Shelia's Weekend Update
February 23rd, 2019
I find my heart heavy...yet full...this morning. May I share some of it with you today?
In our daily struggles of making our way forward through this world...we sometimes forget that we are EACH beloved children of God: rich/poor... young/old... democrat/republican... gay/straight... black /white /native American /hispanic /asian. As we prepare our hearts for Lent and Christ's journey to the cross, this powerful truth reverberates deep within me this morning. Christ would hang on that cross...for each and every one of us.
And, I think he did so...so that we might be ONE...not only with God, but also with each other. I love John Wesley's thoughts on the matter. He said, "Though we can’t think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion?" And I'm left searching my own heart and life for evidence that I, indeed, love...those whom God loves. How does that play out...in my words, my actions, my deeds, my prayers?
- As I consider my Homeless Offering this Sunday: How do I love...God's beloved?
- As I consider our church's desire to draw the young and old to Christ: How do I love...God's beloved?
- As I consider our nation's great political divide between democrat and republican: How do I love...God's beloved?
- As I consider the UMC's special called General Conference in St. Louis this weekend where they hope to make decisions regarding the denomination's official stance onhuman sexuality: How do I love...God's beloved?
- As I consider the amazing diversity in humanity seen in faces all around me...all made by God's hand: How do I love...God's beloved?
EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS
Don't forget today's MUST dinner at the Homeless Shelter. We are so grateful for Tom and Susan Short's on-going leadership. And thanks to you...for helping them...by supplying the meal.
Today marks the beginning of a special called General Conference of the UMC (February 23-26) held in St. Louis. The purpose of the meeting is to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward, authorized to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and to explore options to strengthen church unity. Watch the proceedings via live stream here as they receive a report. Today's focus is "Praying Our Way Forward." Here is another link to the live streaming of the conference: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/general-conference-2019-live-video-stream-english.
This Sunday, in addition to our regular tithes and offerings, we will be receiving a special offering for the North Georgia Conference Housing and Homeless Council. 100% of your offering goes directly to programs that serve the poor and the homeless. Make your checks payable to St. Paul UMC and in the memo section write "Homeless Offering."
The menu for our next Wednesday Night Supper is chicken & dumplings, seasonal vegetable, salad bar, rolls, dessert. Make your reservation by noon on Tuesday. Following Wednesday Night Supper...why not join our monthly book discussion group in Room 205?
Don't forget to pick up your End of Year Giving Statements in the back of the narthex. If you contributed at all in 2018, you have a statement. If you have created your Realm login...you can access and print your statement from your profile page.
Join us for our latest Christ Walk bible study series! We meet in Room 205 on Sundays from 3:00 - 4:30 pm and on Tuesdays from 10:00 - 11:30 am.
Our Grief Share sessions are underway. Join us on Tuesday evenings 7:00 pm in Room 205.
A special thanks to all of you for your contribution for our St. Paul Lenten Devotional book. Its heartfelt content is beautiful. Production of the booklet is well underway and we hope to have copies available NEXT Sunday March 3.
We look forward to our 40 Day Lenten journey with Jesus which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6. Instead of hosting our own service that night, St. Paul UMC will be participating in a JOINT ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE at Marietta First UMC at 6:30 p.m. with Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson preaching and presiding. We will be blessed by music provided by our magnificent combined choirs, Holy Communion, and Imposition of Ashes. Make plans to join us! Special note: St. Paul will NOT have Wednesday Night Supper that evening, but you are invited to have Wednesday Supper at Marietta First.
Why don't you consider joining us at our 5:00 p.m. casual worship service on Sundays? Last week, we had 17 folks in attendance! You will see a full bio in the March newsletter, but we are pleased to welcome to the St. Paul family, Sam Lund, as our new contemporary worship leader. Sam's first Sunday with us was February 10th and he brings a life-long passion for Christ and wants to share that passion with others.
God's Blessings and my love!