February 17, 2012

Posted on 03/11/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
February 17, 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
Other Important Items
Thoughts from Your Pastor
“Reconciled with God”
Next week begins the season of Lent! Lent is that 40 days of personal preparation for the Easter celebration. From the times of the early church, Lent has been a time to come to a deeper grip with our sin, repent (turn away) from it, and deepen our commitment to God. Many choose to spend times of fasting or abstinence from certain things in order to learn self-control and self-denial. But all in all, all of this activity aims to bring us a closer, more obedient life marked by Christ himself.
One of the Scriptures I tend to share in this time is 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10. I encourage you to read this passage again. It’s very powerful. It’s Paul’s way of describing what it means to live out a life fully reconciled to God. I’d like to lift up the first three verses:
We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. (2 Cor. 5:20b-6:1)
Paul is very clear: we need to be reconciled to God. I interpret that to mean making peace with God, coming “face to face” with God, and making God’s will and God’s way our own. Now, a lot of us might think that this is something that only new believers need to do. Yet, notice to whom Paul is writing. He’s talking to the Church, to believers. That means reconciliation with God is an ongoing process for every believer. We are always bending our will and our ways to match God’s.
But we’re not powerless in our efforts to reconcile with God. Paul goes on to say in the very next sentence that God made Jesus the means of our reconciliation. In other words, the sinless, righteous Jesus took on our sins upon himself. As Paul puts it, Jesus became sin for us. So, through Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we become righteous. We take on the purity, holiness, love, integrity, and “rightness” of God himself.
Because of Jesus, we can indeed be reconciled to God because nothing, not even our sinful nature, can hinder us from conforming our ways and our will to God’s way and God’s will. Jesus makes it all possible.
Then Paul gives a warning cry to us. He says, “Do not receive God’s grace in vain.” We cannot overlook the great, powerful gift God gives us in the sacrifice of Jesus for us. We can’t just take forgiveness and grace and do nothing with it. Forgiveness and grace have a purpose: to empower us to live for God and to follow God’s plan for our lives. Paul goes on to describe how his life as an apostle has played out. We might be able to write our own story of how the grace of God in Jesus Christ has empowered us to live God’s will for our lives.
All this begins, however, when we daily, or even moment by moment, say, “Lord, I am yours. Your will be done in me.” That’s reconciliation with God. So, do not take God’s grace in your life in vain. Live through the forgiveness and grace God has given you to give your life to God and to allow God to transform and work through you for his great purposes. Life doesn’t get any better than that!

Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris

Worship News
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “The Temptation to Have It All” and the scripture is from Matthew 4:1-11
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40 Days of Lent is Almost Here
Lent begins next week, and there will be several special opportunities for you to deepen your faith and devotion to Jesus as we take these forty days to prepare for the Easter celebration and the resurrection of our Lord.
? Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper- February 21 at 5:30 PM (Fellowship Hall)
? Ash Wednesday Service- February 22 at 7:30 PM (a time to begin Lent by getting in touch with our own mortality and need for Jesus Christ)
? Sunday Morning Worship- worship at 8:15 and 11 AM featuring a sermon series called “Who Do You Say I Am?”
? Lenten Suppers- every Thursday at 6:30 PM from Feb. 23-March 29 (a light dinner and devotion)
? Holy Week Worship Services- Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, April 5 & 6 at 7:30 PM

When Jesus walked the earth, He touched the lives of many persons. To each of them, he asked the question, “Who do you say that I am?” Sometimes the question was asked aloud. Other times, it was implied. Jesus’ question is as pertinent to us today, as it was to the people who met Him face to face. Jesus asks each of us the same question: Who do you say that I am?

Explore with us during Lent the various answers Jesus received to His question. Search the Scriptures; walk in the shoes of His followers and prepare your heart to answer the same question: Who do you say that I am.

