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Blessings of these September Days

posted Aug 29, 2017, 1:53 PM by Bowmansville UMC

     In the name of Jesus the Christ, I greet you folks this summery though wet season this summer!

     Well, the summer months just seem to fly by, and here we are looking at September again, with much busy-ness in your household, as in mine.  The usual school stuff is happening around in many households, teachers getting ready for a new school year, new clothes shopping by parents, as well as a new fall season of the church year will be starting up.  I hope your summer was blessed with family and friends getting together for a cookout or a card party, or maybe even a campfire together. I know we did a few back at home, in between the rain!

     There have been things happening at BUMC.  The guest pulpit supply speakers, LaVerne, Kevin, and Jessica, were here while my good wife Cheryl and I were on our 15th wedding anniversary trip to Mackinaw Island up in the state of Michigan.  I heard that both were inspiring with a good message. Though directions got mixed up, we also had a family reunion in the Adirondacks, where I did seminary reading most of the time for C.O.S.!

     As we look toward the late summer & fall season of the year coming up, I ask you folks the same question as last year’s Sept. message, to think of two things (with the bountifulness of the fall harvest time) that God has been blessing you with.

How has our Lord Jesus Christ blessed you, and how during this season of bounty can we as a church bless others here and in the local community!?

      In scripture, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked".  (Luke 12:48)

    How about some end of the month Wednesday night family based church dinners, kind of like what I have been told has happened in the past years, BUT with a slightly new twist!

     So we have all been blessed here in community, so how can we give back to others or even strangers to be a blessing to them in the name of Jesus?  Let’s locally advertise them to the local population that is growing out behind our church, as well as just the local Bowmansville community! Let our church be a blessing to those who are hungry at the end of the month!                                                         

    IF they can give a small donation then let’s allow that to happen, if NOT then lets as in scripture say, I was hungry and you gave me something to eat...(food & spirituality) As your pastor let me help organize these, and do most of the work if need be.

    I just need help from those of you who can, others just be the loving and friendly congregation that truly shows the Love of Christ that is in all that you do each and every day here at Bowmansville and greet and eat with folks if they come through the doors. Might be a small start, not looking to be BIG, but we can be a blessing here! Look for more info in this newsletter elsewhere.

     Bowmansville is a still a bright spot on Genesee Street, a great sign with a message of God each week...we know who to say thanks to...and a message of spiritual uplifting at times to those who need a comfort also.

     As the summer days slip by to fall cooler days, I ask you all to remember those in need, both here at church, our shut-ins, and to folks in community around your house and around your block! 

    With the current flooding around our nation, (AGAIN) I think there should be a call out to our membership to again start bringing in materials for those needed "flood buckets".  The need is great, I am told.  Is this a typical “fall” seasonal mission event???

     In the name of Jesus Christ, we all can do something, and sometimes a small thing to us (like sponges or a small bottle of cleaner, or a hot meal) can be a great thing to those we give to!

     Blessings to you all this September time.

     Pastor Jim

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Folks of Bowmansville UMC, I read this Seedbed text today and with positive thoughts of you, the people of Bowmansville, I keep thinking of how you folks represent the content of this morning's message 8-16-2017.                  Pastor Jim

 

Why Community Pantries Will Never Get It Done!  (The Seedbed 8-16-2017)

BUT it is NOT about food pantries (Pastor Jim)

August 16, 2017

Philippians 2:1-2

    Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

CONSIDER THIS

We have somehow come to equate our Christian witness to the world with the amount of good work we can do in the world. It does make sense, and it’s not wrong. It’s just not exactly right either.  I mean, what distinguishes the service of Christians in the world from say, the United Way or the Mormon Church? (Or the Moose or the Elks clubs)-JB

Is it just that we attach the name of Jesus to our service; as though that were a value add-on?                                                                                         

          Jesus seemed to articulate a different strategy when it came to the way his followers would be recognized and known in the world.

          “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

          Jesus is not advocating for a different kind of service provider in the world. He’s building a different kind of community in the world? It is a community founded in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit; a group of people who are mysteriously caught up in and illumined by the interrelationships of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

          The reputation of the church in the world will never rise above the quality of the relationships within it. In fact, that is the Church. After all, why did Jesus pray “that all of them would be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us . . . ?      Answer: “So that the world will believe that you have sent me.”         It makes sense, then, that Paul would put all his eggs in this basket.

          Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

          Paul gets it—where there is great love, miracles always happen.

Consider this practical example. Why do we put so much stock in community pantries to help the poor?

         A poor person comes to our upper-middle-class church for help and we dutifully send them down to the community pantry. What if we brought them into our community and loved them out of poverty; helped them get jobs, equipped them with the biblical wisdom to build a household economy, raised our children together, and so on?

What if the community of the church, which is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, was a place where the love for one another was so palpable nothing was impossible for them? Think of the witness this would be to the watching world?

Before I get angry emails, let me be clear. (Pastor Jim)

Community pantries are fine. They certainly help poor people. It’s just they will never solve poverty.

          Only a community of ordinary relationships building itself up with extra-ordinary love will ever hope to do that. And yes, these places do exist. In the end, the point of this post is not to do with poverty. It’s about creating communities of true abundance.

THE PRAYER

 Abba Father, we thank you for your son, Jesus, who makes it all so clear to us.

This is about loving one another. Forgive me for missing the point time and time again.

Bring me into the mind of Christ in a new and living way.

I belong to you Jesus. In your name I pray,

Amen.

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