March 9, 2012

Posted on 03/11/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
March 9, 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

Don’t forget to
“spring forward” this weekend
Thoughts from Your Pastor
“Rethinking Sabbath”
We’ve got a great Tuesday morning Bible study going on now, and one of things that makes our study so great are the questions folks ask. Often those questions will get us thinking about things in new ways or giving some attention to things we might ordinarily neglect. We don’t always walk away with a firm answer, but that’s okay. Some questions aren’t meant to be answered right away in black and white terms. In fact, the best questions never are.
We’re studying through the book of Mark and got to Mark 2:23-3:6. These are two stories in which Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees about the ways he and disciples observe the Sabbath. Read along with us:
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Once we read that passage, someone asked, “What is the Sabbath for? What are we supposed to do on the Sabbath? We hear about rules and traditions, but where does it say in the Bible what we’re supposed to do and not do?” Excellent question!
The Sabbath goes all the way back to Creation itself. God created the heavens and earth within six days, and on the seventh day after God’s work of creation was complete, God rested from the work of creation. God’s rest became a holy rest and began to set the seventh day as a holy day of rest from our labors of the preceding six days (Genesis 2:2-3).
Then as the Lord established the covenant with Israel, observing the Sabbath by keeping it holy became the fourth of the ten commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). On that day, God commands his people to do no work and then lays that great detail so that the Sabbath would apply over the whole household from owner to servant, even to livestock. It is a holy day, which means that it is a called out, distinct day that does not resemble the other six days.
From then on, God’s people have had the discussion of interpreting how to keep the Sabbath day holy. What do we refrain from doing? What is considered work to be avoided on the Sabbath? What do we do that on the Sabbath that is different and distinct from Sunday through Friday?
Christians complicated things even more by declaring Sunday as the Sabbath, in keeping with the early church who gathered on the first day of the week, Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the day which Jesus rose from the dead. That makes every Sunday our Sabbath day, a mini-Easter celebration.
So when responding to the question, “How do we keep the Sabbath holy?” there are two immediate challenges we run into:
• There is more to do on Sundays than there used to be. Many of us remember blue laws which kept businesses and stores closed on Sundays. You couldn’t shop, go to the movies, go to the mall, or even buy groceries. It was also generally understood that community events, games, and the like were not to be scheduled on Sundays. Sundays were to be set aside for worship and family time. Now, of course, all of those laws and standards are gone, leaving more options for individuals and families on Sundays. That also makes it more confusing to discern how to keep the Sabbath.
• Biblically, Sabbath was meant to be a community-wide observance, and the community interpreted how to best keep the Sabbath. We, however, do not center so much on community thinking, but rather on individual thinking. Unlike Israel and the ancient Church, we are oriented towards the individual and to our nuclear family unit, not the community. So, we figure out what to do on the Sabbath by doing whatever is best for ourselves and our families. That’s why whenever we discuss questions like these we hear ourselves saying, “I like to keep my Sabbath by doing _________ because doing __________ is rest and relaxation for me and my family.” That kind of thinking would have been utterly confusing to Israel and the early church. For them, the Sabbath day was a community observance established and maintained by the community, not the individual. The people of God is one body and one people, not a collection of individuals making individual determinations about things like the Sabbath. I believe they had it right.

But, the bottom line is this: we all need Sabbath. We all need a time to step away from the rigors of life as usual, celebrate another week of life and work, worship God, and connect with each other in community. Without this kind of rest and connection, we can easily lose touch with the place and value of our work. We can lose the perspective and the ability to put our regular work aside. And we can find ourselves distanced from God and one another. Sabbath is holy for a very important reason!
I would love for some of you to get a conversation going and ask one another, “What would it look like for our church to keep the Sabbath holy together as a community? What would we do? When would we do it? What challenges would there be? In what ways would we need to be counter-cultural in order to keep the Sabbath day together in a holy way?”
Sabbath is God’s gift for us, made for us, but it is also a direct commandment from God. In other words, keeping the Sabbath is not negotiable! Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to lead us as a church to discern how we could keep the Sabbath holy together as one church family.
That will require creativity and a willingness to think outside of the box. That means we would have to avoid the temptation to start the conversation by saying, “We used to do this or that. We need to go back to that.” Old methods are increasingly ineffective in today’s world. We can’t pour new wine into old wineskins. But we can take the principle and command to keep the Sabbath day holy and live into that command in our time.
Let’s do it. Sabbath is God’s gift and our holy obligation to keep in a holy way!

Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris

Worship News
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “Just How Good is the Good Teacher” and the scripture is from Mark 10:17-31
New Members’ Class Coming Up
Have you been attending First UMC for a while and would like to make a deeper commitment to Christ and to his church? Would you like to explore what it means to be a member of our church family? Then this class is for you! On March 18, 25, and April 1, our new members’ class will meet during Sunday School in the Parlor. Pastor Chris will lead our time together. We’ll learn about each other, our church, and how to be a vital part of First UMC. Attendance at all three sessions is strongly encouraged. You will then have the opportunity to be received into membership during our Easter Day services on April 8. If you are interested in attending, please contact the church office by phone or e-mail.

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 April 11th
Fellowship News
Pizza Night

Saturday, March 17, 2012
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
FUMC Fellowship Hall

The First United Methodist Church Fellowship Team would like to invite you to the 9th annual Pizza Night.

Bring your family & friends and join us for a fun filled evening of food and fellowship.

Enjoy the “Buffet Style”
Pizza & Salad Bar

Please sign up in the Narthex, to give us an idea of how much food we need to purchase and an idea of the time you plan to arrive so that we may better serve you.

We look forward to seeing you!!
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: Germaine Acampora & friend, Mike Peters & Family, Kay Mitchell, Terry Curington, Melissa Walker, Martha


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!


Help needed
The UMW would like to borrow your white or clear string Christmas lights. Please contact Lois Hamilton at 301-498-9736 if you have any that we could use. We will need them for March 16 & 17 for the women’s retreat here at the church. We will label them and return them to you after the event. Thanks!
March 12th – 7:00 pm Martha Circle Meeting
March 12th – 7:00 pm Edith Miles Circle Meeting
Ladies!…..Have you made your reservations yet for……

March 16 & 17, 2012
A two day (Friday evening and Saturday morning)
Women’s Spiritual Enrichment Weekend

“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

Please respond/RSVP by doing one of the following by March 11th:
1. Call Ann Marie Miller at 301-498-3397, (leave a message on the answering machine if no one is home)
2. Call the Church Office at 301-725-3093
3. Email the Church at; or
4. Sign up in the church narthex on the clipboard

“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

Meeting Schedule

Sunday, 3/11/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm – Game Night

Friday, 3/16/12 – Helping with UMW Women’s Retreat – 6pm-9pm

Saturday, 3/17/12 – Helping with UMW Women’s Retreat – 8:30am-12pm

Sunday, 3/18/12 – No Regular Meeting

Sunday, 3/25/12 – Regular Meeting – 6:30pm-8pm – Discussing Talent/No Talent Show

Ministry News

Save the Date!!!

Vacation Bible School 2012
Sunday, July 8 – Thursday, July 12
6:30 pm
Celebration Sunday, July 15
Registration and Volunteer Sign-Ups Starts May 12th!!!
Workshop #1: Christmas in July??
Loved ones with dementia are trapped in the moment; there is no before or after. If these momets are boring, confusing, or frightening they can result in challenging behaviors. In this workshop caregivers will learn how to identify and engage loved ones in meaningful activities to create joyful moments not only for loved ones but for themselves too.

Workshop #2: Stop! I want to get off..
The caregiving experience is a roller coaster of emotions and one wonders if the ride will ever end. In this workshop caregivers will learn about normal and not-so-normal emotions. They will learn how to effectively manage stress, understand the meaning of the “Ah Ha!” moment, and learn essential coping skills to be able to enjoy the “ride”.

Workshop #3: Health is More than Physical…
Physical, emotional, and spiritual health are a package deal with one being dependent on the others. In this workshop caregivers will learn how to strengthen and maintain their “package deal” through good nutrition, setting and maintaining boundaries, and nurturing their spirits.

