From Our Pastor

By What Power?

Posted 17 April, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

I am sending this week's "Pastor's Letter" early because First UMC is hosting some significant events this week that I hope you will support and promote.

First, tomorrow (Wednesday) we are beginning a "Lunch and Learn" series at the Uptown Ministry Center. The first in this series addresses the "sandwich generation," those of us who may be raising our children while also caring for aging parents. The presenter for this particular "Lunch and Learn" is Jan Bellard of The Southern Area Agency on Aging. She will speak about aging in place (at home) versus selecting an appropriate care facility. This session is directed to those in their 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. It is not too late to RSVP; lunch is provided. We will begin at noon.

Second, on Friday, April 20, in the church fellowship hall, we are hosting the Interfaith Council of Martinsville and Henry County. This council has met in recent years in various places of worship; I am honored to be asked to host this particular meeting. The theme for the conversation to be held by this council on Friday is "What is God's Purpose for Humanity?" Facilitating this conversation will be leaders from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faith traditions. This meeting is to take place from 3:00-4:30pm.

I believe this time together will be rewarding for all, as we share in vital conversation and as we get to know our neighbors. I hope we at First UMC support these experiences to be offered on Wednesday and Friday of this week. As we do so, I hope we at the same time celebrate these new ways in which we live our mission as an Uptown Church where all are welcome, where all worship, and where all serve - to the glory of God.

Paula and I returned Sunday evening from a wonderful week's vacation at the Outer Banks. We are grateful for your prayers. I am also grateful for the leadership of the Rev. Lil Geib during worship this past Sunday.

I look forward to being with you in worship again this Sunday. Having journeyed for many weeks through Lent to find ourselves celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, we now journey several weeks exploring what it means to live in the light of the resurrection of Jesus. So we find ourselves experiencing the witness of the apostles of Jesus as found in the book of Acts. This week, Peter responds to the question, "By what power?" in regard to the works performed by the apostles.

I invite you to take part in the ministry of the monthly Prayer Walks. Next Wednesday at noon, we meet at the church to walk to the offices of the Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness on Church Street. All are welcome to take part in this walk; you need not pray if you do not feel so led. Taking part in the walk is still taking part in the witness.