From Our Pastor

Faith Vocabulary

Posted 28 June, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

Please keep in prayer the "Small Hands, Big Mission" mission workshop taking place in the Uptown Ministry Center this weekend. A total of ten older elementary children, along with adult leadership, will do mission work at select sites in the community and make mission bags for those who have need in this community. Experiences of worship will also be a part of this weekend. Maegan Mitchell spoke of this ministry at the 11am service this past Sunday; this ministry will be highlighted again in worship on July 8th. Thank you, Maegan, for leading this ministry; thanks to all the children and parents who are taking part in this!

Vacation Bible School will take place July 16-20 in the Uptown Ministry Center. The weekly church bulletin lists ways in which we may help with this ministry. Thank you for contributions you have already made and for those ways in which you will contribute!

I have shared in various settings with the church that I have a particular faith "vocabulary" from which I draw as I seek to live as a follower of Jesus. In fact, I believe each of us has a unique faith "vocabulary." What I mean by this expression is that there are those words that are prominent and important when we wish to speak the importance of our faith. Words important to me when I consider my faith in Christ? Grace. Affirmation. New beginning. Forgiveness. Healing. (There are more...)

The word "healing" is central to our time of worship this Sunday.  Jesus, in Mark 5:21-43, heals a seriously ill woman, then a young child. These are powerful stories of healing before us, as we all seek healing in one form or another. In this time of worship, we also pray for healing in this nation while we give thanks for the freedoms we know as the United States as July 4th draws near.

We have been blessed for many months to have Jill Gardner share her gifts with this community of faith as we have worshipped. Jill, of Kernersville, NC, has played the organ for the 11am service and has also sung during worship. This Sunday, Jill officially takes her place as the Organist and Choir Director of First UMC. While the search committee received many applications, especially for the position of Choir Director, we believed Jill to be the best person to fill these positions. Jill brings with her an impressive resume, which includes a history of playing the organ and directing choirs previously. I am excited to share in worship ministries with Jill and ask your prayers for Jill and the church as we begin to share together in our worship of God. With you, I also am thankful to Corky Corcoran for his inspired leadership of the choir in recent months and for the faithful accompaniment of Beth Chapman. Beth has led our children's choirs for several months and will continue to do so as these choirs begin again later this year. I am always thankful, realizing how blessed we are with our music ministries at First Church!

I am thankful, as well, to live in a nation as blessed as we are with great freedoms, including the freedom to worship.