Do Not Make Room for the Devil

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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:25-5:2 (NRSV)

What does verse 27 in today’s reading mean when it says, “and do not make room for the devil”?  Is it referring to anger as the previous verse indicates?  If we allow anger to simmer, does this lead us toward forgiveness and reconciliation or more likely to confrontation and conflict?

I think I know how I would answer that for myself.

I don’t often preach about the devil and this verse has a lot to do with that.  I believe that the more we dwell on what we shouldn’t be doing, the more we are thinking about those things.  Forbidden fruit becomes more enticing simply because it is disallowed.  And just out of curiosity, I thought I would google “Forbidden perfume” to see if it is already in existence (it sounds like the kind of cheesy whisper-intoned name that you would find on perfume commercials).  Wouldn’t you know, both Calvin Klein and Victoria Secret have a scent using the name “forbidden”!
So my lack of clarity on the devil or the personification of evil comes from the school of thought that we can only think on one thing at a time.  I would prefer us to think on God.

In fact, chapter 5 begins with the idea that we should be imitators of God.  We can only do so if we partner with God and shun the things of evil.

Of course, there is the wisdom that says, “If you don’t warn your kids about the traffic in the street because that is too negative, they will end up getting hit by a car.”  So am I being negligent in a lack of attention to Satan?  Is there demonic power that can capture us and hold us against our will?  How can we fight against it?  What gives us protection from it?

I absolutely think that there are paths that lead to darkness in our lives.  As I mentioned in the beginning, holding onto and stoking our anger may be one of these.  If you have ears to hear, you may understand that I quite frequently mention these in my preaching.  I may just name them in ways that I make no room for the devil.

As we are in Christ, we are protected against powers and principalities that arise to thwart the goodness we experience in life.  Ephesians names them in verse 31.  We should put away all bitterness and wrath and anger and slander and malice.  We should be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving.  If we focus on the latter, we won’t have time for the former.

I look forward to exploring this in worship on Sunday.  Whether in person or online, I hope you’ll find time to join us!

In Christ,
Sam

Check out more of Sam’s blog articles at www.precedinggrace.blogspot.com.
Photo by Mathilda Samuelsson via Flickr.com.  Used under the Creative Commons license.

Senior Connection Hosts "Talk of the Town" Orchestra

On July 27th, the Senior Connection of FUMC, Edmond, hosted “Talk of the Town” Orchestra, playing the most popular swing tunes from the Golden era.  The crowd of 172 people had a great dinner, wonderful entertainment and great socializing at no cost. The next Senior Connection is August 23, 6:00 p.m., and entertainment is the band of “G3 -Gospel Singers,” playing all kinds of music. All those over 50 are welcome to attend.

Worship on Hurd Upcoming Changes

Worship on Hurd Upcoming Changes
Perhaps my favorite scene from TV comes from the sixteenth episode of the fifth season of Friends.  Ross asks Rachel and Chandler to help him move his new couch into his apartment in New York City.  If you’ve ever had to move a couch up stairs, particularly stairs with a tight turn radius, you know how impossible it can feel.  Ross gets increasingly frustrated trying to guide Rachel and Chandler in moving his new couch that he just starts screaming “Pivot. Pivot! PIVOT!”

Being flexible and patient when it comes to newness and growth is important in every aspect of life; it’s no different in the church.  On Sunday members from Worship on Hurd gathered together for lunch to talk about the future of the service, and at this lunch we announced that in September I would start preaching at Worship on Hurd each Sunday, which I’m incredibly excited for!

Worship on Hurd has become my purview since I’ve been at Edmond First.  The grant that has funded my position in fact was primarily concerned with growing Worship on Hurd.  Once the college year begins, we are anticipating that we will begin to average around 100 each Sunday.  We’ve reached the size of other large churches who have two preachers preach each Sunday.

Sam and I both believe that it’s important that we are both seen as pastors for the whole church, so once a month we will be switching pulpits—Sam will preach Worship on Hurd and I’ll preach our three Sanctuary services.  I’ve said this before but will say it again, I’m eternally grateful to be working with a Senior Pastor who trusts me and is willing to share the pulpit.  It’s not uncommon for Senior Pastors to want to do all the preaching, and this transition speaks loudly about Sam’s character.

September 9th will be the first Sunday under this new structure.  Worship on Hurd’s order of worship will slightly change, moving the sermon back in a more “traditional” location in the bulletin.  Again, I am very excited for this sign of growth, and I give thanks every day to be one of your Associate Pastors.

