November 24th Updates

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
 
Reminder: The church will be closed Thursday, November 25th and Saturday November 26th

 

Studio 252’s Advent Collection for

Starr Elementary CIS

During Advent we focus on the four scriptural themes of HOPE, FAITH, JOY, PEACE which is why we have chosen to bless Starr Elementary CIS with their four most needed items. Each week of Advent we will focus on a different need, but you are welcome to bring in any of the items whenever you’d like 🙂 Gently used items are absolutely fine; whether from your household’s closets or a second hand store. There will be a collection box in the main foyer as well as one in the upstairs foyer by Studio 252 under our Compassion Tree. Thank you in advance for being a compassionate church: caring enough to do something about someone else’s needs!

Advent wk 1: underwear (boys & girls, size 6-12)

Advent wk 2: socks (toddler thru adult sizes)

Advent wk 3: sweats/joggers/leggings (boys & girls, size 6-12)

Advent wk 4: keep their bellies and their backs warm with snacks and coats (girls & boys)

 

Red Cross Blood Drive

Central United Methodist Church is scheduled for our next Red Cross blood draw. It will be held on Tuesday, December 21 between noon and 5:00. This will be our biggest campaign to date as we have been asked to fill fifty-one time slots. So now is the time to get registered. Go to redcrossblood.org and enter CUMCRICH into the box that says Find a Blood Drive. Find a time slot that is convenient for you and provide the requested information. It’s that easy. Fifteen minutes of your life that can mean a lifetime for someone else.

 

2022 Altar Flowers

If you would like to place an order for Sunday altar flowers in 2022, please call the office at 765-962-8543 or email Christin at christin@richmondcumc.com. Each order costs $25 and is billed through Jack Daggy Flowers. There are plenty of open dates in 2022!

 

Sounds of the Season

The 3rd annual Sounds of the Season is on Sunday, December 12th at 6:00pm. This diverse program will feature all of Central United Methodist Church’s music ministry groups: The Wesley Handbell Ringers, Chancel Choir, Joysingers Children’s Choir, Masked Singer Quartet, and other small ensembles and talented individuals. Get into the spirit of the season with us! This event will be in person as well as livestreamed over Central’s facebook page. We ask that you bring a mask and practice social distancing.

 

Longest Night Service – December 21st at 6:00pm

When we look at one another, many of us expect to see a smile on another person’s face and a twinkle in their eye. However, for many, Christmas can feel more like a season of great darkness and shadows. The longest and for many most difficult night of the year is December 21st. The Longest Night Service (sometimes referenced as Blue Christmas) will offer us a way to claim those feelings and still feel surrounded by the compassionate love of God.

 

Year End Tax Considerations

As we near the end of the year we all need to think about the opportunities that are available for reducing our tax liabilities. A contribution to Central United Methodist is one means that you can use to benefit yourself as well as your church. Depending upon your personal situation it could possibly result in a dollar for dollar benefit… and I think ALL of us would prefer giving to our church rather than paying more in taxes. Your tax advisor will be able to give you more information for your specific situation. Let us on the Endowment Committee know should you have any questions.
 

YOUR UMW DOLLARS GO FOR LOCAL MISSIONS:

The following seven local non-profits each received $500 from Central’s UMW during the Wayne County Foundation Match:  A Better Way (Genesis), Community In Schools, Girls INC., Every Child Can Read, Birth to Five, NATCO Community Empowerment, and the Open Arms Ministry. Crafts items made and sold by the members of the Creative Hands and purchased by YOU made this possible. United Methodist Women is dedicated to serving women and children in our community and all over the world

 

24/7 Prayer Vigil for 2022

Our church (CUMC) will be participating in a round the clock prayer vigil for a city wide spiritual revival and renewal for the 2022 year. CUMC has selected the 28th of every month in 2022 to pray for our city during the upcoming year. We are looking for prayer warriors to join us for this 24/7 focus.  Persons may sign up to pray for as little as 15 minutes or as long as each individual wishes. Prayer warriors may pray from home or workplace – it’s each persons  choice as to where to pray. There will be a table in the hall of the church to sign up for your selected time. Each participant will receive a letter and prayer guide. Thanks for each of you for joining us in this vigil for spiritual and community revival. Thanks be to God. Your 24/7 Prayer Initiative Team; Jan Hibner (765-277-3136) and Toni Reinke (765-969-6631)


