Sorry I been absent – this list is part of the distraction for me!

So I moved in June and started at a new church in July. It has been a wild ride, but I am actually loving it – even when I get frustrated (mostly by technology and not stuff and people). But we are moving forward – everyday – even when the steps are just small ones.  Most of this list was accomplished in the past 7 months – because of a lot of hard work by many people. The letter goes to the congregation in the mail today, but blog readers can get a jump start! 

 

Did you know this about College Place United Methodist Church?

Ministry Area

  1. Two new members that joined the church in the last few months. Each Sunday we have noticed that we have a number of visitors.
  2. Our church paid 100% of the commitment for Conference and global support and local Missions of the United Methodist Church. We maintained its rich history of paying 100% of Conference asking to support missions around the world. Fifty-two churches (or 73%) of the district can say that.
  3. Hosted a Community Thanksgiving Service and Reception the Thursday before Thanksgiving Day.
  4. College Place has a new headset microphone used during worship (donated).
  5. Developed and approved the 2012 Ministry Budget in mid-December 2011.
  6. Had a weekly Bible Study/small group based on Bad Girls of the Bible.
  7. A Wesley-Luther Campus Ministry Bible Study was held at the church this past fall with various groups hosting a meal for the students.
  8. Senior Adult Valentine’s Day Party next Tuesday morning.
  9. An Ash Wednesday worship service is being planned for Wednesday, February 22 at 5:30 p.m.

10. The Friends Class is planning a spaghetti supper for March 24. Part of the funds will go to start a fund to raise money for restoring chimes in the tower as an offering to the College Hill community.

11. Wonderful news the Staff-Parish Committee is in the process of hiring staff to develop our Young Peoples’ Ministry for our church and community.

Outreach Area

12. We have outdoor signs that call attention to events such as Sunday Night Live and Wonderful Wednesday. We had visitors drop in for Wonderful Wednesday and returned to worship on Sunday.

13. The lighting of the sign and tower has been fixed and updated so the tower is illuminated at night.

14. College Place has five stone flower planters with lovely winter flowers that were donated. Four planters are at the front on the steps to the church and one on the side. We’ve seen our neighbors stopping and enjoying their beauty.

15. New computer software that allows design and printing of all kinds of brochures, flyers, bulletins and newsletters that we can better communicate happenings at College Place Church (donated).

16. The young adult group, CPYA, hosted the Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off and talked Santa into visiting just before Christmas.

17. We have updated Phone Tree software for calling, emailing and contacting members and friends of the church about happenings at College Place (donated).

18. The O’ Henry magazine featured our UMW cookbook being used to cook the meal at Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Weaver House in its Oct/Nov edition.

Technical Improvements and Updates

19. Two new Dell computers (95% donated) that are networked with each other and the copier (used as a much cheaper printer than bubble jet printers).

20. A new internet system giving us Wi-Fi in most of the building – the sanctuary, fellowship hall and for the basement area for Max and Friends. (Little set-up cost and actual reduction to our monthly services – Thanks AT&T!). No surfing the internet during the sermon!

Church Building Improvements and Updates

21. College students have painted and are renovating their Sunday school room and a new couch and loveseat set will complete this room soon (donated).

22. Max and Friends have continued their improvements to the basement area by cleaning and painting additional rooms and putting in new lighting in the old fellowship hall. They are currently working on the old kitchen and a couple of the rooms downstairs.

23. We’ve added beautiful, energy efficient windows in the pastor’s office, secretary’s office, music director’s office, storage room, Friend’s Class, John Wesley Room and kitchen (purchased with donated or endowment earnings for maintenance). Trustees have developed an on-going fund raising for more window replacement.

24. A renovated John Wesley Room with new blinds, drapes, flooring, rugs, recovered furniture and presentation cabinet. (All done by funds donated for this purpose.) A new painting of the original Church sanctuary hangs over the mantle in the John Wesley Room. It was painted by a member and donated. A dedication of the room is planned for March 4.

25. Renovated offices have fresh carpet and paint, blinds, new desks (both gifts). The office has been rearranged to aid efficiency. The office restroom was painted, new shelving added for storage and covering for heating & A/C return ductwork. This was all accomplished by funds outside the ministry budget of the church (either donations or endowment specified for maintenance).

26. A new security system that features up to 8 cameras to monitor 8 areas of the church and enabling recording of entry and movement in our building. It replaced the previous system which was not consistently working (donated).

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A little reflection on Moses and Exodus 3:1-15

(This little bit is from an evening service with new and returning college students – it is just my notes, but I loved the last paragraph!)

Opportunities of Campus Ministry

–         Friends and food – My first Sunday

–         Older students would drive around – knew cheap resturants

–         Professorial references

–         Live changing events like retreat

 

Unknow possibilities of College and campus ministry – where will these experiences take you?

 

Moses – Theophany – God made known to humans

          Moses didn’t get to choose the time or the place.

 

Name of God – Moses was the first person who knew the name of God according to Fredrick Buechner.  There was a choice that Moses could have made, to tell the name of God or not.  But Moses chose to share that name of God since we know that name – a story that lives on because of our retelling the story over and over.

