Category Archives: Pastor’s Ponderings

August 1st Service

Sunday August 1, 2021
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Welcome and Announcements

*Praise Song
”Where Charity and Love Prevail”……….UMH 549

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, 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: All who gather here this day are welcome in the sight of the Lord.
All: We come from times of stress and worry, needing God’s healing love.
Leader: Come to this place of healing and feeding.
All: Christ bids us welcome!
Leader: From the worries of our lives
All: Christ bids us welcome!
Leader: From the things that draw us down and away.
All: Christ bids us welcome!
Leader: Let your celebration begin!
All: Let us partake of the banquet of God in Jesus Christ. AMEN.

*Gloria Patri
………………………………UMH 70

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn
”Come Sinners, to the Gospel Feast”………….UMH  339

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

Children’s Time
After prayers, sing the children out to “Jesus Loves Me.At this time, children under five are welcome to remain in worship or go to the nursery.

The Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves

*Doxology……………………………………….……….UMH 95

Prayer of Dedication

*Hymn
”I Sing a Song of the Saints of God”……..UMH 712

Sharing of the Word

New Testament Reading

Ephesians 4:1-16.….Page 951
*Gospel Reading

John 6:24-35 ……………Page 867

Message by Pastor Gary Peterson
”God Can Be Very Direct”

Words of Assurance

The Great Thanksgiving

Prayer

*Hymn
”Forward Through the Ages”………….UMH 555

*Benediction

Postlude – Please be seated

Pianist – Suzanne Bellrichard
Liturgist – Reba Peterson

Ministers – All People As We Live The Good News

Pastor’s Ponderings

Some of the latest statistics around Covid-19 have made it very obvious and clear that, while we as a country are doing very well in our fight against Covid-19, we are still not out of the woods just yet. Because there are still places where Covid-19 is spreading and taking its toll on the health of those in the community, overrunning their hospitals and putting a severe strain upon health care workers, many people are still dying from this disease.  We need to continue to do our very best to prevent the disease from spreading and we must lift up our health care workers and those who have contracted Covid-19 in our prayers.

I, as a religious leader along with other religious leaders in our Methodist Denomination and religious leaders in all denominations throughout our country, am being encouraged to speak in favor of vaccinations for those in our churches and in our communities as well. Just today I learned that while we are approaching the 70% level of those who are eligible being vaccinated, we still have many people who are not, and the incidence of Covid-19 is on the rise with many getting sick and some succumbing to the disease. Of those who are fully vaccinated about 3% could still test positive and show signs of Covid-19 illness. The most positive aspect of our fight is that fewer than one percent who have been fully vaccinated and contract Covid-19 will die from the disease. This is the most positive outcome that could be expected. The newest statistics reported tell us that 99.5 percent of those who contracted Covid-19, primarily through the more transmissible new Delta Strain, are unvaccinated. This means that those who choose not to be vaccinated continue to spread the disease to others who choose not to be vaccinated, and they spread the disease to both those who because of other illnesses are not able to be vaccinated and our young people under the age of 12 who as of yet cannot be vaccinated. All have a much higher possibility of contracting the disease. The more Covid-19 is allowed to spread the higher the possibility of additional strains more contagious or deadly developing. This brings me to an issue that I have been walking very closely with as not to offend those who choose not to be vaccinated.  I as a shepherd to my flock must make a statement and take a stance that those who are eligible to be vaccinated should be vaccinated against Covid-19. This should be done to protect those who have illnesses that do not allow them to be vaccinated and our young children who at the present time cannot be given the vaccine. We must as Christians, as United Methodists and as society be responsible individuals and be vaccinated for the better good of all our society. Yes, I know that means we may be giving up some of our own independence and freedom for the good of others.  If we truly say and believe that we love our sisters and brothers then we will give a little of our own independence for the better good of those we love by putting our words into action.

The research on our three vaccines have shown very few side effects and the chance of becoming sick or dying from the vaccines is far less than getting Covid-19. So why would you take such a chance and not be vaccinated? We as United Methodists who support our social principles are not to place our monies and lives in the hand of chance and gamble with our health and life. Vaccines work and we should protect not only ourselves but our world as well.

There is so much more that can be said about how Covid-19 has impacted not only how we have lived for the past year and a half, but how it will impact us in the future. Maybe we can look at these things in another newsletter or message(s) on Sunday. I welcome your input. My intent in writing this pondering is not to offend anyone, but to give reason and to encourage vaccination for all who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Live in Peace and Love.