Pastor Trey

You Can Lead a Horse to Water...

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but you can’t make him drink!

Scripture reading for Sunday: Proverbs 9:1-6 (NRSV)

This saying is a proverb – it relates wisdom – but it is not biblical from the Book of Proverbs.

Of course, it refers to the difficulty of teaching someone.  Sometimes we maintain our ignorance through sheer stubbornness!  It is similar to the story of the man who resented the lessons his English teacher tried to instill.  He stated later in life, “She tried to get me to read all those classics.  I showed her – I haven’t picked up a book since!”

One of the stories I remember my pastor (Dr. Mouzon Biggs) telling was when he came upon a radio preacher while he was traveling in his car (this preacher was not Methodist).  The preacher was telling his audience that the trouble with people today is that they are getting ahead of themselves through education.  When referencing a pastor’s continuing education, he mockingly sneered, “I’m working on another degree!”  He said this as if this were something to despise.  Then he stated, “I thank God I’m ignorant!  And I pray to God every day that I’ll get ignoranter still!”

I remember Dr. Biggs saying something along the lines of, “I bet he gets his prayer answered!”

When I worked on my doctorate, I felt that it had as much to do with endurance as it did the acquisition of wisdom.  But there was something to be learned in the midst of all that reading and writing that was beyond words on a page.  The innate lessons one learns from study are sometimes as important as the lessons themselves.

This week’s scripture reading comes a little early (it is taken from August 19’s reading) but we do so because we are featuring the blessing of the backpacks for students and teachers in worship this Sunday.  Wisdom is personified in this reading and we imagine coming to her table as to a feast!  I didn’t always think about learning in this way while growing up, but there were certainly times when that imagery was apropos.

Proverbs allows us to understand the sacred nature of learning.  Knowledge is life-giving.  It is often associated with light (as the light bulb representing an idea).  Just as grace is available to all, wisdom is also seen as universally achievable if one is willing to come to the table.

As we begin a new school year, we are inviting all people to see wisdom in this unique light – as a gift from God for those willing to seek understanding!

In Christ,
Sam

Check out more of Sam’s blog articles at www.precedinggrace.blogspot.com.
Photo by “las - initially” via Flickr.com.  Used under the Creative Commons license.

Worship and Music Ministry Update

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Andrew Schaeffer, Director of Music Ministries     (andrew@fumcedmond.org)

ADULT CHOIR RETURNING THIS SUNDAY
The Adult Choir will return to the loft this Sunday at the 8:30 & 11:00 services.  Of course, we’re always looking for more singers and you are most certainly welcome!  While some may see the choir singing every week and conclude that they either aren’t of that skill level or can’t devote that much time, I’d like to dispel both of those myths.  Some of our current members have been singing for decades, while others have picked it up just in the last year or two.  In terms of commitment, some folks make it to every rehearsal and every worship service, while others attend when they can in the midst of juggling work, vacation and family commitments.  Since we’re starting a fresh season, now would be a great time to try us out.  Simply come to a Wednesday rehearsal at 7:15 in the choir room, or drop me a note (andrew@fumcedmond.org) if you have any other questions.

4th ANNUAL ALL—CHURCH TALENT SHOW
I hope you’re planning on attending our fourth annual all-congregational concert and talent show on August 19 at 3:00 in Wesley Hall!  An old-fashioned ice cream social will follow in the gym.
Since this event will take place outside of worship, pretty much everything is on the table—from songs (sacred or secular), to juggling or magic.  We’ll be limited only by your imagination (and our space)!  My roster is a bit sparse at the moment—don’t make me hunt you down!  If you’re interested in participating, please contact me (andrew@fumcedmond.org) or call me at the church office.

SHARE YOUR ICE CREAM!
I bet some of you were reading the paragraph above and thought you didn’t have a talent to offer.  However, if your talent is making great homemade ice cream, you’ll have something to contribute after all!  If you’re interested in making some to share, or picking up some from the store, please let me know.  Thanks!  

JULY INTROITS
Finally, thank you all for indulging me with those multi-cultural, call & response Introits.  It was a joy to stand at the lectern and see many of you slowly but confidently learning those fun songs.  Though the choir will be back, we may revisit some of those from time to time.

I’m Really Trying to See Better

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Lectionary Reading: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13 (NRSV)

     Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
     that saved a wretch like me
     I once was lost but now am found
     was blind but now I see

John Newton penned these famous lyrics in the 18th century.  He eventually was ordained as a minister in the Church of England at the age of 39 which was no spring chicken in the 1700’s.  Before he was converted, he worked on a slave ship.  After his conversion he fought to abolish slavery.

