August 10, 2012

Posted on 08/10/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
August 10, 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
“The Practicality of Prayer”
Why don’t we pray more than we do? I think it’s because we’ve convinced ourselves that prayer isn’t nearly as practical as doing things. So we busy up our schedules with all we have to do because getting things done is the “responsible” thing to do, and then, when there’s time, we’ll squeeze in a prayer… but only when we need it.
Let’s face it, one of the reasons we don’t pray as much as we do is because the world around us doesn’t operate in prayer. The world doesn’t operate in prayer because it doesn’t operate with God. The world is busy doing human things, and so prayer isn’t all that necessary. If we get caught up in the world like this, we’ll find ourselves praying less and less.
Prayer, quite simply, is conversation with God. We speak with God, yes, but more importantly is what God is trying to say to us. Through nudges, speaking to us through Scripture, bringing Scripture to mind, and just those still, quiet Holy Spirit moments in which we know that God is trying to lead us to think or do in a certain way (in accordance with Scripture, of course), God speaks to us. This is so essential, and for me, this is the power and beauty of prayer. Again, for me, it’s not what I need to say to God, but what God might have to say to me.
How do we tend to operate? Let me give you a travelling example… Let’s say you’re planning a trip. Wouldn’t you first get out the maps, check your GPS, or get on the internet to find the best travel routes and even the best ways to get there? You wouldn’t think that all of this time sitting, planning and not driving is an impractical waste of time. It’s a highly practical, very important planning process. You wouldn’t just get into the car and start driving, hoping that somehow you’ll end up there. You’d end up wasting lots of time, money, and energy, and then you may never get there anyway!
Nevertheless, this is how so many of us live our lives. We choose the destination, use our best human effort and energy to get there, and then we ask God to bless our plans. Has it ever occurred to us that God cannot and will not bless something that may be contrary to his will? Shouldn’t we do the reverse? Should not we first take the time, however long it takes, to wait on God in prayer, get God’s directions, and then proceed? Imagine the time, energy, and money we’d save if we only did what we were convinced God wanted us to do instead of fumbling around creating and carrying out our own plans.
Jesus certainly operated in the practicality of prayer. In the gospel of Mark, there is a story from the very early part of Jesus’ ministry of a prayer that changed everything. Jesus had just called his first disciples and then went to Peter and Andrew’s hometown of Capernaum. There, he drove out an evil spirit from someone in a synagogue, healed Peter’s mother-in-law, and then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening healing and driving out demons. In a quick instant, Jesus had become a powerful local celebrity.
Then, very early the next morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up and went to pray. As morning waned on, Jesus’ disciples went out to find him, found him praying, and told him that everyone was looking for him. Apparently, there was still more teaching and healing to do there in Capernaum. Jesus could have lived a very comfortable existence in Capernaum, set up a ministry center of teaching, healing, and driving out demons, and have become immensely popular and wealthy. That was certainly the worldly-practical thing to do.
But in that time of prayer, while we don’t know what Jesus and the Father said to one another, we do see the result. Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons (Mark 1:38-39). In his prayer, Jesus got direction which forever shaped the course of his life and ministry. And for our sakes, he was obedient. For us, Jesus’ time of prayer was very practical, don’t you think??
I want to encourage you to think of prayer as the most practical thing you can do. Instead of relegating our prayer lives to token, bookend prayers, let us each spend more time in still, quiet prayer, listing and getting direction from God. What would it look like for a team or a committee you serve on to spend half or even an entire meeting in quiet prayer together, writing down the things God reveals to you, then committing to doing them. You would find yourselves being even more productive in the long run. Will you have the courage to encourage your committee or team to do this?
Prayer is highly practical and worth every moment we would set aside from doing
and discussion. Jesus and a whole throng of faithful saints have proven this over and
over again. Prayer opens us to the presence, power, and will of God. What could be any
better than that??

Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris

Worship News
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “God Already Has an Awesome Plan and Purpose” and
the scripture is from Exodus 3:1-20 & Matthew 6:25-34.
Music Ministry
Regular Practice Schedule
Chancel Choir – Off for the summer, If you would like to provide special music please sign up in the choir room.
Praise Team – Wednesday Rehearsals 6:15 pm
Worship Players – 2nd & 4th Saturday 9:00 am

Fellowship News
Farewell Party
Warner and Ida Brown
Saturday, August 11, 2012
3 pm to who knows….
Join us as we say Farewell – Until we meet again
to our beloved Warner and Ida Brown
Sign up sheet at the information table
Sunday, August 12th, 2012
Immediately following 11 am service

Directly after the second service, we will provide a light meal. Come and enjoy the company of your fellow Christians. We know that it can be difficult to make it to the church during the rest of the week to attend our events, so take a moment to relax before heading out into the world and have a lunch on us!

Discipleship News
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:
Denise Smith (Ellen Kidwell’s niece), David Stacey (Ken & Dorothy Dolan’s grandson), Brandon Frazee, Mary Johns, Roland Miller, Seth Boeckman

Bride Wore White / Every Young Man’s Battle

Calling all middle school & high school students and their parents/guardians:

Starting September 16, we will be running a special series (during the Sunday school hour) for our junior and senior high students.

For our young men, we will be going through “Every Young Man’s Battle”.
For our young women, we will be going through “The Bride Wore White (Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity)”.

