From Our Pastor

An Eventful Sunday

Posted 24 August, 2017 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

This coming Sunday will be an especially lively day at First UMC!

As part of morning worship, we will participate in a blessing of backpacks. We do this so as to offer our affirmation and support of students, teachers, and administrators. We offer this blessing because we remember we are connected to all in this community. We do this in the prayer that those in this church and in the local school systems will know the care and support of this community throughout the year. (Worship this Sunday takes us to Revelation 8:1-5, where we encounter the "prayers of the saints.")

Following worship, our youth and older children (JAMZ) will share in a kick-off event for the new school year. Following the 11am service, the youth, children, and families will enjoy lunch in the Uptown Ministry Center. Everyone will then go to Sportslanes in Collinsville for an afternoon of bowling. I look forward to taking part in these activities and ask you to remember the youth and children of this church, along with their leadership, as they begin of new year of ministry.

On Monday, the children's choirs and puppet ministries begin again. Volunteers and staff will drive church buses to pick up the children for snacks and the ministries of music and puppets after school. We are blessed to be able to offer these ministries and we do well to celebrate them and to give thanks to God for them. The lives of many children and families are touched by these ministries; thank you for your support of and prayers for such ministries. We are especially excited to welcome the leadership of our new Director of Music Ministries, Carol Burnett, as she leads the children's choirs this Monday.

I hope you remember the invitation to share in mission ministries on Monday, September 4th. We hope to have a team to travel to Appomattox in order to work on a house being built for a lady who lost her home to a tornado last year. The plan is to leave from the church in the morning for a day of work. Volunteers are need not just for work on the house, but for preparation of food for volunteers, as well. If interested, please contact Maegan or the church office.

I also hope you plan to take part in the small group studies beginning September 12th - the ladies' study at noon in the ministry center and/or the "Take the Flag" study beginning that evening. I am excited about these opportunities for conversation and for growing in faith. Please register if you have not done so.

I encourage you to be in prayer for reconciliation and healing for this nation and for those in positions of leadership in the church and at all levels of government. As we remember the ministry of prayer as we worship, we are reminded powerfully of the call to pray without ceasing.