Monthly Archives: October 2017

Pastor’s Ponderings

“I took my walk to Emmaus in February 1996 in Byron Center and sat at the table of Paul”. In the Cursillo movement of the Christian Church that is how you introduce yourself. Little did I know that my Walk to Emmaus in February 1996 would be more than just one little step on my journey walking with Christ. That step was a step taken by me, though the power of the Holy Spirit would engage me in a journey that eventually would take me into the pastor-calling and eventually here to Claybanks United Methodist Church.

If you are not familiar with the Walk to Emmaus, De Colores, Chrysalis, Keryx or one of the other spiritual retreats that are formulated under the Cursillo movement, let me give you just a belief description of how the movement has been intertwined with my spiritual journey.

The walk to Emmaus is sponsored by the Upper Room of the United Methodist Church. There are Emmaus chapters throughout the United States and the world, and their function is to bring 36 pilgrims on a journey through a structure that allows them to walk closer with God through the power of the Holy Spirit as they explore Jesus Christ’s meaning in their lives over a 72-hour period. Basically, the structure brings together people on an extended weekend with many other committed Christians who had taken their walks, and now they are there to see that you have the most beautiful experience possible as you begin your walk to Emmaus. The basic structure has a conference room with leaders, assistant leaders and clergy. A number of talks are given followed by discussion, singing, praying, communion, chapel visits, worship and sharing of how Jesus Christ has become the focus in the lives of those taking their walk for the first time and in those who have assisted on Emmaus weekends possibly over and over again.

After taking my walk, I had an opportunity, in fact many opportunities, to be a part of the journey for many pilgrims. I was able to sponsor Reba, Michelle and many other Christian friends as they took their Walk to Emmaus. My first position was helping set up for a weekend. In fact, I did a number of those during my active time in Emmaus. Reba and I then served on housekeeping duty together. Reba and I then had an opportunity to assist a walk as coordinators for housing, feeding and care of the pilgrims and the conference room staff. Following those experiences, I (and Reba too) was invited to be a part of the conference room as an assistant table leader and give a talk that I remember well on “Christian Action.” It was following that weekend, while riding home with Reba who came to pick me up, that we first had a discussion about my exploration to become a pastor.

After working a number of other walks in different roles, I had an opportunity to be the director of the Emmaus walk at the Grandville United Methodist Church in the spring of 2001. Preparing and leading a walk brought me so much closer to God and that experience continued to influence me. Soon after that walk I began my exploration, the beginning of the process of becoming a pastor in the United Methodist Church. Since that time, I have had a number of opportunities to be in the conference room as clergy and sharing the love of God with the new pilgrims and the staff members on Emmaus weekends.

A number of years ago I was invited to be a clergy member of a Keryx. Keryx is the Cursillo walk offered inside a prison. A number of walks happen in a number of prisons each year within the Michigan correctional system. A close friend of mine has invited me and a number of other lay and clergy to be a part of Keryx number 29 and 30 to be held in the Carson City Correctional Facility this winter. I am thankful to the Administrative Counsel of Claybanks United Methodist Church for allowing me to take part in the two walks offered in January and February of this upcoming year. Training for these walks has begun and require much time, sacrifice and commitment for over 30 men from the “outside” and over 30 inmates inside who have taken walks previously. It is when I get to experience the commitment, love, and concern for the spiritual growth of those who are incarcerated by their fellow inmates and many from the outside that I truly get to see the love of Christ shared by so many. Overcoming the difficulties of maintaining Christian commitment within our prison systems shown by inmates can only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I will not be with you for two Sundays, one in January and one in February. In the weeks to come I asked that you pray as we seek leadership for those Sundays that I will be at Carson City. I also will be asking you to pray for the volunteers, the prison chaplain, the inside team and those that the Holy Spirit is gathering together for the walk and prayers for me.
In Matthew 25:39-40 “When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” And Jesus replied, “I tell you in the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” It is impossible these days for all of us to visit those incarcerated yet when we pray for and support different prison ministries we are doing what Jesus has commanded us to do, to visit those on the margins and in need of Christ’s love. Thank you for allowing and supporting me to be part of your fulfilling of Christ’s command. Lives will be changed, and Disciples for Christ made.

