Category Archives: Pastor Kim’s messages

Pastor Kim’s weekly messages

Farewell to the Duggers

Our Summer has been filled with joys, but now we are faced with a challenge.  No one wants to say good-bye to Lloyd, Shannon, Aidan and Jazz.  Lloyd has been our amazing Music Minister. He has grown our choir, and added drums, guitar, and so much faithful spirit to every worship service.  Shannon sings in our choir and she and Lloyd led a wonderful summer program for all ages this summer.  Aidan plays our drums. Jazz charms one and all. So we won’t say good-bye, we will say “farewell”. 

I love the meaning of this old fashioned word. It is more of a blessing. It says “do well” as you go into a new future.  It says “God bless you”, and remember that we also know that you have so blessed us!  It says, “we want the best for you and we know the opportunities for all in Massachusetts are fantastic.  We also know that Lloyd, Shannon, Aidan and Jazz will find a new church home and be a blessing there.

We will miss them terribly.  However, they are promising to come back and visit!  Shannon’s parents remain in Vermont.  So we rejoice that we had Lloyd for over five years, watched him fall in love and get married, step-parent Aidan so well, and welcome Jazz into the family.  Every moment has been a blessing. 

May Lloyd’s loyalty, faith, and talent inspire us to invite others to experience these things in our church family!  We are blessed and stretched by saying “farewell

Grace and Peace, Kim

You Are Generous!

You are generous, and you outdid yourselves in 2015!  Here’s our amazing 2015 mission giving totals:

  • Special offerings for One Great Hour of Sharing, Souper Bowl Sunday, Imagine No Malaria and others raised: $5,056
  • Mission Share giving that benefits our church, our conference, our nation and our world: $20,265
  • Middlebury Family pack to a family in need every month of 2015, and we sent supplies, donations and scholarships to a number of church campers and Mission trip attenders totaling: $3,220

Our grand total of mission giving for 2015 is $28,541.  We also donated food for four Thanksgiving meals, a large number of Christmas gifts for Addison County families in need, food for our food shelf, and items to the Rummage and Plant Sale. Changing lives here and around the world – Priceless!

This is 18% of the budget we proposed for 2015.  Congrats to all!  For further break down of the categories or if you do not know what something listed here is, see our bulletin insert May 29 and June 5th or speak to Finance Committee Chairperson Lou McLaren at 425-7890.

Grace and Peace,

Kim

God is a God of Abundance

God is a God of abundance, not a god of scarcity.  Jesus reveals God’s abundance when he makes his disciples catch so many fish that their boat nearly sinks (Luke 5:1-7)”. I take this quote from Henri Nouwen in his devotional book “Bread for the Journey”.

We can rejoice in the many good things God is offering to us: bringing us new mission and service opportunities; bringing new members; and bringing new ideas.  Spring is inching forward, and God is beckoning us always to grow! 

Our generous God wants to offer us an abundant life based on faith, hope and love.  We are rich when our relationships are healthy, when our faith is ever-growing in our  trust in God’s goodness.

No matter what the news is, we have hope that God’s love wins.

Grace and Peace,

Kim

An Easy Daily Devotional

Here is a wonderful link for your daily Bible devotional reading: BibleInOneYear 

That link takes you to daily Bible selections from a Psalm or Proverb, the New Testament, and the Old Testament, with an excellent commentary by Nicky Gumbel. 

The site gives you multiple options – read on the website; sign up for a daily email; or use their free smartphone app.  There is even a new audio version for those who might want to listen while driving or doing the dishes or the yard work! 

With this, you will read the entire Bible in one year.  Or you could just read the New Testament selections the first year, and then the Old Testament the next year if it seems too much to do three readings a day.  To do the entire selection takes about 10-15 minutes.  The short commentary gives insight on powerful, tricky, or weird passages.

Reading scripture connects you to the vast wisdom and love the Bible contains.  We want everyone to have the assurance that God loves YOU no matter what.  We also want you to have the amazing wisdom of how to live our faith that the Bible teaches.

Grace and Peace, 

Pastor Kim

Lent is here

Lent is here. May we use the next 40 days to prepare our hearts for Easter joy!

We get to celebrate God’s great love. This love does not stay aloof, but enters human life to seek and save the lost.

We get to experience God’s power as we leave behind all that prevents us from living an abundant life of faith, hope and love. 

Lent invites us to walk day by day, to  let go of the temptations, resentments, frustrations worries, fears and addictions that distract us from our true calling as God’s children.

Lent inspires us to take up practices that grow us as disciples of Jesus:

  • Watch for where you see God each day
  • Count your blessings
  • See challenges as an opportunity to pray for help 
  • Serve
  • Be generous

Our new Mission Team has challenged us to put together 100 Health kits—let’s just do it!