The last line, “was blind but now I see” refers to his enlightenment in Christ.  We are often blind to the plight of our neighbor until grace sets us free to see it.

Jesus heals the blind many times in the gospels.  One of my favorites comes from the 8th chapter of Mark:

They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?”  And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.”  Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
Mark 8:22-25 (NRSV)

The man starts to see but needs more exposure to Jesus to really see clearly.  The saliva is an earthy quality of healing that connects him to Jesus in an intimate way.  Interestingly, this passage directly precedes Peter’s declaration of Jesus as the Messiah.  Peter starts to understand what that means but then immediately gets it wrong when he corrects Jesus about the need to suffer and die.  He will need more exposure to Jesus (possibly the resurrection) before he can truly understand.

We don’t always get it.  Sometimes we have to be shown.  In today’s passage, David needs the prophet Nathan to tell him a story to ignite his compassion.  When Nathan deftly draws the comparison to David, the veil is lifted.  He then understands his own actions clearly.

We are not so different.  Many times, we may need a story to draw us in.  A testimony of someone’s need may fuel our own sense of compassion and cause us to respond.  I am trying to see my neighbor more clearly - maybe more like Jesus sees them.  Sometimes they still look like trees walking but I’m starting to see with more focus.

In Christ,
Sam

Check out more of Sam’s blog articles at www.precedinggrace.blogspot.com.
Photo by Yuval Y via Flickr.com.  Used under the Creative Commons license.

Disciple Bible Studies beginning in September

Sign up below today to ensure your spot in these classes!

Disciple 1- DISCIPLE: BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY, 34 week overview of the entire Bible, emphasizing the wholeness of the Bible as a revelation of God. 3 1/2 hours of independent study each week (30 minutes daily) in preparation for weekly group meetings. Attendance at weekly 2.5 hour meetings.

 

 

 

Christian Believer, KNOWING GOD WITH HEART AND MIND
Focus is on classical teachings of the Christian faith—presenting, explaining and interpreting them in a way that participants can understand, through the use of words, symbols and hymns.  Over 30 weeks, we examine the writings of ancient and modern Christian commentators and view video presentations by leading Bible scholars.  (Must have completed one previous Disciple class to take Christian Believer.)

 

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Disciple Fast Track provides comprehensive engagement with the entire biblical text. We meet for 24 weeks, devoting 12 weeks each to the Old Testament & New Testament. Read 3-5 chapters of the Bible daily in preparation for the weekly meetings, which last 1.5 hours.

 

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Name
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Class I would like to attend *

Disciple Bible Studies beginning in September

Sign up below today to ensure your spot in these classes!

This first Disciple Bible study serves as the basis for all other studies in the Disciple family that follow. Over the course of 34 weeks, Disciple covers the entire Bible, following the biblical story from Creation to the New Jerusalem.

 

 

Christian Believer, KNOWING GOD WITH HEART AND MIND
Focus is on classical teachings of the Christian faith—presenting, explaining and interpreting them in a way that participants can understand, through the use of words, symbols and hymns.  Over 30 weeks, we examine the writings of ancient and modern Christian commentators and view video presentations by leading Bible scholars.  (Must have completed one previous Disciple class to take Christian Believer.)

 

Disciple Fast Track provides comprehensive engagement with the entire biblical text. We meet for 24 weeks, devoting 12 weeks each to the Old Testament & New Testament. Read 3-5 chapters of the Bible daily in preparation for the weekly meetings, which last 1.5 hours.

 

Name *
Name
Phone
Phone
Class I would like to attend *

Boulevard Academy School Supply Drive

Boulevard Academy School Supply Drive

Our church-wide ministry to Boulevard Academy expanded last year by having a School Supply Drive to aid the students and staff.  This was in response to learning that very few of the Boulevard families are able to provide basic school supplies. Following last year’s drive, it was decided to make this a permanent addition to our outreach ministry.   

Boulevard Academy is made up of students from all three Edmond High Schools. Boulevard Buddies is a ministry of volunteers who “adopted” the school 11 years ago. The group has grown over the years from 6 to 68 current volunteers.  Boulevard Buddies provides support to the students and staff with regularly planned activities and addresses specific needs as they arise.

Our goal is to provide school supplies for 50 students.   New enrollments are accepted every six weeks at Boulevard Academy.  Extra supplies will be reserved to meet the needs of new students throughout the school year. Collection will begin Sunday, August 5th and continue through Sunday, August 12th.   

