Monthly Archives: September 2016

Pastor’s Ponderings

We Shall Endure

Proverbs 1:2-3,5 “For learning about wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight, for gaining instruction in wise dealing, righteous, justice and equity……let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill.”

As a voter I have the right to know which candidate’s views reflect my best interest. Unfortunately, so much of what I’ve heard during the beginning of the presidential campaigns is how the other candidate is unqualified rather than what the candidates will do for me. This thought has been reflected by many of us who look at the time between now and November and are uncomfortable with the upcoming presidential election which dominates the news. Not only will the candidates go up against each other day after day, with the media recording and commenting on every word, but social networks now provide a platform for anyone to weigh in, offer unfiltered opinions, and at times cast out ill will. Politics can easily degenerate into an unfortunate game where money, power and influence eclipse the sole purpose of government, which is to serve the public good.

While I don’t participate much in posting on Facebook I do monitor Facebook periodically where so much negative is being said about the candidates. When candidates focus on slandering their opponents rather than offer well thought out perspectives on the issues, the political process is diminished. At times, when the primary criterion of voters is how the candidates will make their own lives better, liberty and justice for all is brought into question.

When students receive degrees in higher education, the president of the college or university usually says these words, “I confer upon you the bachelor degree (Masters, Dr. of Philosophy, etc.) with all the rights and privileges thereof.” Rights and privileges go together and are earned as a result of achievement. Sometimes, however, we hear another word slipped in with deliberate intention, “I confer upon you the bachelor degree with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities thereof.”

What a difference a single word can make. The purpose of an educational degree is not to receive but to give back. A degree holds little value if the recipient does not use it to make the world a better place. Likewise, a vote means nothing unless it is cast with the desired outcome of creating a country and a world where every person has enough food to eat, shelter over their heads, clothes to wear, the opportunity to receive a good education and a rewarding job.

“Responsibility” means “The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something.” Public service is not about becoming rich or catering to the powerful and influential. Nor is it about increasing the ever widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. Political leadership is a responsibility to govern in a way that levels the playing field so that all experience wholeness and peace (shalom).

In some way, voting is not about casting our lot with politicians who cater to our own self-interest. Voting is a corporate responsibility to select leaders who demonstrate the qualities of compassion, honesty, respect and a passion for service.

We can wonder what would happen if we took responsibility seriously in the church. What if we taught our children, young adults and adults that each one of us is a “Little Christ” and therefore responsible for carrying on God’s redemptive work in the world? What if we tried to actually live as Jesus lived by pointing away from self to the common good? What if we were always conscious of how our thoughts, words, deeds, attitudes and motives represent Christ? What if the church insisted that everyone has a right to be loved by God – enemy and friend, lost and found, rich and poor, forgiver and forgiven, leader and follower?

Actually, becoming a Christian will not give us any rights that we do not already have, except perhaps to vote on church business if we are a member. However, being a disciple of Jesus Christ will confer upon us great responsibility. How might our churches look if we acted upon our responsibility to throw open the doors of grace and hope to her hurting world?

*Our major focus would be to share the good news of Jesus Christ and make disciples.

*We would have many opportunities for spiritual growth.

*The goal of every single program activity would be to connect people with God through learning, service, community and outreach.

*Worship would become an exciting experience where the Spirit moves mysteriously and freely in our hearts, convicting, converting and encouraging.

*Servant leadership would be then standard.

*Our church buildings would become a launching pad for outreach and mission to neighborhoods, communities and the world.

*The broken and outwardly successful, the confused and the called, and the searching and the sure would experience healing and begin to look beyond self to a hurting world.

*We would pledge responsibility to support the breaking in of God’s kingdom in our world by prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness would become the most important promise we ever made.

Abraham Lincoln in a speech given once said, “Let us hope, that by the best cultivation of the physical world, beneath and around us; and the intellectual and moral world within us, we shall secure an individual, social and political prosperity and happiness, whose course shall be onward and upward, and which, while the earth endures shall not pass away.”

