Loaves, fishes, and Polly Curler’s funeral

Saturday March 29th we held a funeral for Polly Curler. She was our organist for 40 years and a wonderful Christian, mom, nurse, and community member. We worried whether we would have enough. We knew it might be a big funeral. We also knew a lot of our active church members were facing illness, or other challenges. Would we have enough? Would the weather be ice or snow?

Like the disciples with only two fish and five loaves of bread, we had questions, worries, and doubts. That Saturday the weather was better than expected. We seated the family early to figure out what seats were left. The people kept coming. Many of our church members gave up their seats and went up into our balcony. The people kept coming. The extra chairs in the back filled. There were a number of people standing for the entire service.

We sang, we cried, we laughed as we remembered how God blessed us through Polly Curler. Then I went downstairs and you took my breath away. There were mountains of donated food. It just shouted “We love you Polly, we love you Curlers, we love you Savior who gave us Polly.” Thank you.

Grace and Peace, Kim

More Scriptures to Wake Up To

In my last post, I reported on some scriptures that our fellow church members are using to wake up to and or inspire them through out the day.  Here are some more great scriptures that people are using:

Romans 8:31-39 speaks about how “Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Someone else named Psalm 103. This psalm celebrates God’s compassion and ability to forgive. “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love….he does not treat us as our sins deserve…

Another powerful scripture comes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel. Matt 6:25-34 encourages us not to worry, our heavenly Father knows what we need.  Last, but not least, is the passage from Paul in Phillippians 4:13 that says, “I can do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens me.

If you are looking for a scripture to be your favorite, reading the Psalms, or the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) or reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians are great places to begin the search

Grace and Peace,

Kim

What are you waking up to?

Lorna Brown led our mid-week Bible study in a wonderful lesson where people were invited to share the Bible verse they were trying to “wake up with”.  There were many wonderful scriptures shared and some quotes as well.

Psalm 121 “I lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help? It comes from the Lord…” was recited from memory in full!  Others had picked Roman’s 8 or Psalm 23 or Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

There was a special request that I list the quote that one person wakes up to.  While this is not “in the Bible” it is certainly a great Biblically inspired quote: “If you feel that you are drowning in suffering, grief or pain, remember your life guard walks on water!

Another great quote in response to someone saying “I worry too much about tomorrow.” was “Do you realize tomorrow never comes? There is only the past and today.”  That gave us a good laugh, but it is true!

Grace and Peace,  Kim

Pilgrimage to the Holy Lands

Pilgrimage: a journey, often long, made to a place of sacred meaning.  For me, our trip to Israel was also an affirmation of our faith that God acts in human history.

Seeing the sights where our Biblical heroes and our Savior lived out their faith, opens a window into how God is at work in our lives today.  It was fun, moving, and thought provoking.

Lent is almost upon us and this is a form of pilgrimage for all Christians. In a spiritual way, we journey with Christ towards the cross and beyond. In this journey, we hope to connect to God in a deeper way.  Looking forward to preparing for Easter with you!

Grace and Peace,  Kim

Grateful for…

Today I am grateful that this past week and evening we had snow, not ice.  I am grateful for the many volunteers working so hard on our kitchen.  The banter among the kitchen workers is usually quite entertaining.

I am grateful that Shirley Parfitt and Janette Dumont bring such faithfulness and enthusiasm to our new children’s choir, and the joyful way that the kids invite their friends to come to Sunday school or sing in the choir.  I am grateful for Sunday school teachers.  Lee Steadman gave a wonderful talk on Boy Scouts on our Scouting Sunday.

Life is richer because we know God is on our side working for good.  We get to live that lesson every day.

Do you think God is grateful for all the love, service, worship, prayers, fun and fellowship we pour into being Jesus’ disciples?  What about if church is fun?  Well, because you make it that way, I am grateful, and I am betting God is too.

Grace and Peace,

Kim

True Happiness: Not Found in Revenge

Based on Matthew 5:7 and 9  from “The Message”

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.”

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”

Estate Planning: a type of disaster response plan

NFUMC Wills and Living Trusts word doc

The Men’s Group wants to be sure everyone in our community is prepared for a disaster before it happens.  At our men’s breakfast on Saturday, Feb 1st, Jed Hornung led a discussion on financial planning for disasters, specifically planning for death or the inability to participate in our financial affairs through use of a Will and Living Trust.  To quote him, “LIFE IS FRAGILE.  So, stewardship concerning our real and personal property should be considered a Christian faith responsibility.  Thus, every person of adult age should make estate planning decisions.”

The WORD document attached to this post (see link at top) includes his written discussion points on Estate Planning. The last several pages allow you to organize important information into a document that you can share with your lawyer, accountant, and family members.  The men’s group hopes that you use this resource to review this topic more carefully, and to organize all of your financial information in one place.

We thank Jed for addressing this important topic and for preparing this very helpful document.

Our Children and Youth

Some of our newest attendees are children.  They are very excited by our stained glass window of Jesus, Sunday school, singing in our children’s choir, and helping in any way.

Do you remember a time when you were particularly excited about your faith?  You make a difference by supporting our Sunday school.  The enthusiasm of our young people is a blessing to us all – reminding us that faith is fun!  Don’t let the winter cold get you down.  Come to church and let our children’s singing, smiles and service warm you up!

This Sunday, if you are able, you have the option of bringing canned goods and/or making a donation to the “Souper Bowl of Caring” offering.

Our young people will be helping us with this as well. When we work together for good, faith is both meaningful and fun.  Our Confirmation Class chose the John Graham Shelter in Vergennes for this year’s Souper Bowl offering.

Grace and Peace,

Kim