May 18, 2012

Posted on 06/04/12 No Comments

First UMC | eRevelations
May 18, 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
“How to Find a Way out of Worry and Anxiety”
I generally don’t like “formula Christianity”. “Formula Christianity” is teaching which claims that to get this you have to do that. If you want to be blessed in this way, try doing x, y, and z. For one thing, this turns our faith into a self-serving, self-help program. That’s not what our faith is all about. Our faith is all about Jesus Christ and our turning our lives over to him to serve and worship and live in God through Christ. But also “formula Christianity” seems to reduce God and his ways to a formula for our use. Sounds an awful lot like a magic spell to me! So, whenever I see teachings like “5 keys to financial blessing” or “the 7 steps to a happy, blessed home” or things like that, I get suspicious. Life and certainly God is not black and white and formulaic.
However, there is one area in which I see something of a formula at work. It’s a very simple one that also requires a lot of discipline, too. It’s a way to work ourselves out of worry and anxiety. This is not a way into a permanent state of worry-free or anxiety-free. Really, who lives like that? As long as life keeps happening—and it does—there will always be things that will bring on worry and anxiety. When that happens, however, there are biblical things we can remember to do to get us out of that worry and anxiety.
There are two biblical things I want to briefly point us to whenever those waves of worry and anxiety start to build up.
First method: take a deep breath and start thanking God. Here is a favorite Scripture passage for many of us. Read it again with me…
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
It seems like some people are more prone to worry and fuss over things than others. I’m sure you know people who only require just the littlest thing out of order or out of place to send them in a tizzy. Or you may know people who never seem to be content unless they’re worrying and fussing over something. You may be one of these people!
And then we probably know folks who never seem to be rattled by much of anything. Worry and anxiety seem the furthest away from them. Surely this passage doesn’t apply to them, right?
Wrong. Personality and temperament doesn’t matter. Everyone worries and gets anxious about something. We all worry and fuss over different things, and some worry and fuss more visibly than others. Of all the people I have ever met, I have never known anyone who doesn’t worry or get anxious over something. We all do it.
However, I have met a number of people who adhere themselves to what Paul says here in Philippians. They are some of the most gentle, inspiring people to be around. When worries come, they don’t go into a tailspin and they don’t just bury their heads in the sand. They start rejoicing in God. For what?? They start recalling and remembering what God has given them now and in the past. “…in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” the Scripture says. God has a flawless track record, doesn’t he? In the Old Testament, there are so many times, especially in the Psalms, when distressed people began recalling the Lord’s past faithfulness and great deeds of power. That was their way of remaining at peace in the present when they faced realities outside of their control.
Here’s some homework for you. Find one of those Psalms and bookmark it. The next time you start worrying, stop and read it as many times as you need.
You may want to create your own “Top 10” lists to have on hand whenever you start worrying about something. For example, let’s say you tend to worry about money and finances. Create a “Top 10” list of times in the past, as recent as possible, when God came through at a time of crisis to provide for you. Thank God for those times. Present your need to God, and then, with peace and confidence, go forward taking responsibility for what you can do while trusting everything else to God. There could be any number of “Top 10” lists you could make: “Top 10 People Who Love Me No Matter What”, “Top 10 Times God Delivered Me through a Major Work Stress”, “Top 10 Times God Brought Me through a Health Concern”, etc.
Second method: remember who’s in your boat. Take a moment and read Matthew 8:23-26. One of the first images that the early church used to describe the church was a boat. That makes sense. Several of the disciples were fishermen. They had some of their most powerful, formative experiences with Jesus on a boat. This was one of them. A ferocious squall suddenly formed over the Sea of Galilee which threatened to capsize and perhaps even drown the disciples.
Now these were not amateur weekend warriors out in their boat. They were professional fishermen and boatmen who knew the water very well. So for them to become that anxious, it was definitely a serious situation.
But, they had forgotten who was in their boat with them. Jesus was there. He was sleeping. (If you were ever curious about his sleeping patterns, you now know that, yes, Jesus could sleep even through a raging storm. Pretty impressive…) Surely the Son of God wasn’t about to drown or to let those around him meet their doom either. They would be fine, but anxious as they were, those distressed disciples woke up Jesus anyway.
Remember that Jesus is in your boat. Even when the storms come and God doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything (just like Jesus was sleeping), God will not let you drown in life’s storms. You will make it just fine. You have gotten this far, haven’t you? Sometimes, it just takes saying to ourselves over and over again, “Jesus is in my boat. This storm will not take me down.”
My friends, all this requires intentionality and discipline. Don’t let random thoughts or feelings take your mind and heart hostage. Step up and take charge of your mind and heart. Start thanking, praising, and giving things over to God. Start affirming that Jesus is near you, with you, and indeed within you by God’s Holy Spirit.
The result, little by little, is that peace that transcends all understanding. Whew… Isn’t that better? Thanks be to God!