It is not completely possible for the President or Congress alone to “Fix” our country. However, it is their responsibility to create systems and structures that provide sustainable foundations for individuals, social and political health and happiness through an equitable distribution of wealth and resources. Our public servants are charged with calling out the highest and best in each citizen to embrace their rights and privileges by assuming responsibility for each other’s welfare. Currently our United Methodist Church Annual Church Conferences are being held. It is not possible for district superintendents, bishops, general boards and agencies, and annual conferences to “Fix” our denomination. It is their responsibility to create systems and structures that foster the health and vitality of our local churches. Our leaders are also charged with calling out the highest and best in each local church, pastor and layperson to embrace their rights and privileges by responsibly transforming our world into the kingdom of God.

The next couple of months will, indeed, be interesting as we prepare for another presidential election. The good news is that each one of us has the right to let our voices be heard. But as disciples of Jesus Christ we also have a responsibility to frame political discussion in the positive light of the gospel and to act in Christ-like ways towards one another. Remember, this election is not about what is best for us personally. It is not about the candidates. Nor is it about our country. It is about Abraham Lincoln’s hope, “That by the best cultivation of the physical world, beneath and around us; and the intellectual and moral world within us, we shall secure an individual, social and political prosperity and happiness, whose course shall be onward and upward and which, while the earth endures, shall not pass away.”

(Some quotes and thoughts taken from an article written by Rev. Laurie Haller and the blog postings by many followers including myself on her posting.

Pastor Gary

Announcements and Stuff

Come Join Our Bible Study

We will begin a Bible Study Class on the Old Testament Book Proverbs on Thursday October 20th and meet for five weeks concluding on Thursday November 17th’. Our study will include readings and discussion from “The Teachers Instruction (1:1-9:18), “The Wise Men’s Proverbs (10:31-31:31) and Wisdom In Various Settings found throughout Proverbs.
Join us for all five classes or any of the classes during the study weeks. Your first assignment for October 20th will be to read chapter 1-4 of Proverbs.

Nursery Schedule
10/2 Edith Bogart
10/9 Carol Adams
10/16 Kathy Ohman
10/23 Joyce Twiss
10/30 Doris Graham

Missions Committee News
Thanksgiving – 2016

This year the Missions Committee would like to have a church-wide food pantry collection. We will give the food for Thanksgiving to the Trinity Lutheran Church pantry in Stony Lake for them to load into Thanksgiving baskets. There will be a table set up in the “Missions Corner” of the Fellowship Hall and as we get closer to the October 15 – November 15 ingathering date, we will let you know what we are collecting. Those details are yet to be discussed with more to come!

Christmas – 2016

The Missions Committee would love to do something special for the residents of Heartland nursing home in Whitehall at Christmas time. We are thinking of Christmas caroling and taking a small gift to each resident, but we are open to other ideas. The dates we have “penciled in” are Sunday, December 4th or 11th. If anyone would like to join us, that would be great! We will have more information after we talk to Heartland to see what their needs are.

To White Lake Habitat supporting churches….

For the 15th time the White Lake Area Build will be assembling those Yooper Pasties. We plan to build our 11th home in the WL area in 2017 on Foxtail Court. Your support is appreciated.

You have received posters as well as an order form via email from MCHFH. (Found on the table in the Fellowship Hall) These orders will be picked up from the supporting churches Mon. Oct. 17. Assembly will be at the Amer. Legion
Oct. 19- 21 with pick up on Sat. 22 at the Legion from 9 – 11.

Help with assembly of the pasties is needed. Come and bring a friend Oct. 19 – 21 at the Legion. Call Pat at 893-1304 or backmanp@aol.com to schedule. There is a job for everyone! We assemble
9 – 4 and take breaks often!

Bless you for your support of Habitat in the White Lake Area…..

