Happy New Year! As we begin another secular calendar year, people tend to have hopes and dreams for the fresh slate ahead of us: goals to achieve, habits to break, relationships to tend or mend…
As I approach another year of social media, I find that old adage can be very true: “Comparison is the thief of joy”. I’ve checked in on friends, thinking that they have been doing very well as I have seen their posts on media, only to find a very real answer; well FB life is not reality. We can use pictures to present a beautiful shot of 1 moment, while all the other surrounding moments can be filled with chaos, heartache or pain. Similarly, some of these posts are meant to convey a point of view that may be certain, controversial, judgmental, wrong, or any combination. While I do not know the ins and out of social media or tech, I have found that other posts can offer grace, guidance, and invitation. Only I have the power to determine whether or not I reply to or share either of these types of posts. I try my hardest to only offer or share that which can be uplifting and encouraging. I do this online and I do this in real life too. If you have a positive, encouraging, grace-filled comment pop into your head about a person or situation, share it! Be the kindness you want to see in the world (I think Ghandi said that better than I just did). Offer hope, joy, peace and love; yes the very same attributes of Advent that started the Christian Year at the end of November. Do not compare, simply offer back the love, kindness and forgiveness that God has already given to you. Let this motivate your words, actions and year ahead. Let’s do this!
Hello again! It seems like the months are flying by lately. We are busier than we’ve been in a while. We are still worshipping (masked) in person in the sanctuary, Sunday mornings at 10:15. We still post to Facebook “Alplaus United Methodist Church” and “Sunday’s Service at Alplaus”. We also post to the website: alplausumc.org/video-message.html the “online edition” which has a slideshow with limited audio. I have upped my game a little and added: a spoken version to accompany the Call and Response and Opening prayer and spoken joys, concerns and prayers. This online edition is running about 30 minutes with music, prayers, scripture reading, and a message. If you are unable or uncomfortable meeting in person for any reason, please know that our in-person service continues to hold you in prayer as well as in our hearts. We hope that you folks at home/online will do the same. The knitters are meeting - sometimes outside still. The Adult Book study continues to meet in-person Thursdays at 11am. The Boy Scouts are also meeting in-person. At this point all folks inside the building should be masked - for this reason, we have continued to put coffee and fellowship on hold.
Earlier today, I met with the Adult Book Study and we had a great conversation. I’d like to invite you to ponder some of the questions we raised and discussed: What does it mean to identify as a child of God? Do we earnestly seek to emulate a kind and loving God who calls us to love our enemies? How do we do this? How do we struggle with this? How do we become a child of God? Do we regularly, or ever, consider our baptism? What happens in baptism? Why/ Is it important to our daily life and actions? Have you ever considered the baptism of Jesus and wondered why baptism is a sacrament in the Christian faith and yet Jesus (as far as we know) never baptized anyone?
If you would like to enter into further conversation - please let me know! email@example.com
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