Blessings
Pastor Gary

Announcements and Stuff

Game Day
Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 16th, 1:30 – 3:30pm. A group of us are meeting at the church for an afternoon of fun & games – cards, board games, etc.?? Come join the fun!!! Bring a snack, a game and a friend if you’d like, or just bring yourself. Questions ask Reba or Konnie Grant.

Day Trip Open to All
Want to get into the Christmas spirit? Try the Christkindlmarket in Chicago. This would be a long one-day trip by train from Holland, MI to Chicago, Illinois. The train leaves early 6:30 a.m. and returns by 10:30 p.m. Cost by train ranges between $41 to $46 round trip depending on if you travel by coach or business class. Contact Mechelle Schneider if interested in going. The plan is to go December 5th tentatively. This date could be flexible. In Chicago we would spend the day at the market, lunch, and still have time to take in the magnificent mile. The website below could help you preview the vendors at the market. Interested people could car pool from Montague to Holland for the train.
http://www.christkindlmarket.com/

Prayer Cards
Starting in November, we will be placing prayer cards on the back of the pews near the hymnals. It is our hope that if you know of someone who could benefit from being called on, either in person or by phone, by Pastor Gary or a lay person, that you will complete the form and place it in the collection plate. This will help Pastor Gary to stay informed of anyone that has not been lifted up verbally during the service but is in need of spiritual care. Thank you!

Time Change
Don’t forget to set your clocks back on Sunday, November 5th. You’d look pretty silly walking in to church during the Benediction…. Just sayin’……😊 😊!

UMW News
Well here it is, nearly November and we United Methodist Women are forging ahead on our Christmas plans! By the time you read this, it will most likely be in the November newsletter.

During our October meeting we set a date of November 30th to decorate the church just ahead of the first Sunday of Advent, which is December 3rd. Of course, that party to decorate the church means pizza first at noon! This also marks the end of our monthly meetings till the third Thursday in March.

We will still be thinking of ways to earn funds for the well project that our “country sister church, St John’s Catholic church” and Father Peter introduced to us. We discussed making a quilt for a silent auction and perhaps involving the St James Lutheran Church out of Shelby. Of course, we love to gather together to eat, so a lovely luncheon after a cold winter Sunday service is also considered; or breakfast? We will see what will work and hopefully involve an enthusiastic congregation.

So, it is full speed ahead to our holiday season to celebrate our Savior’s birth.

Nursery Schedule
11/5 – Carol Adams
11/12 – Kathy Ohman
11/19 – Joyce Twiss
11/26 – Doris Graham

Food Donations, Please
The holidays are coming, and many area needy families find it hard to pay bills, buy gifts, and put food on the table during this time. We will be collecting food for an area food bank during the month of November so all our brothers and sisters in Christ will have a blessed Thanksgiving. Donations may be brought to the fellowship hall.

“The Significance
Of oneself
cannot be measured by the
fame and glory of this world
or the material things we have,
but by the

Love and Compassion
you have shown to others
every day of your life,
without fame or glory or thanks.
just in the name of love.

And Maybe,
Just Maybe,
all the little things
we do for one another
is the most significant thing
you and I might do in our lifetime.”

Mi Sun

Upcoming Worship Schedule

November 5th – Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 / Matthew 23:1-12
“Servant Duties”
All Saints Sunday
Communion Sunday

November 12th – Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 / Matthew 25:1-13
“Do Not Let Your Lamp Go Out”

November 19th – Psalm 123 / Matthew 25:14-30
“How Many Coins Do You Have?”

Thanksgiving November 23rd

November 26th – Ezekiel 34:11-16 /Matthew 25:31-46
“I Was In Prison and You Visited me”
Hanging of the Greens

 

October 22nd Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
October 22, 2017 10:30am
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Praise Song “Holy, Holy, Holy” SUMH #2007

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: We belong to God.
All: ​God’s stamp is on our lives.
One: God’s love and compassion is built into us.
All: ​God’s mercy and hope flow through us.
One: Let’s celebrate the powerful presence of God.
All: ​Let’s rejoice in all the opportunities God gives us to serve. AMEN.