If you are interested in joining the Boulevard Buddies efforts on a regular basis, would like more information about this ministry,  or have any questions contact Ellen Lyons at lyonsden5@cox.net, or 405-820-7729.

**Donate $40 to this project and someone else will shop for you!!!  Checks may be made out to “FUMC, Edmond”.  Please include a note on the check “Boulevard School Supplies”.
 


Boulevard Academy School Supplies Project
Student Supply List:
1 - 8” Scissors ($5)
5 - 3 Prong Pocket Folders ($2.50)
2 - boxes facial tissues ($4)
1 - 19 oz. Lysol Spray ($4)
1 - 75 count Disinfectant Wipes ($3)
1 - 12 count Colored Pencils ($2)
1 - 10 count Colored Markers ($2.50)
1- 24 count crayons ($.50)
2 - 8-12 oz. Hand Sanitizer ($4)
2 - 175 count College Ruled Notebook Paper ($4)
3 - 1 inch black 3-ring binder ($5.50)
2 - 12 count # 2 Pencils ($2)
2 - 7.625 oz. Elmer’s Glue ($4)
1 - 12 count Glue Sticks ($5)
1 - 4 count Dry Erase Markers-core colors ($3.50)

Worship and Music Ministry Update

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worship and Music Ministry Update
Andrew Schaeffer, Director of Music Ministries     (andrew@fumcedmond.org)

ADULT CHOIR RETURNING
The Adult Choir will soon be back in action after a well-deserved summer break.  Needless to say, we’re always looking for more singers and you are most certainly welcome!  While some may see the choir singing every week and conclude that they either aren’t of that skill level or can’t devote that much time, I’d like to dispel both of those myths.  Some of our current members have been singing for decades, while others have picked it up just in the last year or two.  In terms of commitment, some folks make it to every rehearsal and every worship service, while others attend when they can in the midst of juggling work, vacation and family commitments.  Since we’re starting a fresh season, now would be a great time to try us out.  Simply come to our first rehearsal on Wednesday, August 1 at 7:15 in the choir room, or drop me a note (andrew@fumcedmond.org) if you have any other questions.

4th ANNUAL ALL—CHURCH TALENT SHOW
I hope you’re planning on attending our fourth annual all-congregational concert and talent show on August 19 at 3:00 in Wesley Hall!  An old-fashioned ice cream social will follow in the gym.

Since this event will take place outside of worship, pretty much everything is on the table—from songs (sacred or secular), to juggling or magic.  We’ll be limited only by your imagination (and our space)!  My roster is a bit sparse at the moment—don’t make me hunt you down!  If you’re interested in participating, please contact me (andrew@fumcedmond.org) or call me at the church office.

SHARE YOUR ICE CREAM!
I bet some of you were reading the paragraph above and thought you didn’t have a talent to offer.  However, if your talent is making great homemade ice cream, you’ll have something to contribute after all!  If you’re interested in making some to share, or picking up some from the store, please let me know.  Thanks!  

9:45 SERVICE
As you prepare to gear up for the fall, don’t forget about our 9:45 Sanctuary service!  It is virtually identical in content to the 8:30 & 11:00 services, with the main difference being that musical leadership is provided by a fabulous instrumental ensemble instead of a vocal choir.  Do give it a try!

Not Flattering at All

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Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 11:1-15 (NRSV)
David is the king by which all other kings of Israel or Judah take their measure.  He is the great uniting force of Israel following Saul and pulls more territory into the kingdom after his conquest of the Philistines.  He bested a giant in his youth and was an accomplished poet and musician.  He was so renowned that the book of Psalms was attributed to him (although most scholars believe the majority were written at a later date).  

After the kingdom split into Israel in the north and Judah in the south, citizens of both realms looked to when David ruled as a golden era.  After each of the kingdoms lost their independence to foreign powers, the surviving remnants began to look toward a time when God would send a Messiah that would reunite the people and free them from Gentile occupation.  Of course, this Messiah would be in the line of David - born in Bethlehem which was where David called home.

So in all of this good will and remembrance, how did this week’s lectionary reading survive the editor’s cut when the Bible was copied again and again?  The story of Bathsheba does not paint David in a good light at all.  The story begins with David staying at home, letting others do his fighting for him.  He gets up long after the crack of noon.  He is a voyeur and then uses his position to sleep with the woman who is married to one of the soldiers fighting for him.

