Today was a great day to celebrate women, ministry, and Jesus on the Move. On March 23, 2019, the United Methodist Women celebrate 150 years of their organization (by various names. We choose to wait and celebrate United Methodist Women’s Sunday on Mother’s Day. It was a beautiful day outside and inside.
Personally, it was fun for me to research not just the national/international women’s organization, but the history of women in mission at First church. While formally they did not organize into a “Ladies Aid Society” until 1874, as early as 1872 they were at work raising money and doing mission together. There was not enough time in worship to pull out all the “gems” I found, but it was enough to give a taste of all these amazing women have done for 145 years.
We touched on Mother’s Day as well, but acknowledged it can be a hard day for many. Knowing that there are many who grieve on this day for various, it is enough to say so and give voice to that pain as well as give voice to the love and joy.
Today’s worship service can be found here in it entirety. I am grateful for all the “women” mother’s grandmothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, friends and mentors who have been on the move with Jesus and made the world a more loving place.
It’s been an interesting weekend. I have had a wonderful dinner with friends, I was supposed to go to Camp Horizon to help the family mission team on their work weekend. Instead, I was meeting with a family for a funeral on Tuesday. This woman died unexpectedly, but her memory will be a blessing.
We are almost at the end of the Easter season, and in worship we honored the United Methodist Women (something my annual conference has done for several decades on the first Sunday in May) and celebrated the Sacrament of Holy Communion in all the services.
I am always fascinated by Luke’s story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. This story of disappointments and grief, balanced by faith and new hope touches my spirit every time I read it. Today’s worship service can be found here.
I am going to be diligent this week to look for the risen Christ in the ordinary moments of my life. May I be a witness to the love and grace Christ offers all.
Yesterday’s service at 11:00 was packed, literally! So packed that there is not much of sermon (with about 57 minutes and a few seconds of actual television time) my sermon ended up being maybe 9 minutes. I was editing and cutting on the fly. So I suppose I could say unlike what Otis Moss III said at the Festival of Homiletics, this particular sermon was not a work of art.
The good news for me, is that worship is not always about the sermon. The proclamation of the Word is important of course, but so is the music, the liturgy, the prayers and the commissioning.
Sunday, we celebrated our graduates, our scholarship recipients, commissioned a mission team and blessed two young women as they prepared to go on the United Methodist Women’s MET (Mission Education Tour) tour. Our youth director sang “Go the Distance” as a dedication and blessing. It was a beautiful morning.
The link to the service is here First UMC Worship