Then plan to join us on Saturday, April 14 at 6:30 pm for a service that brings together the many roads we will have walked during Lent.
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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 will be February 29th
Fellowship News
CHURCH SOCIAL – Fellowship Hall
This Sunday, February 19th Immediately following the 11 am service.
Discipleship News
A New Tuesday Morning Bible Study
Our Tuesday morning study is starting up again and we will be studying through the Gospel of Mark. We will begin at 9:30 AM, Tuesday February 28. Pastor Chris and Mary Constable co-teach this study. Mark is the shortest but punchiest, fastest moving of the gospels. It was most likely the earliest of the four gospels and zeroes in on our commitment to Jesus as his disciples. Mark doesn’t mince words and gets right to the essential work and teaching of Jesus. You’ll be amazed, inspired, and deeply challenged at what we find in this short gospel. We’ll meet every Tuesday at 9:30 in the parlor for 13 sessions. A sign-up sheet for this study is in the Narthex on the side tables. We hope to see you there!
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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: Mary Johns, Jeff McBride, Those who are lost & do not know the Lord, Jerry Burdette, Felicia Foster (Larry & Hazel’s granddaughter)
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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
THIS SATURDAY!!…Executive Committee Meeting, Saturday, February 18th at 9:00 am
THIS SATURDAY!!…General Meeting & Program, Saturday, February 18th at 10:00 am
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Ladies, Mark your calendar!

March 16 & 17, 2012

“Beautification of body” Friday 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Come pamper yourself & enjoy!

“Beautification of soul” Saturday, 8:30 – noon
(Breakfast at 8:30 am)
Then a Challenging seminar speaker at 9:00 am

Mrs. Flossie Dryden
Graduate of Lancaster Bible College
Former missionary to Barbados

Watch for more information and sign up sheets. Don’t miss this blessing!

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

No cost Babysitting provided
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UMYF
Meeting Schedule
LEAVING CHURCH AT 5:00 PM….Friday, 2/17/12-Sunday, 2/19/12 – Youth Retreat – West River Church Camp; No Regular Meeting

Sunday, 2/26/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm
Sunday, 3/4/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm
Sunday, 3/11/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm
Sunday, 3/25/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm
Ministry News

Did You Know You Can Make a Difference in Your Health?

Blood Pressure Screening
and Educational Guidance available on
Sunday, February 19, 2012
after 8:15 Service in the Nursery

Stop by and find out your blood pressure reading.

Goals:
? To identify individuals undiagnosed with an elevated blood pressure.
? To monitor the blood pressure of persons currently taking blood pressure medications.
? To provide health education on the prevention of or management of elevated blood pressures.
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THIS SUNDAY!!!! February 19, 2012

Red Dress Sunday
We all need to be aware of heart disease ~ how to recognize its symptoms, how to treat it, and how to prevent it in the first place.

Red Dress Sunday is an innovative faith-based health education and outreach program designed to raise awareness of the devastating effects of heart disease.

Statistics show that each year more African-American and Latina women die from heart disease than breast cancer, stroke and lung cancer combined, making it the number one killer of African-American and Latina women in this country.

We invite our congregation to wear red as a powerful visual and reminder to take care of their hearts on Sunday, February 19th (snow date will be the following week, February 26th)

Our Hearts are not only important spiritually, but physically as well!
American Heart Association

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Verizon Center in Washington, DC
August 17 & 18, 2012
At the event last August, a block of 20 tickets were purchased (and fully paid for) for the Women of Faith Conference.

The event runs:
Friday: 10:00 am- 3:30 pm
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

A box lunch for both days is included in the price of the ticket. Each ticket costs $89 (please make checks payable to James Ryan, or cash is fine). I am keeping a list as people purchase tickets. Tickets will be reserved (as they are paid for) on a first come first serve basis and there are only 12 tickets left. I may be able to add a few more tickets on to our group if need be!

If there are any questions, feel free to email me at starringjenna@aol.com or check out the WoF website for more information: http://www.womenoffaith.com/celebrate/

Looking forward to this year’s conference!

Love, Jenna Ryan
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Outreach Ministry News

You are cordially invited to
Side by Side’s Breakfast Celebration & Fundraiser
Free Breakfast by IHOP Laurel
Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 8:30 -10:30 AM
**Silent Auction will be held during breakfast.
Guest Speaker: Rushern Baker, Prince George’s County Executive
Bethany Community Church, 15720 Riding Stable Road, Laurel, MD.
RSVP Required by February 28, 2012 to
sidebyside@sidebysidelaurel.com or 202-710-5555
Free breakfast with a chance to donate to Side by Side
This event will highlight Side by Side’s third year’s successes, including Family Academy Programs, apartment homework club, community–wide tutoring programs, Spanish translation services in schools, computer loan program, and our new program, Great Start. Proceeds and donations will help sustain these important programs.