 

There is also this dialogue between God, the I am who I am – I will be who I will be. God clearly calls Moses – but Moses comes up with a litany of excuses. He says to God, “But I don’t know your name.” Suppose they don’t believe me – staff into serpent, hand inside of his cloak develops leprosy (reasons those who care about you want you to wash your clothes). Later he even responds, “I don’t speak well.” Excuses, excuses.

 

But even with these excuses, Moses despite his best made excuses agrees to serve God, chose to work to free and lead God’s people who were in oppression in Egypt. It was a forty year assignment, that would last the rest of his life, but God had called him and God would be with him. Moses’ life with all of its challenges and setbacks models for us the fact that God will always be with us even on the days when the whole of the world seems so far away.

 

Your time here at school can be just four, or five or so

of normal making it though the day kinda thing.

Or it could be the theophany designed just for you

by God who has created you,

by God who loves you more than any other person, place or thing

and by the God who can’t wait to see how you chose.

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A Word on Giving and Faithful living

The Rev. Dr. Mary John Dye articulates some powerful toughts on faithful life and addresses a common “Christanity my way” practices. Her blog can be found: www.maryjohndye.blogspot.com Thanks Mary John.

    “If you have been a United Methodist for 6 days or 6 years or 60 years, you should have had the opportunity to know that, from the days of our founder John Wesley, Methodists are passionate believers in an accountable, disciplined and full discipleship for Jesus Christ; that we believe in living out the teaching of Jesus and that we have a constant, consistent passion for those in need.   These characteristics are deeply ingrained in our practice of faith. This defines the United Methodist way of life.  

     “So I was completely off guard when someone stopped me after church one Sunday to tell me he was going to retrieve his check from the offering plate and never come back to the church again. He was angry because the sermon–an eloquent, engaging presentation of basic United Methodist faith— urged people to live and apply the teachings of Jesus as well as talking about the life of Jesus.

   “Now friends, first of all, let us be clear. People in United Methodism have always been encouraged in lively theological discussion. We encourage people to raise questions and think through theological issues in Christian conferencing. Questions, concerns, the search for truth – all of those things are deeply valued in our denominational life.

     “Threats? Not so much.   Nobody has to threaten to leave to get attention. In fact, threats only discourage a productive discussion. First of all, the threats start the conversation with a very shallow spirituality. I can’t even conceive of getting mad and demanding my offering money back.

     “I don’t care how much your check to the church is, don’t put money in the offering plate to get your way. The offering is a sacred opportunity to thank God for God’s love and faithfulness.   What you give in the offering of your money and heart is a reflection of your appreciation of God’s many gifts to you. Period. No amount of money entitles you to be happy with what the pastor says. No amount of giving entitles you to have your way in decisions in the life of the church. Buying influence is a common practice in the world and you have many opportunities in civic life in this country to give for influence.   The church, in contrast, is a call to Christian discipleship. Jesus’ teaching on money reminds us that wealth tends to have a spiritually devastating effect on people. In church, people are invited to give to put God first and to participate in God’s giving heart. Our unique gift to people of putting money in godly perspective must not be corrupted by the ways of the world. Giving is a spiritual experience that reflects the humility, gratitude, the open heart that becomes the Christian disciple. Giving is not a bargaining chip at church to be extended – or withdrawn-based on the agreement of the giver.

     “So many times I hear people who are mad about something say that they will just stop coming to church. Maybe they don’t even hear what that says about their Christian faith. Friends, we have the opportunity, the freedom and the privilege of worshipping God every Sunday. Worship is our opportunity to grow in faith, to be connected to the Christian community, to get perspective in prayer and song and to hear God’s word. Worship not about liking or not liking the preacher. Attendance in worship is not for people to get their way. Worship is about God’s way. We’ve had it backwards way too long. Boycotting worship only shows the spiritual immaturity of the person who stays away. Even more sadly, by their actions, they keep themselves from the rich resources of the gospel in shared community.

     “I share this because I know that, in the heat of our shared life, many of you hear others say that they are going to quit giving or quit coming to church. I know this because you call me worried that certain people (and you usually tell me that they are “good givers” to your budget) will stop coming. When people make or live out a boycotting threat, you have a teachable moment.   In the spirit of Christian love, I hope you give people the best gift of all: a faithful witness to the things that are eternal.

     “I believe that God works in all things for good. And, although these threatening encounters are very discouraging, I pray that speaking the threats will be opportunities to re-think and re-focus on true faithfulness.”

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Palm/Passion Sunday – Apr 17, 2011 – “From Palms to a Cross”

Procession and All Glory Laud and Honor hymn 02 Gospel_Music

Sermon: 05 From Palms to A Cross

Benediction Response  and Postlude 12 Benediction _ Postlude

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Lent IV – Apr 3, 2011 – John 9 – Jesus and the Blind Man

Help Us to See – AUDIO

Service and Sermon of April 3, 2011

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Peter Gomes’ Dec. 12, 2008

Beyond Anxiety 2

A great sermon. Probably my favorite sermon from Professor Gomes from Harvard Memorial Chapel. It was really timely and insightful – especially in Dec. 2008! A sermon with some great lines.

Hope you enjoy, especially if you need a bit of encouragement.

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Sermon Feb. 13 – “God’s servants, Working Together”

A sermon from I Corinthians 3:1-9 from Feb. 13, 2009. Scout Sunday. Sorry about the voice effected by a cold. Click the link to listen.

God’s Servants, Working Together

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