Fulfilled and Free is our worship, study and devotional focus for the period of Lent, and this Sunday’s “essential” for being fully alive in Christ is Faith. For those who missed the introductory message on Ash Wednesday, I will share a little of what was shared then so we will all begin in the same place, and then we will be exploring how our Faith is essential to how we live into our relationship with Christ as well as into our best lives. The Apostle Paul wrote:
Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you. How? you say. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God. Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don't squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. God reminds us, I heard your call in the nick of time; the day you needed me, I was there to help. 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:2 (The Message)
God’s love for us is unconditional, and God wants us to have a “marvelous life.” Many times, Lent becomes about shame and guilt. As we walk through this Lent, it is my hope that we will claim the freedom and powerful, searching love that God offers each of us – and that we will turn away from anything that holds us back from that “marvelous life.”
Each family should take a devotional guide for the season. They are called The Daniel Plan Jumpstart Guide and will be on the glass-top table where you pick up your bulletins.
Annnnnd…For this Lenten season, we will have a weekly Memory Verse. This week’s verse is:
Christ has set us free for freedom. Therefore, stand firm and don't submit to the bondage of slavery again. Galatians 5:1
A Big Thank You to Mary Morrison, the artist who designed the image for the Fulfilled and Free series.
And finally, as we move through these few weeks, let’s share a witness of how we are becoming fulfilled and free. Just a sentence posted to Twitter (#fulfilledandfreerumc1777) or a story of how God is working in your life, freeing you from anything that is holding you back or getting in the way of your relationship with God (sent to me via email) can encourage others as well as celebrate God’s love. The Health Ministry Team has organized a Zumba class on Wednesday nights, and they are asking that we anonymously turn in all of our activity (in minutes or miles) as well as how much weight we may lose during this time. Once of our members has promised to purchase one pound of food for every pound that we lose during this time – and donate it to our Food Pantry. Game on!
Remember that Saturday evening, 6 to 8 pm is our first Coffee House of 2016!
Wes Moore – On Thursday night, February 18, at 7 pm, Wes Moore will be sharing his story and his life with students at Franklin High School. Because the auditorium holds only 750 people, admission to this event is by invitation only. If you want to bring a middle or high school student who has not received an invitation from the school, please be sure to get a flyer from Susan Harry this Sunday and tell her how many will be in your group. Parents or grandparents may accompany their special young people to this event. We have 150 seats reserved for RUMC family members. Each young person who attends will receive a copy of Wes Moore’s young adult novel, This Way Home, the story of 3 friends who learn how easy it is for trouble to find them. This event is sponsored by RUMC, through a grant from the Turnbaugh Trust. For those who do not have a middle- or high-school-aged student, we are planning to host the event here at church via live-streaming on our sanctuary screen. Our tech team is working with the high school to make this happen. Once the details are fixed, we will also publicize how you can log in and watch Wes from home. If we have that information by Sunday, we will have written notices that you can take home with you. If not, watch next week’s Midweek as well as the website for further information.
Finally, I want to thank Susan Harry for her leadership in taking 30 youth and 17 adults to Ocean City last weekend for ROCK2016. I also want to thank those 17 adult volunteers who gave so much of themselves to make this a wonderful, spiritually filled weekend for our youth. You should have seen them dancing! The bands were awesome, and our group chose seats where they had room to get up and boogie, and it was GREAT! They drew in youth from other groups and the dancing was fabulous! What great fun! (Hint for keeping our baptismal pledge to the youth: Ask some of them about their weekend experience – who was the band, what did they play, tell me about the dancing….)
See you on Sunday!
Blessings on you,