Pastor Gary

July 11th Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
Sunday, July 11, 2021
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Welcome and Announcements

*Praise Song
”God of Grace and God of Glory”…….UMH 577  

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, 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: The earth is the Lord’s.  Everything in creation belongs to the Lord.
All: Lift up your eyes.  See the mighty works of the Lord.
Leader: This is the Lord’s House.  All who hope in the Lord will be called children of God.
All: Lift up your hearts! Receive the gracious gifts of the Lord.
Leader: This is the hour for worship and song.
All: Lift up your voice! Praise the Lord with all your might.

*Gloria Patri…………………………UMH 70

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn

”Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates”………..UMH 213

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

Children’s Time
After prayers, sing the children out to “Jesus Loves Me.At this time, children under five are welcome to remain in worship or go to the nursery.

The Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves

*Doxology………………………………………….….….UMH 95

Prayer of Dedication

*Hymn
”There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”……..UMH 121

Sharing of the Word
Old Testament Reading

Psalm 78:11-20………Page 468
*New Testament Reading

John 2:1-………….Page 863

Message by Edith Bogart
”Miracles”

Prayer
*Hymn

”Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”…………..UMH 89

Benediction

Postlude – Please be seated

Calendar and Announcements
Sunday, July 11
10:30 a.m. – Worship
Edie Bogart Leading Worship
Tuesday, July 13
4:30 p.m. – Worship Design Team Meeting
6:30 p.m. – Trustee’s Meeting
7:00 p.m. – Administrative Council Meeting
Thursday, July 15
1:00 p.m. – UMW Meeting
Sunday, July 18
10:30 a.m. – Worship
Nominations Committee Meeting during Fellowship
New Member Recognition
Tuesday, July 20
Newsletter deadline
Sunday, July 25
10:30 a.m. – Worship
Shalom Sunday

Pianist – Suzanne Bellrichard
Liturgist – Konnie Grant

Ministers – All People As We Live The Good News


July 4th Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
Sunday, July 4, 2021
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
Independence Day
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Welcome and Announcements

*Praise Song
”America the Beautiful”…..……….. UMH  696

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, 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: The earth is the Lords.
All: And all who dwell in it.
Leader: God is king over all nations:
All: God sits on his holy throne.
Leader: He rules by his might forever.
All: His eyes keep watch on the nations.
Leader: Let all nations be glad and sing for joy.
All: For God judges the people with equity and guides the nations upon the earth.
Leader; O Lord, be gracious to us and bless us,
All: And make your face to shine upon us.
Leader: Lord of the nations, guide our people by your Spirit to go forward in justice and freedom, may our nation bring glory to your name and blessings to all people. AMEN.

*Gloria Patri……………………………UMH 70

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn
”This Is My Song”………………….UMH 437

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

Children’s Time
After prayers, sing the children out to “Jesus Loves Me.At this time, children under five are welcome to remain in worship or go to the nursery.

The Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves

*Doxology………………………………………….….….UMH 95

Prayer of Dedication

*Hymn
”Let There Be Peace on Earth”..……….UMH 431

Sharing of the Word

Old Testament Reading

2 Chronicles 7:12-18……Page 342
*Epistle Reading

Galatians 5:13-14.…….…….Page 948

Message by Pastor Gary Peterson
”A Great Nation Is Not Free of Costs”

Words of Assurance

The Great Thanksgiving

Prayer

*Hymn
”America”………………………UMH 697

Benediction

Postlude – Please be seated

Calendar and Announcements
Sunday, July 4
10:30 a.m. – Worship
Communion
Independence Day
Sunday, July 11
10:30 a.m. – Worship
Edie Bogart Leading Worship
Tuesday, July 13
4:30 p.m. – Worship Design Team Meeting
6:30 p.m. – Trustee’s Meeting
7:00 p.m. – Administrative Council Meeting
Thursday, July 15
1:00 p.m. – UMW Meeting
Sunday, July 18
10:30 a.m. – Worship
Nominations Committee Meeting during Fellowship
New Member Recognition

Pianist – Suzanne Bellrichard
Liturgist – Reba Peterson

Ministers – All People As We Live The Good News

Pastor’s Ponderings

Affirmations of Faith
Two years ago, prior to Covid 19, on one Sunday each month during our worship service as a church family we recited together an Affirmation of Faith. Our United Methodist Hymnal lists ten Affirmations of Faith. The Worship Design Team has decided that we will follow the United Methodist Book of Worship and continue the practice of affirming our faith on the third Sunday of each month by reciting an Affirmation of Faith as our Opening Prayer. I feel blessed that the Claybanks United Methodist Church recognizes that it is important for us to continually look at and profess our beliefs as Christians and as United Methodists.

