Pastor Kip's Email
August 18, 2017
Happy Friday! I trust that this email finds you well and getting ready for a great weekend.
This week in worship we will continue with our Roman's sermon series. This week we'll look at Romans 9:1-9. For the best reading of our text, go back to chapter eight, and start around verse 35. Then without stopping at the chapter change, continue reading into chapter nine. What you are experiencing is what the folks who first received Paul's letter read. I hope that you feel the same shocking change in his message and personal emotions that they had to feel.
At the close of chapter eight, everything is happy and joy filled. Then immediately Paul's words change and the reader knows that something has happened or is about to happen. And indeed, something is about to happen. Paul now begins to tell the church of Rome his feelings toward his brother Jews who do not embrace the love of God through Jesus.
Read the first three verses carefully and hear what he is saying to the church. These are powerful and certainly heartfelt words. As you read through verses four through five, make a mental or physical list of what Paul is listing as the blessings of God to the Jews. Ponder over each one, and decide the depth of the meaning in his words as he describes these blessings. Think about what the Jews did with these blessings or what they did not do with them. At the close of verse five is the most powerful blessing. It is from their ancestry which the Messiah has come. One would think that would be enough right there, but as we know, it was not.
In verses six through nine, Paul makes a point as to exactly who is a child of God and the basis of his thoughts. These verses may make you go back into your Old Testament mind set and try to remember who is who from the time in the Old Testament that Paul is writing of. It could be interesting, in case you do not remember to go back and research Abraham's children and remember which one came first and second, and what happened to each.
And then of course, what in the world does this have to do with us, many years later? For me, the point of the text is its blatant contrast with the closing of chapter eight; particularly the question: "What shall separate us from the love of God through Jesus...?" In chapter nine Paul is saying that something "separated" the Jews from the love of God in Jesus. So what was it? And therefore what is the message for us? And in this reading, are we more like the Jews of verses 1 - 5 or the children of Abraham in verses 6 - 9. We could still be either. What is the determining factor?
This is also a really big Sunday for our congregation because we will be commissioning a new Stephen Ministry Leader. Mr. Jim Grudzen has completed his Stephen Ministry Leadership training in Orlando recently and is now ready to be commissioned by his home church to fulfill the responsibilities of Stephen Ministry Leadership here with family and friends. This is an exciting time for our church and Jim. I know that you look as forward to this event as I do.
God Bless - Pastor Kip
It has been a pretty quiet (AND HOT) summer with many days over 100 on the feels like scale so be careful and stay hydrated when gardening, golfing, etc. outdoors. Have you noticed though that our Sunday worship numbers are slowly starting to tick up (because they are)? Of course, when it comes to snowbirds, they come back at all different times towards the end of summer and beginning of fall, so we will probably be seeing larger numbers pretty soon. Yay. Our brothers and sisters in Christ safe and sound back in their winter home. That is always something to be thankful for!
I have been wanting to send out a special thank you for those of you who recycle your bulletin, so here it is. Thank you for doing your part for the environment by recycling and reusing when and where possible. Printing the bulletins every Sunday is a big guessing game using the numbers from the prior 2 or 3 Sundays, then trying to gauge the "trend" to arrive at how many to print. When we do print too many we feel bad for being wasteful, but when we don't print enough we feel bad that maybe some of you didn't get a bulletin, so it is good to know that if we are short some Sunday's that ya'll are recycling for the next group of parishioners. That is very thoughtful (and environmentally friendly) of you.
The new Wednesday Night Bible Study Group met Wednesday night and discussed their future plans for study. They voted to begin their class by studying Proverbs and you are all invited to join them at 6:30 pm beginning August 30th in room 114. There is no need to sign up, just show up and you will be welcomed in the true Wesleyan way with Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors!
I found something very interesting on the internet as I was checking out some Alzheimer's information. Although it speaks to the grandchildren to ask these questions of their grandparents, wouldn't it be a nice gift to our progeny to answer these questions for them without waiting for them to bring them up? Do you wish you had asked certain things of your grandparents when you had the chance? There are 30 questions written down that a grandchild could ask their elders to answer. What a great idea that is. And while you are at it, you might consider sharing some hereditary health answers that your grandkids might have, but are afraid to ask because they think it might upset you, such as: Does Alzheimer's, heart disease, thyroid problems, etc, run in the family. These are all good things for our grandchildren to know so they can pass it down to their children someday. If you are interested, here is the website with this list to help get you started (of course, you can pick and choose which questions to use, these 30 questions are just a suggestion):
Just food for thought as America is becoming an aged nation.
The Sanctuary Mission is holding its annual golf tournament fundraiser on September 18th, so if you are interested in being a part of that, the registration deadline is September 12th. I am not going to repeat all the details here, but there is plenty of information via flyers and brochures on our large bulletin board in the office, on our website (www.1umc.org), on our facebook page (First United Methodist Church of Homosassa) and in this week's bulletin. So if you do sign up and play, HAVE FUN while knowing you are donating to a very good cause.
In His Service - Donna Munsen, Administrator
Congratulations Jim Grudzen