Gospel Gazette. A Note from Pastor Adam

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1 Gospel Gazette APRIL 2017 A Note from Pastor Adam Last year at the same time that the country came down with March Madness (aka the NCAA Collegiate Basketball Tournament), InterVarsity Press ran a 64 book tournament to determine the greatest Christian book ever written, outside of the Bible. The books were divided into four regions (or categories); Theology & Apologetics, Christian Life & Discipleship, Fiction & Poetry and Memoirs, Devotionals & Spirituality. The books were then seeded 1-16 in their respective categories, just like the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and then voters on the internet voted through a series of matchups the greatest Christian book of all time. Last weekend the tournament came to the finals with the final four books: The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer VS Mere Christianity by CS Lewis The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien VS Confessions by St. Augustine Mere Christianity and Confessions won the semifinal matchups with St. Augustine s Confessions winning the InterVarsity Press title of the all-time greatest Christian book. I thought it was interesting to see what the editors of InterVarsity Press thought were the most important and influential books in Christian history. I was also quick to check my reading against the list to make sure I had read most of the highest ranked books. I ve read 30 of the 64 with the most being in Theology and Apologetics (9) and the least being in Fiction & Poetry (6). After my initial interest in the list, I was struck by a second thought, why do we believe it is so important to rank things? Do we believe that ranking determines worth? Each of the books on the list is different and speaks to Christians in different ways. Each book serves a different purpose and that makes it impossible to truly compare them. How can you compare someone s biography to a fictional book or a book of theology and say which one is better? But for some reason we still want to decide which one is better. (continued on page #2)

2 P a g e 2 G O S P E L G A Z E T T E A Note from Pastor Adam (continued from page #1) I think that we have an innate desire to rank things and decide what is best. We even have a tendency to do that among ourselves in deciding who is a better disciple or who is better at following Christ and thereby more deserving of blessings. The Apostle Paul tells us that all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God. In God s eyes there is no person ranked 1 st or this person is worse than that person. No, we are all sinners in need of God s grace. It would be helpful for us Christians to stop trying to rank things of God (including one another, God s crowning achievement) and just try to begin seeing more of the divine in everything and everyone. The more we judge and rank the more we harm the image of God in everyone and everything. Peace, Pastor Adam PS - Since we have been talking a lot about spiritual growth lately, I think a great place to start this spring would be to Google the IVP Best Christian Book of All Time Tournament and choose one of the 64 books for your summer reading. MARK YOUR CALENDARS TRUSTEE WORKDAY - SATURDAY, APRIL 1ST NO FOOLIN - IT WILL BE FUN!!! PLAN TO MEET IN SANCTUARY HALL 8:30 FOR GOODIES AND ASSIGNMENTS OUR AGENDA INCLUDES: TRIMMING TREES & SHRUBS; FERTILIZING AZALEAS; PULLING WEEDS AND GOOD OL GENERAL CLEANING!! BLOOD DRIVE - SUNDAY, APRIL 2ND THE BIG RED BUS WILL BE HERE FROM 8:30AM - 1:00PM All donors will receive a FREE umbrella and a FREE Admission Coupon to the LAKE COUNTY FAIR with their donation! YOUTH SUNDAY - APRIL 30TH The students of Barefoot Student Ministries will be leading all three worship services. In these services, you will see and hear from several of our Senior students. Please join us as we celebrate the students of our church and our high school seniors!

3 A P R I L P a g e 3 PALM SUNDAY - APRIL 9TH Plan to join us as we joyously wave palms at all three services as we celebrate the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem. The Maundy Thursday Prayer Vigil is Thursday, April 13th. The Sanctuary will be open for silent prayer between the hours of 5 to 7 PM. Maundy Thursday commemorates the last meal Jesus Christ ate with his followers. The English word, Maundy, derives from Mandatum the first word in Latin of Jesus words, "A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another; as I have loved you." Following the meal, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane where he was arrested and taken to trial. GOOD FRIDAY - APRIL 14TH Plan to join us at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary with Pastor Adam & our Worship Team for an evening of sorrow and forgiveness as we await the joy & resurrection of Christ on Easter morning. EASTER SUNDAY - APRIL 16TH 8:00am (Note Time); 9:30am; 11:00am Join us as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Easter morning, you are invited to bring fresh flowers to help decorate the cross on the front lawn. EASTER EGG HUNT Begins Easter Donations of individually-wrapped, NUT FREE candy would be appreciated.

