From Our Pastor

Hurricane Harvey Support

Posted 1 September, 2017 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

We have all been watching, for several days, the unfolding tragedy of Hurricane Harvey. The people of Texas and Louisiana are suffering terrible loss and devastation, and our hearts break for them.

We, as the body of Christ, certainly keep the residents of these areas in our prayers. We especially remember the elected officials tasked with making difficult decisions in these days. We remember the first responders, rescue workers, medical personnel; all who are working sacrificially and even at risk to their own well-being. We remember the faith communities who seek to comfort; we remember those who have lost loved ones.

I know we all want to help and are wondering how best to do this. Right now, the best way we can help is by way of financial gifts to aid in the relief effort. This Sunday, we will have the opportunity to offer such gifts. In addition to giving such gifts by way of the offering, Mission Boxes will also be available to us. It is our custom, as we celebrate the Lord's Supper, to place contributions in these boxes in support of the Mission Ministries of First UMC. This Sunday, the gifts placed in the Mission Boxes will go to support the relief efforts led by UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Thank you in advance for your gifts, gifts which witness to your care for the hurting people of Texas and Louisiana. I also invite you to check out this link on the Conference website regarding Hurricane Harvey and our response.

In addition to praying for these persons as we worship, we will also remember the work to which God calls us on this Labor Day weekend. Scripture from Genesis 2 and I Thessalonians 3 invite us to affirm again the work God entrusts to us for his sake. This will also be the first Sunday for our new Director of Music Ministries, Carol Burnett, to lead the Chancel Choir. I hope you will be here to welcome Carol, and her husband, Ted.

I remind you again of the opportunity to grow in faith by way of small group opportunities quickly approaching. Women of the church are invited to study women of the Bible beginning 12 noon, September 12th, in the Uptown Ministry Center. All are invited to take part in "Take the Flag," beginning at 6:45pm, September 12th, in the Fellowship Hall.

In the item I write for this Friday's issue of the Martinsville Bulletin, I write about "Take the Flag." I do so in order to invite any and all in this racing community to come together to share in conversation about matters of faith, conversation that can be borne of reference even to flags so important in auto racing.  I hope you will take part in this study and invite others to do so as well.