From Our Pastor

An Uptown Church

Posted 16 November, 2017 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

Remember the great opportunities we have this weekend so as to live according to our mission at First UMC. This mission statement reminds us we are an Uptown Church, where all are welcome, all worship, and all serve - to the glory of God.

The opportunity to welcome is before us on Saturday. As the Martinsville Christmas parade makes its way down Main Street, we will welcome our neighbors by handing our hot chocolate. We are grateful to the hospitality ministries of First Church, who welcome any and all to share in this ministry beginning at 5pm Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, we have opportunity to serve our neighbors by volunteering our efforts for the Food Bank and the Clothes Closet. As the temperatures drop, the need for these services tends to grow. This means the need for volunteers grows as well. I invite you to the Uptown Ministry Center to be blessed by these ministries and to be a blessing to our neighbors. We begin with prayer at 8:20am, then open doors to our guests at 8:30, with ministries beginning at 9am. (Food bags prepared for students at Albert Harris Elementary School last Sunday will be delivered to the school on Monday.)

On Sunday, we claim our mission as we worship. We do so by remembering the call to "defy gravity" and to draw closer to God. We remember all God has entrusted to us, and God's call to worship and serve him by way of the giving of those gifts God has first entrusted to us. I trust you are prayerfully giving attention to the estimate of giving card you have received. I look forward to presenting these cards as we worship on Sunday. I always find this time of commitment in worship to be an inspiring and holy time, as we commit ourselves anew to God and his service, as we honor the vows we have made to serve God with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service.

As the season of Advent approaches, I hope you take part in many of the Advent activities before us. Among these activities: An Advent study beginning Tuesday, November 28, at noon, Hanging of the Green on December 3, the children's program on December 10, Market Street Brass on December 18, and more. An Advent Devotional prepared by First UMC for the season will be available on November 26.

In this season of Thanksgiving I am grateful God has brought us together in ministry for the gospel of Christ. I pray God's blessings upon you, and look forward to great ways in which to Welcome, Worship, and Serve - to the glory of God.