September 2018 - NewsletterRead Now
WORDS OF WISDOM
Do you pray every day? Praying is not meant to be a chore. Like a good habit, praying becomes easier when it’s done every day, even if it’s only for a moment. Thank you Lord, for your great patience.
Things to keep in mind:
Is what I am sayi9ng true, and is it loving?
What is my motive? Will it help anyone?
Will this reflect the character of Jesus? Let love be your goal.
It’s easy to stand with a crowd; it takes courage to stand alone.
True faith responds to the needs of others. Lift our eyes above our own thoughts and circumstances, and let us care as God cares. Then others will know what the words “God is Love” means when they see it in our lives.
As we center our thoughts more and more on God, trust displaces fear and worry. As our trust in God goes up, fear and worry automatically go down.
Want to see a portrait of Jesus? Read Isaiah 53.
Rally Day will be on September 9, It will be held at the Brighton Town Park from noon until 3 pm. There will be sign-up tables for Christian education, choir, bell choir, community supper volunteers, readers, greeters, acolytes and those who help during services.
IN REMEMBRANCE Former pastor Maggie McCarey passed on July 30, 2017. A celebration of life was held in Schenectady on August 19.
English professor, United Methodist Minister, published author, radio show host, social activist, feminist theologian, artist, mother, spiritual guide, holistic healer, genealogist. These simple labels cannot come close to expressing the essence of Maggie McCarey. She often reminded us that each of us is a part of and intimately intertwined with Spirit and that to know others is to know both yourself and Spirit on a deeper level. If you were lucky enough to find yourself doing some carpentry task or painting a wall or moving a box for Maggie, then you came away from the experience enriched.
Everyone whose life journey she intersected was improved, some subtly and others profoundly. If your loved one was dead or dying, you received not just her comfort but something more: transformative insight that might help you well beyond your current misery.
Against insurmountable odds, Maggie fought bravely against life threatening illnesses because she would never submit to the tyranny of anything that she recognized as detrimental to a life journey.
Maggie always insisted that we not look back at the past with regret but always move forward. For those of us that Maggie leaves behind, moving forward will be far more difficult without her.
SARANAC LAKE ECUMENICAL FOOD PANTRY
September is peanut butter and jelly month. Please add your donation to the red shopping cart at the back of the sanctuary.
CHURCH COUNCIL - IMPORTANT MOTIONS
RECENT DONATIONS TO THE COMMUNITY SUPPER
AUGUST 2018 UPDATE – ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF SARANAC LAKE
The Council met on August 6th at the High Peaks Church. Here are some highlights of the meeting:
The sale will be held on Thursday September 27 & Friday September 28 from 9am to 7pm, Saturday September 29 from 9am to noon. All items left at the church must be in good condition, no rips, and no stains. All small electrical items must work. Leave before Tuesday September 25. Thank you. Questions--call Church at 518 891-3473, Deborah J. Donaldson at 518 891-4199 or Charlotte Hall at 518 891-2129.
REMEMBER WITH A CARD
Rose Nadon: Neighborhood House, PO Box 46, Keene Valley, NY 12943
Genevieve Clarkson: Champlain Valley Senior Community, 10 Gilliland Lane, Willsboro, NY 12996
Margaret Turnbull: 3873 Burnup Road Black River, NY 13612
DID YOU KNOW…? Your church can be found on Facebook. Just go to First United Methodist Saranac Lake. (Complete with capital letters and spaces.) When the page comes up, click on “like.”
FROM THE PASTOR’S PEN –ANSWERING THE QUESTION
Throughout my life and perhaps for yours too, I have periodically run into profound questions needing to be answered. Some of these hauntings of my inner being sought emotional answers of self-awareness while others required commitments of issues which defined me. I wish to say that this is different from wondering with imagination and a sense of vague possibilities but asking the deeper question of worth, ability and cost. I have pondered the question of marriage, parenthood, changes in jobs and relationships all which, once decided, made a world of difference. I have also had to look at complex and often charged issues and feeling conflicted tried to push off moral, ethical and spiritual decisions only to be haunted by these issues again and again. I have been troubled by an inability to decide and feared to decide incorrectly.
The most powerful question in the Bible occurs in an exchange, as Jesus asks of Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:13-23) This question arises after Jesus has spent many days preaching, healing, feeding and loving the lost, forlorn and down trodden. He is told that many believe He is John the Baptist or a returning prophet. The disciples, caught up in the excitement of the moment, are ecstatic over His and their success. Jesus knowing the hearts and minds of those around him doesn't seek those who are on a band wagon of success but disciples who know and are committed to building God's Kingdom. Jesus is also aware of the human tendency to waver in the face of adversity and even betray our knowing, better selves to save our skins or just our faces. He pointedly asks of Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" He replies, "You are the Christ!" (The Messiah!)
This is the question which, for me requires continual reflection and assistance. As we are finishing our summer study on the Holy Spirit and learning of the gifts and fruits offered to us as the Children of God, I am surprised how important this question truly is. If Jesus is to us what we profess in our confession of faith and in our hearts, we need to keep this question and our answer in the forefront of our being and ponder it. It is the answer to this question which is the basis for answering all the other questions that challenge and face us daily. It is a question that at times I don't want to face due to my lack of willingness or courage, because in answering it, like Peter, it requires me to face my uglier inner self, if not now, then down the road. For like Peter, I have betrayed both myself and Jesus through sins of commission and more often sins of omission. The asking of this question and the response tends to bring both responsibility and a sense of admonishment, the gentle and sincere guiding of our souls into righteousness. To answer it honestly is to understand the depth of our sin and our deep need for forgiveness. The need for the Messiah! Until we bow before Christ "we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us". Once we do our actions become a living answer to the question.
When Jesus returns to his disciples in the Book of Acts, His first words are "Peace be with you!" His return means the disciple’s faith is well placed and merited. They begin to understand the greater scope and plan of the Divine agenda and see too their need to get with the program in full. Their questioning hearts are stilled and reassured as ours can be also, because the Divine connection brings answers.
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