From Our Pastor

Who Decides Who Belongs?

Posted 27 April, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

I'm excited to "Rise Against Hunger" with you on Saturday! The Uptown Ministry Center is set and ready to go as we anticipate preparing 10,000 meals - or more! - Saturday morning. Many of us remember participating in this ministry when it was known as "Stop Hunger Now." I have great memories of sharing in this ministry with you in the fellowship hall. After a few years of "sabbatical" from this ministry, it will be a blessing to share with those of all ages in preparing meals for our hungry brothers and sisters in the Uptown Ministry Center. See you there!

Who decides who belongs? This question is before us as we worship this Sunday. This is a question born of scripture from Acts 8:26-40, which details a surprising encounter and conversation in the early days of the Christian church. This is a rich passage of scripture on many levels; I look forward to encountering this scripture as we worship. I am also excited as our children's choir will sing at the 11am service. Also, Lisa Nichols of the Henry Fork Service Center in Rocky Mount will speak about the important work in which this center has long engaged. First UMC has supported the Henry Fork Center for many years; this is a great opportunity to celebrate this connection and to hear about this important work.

If you have tried to post to the church Facebook page within the past day, you have found that you have been unable to do so. We have decided to "disable" our Facebook page due to some ugly commentary targeting me and the church following the Good Friday Crosswalk and our recent hosting of the Interfaith Council of Martinsville/Henry County. This shutdown will be temporary.

I look forward to meeting with Sunday School leadership Sunday afternoon. We will discuss future small group studies as well as follow up on some ideas shared at the most recent 5 Talent Academy meeting, as it addressed ministries of Faith Development.

I was reminded again of the importance of our monthly Prayer Walk ministry this week. Those of us participating in this ministry walked to the "Healthy Connections" site on Main Street. As often happens on these prayer walks, we not only share in the ministry of prayer, but share in conversation with neighbors whom we otherwise may not have known had we not taken the initiative to go to their work places to pray for them.

I invite you to mark your calendar for Sunday, June 3rd at 2pm. At that time, we will host a Danville District meeting regarding the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. This Commission, you may know, has just concluded its work regarding the United Methodist Church and the language of our Book of Discipline regarding human sexuality.