Yours in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Chris
Worship News
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Our message this Sunday will be “Breaking the Shackles of Human Tradition” and the scripture is from Luke 5:33-6:11
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

Our Choir needs your help!
Do you love your country?
Are you willing to reach out
to your community?

On Wednesday, July 4, 2012, the choir would like to present our patriotic cantata, Land of the Free, and invite the community to come
and enjoy lunch and the music…… However, we can’t do it alone!
Do you like to sing, but can’t commit to singing with the choir all the time. If that describes you, this is your opportunity. Come to two rehearsals, June 20 and June 27, and then sing with us on July 4! It’s as easy as that. A lot of the music is familiar – “America, The Beautiful”, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. How
much better can it get?
More of a “behind the scenes” person? We need help with setting up and cleaning up, decorating, preparing the food and serving the food.

We also need people to get out and invite the community to attend. Invite your friends and your neighbors! How about the person who repairs your shoes, or does your dry cleaning? Get out and spread the word! Invite folks to come and enjoy a good meal, good fellowship and good music!

Sign up sheets are in the narthex for all of the positions mentioned above.
Show your patriotism!
Lend a helping hand!
Join with your church family and the community
for an all-star afternoon of fellowship and music!
Fellowship News
Church Social
this Sunday, May 20th
Following the 11:00 am service
(approximately 12:30ish)
Fellowship Hall
Hosted by the PathFinders Sunday School Class

Hope to see everyone there!!

Monday, May 28th, 2012
Memorial Day Picnic
Gude Park in Laurel
12:00 pm
See you there!

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: Don Plisko (Jan Watt’s neighbor), Linda Webster Wright, Dale Boeckman & Kairos Ministry, Ana Loza (Kelly Miller’s neighbor), Pat Shuri, Stephanie Hughes & Alyssa, Phil Wright (Danny Wright’s brother), Florence Akinrosotu & Family, Greg & Peggy Sweitzer, Marsha Barnes, Bridget Worrill (Sheri Bell’s daughter), Elliana Wilson, Erin (Becky & Dale Boeckman’s niece)
Kathryn Eye Circle Meeting – Monday, June 4th at 1:00 pm
Martha Circle Meeting – Monday, June 11th at 6:00 pm (Meeting at Olive Garden)
Edith Miles Circle Meeting – Monday, June 11th at 7:00 pm
Meeting Schedule
Saturday, 5/20/12 – Game Night/Bring A Friend Night – 6:30pm-8pm
Sunday, 5/27/12 – No Evening Meeting – Memorial Day
Sunday, 6/3/12 – Regular Meeting 6:30pm-8pm
Saturday, 6/9/12 @ 5pm – Sunday, 6/10/12 @6am – Relay forLife –Team Barracudas – McCullough Field
Sunday, 6/10/12 – No Evening Meetng
Sunday, 6/17/12 – No Regular Meeting – Father’s Day
Sunday, 6/24/12 – Game Night/Bring A Friend Night – 6:30pm-8pm

