All posts by Pastor Kim

How were you “good news” for someone this week?

Here’s some more good news on how we are changing lives:

It was great.” Teen girl on the book study after discussion on integrity and gossip.

Everyone got along so well, even kids who might not hang with each other at school.” Adult at Pizza Putt event with youth.

I saw God Sunday in Peter Curler who was the first to arrive to help the teens with their breakfast and stayed through till all was cleaned up.” Church member after the Pancake Breakfast mission trip fund raiser on Oct 26th

My child is LOVING Sunday school.”  New family

To the people of the NFUMC: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to paint this beautiful church for you and also for the work you gave us.  John and Lora, our church painters.  (donated $20 to breakfast!)

In I Corinthians chapter 1, Paul urges those Christians to “be the good news by remembering that everything they have—right thinking, right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.” He reminds them in the same letter that all have gifts to share so that together they give God the glory.

How were you “good news” for someone this week?  How can we encourage one another to never give up, to “be not afraid” and to help others see God’s love for them? 

Together we are changing lives. Thanks be to God.

Grace and Peace,  Pastor Kim

Challenge Grant of $10,000 for Consecration Sunday

On Sunday Nov 9th during worship, we give everyone an opportunity to support God’s mission through our 2015 church budget by making a pledge. Pledges help us plan our ministry well.

This year there is a $10,000 challenge grant from several generous NFUMC families that will match every new pledge, and every increased pledge amount.  For example, if someone increases their pledge $20 a week, the challenge grant would match $20 x 52 weeks or $1,040.  The total amount of a new pledge would be matched by the challenge grant.

We will learn at the brunch if this challenge grant was fully matched.  The figure below shows what happened last year in terms of new and increased pledges.

Data on pledging

Parent resource for Sunday School

If you as a parent would like parent resources to continue the Sunday School lesson at home, go to this link, click on the “Leader” bar, scroll down to “Hop on Home weekly parent page” and click there (or click directly on this link to get to this page in one step).  

You can then select the Sunday that you want to explore as a family.  There are simple suggestions to continue the lesson at home.

What are you harvesting in terms of your faith?

October is a time of overflowing bounty.  Our gardens give their last burst of vegetables and flowers.  The mums and pumpkins look great with the brilliantly colored leaves that make us famous. 

What are you harvesting in terms of your faith?  As the year ripens and heads towards winter, are you more peaceful, centered, brave and forgiving than you were at the beginning of the year? 

It is easy to catalogue the progress of our gardens in the number of vegetables and flowers. It is harder to measure how we are growing as disciples.  Christians can harvest the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  (Galatians 5:22) 

Pick one of these and ask God for more—this is the kind of prayer God is eager to answer. 

Grace and Peace,

Kim

The “active” church continued

Wow, thanks!  Your prayers for our UMARMY trip were answered.  We all had a fantastic and safe time.  We saw miracles as we all grew in our understanding of Christian faith, community, and service.  Be sure to look under the Sermon Videos or at recent posts on this website so that you can watch the short video of the youth sharing in worship! 

If you have a college age or young adult in your family, UMARMY always has a June week-long camp just for 19-30 year olds.  This camp is booming—it went from 30 to 50 this year.  

We were positive news non-stop in July.  The Barre Vt Times Argus featured a front page article, with a huge picture of some of our teens and adults clearly in view.  The local Fox and ABC news services did a TV clip with one of our teens, Max Simko, on her work building a deck for a woman who was about to be evicted because she did not have two exits.  Thanks to UM ARMY, she now has two safe exits from her trailer, and a nice place to sit on the back deck.  

Addison Independent covered Middlebury Foods and our church’s role as a key early site for this expanding program.  They also covered the men who worked on the Shelter project, and the 3rd anniversary of the community meal.  Guess we are doing our part to share “Christ’s warm transforming love with our community, state, nation and world!”  Prayer works.  Love works.  Hurray!

Grace and Peace, Kim

UMARMY (read the post to see what it means)

We ask for your prayers for our UMARMY (United Methodist Action Reach out Mission by Youth) Mission trip July 6th-12th.  Be sure to be in worship Sunday July 13th to hear what we accomplished! 

We are like a small army.  We invade a local United Methodist church and take over large rooms for sleeping, worship, eating and tool storage. But we also invade the town with Christian service, love and good will.   This year our oldest youth (we have three who are on their fourth trip!) will be building two handicap ramps and a deck.  Others will do yard work and painting.  

Thursday night is very special. We host a dinner for those we serve.  They share with us what our time with them means to them.  Some cry, some sing, all speak about how much our service means to them and renews their faith.  

One year, a town official from the town we were then serving in Connecticut was beside me at the dinner.  After hearing several of the heart felt testimonies, he turned to me and said, “I was only going to be here for a few minutes, but this is so wonderful I can’t leave.

We are love for each other and for all we serve this week.  I am so thankful to serve a church that supports this kind of mission.

Grace and Peace,

Kim

Goals from the All Church Planning Day June 21st

Planning Day 2014 was a wonderful time.  Ed Wilkens had beautiful scriptures for us to get us started.  Then we celebrated the many goals we have already reached from previous planning days.  

Next we plunged in to thinking about what children, youth, young adults (18-40 year olds) and adults over 40 most need from our church.  There was a lot of good energy in the room.  We came up with many ideas, but settled on three main goals for the next year: 

  1. Improve and expand our church playground.
  2. Increase intergenerational events 
  3. Establish leadership for the youth.

Goals two and three are actually related.  Recent research has found that youth who are involved in an intergenerational church are most likely to take their faith with them to college and beyond.

So we do hope to find/hire someone to work with teens, but good youth ministry always involves lots of adults being involved. Youth ministry also involves the teens in the rest of the life of the church.  When all generations share –worship, spiritual growth, service and fun – we all thrive.

Grace and Peace,

Kim