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:  1 cross +3 nails = 4 given

Reebok Ragnar Relay

In February Ragnar Relay contacted our church about serving as a minor exchange for their September 30th relay from Pere Marquette, Muskegon to Traverse City. The Administrative Council decided to grant permission for the use of our parking lot. We decided to pray for the safety of the runners and to have cookies available as a goodwill gesture. Recently Ragnar Relay let us know that if we manned the exchange, they would donate $500
to our church.

It is said many hands make light work and that is so true of our congregation. So many came forward to help with the exchange and to make cookies. I want to say thank you from the depths of my soul for you. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this warm loving congregation. We can do all things in Christ who strengthens us! Amen!

Mechelle Schneider

Schedule Change

Please note a time change in Charge Conference
Nov. 13. SPRC will now meet at 1:30pm and the Conference will be held at 2:30pm.

You Can Have a Voice

As you all know, CUMC has come to a crossroads with our worship music. The Worship Design Committee is working frantically to cover the music portion of our worship services, but finding it very difficult and has thus far been unable to find a permanent pianist. We have a few different roads to go down and experiment with, but would really like to have more input from the congregation as to what they like/dislike. Three people on a committee is just not a good representation of the whole congregation, so again, we ask for anyone who would be interested in joining our committee to please speak with Pastor Gary, Edie Bogart, Mitzi Parsons, or Konnie Grant.

 

 

 

Upcoming Worship Schedule

October 2nd – Psalm 126:1-6 / Psalm 30:4-5 / Galatians 5:22-26 – “Happiness and Joy” – Edie Bogart Leading Worship

October 9th – Jim Tanis Leading Worship

October 16th  – Jeremiah 31:31-34 / Luke 18:1-8 – “What About Unjust Judges?”

October 23rd – Joel 2:23-32 / Luke 18:9-14 – “Two Prayers”

October 30th – Psalm 149 / Luke 6:20-31 – “We Do Know Some Saints” – All Saints Sunday

September 18th Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
September 18, 2016 10:30 a.m.
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude

*Processional
In this place, among these people,
God is worshipped, God is praised.
We have seen the signs and wonders;
the lost are found here, the dead are raised.
We are living the Gospel story;
lives are changed and mountains moved.
Won’t you come and work among us?
You are welcomed, you are loved.

*Call to Worship
One: O God, we come into your courts with praise and
thanksgiving!
All: We come in celebration and song.
One: We come in gratitude of your inheritance.
All: We come as those who have received blessing upon
blessing.
One: We hear the cry of the poor in the land, and ache to offer
them relief.
All: We come to bring them blessing upon blessing, in
Jesus’ name.
One: O God, we come into your courts with praise and
thanksgiving!
All: We come in celebration and song.

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn “Amazing Grace” Hymnal #378

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

Children’s Time Pastor Gary
After prayers – Sing the Children Out “Jesus Loves Me”
Children 5 and under are welcome to remain in worship or go to the nursery at this time.

The Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves

Prayer of Dedication

Special Music

SHARING THE WORD

Old Testament Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 Page 619
*Gospel Reading Luke 16:1-13 Page 851

Morning Message Pastor Gary
“WHEN I AM IN CHARGE I WILL…..”

Prayer

*Hymn “I’ve Got Peace Like a River” Blue Book #59

Benediction

Postlude

Prayer Concerns
New: Deanna
Alice
Kalee (Leona’s Niece)
Patsy’s New Granddaughter
Forrest (Friend of Grumms)
Leslie
Destiny
Anna (June’s niece)
Michelle
Family of Susan B

Continuing: Carol
George & Kathy
Calvin (Curt and Carol’s new grandson)
Kelly
Deb
Stephen

Church Life
Sunday, September 18, 2016
9:45 – Sunday School
10:30am – Worship

Monday, September 19, 2016
5:30 – Potluck/Movie Night

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
1:00pm – 2:00pm – Church Open
for Reflection/Prayer
2:00pm – Card Making Party

Sunday, September 25, 2016
World Communion Sunday Celebration
Shalom Sunday
10:30am – Worship
9:45am – Sunday School

September 11 Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
September 11, 2016 10:30 a.m.
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude

*Processional
In this place, among these people,
God is worshipped, God is praised.
We have seen the signs and wonders;
the lost are found here, the dead are raised.
We are living the Gospel story;
lives are changed and mountains moved.
Won’t you come and work among us?
You are welcomed, you are loved.

