Monthly Archives: March 2021

March 28, 2021 Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
Sunday March 28, 2021
Palm Sunday
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Welcome and Announcements

*Praise Song  Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” ver. 1-3        UMH #278    


*Processional – Waiving our palms

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

Leader: Let all creation shout!

All: Let us wave the palm branches high. Jesus is coming!
Leader: He comes in humility to claim God’s own.
All: May he claim us this day and heal our hearts!
Leader: Hosanna to the Son of David.
All: Hosanna to the blessed Son of God. AMEN.

*Gloria Patri                                                                      UMH #70

Opening Prayer

*Hymn              “Tell Me The Stories Of Jesus”              UMH #277       

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.

Shalom Sunday Offering

The Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves

*Doxology                                                                           UMH #95

Prayer of Dedication

*Hymn            In the Cross Of Christ I Glory”               UMH #295

Sharing of the Word

*Gospel Readings:  Mark 11:1-11, Mark 15:1-39               Page 823                        

  (We will stand for just the first reading of Mark)

Message    “Cleaning House”                                        Pastor Gary


*Hymn             Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross”            UMH #301


Postlude – Please be seated

Calendar and Announcements.

Sunday, March 28, 2021
9:30 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:30 a.m. Worship 
Palm Sunday
Shalom Sunday

Thursday, April 1, 2021
Maundy Thursday

Friday, April 2, 2021
2:00 p.m. Good Friday Service

Sunday, April 4, 2021
Easter Sunday

Claybanks UMC located at 9197 56th Ave. Montague, MI 49437
Mailing address: P.O. Box 104, Montague, MI 49437
Pastor Gary Peterson   Email:                                                                                             
Office Telephone: 231-923-0573
Office email:

Pianist​​​​:  Suzanne Bellrichard
Liturgist:   Art Grumm
Ministers​:  All People As We Live the Good New

Pastor’s Ponderings

During this past year with Covid – 19 the most difficult part of my work as a pastor has been being a part of a funeral or memorial service. Claybanks United Methodist Church has lost two dear members of our congregation and a son of one of our congregation’s family. I have been asked by some of our members how and when are we to grieve? My love for all as your pastor is to be a supporting person in the grieving process for family, friends or anyone who grieves with the loss of someone. The restrictions that Covid-19 has placed on pastors and churches have created what I would describe as the most difficult situation in church life and my role as a pastor.

Grief is a healthy emotion, designed to help us deal with loss. One’s level of faith affects the outcome of the grieving process but neither the need to grieve nor the time required to do it can be measured. Spiritual leaders of the church, like everyone else, encounter their share of grief and loss. Friends are lost. Important people in their lives and in the life of the church can never be measured or replaced. Covid-19 has created a separation from family and friends and as pastors our world has changed significantly in how we are able to come beside those who grieve. We as pastors so much want to be with those who grieve in a significant way.

We all need to express our pain and grief in a loss of a family member, a loved one or a friend. We as humans are not meant to suffer in silence, without emotion, but we must grieve in a very meaningful way. In John 11:35 Jesus has come to Lazarus’s grave and it says Jesus began to weep. So, they said, “See how he loved him!” Jesus in his human nature wept at the loss of his friend Lazarus. The son of God knew that sorrow is passing, and that joy is forever, yet it did not prevent him from standing in his grief when that was the emotion that arose in him.

Appropriate grieving involves expressing the pain of loss, not burying it. We are not able, without expressing our loss, to move on or replace the lost with something new. When we grieve together it takes place in community, not just in the solitude of a few. Grief helps the healing and time alone does not heal. God heals.

As your pastor and a member of the Claybanks United Methodist Church Family I know that we have not grieved the way we should have been able to during this past year. It is my promise to you, and to the families that have experienced loss, that we will have, when the time is right and Covid-19 no longer can hold the grip on us, a Memorial Service where we the community of faith can grieve and express our love as we gather round those who have lost loved ones during this past year. When we can gather cannot yet be determined so let us promise each other that in God’s time, we as the community of faith, will gather to celebrate the lives of God’s Saints in a special time and loving way together. 

