Weelky Newletter April 3rd 2022

Weelky Newletter April 3rd 2022

Worship – April 3rd
The meaning of Membership Vows
Coffee – Fellowship after Worship
Easter Invitation
A New Way for Sunday –
Community Dinner
See you tomorrow 🙂

Good afternoon. Another week of praying and hoping, hoping and praying for an end to war and for justice to reign. It is an unsettled time in our nation and much of the world. Surely that parallels what the disciples and Jesus felt as they made their way to Jerusalem. What awaited them there? One of the disciples tried to talk Jesus out of going there! “Not a good idea to go there Jesus.” To which Jesus replied, “not a good idea to say that to me Peter.”

So we look for guidance in these uncertain times. Our main lesson is often refereed to as “Jesus laments over Jerusalem.” Our main lesson is found in Luke 13:31-35. Are we open to help? Sometimes it is easier to offer help than to receive it.

Again I ask…. how are you doing? There is so much going on in and around the world. I hope you are taking time for yourself. I hope that you are finding time for others. It is easy to forget the needs of others closer to us when we are besieged with the painful images coming out of Ukraine.

Our zoom link for tomorrow is listed below. All of our Sunday services and our special services use the same zoom meeting so in case you are ever looking for the zoom information you can keep this handy and / or you can head over to our web page at www.McHenryFUMC.org where it is always listed.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84392973177

Stay safe, courageous and I hope you were able to enjoy today.
Pastor Kurt

Vows. Perhaps the most familiar to us are “till death do us part.” Wedding. “Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God.” Courtroom.

“Will you be loyal to the United Methodist Church and support it with your prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.” Sanctuary.

Will you be loyal to the church? Of course, to whatever degree we were asked to be loyal to a church what is really being asked is, “will you be loyal part of this local fellowship of United Methodist’s as they in turn seek to be faithful to Christ”?

For some the vows were taken relatively recently and for some of us many many years ago. But the vows stay with us until we something changes, life ceases or our membership ends.

Opinions on membership vary from clergy to clergy and congregation to congregation. Some clergy do all they can to get people to join, while others do not make membership a priority. Congregations likewise. Equally, opinions vary on the importance of the local church reaching out to ‘members’ who no longer express any of the outward signs of the vows they once made. Those being prayers, attendance, giving, participation in local ministries and or sharing the joy of the faith.

It is easy for clergy to not make reaching out to inactive members a priority – after all some people take offense to being questioned about their absence. Church leadership can often shy away as well.

Why then would pastors and church leadership reach out to members whom have become inactive? Reaching out is in fact one of the most faithful actions we as church leadership can do. At one time people who are now inactive – were once active. What changed? Too often churches only make connections when they are asking for something. When we reach out to have a conversation, we are saying we miss you and just as importantly we are reminding them of a time in their life that the church, their faith, this community meant enough to them that they asked to get fully into the game. I remember playing basketball in Junior High, I didn’t usually start so I would try to sit as close to the coach as I could so maybe he would look at me and say, “Gamlin get in their for Smith.” I wanted to be in the game.

Over the years this church like many has had members come and go. As a United Methodist congregation, we can not just remove someone from membership. We are to reach out to them (as best we can) and have a conversation among other things talk with them about how they see themselves as a member of this church. I have had many of these conversations over the years and very often the response is ”I had no idea I was still a member, I thought since I no longer attended I was removed.” On occasion the connection has precipitated a re-connection with the church. During the call or in the letter I will mention that to have 350 or so “members” but 40 attending on Sunday, clearly our membership doesn’t reflect the reality.Among other things we are trying to more align the two.

Your church leadership has started to look at our membership list. As if often the case we have “members” whom we have not seen in over 20 years. It should be noted that attention to membership is not done for financial reasons. There is no connection between membership and ‘apportionment’s’ or payments to annual conference. I see this as an act of stewardship by the local church. By joining the church, they have become a part of us and reaching out feels like a good way of tending to them.

If you have read this far, I would ask you to take a moment and ask yourself, “whom haven’t I seen lately in church?” Of course, the virus has really messed with us in this regard…. Never the less it is a good excuse for all of us to stop and ponder. Jesus did. The good shepherd noticed when 1 out of his 100 was missing and he went to find it, to see to its safety. That seems a good example to follow.
Pastor Kurt

We are back on with coffee – tea – treats after Sunday worship.

Are you willing to help supply some of the goodies. The coffee – tea and all the liquid fixings are there and we still have some grab and go goodies but we are looking to resume the ‘good’ in ‘goodies.’

If you are willing to cover a Sunday or would like to work with someone else to cover a Sunday there is a sign up sheet in the fellowship area or you can respond to this email….. Our stomachs and our conversations thank you.

I used to say with confidence – Easter is one of the best times of the year to invite someone.

And…. it still is.

So why not be thinking / praying about whom you may ask to join you this Easter at our sunrise service at 6am over on the north side beach of Mccullom Lake or here on site at 9:00am.

A warm invitation especially to someone whom otherwise will spend the day alone might really be appreciated. Give it some thought……

SUNDAY DINNER A NEW WAY

There are few things I have been asked about more than ‘our Sunday dinner.’ Once a month we would have a community dinner for any who wanted to attend. Over the years it has been a wonderful way to serve the community and the community it served was very grateful.

Times change and so now has our opportunity for the Sunday dinner. We have been asked and gladly will be taking part in serving dinner at the PADS center located two miles south of town. We have signed up for the first Sunday of every month beginning in May.

We have offered to take a meal to serve around 35 late Sunday afternoon. The break out is – Main Meal, Side Dish and Dessert each for 35.

We are looking for those who would like to be directly involved in preparing and or delivering the meal. And those who would be willing to support the ministry with a special designated gift.

To give to help defray the cost – make a donation to the church and mark it “PADS dinner.” To find out more about any part of the actual meal prep and delivery you can reach out to Bonnie Rudolph at bonrudolph1@ymail.com.

We are excited to get back at this and look forward to your enthusiastic support.

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First United Methodist Church | 3717 W. Main St., McHenry, IL 60050
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