To register for any of these workshops call 410-222-4464 x-3043 or register on line at http//
Workshops located at:
Annapolis Senior Center – Mondays, May 7,14,21 2:30-4:30 pm
Brooklyn Park Senior Center- Thursdays, May 3,10,17 1:00-3:00 pm
Pasadena Senior Center – Thursdays, June 14,21,28 1:00-3:00 pm
Arnold Senior Center – Thursdays, April 5,12,19 6:30-8:30 pm
O’Mally Senior Center – Mondays, March 12,19,26 5:30-7:30 pm
Pascal Senior Center – Tuesdays, May 15,22,29 6:30-8:30 pm
South County Senior Center – Thursdays, March 1,8,15 6:30-8:30 pm
Date: Saturday, March 17, 2012
Time: 8:30 am – 1:30 pm
Location: Holy Cross Hospital
Professional & Community Education Center
1500 Forest Glen Road
Silver Spring, MD
Fee: FREE!
Breakfast & lunch provided
Cultural Performances
Free Parking: Dameron Drive Garage

Conference Agenda:
Registration and Breakfast
Welcome – Wendy Friar, RN, MS, Vice President, Holy Cross Hospital Community Health
ABC’s of Breast Cancer – Eric A Oristian, MD, Medical Director, The Breast Center at Holy Cross Hospital
Community Testimonies to Public Officials
Free to Me and You: A Panel Discussion on Local and Free Community Resources. All Shades of Pin, Reverend Karen Beasley; Holy Cross Hospital’s Cancer Institute, pat Malik, LCSW-C, CCM; American Cancer Society, Dr. Sonia Nieves, and MORE!
International Lunch
Cultural Performances

To Register please call 301-754-8800 or visit

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
2:00pm – 3:30pm

Presented by
Toni Benton, ADC, CMIS
Executive Director

Join us for an informative seminar that addresses many common concerns regarding dementia.
Common forms of dementia
What to look for
When to get help
Resources and tools provided

2505 Musgrove Road
Silver Spring, MD 20904

RSVP by Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
by phone 301-847-3051
or e-mail

Adult Day Care provided upon advanced request.

Date: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
(Early Registration begins at 8:00 am)
Location: Holy Cross Hospital Professional
Community Education Center
1500 Forest Glen Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(Metro Accessible)
Free parking in the Dameron Employee Garage
Come & learn about health topics for the entire family – infants to seniors! There will be health education exhibits, as well as FREE screenings. Early disease detection screenings include diabetes glucose (A1C) and lipid panel (cholesterol) tests; prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, digital rectal and prostate examination for men; and clinical breast examinations and Pap tests for women.

Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) to detect breast disease or breast cancer
Pap Test to detect cervical cancer – age 21 and over

Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) to detect rectal and prostate cancers
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) to detect prostate cancer – age 45 and over

FOR ALL (age 18 years and older)
Glucose and Cholesterol Screenings (must be fasting 9-12 hours prior)

Our interactive health fair will also be taking place! Come visit our health education booths to learn about a variety of health topics.

To register call 301-754-8800 or visit
Outreach Ministry News

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 :

Please visit the RELAY FOR LIFE of Laurel’s website for more information. If you would like to make a donation, please click on the BARRACUDAs team name or see Bev Raynor for more details.

June 9, 2012 at
McCullough Field

Church Meetings
Staff Parish Relations Committee Meeting – Thursday, March 8th at 7:30 pm
Lay Leadership Development – Thursday, March 22nd at 7:30 pm
Other Important Items
Stained Glass Window Honoring Veterans
We are currently collecting donations for this window with installation in late fall of this year. We prefer individual donations not exceed $50.00 so more members may participate. Make a check out to First United Methodist Church and indicate Veteran’s Stained Glass Window in the memo line. We are asking each donor to choose one person to be honored on a plaque to be located on the wall near the window. We plan to offer three or four designs to the congregation so they may indicate their preference. If you are interested, contact Russ Geis or Richard Reynnells, Co-Chairs.

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