The word “creed” comes from a Latin word credo, meaning to believe, trust, and entrust. Creeds are often compared to a mustard seed. Just as a mustard seed contains a great number of branches in a tiny grain, so too creeds are summaries of faith encompassing in a few words the whole knowledge of what a Christian life should contain and believe as we profess our learnings from the Old and New Testaments.

Affirmations of Faith Creeds are considered essential to us as Christians and to the church. These Affirmations, which are part of church doctrine, have helped us establish firm patterns of Christian faith throughout the centuries. The Nicene Creed and a shorter version, The Apostles Creed, are our essential definitions of the true Christian faith, with much of the original forms of these creeds thought to have possibly come directly from the original apostles themselves. These two creeds have often been called “Symbols of the apostles.” The name of the creeds comes from the fact that, both are composed of twelve articles.  It had been believed that they could have been possibly written by the twelve apostles, as each of the apostles were supposed to have contributed an article under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, after Pentecost. Today most theologians now believe that the long-held legend is not supported by ancient writings. Yet, because of many writings and works of the apostles, we must agree that these two creeds have roots in apostolic times, and they reflect with much integrity of the apostles’ teachings and writings. The many different creeds that are now a part of our Christian liturgy are used not only in liturgical settings, but they also are used for teaching purposes. When someone joins the Christian Church, at the time of their baptism or confirmation, quite often they are asked, “Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, do you believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting?” By answering yes, we recognize our affirmations as official statements of faith in the Christian Church.

Many Affirmations of Faith contain these two elements: Doxological Confession and Proclamation of the Gospel. During the next few months, we will look at different aspects of our Affirmations of Faith as we continue to grow spiritually in our faith journey through our many different learning experiences, guided by power of the Holy Spirit.

Peace and Blessing,

Pastor Gary

Announcements and Stuff

Contacting Pastor Gary and Reba
We will be dropping our landline, in the near future (231-869-3373). To contact us please use these cell phone numbers:

Pastor Gary 616-644-5520
Reba 616-901-7002

Should we not be available, please leave a message. Be assured that all messages left for us will be kept in strict confidence by each of us.

Mission News
Mission opportunities abound in our communities.

Love In The Name of Christ needs volunteers to assist in their mission store and in the office. Contact Love INC directly for details and to volunteer.

This fall the White Lake Community will have a free store and a meal assistance program. Claybanks UMC will be assembling a work team to assist in cooking and serving a meal about once per month. Talk to Pastor Gary about how we can use your gifts in this mission.

Claybanks UMC is supporting these organizations with monthly financial support: Trinity Lutheran Food Bank, Child Evangelism Fellowship and Love In The Name of Christ. Please keep these organizations in your prayers.

Mark Your Calendars
Grab your purse, forget your mask, leave your worries on your door step.  Just direct your feet to the August Strawberry treat!

Well, I never said I was creative when trying to get a point across!  But I sure do want to draw your attention to the long anticipated Claybanks United Methodist Church’s annual strawberry social (minus the lost Covid year 2020).  So, save the date, August 13th, and do not worry about the fact it is a Friday!

UMW meeting
The UMW ladies gathered for our usual meeting in June but with a twist.  We had a Strawberry washing, hulling, chopping, and freezing party!  There was a large turnout of women, there was much laughter, and lots accomplished.  I am sure all the joy we shared will be infused into the berries we will enjoy during the social on August 13th from 5 to 7 PM.  Shalom, Edie

~People are funny; they want the front seats of the bus, the middle of the road and the back pews of the church. ~

Mid-Year Giving Reports                                             
Last year in June, we hadn’t been meeting as a congregation for several months.  Our financial offerings were being mailed in, for the most part. In an effort to help folks keep track of their giving and to make sure donations had been received,  I sent out mid-year giving reports, as well as year-end reports. This year I will not automatically send out mid-year statements. They will be available upon request to anyone who would like to receive a statement covering January 2021 to June 2021 giving.

If you would like a copy, please contact Cinda and she will get your information sent out.

We Need Your Help
Liturgists are needed for the summer months and volunteers are needed to clean the church from July through the end of the year. Please sign up on the sheets located on the table in the Fellowship Hall.

Upcoming Worship Schedule

DateReadingsMessage
Sunday
July 4
2 Chronicles 7:12-18
Galatians 5:13-14
A Great Nation Is Not Free Of Costs

Sunday
July 11
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19
Ephesians 1:3-14
We Need To Dance Before The Lord More!
Sunday
July 18

2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
We Have A Need For Healing  
Sunday
July 25
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21
Bread and Fish