From Our Pastor

Mother's Day

Posted 10 May, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

I look forward to worshipping with you on Mother's Day this Sunday. In addition to honoring mothers, the First Hand Experience Children's Puppet Team will perform "Born Again." Jill Gardner, our organist, will sing a solo titled "The 23rd Psalm," while the Chancel Choir will sing "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name."

Preston Painter, a senior at Carlisle, has been busy in his second week of "shadowing" for his senior project at First UMC. He has helped with many ministries of the church, and will make some visits with me this afternoon. He concludes this project next week.

I remind you that on Sunday, June 3, at 2pm, First UMC will host an informational meeting for the Danville District. The purpose of this meeting is to address the latest information regarding the work of the Commission on a Way Forward and the Council of Bishops regarding the United Methodist Church and human sexuality. The Council of Bishops recently recommended the adoption of a "One Church Plan" at a called session of the General Conference of the UMC next February.  According to a press release issued by the Bishops, the One Church plan  "encourages a generous unity by giving United Methodists the ability to address different missional contexts in ways that reflect their theological convictions. The One Church Plan removes the restrictive language of the Book of Discipline and adds assurances to pastors and Conferences who due to their theological convictions cannot perform same-sex weddings or ordain self-avowed practicing homosexuals." In preparation for this informational meeting, you may find it helpful to read a brief book, "Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church." We have ordered copies of this book; they should arrive soon and be available at the church office. I am meeting with a United Methodist pastor on Monday in regard to his possible leadership of a study of "Living Faithfully" at the church later this year. I invite you to watch Bishop Lewis' response to the Council of Bishops' recommendation at this link:

Maegan Mitchell is initiating an exciting mission experience for rising 4th-6th graders. The event, "Small Hands, Big Mission" will involve three mini-mission experiences, worship, games, and meals. This is an overnight mission experience scheduled for the Uptown Ministry Center on June 15-16.  Parents are welcome and encouraged to be a part of this event. If interested, contact Maegan at the church.

This year's Annual Conference will take place in Hampton on June 15-17. As at each session of the Conference, all attending are asked to bring canned goods or other non-perishables to support a local food bank. So I invite you to bring these items to the church to be taken to Conference by me or our lay representative, Paul Geib.

Annette Huckfeldt and I will be going to Collinsville early Wednesday evening to see how a ministry named "The Jericho Project" works. "The Jericho Project" is also known as a sidewalk Sunday school, something like a portable Vacation Bible School, complete with crafts, music, snacks, etc. A gentleman in another church where "The Jericho Project" takes place was kind enough to share the idea with me, so I am excited to see how it works and if it is something with which we can be involved. If you are interested in this, let me or Annette know.