Opening Prayer

*Hymn “My Hope is Built” UMH#368

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 “Days of Elijah” Overhead

​SHARING THE WORD
Old Testament Reading Psalm 99 ​Page 480
New Testament Reading 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Page 959

Morning Message Pastor Gary
“THE APOSTLE PAUL WRITES TO YOU”

Prayer

*Hymn “Jesus Calls Us” UMH#398

Benediction

Church Life​​
Sunday, October 22,, 2017
​9:30am – Adult Sunday School
​9:45am – Youth Sunday School
​10:30am – Worship

Monday, October 23, 2017 – Newsletter Deadline​
​5:30pm – Potluck/Movie Night​

Sunday, October 29, 2017 – Shalom Sunday
​9:30am – Adult Sunday School
​9:45am – Youth Sunday School
​10:30am – Worship

Email: glpeterson32@frontier.com
Office Telephone 231-923-0573
Office email ClaybanksUMC@gmail.com
Website http://www.claybanksunitedmethodist.com

Pianist​​​​ Megan Schihl
Liturgist ​​ Darwin Parsons
Nursery Karen Anderson
Ministers All People As We Live the Good News

October 15th Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
October 15, 2017 10:30am
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Praise Song “Come, Rejoice in God” SUMH #2017

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: Rejoice in God always! Again, I say rejoice!
All: ​Rejoice in God’s steadfast love.
One: Rejoice in Christ enduring grace.
All: ​Rejoice in God’s saving word.
One: Rejoice in the Spirit’s gentle guidance.
All: ​Rejoice in God’s healing presence.
One: Rejoice in God always! Again, I say rejoice!

Opening Prayer

*Hymn “There’s a Spirit in the Air” UMH #192

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 “Pass it On” UMH #572

SHARING THE WORD
Old Testament Reading Exodus 32:1-14 ​Page 69
*Gospel Reading ​Matthew 22:1-14 ​Page 803

Special Reading

Morning Message Pastor Gary
“WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO IGNORE THE INVITATION?”

Prayer

*Hymn “Spirit Song” UMH #347

Benediction

God Invites, You Decide

Church Life​​
Sunday, October 15, 2017
​9:30am – Adult Sunday School
​9:45am – Youth Sunday School
​10:30am – Worship
​1:30pm – CUMC Church Conference held at Montague UMC
​ (1:30pm gathering, 2:00pm worship, 3:00pm
Conference)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
​2:00pm – Card Making Party (Verify with Carol Adams)

Thursday, October 19, 2017
​1:00pm – UMW Meeting

Sunday, October 22, 2017
​9:30am – Adult Sunday School
​9:45am – Youth Sunday School
​10:30am – Worship

Monday, October 23, 2017 – Newsletter Deadline​

Email: glpeterson32@frontier.com
Office Telephone 231-923-0573
Office email ClaybanksUMC@gmail.com
Website http://www.claybanksunitedmethodist.com

Pianist​​​​ Megan Schihl
Liturgist ​​ Konnie Grant
Nursery Doris Graham
Ministers All People As We Live the Good News

October 8th Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
October 8, 2017 10:30am
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Praise Song “Come, Now is the Time to Worship” Overhead

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: Brothers and sisters, we come from many houses. Welcome​to this household, the house of God.
All: ​Here we hear words that revive. Here we experience grace that makes our heart glad.
One: God offers light to our eyes.
All: ​Christ brings wisdom to our hearts and minds.
One: God’s teachings are sweeter than honey
All: ​Even honey dripping off the honeycomb!
One: They are more precious than gold
All: ​Even tons of pure gold!
One: Sisters and brothers, welcome to the house of God!