**BREAKFAST SILENT AUCTION ITEMS RECEIVED TO DATE—MORE TO COME
? Ocean-front beach house (sleeps 10) in North Carolina; 5 days, fall 2012; date to be mutually agreed upon by winner and owner
? First-edition Audubon print
? Homemade pies from Grammy’s Pie Factory; 6 pies
? Horseback riding lessons at Reddemeade Equestrian Center, Silver Spring, MD; four 1-hour group lessons
? Pendant and earring set, custom-designed
? Christmas basket – various Christmas items
? Hand-crafted quilt—68” x 82”
? Alex Ovechkin-autographed Washington Capitals game puck
? Season family pool pass for Laurel City Pool
? D.C. United—two premium-level seats to one 2012 game
? Two tickets to Olney Theatre Center’s performance of “Sleuth” ( July 13th-July 23rd)
? One-month fitness pass at Fairland Sports and Aquatic Complex
? One–month recreational swim pass at Fairland Sports and Aquatic Complex
? Two Six Flags tickets
? Two hand-crafted red stained-glass Christmas light boxes
? Several baskets of Boyd’s Bears, various sizes and themes
? Craftsman tool bag, 6” pull saw, 50’ orange safety cord, Craftsman robo-grip wrenches (3-piece set), Craftsman work light with 25’ cord, 2 strap wrenches
? Two original framed nature photographs by Steve Noyes
? Week-long stay at a three-bedroom vacation house near Montpelier, Vermont, with a beautiful view of farmland, hills, and mountains. Available in July 2012. Must set up specific time with owners.
? One NRA basic pistol or shotgun or rifle class (8 hours) taught by certified NRA instructor. Completion certificate provided that satisfies the Maryland Police Training Commission’s firearms safety training requirement necessary for purchasing a handgun in Maryland.
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Side by Side needs some “muscle” in order to help transport tables and set up/break down the fundraising breakfast at Bethany Community Church. Set up help is needed at @ 9 A.M. on Friday March 2nd and break down of the same following the breakfast on Saturday March 3rd.
If you can help, please contact Judy Sinkovitz, 410-997-8937 or David Myers, 301-490-0979. Thanks!
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Women’s Winterhaven will be coming to FUMCL the week of:

March 4th-March 11th

We host homeless women in our church for a week and provide meals each night. We need volunteers to help set up, cook, welcome the women each night, and stay overnight each night. Sign up sheets will be available in the Narthex. The volume of women is not the same as the men but the level of ministry to the women is the same. They need to see Christ’s love for them through the volunteers of this program. If you are interested, please sign up in the Narthex . If you need more information, please contact Bev Raynor for more details. (301) 604-0909 or email at : bevanray@ juno.com
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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
CHURCH OFFICE CLOSED Monday, February 20th
Worship Committee Meeting – Thursday, February 23rd at 7:30 pm
Other Important Items

Administrative Board Meeting Highlights-February 2012
Praises and Thanks
? Assisted 485 families and provided 467 bags of food funded by our Good Samaritan fund, Priority Partners Food Distribution Events and our church pantry (Special thanks to Becky Boeckman and her team)
? Provided much needed updates to our church computers and telephone system (Special thanks to Adam Engle and Julie Hildebrand’s uncle on behalf of the Trustees)
? Reached a financial “milestone” of lowering our church mortgage balance to less than $1,000,000 (Special thanks to all who contribute to “Debt reduction”!)
? Vacancies filled by church members on Staff Parish, Admin Board and Technology committees (Special thanks to Lay Leadership team)
? Monies saved on church property insurance and even better coverages achieved (Special thanks to Cherilyn Hostetler on behalf of the church Trustees)
? Repaired leaking pipes in basement and fellowship hall restoring use of those spaces (Special thanks to the Trustees)

Prayer Requests and Opportunities to Serve
? Prayers requested for our growing homeless population in Laurel—How does the Lord want us to step forward for Him—Who will lead others to work on this ?
? Prayers for formation of a church stewardship team—We need your ideas to help us better fund our budget and keep church and community ministry alive and well. What can each of us do?

PLEASE SPEAK TO PASTOR CHRIS OR GREG SWEITZER WITH YOUR IDEAS!!!!!!

Reflections: Remember the promise we made when we joined the Methodist Church? We will lift up our church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts and our service. How are you acting upon your promise?

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).