fill the position of Administrative Assistant. The position requires roughly 10 hours a week, mostly in the church office. Computer, organizational, and interpersonal skills are a must. If you are interested, please submit your resume to the church office or by email to Pastor Jim by October 10th. Please direct any questions to Pastor Jim or to the chair of the committee, Jeff.
Wednesday at the Port Adult Bible Study
Our new Wednesday at the Port Adult Bible Study led by Dianna will kick off next week, October 5, with the topic of prayer. This short study will start at 7:15 and finish at 7:45. Parents needing to pick up their children from other classes at 7:30 are welcome to join and leave when needed along with additional notes. We hope to see you there!
Living in Community
Thanks to Curt for continuing to keep our church park looking so wonderful!
The food pantry is in GREAT NEED at this time of year. There will be a Harvest Table in the upstairs vestibule for the whole month of October. Please help us fill the shelves with food for the ERMA Food Pantry. Thank you for your support – PRUMC Food Pantry Volunteers.
Thanks to Brad and Keith for leading our praise band this past Sunday!
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, September 28
9:30 - 2:00 - Office Hours
6:00 pm - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, September 29
9:30 - 12:00 Office Hours
Sunday, October 2
9:30 am - Worship with Communion: "Thrive: Where Our Hope Lies"
11:00 am - Sunday School
12 noon - Youth Prepare for Chili Cookoff
Chili Cookoff and Silent Auction for Youth Missions, October 15
Charge Conference, October 23
Drive-thru Nativity - December 9 & 10
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!
8525 Water Street
PO Box 116
Port Republic, VA 24471