From Our Pastor

I Am

Posted 2 August, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

The Gospel of John is filled with many "I am" statements of Jesus. One of those statements is "I am the bread of life." Jesus says this after feeding the five thousand. Typical of the Gospel of John, Jesus, in this lengthy "bread of life" discourse, also urges those to whom he speaks to believe that he is the Son of God sent from heaven. It only seems right that we celebrate the Lord's Supper with this good news before us.

We also celebrate the good news of the mission work performed by many in this church this past Saturday. Linda Adams and Vicki Harm, co-chairs of the church's Mission Committee, will speak of work that was done on a local home; there will also be an accompanying PowerPoint presentation at each service of worship. I look forward to this witness reminding us of how the worship we offer is expressed through the service in which we engage. Such service is also seen as we continue to serve our neighbors by way of meals provided not only for our Lunch Bunch guests, but also for neighbors recently displaced by fire. Thanks to you volunteers who arrive at the church early on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help with this vital ministry.

I urge you to pray for the "Back2school" ministry taking place at many locations this weekend. I spoke recently with Michael Harrison of Community Fellowship in Collinsville about this ministry. From this conversation, we decided to host an event related to "Back2school." This event, a "Hope Gathering," will take place in the Uptown Ministry Center on Friday night. I am grateful to work with Michael in support of many local ministries, and grateful that First UMC is able to host this ministry event on Friday night. As this "Back2school" ministry is offered next year, it may well be that we at FUMC become more involved in support of this ministry.

This Sunday, Maegan begins leading a parents' Sunday School Class in a series called, "Tech-Sensible Parenting." This is a timely class in which there will be conversation about the impact of technology and social media on children and families today. Contact Maegan if you have questions.

After worship on August 26, there will be the annual kick-off for both youth and JAMZ ministries (Jesus and Me Zone.) The children's puppet team and choirs resume practice on August 20; the church bus will pick up children from Carlisle and Mt. Olivet after school and bring them to church.

Remember the "Living Faithfully" study which begins September 18th at 7pm. Registration is required; books for this study are available in the church office.