Pastor’s Pen – December 18, 2019

Hello Church Family,

Here is a devotional thought from Christian author and leadership guru, John Maxwell.

“At her death on March 30, 1975, most people assumed Bertha Adams was poor. An autopsy revealed she had severe malnutrition and evidences of poverty were abundant in her disheveled apartment. Lack of heat, lack of food, lack of the basic necessities of life – there could only be one conclusion. Bertha Adams was an obvious example of one who was missed by the national safety net of social spending.

But then, while taking inventory of her personal effects, authorities found two keys. Trusting a hunch, they took the keys to a neighborhood bank and found her safety deposit box stuffed with $799,000 in cash. Also, crammed into that box were hundreds of valuable and negotiable stock certificates, bonds and other securities.

Bertha Adams had a stewardship problem.

She viewed possessions as something to be hoarded. She did not understand that the blessings of life were given to her to be used and invested rather than to keep. Bertha Adams did not understand that the purpose of life was to manage her resources, not selfishly to hold on to them.

God has given us things in this life not to hoard, but to manage for His glory.

One of the titles of the Christian in the New Testament is the term “steward.” The Greek word oikonomos (steward) is a compound word derived from the term for house (oikos) and the verb to arrange (nemo). The word oikonomos was a servant designated as the manager of a household, estate or other affairs of his master.

Each Christian is a steward of all the resources God has given us, including time, talent and treasure.

A good steward manages his or her time, talent and treasure for the glory of God.

But like Bertha Adams, there are many Christians who have misunderstood stewardship and are poor managers of the resources of God under our control.

If we are confused and frustrated in our stewardship of financial resources, it may be because we see them primarily as permanent personal assets that someone—the tax collector, the bill collector, the greedy, or even those who solicit donations for worthy causes—is trying to take away from us.”

Stewardship is the management of God’s resources.

I encourage you to think how you can help us balance our budget by the end of 2019. FUMC is making a difference in our local community. You can help us to financially end 2019 on a strong note.

Thanks for your continued support!

In Christ,

Pastor Marcus

 

Pastor’s Pen – December 11, 2019

Hello Church Family,

It’s hard to believe that it is only two weeks until Christmas Eve. In the midst of the holiday rush, we were blessed with our annual Christmas concert last weekend. Our Director of Music, Arlene Sparks, created and conducted a beautiful reminder of the hope, peace, joy and love of the Advent season. A big thank you to Arlene, Carina, Wyatt, the choir, the orchestra, the audio and visual tech, and everyone else on the team that participated in the magnificent Christmas concert.

I was recently asked at a United Methodist Christmas party, what is my favorite Christmas song/hymn? O Holy Night has been my favorite Christmas song for many years. Here are the lyrics:

O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine

Here is one of my favorite renditions by Josh Groban:

 

Finally, during this Christmas season I would like to encourage you to give an end of the year financial gift to the church (by clicking here). We are hoping to end the year on a strong financial note so we can dream some BIG dreams in 2020. Thank you for your faithful support of the operations and ministries of FUMC. Thanks to your giving, we have 2 campuses and 5 weekly worship services.

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus

P.S. Please remember to invite your family and friends to join us for one of our 5 Christmas Eve worship services.

Pastor’s Pen – December 4, 2019

Hello Church Family,

Thank you for your extra generosity as we begin the season of Advent. Twenty -five (25) gift tags have been claimed for the Spirit of Giving Gift drive, over 50 ornament tags were claimed to support foster children with Christmas gifts through 4Kids, and we learned about the “re-gifting” needs for the AACY Christmas Shop later this month. Please bring all items for these collections to any worship service at FUMC this Sunday.

Christmas Concert

Friday, Dec. 6th and Sunday, Dec 8th at 7:00 PM in the East Campus Sanctuary – Check out our “Facebook event” and please share to invite your friends and neighbors!

This week is our annual Christmas concert! We are blessed by the amazing musical talent in our community. This year’s Christmas concert under the leadership of our Director of Music, Arlene Sparks, will be this Friday and Sunday at 7:00 PM in the East campus Sanctuary. Please invite your family and friends to experience the joy of the Advent/Christmas season. There is no charge for the concert, but a love offering will be collected so we can continue to offer special music opportunities for the community. Childcare will be available both nights.

This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent and the theme is “Peace.” On the East Campus, I will be focusing on how we experience inner peace as we surrender more of our lives to God. Our Biblical example is Joseph and his encounter with the angel in Matthew 1:18-25.

Hope to see you Friday night at the Christmas concert!

In God’s Amazing Grace,

Pastor Marcus