*Call to Worship
One: Doubters and sages…come to the throne of grace.
All: All are welcome here.
One: Those who are lost and hoping to be found… come find a
home at the seat of glory.
All: All are welcome here.
One: Sinners and saints… come to the place of new beginnings.
All: All are welcome here.

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn “Rock of Ages” Hymnal #361 Vs. 1 & 3

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

Installation Of Educational Leaders

Congregation Response:
We pledge ourselves to pray for you and the educational ministry of this congregation. We pledge ourselves to enable, and love you in this ministry. We pledge ourselves to be learners with you, diligently studying with you the Scriptures and traditions of the faith.

Hymn “I Love To Tell The Story” Hymnal #156 VS.1, 2, & 4

Children’s Time Pastor Gary
After prayers – Sing the Children Out “Jesus Loves Me”
Children 5 and under are welcome to remain in worship or go to the nursery at this time.

The Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves

Prayer of Dedication

SHARING THE WORD

Old Testament: Psalm 14:1-7 Page 430
New Testament: 1 John 4:7-21 Page 991

Morning Message “LOVING OTHERS” Pastor Gary

Prayer

*Hymn Hymnal #89 VS. 1 & 3
“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”

Benediction

Postlude

Prayer Concerns
New: Deanna
Alice
Kalee (Leona’s Niece)
Patsy’s New Granddaughter

Continuing: Carol
George & Kathy
Calvin (Curt and Carol’s new grandson)
Kelly
Deb
Stephen

September 4th Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
September 4, 2016 10:30 a.m.
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Prelude

Welcome and Announcements

*Processional
In this place, among these people,
God is worshipped, God is praised.
We have seen the signs and wonders;
the lost are found here, the dead are raised.
We are living the Gospel story;
lives are changed and mountains moved.
Won’t you come and work among us?
You are welcomed, you are loved.

*Call to Worship
One: We come with praise for the wonderful works of God.
All: Even before we speak, God knows us completely.
One: The Holy One knows us and sustains us, even in our moments of confusion and doubt.
All: Who can count the thoughts of God? They are more than all the sands of the desert.
One: Like clay in the hands of the potter, we are shaped into vessels of divine will.
All: We come with praise for the wonderful works of God.

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn “Earth and All Stars” Blue Book

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

Children’s Time Pastor Gary
After prayers – Sing the Children Out “Jesus Loves Me”
Children 5 and under are welcome to remain in worship or go to the nursery at this time.

The Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves

Prayer of Dedication

Hymn “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” Hymnal #382

SHARING THE WORD

First Reading Philemon 1:1-21 Page #970
Gospel Reading Matthew 20:1-16 Page #801

Morning Message Pastor Gary
“WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?”

Words of Assurance

The Great Thanksgiving

Prayer

*Hymn “Wonderful Words of Life” Hymnal #600

Benediction

Postlude

Prayer Concerns
New: Deanna
Forrest
Alice
John
Char’s Brother
Family of Martha
Kalee (Leona’s Niece)

Continuing: Carol
George & Kathy
Calvin (Curt and Carol’s new grandson)
Kelly
Deb
Stephen

Organist Rose Fremer
Liturgist Edie Bogart
Acolyte
Nursery Kathy Ohman
Ministers All People As We Live The Good News

Please note:

The Missions Committee is meeting this Wednesday, September 7th at 2PM.

Sunday School starts next Sunday, September 11th at 9:45am.  All ages welcome!!