After she becomes pregnant, David schemes to have her husband Uriah to take credit for the baby.  When this fails, he coordinates a military move where Uriah would be killed.  The hasty retreat might also cost the lives of other innocent soldiers.

David is not to be admired in this story.  

It is not a show of his great leadership.   

This story reminds us that the Bible does not feature heroes in the regular sense.  While David may be heroic at times, he is also flawed.  We see that David has become the very king that Samuel was warning the people about just a few weeks ago (according to lectionary time).  It is a reminder that while we do put our trust in our leaders, they also have moments of weakness.

God remains the one faithful constant in the Bible.  This is helpful for us to remember.

As we live in a time of partisan politics, we often find ourselves defending behavior that shouldn’t be defended.  Supposedly, we do so for the sake of the greater good - if our side wins the day, we believe the country will be better off.  We must be careful when going down this road.  Today’s story reminds us that no one is beyond reproach.  Of course, in the days of partisanship, each side looks at the other and thinks, “Yes, this is exactly what they do!”

I’m looking forward to being back in the pulpit on Sunday.  I will be preaching on this text and my sermon title will be, “Why Did They Include This Story About David?”
In Christ,
Sam

Check out more of Sam’s blog articles at www.precedinggrace.blogspot.com.
Photo by katesheets via Flickr.com.  Used under the Creative Commons license.

 

We Grieve Most Changes


It has been about a month and a half since my mom passed away and it seems like life has been a whirlwind throughout this time.  Dad has since been put on hospice and is now living at Bradford Village where Mom resided.  As I have worked through my feelings and grief with my parents, I thought it might be helpful to remind people that grief comes to all of us when we experience large changes in our lives - even good changes can inspire some grief.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was the pioneer of studying grief and loss.  She developed five stages that the average person experiences when they encounter loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  Not everyone goes through all five stages and they are not necessarily experienced in that order.

Sometimes you will revisit a stage that you thought was finished.

I believe that I’ve handled my own grief in a fairly normal fashion.  I have tried to deal with my emotions as best as I could.  However, I do think that I’ve spent some time in denial through my behavior.  I developed a habit of playing Fortnite which is a video game on David’s Xbox in the evenings.  While playing this game, I am not really dealing with reality and it is an escape from the grief I’m experiencing.

Another way that denial has come has been in writing thank-you notes.  The church was absolutely fantastic to me and my family.  I lost track of the number of sympathy cards I received.  Many people brought food and others donated gift cards and still others donated to my mother’s memorial fund through the church.  I try to stay on top of sending thank you notes but I still have many left to write.  When I’ve attempted it, I have broken down and been unable to put words down on the card.  I’m not sure why this particular aspect is troubling me but it may be that my mother was the one who taught me to write them!

So grief will act out in strange ways.  We may find ourselves angry at little situations (I’ve also done this) that don’t deserve the vehemence we are giving!  This is displaced aggression and it comes because we are trying to deal with the loss and there may be no good source for blame.

Grief is also tiring.  You may need more sleep than you normally require.  I’ve found this to be the case but I am getting better.

Change is inevitable.  We would like to keep those we love with us but we only have them for a portion of our lives.  We all experience significant loss eventually.  As people of faith, we remind ourselves that God goes with us during these times.  As those who believe in preceding grace, we also believe that God goes with them as well.

As the letters of John define God as love, I remind myself that God is the spiritual connection that we have with one another.  If God is with all people (whether they realize it or not), then we are never really parted from people as we remember we are connected with God.  This larger spiritual connection helps us to find acceptance when grief comes to us.

In Christ,
Sam

Check out more of Sam’s blog articles at www.precedinggrace.blogspot.com.

Worship and Music Ministry Update

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Andrew Schaeffer, Director of Music Ministries     (andrew@fumcedmond.org)

ORGAN CONCERT
Join me this Sunday, July 15 at 3:00 as I present my 4th annual July organ recital.  We are blessed to process one of the only pipe organs in the city of Edmond, and I treasure this opportunity to share music that doesn’t quite fit the scope of our weekly worship services.  A small reception will follow the program.  Be sure to invite your friends!


4th ANNUAL ALL—CHURCH TALENT SHOW
Save the date for our third annual all-church concert/talent show on Sunday August 19 at 3:00!  We have a large and uniquely gifted congregation and this is your opportunity to show off your God-given talents.  Since this event will take place outside of worship, pretty much everything is on the table—from songs (sacred or secular), to juggling or magic.  We’ll be limited only by your imagination (and our space)!  If you’re interested in participating, please contact me (andrew@fumcedmond.org) or call me at the church office.

