One of the most successful slogans says that “Diamonds are Forever.” This might be true. They are carbon crystals formed under great heat and pressure. Even if the suns of the universe should cease to shine, diamonds might still be present. (there just may be no one to appreciate them) Who knows how long it might take for the bonds of carbon atoms to simply dissolve. On earth diamonds are rather rare, but I once watched a show that theorized that diamonds fall as rain on the surface of Jupiter. The pressure of the atmosphere is so great that it causes the prevalence of carbon in the atmosphere to form crystals and plummet to the surface. Can you imagine a planet surface stacked deep in diamond crystals? Beauty, riches, and glory are relative concepts. How would we think about such things if we could witness heaven or see the person of God? What would happen if the eternal were become more real to us than that which is transient? Would a diamond still impress us? Would we see life any different?
This Sunday I am preaching on Isaiah 6:1-8 and Isaiah’s vision of God. What happens to us and to life when we perceive the eternal and the glory of God within?
Pentecost Sunday is here.
My Preaching text will be John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15.
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.
4 … “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
As a wedding gift, a relative once gave us a homemade set of wind chimes. They were constructed from long metal tubes and would resonate in harmony as the wind caused them to sway and sound off. When we dared to put them up, they added music to the wind that was invisible. I suppose some might call the chimes noisy and even annoying, but there was also something beautiful in the tones and something mystical about being able to play with the wind. Perhaps in some ways our lives should be to the Spirit as those chimes were to the wind. What sounds, harmony, and movement come from your life as you feel the Spirit of God blowing? Does anyone perhaps even find you annoying?
Mini-Retreat scheduled for May 8
Everyone is cordially invited to attend a mini-retreat day on Tuesday, May 8 at 11:00 AM, for a time of prayer, a program, a craft and fellowship. Darlene Logston Bonner will present a program on the US2 Missionary work she has done. She also has become active as an Origami Owl jewelry designer and will offer a “jewelry bar,” splitting the profits to raise funds for the UMW.
After Darlene’s presentation, Kay Coombs will lead a craft project – painting pine cones for table decorations.
Please bring prepped pine cones to the meeting.
To prepare pine cones:
• Fill a 5-gallon bucket 1/2 full of water, add 1 cup vinegar for each gallon of water (kills bugs, etc.)
• Soak pine cones 30 to 45 min. stirring every 5 to 10 minutes.
• Remove pine cones, place on towel to dry for 2-3 days or dry in a 200 Degree oven for 30 minutes.
• Spray with acrylic Mod Podge, keeps pine cones from becoming brittle. • Bring paint brush and pine cones to meeting. Kay Coombs will provide paint
Mark 8:34 (NRSV)
34 … “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Why would a person take up a cross? It is a short walk to a certain and torturous death. Jesus spoke these words knowing that his time was growing short. For him, inevitably, there was a cross. He could not live as he chose to live and avoid it. He could not be who he believed himself to be and side step it. Jesus was heading toward a confrontation between himself and the social and political powers of the world around him. He disagreed with the piety of the priest, the teaching of the Pharisees, the money of Herod, and many of the religious affections of the masses. Therefore he did not want people to be surprised that something had to give.
John 11:50 (NRSV)
50 You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.”
Jesus carried the cross not because it was how he chose to die –not because he had a death wish. The cross was placed upon him because of how he chose to live. The question to us is not what are we willing to die for, but what are we living for? Aare we willing to live as Christ lived knowing what happened to him? Do our chooses in this life causes us more sacrifice or worldly gain? Do we live just for self or for something more? is there a cross in chooses? If there is, just remember, where there is a cross for the sake of Christ there is also a resurrection.
Sunday – February 11 – after worship – PASTA POTLUCK – Come, join the fun and fellowship – Bring favorite pasta dish or tossed salad w/dressing or dessert or rolls/bread.
Here it is! The December Empire UMC “Beacon” Newsletter!
Saturday, November 11 Traverse Bay UMC 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM $10 per person (includes lunch)
“Storytelling – Make Plain the Vision” Keynote Speaker: Ray Buckley, author The Main Event features author Ray Buckley. Ray is joining us from Alaska to talk about “Storytelling – Make Plain the Vision.”