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A Methodist Catholic Spirit

In the year 1750, John Wesley published his sermon titled “Catholic Spirit,” which became a treatise for early Methodist dialogue and cooperation with other Christian churches. The scholar Albert Outler writes that Wesley’s concern was “to narrow the field of irreducible disagreement between professing, practicing Christians and to transfer their concerns from argument about faith in Christ to faith itself…” In the sermon, Wesley describes the essential core of Christian belief and how we can love other Christians who may disagree with us on other matters.
 
Importantly, the sermon is written in the context of interchurch cooperation. In other words, it deals with how Methodists are to interact with Christians of other denominations who may disagree in some theological emphases, modes of worship, or church government. The core essentials of faith are still held in common (the supremacy of God, the divinity of Jesus, faith filled with love, etc.), but how are we to navigate differences in the other areas of Christian belief? Wesley asks, “Though we can’t think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion?” These are important questions for us, as well.
 
Though Christians may not always agree in their theological opinions and worship preferences, Wesley shows that our commonality in the essentials of the faith enables us to “unite in love.” Love is the central thread that runs through the entire sermon. It bridges the personal squabbles we have over non-essential matters of belief. It calls us back to a theological center, built on the teaching and example of Jesus: “By this shall all know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
 
To be sure, Wesley does not advocate for “speculative latitudinarianism,” an indifference to all opinions. For Methodists, beliefs really do matter, and some theological opinions are certainly closer to the truth than others. However, even within these entrenched disagreements, Christians can still have love. Though we belong to different denominations, worship in different ways, and hold to different doctrines, the theological center of holy love holds us together.
 

Wesley concludes his sermon, “And now run the race which is set before thee, in the royal way of universal love… keep an even pace, rooted in the faith once delivered to the saints and grounded in love, in true, catholic love, till thou art swallowed up in love for ever and ever.” May we heed this wisdom in our own lives of faith. May we strive along the more excellent way of love— neither dismissing our differences nor tolerating falsehoods, but honing the center, holy love.

 

For further reading—

 

And the sermon text itself here


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11/19/21 Updates

Hanging of the Greens THIS SUNDAY!

Join us for our annual decorating tradition today, Sunday, Nov. 21st, following worship! We’d love to have you and your family help us prepare for the seasons of Advent and Christmas. A light lunch will be served in the fellowship hall before we decorate.

 

Red Cross Blood Drive

Central United Methodist Church is scheduled for our next Red Cross blood draw. It will be held on Tuesday, December 21 between noon and 5:00. This will be our biggest campaign to date as we have been asked to fill fifty-one time slots. So now is the time to get registered. Go to redcrossblood.org and enter CUMCRICH into the box that says Find a Blood Drive. Find a time slot that is convenient for you and provide the requested information. It’s that easy. Fifteen minutes of your life that can mean a lifetime for someone else.

 

Year End Tax Considerations

As we near the end of the year we all need to think about the opportunities that are available for reducing our tax liabilities. A contribution to Central United Methodist is one means that you can use to benefit yourself as well as your church. Depending upon your personal situation it could possibly result in a dollar for dollar benefit… and I think ALL of us would prefer giving to our church rather than paying more in taxes. Your tax advisor will be able to give you more information for your specific situation. Let us on the Endowment Committee know should you have any questions.

 

2022 Altar Flowers

If you would like to place an order for Sunday altar flowers in 2022, please call the office at 765-962-8543 or email Christin at christin@richmondcumc.com. Each order costs $25 and is billed through Jack Daggy Flowers. There are plenty of open dates in 2022!