4 P a g e 4 G O S P E L G A Z E T T E FAMILY TALK is a carabiner of weekly questions linked to Committed and Deep Blue Kids for parents to discuss with their children. Pick up one for your car or your dinner table from any of our children s teachers. TAKE THE COMMITTED CHALLENGE ends on April 9. Our Sunday morning classes for children are in the midst of an attendance contest looking for the highest percentage of growth. Help your children out when they want to invite a friend! VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL July 24 to 28 for ages 3 through fifth grade Register participants or volunteers at Release your inner Super Hero at our VBS VOLUNTEER LUNCHEON on Sunday, April 30 at 12:15 pm in Sanctuary Hall Bring your ideas and your enthusiasm! Sunday, April 16, 10:30 am Easter Egg Hunts (Donations of individually-wrapped, nut-free candy would be appreciated.) For more information, contact Janet Westlake, Minister of Discipleship, at or CHRISTIAN BOOK CLUB The FUMC monthly book club, is usually held the second Wednesday of each month in the Chapel. Join us April 12th at 3:00 PM to discus: Not Worth Saving by Ann Joyner. When doctors told Ann Joyner that her unborn child s life was not worth saving, her determination, found through faith, assured that not only did he live, but that he thrived. This book shares the story of Matthew Joyner s 21 miraculous and grace-filled years, unwittingly revealing so much more about the number of lives and hearts he changed simply by being alive.

5 A P R I L P a g e 5 Hello Friends! Last month Barefoot hosted the Junior And Senior Retreat. Our students had a great time on this trip. Over the course of the retreat we discussed topics that are of particular concern to our students after they graduate from high school. Some of these topics included faith after high school, church after youth group, budgets, parties, and understanding God s desire for their lives. The Junior And Senior Retreat is always an experience in mixed emotions for me. I am glad that we are given the opportunity to teach these students. I am proud of who the students have become, but I am also sad to know that their time in youth group is nearing an end. Which brings me to the last thing I would like to share with you. On Sunday, April 30 we will be celebrating our students, our high school seniors and the ministry of Barefoot Students. Our teenagers will be leading all three worship services. I know that our students would love to see you there with us during worship! Blessings, Brian Lawson Things To Be Looking For This Month Final Day of Circle Games April 19 Youth and Senior Sunday April 30 Come join 5:30 in Friendship Hall for dinner! We also have bread along with a variety of beverages and desserts.

6 P a g e 6 Twenty30 is our young adult ministry here at First UMC. The group is made up of people in their 20 s & 30 s, some who are single, married and have families. If you have never been, we would love to extend an invitation for you to join us April 9th & in the Chapel. Our Tijuana Tuesday group is really having a great time! Plan to join us April 4th & 18th We meet on Tuesdays at Tijuana Flats at 8pm. FREE dessert for all that attend! Tijuana Tuesday is a group that meets for a time of lively discussion and debate. Any young adult is invited to this group. Our website is News from The United Methodist Women We invite you to join one of our groups that meet monthly or join as a member at large if you want to be involved in our mission projects, but are unable to attend meetings. Meeting dates/times: Hannah Circle 3 rd Thursday, 1:30 pm in the Chapel Dorcas Circle 2 nd Thursday, 7 pm in Friendship Hall Naomi Circle 2 nd Tuesday, 10 am in Sanctuary Hall We hope you will join the United Methodist Women. Faith, Hope and Love in Action in our local community and around the world. Check out unitedmethodistwomen.org for details on the organization. If you would like additional information or have any questions please or call Linda White at HELP US TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE We don t want to lose contact with you - so call the and let us know... If you move, call us with your new address/phone # If you are ill and become hospitalized, let us know If you have any questions, call and ask

7 A P R I L P a g e 7 FINANCIAL REPORT FOR FEBRUARY, 2017 The Budget for 2017 $622, What was needed to cover the Budget through FEBRUARY : $107, The amount donated through FEBRUARY: $106, Our Budget expenses for the month were: * $ 64, Our expenses year to date were: * $107, Special Donations All other contributions: $23, Other Contributions year to date: $27, *Includes the annual insurance premium paid in full $21, A complete financial statement is available in the church office. FOR YOUR SAFETY On Sunday mornings, please use the cross walk. Normally, we have a police officer there to keep you safe as you cross the street. FOR ANYONE WHO STILL RECEIVES THE GAZETTE IN THE MAIL - If you would like to see it in COLOR, we could send it through your and that would HELP TO SAVE A FEW BUCKS Call the church office to set it up! JOIN US FOR STRETCHES & FRIENDSHIP On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the 8:00am It s necessary to keep on moving and exercising to stay healthy and fit. You never know what might hit you and it is best to be ready for it!!! IT S FREE AND ALL AGES ARE WELCOME!!

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