December 31, 2011
First UMC | eRevelations
December 31, 2011
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:
v Thoughts From Your Pastor
v Outreach Ministry News
v Church Meetings
Thoughts from Your Pastor
“A Legacy of Faithful Partnerships”
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)
On Christmas Day we learned that our beloved Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Stanley R. Bice had died after a long, painful ordeal with a medical condition that kept Stanley crippled for years. Four days later we had a funeral for Pastor Bice that was one of the most uplifting, powerful send-offs for a saint of God I had ever been a part of. The Holy Spirit just filled our sanctuary and empowered us to sing classic hymns of faith with so much faith and vigor, just like Stanley would have wanted. The sharing and testimonies given by people, many of whom had known Pastor Bice for years, testified to the character, love, faith, and long ministry of Jesus Christ in and through Stanley Bice.
But let me also say that as admirable and commendable as Pastor Bice’s life and ministry had been, he and Churalene could not accomplished what they did without some equally faithful, committed congregations. Before, during, and after Stanley’s funeral, I also saw a hard-working, loving, dedicated church family. (I remember smiling from ear to ear when I saw the Fellowship Hall fully set-up and decorated for the fellowship meal two days in advance of the funeral!) Stanley often reflected with me on how wonderful First UMC is and how grateful he had been for your love, support, and partnership.
And that was the beauty of this week, as hard as it was—the partnerships we have with one another, our pastors, and especially Christ our Lord. I believe that kind of gratefulness is what inspired Paul’s message to the church in Philippi. In the passage I quoted above, we see a man who recognizes that his life, endurance, and any degree of success was due to the partnership he and the church forged together. In those words we can sense a mutual respect, trust and adoration for one another. This partnership is what brings our lives and ministry to a good completion.
As your pastor, who has been very humbled this past week in light of the shared legacy of Pastor Bice and First UMC, I want to join in giving my deepest, heartfelt thanks to God and to you for the partnership we have forged in these last five years together. We’ve grown a lot together. We’ve been through inspiring, uplifting times, and we’ve weathered adversity together. All that is the nature of an enduring partnership in the Lord.
I don’t worry about how long we will be together. As you know, our appointive system of ministry doesn’t guarantee these kinds of things. Yet God’s timing and the seasons he appoints are always perfect. For every year we are together, I am fully confident that the Holy Spirit will empower and bless our partnership to do more than any of us could ever dream of accomplishing on our own. Let’s dream big and not be afraid to take on the challenges and the God-sized visions that God gives us. We can do all of that and more because Christ is with us and will never forsaken us. He has promised that indeed we will do what he had done and even more (John 14:12). Just imagine that… That is reality if we dare to trust Jesus at his word.
So as we say goodbye to a beloved pastor, brother in Christ, and friend, we have a legacy to remember that will keep us encouraged to keep the faith today and every day after that. Pastor Bice would expect no less from us. Our Lord Jesus Christ expects no less from us. And he will bring our lives and work to its completion on the day of his glory! Thanks be to God for that.
Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
TONIGHT!! December 31st, 7:30 pm – New Year’s Eve Game Night
January 1st, 9:00 am – Worship, 10:00 am – Fellowship
January 7th, 5:30 pm – Pot luck, 6:45 pm – “Music in Four Parts”
2012 OFFERTORY ENVELOPES!
Your 2012 Offertory Envelopes are ready for you to pick up on the table in the Narthex. Please do not use them until the New Year. If you don’t see yours, please call the office at 301-725-3093.
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 (except 4th Wednesday of every month)
New Year’s Eve
at our annual
Bring your favorite
games and snacks.
Communion at Midnight
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: Jeff McBride’s parents, Karen Storm, Sheilia Biggs (friend of Tom & Essie Jarrell, Pat Staten (Becky Ahlquist’s Mother), Mary Ellen May, Lois Guthrie
Kathryn Eye Circle Meeting, Monday, January 2nd at 1:00 pm
Martha Circle Meeting, Monday, January 9th at 7:00 pm
Edith Miles Circle Meeting, Monday, January 9th at 7:00 pm
Friday, January 6th – 6:00 pm meet in Fellowship Hall to set up for Rummage Sale
Saturday, January 7th – 8:00 am – 1:00 pm Rummage Sale
First UMC Youth Group
Saturday, January 7th, 2012.
If you have any items to donate please bring them to the church and place them on the stage by Friday, January 6th. Thanks!!!!
First UMC’s Special Needs Ministry is once again participating in the Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland. The plunge will take place on January 28, 2012 at Sandy Point State Park. This year there will be a Pee Wee Plunge for those children up to the age of 10 years old who can take a dip in a wading pool and still call themselves Plungers. Our own Jacob Owens will be taking the Pee Wee Plunge. Our team is called “FUMCL Special Blessings.” We are looking for two things:
- team members – at least fifteen people who will “take the plunge” with FUMCL Special Blessings into the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay
- funding – raising at least $5,000, all of which will benefit Special Olympics Maryland
To help FUMCL Special Blessings meet our goals, you can visit our team website at http://plunge2012.kintera.org/fumclspecialblessings. On our site, you can join the team or make a donation. Or you can write a check to “SOMD” and write FUMCL Special Blessings in the memo. If you have any questions, please talk to Blairlee Owens or Jeremy Newkirk, our team co-captains. Thanks in advance for all of your help!
Outreach Ministry News
Worship Team Meeting – Thursday, January 5th, 7:00 pm
Trustees Team Meeting – Thursday, January 12th, 7:00 pm
Staff Parish Committee Meeting – Thursday, January 12th, 7:30 pm
Other Important Items
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 email@example.com).