From Our Pastor

To Life!

Posted 1 June, 2017 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

I enjoy the soundtrack to the musical, "Fiddler on the Roof," especially the song, "To Life! (L'chaim!)" This is an exuberant song celebrating life, and a song appropriate to the new life we know in Christ as we celebrate this month in worship.

We do so this Sunday as we celebrate the baptism of Connor McKeithan. Connor is the grandson of Bob and Beth Chapman, the son of Elizabeth and Robert McKeithan. In this sacrament of baptism, we, as this community of faith, are given opportunity to affirm and support Connor and family, as well as to remember the baptism in which we are all united. We share scripture from Romans 6:1-11, in which the Apostle Paul, in classic fashion, interprets the significance of our baptism in Christ Jesus. To life!

It was wonderful to honor Lynn Dietrich on her graduation from Martinsville High School this past Sunday; I look forward to honoring our other graduates on June 11th. As we honor them, it is also opportune time to give thanks for scholarship funds available from first church to those in college. Certain criteria are to be met in order to receive these funds, and we are more blessed than we know to offer such funds to those meeting these criteria. With you, I express my gratitude to those of this church who have gone before us, and who have provided the funds by which to establish scholarship funding at First UMC.

I have spent more time than usual at Uptown Ministry Center today, and have been glad to do so. First, two ladies who were our guests at the Lunch Bunch ministry this morning spoke of a need for clothing, so I walked with them to the Ministry Center, where Maegan helped find clothing and also assembled a food box for the ladies. Shortly thereafter, I received a call from the STEP agency; a gentleman being assisted by STEP was in need of clothing. I met him at the ministry center to help him find clothing. Finally, this afternoon, the Salvation Army called to see if we could help two women whose home and belongings were damaged by mold get some clothing. I met these women at the Ministry Center where they found some much needed clothing.

Again, I am more than happy to help us live out the mission God has entrusted to us Uptown, especially happy to connect with other agencies in this community for the welfare of those who love within. I am also grateful to be contacted by Drug Free Martinsville/Henry County so that we may host a DFMHC event in the Uptown Ministry Center in September. I am convinced the opportunities before us to help those in need are only going to grow; convinced that neighbors in this community, in greater fashion, will see First UMC as a place where many may be blessed in worship and by service.

Remember the opportunity to support vital ministries quickly approaching: Vacation Bible School, June 26-30 and the Youth Mission Trip to Copper Hill, TN, July 16-23. Annette Huckfeldt and Maegan Mitchell are more than happy to speak with you about ways to help with these ministries.

To life!