Included in the morning program will be mission grant highlights and business of the district. After lunch, five exciting workshop opportunities will be presented: Ray Buckley, Native Storyteller & Author Ray Buckley – storytelling for pastors and worship leaders. He will help us tell our stories in regard to sharing the Vision or the Passion that we feel for our churches and for Jesus Christ. What are our core values and aspirational values – and how do we shorten the gap between who we are and who we believe God is calling us to be?
Charles Boayue – The Bible: The Story of Call This workshop will present a unique way to understanding Holy Spirit as God’s Call on us. The presenter will share his call story and examine how the Holy Bible is God’s call on us through story-telling. Come, relax, and see how God invites us to enter the story before it is over.
Jan Huffman – Intergenerational Story Telling Stories shape our identity and help us connect across the generations. Stories also nurture faith. They bless and strengthen the Body of Christ. We will, together, start with our stories and continue finding more opportunities and resources for next steps.
Frankfort UMC – The Art of Listening “Know this, my dear brothers and sisters; everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak.” James 1:19a. This workshop will offer practical ways to improve your listening skills as well as stressing the importance of being a good listener. Learn how to effectively use listening skills to help explore content, feelings, and spiritual concerns.
Melanie Young – Archiving Church Stories – What Do We Keep? Pastor Melanie is the chairperson of the Conference Commission on Archives and History. Does your church struggle with what to do with those files that keep piling up? Are you running out of space? Do you know what to do with old pictures or newsletters? Come and get your questions answered. 2:30 PM – Closing Worship with Holy Communion served If you plan to attend, please contact Pastor Russell.
Help support our community ministry and missions while enjoying a (locally sourced!) Grilled Steak, Red Skin Potatoes, Sweet Corn Dessert & Beverage. Bring your friends and enjoy a great community event! The hours are from 1:00 to 4:00PM.
Freewill Offering Proceeds to support Church Ministries
Empire United Methodist Church 10050 Michigan St.
Quilt Show at the the church this Saturday (July 15), stop in while you’re enjoying Anchor Day in Empire and view the work of local artisans!
Empire United Methodist Church, at 10050 Michigan Street, is planning an Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday, May 20. Many artisans from the Empire area will be presenting their wares for sale, 10 AM to 4 PM, in Fellowship Hall and outside on the church grounds. Arts and crafts of all types, including jewelry, rock art, paintings, scented candles, and woodworking to name a few, will be displayed! The United Methodist Women will serve a light lunch menu and a silent auction will be held. Proceeds will go to support church ministries. Visit us early and then check out the Asparagus Festival, Saturday, May 20, in Empire.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM!
Come for Soup, Sandwiches and the Study!
This Lenten season we are dwelling upon the book of Jonah; using worship and Bible study materials from Dr. Reed Lessing.
Jonah … for Lent? Sounds fishy, but it’s a natural fit. When the Jews asked Jesus for
a sign, he said, “I will give you only the sign of Jonah.” After three days in the belly of
the earth, Jesus rose with news of God’s prodigal grace. This series of special services
explores the meaning of “The Sign of Jonah” as we follow Jonah on his journey … and
Jesus on his way to the cross. Written by seminary professor Dr. Reed Lessing.
Come and share with us! I think you will find our Lenten study thoughtful and interesting. There is something more to this story than what we might realize.
Come experience a Christmas like never before —
Come experience a Christmas like you’ve always dreamed of…
So come Christmas morning, you haven’t missed Him.
So come Christmas morning — you’ve unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for —
more of Him.
This Advent we are sharing in the devotional readings of Ann Voskamp and her book “The Greatest Gift.”
Our Advent Study will begin Tuesday, November 22 at 9:30 AM. Everyone is invited to attend. We will be using a 4 part video that goes along with the book. You may wish to purchase the book “The Greatest Gift,” from Amazon.com (CLICK HERE.)
We will meet through out Advent November 22 through December 20; skipping December 6th. We will not meet on the 6th.
Hope to see you there!
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