July 20, 2012

Posted on 08/02/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
July 20, 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
“Experiencing God”
Over the months of August and September, I’m going to be sharing a series of messages called “An Abundant Life with God” which will be all about how to know and do God’s will for your life and for our church. It’s based on a book and a study book called Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry Blackaby. In addition to the sermon series, I want to begin a few small group studies in September that will study through Experiencing God together.
I was just 19-years-old and had been a Christian for a year when I first studied Experiencing God in a small group. It had a profound impact on my walk with Christ. It opened my eyes to the wider reality of God’s will, God’s working in our world, and how God chooses to involve everyday people in the unfolding of God’s will in the world. The author, Henry Blackaby, helped me understand from a biblical perspective how to discern God’s will, the ways in which God speaks to us, and how we respond.
All these years later, even with a seminary degree and years of experience both as a disciple of Jesus and as a pastor, I still catch myself using and sharing those same principles that were instilled in me back then. And to this day, I have yet to find a book or a study that is more accessible and authentic for the ways in which it points to the words of Scripture, lifts up core biblical principles, and then plops them right into our laps to be immediately lived out.
I’ve also seen where time and again, when ordinary people actually have the love for God and the faith to live out the biblical principles of Experiencing God, God is able to accomplish God-sized, kingdom-building things through these ordinary people. The result is nothing less than a powerful, joyful, holy experience with the living God of the universe. Who doesn’t hunger for that?
Experiencing God was written by a Canadian Southern Baptist. (That anomaly is enough to convince me that God has to be at work in this somehow!) Henry Blackaby was born and educated in Canada, served as a pastor for a while here in the United States, but then accepted a call to serve in a dying church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. That church turned around to grow, but as it grew, it also birthed a number of other churches, too! Together, these churches and Henry Blackaby learned and lived the biblical ways in which God works, speaks, and calls his people into ministry with him, most often in ways quite different from worldly methods and expectations.
What I love most about Blackaby is his plain spoken, down to earth way of reading and living out the Bible. What he teaches is both heavenly in scope and immediately practical. All it takes is a love relationship with God that has us listening and watching for God, adjusting our lives to what God reveals, and then moving forward in faithful obedience. The rest is up to God’s initiative, will, and power to accomplish. Blackaby points to story after story in the Bible, confirmed in everyday life to illustrate the truths he is trying to convey. Again, it’s both spiritually huge and yet easy enough to see and do.
I have to admit, however, that there is a difficult side to all of this. The hardest aspect of Experiencing God is the letting go of worldly thinking and some shallow, less-than-fully-biblical Christian thinking that so pervades our mindsets and behaviors. Inevitably, whenever I re-read Experiencing God, I can see the distance between what Blackaby points to in the Scriptures and the way most people, especially good Christian people, think and operate. Getting myself and others to re-pattern our attitudes, our objectives, and the ways we understand who God is and how God operates is the tough part about Experiencing God. But if we can bring ourselves to trust and believe what we read in the Bible then bring ourselves to actually do what we read, then we’ll get to that deeper experience of God that we all desire.
My heart as your pastor is to lead you into an authentic, personal and shared experience with the living God revealed in Jesus Christ. I want our lives to count with God and to be used by God for God’s purposes here on earth. I want us to think and live less worldly and be transformed to become more biblically Christ-like.
In my life, very little has shaped me as greatly as Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God. It’s my prayer that through our series of messages and some upcoming chances for you to personally go through the Experiencing God study, you will begin to more intentionally enter into a love relationship with God that will open your eyes and ears and heart to God’s working around you. Then you can accept God’s invitation to be involved with him in his work, adjust your life to do it, and then obediently go forward into an experience of God that will leave you fundamentally changed for the better!

Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris
Worship News
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “Savior Sauvignon” and the scripture is from John 15:1-8. Ron Feeser will be preaching the next 2 weeks while Pastor Chris is on vacation.
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
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: Wilma Shober (Judy Law’s mother), Mary Tracey, Christians in the workplace, Cathy (Brien Berard’s sister), Caren Coffey (Blairlee Owens’ Aunt), Debbie Ryan, Tevis Nordstrom, Stacey Shaffer, Janet Bryant, Jennifer Bice
Meeting Schedule
Sunday, 7/22/12 – No Regular Meeting
Sunday, 7/29/12 – No Regular Meeting
Sunday, 8/5/12 – Game Night/Bring A Friend Night 6:30 – 8:00 pm
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
A Heart-Healthy Diet is Good for the Brain and Memory
Forget the hype when it comes to fads for memory enhancing supplements or brain health.
Protecting memory and brain health is a matter of keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy, said Riska Platt, M.S., R.D., a New York-based nutrition consultant and volunteer with the American Heart Association.
“The brain is nourished by nutrients passed by the blood vessels,” Platt said. “If the blood vessels become clogged or impaired, that’s not good for the brain.”
Preventing a stroke, which can occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen to the brain become blocked or bursts is crucial. When the brain can’t get the oxygen it needs, it starts to die. That can cause the brain to not function as well, or have mental cognitive decline, Platt said.
Healthy Weight, Healthy Brain
To help your heart and blood vessels healthy, Platt recommends eating a well-balanced diet, keeping your body within a healthy weight range and doing plenty of exercise to keep extra pounds off.
“Obesity has links to inflammation in the body and that’s not good for your brain,” Platt said.
Making sure your cholesterol levels and blood pressure are in check is also important. Diets should be high in fruits and vegetable, lean meats and low-fat dairy.
The D.A.S.H. (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a good model for a heart- and brain-friendly approach to eating, Platt said.
Eating foods rich in potassium – found in many fruits and vegetables – is also important for stroke prevention because it helps control blood pressure.
Platt cautions patients to stay away from Trans fats. Trans fats – also called “partially hydrogenated oils” on food packaging, raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and lower your good cholesterol (HDL) levels and increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

There’s No Magic Food
While there’s no one magic food that can prevent problems with brain health, ongoing research points to promising signs about Vitamin D and omega fatty acids, Platt said.
Omega-3 fats, found in oily fish such as salmon or mackerel, are also believed to lead to better brain functioning, Platt said. And some research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids could decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias), slow the growth of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis) and decrease triglyceride levels.
Studies have also highlighted possible benefits from vitamin D as a way to ward off stroke and cognitive impairment.
“The No. 1 thing to do is have a well-balanced diet,” Platt said. “Don’t just focus on one food, because nutrients work together.”
American Heart Association

Outreach Ministry News
Community Food Giveaway
Saturday, July 21, 2-5 p.m.
Life House Church
1102 Montgomery St., Laurel, MD
301-490-0100 or 240-460-4640

This fall, Side by Side will be hosting a series of 6 evening workshops for Preschool and Kindergarten parents in 6 of the Prince George’s County Laurel area schools. First United Methodist has been asked to partner with St. Philips Episcopal Church to help run these workshops at Laurel Elementary School. On 3 evenings in September/October, FUMC volunteers are needed to set up, serve and clean up the simple meal and supervise the children of the parents attending the workshops. Activities will be designed and ready to use, so volunteers will work with other SBS “regulars” to help make the evening a success. Contact Jane Hanfman at 410-772-8424 or by e-mail at jane.hanfman@gmail.com or see her in church if you would like to help on one or more of our FUMC nights.

On Sunday, August 12th, Side by Side’s Executive Director Joe Murchison or Assistant Director Valerie Nicholas will speak to us at our services about Side by Side and it’s “Wish List”. A special offering will be collected that Sunday to help defray costs. Please continue to bring school supplies for our Laurel & Paw-Paw kids through the remaining Sundays in August to support the School supply drive. Side by Side is very appreciative of the strong leadership and financial support of our church!

Side by Side is excited about expanding our outreach to the families of our Laurel schools, and we hope you will want to join with us in some fashion this coming school year. Just as many of us promised to uphold the Methodist Church with “our prayers, our presence, our gifts and our service” and saw real evidence of just that in our wonderfully attended FUMC Vacation Bible School this July, we hope you’ll keep reaching out to show Laurel that FUMC loves them and wants them to see Jesus in all we do. Thanks for supporting us!

Rev. Nancy Ward Mission House and
Side by Side School Supply Drive
Sponsored by: First United Methodist Church

School supply lists for the Fall are very extensive and costly in these current economic times. Please help these children with your donation. Donations can be left in the tub located in the Narthex marked School Supply Drive.

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

All school supplies collected will be divided between the Rev. Nancy Ward Mission House (PAW PAW, West Virginia) and Side By Side (Laurel). Our church will be taking school supplies to PAW PAW on August 11th (donations need to be given by August 5th) and Side By Side will receive donations supplied from August 5th through September 1st.

Thanks in advance for supporting the children of Laurel and PAW PAW with your donations.
The Elementary Sunday School Classes

Church Meetings
Thursday, July 26th – 7:00 pm Lay Leadership Development
Thursday, August 9th – 7:00 pm Trustees Meeting
Thursday, August 9th – 7:30 pm Staff Parish Committee Meeting
Monday, August 13th – 7:00 pm Vision Team Meeting (Parlor)

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)

Concert Band & Soldiers’ Chorus – 4 August, 2012
The Jazz Ambassadors – 11 August, 2012
The Volunteer – 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 www.armyfieldband.com

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).