Category Archives: Pastor Kim’s messages

Pastor Kim’s weekly messages

About the Crisis at Our Southern Border

A God of love is a God of justice. From ancient times the Jewish people were urged to live out the golden rule, even if this means helping an enemy in need (Proverbs 25:21). Jesus took this further in stating that whenever you do good for the least among you, you do this for him. I know many hearts are broken by our situation at our southern U.S. border.

UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) has handed out over 46,000 health kits through church-run ministries at our border with Mexico. UMCOR is not allowed to give these items to government agencies. Go to the websites for Senators Leahy, Sanders and Rep. Welch and communicate your concerns. We will also put out blank envelopes in the pews if you wish to donate to UMCOR’s work with immigrants.

Remember that July 4th celebrates the birth of an immigrant nation. The bulk of Americans had at least one of their forebears immigrate to our country at some point. Many of our ancestors left dangerous or difficult situations to start over.

Grace and Peace, Kim

God Help Us!

Good news!  A good God, created us good for a good purpose. God also created us free, not wanting robots.  We often use our freedom for selfish choices.  We see this in the daily news.  We and our world are a mess. God help us!

And God does! God sends us Jesus, to save us.  Jesus prays, studies scripture and serves others daily.  He worships on the Sabbath, he creates community.  He goes to the cross to demonstrate the depth of God’s love. God raises Jesus from the dead as the ultimate sign that his love is stronger than sin and death.  Love – not hate, life – not death, and true community – not selfish tribalism wins.

Easter reveals God’s love is unconditional.  We can’t earn this love, we can only receive it as a gift. We can’t earn it by following a bunch of rules.  Salvation is the relationship of trusting God.  

The only rule now is, Love God, and neighbor as yourself.  The best way to do this is connecting with God’s love by daily prayer, Bible study,  service, and weekly worship with others. 

God is eager to transform us, and to work through our faithful community to reach the world.  

Happy Easter!  

Pastor Kim

Lenten Message from Pastor Kim

Christians use this time to seek to grow in love and hope as Christ’s disciples.  What makes that happen for you?  It could be making a commitment to Sunday worship, daily Bible reading and prayer, weekly study group, or service to others. 

Take up something that draws you closer to Christ.  See our Website Next Steps section for devotional suggestions.  Or borrow an NT Wright commentary in Fellowship Hall to read through a book of the New Testament with a few short pages of commentary. 

Or give up something that is drawing you away from Christ.  Give up worry, fear, hating or judging others, spending too much, nursing rather than dealing with anger, inability to forgive self or others, any addiction – we all have addictions – that keeps you from being your best.

Partnerships During the Holidays

It is celebration time. We have wonderful partnerships that make holidays bright. This year our church family gave everything needed for seven complete Thanksgiving dinners and an extra turkey. The DCF office that we coordinate these with sent huge “thanks!”

Donations from church members and community members will help us do over 40 Christmas gifts for children, teens and others in need.  Our Old Hollow Neighborhood group is now bringing food for our food shelf every time they meet. We received another touching thank you from the HOPE Christmas shop for the Wildberries towel sets. Our  Christmas carolers were well received at The Arbors and Pillsbury.  We also got smiles from Weston Spooner and Mary Lou Payne.  

All these activities add up to a very meaningful Christmas. Through service and worship we get to sing God’s praises in sending us Jesus, our Savior. As John Wesley loved to say, “The best of all is God is with us.

Merry Christmas, Pastor Kim

Youth Shopping for Christmas Gifts for Youth in Need

Wrapping People in the Warmth of Christ’s Love

Wrapping people in the warmth of Christ’s love.  That could be one of the themes of our holiday efforts.  New people will try us around Thanksgiving and Christmas as they seek a deeper meaning to the seasons. Make sure you welcome them after worship.

The director of the HOPE Christmas shop for families in need is new, but she had already heard about our towel ministry.  Our towels are famous because they are such a warm, practical and beautiful gift. Those who run the shop report they don’t last long.  More people wrapped in Jesus love by your giving.

Owls team planned it and lots of folks showed up Nov. 9th for pizza, fun and service as we made 150 Health kits.  Health kits are part of how our United Methodist Committee on Relief is present for those surviving natural disaster or war. 

Thanksgiving is a special time of gratitude. For the first time our church family gave absolutely every item needed from the turkeys to the pies for nine families in need.  You wrapped them in caring with your over the top generosity. That is something to be truly grateful for.          

Peace, Pastor Kim

Our Mission is All About Changing Lives

Our mission is all about changing lives!  Here is how YOU are doing this: 

  • Our Sunday school season added new families. Hug and thank a Sunday school teacher and all the kids and parents inviting their friends! 
  • New people tell me, “Wow, this is such a warm place!”.  Keep up the 5 minute rule of speaking to someone you don’t know well before or after worship and getting to know them.”  Truly friendly churches have to keep working at being welcoming.
  • Chick Wood and Diane Shortsleeve worked on Mary Lou Payne’s flower garden so she could enjoy it! 
  • Jim Warden is offering his second dog obedience class to anyone needing this. 
  • Ted Marcy and Robie Stoner surveyed the flooded home of a low income owner in Northern VT and reported to our Conference Volunteers in Mission person who will plan the volunteer rebuild of this home. 
  • We gave $1500 to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) so that they are there anywhere in our state, nation or world where there is a natural disaster or war. 
  • The OWLS team is planning a fun outreach during the Old Hollow neighborhood Yard Sale day, June 23rd.  We will be offering free water, and parking because God’s love is free! 

