It has been a busy first two days on the job sites. We have had a ton of rain and no internet! The kids are all working hard in spite of the rain. It has been a busy night with a trip down to Carolina Beach to get ice cream and Britt's donuts for Brian Dowless' birthday. We don't have a lot of time to type tonight, but I will upload some photos for you to see! They are not pictures of all the job sites, but we will try to get up more later.
The youth are on their way down to Wilmington as we speak. I’m sure some are very excited for the week ahead, but I’m also sure some of them are as nervous as can be. We have youth who this their umpteenth mission trip as well as youth who this is their first time really away from home. I ask that you as our church family pray for our youth and chaperones this week as we seek to be God’s light to the Wilmington area.
Our theme for the week is “Ripple Effect”. We will be looking at both the positive and negative ripple effect our actions can have on those around us.
We will explore Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well and how this encounter can be eerily similar to our mission trip experiences.
We will look at what it means to conform to this world and the potential ripple effect we can have when we choose not to conform.
We will look at what it means to be the body of Christ and use our gifts for good. We will talk about the ripple effect we can have when the body of Christ is functioning well and the ripple effect that can happen when the body breaks down.
We will talk about Christian love talked about in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 13 and the ripple effect that can be see when we live out this radical love.
If you want to join along with us this week, here are the daily readings:
Monday - John 4: 7-26
Tuesday – Romans 12:1-2
Wednesday – Romans 12: 4-8, 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
Thursday – Romans 12:3, 9-21, 1 Corinthians 13:4-13
Friday – we will be reviewing all of that and having our closing worship. I ask that you read these passages each day and pray that God speaks to these youth and adults through his word. I believe when we return, you will see the ripple effect of your prayers!
We have an exciting week planned, but also quite a challenging week ahead. Here is what is on the docket for our projects.
This week we will…
Build 2 wheel chair ramps
Replace receptacles, switches, and switch plates
Install transition pieces in between rooms
Replace broken window panes
Add grab bars in the bathroom to make it easier for residents to use the bathroom and get out of the shower
Add smoke detectors to homes
Add supports to an existing deck
Repair flooring in 6 rooms (some all the way down to floor joists)
Add hand rails to several decks, steps, and homes
Replace 2 doors
Replace a bathroom vanity and top
Change out 3 toilets
Replace 4 sets of steps
Install a window A/C unit
Replace rotted wood and fascia boards around a home
Paint replaced/repaired boards on that house
Repair and replace some siding
Replace a ceiling light
Several of these task may seem small, but are going to be big jobs with challenges.
Our youth are going to be stretched in ways they would have never imagined this week…our adults will be stretched as well.
However, one thing I am sure of is that God is going to show up and move through these youth. We have 63 people ready to see the ripple effect of God’s work here in Wilmington!
With Sandy Devoid leaving, the Staff Parish Committee decided to review how we are deploying the staff in support of the key goals adopted by the Administrative Council. Disciple Development and to be a Light to the Neighborhood were identified as two main goals that require more support. As a result of this review, we have decided to reorganize the staff.
Kevin Ward will continue with youth ministry and add adult discipleship and community outreach. There is no change in the time allocated to youth. We will hire a 30 hour per week person to focus on Children's ministry, reporting to Kevin since these areas overlap.
Gayle Smith will take over coordination of the logistics for the FLC service from Kevin. The FLC music team will select the music and coordinate rehearsals. We will hire a drummer for the FLC service to replace Kevin.
We will transition into these new roles over the next couple of months as we define job descriptions and expectations. We will move forward with hiring of a drummer and part-time person for Children’s ministry.
If you have any questions or comments about the direction we have taken, please feel free to contact me or any other member of the Staff-Parish Committee.
Tom Patton, Chair Staff-Parish Committee
By Dan Hester
"The Pastor's Study" will meet on June 3rd and next week, June 10th on the topic of "Different Prayers for Different Types of Pray-ers." We will then be on Summer vacation until Tuesday, July 15th when we will resume with a series on the book of Revelation. 7pm. Room 4, side door.
"The Pastor's Study" is a one hour class where I teach various topics. Anyone is welcome to come at any time. Don't feel like you have to be present for an entire series. There is no fee, and I try to teach the class in such a way that no preparation is necessary. You should come.
"The Pastor's Study" starts again on Tuesday, May 6th. As usual we will meet at 7:00 p. m. in room number 4. Anyone is welcome to attend.
In May we will be using a book/DVD series by Dr. Matthew Sleeth, MD entitled, 24/6. This is a study of Sabbath rest, and how rest is a part of a holy life. Ordering the book is optional. If you'd like to read more about the book, or order a copy you can find it at Cokesbury or as an ebook from Amazon. Come out and join us!
