From Our Pastor

Transfiguration Sunday

Posted 8 February, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

Worship this Sunday finds us in the company of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9.) This is Transfiguration Sunday, the Sunday always preceding the season of Lent. This is powerful worship in which God declares who Jesus is, just as he did at baptism. It is scripture which may sustain during the forty days of Lent.

As we worship on this Transfiguration Sunday, we do so with the voices of our children's choirs, in addition to two selections from the Chancel Choir. The children's puppets will also be a part of this service of worship. Finally, we witness to our lengthy and blessed history with Boy Scout Troop 63 as members of this troop share in this service of worship. As I wrote last week, this will also be Carol Burnett's final Sunday at First UMC.

In the wake of Carol's resignation, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee met this past Monday to speak to the issue of leadership of music ministries at FUMC. In doing so, we realized we are blessed to have the gifts and resources God has given us at First Church. As we conduct a search for new Director of Music Ministries, Byron "Corky" Corcoran will direct the Chancel Choir, beginning February 14 (Ash Wednesday). Beth Chapman, who currently accompanies both 8:45am and 11:00am services of worship, will begin directing the children's choirs each Monday afternoon and during 11am worship. Again, we are blessed with gifted leadership in this church. I give thanks for this and ask for your prayers as we seek new leadership for Music Ministries.

I also ask you to support the "Souper Bowl," hosted by our youth, and the Birthday Bash, both taking place this Sunday after the 11am service. Not only do we get to enjoy a variety of soups and cakes at this time, we also support the youth and local ministries with our contributions. I look forward to seeing you as we gather in the Uptown Ministry Center.

As mentioned earlier, the season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, February 14. We will have services of worship that day at noon and 7pm. I look forward to this time of worship, to receiving the mark of the ashes and to beginning this holy season in which we discover again how much God loves us.

In this season, I hope you will take part in the invitation to read the scripture of this season each day. Such scripture will be found in our bulletins and in a pamphlet available to all who take part in small group study beginning February 13. I am excited about sharing with you each day in the reading of the same scripture, and then discussing such scripture as we meet each Tuesday night at 6:45pm in the fellowship hall.

In this season of Lent, it is especially appropriate to give ourselves in worship and service to God. So as to help us in doing this, the Worship Committee has decided to have us share in a "Covenant Renewal" service as we worship on March 4. We invite you to prepare for this service by visiting the United Methodist Church website's Covenant Renewal Service page.

I believe we will find this to be a powerful and inspiring service, drawing us closer to the love of God and of one another.