Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our preaching series centered around our Methodist heritage. Pastor Loida will walk us through how "A Methodist Loves Others" as she reflects on Matthew 22:34-40 and we open the communion table for all to come and celebrate the sacrament together.

Invite a friend to come with you this weekend. We'll be worshipping at 8am, 9:30am, and 11am.



2. General Conference - There will be an informational session this Sunday evening led by Dave Withers in the Fellowship Hall at 6:30pm to hear updates from the Special Called General Conference this week  in St. Louis. Also you can check out the Florida Conference webpage with information from Bishop Carter here.


3. Lent is Coming Soon! - The season of Lent, a time of preparation leading up to Easter, will begin with Ash Wednesday on Wednesday March 6th. We will have Drive Thru Ashes and prayer available in the parking lot that morning from 7:00-8:00am and a worship service in the sanctuary that night at 6:30pm.





4. GROW Night - Wednesday Night dinners and our new GROW night classes are continuing each week. We have great classes and groups aimed at helping you grow deeper in your faith.

These classes are great ways to explore your faith, meet new people, and feel the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. We hope you will make plans to join us each week as we GROW together!



4. UMW Spring Tea - Saturday, March 9th will be our Annual UMW Spring Tea. There are a few tickets left to go on sale again on February 24th.

The theme this year is Petals and Pearls. There will also be a fashion show sponsored by Fashion Labels in Leesburg. Talk with your friends, purchase your tickets, and plan for a great afternoon of good food and great conversation.





5. A New Adventure! - A new year can bring with it new adventures. If you are looking for a new adventure in your life here at Community, we have an opportunity for you. We are looking for volunteers in several areas of our Sunday morning time together. We are looking for Ushers, Communion Stewards, Golf Cart Drivers, and Tech Booth Operators. No previous experience is needed and we will provide all the training. We are extremely grateful for those that are volunteering in these capacities right now and would love to welcome more people to these ministries.

It takes many hands to make our Sunday mornings as special as they are, and we could use your help. If you are interested in volunteering in any of these areas, please contact the church office at 787-1829, or email us by clicking here and we will get you plugged in. We look forward to seeing you at worship and working with you as we worship our Gracious God together!



Have a wonderful rest of your week and we look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend!



Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Midweek Moment

Greetings friends!

Yesterday, the specially called General Conference of the United Methodist Church concluded in St. Louis. The main topic of conversation was how we as a denomination would move forward on the issue of human sexuality. Of all the plans prepared and presented, the Traditional Plan was passed. This plan keeps to the language currently in our Book of Discipline on this subject.

Our Bishop, Ken Carter, released a statement yesterday that we want to share with you:

Dear Florida Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Some are grateful for the results of the Special Session. And others sought a different outcome. All of this will take some time to process. Human sexuality is a topic on which our people have differing views. As evidenced by the vote of the special session, we are a global church with very different contexts. We were not able to achieve contextual differentiation as envisioned by the Commission on a Way Forward. By a majority vote, we passed the Traditional Plan, with some parts ruled unconstitutional. It now goes to the Judicial Council for review at their next meeting but our existing Discipline language is maintained.

We are a global church. This is a great gift in that God blesses us with diversity and the gospel is lived and shared across cultures. This is a great challenge in that we have different understandings of the LGBTQ community and, indeed, the LGBTQ persons in our own churches.

By a majority, the U.S. church seems to favor the One Church Plan that would have more openly welcomed pastors from the LGBTQ community and allowed for same-sex marriage. And, an overwhelming majority of the Council of Bishops endorsed the One Church Plan.

I am a person of evangelical and orthodox faith and respect those who see this primarily as a matter of scriptural interpretation. I will continue to live my promises of consecration as a bishop by abiding by the Book of Discipline as a resource for oversight and supervision in support of the church’s mission (BOD ¶403).

Some believe the arc of history is moving towards more acceptance of LGBTQ people, not less. Pew Research teaches us that younger generations in the U.S., especially under 45 and more so under 30, will not participate in a church that rejects the LGBTQ community. A letter from United Methodists under the age of 35 was shared at the Special Session, with over 15,500 signatories. A greater number of LGBTQ voices were heard on the floor of the Special Session than ever before. Many of these were younger voices.

I offer the following words to the LGBTQ community:

Please know that you are of sacred worth. You are not the problem. You are not "out there." You are present in our churches. You bless us with your faith and your gifts strengthen the church. And my calling, for you and all people, is to remove the obstacles to your experience of the grace of God, and especially in the life of The United Methodist Church.

