THE WISDOM OF HARVEY
The images of devastation caused by Harvey in Texas and along the Gulf Coast are haunting. They are vivid and unforgettable. Even as people begin the process of digging out and rebuilding in Texas, people in the Caribbean and in Florida are following the path of Category 5 Hurricane Irma and its 187 M.P.H. winds.
Harvey did not leave us only with images of devastation, but Harvey left us with images of the power of community. Over and over again we saw people helping people regardless of race, gender, income level, or political affiliation. People helping carry babies to safety or leading families out of flooded neighborhoods said something like this: “We don’t care what color you are or where you live or who you vote for or what your faith is: we’re all looking out for one another.”
There are all kinds of storms. Some are meteorological events, and then there are storms which have nothing to do with wind, rain, and wind-driven flames of fire. There are storms of mistrust, storms of anger, storms of division, storms of hate, and storms of greed which can cause destruction in the world and in a neighborhood— more destruction than 185 M.P.H. winds.
In a day and age when people wonder if we have lost—especially in Washington D.C.—the ability to work together to solve problems and build a better future, there may be wisdom for us in those images in Texas. We need one another.
We are all part of one body, the Apostle Paul writes in his letters. We need one another. We were put together to bless and help one another. In the middle of the devastation of Harvey (and Irma), there is a wake-up call for our divided world and our fractured nation—we need one another. We need what community can offer.
A friend of mine named Lou talked with me about this saying, “God is trying to say something to us. We need each other. We need to come together.”
The early Christians knew the importance of community. Acts 2 tells us the early Jesus followers devoted themselves to: “the apostles teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.” The experience of community was so powerful that “awe came over everyone.” The early Christian community wasn’t just about taking care of its own needs, but they gave away what they had and distributed the proceeds “to everyone who needed them.”
At First Methodist, we are still devoted to community.
What does that look like right now in our life?
COMBINED WORSHIP & ALL CHURCH PICNIC
Join us this Sunday, Sept 10th, at 10 a.m. in the Buskirk-Chumley for a COMBINED WORSHIP CELEBRATION featuring the Common Ground Band, Chancel Ringers and Chancel Choir. This is your chance to worship together with ALL the members and friends of First Methodist Church. There will be joy in the room. Children will have worship activity bags to use during the service.
Immediately following the COMBINED WORSHIP CELEBRATION there will be the ANNUAL ALL-CHURCH PICNIC outside the church on East 4th and on the South Field. The food will be great, and there will be games, magic, and music for all ages. A donation of $5 per person, with a maximum donation of $20 for families will be gladly and appreciatively accepted.
GIVING TOGETHER TO UNITED METHODIST COMMITTEE ON RELIEF (UMCOR)
The recovery efforts from both Harvey and Irma will be long and costly. Join with others at First Methodist in making a contribution to UMCOR. UMCOR is a 4-star rated humanitarian organization that sets records with its transparency and the percentage of funds going to direct relief. Every penny you give to UMCOR goes to the effort – not one cent is used for administrative overhead here in Bloomington or at UM missions’ headquarters.
One “flood bucket” costs $65. You might consider writing a check large enough (or go on line to umcor.org) to provide a few flood buckets.
At the bottom of this page, read more info about how you can join UMCOR’s efforts. Also, watch for more information in the coming months about mission teams to the Gulf Coast.
FALL WORSHIP SCHEDULE BEGINS NEXT SUNDAY — SEPTEMBER 17TH
On the 17th, we will begin our Fall Worship Schedule. The times will be as years past but the 8:45 service will include some new elements while continuing the same level of intimacy and informality worshippers have learned to value.
Our Fall Worship Schedule will offer:
8:45 in the Sanctuary
Intimate and informal, with the preacher of the morning and regular participation of the Chancel Choir.
MORNING CONNECTION will offer open communion the 1st Sunday and 3rd Sunday of each month. Each time communion is offered, there will be a prayer station available with a pastor and (if desired) anointing for healing.
Loving childcare provided.
10:00 in the Sanctuary
Our traditional worship experience offers spirited liturgy, music of the Chancel Choir and Chancel Handbells, occasional use of affirmations of faith, a children’s moment, open communion on the 1st Sunday of every month with the preacher and sermon of the day.
Sunday School for children and young adults through high school.
Loving childcare provided.
THE OPEN DOOR
11:15 in the Buskirk-Chumley Theater
The Open Door is a joy-filled, thoughtful contemporary and informal worship experience. Music by the Common Ground Band, a children’s moment, an occasional question for discussion or feedback, open communion on the 1st Sunday of the month, and the preacher and sermon of the morning.
Loving childcare provided.
In the middle of the storm, we were given glimpses of community, neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger, a time when when labels mean nothing.
So join our First Methodist community this Sunday for:
• COMBINED WORSHIP CELEBRATION at 10 a.m. in the Buskirk-Chumley
• ANNUAL ALL-CHURCH PICNIC following the service
• Special offering for UMCOR’s efforts to help with hurricane relief (see more details below)
Remember, Jubilee College Ministry is every Wednesday evening at 7:30 in the Bloomington Sandwich Company (East Kirkwood), with worship and fellowship following that in the Youth Café on the 3rd floor of First Methodist.
And note that our Fall worship schedule begins soon on September 17th.
May the way we do life together, and give ourselves away as a servant community, give the world a glimpse of unity, peace, servanthood, and joy!
See you Sunday! Especially those of you helping with the Picnic set-up at 6 a.m.!
Join UMCOR in Helping Hurricane Victims
- Help financially with Hurricane Harvey disaster relief. Make your check out “First Methodist” with “UMCOR/Harvey” on the memo line and bring it to worship Sunday or mail it to the church. Or, you can go to UMCOR online and make a donation to Advance #901670. Every dollar you give to UMCOR goes to relief efforts—not a penny is used for administrative costs!
- Help with Hurricane Harvey relief by organizing some friends and putting together hygiene kits or cleaning buckets. Go to umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies for instructions.
- Help with Hurricane Harvey mission rebuilding teams. Begin praying about participating on a mission work team that will head to the region when the initial cleanup is well underway and help is needed rebuilding.