 

Sounds of the Season

The 3rd annual Sounds of the Season is on Sunday, December 12th at 6:00pm. This diverse program will feature all of Central United Methodist Church’s music ministry groups: The Wesley Handbell Ringers, Chancel Choir, Joysingers Children’s Choir, Masked Singer Quartet, and other small ensembles and talented individuals. Get into the spirit of the season with us! This event will be in person as well as livestreamed over Central’s facebook page. We ask that you bring a mask and practice social distancing.

 
 

 

Longest Night Service – December 21st at 6:00pm

When we look at one another, many of us expect to see a smile on another person’s face and a twinkle in their eye. However, for many, Christmas can feel more like a season of great darkness and shadows. The longest and for many most difficult night of the year is December 21st. The Longest Night Service (sometimes referenced as Blue Christmas) will offer us a way to claim those feelings and still feel surrounded by the compassionate love of God.

 

YOUR UMW DOLLARS GO FOR LOCAL MISSIONS:

The following seven local non-profits each received $500 from Central’s UMW during the Wayne County Foundation Match:  A Better Way (Genesis), Community In Schools, Girls INC., Every Child Can Read, Birth to Five, NATCO Community Empowerment, and the Open Arms Ministry. Crafts items made and sold by the members of the Creative Hands and purchased by YOU made this possible. United Methodist Women is dedicated to serving women and children in our community and all over the world


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11/12/21 Updates

Raking Leaves

We will be raking leaves this Saturday, November 13th starting at 8am until we are finished. We hope to see everyone there! If you have any questions, please contact Dave Sheets.

 

Rock Solid Ministries

Remember to bring your bags of food for Rock Solid Ministries’ Thanksgiving Dinner THIS Sunday, Nov. 14. You can bring your bags up to the altar. Rock Solid provides over 200 people in the community with a turkey and all the fixings every year with help from Central and other area churches. If you did not get a bag last Sunday, you can use your own bag.

Foods needed: canned fruit, canned green beans, Mac N Cheese, aluminum roasting pans.
 

 

Christmas Poinsettias

Christmas Poinsettias are $12.50 each and come in red and white. The deadline for Poinsettia orders is December 3rd. Please contact the church office or email Christin at christin@richmondcumc.com with the following information to place your order;

From:

In Honor Of:

In Loving Memory Of:

Number of Poinsettias:

Color: Red or White

 

Red Cross Blood Drive

Central United Methodist Church is scheduled for our next Red Cross blood draw. It will be held on Tuesday, December 21 between noon and 5:00. This will be our biggest campaign to date as we have been asked to fill fifty-one time slots. So now is the time to get registered. Go to redcrossblood.org and enter CUMCRICH into the box that says Find a Blood Drive. Find a time slot that is convenient for you and provide the requested information. It’s that easy. Fifteen minutes of your life that can mean a lifetime for someone else.

Coming Next Sunday Just in time for the holidays

Homemade noodles and pecans, coming to you from a UMW nearby on Sunday, November 21st before and after service. Central United Methodist Women’s Creative Hands participants have also been busy creating some extra special items with fall/winter and Christmas themed items. Our proceeds help many local charities. Working together in spirit and faith makes us all stronger!
 
 

Year End Tax Considerations

As we near the end of the year we all need to think about the opportunities that are available for reducing our tax liabilities. A contribution to Central United Methodist is one means that you can use to benefit yourself as well as your church. Depending upon your personal situation it could possibly result in a dollar for dollar benefit… and I think ALL of us would prefer giving to our church rather than paying more in taxes.  Your tax advisor will be able to give you more information for your specific situation.  Let us on the Endowment Committee know should you have any questions.

 

Hanging of the Greens

Join us for our annual decorating tradition on Sunday, Nov. 21st, following worship! We’d love to have you and your family help us prepare for the seasons of Advent and Christmas. A light lunch will be served in the fellowship hall before we decorate. Please contact Pastor Phil for more details or if you have any questions.

 

2022 Altar Flowers

If you would like to place an order for Sunday altar flowers in 2022, please call the office at 765-962-8543 or email Christin at christin@richmondcumc.com. Each order costs $25 and is billed through Jack Daggy Flowers. There are plenty of open dates in 2022!

