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Classic Worship: 8:45 & 10 a.m.

Contemporary Worship: 11:15 a.m.

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Just a Thought or Two: There Are Stories and Then There Is the Story

Worship with Us!

Palm Sunday – April 9th, 2017

8:45 AM & 10 AM | Classic Worship
in the Sanctuary at First Methodist

11:15 AM | Contemporary Worship
The Open Door at Buskirk-Chumley Theater


 

THERE ARE STORIES AND THEN THERE IS THE STORY

For a long time, I’ve wondered if the stories we pay attention to as children shape our adult lives. What stories were your favorites and why did you keep asking for them to be read? Do you reflect those childhood stories in the life you live today?

Sometimes, I am surprised by the level of persistence I bring to challenges and tough life moments. I do not easily give up and walk away — I remember I used to enjoy hearing the story of “The Little Engine that Could.” Of course, there is a downside to this kind of persistence and determination because sometimes you need to go around the mountain or ask another engine to help!

I remember reading “Scuppers the Sailor Dog” and one of my favorite things in all the world is to be on the water in big ships or small boats, especially during storms.

I’m convinced the stories we read shape us. Or, perhaps we choose stories based on who we already are? A thought to ponder as it’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon but I’m not prepared to solve that particular mystery!

So, what is it about a specific story that brings us back to it?

THE POWER OF STORY-TELLING

If there is a connection between the stories we read and who we are and how we live, then story-telling is something important and powerful.

When the children gather in worship, I am always—always!—thankful for the parents and grandparents who cared enough to bring them to church because here they hear a story which will shape their lives forever in profound ways. Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and fear-fueled politicians have other stories they want to tell our children—but we have a better story!

THE GREATEST STORY OF ALL

There are many great stories, but the greatest ever told is the story of God’s extraordinary, unexpected and gracious love for the whole world. That love becomes flesh in a Jewish carpenter named Jesus who lived in a backwater province of the Roman Empire. In that one life, God set into motion truth and love which continues to offer the world life.

This coming week is known as “Holy Week.”

Starting Palm Sunday, we have the opportunity to walk with Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem, with cheering crowds and jeering priests.

Holy or Maundy Thursday gives us the chance to be in the Upper Room for the last meal and foot washing.

Good Friday invites us to gather at the foot of the cross.

We welcome the light of resurrection Saturday evening in the darkness.

Easter morning we gather to rejoice and celebrate God’s love which continues to offer the world life and provide us with a reason to hope.

Click here to view our entire Holy Week schedule. (*Note that on Easter Sunday, our early service will meet at 8:30 AM.)

THE STORY: GOD’S STORY AND YOUR STORY

Easter invites us into a deeper engagement with God’s story. Most of us have a Bible around the house, but we may know very little about the amazing stories told on those pages. THE STORY will help God’s story become more real to you than ever before!

Beginning April 23rd, First Methodist and The Open Door will set off on a 31-week journey through the Bible called THE STORY. We will move, in chronological order, from creation in Genesis all the way through the vision of the restored creation/new heaven in Revelation 21.

You will get to know the major stories and important characters in the Bible and you will see God’s story in new ways while understanding your own life in a new way.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO GET READY?

For Holy Week, invite a friend to join you for our services!

If you are a regular attendee at our 10 o’clock service, on Easter Sunday consider shifting to the 8:30 service to create more room for first-time guests to visit at 10 AM.

For those of you who are able, please park away from the front doors so newcomers and older folks can have the better spots.

Prepare for THE STORY by going on-line to order your own copy at THE STORY: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People (Hodder & Stoughton). Also, buy yourself a copy of THE STORY: Getting to the Heart of God’s Story by Randy Frazee (Zondervan). This second resource contains additional observations and great questions. It will help you, your small group, your book club or Bible study work with us as we go through THE STORY.

Pray about and set aside your gift for our Lenten/Easter Offering to support the Korean UMC parsonage project.

We’re looking forward to Palm Sunday and the days to follow.

We also can’t wait to begin THE STORY together the week after Easter.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Mark

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April 3rd, 2017 Council Report

  • Dave LaSuertmer & Pastor Stacee both expressed their gratitude as their time at First Methodist is soon coming to a close and they move on to new adventures.
  • There were exciting reports about the Confirmation class, project-based youth group activities, the recent Jubilee mission trip, and the MCUM preschool opening in August.
  • Beginning April 7, Food Truck Fridays will now be held in First Methodist’s south parking lot, providing a new location for the alcohol-free, family-friendly community event.
  • Resumes are being accepted for Youth Director and Jubilee Director positions, The District Superintendent and Cabinet are in the process of finding the right candidate for our new Associate Pastor.
  • Church leaders are working diligently to be good stewards of church finances, facilities, and property, and groups of folks are praying and working behind the scenes to continue planning activities based on the Fruitful Congregation Journey.

It’s an exciting time to be at First Methodist!

 

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REMEMBER TO BE PRAYING FOR, AND SETTING ASIDE,
YOUR GIFT FOR OUR LENTEN/EASTER OFFERING
TO SUPPORT THE BUILDING OF A NEW PARSONAGE
FOR THE KOREAN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH ON EAST 3RD.

If you missed the announcement, read more about it here.

 

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First Methodist