From Our Pastor

The Year of Mark

Posted 19 January, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

It is not often that a church is given the opportunity to welcome and celebrate the birth of a child. Thankfully, we at First UMC are given such an opportunity now. We have shared the good news for several months now that Maegan Mitchell, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and her husband, Brandon, are expecting their first child in February. With this good news before us, a Baby Shower is being held this Sunday in the Fellowship Hall following the 11am service. All are invited to the shower; for further information check the church bulletin.

I look forward to working with you to serve our neighbors on Saturday by way of the Food Bank and Clothes Closet. These ministries are central to First UMC and our mission to serve others to the glory of God as an uptown church. These ministries also provide great opportunity to get to know one another beyond Sunday morning. For this I am grateful and look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday morning worship brings us to Jesus' call of his disciples in Mark 1:14-20. We will be spending much time in the gospel of Mark this year, as this is the year in the lectionary cycle (calendar of assigned scripture for worship) which focuses on Mark. I am grateful to hear again the call to live as a disciple of Jesus. I am especially grateful to hear this call again, having shared in powerful services last Sunday by which we remembered and reaffirmed our baptism.

Monday afternoons are about to get exciting again at First UMC, as we welcome back the ministries of children's choirs and puppets. These ministries resume this Monday, January 22; all older elementary children are welcome. As we plan worship for 2018, I am excited to anticipate those services in which the children will sing and witness.

In two weeks, on Super Bowl Sunday, we share again in our annual "Souper Bowl" and Birthday Bash. Both of these events will take place after 11am worship in the Uptown Ministry Center. Church youth are coordinating the Souper Bowl, with proceeds supporting local missions. If you would like to contribute soup or a birthday cake, please contact the church office.

The first meeting of the Church Council is to take place on Thursday, January 25, at 6pm in the church fellowship hall. At our recent staff retreat, we identified areas of ministry we do well to address as the leadership that is the church council: relationship building and connecting with one another in particular. I am hopeful that by way of the work of the council, we will grow in the ministries of welcoming, worshiping, and serving - to the glory of God.