The classes are open to any student (friends welcomed!) sixth grade and above.

We encourage all students and their parents/guardians to join us Sunday, August 26 at 12:30 for a luncheon as we gather to discuss the details with both the parents & students.

Please R.S.V.P for the luncheon to:
Debbi Schneider (

Meeting Schedule
Sunday, 8/12/12 – Attending Church Social @12:30 pm and then going to Monster Mini Golf in Jessup (bring $15 for cost of golf and arcade games)
Sunday, 8/19/12 – No Regular Meeting
Sunday, 8/26/12 – Regular Meeting 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Ministry News

First United Methodist Church ministers to the people of Morningside Park on the last Friday of every month at 4:00 pm with a short service that includes communion.

Currently our team consists of Judy Law and Mary Stankewich. We are looking for volunteers who would be willing to share this ministry and bring the message to the people of Morningside Park. If you are interested, please contact Judy Law at
Outreach Ministry News

Side by Side School Supply Drive
& “Great Start” workshop info
Sponsored by: First United Methodist Church

Today, Side by Side’s Executive Director Joe Murchison will speak at our 11 am service and the Assistant Director Valerie Nicholas will speak at our 8:15 am service about Side by Side and its “Wish List”. A special offering will be collected today to help defray costs.

Please continue to bring school supplies (listed below) for our Laurel kids through September 2nd to support the School supply drive. Side by Side is very appreciative of the strong leadership and financial support of our church!

First United Methodist has been asked to partner with St. Philips Episcopal Church to help run “Great Start” workshops at Laurel Elementary School on October, 10, 17 & 24 with set up beginning at 5:30 pm and the program running until 8:30 pm each of those nights.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Jane Hanfman at 443-745-0756 or by e-mail at ASAP because background checks for volunteers will be held at Deerfield Run Elementary on August 14th & 15th from 6-8pm. You must bring a photo ID.

Requested school supplies:
Book bags, Elmer’s school glue, #2 Pencils with erasers, Child’s safety scissors, Blue and black ink pens (some red), Compass, College and wide ruled notebook paper, Protractors, Single subject spiral notebooks, Plastic school boxes, Pocket folders, Pencil pouches, Three ring binders (1”- 3” inches), Backpacks, Dry erase markers, Box of tissues, Markers, Bottles of hand sanitizer, Box of 16 or 24 crayons , Packages of baby wipes, Colored pencils, Organizers, Pencil boxes, Pencil sharpeners, Index cards, Rulers, Composition books, Calculators, Gift cards to Wal-Mart

Church Meetings
Monday, August 13th – 7:00 pm Vision Team Meeting (Parlor)

Thursday, August 16th – 7:00 pm Finance Committee Meeting

Thursday, August 23rd – 7:00 pm Lay Leadership Development
Community Happenings
Montpelier Summer Concert Series
Free – 7:30 – 9:30 pm
The Annual Montpelier Summer Concert Series is a gift for the citizens from the South Laurel Rec4reation Council volunteers.
For further information, call (301) 776-2805

You are invited to bring a friend, picnic, blanket and/or chair to enjoy free performances on the west lawn of the Montpelier Mansion grounds (9652 Muirkirk Road at Route 197, ¼ mile west of the BW Parkway in Laurel.

Reservations and tickets are not required. There is no admission or parking fee.

In the event of heavy, prolonged rain at the time of the concert, the performance will be cancelled. Call (301- 953-7882 after 5 pm the day of the concert for verification.

Friday, August 10th – 1+1 Riddim (Caribbean: Reggae, Soca, Calypso)
The United States Army Field Band – Summer Concert Series at Fort Meade

Free Concerts – All Concerts are open to the public and begin at 7 p.m. in Constitution Park (Just off English Avenue, across from the Parade Field)

The Jazz Ambassadors – 11 August, 2012
The Volunteers – 18 August, 2012
Concert Band, Soldiers’ Chorus, The Volunteers, and the Jazz Ambassadors – 25 August, 2012

All Concerts are held outdoors and attendees may bring blankets or lawn chairs.
In the event of inclement weather, the first three will be canceled, but the final concert on 25 August will take place in the McGill Training Center and feature a variety of selections from The Volunteers. The most up-to-date inclement weather information will be posted on
Sizzlin’ Summer Series
Wednesday, August 22
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
My Life as a Caregiver –
Arden Courts Family Members Share Their Personal Journey
When did you know that it was time?
Meet caregivers who have placed their loved ones at Arden Courts
The Lutheran Church of St. Andrew
15300 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20905
Join us for this event! RSVP by calling 1-888-478-2410

September 23, 2012
3 PM—7 PM
The American Legion Laurel Post 60
2 Main Street
Laurel, MD 20707
For Tickets Contact:
Brian Jenkins—301-412-8304
Carolyn Parker—301-490-9588
Pat Hall—301-386-3698
Peggy Hall—301-725-9897
Wanda Green—301-362-7402

#1 Male Crabs
Maryland Crab Soup
Corn on the Cob
Assorted Fried Chicken
Bar-b-Qued Pulled Pork
Assorted Desserts
Pink Lemonade
Sweet Iced Tea

$45 per person
$50 at the door
Catering By
Captain Dan’s Crabhouse
Eldersburg, MD 21784

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