Dear Messiah family,
Last Monday, I left home planning to take our dog, Winston, to doggie daycare on my way to church. When Winston spends one day a week playing with other dogs, it makes our lives easier the rest of the week. As I was driving, lost in my thoughts about all that I would be doing later that day, I missed the exit, and it was only after I missed the exit, realizing Winston was still in the car with me that I remembered what the plan was. In that moment when I needed to turn around and go back, I realized how I am such a creature of habit. My autopilot is home-to-church without an interruption, and any change in that plan requires me to think about what I’m doing.
There is a lesson in this about change. For the past year and a half, we have been presented with change – much of it not of our own choosing. Change requires that we think differently. Can I suggest there is a biblical connection here – and from our study of the book of James? Anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. – James 1:5. I will say more about this on Sunday!
Not to Miss…
Every now and then something happens, and we regret not being there to see or hear it happen. I don’t want that to be this Sunday for you. This will be a Sunday with a message that for Messiah Church has been once in a generation. Hyperbole? I’ll let you be the judge when you experience this Sunday’s worship.
This Sunday’s message will conclude our series, At the Crossroads. We will see what James, the apostle Paul, Tom Hanks, and Pastor Steve share in common when we stand at the crossroads. One of my favorite movies with Tom Hanks was Castaway. It provides a metaphor for all who stand at the crossroads.
Five Essential Practices of the Christian Life
I’m excited for a new series that Tami and I will begin on Sunday, September 26. The series is called The Walk. We hope that these essential practices will deepen your walk with Christ. We are also offering a weekly small group experience during these five weeks. It will allow for additional teaching that we don’t have time to include in a sermon. There will also be an opportunity for conversation with each other. Most of our existing small groups will use this material. We are also offering new groups during this series. Tami and I will be leading one of these groups together. Here’s a short video invitation:
If you are ready to learn more about dates and times for these groups (Tami and I will lead an online group), contact Heather Felt, our Director of Community Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far in the month of September you have responded to the flooding from Hurricane Ida with gifts amounting to $3625 in addition to cleaning kits that many of you assembled after worship last Sunday. The national news cycle does not land on any story for very long, but the destruction is huge and the suffering is great. UMCOR has been responding and sent out an urgent appeal this week for resources to assist in Louisiana and Haiti. Thank you for your generosity and any additional assistance you may be able to provide. One of the things I appreciate about UMCOR is that 100% of gifts go toward human need, and UMCOR works through local churches and community partners to be sure gifts are utilized appropriately.
And for those who prefer hands-on service opportunities, I learned today that Messiah Church will be involved in building a Habitat for Humanity home in New Hope on October 27 and 29. This will be part of our annual Make a Difference week of service at the end of October. Look for more about these opportunities in coming weeks.
This is a beautiful time of year to be in Minnesota. Trees may not offer the range of autumn colors that we have come to expect, but it is still a glorious time to be alive. For that, I give thanks and praise. Today is a gift!
In Christ’s love,
Please Pray with Me
Gracious God, we pray for the Holy Spirit to break through and renew Messiah United Methodist Church, unleashing a fearless, Spirit-led congregation! Empower our pastors, leaders, and everyone who walks through our doors with the contagious, miraculous, saving message of Jesus. Boldly use each of us, without limits, to reach new people and heal a broken world. Create in us a joyful heart for all that You are doing in and through us to change lives and transform the world. We pray in the precious and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
Join Us on Sunday
Note: Unfortunately, due to the rise of COVID cases in our area and our commitment to your health and safety, as of August 5, we require all those who enter our building wear a face mask. (This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, ages 2 and up.) Recommendations from the CDC and other sources are being monitored and adjustments will be made as necessary. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this challenging time.
Worship In-Person: Join us in the building at 8:30 am for our Traditions service or 10:30 am for our Journey contemporary service.
Worship Online: Join us online for the live stream of our Traditions service at 8:30 am and Journey contemporary worship service at 10:30 am CT every Sunday morning. Prior Sunday broadcasts are available on demand all week at your convenience.