Monthly Archives: May 2017

Pastor’s Ponderings

All Things Bright And Beautiful.

Genesis 1:31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 he has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he put a sense of past and future into their minds.

Matthew 6:28 ….. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin,

All things bright and beautiful,
All things great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Spring has come for us here in the Claybanks Community. The days are getting much longer, the coldness of winter has moderated to warming of the days. The grass has turned green, leaves have come out, flowers begin blooming, and the animals of God have made their presence more abundant, all under God’s plan for the beauty of the earth.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings:
God made their glowing colors,
God made their tiny wings.

For Reba and I, summer is our favorite season of the year and our summer begins with Memorial Day Weekend. This change of seasons gives us an opportunity to reflect on the sense of the past and look into the future, to what the summer will bring, as Ecclesiastes in chapter three tells us.

As I was reading Scripture the other day and becoming distracted with my roaming thoughts, something hit me. When I went back to Scripture it became apparent about how significant the world around us is, that our Almighty God has created it for us, and how he wanted so much for us to enjoy what he had created. Sometimes it is the beauty of the earth, sometimes it is the warmth of the sun, sometimes it is the relationships that the current season provides us opportunities to be in.

The purple – headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

At Fennville/Pearl UMC Memorial Day was a day that we celebrated in community. Fennville had a Memorial Day Parade that went by the Fennville United Methodist Church and ended up at the cemetery just down the street where, annually, I was part of a Memorial Day Service where we recognize those who had made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have the freedoms that we so closely cherish today. Following the service the community was invited back to the Fennville United Methodist Church for an ice cream social and hundreds of people gathered together and shared conversation around a bowl of ice cream with smiles and laughter. Following that day, I knew that summer would quickly be on its way into our lives. For Reba and I that meant attending the Annual Conference of the West Michigan United Methodist Church; this year to be held in Traverse City. Edie Bogart, Reba and I will be a part of the process as we continue to work to bring together the Detroit Conference and the West Michigan Conference into one Michigan Area Conference.

Now June is a special month in which Reba and I have birthdays, hers being before mine (which means if I do not do well then I do not do well) and as we count the years together in August we will also be able to celebrate our anniversary. These times help us reflect on not just the past times together but also give us opportunity to plan for future times together. Summer also gives us an opportunity every other year to have our grandchildren come to visit us along with their parents. And we look forward to sharing the beauty and the many different activities that we can avail ourselves of in Northern West Michigan this summer.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruit in the garden,
God made them everyone.

Being close to Lake Michigan is a blessing for sailing during the day and sunsets at night as Reba and I are able to quickly get to the shores of Lake Michigan and take in many of God’s blessings as we sit by the shore and absorb the warm breezes and observe the passing of another day together as the sun sets over our beautiful Lake Michigan.

My list for summer can go on and on. Sunday drives in the afternoon in our sports car, cutting of grass, gardening, washing of cars, attending music concerts in parks throughout the different communities surrounding Claybanks. Visiting with family and friends, cookouts in the backyard or picnics in the park, tubing the many different beautiful rivers in our area, extended visits of family and friends are all of the many different glories that God has created for us.

For Claybanks United Methodist Church we have the opportunity to be invitational when many of the visitors to our shores come to worship with us. We are able to bless them with our church, our friendliness, our worship together and yes, our Strawberry Social when we invite those who live in and visit the Claybanks area to come and be together in community.

It is my prayer for you and for me, that we all take time during this summer to slow down and appreciate the beauty that God has created for us, and the relationships that God has given to his children as we come together.

God gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
who has made all things well.

Text information:
All Things Bright And Beautiful
Page 147 – The United Methodist Hymnal

Pastor Gary

Announcements and Stuff

A small reminder for you to look at your “Coming Events” calendar because our dinner at the Shack in Jugville is coming soon….June 11th to be exact!!!!! The cost is $10 for adults and $8 for Seniors. We will car pool immediately after the church service as they quit serving at 2pm.

We can tour the two museums they have after we eat if we so choose or just wander the grounds. It’s a beautiful place and we hope to have a good gathering. Please sign up on the sign-up sheet on the back table so we can make the necessary reservations. See Mitzi with any questions.

Upcoming Events
• June 11th – Dinner at the Shack in Jugville (Carpool directly after church service)
• July 12th – A Day at the beachfront (Brown bag lunch/ Home of Diana Hicks)
• August – Bonfire & Potluck (Home of the Petersons)

Watch for more details as each event draws near.


6/4 – Carol Adams
6/11 – Kathy Ohman
6/18 – Joyce Twiss
6/25 – Doris Graham

Strawberry Social/Bake Sale
The Strawberry Social will be here before we know it and some of the older gray heads tire more quickly than we used to. So, we’re hoping some of the “youngsters” in our midst will come forth to volunteer, especially for the “set up” day, the day of preparation, and some as cheerful waitresses. We can also use food donations as we gray hairs no longer pick the berries. A sign-up sheet is on the back table. We will also need donations for the bake sale. This is our only fundraiser for the year, so please consider helping to make this annual event a huge success. Thank you!!

The following was written on 10/21/1983 by Susan Graham, Betty Graham’s daughter, for a high school English class. It was suggested by her English teacher that she submit her poem to MCC, which she did and won $25. Can you guess the church, the reverend, the usher, the voice, and the child? If you’re stumped, why not ask Betty?

On a sunny, shiny, sparkling day,
I believe it was in the month of May,
A crowd came forth, so many it seemed,
To pay their respects to God the High Host,
As well as Son, Father, and Holy Ghost.