CONGREGATIONAL INTROITS
I’m delighted in the response I’ve received from having multi-cultural congregational introits in July and I indeed hope you have found them to be worshipful. This Sunday, we’ll put “Glory to God” to rest and will learn a new one entitled “Praise, Praise, Praise the Lord,” which comes to us from Cameroon.

 

Retreat Ministry is a Priority

 Sam is featured with his daughter, Kyla, who was the student dean in training for Camp Lead this year. Picture taken by Michaela Drain, used by permission.

Sam is featured with his daughter, Kyla, who was the student dean in training for Camp Lead this year. Picture taken by Michaela Drain, used by permission.

 

After spending the last two weeks at camp, there is sometimes a perception that pastors “graduate” from needing to be present in that setting.  When you get to a certain size of church, there is the sense that you have staff or volunteers in the church to take care of that.  I think this comes from the idea that camp is not always easy on the body.  Staying in a bunk bed for a week with a cabin filled with teenagers was easier twenty years ago.  There are late nights where the lights don’t go off until after midnight.  Then there are sunrise hikes to the cross and I seem to have a hard time saying “no” when an adult leader is needed.  So I get that camp is tiring.

I also don’t think that camp is for everyone.  When I was the dean of one of our camps in the late 90’s, Bishop Blake required all clergy to attend at least one camp during the summer.  We had an influx of clergy that year and not all of them were happy to be there!  In fact, some were more trouble than they were worth.  If you are not all in, you probably shouldn’t be at camp.  It is not for everyone.

It is for me.

Going on a week-long retreat with our young people is helpful to my spirit.  It is exciting to me to see them energized for the church.  It is fun to see them growing in faith and asking important questions.  It is fulfilling to see youth realize a call to ministry and to be at least a small part of that call.

 Connecting to God through the natural settings is always going to be a part of who I am.  Our three United Methodist campgrounds offer three unique settings.  Crosspoint is on the lake.  Canyon is aptly named.  And Egan is adjacent to the Barren Fork creek which is a beautifully clear rocky stream.  Hiking at each location is important to me – walking where there is wildlife feeds my soul!

I’ll be serving on our conference camps board for the next four years and I hope to begin to help our camps reach more people (and especially be utilized by our churches).  As stewards, our camps become healthier financially when they are full throughout the year.  Did you know that you can book your own event or private retreat at the camp if the facilities are available for the date you have in mind?

While a lot of adults are able to go to camp with us (we send more each year), not everyone can take off a week.  We are going to hold an all-church retreat at Canyon Camp this fall from November 2-4.  Please hold the date and more details will come (like the fact that we’ll be in the lodge rather than cabins).  I realize this won’t be for everyone and that’s okay.  But if you feel like it might be for you, we would love to have you join us!

In Christ,
Sam

Check out more of Sam’s blog articles at www.precedinggrace.blogspot.com.

Music and Worship Ministry Update

By Andrew Schaeffer

ORGAN CONCERT

Join me on Sunday, July 15 at 3:00 as I present my annual July organ recital.  I treasure this opportunity to share music that doesn’t quite fit the scope of our weekly worship services and I hope you’re delighted by pieces both fun and serious.  A small reception will follow.

 

3rd ANNUAL ALL—CHURCH TALENT SHOW

Save the date for our third annual all-church concert/talent show on Sunday August 19 at 3:00!  We have a large and uniquely gifted congregation and this is your opportunity to show off your God-given talents.  Since this event will take place outside of worship, pretty much everything is on the table—from songs (sacred or secular), to juggling or magic.  We’ll be limited only by your imagination (and our space)!  If you’re interested in participating, please contact me (andrew@fumcedmond.org) or call me at the church office.

 

            GRATEFUL FOR OUR FREEDOM

            Since July 4 falls on Wednesday, we’ll commemorate it this Sunday, July 8 during the sanctuary worship services.  While Independence Day is not a church holiday, it is fitting that we give God thanks for our freedom and pray for those who continue to live under tyranny throughout the world. 

           

            A MULTI-CULTURAL JULY

            With the Adult Choir on summer recess, July is a wonderful time to revisit familiar hymns of the faith while exploring some neat songs and hymns from across the globe.  Every week during July, we’ll be learning a catchy “call & response” song from our wonderful hymnal supplement The Faith We Sing.  I hope you’ll come to church every week in July with an open heart ready to join your voices with Christians throughout the world.