#11 June Nexus Weekly Church Newsletter 2020 #11

#11 June Nexus Weekly Church Newsletter 2020 #11

“If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” Marvin J. Ashton

News from Pastor Denise

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, "I assure you that if you don't turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." –

At the beginning of this passage, Jesus says to the disciples, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" It’s as if he is asking, who’s the best disciple, or who is the most indispensable church member, or whose opinion matters the most, or who is the best at fishing for people, who is the greatest?

It’s odd that Jesus is asking this question because on Matthew 5, Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit and those who mourn. Blessed are the meek and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Blessed are the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” It seems that the disciples weren’t listening when Jesus shared the Sermon on the Mount. In response, Jesus gives them a visual aid to help them to remember.

Jesus calls a child among them and says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” In doing this, Jesus is shifting the emphasis from personal greatness to the Kingdom of heaven. He tells the disciples to humble themselves like little children, and so the focus of our devotion today is humility.

The other day, I was listening to Stacy Abrams being asked for about the 100th time if she would be interested in serving as VP in case Biden is elected. She replied for the 100th time that she has not been asked, but that she is also prepared and ready to serve, and would serve if asked.

I liked her boldness because I come from a time when it might have been more appropriate to just say we will see what happens. Abrams’ boldness might have seemed too assertive. But not now.

Humility isn't in vogue in our culture. Even more than competence, outright hubris can now win the day. Humility is for losers with low self-esteem, and we love winners.

But what might win elections and promotions is not what wins God's heart. Jesus rejects those who are seeking to be "the greatest" and instead opens his arms up to those who humble themselves like children.

More and more among minority groups, where power and privilege are not the norm, I hear the concept of humility dismissed. I get why. When you are a part of a group that has been oppressed or treated as "less than," someone telling you to be humble is not helpful. In response, it can seem appropriate to claim "pride" as an antidote.

But being proud and being humble are not opposites. You can, and should, absolutely believe that you are a beloved child of God, created by God and profoundly gifted. No one is inherently more worthy than you.

The problem comes when you begin to believe that you are more worthy than others. True humility is not about thinking of yourself as less than others. True humility is knowing that you are equally worthy, and that every good gift you have been given is not for yourself but to be shared with others.

Jesus invites us into a life where our childlike virtue of humility guides us in treating others the way that we desire to be treated. Even if our humane treatment of others doesn't win the day in the boardroom or on the ballot, that child-like virtue still wins God's heart every time. May the God of all people guide us to love ourselves exactly as God made us, and help us to be humble enough to love others.

Grace and Peace to All,

Pastor Denise

Lectionary Study Group

Greetings All,

Have you ever wanted to comment on one of my sermons, or wanted to know why I focused on one area at the expense of another area? Have you ever been interested in learning more about the context of a particular biblical story? Well, I am interested in your comments.

I am starting a Lectionary Study Group via zoom. We would get together each week to look at the text that will be preached on the coming Sunday. The class time would be one hour.

If you are interested in attending, let’s plan to get together next Wednesday at 2:00 pm. The zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82286125796

All are invited, and I hope to see you.

Pastor Denise

Upper Room –

We have several Upper Room Devotional books available at the church. Please call the church office so we can arrange to get you one. 360-491-2030

The May-June Book (still available in the church) and the July-August edition (just arrived to the church).

Preschool Graduation Ceremony –

We have been blessed with a wonderful opportunity for love, growth and nurturing at St. Andrew’s Preschool. We have spent 2 1/2 months experiencing something beautiful yet tragic while teaching our children online using ZOOM. And yet, it has made us grow and appreciate the love we have been able to share with our 57 families this year.

This week we held our usual Preschool Graduation Ceremony in a not so usual way. We held a “Drive-thru Graduation” with our children. At this time, we handed out their Portfolio memory books that are full of pictures, art work and down-right beauty of each child. We weren’t able to hug them in a usual way, we could only talk with them through our handmade cloth masks and wish them well. This was heartbreaking yet it also felt heartwarming knowing we were able to protect them and still share in their joy.

A BIG heartfelt thank you to our Preschool Families for expressing their love for our program and to our Teachers who volunteered their time and made this possible.