 

Shalom Sessions

With so much dividing us in our world today, the church can and should offer a third way of uniting us in following the way of Jesus. Join us on the 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 12:05pm in the Fellowship Hall for a brown bag lunch as we discuss the matters affecting the Shalom of our community.


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11/5/21 Updates

Covid Update

Wayne County has dropped to yellow on the Indiana Covid map.  Mask wearing will be optional in the building.  We still will provide masks for whoever desires one. 

Stewardship 2022

God has more for us to be about.  Last week we celebrated our stewardship Sunday.  If you were unable to share your pledge, please pray over it and drop it off in the offering plate on Sunday.  Together we will carry this work of love into our community.

 

Central Serves Meal

After service today, November 7th, we will gather in the fellowship hall for a meal and opportunities to sign up to serve in various areas. Several different opportunities will be offered and open conversation will be had as well as a time for new ideas to be shared. Look forward to hearing how you will serve and enjoying a meal with you then.

 

Monday Morning Connections

We will meet on Monday, November 8th at 9am in the church parlor. Mary Livingston will be our speaker. She’s a former Air Force Officer, Pilot, and instructor.

 

UMW Meeting

Red Cross Hurricane Relief: Dana Mollenkopf will speak to United Methodist Women on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 1:00 in Fellowship Hall. All men, women & kids are welcome to join us for this interesting presentation. If you would like to join us for lunch at noon, please let Shanron Rider or Mary Ann Brooks know, so we can prepare enough food.

 

PECANS!!

UMW will be selling PECANS. They will be $12 per one pound bag. You can order halves or pieces. PLEASE PLACE YOUR ORDER BY NOVEMBER 14TH. Contact Shanron Rider or Martha Hayes with questions. Pecans and noodles will be available on the 21st.

Red Cross Blood Drive

Central United Methodist Church is scheduled for our next Red Cross blood draw. It will be held on Tuesday, December 21 between noon and 5:00. This will be our biggest campaign to date as we have been asked to fill fifty-one time slots. So now is the time to get registered. Go to redcrossblood.org and enter CUMCRICH into the box that says Find a Blood Drive. Find a time slot that is convenient for you and provide the requested information. It’s that easy. Fifteen minutes of your life that can mean a lifetime for someone else.
 

Media Ministry

Can you “double-click” a mouse button? Can you press the space bar on a keyboard? Then YOU have what it takes to join Central’s Media Ministry! Please prayerfully consider joining this vital ministry of Central UMC. Contact Jack or Krissi Hughes with questions or to get more information

 

Year End Tax Considerations

As we near the end of the year we all need to think about the opportunities that are available for reducing our tax liabilities. A contribution to Central United Methodist is one means that you can use to benefit yourself as well as your church. Depending upon your personal situation it could possibly result in a dollar for dollar benefit… and I think ALL of us would prefer giving to our church rather than paying more in taxes.  Your tax advisor will be able to give you more information for your specific situation.  Let us on the Endowment Committee know should you have any questions.

 

Hanging of the Greens

Join us for our annual decorating tradition on Sunday, Nov. 21st, following worship! We’d love to have you and your family help us prepare for the seasons of Advent and Christmas. A light lunch will be served in the fellowship hall before we decorate. Please contact Pastor Phil for more details or if you have any questions.


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Change

Once again the beauty of change falls among us.  We fold up our swimsuits and shake out our sweat shirts. The mower parks in the shed while the rakes are brought out to gather burning leaves falling from our trees. Change allows us to see clearly what we will miss and what is in store.
 
Here at Central change continues.  Our Ad Council met last night and agreed to slowly pull back our Covid restrictions. We will not ask for all to wear masks all the time. We still ask for compassion from all and will be providing masks for any who desire one. Thank you to all for doing your part! The change in our hospital occupancy and daily case numbers are something to be celebrated. When we move to yellow we will take down the tape.