Pastor Gary

Announcements and Stuff

Church Annual Clean-up
Tuesday April 20th from 4:00-7:00 pm (alternate date because of poor weather April 27th)

Adult Sunday School
Following a short break the Adult Sunday School will resume for one Sunday in April, the five Sundays in May and concluding for the summer on June 6th

Schedule: 9:30 – 10:15 in Fellowship Hall

April 11th – Exploring how to better use our Bibles

May 2nd – June 6th Short Books of the New Testament to include Titus, Philemon, Books of John and possibly Jude.

Church Support
Claybanks UMC overall financial condition has improved now that we have returned to in-person worship. Through March we still lag slightly behind in year to date giving. Please review you monthly 2021 giving plan for support of Claybanks UMC operations and mission funding.

Pastor Gary and Reba will be in Colorado (Playing with grandchildren during their Spring Break) from April 15th – 30th. Should you need Pastoral care Pastor Anne Riegler (Pastor for Mears and Shelby UMC) will be available. Her cell number is 231-631-0573. Please coordinate through Edie Bogart when possible.

Thank You

Our family would like to thank everyone for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  We are comforted knowing that Richard is in Heaven with his Lord and Savior

Lucille Nienhouse and family

Holy Week Worship Opportunities

Palm Sunday 
Claybanks UMC 10:30 am In-person
White Lake UMC 9:00am (Montague) in-person and online

The Praise Center (Whitehall) 11:00 am in-person and online
Mears UMC 9:15 am in-person and online
Shelby UMC 11:00 am in-person
Centenary UMC (Pentwater) 10:30 am limited in-person and online

Holy (Maundy) Thursday
Claybanks UMC – No Service
White Lake UMC – The Praise Center 7:00 pm
Mears and Shelby Combined Service at Shelby UMC 7:00 pm in-person
Centenary UMC (Pentwater) 6:00 pm limited in-person and on-line

Good Friday
Claybanks UMC 2:00 pm – in-person
White Lake UMC (Montague) 1:00 pm in-person
Mears UMC 1:00 pm in-person and online
Shelby UMC – 7:00 pm in-person
Centenary UMC (Pentwater) 7:00 pm limited in-person and online

Easter Sunday
Claybanks UMC 10:30 am in-person
White lake UMC 9:00 am (Montague) – in-person and online
The Praise Center (Whitehall) 11:00 am in-person and online
Mears UMC 9:15 am in-person and online
Shelby UMC – 11:00 am in-person
Centenary UMC (Pentwater) 10:30 am limited in-person and online

UMW meeting

Hello to all the women who are ready to fellowship after the difficult year we have had because of the pandemic. This third Thursday in March brought the UMW back together and what a large gathering! It was obvious we missed being together to conduct business but especially to fellowship in person even though our smiles were behind masks!

We established the officers for the new year, received the report on Easter flowers from Patsy, and talked about having the Strawberry Social return this year.

The Easter plants will be $12.50 this year and must be ordered really soon.

God is ever present with us, individually or collectively. All women are welcome to join us on the third Thursday of each month. Although we meet at one o’clock, any day working women that want to be part of UMW, please contact Edie Bogart to see if we can establish an additional way to include everyone.

Thank You
Our family would like to thank everyone for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  We are comforted knowing that Richard is in Heaven with his Lord and Savior

Lucille Nienhouse and family

Upcoming Worship Schedule

Friday, April 2, 2021
Good Friday Service 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 4, 2021
Easter Service
1 Corinthians 15: 1-11
Linen Wrappings

Sunday, April 11, 2021
Holy Humor Sunday
Psalm 133 / John 20: 19-31
Peace Be With You!

Sunday, April 18, 2021
Jim Tanis Leading Worship

Sunday, April 25, 2021
Denise Schuitema Leading Worship
Medical Mission to Peru

Pastor’s Ponderings

It Is Well With My Soul
“When peace like a river, attended my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll; what ever my lot,
Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.”

