Join us for worship at First Methodist!
9:30 AM | Classic Worship
in the Sanctuary at First Methodist
11:15 AM | Contemporary Worship
The Open Door at Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Have you ever thought about how much of your life is about getting ready? We spend a lot of time preparing for what’s ahead. Just like today my conversations will involve helping people get ready for their wedding and life together, assisting others in the celebration of the life of a beloved parent, talking with parents about the baptism of their child, exploring our search process for a new Director of Youth & Young Adults with a great young leader, and touching base with Pastor Teri about how she is doing getting ready for her move to Bloomington.
A lot of life is getting ready…doing the preparation work for what is about to happen.
Bridegrooms, sprinkling systems, paint and leaders
The Bible sometimes uses imagery of brides and bridegrooms to tell us how God arrives in our lives. The writers of scripture said the joy of these moments were preceded by preparation work.
In Revelation 21, the writer talks about the New Jerusalem (God’s restored city…the re-created and healed creation) coming down out of heaven “prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God as a great banquet where a lot of work has gone into the preparation, and then an invitation is extended to all (Matthew 22).
The preparation work—even with the headaches—is often a sign that something good, beautiful and right is on the way.
I need to remember this because…
I am kind of stressed…
Yep. I am kind of stressed. Maybe that is something you don’t need to know, maybe you believe leaders should never let others see them sweat. The truth is we have a lot —a lot!—going on at First Methodist.
Beloved staff members have chosen to move onto new chapters. Two different search committees are working to find great directors to join our leadership team. Construction teams are installing sprinkling systems in the Fellowship Hall, where the children of the new MCUM Compass Early Learning Center will eat and play (Fellowship Hall is also where our Interfaith Winter Shelter guests sleep one night a week, fall through winter). Paint crews are at work in our Sunday school classrooms which will be used by MCUM Compass Early Learning Center.
In addition, we are starting a month-long stewardship burst we are calling “excel.” Our goal is to raise $100,000 to close the budget gap so we can continue doing God’s work with children, youth, young adults and young families.
There will be “Coffee & Conversation” with leaders this Sunday, June 4th, from 10:45-11:15 in the Great Hall where you—yes, you—are invited to ask questions as you hear about what is ahead for First Methodist.
As I walked into church this morning, I ran into a young mom who was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work, family, community things, etc . . . in her life. We talked about managing stress and doing what you can.
Then, I saw things in a new light…
The mess of prep work points to a new chapter—and that’s cool
As I walked into church this morning, I went from being stressed to being excited. Instead of letting a hundred details distract me, stress me, I began to see how we are at work for God’s next good thing at First Methodist.
I walked through Fellowship Hall and saw crews installing sprinkling systems. “We’re getting ready for a new chapter,” I said to myself with a smile.
I walked through the first-floor classrooms, where teams were painting and cleaning and I found myself excited about what God will offer young families through our Sunday school, VBS Outreach AND Compass Early Learning Center. “We’re getting ready for a new chapter,” I thought.
Heading upstairs, I bumped into two outstanding leaders who are part of the employment search teams. Instead of feeling like a short-order cook in a packed restaurant, or a mom trying to keep up with three toddlers at the store, I began smiling from ear-to-ear: We’re getting ready for God’s new chapter at First Methodist!
I am so thankful for this current chapter. We are so blessed!
This morning, though, the Holy Spirit gave me eyes to see all of the mess, the transition, the unanswered questions about new leadership, the rescheduled Planning Retreat, and pulling together the different elements of our excel campaign as evidence that we are getting ready for God to show up in new and good ways here at First Methodist.
A lot of life is getting ready for what is to come.
Maybe in the middle of your mess and “to do” list God may help you see how the work you do now is all about something good to come.
Join us Sunday as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper (open to all!) and continue THE STORY.
Be sure to join us in the Great Hall from 10:45-11:15 Sunday morning for “Excel Coffee & Conversation” and be praying about how you will give to God’s work through our excel campaign.
Finally, be in prayer for those who will represent our church at the United Methodist Annual Conference in Indianapolis next Thursday-Saturday.
God is on the way, and something good is going to happen. I can see it through the dust, the mess, the construction crews and search committees!
Grace and peace,
Good Things to Remember…
- We are now on our Summer Worship Schedule. On Sunday mornings, there will be a Sanctuary Service at 9:30 and The Open Door at 11:15.
- “Excel Coffee & Conversation” is this Sunday in Great Hall from 10:45-11:15 AM. This is your chance to ask questions and hear more about the next steps at First Methodist. All are invited.
- This Sunday at 1:30 PM is First @ FIRST. It’s an informal and casual hour-long meeting for anyone new to our church to meet with a pastor, learn about who we are and what we do. No RSVP is required, simply come to Thurston Parlor Library at First United Methodist Church at 1:30 PM on Sunday.
- Our congregation will have several opportunities to bless and thank both Pastor Stacee and Alex Lamb. Look for more information soon about two great events: a pitch-in picnic on Friday, June 16 (the last day of Vacation Bible School) and a cookie reception in the Gathering Place on Sunday morning, June 18.
- We would encourage you to send a welcome note (or maybe even a gift card!) to our new Associate Pastor, the Reverend Teri Crouse. Tell her something about yourself and tell her something about your favorite Bloomington restaurant /mechanic / physician / hardware store / concert series, etc: Rev. Teri Crouse, Marquette Park UMC, 215 North Grand Blvd, Gary, IN 46403
- God can use you to be a part of the miracle of Vacation Bible School and our Summer Sunday School – sign up to help!
This week we’re continuing our sermon series, THE STORY. If you don’t yet have your own copy of THE STORY, you can purchase one from the church office for $10 or order online here. If you’re interested in going deeper, the Adult Companion Guide is also available.