With the changing year comes a new pledge drive for 2022. This Sunday we celebrate our Stewardship Sunday and the same, yet changing mission we have at Central to offer Jesus’ love to all. Do you remember it? That first time Jesus jumped off the pages of Scripture and transformed you with the reality of His power?  That love, that prevenient grace, that redeeming truth, that work – that’s what we are about together at Central. That’s the light we are keeping on with our commitment for 2022. I cannot wait to celebrate the changed lives from the work with you in the coming years.

Still, the greatest thing about change is that our Savior does not, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb 13:8)

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Joseph


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10/29/21 Updates

All Saints Remembrance Sunday

This Sunday the 31st, 6-7pm, you are invited to join us in the sanctuary for a special event of prayer, remembrance, and celebration of life. Historically, October 31 has been a Christian holiday known as All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Hallows Day (or, All Saints). This was when the church would remember and celebrate all the saints who had died in the Lord. You’re invited to this special come-and-go event. We will have individual prayer stations and places for personal quiet reflection for you to remember and give thanks for the departed loved ones in your life. Pastor Joseph and Pastor Phil will also be available for prayer at this time.

 

PECANS!!

UMW will be selling PECANS. They will be $12 per one pound bag. You can order halves or pieces. PLEASE PLACE YOUR ORDER BY NOVEMBER 14TH. Contact Shanron Rider or Martha Hayes with questions. Pecans and noodles will be available on the 21st of November.

 

Sunday Greeters

After a long absence due to Covid we are resuming the greeters program to welcome members and visitors to our church. We would appreciate your help in greeting church goers. We will follow the protocols established for Covid. We like to have 2 volunteers each Sunday 20 minutes before Church begins. We are making some changes to the way we have done this in the past and would appreciate suggestions as to how to make the program better. There will be a sign-up sheet available in the main hall way.

 

Media Ministry

Can you “double-click” a mouse button? Can you press the space bar on a keyboard? Then YOU have what it takes to join Central’s Media Ministry! Please prayerfully consider joining this vital ministry of Central UMC. Contact Jack or Krissi Hughes with questions or to get more information
 

Central Serves meal

After service on November 7th, we will gather in the fellowship hall for a meal and opportunities to sign up to serve in various areas.  Several different opportunities will be offered and open conversation will be had as well as a time for new ideas to be shared.  Look forward to hearing how you will serve and enjoying a meal with you then.

All Saints Sunday

If you would like to honor a loved one that has passed away this year, please notify the church office at 765-962-8543 or email Christin at christin@richmondcumc.com so that we may honor them on November 7th. Please send their name, date of birth and death, and a photo. All submissions are due by NOVEMBER 3RD.
 
Prayer Walks
Prayer connects us daily to a loving God moving in our midst. In his 3 rules for Methodists, John Wesley calls us to both private and public prayer. On the first
Monday of every month at noon, we will have a prayer walk through our neighborhood. We will divide into small groups at the entrance of the church and
proceed in different directions. Along the way, we will pause to pick up trash and renew our streets and sidewalks. Please contact Pastor Joseph with any
questions.

 

COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RELIEF ROOM

We wish to thank Eileen Cravens for her time and effort in helping us get the Relief Room more organized. Thanks to Eileen, all of our youth clothing has been sorted and placed in containers marked with sizes. We have a couple other short term projects that need to be done. Anyone interested in helping, please contact Dana Mollenkopf at 765-277-0287 or at papamole@comcast.net.

 

UMW Meeting

Red Cross Hurricane Relief: Dana Mollenkopf will speak to United Methodist Women on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 1:00 in Fellowship Hall. All men, women & kids are welcome to join us for this interesting presentation. If you would like to join us for lunch at noon, please let Shanron Rider or Mary Ann Brooks know, so we can prepare enough food.
 

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The Means of Grace

If you happened to catch Pastor Joseph’s blog article last week, you’ll recall it focused on the Methodist doctrine of entire sanctification (or, “Christian Perfection”). Among the doctrinal distinctives of our church, this is perhaps the most beloved. As Methodists we are optimistic about God’s grace. Though in our own power and by our own merit, we can achieve nothing of salvation, we believe God’s grace is powerful enough to deliver us from both the guilt and the power of sin in this life.