Ministry News

Dear Fellow FUMCL Congregants

For the past eight (8) consecutive years here at First UMC, the Missions and Masterworks Concert series has established itself as an outstanding venue featuring excellence in music and benevolence in generating and giving to deserving charitable organizations. During this period of time, charitable organizations and projects such as Laurel, Mississippi Hurricane Katrina Relief, Appalachia Service Project (ASP), Laurel Pregnancy Center (LPC), Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services (LARS), Fish of Laurel (Elizabeth House), National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Nothing But Nets, and Side by Side (outreach program to local public schools), Price House, Talbot House and Reality House have been recipients of donations and resources totaling in excess of $35,000.
This year’s concert is scheduled for Friday, June 15, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. and once again will feature some outstanding musical literature. We have been made aware that there is significant need for help for the Paw Paw Nancy Ward Mission House (a FUMCL supported mission) and we have adopted this as the primary mission cause for this year’s program. With your help, we are looking forward to making this beneficial and meaningful for the Paw Paw Mission. In the coming weeks, additional information will be forthcoming about the concert and schedule for that evening’s activities. In the meantime, we want to begin now in soliciting your help and carry this momentum straight up to June 15th. Donation checks may be made out to “First United Methodist Church” with “Missions and Masterworks” in the memo line. We thank the pastor and congregation of First United Methodist Church and the Laurel community for your generous support.
Dr. Mack Statham

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

Blood Pressure Screening
and Educational Guidance available on
Sunday, May 20, 2012
after 8:15 Service in the Parlor

Stop by and find out your blood pressure reading.

? 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.
Free Seminars:
How Cardiovascular Disease and Vascular Dementia Affects the African-American Community
Guest Speaker Ayim Djamson, MD

Wednesday, May 23rd from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at

The People’s Baptist Church
31 Norwood Road
Silver Spring, MD 20904

RSVP for the event by calling 301-847-3051 or emailing
The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation
Announces The 2012 Intergenerational
Genealogy Conference for
Grandparents and Their Grandchildren
Passing It Forward
Conference Highlights Include:
DNA testing in genealogy research
Uncovering family medical histories to shape medical futures
Exploring genealogy software
Other genealogy topics

Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30, 2012
Entire conference
Grandparent plus Grandchild = $100
Friday Only = $40
Saturday Only = $65
Sojourner Douglass College
Edgewater, Maryland
Check or
email for additional information
Outreach Ministry News
REMEMBER! If you signed up to volunteer to help with the food/clothing distribution event it is tomorrow, Saturday, May 19th. See you there!!

The BARRACUDA’s are 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 on June 9, 2012 at McCullough Field.

We are selling mulch
$7 a bag
with the profit benefiting the
Relay for Life
Please see Bev, Cherilyn or Mary Hoffman to get your bag of Mulch this Sunday……..or…….
you can buy a bag and donate it to the church property!!!

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.

Church Meetings
Monday, May 21st – 7:00 pm Caregivers’ Support Group (Parlor)

Thursday, May 24th – 7:00 pm Lay Leadership Development

Please consider helping out with purchasing
New Chairs for Fellowship Hall!!
Deadline is Sunday, May 20th…….
(Although our current chairs are still in pretty good shape they are uncomfortably low for eating or working at the tables and are difficult for less agile people to get up from.)
BOGO (Buy One Get One) Sale
Cost per chair is $30 and
for every chair you purchase………
the Bazaar Committee will pay for the second!! (up to approx. 80 chairs)

**There are 2 sample chairs in Fellowship Hall. Feel free to try them out!!**

The deadline to donate is
Sunday, May 20th
(Checks can be made out to the church with “fellowship chairs” written in the memo section) and can be placed in the offering plate or given to Shari in the office.

We need approximately 150 chairs total and the Bazaar Committee thanks you for helping us out!
The Northeastern Presbyterian Church presents in concert, the Heritage Signature Chorale
Stanley Thurston, Music Director
Sunday, May 20, 2012
5:00 in the afternoon
Tickets – $25.00

Northeastern Presbyterian Church
2112 Varnum Street, NE
Washington, DC 20018

The fifty members of the Heritage Signature Chorale performance concerts include the Kennedy Center.

For directions and ticket information
contact Rosalind Collins (301) 421-1782

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