June 29, 2012

Posted on 08/02/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
June 29, 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
“Five Years Later—More Grateful than Ever”
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.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3-11)
It was five years ago today that Blairlee and I got married in a small wedding ceremony at Asbury UMC in Arnold—Blairlee’s home church. We were married by Rev. Dr. Ed DeLong who was Blairlee’s childhood pastor and a mentor of mine. It was a small, intimate wedding with our families and a few close friends. Then, two days later on July 1 we had our very first Sunday in worship as a couple and as a family with you, which was also your first Sunday with us. We have “honeymooned” with you since then!
Not a day goes by that at least one thing doesn’t remind me of the blessing you are as a church, affirming within me once again what an honor it is to be your pastor. We’ve come a long way together in these five years. We’ve grown in our missions to our community and beyond. We’ve grown closer to Jesus Christ. We’ve learned and adapted to different ways of worshipping God together. We’ve become more diverse, better reflecting the population of our diverse Laurel community. Most especially, we’ve helped each other become more like Christ—more righteous, more loving and more intentional to lives in and through Jesus.
On a personal note, I’m very grateful that the Lord led us to you at this point in our lives. It’s taken a special church to embrace a “special” family like ours. We’re a blended family, and have had to learn how to be a blended family. Those of you who have step-children know what that’s all about. And then, ten months after becoming a blended family, we became a family who has a child with special needs. In both of these challenges, you have been a constant source of stability, encouragement, prayer, and grace for us. No matter where life takes us, I will always remember and remain deeply grateful for this and for each of you.
As Paul reminds us in the above Scripture, discipleship is a shared journey of partnership with one another and with the Lord Jesus. Of all the things we set out to do and accomplish in his name, the most important thing is to become holy and righteous and blameless. That really stuck out to me as I re-read this Scripture. Visions, mission, goals, and the work of ministry are very good. But it’s all for naught if we fail to help one another grow in the fruit of righteousness that comes from staying close to Jesus. What is that fruit of righteousness? It’s nothing short of “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22). With this fruit, we grow to be just like Jesus.
Thank you for helping me to grow to be like Jesus. Thank you for allowing me to shepherd you to be more like Jesus. I pray God gives us many more years to partner together for the sake of the gospel. In the mean time, let’s live one day at a time together, giving thanks for the blessings God has given us, putting aside anything that is less than Christ, and praising him together with fully devoted lives!

Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris
Worship News
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “What Makes the Good Shepherd So Good?” and the scripture is from John 10:11-18
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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
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Fourth of July Celebration

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

First United Methodist Church
Fellowship Hall
424 Main Street
Laurel, MD 20707
1:00 pm Luncheon…
Pulled Pork, Beef Hotdogs, Baked Beans, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Chips, Dessert, Beverage

2:00 pm Patriotic Musical
Presented by the Chancel Choir
“Land of the Free”
Judy Law – Choir Director
Dr. Mack Statham, Accompaniment
Donations Accepted
All Welcome!!

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: Barbara Corporal & Family, Dean Stankewich (Stephan’s brother), Phil Wright & Family (Dan Wright’s brother), Dave Jackson, Toni Blankenship (Peggy Sweitzer’s mother), Mills Family, John McBride, D. David, Tareha & Family, Marc S., Kristin Culver, Bonnie Wallace, Doctor Lohr, Denny Pruitt (Robert Pruitt’s wife)
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UMW
NO MEETINGS IN JULY & AUGUST
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UMYF
Meeting Schedule
Sunday, 7/1/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm
Sunday, 7/8/12 – Helping out with VBS
Sunday, 7/15/12 – Helping out with VBS Celebration at both morning services; No regular meeting

Ministry News

Caregivers’ Support Group
The Caregivers Support group will not meet in July and August; we will resume our meetings on Monday, September 17 at 7p in the Parlor. If you have any special needs, questions or concerns please call Becky Boeckman at 301-725-3093.
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Outreach Ministry News

Rev. Nancy Ward Mission House and
Side by Side School’s 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 our donations on 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 5th – 7:00 pm Worship Team Meeting

Update: Stained Glass Window Honoring Veterans
The organizing committee for the veteran’s stained glass window project reports the following progress:

* We have collected about $1,900 in donations for the window, leather-bound book of remembrance, and stand for the book
We have collected donations of $50.00/individual honored; however, if money is an issue, this suggested donation will be waived
* Names will be identified on the plaque as last name, first and middle initial, code for special circumstances (e.g., killed in action, combat veteran), and code for specific war
* The plaque and book of remembrance will be located near the stained glass window
* A page will be provided in the book of remembrance for each person honored, and an information template so the nominator may provide information they feel is important
* The ceremony is planned for the Sunday prior to Veteran’s Day 2012 (November 12)
* There is still time to participate
Make a check out to First United Methodist Church and indicate Veteran’s Stained Glass Window in the memo line.

For more information, contact Russ Geis, Stephan Stankewich, or Richard Reynnells.

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).