Behind the pulpit, dressed in his robe,
The Reverend Smith we did behold.
His manner was bright, his voice so true,
It rumbled and rolled from pew to pew.
“To serve the Lord, to preach his word!”
Was what he stated, what we heard.
He rambled on, and on he went,
My gosh! That man is eloquent!

The usher is a sober, serious fellow,
Even of temper; cool, calm and mellow.
He passes the plate with keen recollection
Of the amount each member put in the collection.
The collection taken, he proceeds forthwith,
To hand the plates to Reverend Smith.
Accomplishing this, he returns down the aisle,
And then, only then, is permitted to smile.

In my church there’s a woman I call “The Voice.”
Although, my friend, it’s not by choice!
In her eyes, her singing is supreme,
To me,, alas, it resembles a scream.
She screeches aloud as the notes go higher;
I fear her lungs will never tire!
But really, my dear, I must admit,
When it comes to work, she doesn’t quit
Although her voice is quite outrageous,
(And those who listen very courageous!)
Beneath her demeanor, gruff and bold,
There beats a heart of solid gold.

The child of whom I speak I saw,
Sitting in church in total awe.
Staring and listening, taking all in,
Without so much as a wiggle or grin.
So well behaved, so meek and mild,
(Though after church a little wild!)
But during this hour he’s a model of charm,
Giving his mother no cause for alarm.
The wonder in his face; a joy to behold.
I hope that he keeps it,
Even when he grows old.

And here I sit, observing all,
Behind a man so very tall.
I can’t see much, it’s always that way,
I miss so much, I have to say.
I hear the words and listen well,
(Although some say they cannot tell!)
Just once I’d like to sit in front,
So I could see, not be the runt
That sits in back, and cannot see
And looks out the window at the tree.
It’s the same every Sunday, alas and alack,
Sometimes it’s so hard to drag myself back!
Maybe next Sunday things will change,
I’ll seat myself within the range
Of all the action and stay awake
Perhaps church isn’t so hard to take!


Upcoming Worship Schedule

June 4- Acts 2:1-21 / John 7:37-39
“Call On The Name Of The Lord”
Pentecost Sunday
Communion Sunday

June 11 – 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 / Matthew 28:16-20
“What Will Be Written On Your Tombstone?”
Trinity Sunday

June 18 – Genesis 18:1-15 / Matthew 9:36-10:8
“I Am Counting On Jesus. Can Jesus Count On You?
Father’s Day

June 25 – Psalm 86:1-10 / Romans 6:1-11
“One Of The Great Truths To Christianity”
Shalom Sunday

May 21 Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
May 21, 2017 10:30am
*Indicates to stand as you are able
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Youth Sunday

Welcome and Announcements ​​


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.

Special Music – Claybank’s Sunday School Youth

*Call to Worship
Leader: Live in God’s love!
All: Let that love be poured out for all God’s people!
Leader: Bring hope and peace to all whom you meet.
All: We are called to be God’s witnesses.
Leader: Celebrate and rejoice!
All: Praise be to God who has called, healed, and given us a ministry of peace. Amen

Opening Prayer

*Hymn “Holy Spirit, Truth Divine” UMH #465​​​​

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

Children’s Time
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

*Doxology UMH #95

Prayer of Dedication

Special Music – Claybank’s Sunday School Youth


Reading Claybanks Sunday School Youth
*Gospel Reading John 14:15-21

Morning Message “How Should We Understand
​​​The Holy Spirit?” Pastor Gary ​​


*Hymn “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” UMH #89 ​​


Church Life
Sunday, May 21, 2017
​​ 9:45am – Sunday School
​​10:30am – Worship
5:30pm – Family Promise at Montague UMC
Sunday, May 28, 2017 Ascension Sunday
and Memorial Day Sunday
​​9:45am – Sunday School
​​10:30am – Worship
​​​ Shalom Sunday

Office email
Office Telephone 231-923-0573

Pianist​​​​ Alisa Ross
Liturgist ​​ ​​​ CUMC Youth
Nursery Edie Bogart
Ministers All People As We Live the Good News

May 14 Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
May 14, 2017 10:30am
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Happy Mother’s Day!

Welcome and Announcements

Praise Song “As the Deer” SUMH #2025


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: Once we were not a people,
All: ​But now we are God’s people.
One: Once we were alone,
All: ​But together we are the household of God.
One: Here in this time of worship, and later when we go forth to
All: ​Christ is our cornerstone, strengthening us for the journey.
One: In our living and in our dying,
All: ​Christ is our sure foundation, strengthening us along the way.

Opening Prayer

*Hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory” UMH #577

Special Recognition of Mother’s Day

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

Children’s Time
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

Doxology UMH #95

Prayer of Dedication

*Hymn “Be Still, My Soul” UMH #534


Old Testament Reading Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 Page 439
Second Reading Acts 7:55-60 Page 891

Morning Message “FORGIVENESS” Pastor Gary


*Hymn “Pass It On” UMH #572


Church Life
Sunday, May 14, 2017 – Mother’s Day
​​9:45am – Sunday School
​​10:30am – Worship

Thursday, May 18, 2017
​​1:00pm – UMW Meeting

Saturday, May 20, 2017
​​12:00pm – Ladies’ Luncheon

Sunday, May 21, 2016
​​9:45am – Sunday School
​​10:30am – Worship

Office email

Liturgist ​​ ​​​ Art Grumm
Nursery Karen Anderson
Ministers All People As We Live The Good News