Category Archives: Pastor Kim’s messages

Pastor Kim’s weekly messages

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

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

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.

How to Forgive

Recently, someone asked me “Why is this church so wonderful and caring?”  I do think it is because we stress being a Matthew 18:15-17 church which guides us to healthy relationships: 

  1. Pray for help with your relationships, and self-awareness on your part in any problem.
  2. Resist gossip. Last Sunday everyone laughed when I said. “When you are tempted to gossip, breath through your nose, because you can’t do that and talk at the same time.” 

For the rest of the steps see Matthew 18:15-17, but the WHOLE chapter has a lot to say about forgiveness.

We are not perfect, but we are forgiven, and we can forgive others.  We are all growing – hurray!  Our love can be seen in realizing that a church is “a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints”. 

With our Savior’s help we can heal, grow, forgive, and have fun as we love God and serve others. 

Grace and Peace,

Kim

Sunday School Has Started!

Fall is upon us and there are many good things happening.  First, let’s brag about our Sunday school. We gave out many attendance awards Sept. 11th. Many of our award winners had well over 30 Sundays of attendance. Our top two kids attended 44 and 46 Sundays of the last Sunday school and summer worship year.  That is amazing!  In fact, with the summer programming and play ground in full use, we easily tripled the number of kids with us on summer Sundays. 

We currently have Sunday school teachers who are aged 29-80 years serving as teachers in our Sunday school.  This year we welcome Genia Curler to the preschool class. Genia said, “Thanks for asking me! It is such an honor to teach and I hope I can be as beloved as Lorna.”

We also welcome Betsy Brown to the 2nd/3rd grade class. She said, “I think it will be fun.  Please thank these new teachers and our experienced teachers: Lorna Brown, Genevieve and Chris Potter, Jeff Jeskie, Randy Gates and Margaret Roddy.

It is not too late to invite someone you know to try our Sunday school.  We are blessed by our children, youth, and the adults who teach and help. 

Grace and Peace, Kim

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