March 23, 2012

Posted on 03/24/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
March 23, 2012
First United Methodist Church—Our Purpose: As believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the Bible as the inspired word of God, we 1) glorify God through worship, 2) build strong relationships in the church family, 3) grow in the knowledge of the truth as revealed through Jesus Christ, 4) serve people as a reflection of the love of Jesus Christ, and 5) spread the Good News of the Gospel so that others may come to salvation through grace.
In This Issue:
? Thoughts From Your Pastor
? Worship News
? Fellowship News
? Discipleship News
? Ministry News
? Outreach Ministry News
? Church Meetings
Thoughts from Your Pastor
“Jesus Is in Jail”
We’ve had some great Lenten Supper fellowships and devotions. We have one more next week, and I really do hope more of you can make it. Hey, it’s a free meal for you and your family, and you get to enjoy a devotion that will deepen your faith.
This week, we heard from Dale Boeckman sharing about a place of mission and ministry largely untouched by most all of us: the jail. Many of us have probably seen movies and TV shows that take place in a prison. I just can’t imagine living in a place like that. Much of it I’m sure is overdramatized, but nevertheless, whenever we house a large group of criminals in one building and place massive restrictions on their movement and activity, you can count on it being a dark, dangerous place.
People go to prison, and they’re forgotten. Worse still, when a prisoner is released, he or she is labeled an “ex-con” making it very difficult to land good employment and housing opportunities. Socially, former convicts are treated with suspicion and fear even though they have already served their time. These realities create the phenomenon known as repeat offenders who get into a rut of getting into trouble and re-incarceration over and over again.
I found some recent statistics about the U.S. justice system and our incarceration rate:
• In 2009, the U.S. had an incarceration rate of 743 per 100,000 people, making for the highest incarceration rate in the world
• In 2008, the U.S. kept 2.3 million people behind bars. That makes up a quarter of the world’s total prisoners. We exceeded China’s 1.6 million, and China is the most populous country in the world.
• In 2010, the U.S. housed more prisoners than the top 35 European countries combined.
• In 2010, those who spent time in prison earned 40% less than the average American annual income. That indicates that those from lower economic brackets have fewer options open to them, making them more susceptible to engaging in crime.
• In 2010, 1 out of every 28 children had an incarcerated parent. That is striking since statistics also show that children whose parents are incarcerated have a much higher chance of growing up into crime and incarceration themselves.
• In 2010, more than 1 in every three African American males without a high school diploma became incarcerated. Worse yet, African American men who have been jailed earn 44% less after they have been incarcerated, 4% less than other ex-convicts of other races and ethnicities. (from http://www.criminaljusticeusa.com/blog/2011/10-stats-you-should-know-about-our-prison-system/)
Do you get the picture? I think we must continually push our justice system to think more in terms of restorative justice. In other words, yes, hold people accountable for their crimes, but also invest in their personal restoration so that they will break patterns of crime and live healthy, productive, crime-free lives. But also, there is so much work to be done within prisons themselves to offer inmates a path to redemption through repentance, forgiveness, and a path to new life through Jesus Christ.
I am so happy that Dale Boeckman is once again serving on a Kairos team. That’s an Emmaus-style (Fourth Day) retreat held in a prison for prisoners. Many of us have gone on a Walk to Emmaus and know what a rich, powerful experience of God’s grace, love, and truth it is. It’s been a personally transformative experience for many of us. So, imagine 35 prisoners experiencing the same thing. Just imagine how those 3 days could powerfully impact and change their hearts, letting them know that they are loved by God and by his Church. There will be opportunities to help Dale, and I strongly encourage you to do it so that you and I can be a part of a ministry to inmates.
I mentioned in the title of my article that Jesus is in jail. That’s right. He is. At the end of time, the Lord Jesus will gather the sheep who are his faithful people and thank them for visiting him when he was locked up. They will say, “Lord, when did we see you in prison?” And he will say, “Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:31-46) Of course, remember what happened to the goats in that same story. Let’s not be one of them. Instead, let’s take every opportunity we have to love, visit, and offer grace to our neighbors in jail. In their faces, we’ll encounter the face of Jesus himself.
Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris

Worship News
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “Faith at the Feet of Jesus” and the scripture is from John 11:1-44; 12:1-8.
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April 5th – Maundy Thursday Service 7:30 pm
April 6th – Good Friday Service 7:30 pm
April 8th – Easter Sunrise Service 6:30 am
Pancake Breakfast 7:30 am
Normal Sunday Services at 8:15 & 11 am
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New Members’ Class Coming Up
Have you been attending First UMC for a while and would like to make a deeper commitment to Christ and to his church? Would you like to explore what it means to be a member of our church family? Then this class is for you! On March 18, 25, and April 1, our new members’ class will meet during Sunday School in the Parlor. Pastor Chris will lead our time together. We’ll learn about each other, our church, and how to be a vital part of First UMC. Attendance at all three sessions is strongly encouraged. You will then have the opportunity to be received into membership during our Easter Day services on April 8. If you are interested in attending, please contact the church office by phone or e-mail.

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Music Ministry
Regular Practice Schedule
Chancel Choir – Wednesday Rehearsals 7:30 pm
Praise Team – Wednesday Rehearsals 6:15 pm
Worship Players – 2nd & 4th Saturday 9:00 am
The King’s Kids – Wednesday Rehearsals 6:30 pm next practice April 11th

The Chancel Choir will be starting Friday rehearsals for the Cantata tonight at 7:00 pm. We will also be practicing on March 30 and April 13, also at 7:00 pm.

Join the Chancel Choir on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary as they present the Easter Cantata, Who Do You Say I Am. Following in the Fellowship Hall, will be a dessert potluck. Drinks will be provided.
Fellowship News

Discipleship News
NOTICE!!! PRAYER MEETINGS
Our church holds prayer meetings every Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary. We need supporters for this valuable mission so if at all possible, please join us.
Prayer concerns this week: Jeanette Feeser and Family; Robert Barnes and Family; 11 Afghans who lost their lives; Joseph Todard; Dee and family; Richard Collins; Brandon Timmons; Dawn King; William Shrader; Susan King; Mary Cohen; Donald Keatley; Tom Kuckuda

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CHILDREN’S EASTER SYMBOLS PARTY
COMING SOON

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

SATURDAY, MARCH 31ST
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

We will begin our celebration with lunch
So don’t be late – lunch will be served
promptly at 1:00 PM

We have an awesome celebration planned
including our annual Symbols Egg Hunt
and of course the Candy Egg Hunt
so bring your baskets

Pastor Mike and his Puppet Company
will be here too!

SO JOIN US FOR A TON OF FUN!

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UMW
April 2nd – 1:00 pm Kathryn Eye Circle Meeting
April 9th – 7:00 pm Martha Circle Meeting
April 9th – 7:00 pm Edith Miles Circle Meeting
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UMYF
Meeting Schedule

Sunday, 3/25/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm – Discussing Talent/No Talent Show

Sunday, 4/1/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm – Discussing Talent/No Talent Show

Sunday, 4/8/12 – No Meeting – Easter Sunday

Sunday, 4/15/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm – Game Night/Bring A Friend Night

Sunday, 4/22/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm – Discussing 30 Hour Famine Lock-In Details

Sunday, 4/27/12-4/28/12 – World Vision 30 Hour Famine Lock-In

Sunday, 4/29/12 – Youth Sunday – Both Services – 8:15 am & 11 am; No Evening Meeting

Ministry News
Saturday, April 14, 2012

9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

First United Methodist Church of Laurel
424 Main Street – Laurel, MD 20707

Join the LPC!
5K Race or Walk for Life
Dear FUMC,
Please join us this year as we raise money and celebrate 25 years of ministry at the Janet Lynn Dick 5K Race/Walk for Life!
Join the celebration at
Centennial Park in Ellicott City on
Saturday, May 5th. The 5k Race kicks off at 8:30am followed by the walk. The event ends at 11:30 am.

Create your webpage!
• promote yourself or your team on your own web page.
• post photos, a video or your own personal message.
• spread the word through facebook and twitter! You can register and even log onto your web page with your Facebook!
• watch a tutorial that will guide you through this simple process…really, it is….we promise!

Here’s How to
Get Started!
1. Click on the LPC leaf logo on the right to register now!
2. Complete the registration form to either Run in the 5K Race or join the ‘fun’ walk.
3. Now follow the prompts to set up your own fund raising web page for this event just hit the button “Set Up Your Web Page”.
4. Customize your page and send emails to family and friends to inviting them to sponsor you.
5. If you can’t make it out that day, click the “Sponsor” button to make a donation to help the LPC today.

