By the time you read this newsletter article, Reba and I will be leaving for extended spiritual retreat and vacation. We will be gone for approximately three weeks. The first part of our trip is going to take us to the Ark Encounter and to the Creation Museum. We will then continue to Panama Beach to spend a week with my sister Mary and brother-in-law Tom. Following that week, we will be moving down to just south of Tampa to a the spiritual retreat center “Beside Still Waters” where we will spend approximately one week in a clergy retreat setting. I plan is to do some extensive reading and some preparation for 2020 Scripture and Message topics that I will be present to you. My plan is before the close of 2019 to be able to develop a message from the Creation Story in Genesis. The message or messages will also include Noah and his family and their life in the Ark. Thank you for allowing me to take three Sundays to accomplish all this. The first Sunday I am gone on November 3rd Edie Bogart will be leading our worship at Claybanks UMC. On November 10th Dion Stumpo will be leading our worship service. On Sunday, November 17th Shar Boerema will be presenting a musical Season of Thanksgiving worship service with you.
While I am gone should you need pastoral care Mike Riegler from White Lake United Methodist Church and his wife Anne from Mears/Shelby United Methodist Church will be available to you. I would ask that when possible please co-ordinate the needed pastoral care through Edie Bogart. Edie will stay in contact Mike and will keep me informed.
Just recently Bishop Bard through the Communications Office of the Michigan Conference issued a warning to our Michigan churches concerning email scams that have targeted United Methodist congregations across the US and even more specifically in Michigan. These scams are fraudulent emails very much like other scams where you are asked using a pastor’s name, the conference or bishop requesting that you send gift cards for a specific need. These persons are trying to impersonate and defraud our church members by catching us off guard and responding to the request for immediate need. Please note that any request from our bishop, conference, me as your pastor or the church will be made directly to you in person, during times of worship, when we gather in community and never by emails or phone calls that you cannot be verify. Please be suspicious and be careful that someone may be trying to impersonate our bishop, a clergy person or others from our congregation in leadership positions. Always investigate and by contacting us directly.
Numerous times as your pastor I have been questioned about different religious programming that we receive through television and other kinds of media communication. While I am not one that watches a lot of religious programming, a clergy friend of mine from Pentwater, Father Sam Morrison put together a list of some interesting programs that I will be tuning into during the next couple of months. There are some from his list that I do know of, have appreciated and I would recommend to you. They are “Turning Point” found Monday through Friday at 7 AM and Saturday afternoons at 4 PM. Others are “Driving Through History” Thursday evenings at 9:30 PM and Saturday afternoons at 2 PM and “Hour Of Power Worship” from the Shepherds Grove Church in Garden Grove California. This worship experience is inspirational in worship, music, interviews and messages. If you like Southern Gospel music the “Bill and Gloria Gaither Time” is enjoyable and you will find it on Saturday evenings at 6 PM. These I would recommend to, you and you can find them on the Trinity Broadcast Network. I will be looking at some of the other programs as we look for opportunities that we will find to be good religious viewing in the upcoming months. I will share what I consider good possibilities for us in the following months.
Our Mission’s Committee and we as a church are looking for new possibilities in which we can be involved in serving our community. We are continuing to look for new ways in which to serve many of God’s children. If you know, have come across or believe there is a need that would be good for us as a church community to respond to would you please talk to June Freeman (Chair of Outreach, Missions and Campus Ministry) or any of the other current Mission Committee members. They are: Reba Peterson, Edythe Brown, Carol Royalty, Kelly White, and Patsy Schneider.
Please place on your calendar our Church Charge Conference which will be held on Tuesday, December 3rd at 7 PM here at Claybanks United Methodist Church. It is a very important time for us as a congregation to be in community and to share what has happened during 2019. We will also be sharing as a church community our plans for 2020.