If someone connects to God’s grace through any of these services we offer?—well that’s priceless.

Grace and Peace, Kim

Running a Marathon

Ted and I have a niece who just finished the Boston marathon and did well in spite of the conditions.  Well, life is a marathon.  Sometimes we nail it, sometimes we don’t.  Most of the time there is another day to try again. Life is better with people in a faith community who cheer us on, hand us water and nourishment, and wrap us in cheers and blankets.

We have our ups and downs. We all carry a certain amount of baggage from the families who raised us, the culture we both observe and are captured by, our own decisions, and the decisions of others whom we care about, but do not control.

Through it all, I choose to believe in a God of unconditional love based on the evidence that my life is better when I trust this God.  And I see many, many others in this church and beyond our church for whom this is also true.  Some of the time I actually live my trust.

Always we are blessed when others are honest with their struggles and their insights.

Grace and Peace, Kim

Changing Lives

You are changing lives by being Christ’s warm transforming love:

During the past several months, Jane and I have been the recipient of an outpouring of support, prayers, phone calls, cards and emails from many of you, which has been overwhelming.  The time you took to contact us made a big difference and will not be soon forgotten.  Thankfully, I am much improved as I write this.  We are now anticipating returning to North Ferrisburgh this summer and seeing everyone again. You – our Vermont church family – are the best and you provided much comfort and gave us hope!  Feeling blessed, and with gratitude, Bruce Werner

I cannot even begin to tell you how much your cards, emails and prayers have meant to me. You have been God’s arms around me during this crazy time. When we moved to Charlotte 13 years ago, we were blessed to find you.  Much love, Jill Wilkens

“I am sorry to be so late thanking you for the Christmas gifts. I was alone Christmas with my husband Sam in the Arbors and my children away. I was feeling sorry for myself when Chick came with all the wonderful gifts!  It made my day that someone cared. Thank you for caring and making my holiday so nice.  God bless, Joan Cutting.” (Joan is one of our shut-ins who received the Craft gifts in December)

Grace and Peace, Kim

Ideas and Plans from Our Planning Day Jan 20th

On Sat, Jan 20th, twenty people of all ages gathered for an awesome planning day.  Ed Wilkens, our leader, made it fun and lively. Said one new member who had to slip out early: “I don’t want to leave, this is fun.” 

We looked at developing new ideas for 1) children, 2) youth, 3) young adults and parents and 4) Faith Deepening Studies (any class that helps our faith grow).  We also hope to expand lay leadership.  Below is a more detailed look at the ideas that came under each of these areas:

  1. For faith deepening study: We will offer “What in the World” Wednesday sermon review discussion studies.  These begin on Feb 21st thru March 28th at both 10–11:30am and 7–8:30pm.  Choose which time is best for you.
  2. For Youth: Hold monthly activities and survey the youth to find out their interests.  For example, Kathy Quesnel and Rob McKay begin a new high school class during worship Sunday, Feb 4th.
  3. For Children: Offer regular fellowship activities for children as well as Sunday school.  Crafts, hikes, cooking, grandparent/mentoring activities.
  4. Young Adults/Parents: offer mid-week gathering at the Pavilion for picnics, music, games, playground, socializing.

As we look forward, we rejoice that God is blessing us in many ways.  In 2017 our average attendance grew to 84, when many churches are shrinking. Our giving, service, and fun activities increased as well! Sunday Feb. 4th we add a Sunday school class for High School students 9th-12grade!  We are so blessed!

Grace and Peace, Kim

Hurry Up and Wait

Hurry up and wait. If this seems like your life, welcome to Advent.  Advent is all about waiting.  Most human beings are not particularly good at waiting. In this four-week season that begins Sunday Dec 3rd, we wait for the birth of our savior, Jesus.

Often waiting feels like a waste of time.  We wait for the rain to stop or the sun to rise. But Advent waiting is meant to be the opposite.  It is meant to be active waiting.  Henri Nouwen writes, “We live the present moment to the full in order to find there the signs of the One we are waiting for.” 

Advent waiting invites reflection. What brought meaning, true peace and joy this past year?  What do we need to change where those gifts were lacking?  Advent reflection is meant to bring us closer to Christ.  Where did we see God in ourselves, others and our world?  What spiritual disciplines help us grow?

Our children await Christmas day with great expectation, enthusiasm, and joy.  These gifts are possible for all if we are using Advent waiting to consider the ways we can grow closer to Christ, and thus see him more often, no matter the season.

Grace and Peace, Kim