As we worship this Sunday, we move deeper into the instruction of John Wesley to "Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can." We do so as we look forward to a time of commitment on October 7th. I pray you are keeping this season of stewardship in prayer and that you are prayerfully seeking God's guidance regarding your giving for 2019 and that the guidance offered on the back of the commitment card is of help to you.
I also invite you, as you prayerfully consider your giving for the coming year, to look closely at your church bulletin and newsletter. Look again at all the ministries God entrusts to First UMC. Imagine a "price tag" next to each of these ministries. While it may not be possible to assign a "price" to each of these ministries of music or worship or children's activities or small groups, the point is this: these many ministries do not happen without our financial gifts; without our gifts, these ministries do not find themselves listed in church bulletin and newsletter, and many lives are untouched by the good news of the gospel of Christ. To put it another way: the fact that these ministries take place is a measure of our love for God and for his church; we give to ministries that in many ways are priceless.
The children's Choirs of FUMC will offer their voices in song as we worship this Sunday at 11am. It is a great joy each Monday afternoon to see and hear the children prepare to share in worship, a great gift to visit with parents as they come to get their children. With you, I am grateful for the leadership of Beth Chapman and the choir moms who give so much to this ministry of music.
The ministry of music will be prominent in a new way at the 8:45am service this Sunday. MaryAnn McConnell will sing during this service (as well as during the 11am service) and we will begin this service of worship with a "Hymn Sing." This offering of a "hymn sing" is a practice we plan to follow on the fifth Sunday of each month at the 8:45am service. For those of you who worship at 8:45am, come prepared to name those hymns we should sing as we begin that service of worship!
The ministry of "Donuts on the Corner" begins at 8am Monday morning. I will be at the corner of Church and Lester with any volunteers wishing to greet drivers and/or pedestrians with the gift of a donut and a smile. In all of this, we believe the grace and hospitality of God to be known. We believe, as well, that in this new ministry there is a new expression of living according to the mission by which God claims this church: First UMC is an Uptown Church where all are welcome, all worship, and all serve - to the glory of God.