 

John testifies: “Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God’s seed abides in them; they cannot sin because they have been born of God” (1 John 3:9, NRSV). John is not claiming we’ll have a sinless perfection but a freedom from ongoing, high-handed sin. In place of sinful rebellion, the believer is filled with the holy love of God. Again, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world” (1 Jon 4:17, NRSV). The essence of holiness is perfect love. This love of God and neighbor so fills our hearts that we are oriented entirely away from the rebellious habit of sin and enabled to live a godly life. This is the renewal of the image of God within us.

 

If this is the goal of our salvation, and if Methodists truly believe its possibility in this life, then how do we receive this gift? How are we remade in the image of holy love? John Wesley saw a pathway in the means of grace. He described the means of grace as “outward signs, words, or actions ordained of God, and appointed for this end—to be the ordinary channels whereby he might convey to men [prevenient], justifying, or sanctifying grace” (Sermon 16: The Means of Grace).

 

Grace is essential for growth in the spiritual life. We cannot grow ourselves. We cannot make ourselves holy. We need the spiritual nourishment of grace, and it is always a gift from God. Therefore, we must wait upon God in the places he has promised to meet us with that grace and allow it to do its transformational work within us.

 

These channels of grace include our practices of prayer, Bible reading and study, attending worship, the Lord’s Supper, Christian fellowship, serving the poor, visiting the sick, and many others. These are the places where God does his deepest, most interior work of changing our hearts from a heart of sin to a heart of holy love. Perfect love. It is a process, perhaps better described as a “perfecting perfection.” But as Methodists, we believe that God both desires and is able to do such a profound work of grace within us that we can be utterly renewed in the divine image of holy love. It comes by grace. And it’s found in the means of grace.

 

Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life? Are you earnestly seeking this grace in the means that God has provided? Can we be a church that is so utterly renewed in the image of holy love that it radically transforms the community around us for the glory of God?

 

“O what people of God we ought to be; and grace can make us so!” (Francis Asbury)

 

-Pastor Phil


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10/22/21 Updates

Fall Festival in the Park?

We have had an opportunity to join the City of Richmond in their Trick or Treat in the park. Instead of competing with our own Fall Festival, we have made the decision to join in the fun on October 30th from 5-7pm! We are still in need of Candy donations and anyone who has volunteered so far are welcome to come to the park with us to help pass out candy. Please call the church office for information or look out for an email from either Pastor Phil or Christin.

 

All Saints Remembrance

On Sunday the 31st, 6-7pm, you are invited to join us in the sanctuary for a special event of prayer, remembrance, and celebration of life. Historically, October 31 has been a Christian holiday known as All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Hallows Day (or, All Saints). This was when the church would remember and celebrate all the saints who had died in the Lord. You’re invited to this special come-and-go event. We will have individual prayer stations and places for personal quiet reflection for you to remember and give thanks for the departed loved ones in your life. Pastor Joseph and Pastor Phil will also be available for prayer at this time.

 

PECANS!!

UMW will be selling PECANS. They will be $12 per one pound bag. You can order halves or pieces. PLEASE PLACE YOUR ORDER BY NOVEMBER 14TH. Contact Shanron Rider or Martha Hayes with questions.

 

Sunday Greeters

After a long absence due to Covid we are resuming the greeters program to welcome members and visitors to our church. We would appreciate your help in greeting church goers. We will follow the protocols established for Covid. We like to have 2 volunteers each Sunday 20 minutes before Church begins. We are making some changes to the way we have done this in the past and would appreciate suggestions as to how to make the program better. There will be a sign-up sheet available in the main hall way.

