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

We are “rich” in the best way

Several people liked a quote by Gordan Dahl that I shared in a recent sermon.  It was “Americans worship our work, work at our play, and play at our worship.

Instead, Psalm 100 encourages us to see worship as something we offer an amazing God.  Our worship is us delighting in God.  Worship allows us to thank God for God’s presence no matter what, God’s guidance if we will listen, and, of course, our Savior Jesus.

What other blessings have you received from God?  Life, health, friends, family, a great state/nation to live in, forgiveness, salvation, grace, faith, hope and love?  When we pause to count all the blessings God gives us, we discover we are “rich” in the best way.

Grace and Peace, Kim

Mother’s Day Reflections

It has been fun watching the photos of mom’s appear at church. Mother’s day is a special time for all—because we all have or had moms!   For adults who also have kids it has a double meaning of remembering their own childhood while treasuring the childhoods of their kids.

Parenting is one of the toughest jobs we do. It is pretty non-stop for the first 18 or so years of a child’s life. When our oldest was born, a wise older parent (who had teens and pre-teens) said to me, “Parenting is one of life’s greatest adventures.”   For some reason, I can still picture her saying this to me at the back of the sanctuary of the church I was then serving.

There are few things that bring us more joy or sadness than our families.   May we rejoice in the love we get to share, keep our sense of humor (parenting is often very good at keeping us humble as well) and undergird what we do with prayer.

Wisdom for each joy, sorrow and surprise is ours when we connect our parenting adventure with our faith.

Grace and Peace,

Kim