This past Monday evening at 6 p.m. President Biden along with his wife, Vice-President Harris, along with her husband, led our country in pausing to remember and honor over 500,000 lives and souls lost to Covid-19. It has now been a year since we first started to experience Covid-19 with all of its elements: sickness, death and major disruption to the way we live. To be honest with you, there have been a number of times when I could not have said, “It is well with my soul.” By stopping in the midst of our busy world and reflecting as we did on the lives lost, illness and the lingering effects the Covid 19 has had on us it brought me to that moment to recognize, “When peace like a river attended my way.” The sorrows that I have felt oh, so many times during this past year. “When sorrows like a sea billows roll.” I realized that I so much needed for us to come together as sisters and brothers to express our deep felt losses together as we were able to do that night.

Covid-19 was in its beginning last spring only a few of us experienced knowing someone who had contacted Covid-19 and became ill. Even fewer would know the loss of a loved one or someone they knew. Now after a year many of us have lost count of those who we know that have had experienced Covid-19 health issues. And for many of us counting those we love and who have died of this disease has been an overwhelming experience of loss. “The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; the trumpet shall resound, and the Lord shall descend even so.”

I find it very difficult to respond with honesty sometimes when someone would ask me how I am. I answer fine, okay, how about you? Yet, I truly have a difficult time saying, “It is well with my soul.” I, like most, struggle with the vast amount of illness and death that we have experienced in our families, in our community, our country and around the world. My heart breaks when I hear the losses added each and every day from illness and death. I shed tears of sorrow and anguish over the callousness that at times has become a part of our society and, yes, even for me, I try, along with you, to return to some kind of normalcy.

It is because of my belief in our Lord Jesus Christ that I am comforted. From verse three where it says “Not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.” It is only when I turn my whole being over to our Lord that I recognize that, “The trumpet shall resound and that the Lord shall descend, even so, it is well with my soul.”

I find that my soul is healing when I see us continuing to follow the guidelines and practices protecting the health of everyone. As we continue to receive the vaccine and, at present, as the numbers continue to decline, that my soul and my being becomes uplifted. We will make it. It is my prayer that all will make it.

Thank you, God for sending your Holy Spirit to dwell with us, guide us and comfort us. May we recognize that your Son Jesus Christ knows our humanity, our sickness and our loss and cared so much for us that He is the light of the world and will be with us as we continue to struggle in these days. AMEN

Pastor Gary

Announcements and Stuff

Adult Sunday School Returns – We have returned to active Sunday School for our adults. From now through Lent we will be meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. “The Passion Play” which we began last Lent before Covid-19 cause us to suspend our study together will be our focus this Lenten Season. Scripture readings are available for your participation in the Fellowship Hall.

Nominations – We have filled some of the openings for leadership that we have at Claybanks UMC. We are looking to fill a few slots still. We have openings in Nominations, Worship Team and Missions. If, you have interest or know someone, please talk to one of our Nomination Committee members or Pastor Gary. Those filling our vacant positions will be confirmed at the Administrative Council meeting in March.

Our Mission Committee – is looking to support the needs in our community and beyond. If you know of a need that we may be able to support, please bring it to one of our committee members or Pastor Gary.

UMW – will resume meeting this third Thursday of March (18th)

UMCOR Sunday – is March 14th – We will have a special offering on that Sunday. When we give to UMCOR Sunday we are underwriting UMCOR relief so that whenever a disaster strikes, like in the Texas freeze recently, UMCOR could respond immediately. They were there and assisting United Methodist Churches which opened their door for warming, shelter, meals, and water. This rapid response could not have happened so quickly if it were not for the support churches give on UMCOR Sunday.

Our Shut-Ins – Please remember our shut-ins with your cards, calls, and prayers: Olive Fordham, Room #18, 6827 Whitehall Rd., Whitehall, Mi 49461

Upcoming Worship Schedule

March 7, 2021
Exodus 20: 1-17 / John 2: 13-22
You Shall Not Steal and The Money Changers (Or Lenten Series)

March 14, 2021
Numbers 21: 4-9 / John 3: 14-21
Life Is More with John 3: 16 (Or Lenten Series)

March 21, 2021
Jeremiah 31: 31-34 / John 12: 20-33
We Must Die To Live (Or Lenten Series)
The Prayer Room

March 28, 2021
Palm Sunday
Mark 11: 1-11 / Mark 15: 1-39
Simon, Are You Asleep?