Opening Prayer

*Hymn “Song of Promise” UMH #707

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 “This is the Day” UMH #657

​SHARING THE WORD
First Reading ​ Exodus 20:1-20 ​Page 58
Second Reading Psalm 19 ​Page 433

Morning Message Pastor Gary
“NINE OUT OF TEN”

Prayer

*Hymn “How Great Thou Art” UMH #77

Benediction

​​Email: glpeterson32@frontier.com
Office email ClaybanksUMC@gmail.com
Website http://www.claybanksunitedmethodist.com

Pianist​​​​ Megan Schihl
Liturgist ​​ Bev Grumm
Nursery Bev Grumm
Ministers All People As We Live the Good News

Pastor’s Ponderings

So who are Gary and Reba Peterson?
Continued from Pastor’s Ponderings of October 2016

We left off with the Peterson’s returning to Grand Rapids from Traverse City and locating in Southeast Grand Rapids. Shortly after arrival the Peterson’s began attending St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and very quickly transferred their membership from Central United Methodist in Traverse City.

St. Paul’s United Methodist church had been a long-established church in Grand Rapids and was going through a growth time when many families with children were being attracted to and joining the church. The church had a lot to offer not only for the Peterson children but also for Gary and Reba. Sunday school was an involved activity for the whole family. Bible studies during the week and the early Morning Prayer group strengthened the spiritual journey for Reba and Gary. Being involved in the different committees and activities of the church became a focal point for the Peterson’s. During this time many individuals of the church became involved in the spiritual retreat of the Walk To Emmaus.

Because of the spiritual strengthening for Reba, Michelle and Gary the Emmaus community became an important part of our life not only as individuals but as a family. It was following an Emmaus weekend that Gary started to consider the possibility of serving God in ministry. Reba, during this time, had taken a part-time position with St. Paul’s, working with new members and the continual involvement of existing members in their spiritual formation, programs and activities of St. Paul’s.

For Gary, looking at ministries involved what was to be a two-year exploration of God’s calling in his life. Gary did not always here what God was saying in the exploration process and it turned into three years. It was at the end of the three years when Gary had an encounter with a couple who helped him decide to take the final step and go into pastoral ministry. It took two years of study and training for Gary to become a Licensed Local Pastor. It was while driving within two blocks and in sight of Olivet United Methodist Church that Gary received a phone call from the Grand Rapids District Superintendent asking him to serve on a quarter time basis at that very church. It was the Holy Spirit speaking to us at that very time and moment. During our ministry at Olivet United Methodist Church, an inner-city church, we had the opportunity to minister to a small congregation that was deeply involved in ministry to those in the community and those living in the margins.

In the spring of 2008 after two years of quarter time ministry the Holy Spirit once again spoke to Gary and Reba and we committed ourselves to full-time ministry asking the Bishop to assign us to a full-time charge. It was only a short time later that we were assigned to the Fennville/Pearl Parish located just south of Holland.

It was a growth time for pastor Gary, who no longer would be at church doing those things that a pastor does with gifts and graces and receive a call from his business and need to leave to attend to the operation of the business. No longer would he be at the business and feel the longing in his heart to be at church or be with a church member or family attending to spiritual needs.

The eight years at Fennville/Pearl contained more blessings than we could count. Yet as time and age passed, it became necessary to return to a pastoral role that was less than full-time. A few months before our July 1st retirement date Gary was asked by the Grand Rapids District Superintendent to fulfill a quarter time pastor position at Claybanks United Methodist Church in the area in which we had wanted to move into retirement in. While Reba was not able to attend the introductory meeting between Gary and Claybanks United Methodist Church the Holy Spirit provided for us a beautiful way in which to semi-retire and yet be in ministry which we so much felt the calling to. The blessing of Claybanks United Methodist Church received in the Munson home and willingness to share with us when we could not find housing immediately in the area was a gift from God for us.

It has been a little over one year since we arrived. We have been lovingly and graciously received in the community and by the church and look forward to more years together as we together continue to make disciples for Jesus Christ and the transformation of the world. Thank you, Claybanks United Methodist Church, for allowing us to be in ministry with you today.