 

Media Ministry

Can you “double-click” a mouse button? Can you press the space bar on a keyboard? Then YOU have what it takes to join Central’s Media Ministry! Please prayerfully consider joining this vital ministry of Central UMC. Contact Jack or Krissi Hughes with questions or to get more information

 

All Saints Sunday

If you would like to honor a loved one that has passed away this year, please notify the church office at 765-962-8543 or email Christin at christin@richmondcumc.com so that we may honor them on November 7th. Please send their name, date of birth and death, and a photo. All submissions are due by NOVEMBER 3RD.

 

COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RELIEF ROOM

We need a volunteer or two to assist with a short term project. We have a number of clothing items for school age children that needs some organization. The project would be to sort the items by size and place then in plastic bins that have been purchased for their storage. This will help us work quickly with families who come in needing specific sizes of clothing for their children. Likewise, we have several pairs of children shoes that also need to be sorted by size. Come alone or bring a friend. Sort some of the items or all of the items. Whatever you can do would be appreciated. For more information contact Dana Mollenkopf at 765-277-0287 or

papamole@comcast.net. THANKS.

 
 

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Christian Perfection

John Wesley preached over and estimated 40,000 times in raising up the Methodist movement. At the end of his life, he wrote the following,

“This doctrine (of full sanctification) is the grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called Methodists; and for the sake of propagating this chiefly He appeared to have raised us up.” 

Wesley taught Methodism as holiness of heart and life or true scriptural Christianity.  Christian Perfection or Full Sanctification became a defining doctrine which set apart the Methodists.  He defined this Christian Perfection most full as:

In one view, it is purity of intention, dedicating all the life to God. It is the giving God all our heart; it is one desire and design ruling all our tempers. It is the devoting, not a part, but all our soul, body, and substance to God. In another view, it is all the mind which was in Christ, enabling us to walk as Christ walked. It is the circumcision of the heart from all filthiness, all inward as well as outward pollution. It is a renewal of the heart in the whole image of God, the full likeness of Him that created it. In yet another, it is the loving God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves.

 

Reflecting on his preaching of Christian Perfection, Wesley goes on,

“In the same sermon I observed, “`Love is the fulfilling of the law, the end of the commandment.’ It is not only `the first and great’ command, but all the commandments in one. `Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise,’ they are all comprised in this one word, love. In this is perfection, and glory, and happiness: The royal law of heaven and earth is this, `Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.’ The one perfect good shall be your one ultimate end. One thing shall ye desire for its own sake, — the fruition of Him who is all in all. One happiness shall ye propose to your souls, even an union with Him that made them, the having `fellowship with the Father and the Son,’ the being `joined to the Lord in one spirit.’ One design ye are to pursue to the end of time, — the enjoyment of God in time and in eternity. Desire other things so far as they tend to this; love the creature, as it leads to the Creator. But in every step you take, be this the glorious point that terminates your view. Let every affection, and thought and word, and action, be subordinate to this. Whatever ye desire or fear, whatever ye seek or shun, whatever ye think speak, or do, be it in order to your happiness in God, the sole end, as well as source, of your being.” (Ibid., pp. 207, 208.)

 

I concluded in these words: “Here is the sum of the perfect law, the circumcision of the heart. Let the spirit return to God that gave it, with the whole train of its affections. — Other sacrifices from us he would not, but the living sacrifice of the heart hath he chosen. Let it be continually offered up to God through Christ, in flames of holy love. And let no creature be suffered to share with him; for he is a jealous God. His throne will he not divide with another; he will reign without a rival. Be no design, no desire admitted there, but what has Him for its ultimate object.

 

This is the way wherein those children of God once walked, who being dead still speak to us: `Desire not to live but to praise his name; let all your thoughts, words, and works tend to his glory.’ `Let your soul be filled with so entire a love to Him that you may love nothing but for his sake.’ `Have a pure intention of heart, a steadfast regard to his glory in all you actions.’

 

Is your soul so filled with love?  Have we thought of God’s glory in all our actions?  What would our world, our community, our homes look like if we had such purity of intention?

 

May we remember who we are and Whose we are.  Lord, hear our prayers…

 

Wesley’s full sermon – The Circumcision of the Heart

Wesley’s  – A Plain Account of Christian Perfection


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