Grace and Peace,

Kim

What Do You Do for a Special Christmas Guest?

What would you do for a special Christmas guest?  Prepare the best dinner you could?  Shop for a gift that is perfect?  Welcome and pamper them while they visit?  Every December, Jesus hopes to be the special guest at our Christmas celebrations!

What if his love makes us more patient? What if his acceptance lowers our stressed out “everything has to be perfect ideal” so that we enjoy each day?  What if his love for us does indeed find us particularly generous when the Christmas offering is taken?  What if his love gets us to treasure the truly important things now and into 2016?

The important things have little to do with “should” and everything to do with sharing more love with those he leads us to.

No matter what the ups and downs of your Christmas, Jesus is eager to share them with you.  May his warm transforming love help you to experience again the wonder of his birth.  I am feeling so blessed by all the ministry we have shared in 2015. Looking forward to the exciting ways God will use us in 2016!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Pastor Kim

“Why I Love my Church” poster offerings on Sundays

During worship on Sun, Oct 25th, Nov 1st and 8th, we consider our blessings and how we can give back in gratitude so that ministry flourishes in 2016.  We have some members of our church family sharing how our church has changed their lives using posters read during worship.  Watch each Sunday’s offerings below.

On Sunday Nov 8th, we invite all who are able to make a pledge and offer it as an act of worship.  We do have a $10,000 challenge grant that will match new and increased pledges up to $10,000.  If someone increases their pledge $10 a week that equals 52 weeks x $10=$520. The grant will match the $520 so that the church receives a total of $1,040.

After worship on Sun Nov 8th, we traditionally hold a free celebration brunch for everyone provided by the Vergennes UMC women.  Contact Jill Wilkens who is keeping track of the numbers so that Vergennes knows how much food to prepare.

Honoring Ruth Bull and Dick Dunn

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    Ruth Bull and Dick Dunn both died September 30th.  Both enjoyed very long lives filled with family, friends, church and service. Both were beloved for their faith and involvement in our church. 

    Ruth grew up in the community and taught in our Sunday school for over 50 years. She had a special relationship with every child.  She also had a talent for writing to people often writing to her Sunday school pupils for years or anyone else who could use encouragement.  We rejoice that we honored her in worship a few years back by naming one of our Sunday school rooms in her honor.  Her funeral was in our sanctuary Oct. 2nd.

    Dick Dunn served as pastor here for nine years 1970-1979.  He is the longest serving of any of our many pastors.  Dick retired here a few years ago and this past year was mainly shut in and very frail.  We rejoice that we were able to sing Christmas carols to him last December and to honor him with a quilt of valor for his World War II service recently.  At Dick’s request, he is having a private graveside service in Duxbury, VT, but we hope to honor his memory with a Coffee hour after church when his daughter Jody Rotax can be with us.

    Both of these saints were treasures on loan to us from God.  We entrust them now into God’s loving arms.

Grace and Peace, Kim

Growing in Your Faith

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Lives change when we share God’s love! We have more peace, wisdom, courage, and faith, hope and love when we count our many blessings and list God’s unconditional love at the top.

Let us rejoice in the many people inviting children and youth to attend our Sunday school or youth group.  I have heard of kids, youth, and adults all inviting people they know. And we do have new kids in Sunday school!  This blesses all of us!

Men who attended the Men’s group say things like: “The conversations are so deep.” “It is so clear there is love in the room.

Service is a great way to share God’s love. “I need to find more service projects to be involved in.” said a person active with the Community meal.

All of these comments reflect people growing in their faith. Where is God inviting you to grow?

Grace and Peace,

Kim

On Sunday School

Last month, we invited people to write down the name of a child that they know who does not have a Sunday school to attend.  That child could be a family member, neighbor, or friend of your own children. 

We promised to pray for that child/family and to ask God to guide us to invite them in a warm, non-judgmental way to try our Sunday school which begins September 13th.  We encouraged you to offer to pick the child up and bring them and any family members who want to attend so they have a friendly person to walk through our doors with.

It is hard for me to imagine anything more important than a life-giving faith in a God of love who is eager to help us be the best we can be.

Yes, I do think this is more important than being a star athlete, top student, popular, or famous.  This holds no matter what our age!  For we all know “stars” who fail at having good character. 

A person with genuine faith is joyful, patient, faithful, loving, hopeful, serves others, makes the world a better place, and has a peace that no circumstance can shake.  This is true “stardom”. 

I hope that you are praying for someone that you can invite.  Faith is meant to be shared.

Grace and Peace, 

Kim