The printed description below is reproduced from the back of the book. You can also watch videos, read testimonials, and find out more about the author at the 24/6 website.
"Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy."
Here are some excerpts from thank you notes sent to St. Andrew's from students at Montclaire Elementary School. Montclaire used our FLC this Spring for their choir concert.
—…if it wasn't for you we would have been really squished up… I am so grateful and I was wondering if our class can come and visit again.
—Thank you …for letting us use all your equipment for free.
—…thank you for all that work that you did
—One of our opportunities was that a lot more people got to see our play. I am so grateful for your kindness because we all got to have a great time.
—Thank you for letting us practice in your church which is way better than doing it on the stage in the cafeteria.
—Thanks for the lights, chairs, and mikes.
—God bless you guys.
—I am really happy that you let us sing and even more you let us bring parents. Thank you.
—Thank you very much for letting us rock on your stage.
—I will always remember what you did for us.
—…you are full of generosity.
—…thank you for taking your time out to set up the chairs and making sure that the microphone worked.
—You were very generous and kind.
By Dan Hester
Last Sunday I issued the challenge/invitation for members of this congregation to give a testimony. From now on, I will make space in worship for anyone who wants to provide testimony. Call me or email me and we will schedule a Sunday when you can offer your testimony. Here are some idea starters for putting together a testimony.
The evangelist Luke tells us in Acts 1:8 that some of the last words of Jesus were, "you will be my witnesses." So I challenge you, and open the door for you to offer your testimony so that we might all see the goodness, the grace, and the power of our Lord.
St. Andrew's UMC is pleased to announce the introduction of an electronic option for making regular offerings. Contributions can now be debited automatically from your checking or savings account. Our new electronic giving program offers convenience for you and much-needed donation consistency for our congregation.
If you are currently giving on a regular basis, you will no longer need to write out multiple checks a year or prepare envelopes. And, when travel, illness, or other circumstances prevent you from attending services, this program will allow your regular offerings to continue on an uninterrupted basis.
To begin online giving, simply follow these easy steps:
1) Visit the home page of the church web site at www.standrews.com.
2) Click on the "Online Giving" button towards the top of the page.
3) Click on the "Create Profile" button, then
4) Follow the onscreen instructions to create an online profile and to schedule your recurring contributions.
In no particular order, here are four good books on the Christian life. I'm using them in my current sermon series on Christian practices. Any one of these would make for a great personal or group study.
Marjorie J. Thompson. Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life.
Thompson's book is best if you need to start from scratch with your spiritual life, or are looking to overhaul things for a fresh start. She's accessible, draws from a wide range of sources, and comprehensive.
Richard Foster. Celebration of Discipline.
A classic work. Foster's work has a little harder edge to it and is not for the faint of heart. He's like a really tough personal trainer who gets in your face. But for those who persevere it will reap rewards.
Diana Butler Bass. Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith.
This work points to how these traditional practices can renew a congregation. With a bit more political point of view, she integrates well the inner and outer aspects of Christian practice.
Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. A Way of Life in the World: Spiritual Practices for United Methodists.
Carter is the former pastor down the road at Providence UMC, and now the bishop of the Florida Conference. Carter has a talent for making things clear. This book is the best at articulating a specifically Wesleyan approach to spirituality.
By Dan Hester
During this year's Lenten season, I will be focusing on Christian practices. Christian practices are ways in which we participate in our faith, ways in which we embody our faith, and ways in which God reaches us. While we would never commit the works righteousness error and say that these ways of living by themselves make us holy, Christian practices have always been means by which faith is expressed, and the means by which we participate in the work God is doing both in us, and in the world. These holy habits are often called spiritual disciplines.
It's been said that excellence is a habit. This means that growth in life is often an accumulation of small impacts over time. Holy habits bring freedom in the way that piano practice brings freedom of expression to the pianist. Think about it, most of our life is shaped by very ordinary things, what we eat most often, the media we consume, the conversations we have with the people we see everyday. The question is never are we being formed, the question is always how are we being formed. Christian practices are an intentional way to see that our impact on the world, and the world's impact on us take place in holy ways.
I'll spend each Sunday delivering two short sermons. The first sermon will focus on the Scripture lesson of the day. These lessons will tell about the temptation of Jesus, and scenes from his last week in Jerusalem. The second sermon will explore how these stories lead us into Christian practices. We will look at Bible study, fasting, generosity, hospitality, testimony, and justice. While this isn't a comprehensive list of Christian practices, it's a good start.
Come join us in worship and use this time as a chance to get grounded in the basics. When people faithfully dig into these disciplines, good growth takes place. Make the most of Lent, and make the most of who God created you to be.
About this blog
Read the latest thoughts on the ministries of St. Andrew's UMC as well as devotionals and generally interesting tales.