All posts by Pastor Kim

The Most Important Days in our Faith

The most important days in our faith are the days we celebrate between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. 

Did you know that for the first 300 years of our faith Christmas was not celebrated. Christians were a persecuted, but joyful group, sharing communion on each Sunday. The forty days of Lent and Easter Season were the most important focus of the early church. 

Each Sunday is still observed as a mini-Easter.  It is the day that Jesus rose from the dead.

Grace and Peace,  Kim

Who was St. Patrick?

March madness is upon us.  For basketball fans that means lots of basketball. For St. Patrick fans it means wearing green and remembering on Mar. 17th he was an AMAZING person of faith.

Patrick had a tough and wild life.  He was born in 387 AD in England to a Roman Christian family.  He was kidnapped by pirates and enslaved in Ireland. Led by a dream, he walked across much of Ireland and onto a boat that took him back to England and freedom.

He became a priest and had another dream that the pagan Irish were calling him back.  So at an age when many retired he went back to Ireland and started Christian communities that welcomed the outcast and the misfit.  He became so beloved he unified the warring tribes of Ireland and brought peace and the Christian faith to that country.

Patrick was famous for hospitality, welcoming anyone and everyone.  Let him inspire you to be praying for someone who does not have a church home and might enjoy our Lenten worship series. Then invite them!

Or make sure you speak to someone you do not know well for the first 5 minutes after worship so that you can bless them and they can bless you with friendship.  THEN invite them to coffee hour and introduce them to someone else! 

At Coffee hour is anyone sitting or standing alone?  Go introduce yourself.  Most of our new members and worship attendees were invited by someone to try us!  We have a treasure – God’s love.  It is to be given away.

Grace and Peace,  Kim

Making a difference – not as hard as you may think

Many of the things we do as a church make a huge difference though we may not realize it. Last month, Florence and Ray Vincent shared a Christmas letter their son wrote full of memories of our church.

Their son, Steve, wrote that in our church “all the members were a large part of our lives…although maybe a bit reluctantly when we hit our teens!  He “remembered Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, singing in the Choir and the heavenly sound that the choir made.  He remembers that being centered in the church life meant the deeper meaning of Christmas always came through.

Christmas Eve during his childhood meant “caroling the Hollow with candles, arriving at the church for a live outdoor nativity scene with the oldest children playing Mary and Joseph, the laughter for the children’s moment, listening to the choir, giving the offering, and the most beautiful of all, the singing of Silent Night by candle light.  As everyone was leaving the service the church bell was rung and it seemed to ring so the whole world could hear it.  Then there was the year Ruth Bull permitted me to ring the bell – I’m the coolest guy ever!” 

It takes a whole church to bless us all.  When we faithfully are the church we bless people near and far.  Never discount how asking a young person to ring the bell or teaching Sunday school or singing in worship impacts others.

The whole letter from Steve Vincent is posted on our bulletin board by the lift, as a gift to all of us.

Grace and Peace, Kim

UMCOR School Kit Bags

In some countries, children don’t have books or school supplies. Many have no schoolrooms; classes are held in inadequate or half-destroyed buildings, tents, or even the open air.  School kits may be these children’s only educational resources.

The craft group has been making the school bags that hold the contents for the school kits.  They would appreciate additional help in accomplishing this.   The instructions are on the attachment below that you can open with a click.  There is donated fabric from Laura Socinski that can be used in the rainbow room next to the Fellowship Hall (with the piano) .

1-A School Bag Instructions

If you have questions, give Jill Wilkens a call at 425 2263.

More information on Danyal Mohammadzadeh

In the sermon on January 1st, 2017, Kim told the story of an Iranian journalist who had been imprisoned, tortured, and forced to leave his country.  In the US, he read the Bible and John Wesley and was welcomed by a woman at the Delmar UMC near Albany.  After attending this church, he was then baptized, and now is pursuing ordained ministry at Boston University (a United Methodist seminary).  His goal is to go back to the Middle East to bring the message of Jesus. His journey mirrors that of the wise men.

Click this link to read more and to watch a 6 min video.  Link

A Look Back at Serving God in 2016

Merry Christmas to all!  Here are some great ways we served God in 2016:

  • We put together 100 Health Kits for United Methodist Committee on Relief after Easter.
  • We sponsored Jeremias Franca, our UM Missionary and Hospital Administrator at Chicuque Hospital Mozambique, and sent the hospital a special donation this fall so they could feed their patients. 
  • We participated in the Old Hollow Clean-up Day in May.
  • We offered a free Thank-You Barbecue to our Ferrisburgh Fire Fighters in June.
  • We sent 10 youth and five adults to United Methodist Reach Out Mission by Youth (UMARMY) in July. 
  • We gave 56 towel sets to the HOPE Christmas shop, the most ever! 
  • We gave enough food for eight Thanksgiving meals for families in need, the most ever.
  • We sent an intergenerational group Christmas caroling to local senior centers.
  • We gave multiple Christmas gifts to twenty-six children and teens in need. 
  • We gave food monthly to folks in need and to local food shelves.
  • We participated in the free monthly community meal.
  • Our Craft group made gifts which were delivered to all our shut-ins.

Grace and Peace, Kim

Christmas Pageant 2016 by the youth

This year’s pageant was performed by our youth under the direction of Janette Dumont and Shirley Parfitt with Joe Kwiatkowski as the piano accompanist.  James and Lily Steadman played piano solos.

This video is thanks to Janette Dumont and Chris Potter, with still photo by Margaret Roddy.  The rather rough editing was by Ted Marcy.

An Advent Message

Advent and Christmas are such beautiful seasons. They bring us joy and light as we head into the darkest part of the winter and into whatever challenges we face.  What a gift that God comes among us in the incarnation.  God was in Christ. 

Many of our confirmation students wondered if prayer really works.  What an important question.  Prayer is trusting that God truly cares about us so that we can both talk to God and listen for God’s guidance.  Christians believe that God wants to connect with our human lives for good. 

We see this so powerfully in Jesus coming among us.  Jesus’ entire ministry was prayer powered.  He shows us what a human being fully in tune with God’s will looks like. Jesus shows us how God in Christ shares and understands our human challenges and fears.

No wonder we love Christmas.  The gift of our Savior tops all other gifts. We have a lot to celebrate this December.  And Christ is at the center of our celebration. 

So pray for a friend, neighbor, or family member who does not have a church home and would benefit from knowing Jesus, the greatest gift ever given.  Advent worship or Christmas Eve are some of the easiest times for people to feel comfortable giving us a try.  The key is an invitation from someone they know and trust.

Grace and Peace, Kim

Lessons from Geese

Of all the creatures that I can see in this landscape the geese best represent the communion of saints.  They depend on one another. The lead goose does the most work, but when it is tired, it falls back and another takes its place.  To be able to rely on others is a deep trust that does not come easily.  The geese fly in the wake of one another’s wings. They literally get a lift from one another. I want to be with others this way.”    From Gunilla Norris in  Journeying in Place: Reflections from a Country Garden

I see you faithfully flying and lifting others all the time. It is a joy to be the church in our area.

Grace and Peace,  Kim

For more on the wisdom of geese, below is a post on this topic from the Inspirational Christian Stories and Poems Archive.  Thanks to Tom Nold for bringing this to my attention.

Lesson of the Goose

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird behind it. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent more flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier when they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down. They stay with the goose to help and protect it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other.

Whenever a goose falls out of the formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging- -not something less than helpful.