Get Involved!
• Build your team and win our “Team Spirit” award! Click Here To View Teams Video!
• 5K entrance fee is $35. Fee is $40 after May 2nd when registration closes.
• Collect sponsors and help the LPC exceed our $60,000 goal!
• Contact Teri for materials or for help. Click here!

Register Now!

LPC Partners Website

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Save the Date!!!

Vacation Bible School 2012
Sunday, July 8 – Thursday, July 12
6:30 pm
Celebration Sunday, July 15
Registration and Volunteer Sign-Ups Starts May 12th!!!
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Mom was right; eat your peas and carrots (and grapes and oranges).

The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. An average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day

Tips to boost fruits and vegetables to your diet
• Keep it colorful. Challenge yourself to try fruits and vegetables of different colors. Make it a red/green/orange day (apple, lettuce, carrot), or see if you can consume a rainbow of fruits and vegetables during the week.

• Add it on. Add fruit and vegetables to foods you love. Try adding frozen peas to mac’n’cheese, veggies on top of pizza and slices of fruit on top of breakfast cereals or low-fat ice cream.

• Mix them up. Add fruits and vegetables to food that’s cooked or baked, or mix vegetables in with pasta sauces, lasagnas, casseroles, soups and omelets. Mixing fresh or frozen berries into pancakes, waffles or muffins is another great way to make fruits and veggies a part of every meal.

• Roast away. Try roasting vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, carrots, tomatoes or eggplant. Long exposure to high heat will cause these foods to caramelize, which enhances their natural sweetness and reduces bitterness.

• Use healthier cooking methods. Steaming, grilling, sautéing, roasting, baking and microwaving vegetables are ideal preparation methods
.
• Use fats and oils low in saturated fats sparingly; don’t use trans fats.

o Enjoy vegetable dippers. Chop raw vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Try bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and celery, and dip your favorites into low-fat or fat-free dressings. Dip tip: Read the food label of sauces and dressings to make sure they are not overloaded with saturated fat and salt.

o Sip smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to increase the amount of fruit you eat and they’re really easy to make. A basic smoothie is just frozen fruit, some low-fat or non-fat milk and/or yogurt, and 100% fruit juice all processed together in a blender until smooth. Experiment with different fruits to find out what you really like. Note that some cholesterol-lowering medications may interact with grapefruit, grapefruit juice, pomegranate and pomegranate juice. Please talk to your health care provider about any potential risks.

o Try fruit pops. Put 100% fruit juice in an ice tray and freeze it overnight. You can eat the fruit cubes as mini-popsicles or put them in other juices. Frozen seedless grapes make natural mini-popsicles and are a great summer treat.

o Enjoy fruit desserts. Fresh or canned fruit in light syrup or natural fruit juice, gelatin containing fruit and dried fruit are good choices for a dessert.

o Check out recipes featuring fruits and vegetables at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Recipes/Recipes_UCM_001184_SubHomePage.jsp .
Helpful websites: For
“Healthy cooking methods” – http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyCooking/Healthier-Preparation-Methods-for-Cooking_UCM_301484_Article.jsp#.T2IYlBFDuO4
“Fats and oils” – http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats-Oils_UCM_001084_SubHomePage.jsp
American Heart Association

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Outreach Ministry News

It’s BARRADUCA time! The BARRACUDA’s are those people who would like to join the church’s team for RELAY FOR LIFE for the American Cancer Society. Our church created a team in order to have an active role in the fight against cancer. The RELAY FOR LIFE of Laurel is a group of teams that raise money and awareness about the fight against cancer. The monies raised go to the American Cancer Society for research and support services for cancer survivors. The final event occurs in June at McCullough Field with an all night relay (we walk around in circles!) with fun events, fundraising, and a ceremony that helps honor and remember cancer survivors.

If you are interested in joining the BARRACUDAS team – please contact Bev Raynor at (301)604-0909 or email at : bevanray@juno.com.

Please visit the RELAY FOR LIFE of Laurel’s website for more information. www.relayforlifelaurel.org If you would like to make a donation, please click on the BARRACUDAs team name or see Bev Raynor for more details.

WE NEED YOU TO HELP IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER!
June 9, 2012 at
McCullough Field

Church Meetings

About eRevelations
eRevelations, an informal e-mail communication of First United Methodist Church of Laurel, is published most Fridays. If you have announcements or other information you wish to include, contact the church office (301-725-3093 or office@fumcl.org).