I also offer these words to the evangelical community:

Please know that your faith is a great gift to God and to your local churches. Too often, your stances have been misunderstood as driven by hatred, as opposed to being of deeply held faith. Your lives have been changed by the good news of Jesus, and you have a deep desire that others know this grace. Our denomination is blessed by you and needs your gifts in our calling to share God’s love across the world. Our conference includes at every level of leadership evangelicals who are of the utmost integrity.

We remain a denomination that is open to people of all nations, ethnic groups, ages, and sexual orientations. We hope to find better ways to embrace our diversity and be on mission together. Our POV process continues to be a resource available to you.

Despite our differences, we will continue to work together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and to share God’s love with all people.

The peace of the Lord,

+Ken Carter Bishop, Florida Conference

There are a few other resources that we would like to share with you from this past week. One is the Bishop's message delivered at the opening worship service on Saturday morning. It speaks to the great strength we have as a body united.


The next is an opportunity this Friday at 11 A.M. to hear from our Bishop and members of the Florida Delegation as they host a webinar to talk about General Conference. It is free to watch, but you do have to register. You can find more information and the link to register by clicking here.

The final one is an invitation to join the Chair of our Leadership Council, Dave Withers, this Sunday at 6:30pm in the Fellowship Hall for an information session.

We hope these resources keep you well informed and we look forward to many years of working together for the Kingdom of God!
Pastors Debbie, Daryl, and Loida


Friday, February 22, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our preaching series centered around our Methodist heritage. Pastor Daryl will walk us through how "A Methodist Prays Constantly" as he reflects on 1 Timothy 2:1-4. We will also be celebrating Preschool Sunday in worship this weekend, making an announcement about our search for a new Minister of Traditional Worship, and welcoming 24 new members into the life of our church! 


Invite a friend to come with you this weekend. We'll be worshipping at 8am, 9:30am, and 11am.

*Just a reminder. There is no Thursday Seven02Worship during January and February as our Upwards League reaches out to the community in that space.



2. GROW Night - Wednesday Night dinners and our new GROW night classes are continuing each week. We have great classes and groups aimed at helping you grow deeper in your faith.

These classes are great ways to explore your faith, meet new people, and feel the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. We hope you will make plans to join us each week as we GROW together!


3. Lent is Coming Soon! - The season of Lent, a time of preparation leading up to Easter, will begin with Ash Wednesday on Wednesday March 6th. We will have Drive Thru Ashes and prayer available in the parking lot that morning from 7:00-8:00am and a worship service in the sanctuary that night at 6:30pm.





4. UMW Spring Tea - Saturday, March 9th will be our Annual UMW Spring Tea. There are a few tickets left to go on sale again on February 24th.

The theme this year is Petals and Pearls. There will also be a fashion show sponsored by Fashion Labels in Leesburg. Talk with your friends, purchase your tickets, and plan for a great afternoon of good food and great conversation.





5. A New Adventure! - A new year can bring with it new adventures. If you are looking for a new adventure in your life here at Community, we have an opportunity for you. We are looking for volunteers in several areas of our Sunday morning time together. We are looking for Ushers, Communion Stewards, Golf Cart Drivers, and Tech Booth Operators. No previous experience is needed and we will provide all the training. We are extremely grateful for those that are volunteering in these capacities right now and would love to welcome more people to these ministries.

It takes many hands to make our Sunday mornings as special as they are, and we could use your help. If you are interested in volunteering in any of these areas, please contact the church office at 787-1829, or email us by clicking here and we will get you plugged in. We look forward to seeing you at worship and working with you as we worship our Gracious God together!



Have a wonderful rest of your week and we look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend!


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Midweek Moment

Dear Friends, 

The United Methodist Church will soon hold an important meeting, called the General Conference, where delegates from around the world will discuss, debate, and possibly decide our denomination’s stance and practice on two issues related to human sexuality:
·    Will we maintain our current stance on the ordination of pastors, which does NOT allow for the ordination of LGBTQ persons, or will we change and allow it?
·    Will we maintain our current stance on marriage, which does NOT allow our pastors to perform same-gender weddings, or will we change and allow it?

That likely sounds fairly straight forward, and, you may have an opinion about the right answers.  But, these questions have deeply divided our church for decades.  Furthermore, because we are a global church, with a global structure, representing a wide-range of theological perspectives and values, these two questions are not as easy as voting “yes” or “no.”

