From the Pastor

2015-06-01 Newsletter Message

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Ordinary Time.  Yep, it’s a thing.  A liturgical thing, and one that is very helpful to me.  Ordinary Time, though it has a very technical academic and liturgical meaning, speaks to me of the time in between the high, holy celebrations – of living in the routine of our lives.  It speaks to me of God in the every day.  And, fittingly, Ordinary Time takes up the majority of the Sundays of the liturgical year.

It’s very easy to talk about God in startling moments of clarity or when major things happen in life.  It’s not so easy to find God in the every day when homework, cooking, getting to work or school on time, music or sports practice, and every item on our daily agenda is screaming for attention. 

The Letter of Paul to the Romans, as translated by Eugene Peterson in The Message, has this to say about Ordinary Time:

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what God wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2, The Message)

During this Ordinary Time, how will you do that?  What tools will you use to keep your focus on God?  Do you use a daily devotional book?  Our weekly study guide?  There is a visual devotional that is published by the General Board of Discipleship called Sight Psalms.  You can subscribe by going to their website, and the devotional is delivered to your email:   I don’t subscribe to a lot of things, but I enjoy Sight Psalms and the comment or question that comes with the picture.  Another resource I found today as I have been thinking about this topic, is a booklet published online by Crossroads United Methodist Church.  The booklet, My Everyday Life With God is a series of personal exercises.  You may find that booklet at

During the month of June, worship will focus on the following themes:

  • June 7 – Harmony and Dissonance – Mark 3:20-35 –If our faith does not encounter dissonance, is faith just lukewarm?
  • June 14 – John Wesley’s Birthday – Psalm 92 – Singing Our Faith – We will sing Wesleyan hymns on this Sunday to celebrate John’s birthday, even though it was his brother Charles who wrote most of the hymns!
  • June 21 – 1 Samuel 17 – This Sunday we will explore David and Goliath
  • June 28 – A Celebration of Vacation Bible School

Blessings on you!

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with
in Poetry

2015-05 Our Church Matters Message

Dear Friends,

New life and the power to live as God calls us. That’s what this month holds for us. The Great Fifty Days of Easter are only about half over as we move into May, and Pentecost with its fire and stirring wind will blow through us before the month is over. It is so fitting that we will be celebrating several baptisms, confirmations and new members this month!

Please remember that we will have only one service at 10 am on Pentecost Sunday when we celebrate our Confirmation Class. Coffee, juice and other light refreshments will be available immediately following the service so that the congregation may greet the Confirmands and their families.(The service will be a little longer than usual, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for these young people, and it is our opportunity to show them our love and support!)

In her book, Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard wrote:

On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of the conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on thefloor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake some day and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.

When I think about Pentecost, I think of Annie Dillard. Power. I love that last half-sentence: “…the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.” What if? We do like to keep things comfortable, the way we like them, the way we are used to them. The “comfort” that Jesus
spoke of when he was leaving the disciples, was comfort to sustain them in the danger of continuing his ministry. The Comforter (the Holy Spirit) was to come to remind them of Jesus’ teachings and to keep them on track – moving into God’s reality instead of “business as usual.” What if the Comforter is moving us powerfully into ministry that demands hard hats instead of Easter bonnets? 

As we look forward to those baptisms, confirmations, and new member celebration, pray. Pray that as these beloved take a new place in the faith family, they will bring with them the fresh wind of the Spir-it, sharing insight and the nudging of that Spirit toward ministry that is powerful and life-changing – for all of us!

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with