FROM THE PASTOR’S PEN – THE SON IS STILL THERE
Happy Easter! We are now in what is my favorite season of the Christian calendar. I have great child-hood memories of new pants, shirt and tie for Easter Sunday and the expectation of an Easter Egg Hunt at my grandparents’ house. The family would get together and eat in an overcrowded kitchen with uneven tables shoved together with the noise of too many voices talk-ing at once. I hope you have hold of some special memories too.
Little did I know, as I sat in the midst of my cousins and the grownups that there were the deep cares of the world just outside the kitchen door. Youth can be such a special time of confidence, ignorance and unbridled joy. In the protection of those you love, it is easier to deal with the uncertainties of life. When I look back at photos of those years, things seem much simpler.
In the spring of 2018 the world seems to be moving much faster and to be more unsettled, but I doubt it. We as a nation and the world itself have gone time and again to limits of insanity and conflict. The storms come through in forms of new technology, philosophy and some form of idealism that tends, in human hands, to cause great distress and destruction. Like a hurricane or northeaster, trouble and crisis come, making life more difficult and uncertain. It is easy to get discouraged.
There are two things I wish to remind you of this Holy Season. The first is that God would have us re-member the joys of youth and to accept Him with the faith of a child. In the uncertainties of the future, we are always within His presence, at His table, receiving His attention. The second, is that even when the storms hit and we face the wind, snow and hardships, the sun still shines above the storm. The storms of life are not eternal. God is, Christ is, and in Him we are.
Finally, let us remember that Jesus went to the cross and beyond by never losing faith. He faced His storm and got through it. He didn’t get bitter, cynical or jaded by the experience. As a matter of fact, He became all the more loving. This Easter season and its meaning defines us as Christians. We listen to, and seek, a higher understanding and authority. It defines our behavior and shapes our responses to the craziness just outside the door. Many will look at us and not understand why we do what we do but that’s ok. Many didn’t understand Jesus nor why He did what He did. We do things differently because we listen with open ears, see with open eyes and seek with open hearts. We know a deep and fundamental truth has been shared with us giving us the power to see beyond the storms and to never lose faith.
Once again, Happy Easter!
After several delays, the date is finally set. At this meeting the leadership for 2018 will be approved. You will also be asked to vote (using a paper ballot) for the class of trustees for 2020. The candidates selected by the Leadership Committee are: Marilyn Gillespie, Marlene Martin and Josh Marlow.
We received a thank you note signed by Maggie and Vance Mortensen. It reads as follows:
“Thank you very much for your continuing support of Grace Pantry with donations of personal care products, especially diapers and baby wipes. On average 40 families come through Grace Pantry each week – your donations really help!”
The large 2018 planning calendar is in the Teller’s Room. Please fill-in any and all meeting dates. Our Lutheran friends use the calendar as well, and filling it in will help avoid conflicts of use. Please use the markers provided next to the calendar. Thank you.
WORDS OF WISDOM
God is always able and available to help us because God is always accessible because He is always with us.
Instead of telling God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big God is.
God fills our heart with peace when we pour out our heart to Him.
Focusing on the good things in our lives may benefit our bodies, but directing our thanks to God benefits our souls. The act of giving thanks causes us to recognize the One who provides our blessings.
Compassion is understanding the troubles of others, coupled with an urgent desire to help.
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
Begin each day with confidence because God is with you. Realizing His constant presence will help you see more of Him in the events of your life. His love and strength will keep you going.
The cycle of giving starts with the gracious giving of God, God’s ultimate gift of his son; then the generous giving of those who have received from God, then the giving of thanks from those who have received from God, through others.
It’s easy to let discouragement sap our energy and joy. God can help us reject all agents of discouragement from our lives and give us comfort and strength.
People are watching the way we act more than they are listening to what we say.
We fight the sin of prejudice when we let God’s love for us find full expression in the way we love and treat each other. Looking up to Jesus prevents us from looking down on others.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
The next meeting is April 12. Remember, the Rummage Sale is fast approaching. Many women are needed to help set-up and sell.
SARANAC LAKE ECUMENICAL FOOD PANTRY
April is pasta and sauces month. Please add your donation to the red shopping cart at the back of the sanctuary.
CANS & BOTTLES RETURN – A REQUEST
Nickles return center has informed me that due to a concern about black mold, cans & bottles must be rinsed and drained. Otherwise, they will be unable to accept them. Please help me out by taking care of this before you place items in the box at the back of the sanctuary.
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
Bruce Barnard: P.O. Box 246, Rainbow Lake, NY 12976.
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.”
Worship: There is a plan to open the Bloomingdale Church during July and August for a Folk service at 6:30. (Songs, reading, short message, prayer)
Several items from the Pastor’s report merit reprinting here:
Evangelism, Outreach and Missions is one his emphases (Veteran’s breakfast).
Eric would like to explore little vignettes on the local radio station.
Eric plans to invite the Lutherans to join us at least two times each year.
Some communication hasn’t been working the way we would like. When Eric is away, no one should be bothering Claudia, the Church Council chair is the person to go to.
Pledge and identified giving along with plate offering is $2,666 better than last year.
Special Appeals for fuel at $655 is $540 better than last year.
We received $7,900 to cover the cost of the purchasing pew cushions for the sanctuary, balcony and choir loft. A down payment of $4,050 has been spent.
Salaries are $2,732 less than last year.
Our fuel expense in January is $2,325 greater than last year reflecting cold weather and increased cost per gallon.
Repairs and Maintenance is over last year by $673 with the largest item being work on the lift totaling $490.
We continue to be current on our Ministry Shares payments.
Our current income is $4,532 under our current expenses at this time. This is normal as our heating bills are higher during the winter months but last year income was $7,003 under current expenses at this time so are ahead of last year.
NOTES ON OUR VARIOUS FUNDS as of February 28, 2018
Organ Fund $10,608. Year to date donations to the Fuel Fund totaled $655.00
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