From Our Pastor

Helping Our Neighbors

Posted 6 July, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

As the community responds to last weekend's fire at the Piedmont Community Service apartments, I invite you to help as First UMC shares in these relief efforts.

I have spoken with Katie Whitlow of PCS. Katie is helping coordinate assistance for those displaced by the apartment fire. In conversation with Katie, as well as those who coordinate the Lunch Bunch Ministry of FUMC, we have agreed to provide to-go meals for forty PCS clients each Tuesday and Thursday for three weeks, beginning next Tuesday, July 10th. This is in addition to the approximately fifty Lunch Bunch guests we now serve each Tuesday and Thursday. A representative from PCS will stop by the church to pick up the meals for these clients. As you see that this is extra work for those who already provide the lunch bunch ministry, I hope you may step in volunteer to help our neighbors in need. You may call the church office to volunteer or contact Ed or Margaret Dietrich.

If you wish to contribute to the relief efforts financially, you may make checks out to Grace Network and mail to: Grace Network, PO Box 3902, Martinsville, VA 24115 (write "Piedmont" in the memo line) or donate at: http://gracenetworkmhc.org. Donations such as clothing, toiletries, etc., can be dropped off at the Salvation Army, Community Fellowship, Grace Network, and St. Paul High Street Baptist Church.

In the "From the Pulpit" item I have written for Friday's local paper, I write of how God tells us what it most important for us who seek to follow him is the way we care for our neighbors in need (the greatest commandment - the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25.) With this fire, we are given opportunity to live according to what God declares is most important. We are also given opportunity to live according to the mission statement of FUMC; that mission statement stating: First UMC is an Uptown Church where all are welcome; all worship; and all serve - to the glory of God.

We remember our call to worship God as we spend time with Mark 6:1-13 on Sunday. This is a surprising passage, really, as it tells us that even Jesus did not succeed at all times.  Perhaps those of us who follow Jesus now - and whose efforts are not always met with success - may hear this as good news. At the 11am service on Sunday, we also hear of the wonderful ministry of "Small Hands; Big Mission," which took place last weekend.

Remember the opportunity to support Vacation Bible School as this ministry quickly approaches. VBS will be held in the Uptown Ministry Center from July 16 - 20.