Here are a couple of pictures from our graduation day…

Church and Society observes Juneteenth as a Holiday -

The social justice agency calls to reflect and take action on oldest national celebration of the end of slavery. By GNW Communications, Published in the Greater NW News of the United Methodist Church - June 18, 2020

To commemorate and celebrate the day that ended slavery in the United States, Church and Society has made Juneteenth a paid holiday for all employees.

“As the oldest national celebration of the end of slavery, observing Juneteenth is a symbolic, but important step in the movement toward racial justice,” said Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary. “We encourage all to use this day to reflect on our Christian calling to advocate for racial equity and find ways to take action in their own communities.”

The General Board of Church and Society stands with and advocates for the rights of all Black persons. Inspired by the Gospel and the church’s Social Principles, Church and Society is dedicated to making lasting change for racial justice and equity. Current advocacy priorities include fighting for voting rights, defending rights of formerly incarcerated persons, calling to reform police and criminal justice practices, access to safe and affordable housing, and ensuring educational equity.

ABOUT CHURCH AND SOCIETY

With offices on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations, the General Board of Church and Society is the advocacy arm of the United Methodist Church. The board is called to advocate for the implementation of the Social Principles.

CONTACT: Kurt Adams, Communications Director

(202) 488-5630 or kadams@umcjustice.org

Happy Birthday –

7-Shantel Rose

16-Steve Speer

20-Jessica Byers

20-Arland Michel

25-Sammi Schoeben

Happy Anniversary –

7-Bob & Dolores Todd

12-Bill & Sally Bush

12-Bob & Joyce Scheuerman

20-Bruce & Nancy Kaufmann

22-Bruce & Geri Baldwin

30-Robert & Lillian Carr

If we missed your birthday or anniversary, or if you are new to our congregation, please call the church office (360-491-2030) or write it on your attendance card Sunday so we can update our records.

Prayer Requests

You are invited to call in your prayer request to the church office (360-491-2030) or to any time of the day or evening. If you get an answering machine, please leave the request or your name and telephone number.

Please pray for God’s peace & presence St. Andrew’s Families:

—Dave Reed —Jackie Hinchcliffe

—Dick Hinchcliffe —Vi Statler

—Tom Lund —Carol Nichols

—Mary Novy —Jim Martin

—Barbara Hawley —Phil & Pat Latimer

—Dr. John Britcher —Bea Aho

—Bill Bush —Sumi Atkins

—Sara Lyon —Jerry McKusker

—Boni Lenahan —Greg Leppert

—Donna Brooke —Lois Brighten

—Gary Skaar —Lillian Carr

—Amy Dickey & Family

Church Directory

Have you lost your church directory? Do you need to connect with new members? Please call the church office (360-491-2030) or email Kathy at saumc@comcast.net to get a replacement.

Children & Youth Ministries

Youth Group Hiatus for June

Shortly after the stay-home order was put in place for our state we began offering a weekly virtual gathering for our youth. It has been a joyous time to get to know some of our young people better and be in prayer together during this season.

After prayer and discernment we have decided that co-op youth group will take a break from virtual gatherings for the month of June. Your youth ministry leaders will be spending the month in conversation and relationship building with the youth through phone calls, texts and emails (cc'd to grownups for safe sanctuaries purposes) while we dream for what youth ministry will look like in July, August and beyond.

There are many factors that will help us determine what we do next, including the Bishop's guidelines that in-person youth ministry cannot resume until Phase 4 (of the Bishop's phased re-opening, not the state's plan). But the most important factor is input and leadership from the youth themselves. We look forward to hearing your ideas and your dreams!

Blessings to you all for the coming month!

Three Ways to Connect

Sunday Morning Worship

10 am on St. Andrew’s UMC - FaceBook or the South Sound YouTube Channel (you can view past Sunday services on this YouTube channel as well):

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVuK2rdwK2sYlJIKeiNCWfA

Tuesday Morning Prayer Group

9:00 am - Go to www.fumcoly.org Online Faith Formation Morning Prayer

Thursday Morning Bread of Life

10:30 am Contact the church for the zoom link (360-491-2030) or send us an email and we will send it to you. Church email is: saumc@comcast.net

 

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