Some believe it is a time for change, and for full-inclusion for all people. Some believe there should be flexibility, allowing different churches, pastors, and regions to adopt different practices. Some believe it is time for the denomination to formally divide, or to allow those who cannot agree with our current or future practices to leave. And, there are numerous nuances and possibilities within each of those perspectives!

Suffice it to say, the upcoming General Conference MIGHT vote to make changes to make our denomination more inclusive of LGBTQ persons OR to maintain our current stances and practices, while increasing accountability.  Or, the General Conference may not agree to make any decision at all.

The General Conference will be held February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri.  Saturday February 23 will be a day of prayer for all of the delegates and attendees. Sunday through Tuesday the group will study and act on the legislation presented concerning the plans from the Way Forward commission. If you are interested in watching the General Conference, a live-feed will be available via this link.  If you would like to learn more about the General Conference, go to this link here.  Also, our Bishop, Ken Carter, has prepared an excellent list of resources related to this topic and the General Conference, here on our conference website.  If you are interested, we encourage you to look at each of these.

Also, we are confident this will be reported by the major news outlets and on social media.  Based on the past, we can’t promise the reports will be entirely accurate. In fact, there will likely be misreporting, hyperbole and errors. So, please, don’t believe everything you hear on the news or around the water cooler. We will be having a gathering on Sunday night March 3rd to report on the decisions made at General Conference. 

Finally, while this is an important conversation, with potentially significant impact on our denomination, NO decision will impact Community United Methodist in the near future. Any change that is approved will take years to implement.  In the meantime, the work of Community will continue.  Nothing will happen to your church without your full awareness, and opportunities to become informed and ask questions.


For now, we invite you to join in prayer for the General Conference, the delegates who will be attending, and the United Methodist Church. Whatever happens, or not, in these upcoming days, may God lead us, protect us, and guide us into greater fruitfulness for his Kingdom!  And, may Community United Methodist continue to be the great church it has been for the last 130 years, and for years to come!

Blessings
Pastors Daryl, Debbie and Loida

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our preaching series centered around our Methodist heritage. Pastor Daryl will walk us through how "A Methodist Give Thanks Continually" as he reflects on II Corinthians 9:15 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18. 

Invite a friend to come with you this weekend. We'll be worshipping at 8am, 9:30am, and 11am.

*Just a reminder. There is no Thursday Seven02Worship during January and February as our Upwards League reaches out to the community in that space.



2. New Member Class - Our next New Member Class is coming up this Sunday, February 17th, beginning at 12:30pm, in the Fellowship Hall. We will look at what it means to be a United Methodist, what it means to be a member of Community, and how we live this life together. We will serve lunch and childcare will be provided. If you have been attending CUMC for a while and want to take the step of commitment in joining the church, we welcome and invite you to attend. Please contact the church office at 787-1829 or email the office by clicking here to RSVP. We hope to see you there!


3. GROW Night Has Returned - Wednesday Night dinners and our new GROW night classes have begun. We have new class choices and new subjects aimed at helping you grow deeper in your faith.

These classes are great ways to explore your faith, meet new people, and feel the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. We hope you will make plans to join us each week as we GROW together!



4. UPWARDS is in full swing! - Upwards is nearing the end of its run for basketball and cheerleading.

We've got a great group of kids participating and wonderful adults helping out - please keep this program in your prayers for a safe season of good sportsmanship; and if you have a chance, come on out on a Thursday at 6pm for the juniors and 7pm for the seniors and cheer these kids on!




5. UMW Spring Tea - Saturday, March 9th will be our Annual UMW Spring Tea. Tickets always go fast and will go on sale February 17th after each worship service. They will be available again on February 24th, if they have not sold out.

The theme this year is Petals and Pearls. There will also be a fashion show sponsored by Fashion Labels in Leesburg. Talk with your friends, purchase your tickets, and plan for a great afternoon of good food and great conversation.





6. A New Adventure! - A new year can bring with it new adventures. If you are looking for a new adventure in your life here at Community, we have an opportunity for you. We are looking for volunteers in several areas of our Sunday morning time together. We are looking for Ushers, Communion Stewards, Golf Cart Drivers, and Tech Booth Operators. No previous experience is needed and we will provide all the training. We are extremely grateful for those that are volunteering in these capacities right now and would love to welcome more people to these ministries.

It takes many hands to make our Sunday mornings as special as they are, and we could use your help. If you are interested in volunteering in any of these areas, please contact the church office at 787-1829, or email us by clicking here and we will get you plugged in. We look forward to seeing you at worship and working with you as we worship our Gracious God together!



Have a wonderful rest of your week and we look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend!