Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church
Friday, December 15, 2017
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Newsletter

Worldwide Communion Sunday

This Sunday is the celebration of Worldwide Communion.  Although various Christian denominations have differing theological views related to Holy Communion, Eucharist, Lord's Supper etc.  we all agree that it is a special celebration in our Christian faiths and that we do hold in common that it is a celebration of the one true Savior of the world Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Christ.  Since we hold these beliefs in common it is the first Sunday in October when we celebrate what we have in common instead of accentuating our differences and celebrate Holy Communion as one Body of Christ.  In a world that can't seem to find common ground on much of anything this Sunday will be a great day to join in worship together knowing that so many other Christians are also celebrating what we have in common.

 

The next special Sunday Worship will be the first Sunday in Nov. when we celebrate All Saints Day.  It is our tradition at both churches to celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us and become a part of that Great Cloud of Witnesses.  If you have lost a loved one in the last year, as my family has, I ask you to send a picture of that person to me as soon as you can so I may add it to the series of pictures that will be displayed on the screen at worship. In addition I invite you and your family to join us in worship and come forward to light a candle and sign your loved ones name to our Great Cloud of Witnesses Holy Communion Table Cloth.

 

Also for those adjusting to the death of a loved one, either this year or several years ago, plan on joining us in December for a special Blue Christmas Worship where we will not simply share our grief but celebrate the Joy of Christmas that comes in knowing Jesus.  Details are still being completed but I believe this worship will be either the first or secondSunday in December at the Dorsey location in the evening.

 

A.C.T.S./UMCOR  Our youth ministry program called A.C.T.S. is sponsoring a Bakeless Bake Sale for UMCOR - United Methodist Committee on Relief who is working overtime to meet the needs in USVI, BVI, Texas, Florida, PR, Mexico and elsewhere around the world as needed.  Order blanks are available at Melville Chapel, Harwood Park, Dorsey Emmanuel, Wesley Chapel and from all youth and youth leaders as well as on the A.C.T.S. Facebook Page.  It simply requires your cash or check for our imaginary baked goods.  We chose a Bakeless Bake Sale because UMCOR is known throughout the world as the best outreach for nearly no overhead expense.  98 - 100% of all funds to UMCOR are returned to the field so we wanted no overhead and all of our money to go to the field too.  The last day to give is Sunday Oct. 8.  James Weaber from Harwood Park and one of the A.C.T.S. leaders is leading a one day mission trip to Mission Central (Regional UMCOR Center)in Mechanicsburg, PA on Saturday Nov. 4 to build more flood buckets , school kits etc. and we want all funds ready before the trip.  If you would like to go to Mission central please contact me ASAP as spots are limited.  Amazing Christian Teens in Service are expected to attend the trip as this is our Oct./Nov. Mission Project but we need adults to go too!  Lunch will be provided.

 

This is a great project to take to your co-workers and see if your employer is looking for a great end of year donation to an urgent need on the front page of all the news outlets.  All you have to do is ask!

 

Church: What Why and How?

Ever think church was a waste of time?  Do you think church is a required event for salvation?  Maybe you are one of those folks who thinks church is outdated since there are plenty of preachers on radio and TV.  Maybe you have no real idea why we have church or why anyone should go to church?  How about does denomination matter and most importantly what does the Bible say about church and the behavior of the church?

 

Beginning this Sunday we will spend the next three weeks talking about What, Why and How church according to the Bible and I think you might be surprised.  Worst yet if we used the measure for church in the Bible we might be very disappointed at our church evaluation score.

Join Us every Sunday as we challenge our church to the the true church described in the Bible as we grow our parish in ministry and members.

 

A.C.T.S. and Kairos Prison Ministry Team will be using the church this Saturday so you will see a lot of cars in and out.  WE are fortunate to have a Kairos team at Dorsey and to see our Amazing Christian Teens in Service.

 

A.C.T.S. will meet at 2pm to go to two different locations to do mission work.  We will return at 5pm for dinner provided by Donna Benzing and we are having a guest speaker who will share his testimony of growing up in a less than perfect situation and going on to be a soldier and survive war, a severe car accident and now cancer all while living a life trusting Jesus.  He is also a youth leader at Celebration Church in Columbia for their group called W.I.N.D.  Don't miss our meeting and dinner and bring a friend to hear Donovan share his testimony.

 

Calendar

Kairos @ Dorsey Thursday - Saturday

A.C.T.S. Saturday 2-6:30

Sunday Worship - Wesley 10am, Dorsey 11am, Lorien 2pm

Wednesday - Howard County AGAST 7pm Owen Brown Interfaith Center

 

SPECIAL NEEDS ASAP

Wesley Chapel needs money and or school supply donations right away for two back packs at Jessup Elementary

Dorsey Emmanuel needs prayer boxes filled for teachers at Ducketts Lane Elem.

Pastor has a homeless situation that he often needs food and money for a room.

 

PRAYERS

Bob J., Naomi, Dan S., Charles O., Clifton, Jessica, Bill W., Wendy M., Ann M., A.C.T.S., Children's Ministry, Hungry Baby Mission, our partner schools

 

 

Make church happen in your neighborhood!

 

Did You Miss ME?

Or maybe I should check to see if you even knew I was gone.  Just kidding!  

For those who don't know I am a student pastor and attend seminary in the summer for 2-4 weeks.  In the past years I have been going two weeks a year but may have to go to four soon as the Annual Conference wants me to speed up graduation but until then only two weeks and a few online or weekend classes.

 

We are all very fortunate to have folks within our parish who are willing and competent to preach in my absence and I want to thank Dan and Judy Stone, Zach Wriston and Verna Prehn for bringing the word on Sunday morning in my absence.  

We are also fortunate to have several folks who have stepped in to provide home ministry by making phone calls, sending cards and emails and even making visits.  Vital congregations demonstrate ministry by having one pastor but many ministers.

 

Speaking of MANY ministers; this week has been Amazing as the MAKER FUN FACTORY VBS has been going on involving over 60 people!

Right now I am sure I will miss some of the very valuable ministers who have been involved so don't hate me just correct me so we all can appreciate them.  Judy, Dan, Verna, Dottie, Cindy, Carol, Vickie, Steve, Brad, Tammie, Kristie, Karen. Joni, Janet, Mike, Sandy, Cammie, Amie, Amber, Craig.  Again I am trying to rack my brain for all the names but I'm sure I have missed someone and probably an obvious one so let me know who I missed and I will add them.

We owe a special thanks to several churches in the area who sought us out and loaned us their decorating materials since their event was earlier in the summer.  

We owe a thanks to Doris and Gene who clean the church because they got the church ready and then have to clean-up what we leave behind which I hope is not much.

It has been really cool to have an adult class this year and it is a joy to see folks taking advantage of it although we keep our original teacher Dan Stone in prayer as he is recovering in the hospital from an infection.


Also Brad, Craig, James, Cindy and I could not be more proud of our A.C.T.S eam who are helping to lead classes as "Shepherds".  They are doing an AMAZING job!  Surprised?  You shouldn't be. After all they are Amazing Christian Teens in Service!  

Oh yea did you checck out the new A.C.T.S Facebook Page?  You can see past events including pics from our Saturday boating adventures and VBS

 

Finally, what I believe is one of the biggest ministry accomplishments is the willingness for pastors and congregations of the Rt 1 Corridor United Methodist Churches to show our true United Methodist Connections by sharing in this ministry.  A.C.T.S. was our first attempt together to grow disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and now VBS.  We have shared Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Son Rise but now we are combining our spiritual gifts for the benefit of our communities.  Small churches with "Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors" can share in ministry and grow individual congregations in a community context and we are doing that!  Thank you to Pastor Joanna, Pastor Sherrin, Pastor Cynthia and the church leaders of Melville Chapel, Harwood Park, Dorsey Emmanuel and Wesley Chapel.

 

 

Church can happen anywhere! So let's make it happen anywhere Together!

 

Summer Fun and Outreach

It has been fun to see pictures of our members and friends on vacation when they are posted on their Facebook page but wouldn't it be interesting if we either brought pictures to church for a bulletin board or have you share them on the church Facebook pages.  Your family vacation could be shared by sending pictures to Verna or Rick and we can add them to our Facebook page.  


As for the Outreach and Mission pictures at present only A.C.T.S. has those pictures.  What can we do about it?  Send us your picture when you participate in mission or when you share the story of our parish with someone else not already attending our churches.

In addition you could help us plan an OUTREACH Activity like free bottles of water at the local sports park, conduct a prayer walk in your neighborhood, have your neighbors to an ice tea, iced coffee or hot coffee or movie night  get together. Your imagination is the only limit and you can always Team Up with another family.  Remember we have a great fire pit in the Prayer Garden at Dorsey.


A.C.T.S. Calendar

August 5 Boating Morning @ Centennial Park - Meet at Dorsey 10am

August 19 Mission Day and Dinner Meeting - Meet at Dorsey 2pm

 

Check out our new Facebook Page!


How are you living out your faith?

Invited anyone to church?

Invited anyone to VBS?

Volunteered to work with VBS?

Encouraged anyone to join A.C.T.S.?

Made a new relationship in your community?

Decided to join a house group?

Decided to lead a house group?

Volunteered for the church audit team, serve Holy Communion, lead worship, PREACH?

Thought about baptism or church membership?


Let's work and worship together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!


See you in church and church can happen ANYWHERE!

Rick

Songs of Summer Sunday Sermon for July 23 - Great Are You Lord!

 

How is Your Proverbs 31 Life?

Sunday we challenged men, women, youth and children to be inspired by Wonder Woman of Proverbs so how is it going?  Sure we made reference to the summer movie hit Wonder Woman but we were really concerned about Becoming and Wonder Woman/Man/Person of God.  If you were not in church on Sunday checkout the online message connected with the Dorsey Facebook and website then start looking at your life through the lens of Proverbs 31.

 

What defines you?  Are you defined by your relationships or lack of relationships?  Parents are you either intentionally or unintentionally encouraging your children to see their value through human relationships when really the only relationship that matters for you and your kids is the relationship you have with Jesus.

 

Does your role define you?  I am a mom, dad, husband, wife, computer geek, musician, athlete, etc.  Often the world tells us that all we are called to be is a parent or spouse and if that is true then what are we when the kids grow up and we are no longer someones spouse?  In reality the only role that is essential to our identity is the role of a child of God.

 

Are you defined by your reflection?  I need to dress like this because it is my identity.  Even our must rebellious kids choose to dress identical to their non-conforming group that unfortunately would reject them just like other groups as soon as they dress or act at all different.  Does your reflection tell you that you are not worthy of joy or success?  Does your reflection say that if you want to be in this culture you must act, dress, choose music and food to amtch or you don't belong?  When in reality the only opinion that matters is God's opinion and God thinks YOU are worth dying for!

 

Check out the five traits of a real Wonder Woman of God and remember that those traits are the traits that men should reflect in their lives and most of all teach to the young boys and men so they will seek those traits in their friends and relationships both male and female.

 

 

PRAYERS

Roy, Betty and family, Charles and Eleanor, Almeda D., Naomi J., Leon P., Leon E., Cheryl Smith's family, Doris, Al and family, all of the names on our church prayer lists, Our Hungry Baby Mission, Our VBS Team, Margaret B.  Pray daily for our community and government leaders.  Pray to be a Proverbs 31 influence on others.  

 

Sunday Message - O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing!

 

How are you living out your faith?

Invited anyone to church?

Invited anyone to VBS?

Volunteered to work with VBS?

Encouraged anyone to join A.C.T.S.?

Made a new relationship in your community?

Decided to join a house group?

decided to lead a house group?

Volunteered for the church audit team, serve Holy Communion, lead worship, PREACH?

 

Let's work and worship together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!

 

See you in church and church can happen ANYWHERE!

 

 

Wonder Woman

Yes this Sunday we will focus on the theme of the movie Wonder Woman.  Although we will not focus exactly on the movie theme as it is written we will focus on Wonder Women of God.  Bring your wife, your daughters, your nieces, granddaughters.  Bring your yourself, male or female.  Bring your sons and grandsons and nephews because the Wonder Women of God message is for ALL ages.


If you are part of A.C.T.S. or you have a child of A.C.T.S. age they need to hear this message.  In fact to all Wonder Women of God feel free to wear your cape!


 

For your warm-up come having read Proverbs 31 at least once this week!

 

Transition and Transformation

This Sunday many of our neighboring United Methodist Churches will be welcoming new pastors for the first time as the season for new appointments begins.  I can remember my first July appointment in 2010 when I was appointed to Dorsey Emmanuel because my actual first appointment began in November as the pastor of Wesley Chapel retired on medical leave.  It was my first Sunday preaching two services and beginning a season in my life when I would no longer return to the public school system in August.  I believe we have grown together and advanced the church of Jesus Christ together yet the church is never without its challenges.  


The church is a collection of people believing in Jesus as their Savior and those seeking to know more about who Jesus is and what it means for their life when they accept Jesus as their Lord and become baptized.

In fact I have always said the church should be a hospital for sinners and not a resort for saints and if that is true the church is going to have some imperfections, personalities and behaviors that need some healing and growing.  That means that each of us have to show grace and receive grace.  In other words we have to accept some imperfections in others and we have to acknowledge that we too have imperfections and realize that our behaviors are being received and tolerated by the grace given us. 


Now don't get me wrong that doesn't mean that we get to continue in all of our bad habits just because someone is supposed to be giving us grace.  We should be working daily by studying the scriptures, seeking a spiritual mentor and talking to God daily in prayer to assist us in giving grace to others but even more importantly transforming us from the old self centered us into a true disciple of Jesus Christ who asks "What Would Jesus Do?"


 

If we are to be the church of Jesus Christ for the world and thereby making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world we must first allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from "this is just the way I am" to "this is who Jesus made me"!

 

Are You Still Happy with Your Way?

If you were at worship Sunday you are familiar with this question.  If not check out the DEUMC website for the digital version.  The question was posed not just to fathers although we did celebrate and challenge the men in the congregation but it was posed to all of us to reconsider the way we not only treat our families but the way we treat others and what standards we use to decide if someone is worth treating well or not.  Is it our standard or God's standard?  There were also some shocking statistics in the message that I shared from the American Psychological Association and a challenge as to what the Church of Jesus Christ, including our local churches, is and or should be doing.

If the Church is no different than the rest of society why do we expect anybody from the outside to want to join us?

 

THIS Sunday we begin our summer sermon series of God in Movie and Song.  We will use themes from several new movies and relate them to scripture and to our lives.  We will also do the same thing with music and this summer we will move from the new to old>  In other words we will look at the message of Jesus in hymns of the church.  By the way it is not too late to submit a hymn that either challenges you as to what the message is or one that you want others to know the message.  If you have a suggestion please email to the pastor as soon as you can so we can try to get it on the series schedule.

 

Sunday June 19 Pirates of the Caribbean "Dead Me Tell No Tales" (FEAR)

 

A.C.T.S. did a great job cleaning out a shed for  a family in need on Saturday but even more they met, asked questions and talked with the folks about all of their life experience.  They met the folks where they were and as they were just like the folks met us and we shared the love of Jesus with them.  

Thank you to Verna for having a great sloppy joe dinner prepared for us when we got back to Dorsey Church tired and hungry.  After dinner we had our devotion and planned out some of our next activities.  We also welcomed Aiden Brooks one of our new sixth graders and presented him his A.C.T.S. team shirt.  Who gets the next shirt?

You can still submit a mission project for the A.C.T.S. Team just send us an email if you do not have the neon green application.

 

Speaking of shirts two weeks ago I wore the new Dorsey Emmanuel/Wesley Chapel Cooperative Parish team shirt to worship.  The shirt is bright orange and sports our mission statement "Christ Centered, Growing Relationships, Serving in Mission".  You will probably see some of the leadership team already in the shirt real soon.  If you would like one please let the pastor know so we can order your size if we do not have it already.  If you feel able to defray the cost to church the actual cost of the shirt is $25 but do not let that stop you from proudly telling others about our mission.


VBS is coming  August 7-11!  ALL AGES including an adult class so you can have time to grow your faith and not have to seek childcare or another night out of your schedule.  Dinner is provided so you do not have to hurry home from work to feed the kids before you come.  Hours are 6 to 8:30 pm.  Online registration is available.  PLEASE REGISTER to assist meal prep and class coverage.  It is FREE!


 

Special thanks to the women of the church at Dorsey for a great Family Breakfast on Father's Day!

 

School is Officially Out for Summer

That's right even the last jurisdiction in Maryland has ended school until Labor Day(Howard County).  As the American tradition of having summers off from school creates a unique situation for parents and students.  It also affects churches and other activities as the feeling that we should be off from everything for the entire two months seems to permeate all of our culture.  I challenge each of us to realize that the time off from school is actually a great time to become more involved in God's calling on your life and not less involved.  As Americans we seem to idolize total inactivity when we are created in God's image which is loving, caring, compassionate but also industrious and creative.  Jesus and the apostles spent little time sitting and doing nothing.

 

Oh I don't mean we should continue to fill our schedule and our child's schedule with more ball games, camps, music lessons, theater classes, etc. so we have no time to relax, we do way too much of that already, but we should begin looking at our use of resources and how much of them are really used getting to know family and friends (real friends not virtual).  I mean since particularly kids have more time on their hands instead of regressing academically and in physical activity maybe we can plan on getting our kids active in A.C.T.S. ministry and mission where they can hangout with friends who want to learn more about how Jesus and real life go together (Hint-they are one and the same) and be a part of helping various families in our community.  If they are too young to attend A.C.T.S. then plan on VBS in August and maybe get one in at another church too.

 

Planning family time to attend worship and then discussing the service afterward over a family meal is much more productive family time than being plugged into our own world or simply being a spectator in our child's life.  Yes our children want their independence but we as Christian parents should want them to be involved in the most important aspect of their life and that is their walk with Jesus.  They can also have some independence but being completely exempt from sharing and learning family traditions from their immediate and extended family is not always what is best for their well-being.  So this summer plan some real family time where you talk, eat and share experiences with each other and hopefully you believe that church is a part of that.

 

 

Since we mentioned A.C.T.S. we want to welcome all new sixth graders.  Some names that immediately come to mind are Aiden Brooks, Faith Hardesty, Jocie Sanchez, and friends.  We hope you will join us THIS Saturday at 2pm as we clean out a shed for a man who has had 5 strokes.  After our mission work Verna and team are planning dinner for us at Dorsey Church at 5 pm and we will have fellowship and games until 6:30.  When you come to the mission day at 2pm be on time and wear closed toe shoes and if you have work gloves bring them.  Invite your friends to join us!

 

New Members and The Church Celebrates

Sunday we received 8 new members into the Dorsey Emmanuel/Wesley Chapel Parish!

7 at Dorsey and 1 at Wesley.

 

It was a real joy and celebration to share this discipleship step together.  In the next several months there will be an announcement for those young folks grade 6-12 about the next Confirmation Class which will prepare all of the young folks to make the discipleship step to membership on Pentecost 2018.  If there are any other adults desiring membership as a part of your discipleship walk please contact me and we can make arrangements at any time during the year for you to join the church as a member.  The same is true if you have not been baptized and you have answered the call to follow Jesus I would love to help you with the next step.  Peter tells us in Acts to "repent and be baptized!"

 

In addition to Confirmation Class we invite all 5th grade students to join our A.C.T.S. Youth Ministry as soon as the 2017 school year ends.  For Howard County students that is June 14 and we have a mission project on Saturday June 17 at 2-4:30 followed by dinner and meeting at 5-6:30 at the Dorsey Church.

 

THIS Sunday the Dorsey Emmanuel congregation will be joined by guests from Howard Masonic Lodge during worship and the lodge is providing the main dish for a luncheon and each of us will bring a side dish.  Come and welcome our guests with "radical hospitality".

Later in June the Wesley congregation will be joined by the Solomon's Masonic Lodge to share in worship.

 

The Annual Baltimore/Washington Conference is complete and we will be receiving reports from Craig Phillips at Dorsey and Janet Oursler at Wesley in the next two weeks as to the decisions made and yet to be made by the United Methodist Church so plan on being present to hear the report and ask any questions you may have.

 

 Guest or Member

On Pentecost Sunday June 4 we will be receiving NEW Members into our parish.  Some are coming in by letter of transfer from another United Methodist Congregation.  Some are coming from other denominations and hopefully some of the new members will be making the decision to join the Dorsey Emmanuel/Wesley Chapel Parish because they have decided that just doing church is not enough to continue on the path to true discipleship in Jesus Christ.

If you are interested in transferring membership you need to contact the United Methodist church where you were confirmed or last held membership and they will send a letter to me at the church address and we will then receive you on the 4th.

If you are in one of the other two categories I will be holding a new member instruction class on Sunday May 21, 2017 6-8pm at Wesley Chapel to discuss what it means to be a member of the church versus a guest and to offer you the opportunity to discuss theology differences that may or may not agree with your beliefs.

You need to let the pastor know if you are interested in becoming a member so I can prepare accordingly.


Membership is a big step in your decision to be a disciple versus a guest and if transferring it is a statement of your commitment to the ministry of our parish.  

"Will you be loyal to the United Methodist church, and uphold it by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness?"

If so you will say I Will and then be received into the local congregation of our parish.


PARENTS with students A.C.T.S. age PLEASE show them the activity schedule in the last newsletter and add the dates to your calendar to be supportive of your young adult being involved in growing their faith and discipleship.  Being a Christian parent means to value raising a Christian family.


REMINDER - Pastor is preparing for school and is spending a lot more time in the home office preparing assignments so if you or someone you know is in need of a visit or contact please let the pastor know.  If it is someone you know remember that we have one pastor but many ministers and and your call or visit is just as valuable if not more so.


Check out the Announcement Sheet and or Facebook for special events on our calendar.


THIS SUNDAY is Mother's Day and Wesley Chapel has professional photographer coming to take FREE family portraits after worship so invite the entire family for a special Mother's Day Photo Op.  The event will continue until after the worship ends at Dorsey so ALL families in the parish can take advantage of this opportunity.  For those new to Dorsey Emmanuel our sister church Wesley Chapel is less than 10 minutes from Dorsey and there will be refreshments.


 

FINALLY, A.C.T.S. (Amazing Christian Teens in Service) have applications for yard and house work for those in need and will work on at least one location every month beginning in June.  If you or someone you know is need of this kind of mission outreach please ask one of the A.C.T.S. leaders or members for an application which must be returned by June 1 so we can review them and schedule them.  A.C.T.S. is a four church youth ministry so apply early.  Oh yea when we are doing projects we will take all additional help once the schedule is posted.

 

Better Late Than Never

My apologies for missing the Wednesday newsletter.  The good news is I finished assignments for one summer school class in the afternoon and had a great planning meeting with the A.C.T.S. Youth Ministry Team in the evening and then I went home and FORGOT the newsletter.

 

I hope you have joined us for the "EMPTY" Sermon Series and if not in person online.  This Sunday we see what scripture has to say when you say "My Checkbook Is Empty!"  Debt and money are often the sources of much of personal and corporate problems especially when society tries to convince you that debt is just fine after all "everybody " is doing it.  Come join us as we see how God wants us to live with our money.

 

I said we had a great A.C.T.S. Adult Leadership Meeting and we have created a schedule for the next several months.  If you have or know of a middle school to high school aged person who is not yet involved with A.C.T.S. why aren't they?  Dr. James Dobson wrote years ago the most important thing for any parent and grandparent (or Christian Adult-my addition) is for their children to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  There can be nothing more important.  Besides that ask the guys and gals in A.C.T.S and they will tell you we have a fun time in addition to sharing our faith with each other.

A.C.T.S. is the new Youth Ministry for the Rt. 1 United Methodist Churches ( Wesley Chapel, Dorsey Emmanuel, Harwood Park, Melville Chapel).  The team consists of Pastor Rick (youth pastor), Brad Grable(M), James Weaber((H), Cindy Kerr(D), Steve Martone(M), Roz Martone(M), and Craig Phillips(D).  In addition Pastor Joanna from Melville and Pastor Cynthia from Harwood are supportive and helping with the A.C.T.S Ministry.  Look for the Black and Neon Green Shirts!

 

Amazing Christian Teens in Service is beginning the SERVICE part of their ministry this summer by offering Home and Yard Service to our communities.  Each church will be getting applications to submit to our team so we can assess the need and begin work in June.  If you have ideas of a family or person in need of some yard work, inside home cleaning etc. please contact one of the above leaders and ask for an application.  All applications need to be submitted before June 20.

 

What Do You Use to " Fill" Empty?

Last Sunday we expanded our celebration of the Empty Tomb by beginning a sermon series on emptiness in our lives followed by a group movie event to see The Case for Christ.


It is interesting that many times Christians as well as others feel empty in their lives and feel the need to keep it to themselves or worse yet to punish themselves because there must be something wrong with them, especially if they are a Christian.  Yet we can find instances in the Bible where people were empty in their lives, their finances, their family relations and never did Jesus turn them away.  Never did Jesus say go fix yourself!  Jesus said come to me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.  In that spirit we will spend the next few weeks looking at areas of life that often seem empty and challenge each other as to what we are using to fill that emptiness and discuss how it is working and see what The Bible says we should use to fill that emptiness.


This past Sunday we looked at the statement "My Life is Empty" and determined that the emptiness in our life we often believe can be filled by worldly things and pleasures and when we try those fillers they are short lived and usually lead to more problems.  That emptiness can only be filled Jesus.


This week we look at the statement "The Earth is Empty" as we follow up on Earth Day 2017.  We often look around at the world or the environment and see desolation and extinction and we again choose some answers that on paper look good but are those answers really the best scientific answers much less the best Biblical answers?


The third week we look at the statement "My Checkbook is Empty" now I understand that I may have to take a few minutes and teach what a checkbook is to our e-finance generation but the problems with debt and how to get out of it are the same for paper check writers and ETR specialists.  Join us as we discuss what the Bible really says about debt.


 

Finally on Mother's Day we will look at the statement "My Marriage/Family is Empty"  On this day at Wesley Chapel there will be FREE family portraits taken after worship and the photographer is staying so folks at the Dorsey Church can go over right after worship and have their photo taken too.  Invite the whole family to church so they can be part of the special memory photo.

 

Let's keep sharing worship!

It was a great Holy Week and Easter Celebration!  Let's not let it go!

 

Holy Thursday we shared worship with Melville Chapel, Harwood Park and Wesley Chapel at Dorsey Emmanuel.  After a nice meal about 30 of us joined in worship and Holy Communion led by Pastor Joanna from Melville Chapel, Pastor Rick from Dorsey/Wesley, CLM Verna Prehn from Dorsey/Wesley and the choir from Melville Chapel joined by members of the Dorsey choir.

 

Good Friday over 35 members and guests of the same four churches joined in worship at Wesley Chapel this time led by Pastor Cynthia Belt from Mt. Zion/Harwood Park, Pastor Rick and numerous lay people from all of the churches.

 

On Saturday Dorsey Emmanuel held the Annual Easter Egg Hunt attended many kids and adults.  We had some great community business sponsors:  Texas Road House Restaurant in Pasadena donated 100 filled eggs, certificates for free food and special recognition which we will also use during our VBS.  We also are very thankful for Frank's Produce partnership for the fruit and Weis Markets for their food donations.

Please take time to stop by these business and patronize them but even more important tell them thank you and that you are from Dorsey Emmanuel.

 

Saturday evening also celebrated ice cream, fun, devotion, and business with the new Amazing Christian Teens in Service (A.C.T.S.) as we planned out our spring and summer fun and mission calendar.  If you know a middle school or high school student then ask them to join the rest of us as we continue to grow and oh yea get a real cool black and neon T-Shirt.

 

Community Easter Son Rise was again an enjoyable worship as we shared with Jessup Baptist, Payne AME, and all four of our United Methodist Churches.  

Resurrection Sunday Worship at Wesley and Dorsey was celebrated by over 130 people and our final worship service of the day was at Lorien Nursing and Rehab Center in Elkridge and we shared with a dozen residents and their families.  One couple in particular was very thankful for our ministry.

 

So why stop now?  Sunday we asked you to see the cross through our own eyes and we highlighted that the message of the cross required Sacrifice,  Commitment, Service and Cost.  As with all of God's Covenants we are called to fulfill our end of the covenant so let's grow together each SundayTuesday Night Small Group, A.C.T.S. Ministry, Our Daily Bread Mission Team or any aspect of our joining together as the Body of Christ.

 

This Sunday we begin a sermon series entitled "Empty" and before you feel too down and out realize that "empty" is often the feeling one has particularly after a high worship time like Holy Week and Easter. But this feeling is often present in our lives and some think Christians just shouldn't feel this way so how do we get out of the empty feeling?

 

This Sunday we acknowledge and Discuss that "Sometimes My Life Feels Empty" even after Easter.

April 30 will focus on "Sometimes Our Earth is Empty" as Earth Day will have just passed.

May 7 will focus on "Sometimes My Checkbook is Empty" as many of us try to plan our finances for the summer or our children's schooling in the fall.

May 14 (Mother's Day) closes the series with "Sometimes My Marriage/Family is Empty" since this day is celebrated in the United Methodist Church as Mother's day and Celebration of the Christian Home. 

On this day there will be several family celebrations not the least of which will be FREE Family Portraits at Wesley Chapel.  Maybe it has been awhile since your family had a true family photo together so invite the whole family to church and after worship join us for coffee and we will have a photographer ready to take your family photo.

 

 

As I close the message today we continue to ask prayers for those who are grieving as today we lay to rest another beloved long time member of our parish.  At 2pm today we will celebrate the life of Juanita Shipley at Kaufman's Vermillion Funeral Chapel.

 

Grief and Joy

In the last weeks we have experienced both in various forms but we should remember that everyday throughout the world these emotions and others are experienced by folks we know and folks we don't know.

 

We grieved the loss of our long time member and friend Eileen Gregor.  We grieved for her family and yet 150 celebrated her life and the influence she had on each of us and her community.


Friday evening we celebrated our new combined church Youth Ministry A.C.T.S. as we traveled to Ocean City for the weekend to join 1000's of other teens at Metro Maryland Youth for Christ IMPACT.  We traveled with our largest group in 8 tears.  We saw 100's of kids and adults commit and recommit their lives to Christ.  There were plenty of pictures on our Facebook pages including our own youth leader Craig and A.C.T.S. member Darrin on stage.  Oh yea and that wasn't all our own A.C.T.S. member Chloe   also ended up on stage and everyone we saw loved our new shirts.  Our kids led prayer in public and private,  they assisted and served Holy Communion, they shared testimonies, they challenged the arcade games and even found some beach time and even a little sleep.


Sunday we grieved the loss of Gloria Sewell, Vickie Brownley's mother and on Thursday and Friday we will celebrate her life.  

 

We celebrate the healing of Margaret and are concerned about Naomi.  Today we add Eileen Grove to the concern list as she is in Howard County Hospital, we celebrate that Michele Oursler's son Kyle and wife have made Michele agrandmother.

  

The point is that in all of theses instances the one constant is that God is in control and His love for us never changes.  Grief or Joy is not a requirement for God's love.  He loves us and desires us to be in relationship with Him through Jesus not because we earned it but because he is merciful and full of grace. 

That's something that our zodiac sign, humanism, good deeds, and religion can't do for us.

 

 

Thank you to Mike Kirchner for bringing the Word on Sunday in my absence.  I understand the view of the thief on the cross was made clear and has given all who heard a new understanding of the crucifixion.   This Sunday we will look at the cross from the eyes of Mary the mother of Jesus.


 

How is your view?

In the last two weeks we have been viewing the cross as we progress through the days and weeks of Lent 2017.  We have viewed the cross through the eyes of the Roman Soldier at the cross who was just following orders and the eyes of Mary Magdalene who like many of us and our classmates, neighbors etc. was often misjudged based on gossip and stereotype accusing her of immoralities she never committed.  Yet both of these people saw  the cross for what it really is.  They saw Jesus as the Savior who welcomes them with open arms  no matter how misguided they may have been from following orders or peer pressure, no matter how many people who call us names or accuse us of immoralities that may be true or false.  They saw that Jesus takes us where we are and as we are and is far less concerned with where we have been than he is concerned about where we are going.  

 

In the last several weeks of Lent we will continue to focus on the view of the cross in order to draw us closer to a new or renewed relationship with Jesus.  This Sunday we will view the cross through the eyes of the thief on the cross, the next week through the eyes of Mary the mother of Jesus.  On Palm Sunday we will get a look at the cross from the crowd as Jesus rides into Jerusalem and finally on Resurrection/Easter Sunday we will view the Empty Cross through our own eyes and claim it for ourselves. 


A.C.T.S. Youth Ministry leaves Friday at 4pm to attend Metro Maryland Youth for Christ IMPACT in Ocean City, Md.  This year we will have the largest number of youth and adults we have ever taken on retreat and we are looking forward to a great time.  Keep your eyes open in the next few weeks for shirts identifying our youth and youth leaders.  Pray for our trip safety and that the ministry and music will touch the hearts of our 1000's of kids attending.


 

We have added several more local merchants to our partner in ministry list.  In addition to Frank's Produce who has been a continuous partner in ministry for years we add Tradewinds Studio who printed our A.C.T.S. shirts in a very short amount of time and they are located in the industrial park next to Zion Cemetery and Texas Roadhouse in Pasadena for donating 100 Easter Eggs and candy for our Easter Egg Hunt.  In addition to the eggs and candy there are several certificates for free food that we can award for perfect attendance etc. during VBS and other activities.  I also should include Costco and Wal-Mart who gave us gift certificates to purchase food for our Spaghetti Dinner and our IMPACT trip.


 

What is Your View of The Cross

Sunday we started a sermon series entitled "At the Cross with People Who Were There" and we discussed the view of the Roman Soldier so my question for all of us is how do we view the cross?  During Lent we are to be focusing on repenting and growing our faith walk so we are ready to celebrate

 

Resurrection Sunday and in order to celebrate the resurrection we have to understand our view of the cross.  Each week we will add another view beginning this week with the view of the cross according to Mary Magdalene then the thief and finally Mary the mother of Jesus before we look at the cross from the view of the crowd on Palm Sunday and then our view of the empty cross will be celebrated EasterSunday

 

I challenge each of you during the remaining days of Lent to write own your view of the cross.  First write it as if you were present and second write your view of the cross for you in 2017.  It is OK to question your view and to admit that your view is not clear.  This is not about being right or wrong theologically it is about looking at what the crucifixion of Jesus means to you because until we have a view of the cross it is going to be difficult to grow in a relationship with Jesus.  For those who are really brave consider sharing your view of the cross on our Facebook Pages or with your friends and do a little compare and contrast.

 

Big News at Dorsey Emmanuel - Come see the newly painted Sanctuary, parlor and stairwell this Sunday!  You will love the new pink wall behind the altar... GOTCHA!  I know that paint color is often the war cry in all churches going through renovations.  Actually it is still blue but now matches the blue in all the stain glass windows.   In fact the trustees have raised the projection screen so we can see both windows at the front of the church and are planning to mount the projector in the ceiling and allow the computer to be controlled from the sound desk in the back.  

 

In spite of the rumors that some folks wanted to convert seating to chairs(true but very expensive) the pews are still in place but the handicap access entrance will allow for full ADA entrance into the sanctuary.  

 

Is Lent Still Relevant in America

I say even more now than ever!  We live in a society that insists we have it our way on our terms and we should never have to sacrifice anything.  Yet the season of Lent encourages, maybe even demands, that we give up something of value for 40 days in order to draw us closer to the Lord in preparation for the celebration of Resurrection Sunday.  In 2017 food may not even be the real necessary sacrifice to get our attention.  Maybe denying ourselves a set amount of time from technology or maybe even a certain aspect of technology is the best way to provide us time to better grow our relationship with Jesus.  In fact as we give up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, hours surfing the net and use that time to read a Christian book or read the Bible and share in devotion and relationship with our families and friends we may find that in 207 Lent is exactly what we need to refocus our priorities and not those on our job our related to our family but those that can change our life today and for eternity.

 

Sunday we finished our sermon series on Love and Marriage with a direct discussion about Biblical Dating.   If you missed it remember all of the sermons can be accessed from either church website.  I recommend you check out the series to see how the messages pertain to your family.

 

A special thank you to Steve Brownley, Lisa Maloney, and Richard Worthington for attending the all day workshop at Mt. Oak UMC in Bowie with Rev. Dr. Phil Maynard on Saturday.  The information was worthwhile and I believe with the help of these folks and the rest of the Leadership Team will help advance our mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

 

ACTS - "Amazing Christian Teens in Service"  are getting ready to go to Ocean City for Metro Maryland Youth for Christ IMPACT March 24-26 but before that we will have our regular 3rd Saturday Youth Event March 18 5-6:30pm at Dorsey Church.  I hope to see all of our youth as we have planned a special St. Patrick' Day celebration, devotion and games.  We want to plan our next several months so bring your ideas, appetite, and a desire for fun and fellowship.

 

 

MOVIE NIGHT?  I have had a request to plan a movie night out to see SHACK.  Contact me ASAP if you are interested in THIS Friday night, Saturday Matinee or Saturday night.  Great movie and should be a fun time out.

 

Feels Like Spring

For those new to Maryland don't get too comfortable with 70 degrees because those of us who have been here awhile know all too well that next week could bring cold and snow.  But for now enjoy it if you are not one of our many who are battling the flu and illness. My thanks to all who have been so supportive during my last week of not feeling so great.  Let us keep in prayer those who are recovering in various locations.  Carol B. is recovering from the flu at BWMC, Eileen G. is recovery at Lorien, Elkridge, Charles and Eleanor are recovery at home, Sandy L. is recovering at home, Tammy C. is recovering and taking care of Colin who was in a serious motor bike accident with his cousin.  Our continued prayers for grief recovery go out to Tracy Duncan and Jill Lloyd and their families.  

If you can be of help to any of these families or others please do not hesitate to reach out and share some joy and prayer.

 

 

FREE SPAGHETTI DINNER!  This Saturday at Melville Chapel Fellowship Hall sponsored by ACTS - "Amazing Christian Teens in Service".  Our NEW ACTS Youth Ministry is sponsoring the dinner to raise money for our spring retreat, outreach programs and summer mission trip so please plan on attending and inviting all of your family, friends, etc. We will be serving at 4pm and close at 7

 

Opportunities for Ministry

The title of the newsletter is probably a title I could use every week but this coming week is filled with a variety of ministry opportunities.  

 

Grief Ministry Opportunity

Pastor Richard Duncan lost his battle with cancer and Tracy and family will receive visitors at Kaufman's Funeral Home Friday 2-4 and 6-8.  Funeral from Vermillion Chapel on Saturday and a celebration of life at Melville ChapelSaturday Feb. 25 @ 11am.

 

Although I have no details yet I have been told that my long time friend and member of Harwood Park, Chuck Lloyd, has died.  Chuck shared camp counseling with me at West River as well as 12 years of public school together.  He has been an active member of his home church for most of his life.  I know Jill and the family will need your ministry in the coming days, weeks.

 

Youth Ministry Opportunity

THIS Saturday Feb. 18 Food, Fun, Fellowship and Ministry Night for Middle and High School Youth at Dorsey Emmanuel 5pm -6:30pm.  Very Important Meeting as we make final plans for Feb. 25 Spaghetti Dinner at Melville Chapel.  Final Plans for IMPACT Youth Retreat in Ocean City.  Final decision on official combined United Methodist Youth Group Name.

 

 

Feb. 25 Youth Group Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser @ Melville Chapel 4-7pm - FREE - Donations accepted.

 

Love & Marriage

Some of us are old enough to know that this title was once the lyrics of a popular song and I am using it as the title of our next sermon series.  Our tradition in the past several years is to use the Valentine's Day season to discuss our own love relationships in accordance with God's plan and this year will be no different.

 

This Sunday we will kick off the series with Making Love Last a Lifetime.  Several years ago Adam Hamilton wrote a book and a small group study by this title and I have borrowed the title for our first message in the series.  We will focus on strengthening and growing our marriages and intimate relationships so if you are married, were married or know someone who is married or just want to know what the Bible says about marriage this is your week so bring someone along to share the worship and message with you.

 

Week 2 we will discuss  "Rebuilding a Love to Last a Lifetime" where we will focus on how to repair a broken relationship.  Week 3 we will celebrate "Living in Love in a Single Relationship" and week 4 we will start at the very beginning: "Where It All Begins!"(Biblical Dating and Relationship Growing) so bring your teen, your teens parents or your young singles who are trying to navigate God's plan for their intimate relationships and ultimate marriage.

 

Friday night Youth Movie Night at Wesley Chapel went well and our young folks watched the movie Woodlawn and ate a lot of popcorn and candy.  Make it a point to ask them how about the movie and allow them space to speak comfortably about the challenges presented in the movie.  Our next Youth Event will be February 18 the thirdSaturday which is our regular meeting for food, fun, fellowship and business at Dorsey Emmanuel 5-6:30 pm.  This will be an important meeting as the youth choose the name of our youth fellowship and make final plans to attend IMPACT in Ocean City the last weekend in March.

Please mark February 25 on your calendars for the Youth Ministry Spaghetti Dinner to be held at Melville Chapel 4-7pm.  This meal is free but there will be a "LARGE" donation basket at the door.  The youth ministry will use these funds for the Ocean City trip and future events that we hope includes a short term mission trip this summer.

 

Finally, my thanks for all the support over the last few weeks as we have navigated my dad's illness and surgery.  God has surrounded us with a great biological family and church family. We celebrate that he is back home and is improving each day.  God is Good!

 

 

Let's go make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world!

 

Praying Like Jesus

This Sunday we will discuss how we can pray more like Jesus.  I mean after  all the purpose of Jesus teaching The Lord's Prayer was to give the apostles a model to answer their question "how should we pray?"  As we continue to develop our prayer ministry I know we will grow closer to the Lord in our faith walks and in our churches ministry inside and outside the walls.  Join us and invite a friend the last two weeks we talk about prayer and then plan on inviting someone beginning Feb. 12 that would benefit from our sermon series on relationships especially our married and dating relationships.


Thank you to the many church ministry leaders that attended the Leadership Training at Wesley Chapel Sunday evening.  Your commitment to the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world is greatly appreciated and needed. TOMORROW evening the Dorsey Church Council will meet at 7 pm.  All ministry leaders need to be prepared with reports which until we attain a recording secretary will be presented at the meeting.  Hopefully everyone is getting registered for Feb. 11 at Glen Burnie UMC.  Please contact me if you are having difficulty registering online.


The Youth Ministry Pizza Night was well attended and we are looking forward to our Youth FREE Movie Night Feb. 3, 2017 @ Wesley Chapel 6:30 pm.  Movie , drinks and popcorn are all free and we want this advertised to anyone in the middle to high school age groups so be sure to invite family and friends.   Please mark Feb. 18 on your calendar as the next Youth Ministry games and meeting night at Dorsey.  Saturday night Feb. 25 is the Youth Ministry  Spaghetti Dinner Fund raiser @ Melville Chapel from 4-7 pm.  This event is FREE but donations will be solicited.  The funds from this event will be used for all youth ministry events but specifically to reduce the cost to the youth of attending the Metro Maryland Youth for Christ IMPACT weekend i Ocean City March 24-26.   Any youth wishing to attend need to let Pastor Rick know ASAP since the $84 registration fee rises $10 after Feb. 3.  No money is due now but a commitment is needed so we can save the cost of increased registration fees.

 

 What Happens When You Pray

This is the topic for discussion this Sunday.  I am betting (not that a good Methodist would ever really bet) that most of us do not realize just what is actually going on when we pray.   We said the first week of the sermon series that prayer is communicating with God but beyond that prayer is a time to get to know who God is, to worship God, to learn more about ourselves along with many other experiences.  Join us this Sunday and invite a friend, especially a friend who may be challenged by the idea of prayer.  

 

THIS Saturday at 5-6:30 pm we are hosting a YOUTH MINISTRY Pizza and Games night at Dorsey.  This will be the first opportunity for the youth to plan the rest of the activities for the year and to get the lowest price for the Metro Maryland Youth for Christ IMPACT Retreat in Ocean City the last weekend in March.  

Adults please schedule and encourage your kids, grand kids and their friends and neighbors to become part of this group.  As parents and grandparents the most important concern we have is to introduce our families to the love of Jesus and we will do that at Youth Group.

 

LEADERSHIP TRAINING SUNDAY - Jan. 22 at Wesley Chapel.  ALL ministry leaders need to attend and ALL others are encouraged to attend and find out what it takes to grow the church of Jesus Christ.

 

Annapolis District Training Event is SATURDAY Feb. 4 at Glen Burnie UMC.  ALL ministry leaders are strongly encouraged to attend and ALL others are invited to attend.

 

Finally, as we continue to discuss Phil Maynard's book Membership to Discipleship this chart appears on page 31 and reminds us of our vows we took as we became members of the local church.

Traditional Vows                  Dimensions of Discipleship                              Membership Covenant

              Prayers                              Opening to Jesus/Obeying Jesus              Participate in small discipleship group

 

    Presence                             A Life of Worship                     Participate in weekly worship at least 3X mon.

 

        Gifts                                     A Life of Generosity                    Commit to proportional giving work to tithe

 

         Service                                 A Life of Service                           Serve in some way in community ea. month

 

         Witness                                A Life of Hospitality                Invite someone to come to church/events 3X yr

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

Take some time to compare and contrast your life with Maynard's chart and then begin a discussion with someone about your thoughts.  Let me know what you think. See you in service!

 

 

Let's Build Relationships

Building relationships is always a good thing.  Many of us need to build them to be successful at work, some to improve their parenting and family relations.  I always believed it was important to have a relationship with my students when I was teaching school because I realized they didn't care how much I knew until they knew how much I cared. 

 

It is certain that the church needs to build relationships not only with each other but with those in our neighborhoods etc.  In fact most church attendance studies claim somewhere between 50-75% of all new church members attend the church because someone from that church invited them and usually had to invite them multiple times before they came.  They also said that they often responded to the invitation because the person inviting them had developed a positive relationship with them.  

 

So if all of this is true how do we become a people of positive relationships?  This past Sunday we discussed that prayer is communication with God.  Verbal and non-verbal communication and that our everyday words and actions are acceptable to God.  We also discussed that prayer is a relationship with God and the Bible says we are called to a relationship with Jesus and prayer is one of the most important relationships we can have.  In other words as we grow our prayer life we grow our relationship with Jesus.  As we grow our prayer life God will give us greater opportunities to share our faith through new and old relationships.


The Dorsey Emmanuel/Wesley Chapel Cooperative Parish is focusing on prayer as our New Years Resolution because we are determined to make new relationships with each other and most of all grow a new relationship with Jesus so we may grow from members to disciples.  In order to reach as many people as possible our Sunday Sermon Series will focus on prayer through Feb. 5.  This Sunday focuses on When God Doesn't Answer Prayer. 

 

Yesterday many of us received prayer cards in the mail so we can add these prayer requests to our everyday prayer requests.  Our Facebook Study Page W.O.V.E.N. in Christ is available by request so you can participate in a prayer study online and have a community with which to ask questions and pray together.  Our Tuesday Night Small Group Study called Life Bread is also focusing on prayer as both the Women's and Men's Group are leading discussions on the various aspects and scriptural references of prayer.  Finally during our Leadership Training workshops we will focus on growing from Members to Disciples which is contingent on a quality prayer life and close relationship with Jesus.


 

Join Us!  Attend worship every Sunday!  Join the Tuesday Night Groups or the Online Group!  Attend the Leadership Training Workshops and see what really goes on to keep the parish moving toward our Mission Statement of being   "Christ Centered,Growing Relationships, Serving in Mission".


 

Discipleship and Prayer

Rev. Dr. Phil Maynard writes in the book Membership to Discipleship: the modern era church has bought into the philosophy that education solves everything.  If we could teach our people more about the Bible and Jesus and Spiritual Disciplines and Issues our World Faces our world would be better.  People would begin to behave and think and engage the world like Jesus did.

But evidence suggests that we are not becoming more like Jesus.

The problem is we have replaced discipleship with Christian Education and they are not the same thing.

- Discipleship is not just about information.  It is about behaviors.

- Discipleship is not just about education. Its about transformation.

 

In the next months our leadership team and our parish will become more familiar with Dr. Maynard's book as we learn how to grow our parish from members to disciples and thereby grow the size and quality of the church of Jesus Christ.  Beginning Sunday we will be studying all aspects of prayer from what it is to how to do it and how to see its effects.  The Tuesday Night Men's Small Group has already begun studying Luke and Matthew as we begin our study of prayer.  

Invite someone to join you at church and learn about prayer.  If they can't make church get them to follow our sermon series online and to look for our new prayer study coming soon on Facebook.  

 

Dr. Maynard also reminds us that almost all new folks in a church congregation are there because of a relationship they made with someone who already attended that church.

 

 

 New Years Day or Epiphay

Which of these will you celebrate this Sunday?  I hope you will celebrate both but know that only one of the celebrations actually changed the world.  Oh sure the 2016 becomes 2017 and December 31 becomes January 1 but in reality it is just another day.  But Epiphany is the celebration of Three Kings Day or the travel of the wise men to Jesus home almost two years after his birth.  This event fulfilled scripture and demonstrated a model of desire necessary to find and serve Jesus. 

The following is an excerpt from a Christmas Devotion entitled "The Hope of Christmas" written by Rick Warren:

 

 

 

     Jesus Is Worth the Journey  

 

Read Matthew 2:1. 

 

 

 

Searching for truth isn’t a part-time job. It takes everything you have. The Wise Men teach us this in the Christmas story. 

 

The Wise Men were willing to go to any length to find truth. Matthew 2:1 says, “When Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem” (NCV). We can assume that the Wise Men traveled many miles from the Far East to the Middle East at great expense to find Jesus. 

 

King Herod missed baby Jesus. So did the business leaders of Bethlehem. You, too, can have Jesus right in your midst and still miss him if you’re not looking for him. 

 

 

 

But the Wise Men looked for Jesus. They were willing to make a four to five-month trip across a scorching hot desert to find Jesus. They were serious about seeking God. They were willing to do whatever it took to find him. 

 

What would you give up in order to worship Jesus?


This was actually Day 2 of the 10 Day Devotion I recently completed and knew when I read this devotion I would have to share it in the newsletter this week.  The message is the message that we all must hear and understand.  On Christmas Eve we talked about there being no Hope in Christmas without Christ in Christmas.  We added that there was no Hope in life without Christ in your life. 

The wise men or the three kings knew this and they gave up all of the comforts of royalty and their homes for a long tough journey to meet the Savior of the world.  The message this and every Epiphany is that Jesus is waiting for us to make our journey from the comforts of our life to meet Him and acknowledge Him as King of our life.  Like the three kings it is the most important trip you will ever make.

 

The Gospel According to the Carrols

Birthday of a King, O Holy Night, Away in a Manger and this Sunday Silent Night and Christmas Eve Joy to the World tell the message of the birth of the Christ child.  We have learned about the history of the Carols and their composers as well as the theological message written into each song.  This Christmas we continue to find real life in the Carols, and the stories of Christmas.  

 

There continues to be multiple opportunities to live out the ministry of the church this Christmas.

 

Hungry Baby Mission has had a large demand for size 4,5,&6 diapers so if you can help out please drop off diapers at worship on Sunday or make a donation and place it in an envelope marked Hungry Baby and drop in the offering plate.

 

SHOPPERS NEEDED - It is fun to shop at Christmas but getting to shop for families and kids in need with money from someone else is even more fun.  We have several more angels on the tree and mission money to purchase the gifts so please let the pastor know ASAP if you are willing to shop before Sunday.

 

SUNDAY Worship @ Lorien Elkridge.  We really need some extra voices and smiling faces to share in our Christmas Carol Worship at 2pm.

 

MONDAY 6:30 pm Social Concerns Food Mission is preparing food boxes for more than 15 families.  Come help us box food.

 

CHURCH LEADERSHIP - We still have church leadership needs and the Leadership and Nominations Team has to make a decision and then call for a Charge Conference to make the changes necessary to be ready by January.  Please contact the pastor and let him know if you are willing to help with any of the positions.

 

 

A special Thank You to Kailey Pritchard for her beautiful renditions of of O Holy Night, and Away in a Manger.  I am looking forward to hearing her at Wesley Chapel this Sunday and I hope you are planning on being there too.

 

Immanuel God is with Us

Well I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that one of our two churches knows this a little better than the other since it is actually part of the church's name.  Yet I dare say that many of us don't give this phrase enough focus not only during Advent but during every day of our lives.

 

The Our Daily Bread Devotional states it this way: "I have heard it said that all truths of Christmas can be stated in just three words: "God with us."  We tend to focus our attention at Christmastime on the human birth of Christ.  But the greater focus should be on his deity-who He really is-"God with us."

Immanuel(Emmanuel) means that we're not isolated from a God who sits on some distant throne.  He came to be with us.  He had Human skin and wore human clothes.  When Joseph and Mary called their son by name, it was a reminder that God was in the house-literally living under the same roof.  

 

Are you alone?  Feeling afraid?  Have you felt that God is far off, somberly watching from a distance?  The message of Christmas is that you don't need to be alone anymore, for Jesus has com. Immanuel.  God with us. (Gift of Grace, Our Daily Bread Devotion)

 

"The Eagle Never Flies Higher Than The Cross"

These were the words written by Bishop Easterling today in a letter to the BWC in reference to the election yet the little bit of time I was on the computer today I read members of our church lament how mean some Christians were being on Facebook Twitter etc.  I spoke to a member of my family who called to check on my mom's status from surgery and she said she could not believe how mean the people in Maryland were being in reference to the election and was simply trying to avoid those people.  I just arrived home and hear of people breaking windows etc. in Oakland, CA and blocking highways elsewhere and yet no policies have changed and other than the known future today is the same as yesterday.  

 

What happened to a population that fought hard for their values but respected property and others?  What happened to our value of life and safety over our "winning and losing"?

I think Bishop Easterlings words reflect what happened - sometimes we let the eagle fly higher than the cross when in reality nothing is greater than Jesus.

People are not saviors and as a people the United States claims to value its personal accomplishments yet seems to sometimes think only "other" people can make this world better when in reality the people of God are called to make the world better by bringing the Gospel, "Good News", to the world.  The rest of the week I challenge each of us to be as vociferous about the need to have a relationship with the Savior of the world as we are about our approval or disdain of politics.  You ask why I make this challenge? Because that Savior is the only real Savior and that election is for today, tomorrow, and forever.  

"Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life. This statement was made for ALL (no party affiliation).


"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care and you are somebodies understanding of a Christian!" 


Thank you to all who submitted reports and/or attended our Annual Charge Conference on Saturday.  I also wish to thank all of those who have accepted leadership positions for 2017.  I especially want to recognize Justin Osborne who has accepted the Church Council leadership at Wesley, Heidi Myers who has accepted the Financial Secretary position at Dorsey, Lisa Wills who has accepted the Recording Secretary position for Wesley Chapel.  These three positions are required by the BWC for each church.  Unfortunately we are still in need of a Recording Secretary at Dorsey and a Treasurer at Dorsey.  As you pray for these new leaders and all of the returning leaders please ask the Lord if your gifts align with either of these vacant positions and if so I would like you to contact me ass soon as possible.


Prayers

 

John C. (BWMC), Eleanor ( Surgery recovery), Jean Campen (surgery recovery @ St Elizabeth's), Clifton, Rebekah, Jan Renee, Jim Greene, Youth Ministry, Mike K, Amie P.

 

All Saints Day

Yesterday was All Saints Day.  Often a church Holy Day that is not observed and yet is the day we recognize all of those who have died in the faith and the day that we hope someone will one day honor our lives.  In the protestant tradition all who die in the faith are considered saints.  Hebrews 12:1 speaks of the Great Cloud of Witnesses that surround us and this is what we celebrate.  This Sunday we will celebrate All Saints Day during worship and we will share pictures of all of those who have died in the faith connected with our churches and church families.  We will celebrate the great cloud of witnesses by adding names to the Holy Communion table cloth of those who have died in the last year and we will join together in Holy Communion as we acknowledge our forgiveness through the blood of Jesus the Christ.


Keeping with the sermon series on The Real "F" Word...Forgiveness we will discuss Ephesians 1:1-11 and ask the question Is Forgiveness Forever?

We hope you will join us this Sunday and celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us and to continue to grow in our understanding of Forgiveness.  The Dorsey Trustees have sent letters of invitation to all folks who own property in our Zion Cemetery.  Wesley Chapel has sent invitations to the families of those who have lost a loved one in the past year with a special recognition being given to Dot Scruggs and Fern Bolles Machis.

 

Trunk or Treat success!  In spite of the sudden change in weather the annual Trunk or Treat still entertained over 100 kids and their families.  A special thanks to Tammie, Kristie, Verna, and all who supported this event.  People were returning from last year saying it was the best event they have attended.  

I want to especially thank Frank's Produce who again or I should say as usual supported the Wesley Chapel/Dorsey Emmanuel Parish beyond expectations.  Please honor this business with your patronage and support not just  because of their support of our ministry but because they are a great community business.

 

Annual Charge Conference - THIS Saturday Nov. 5 at 12 noon at Harwood Park UMC.  All ministry leaders are expected to attend and all members are invited to attend.  This is our annual report to the Baltimore/Washington Conference and sets the leadership teams for 2017 as well as the pastor's salary.  Nominations for leadership positions may be made from the floor during this meeting.

 

Harvest Home Days begin THIS Sunday at Dorsey as we begin the collection of non-perishable foods and donations to support our Thanksgiving and Christmas Social Concerns Ministry.

See you in ministry!

 

Prayer Teams and Forgivness

The Women's Life Bread Group, the W.O.V.E.N Facebook page and our worship teams have all begun a new challenge of increasing our prayer time and improving our prayer mechanics. Now we need to grow the prayer life of every home in our congregations.  Start praying every day before you begin your day.  Begin a family devotion or prayer time.  Ask a neighbor or friend if you can pray for them and do it in person, on the phone , etc.  I don't think I have ever been told by someone to please not pray for them.  In fact maybe you can start a lunchtime prayer team at work or invite neighbors for coffee and prayer.

 

Our new sermon series is on Forgiveness and last week we focused on beginning our walk to forgiveness by allowing ourselves to accept forgiveness or as we often say "forgive yourself".  This Sunday we are focusing on How to Forgive Others.  Join us and invite a friend.

 

Wesley Chapel also gets to celebrate two baptisms this Sunday.  We have one child baptism and one adult baptism.  All baptisms are special but it is a very special time to share in the baptism of an adult.

 

Because of the illness of Jean Campen we are looking for a musician at Wesley Chapel.  Tom Smith is joining us this Sunday so we have music for the baptism service but will have to leave early to begin playing at Dorsey.  Wesley Chapel has a piano and an organ but we are open to guitar or other instruments for accompaniment. Please let me know if you have a suggestion for our musician.

 

 

See you at church this week!

 

 

ALL SAINTS SEASON

We have begun the All Saints Season in the United Methodist Church culminating for us on Nov. 6 when we will celebrate All Saints Day with a special recognition of all who have died in the faith and Holy Communion.  Donald Milam, trustee chair, has invited all property holders at Zion Cemetery (Dorsey Emmanuel's Cemetery located at the original site of the church near what is now route 100) to join us for worship.  

 

It has been our recent tradition to create a slide show of pictures of those related to our congregation who have died over the years.  We also use a communion table cloth that has the names of our saints written by their loved ones.  Finally we have a service for lighting candles in memory of those who have died in the faith.

  

Wesley Chapel will also dedicate new memorial plaques for those who have died in the last year.  

 

This worship is not sad even though the memories can sometimes evoke a tear or two.  It is a celebration of the lives that meant so much to us and our churches.  I encourage any one who has not attended an All Saints Day Celebration to join us as we worship the risen Lord and share in the "Great Cloud of Witnesses" as recorded in Hebrews 12:1.

If you have a picture you would like included please get it to me as soon as possible so it can be included in the slide show. 

 

United Methodist Youth Ministries are sponsoring a Free Camp Fire Event THIS Saturday at 5pm in the Prayer Garden at Dorsey Emmanuel.  Bring your middle school through high school age youth and have them invite a friend.  This will be 90 minutes of food, fun and fellowship and is the kick-off for the new Youth Ministry Program sponsored by the "Route 1 United Methodist Churches" ( South to North -Wesley Chapel, Dorsey Emmanuel, Harwood Park, Melville Chapel  or North to South-Melville Chapel, Harwood Park, Dorsey Emmanuel, Wesley Chapel ).  The present Youth Ministry Leadership team consists of leaders from all of the churches:  Pastor Rick (Dorsey/Wesley), John Mease (Melville Chapel), Jeff Williams (Melville Chapel), Brad Grable (Melville Chapel), James Weaber (Harwood Park), Verna Prehn (Dorsey Emmanuel), Cindy Kerr (Dorsey Emmanuel).  Those are the folks who have been meeting to plan this event and we hope to grow the team and even are considering hiring a Youth Pastor/Leader.  We have already been joined with several other volunteers for this event: Sarah Hardesty (Dorsey), Tammie Collins (Dorsey), The BICS Team and their wives (Melville).  If you would like to help please check with any of the planning group to see the list of preparation and activity plans that need to be accomplished before Saturday at 5pm.

 

The "Youth Group" (future name to be decide by the youth). will meet the 3rd Saturdayof every month at 5-6:30 pm and will plan at least one other event every month.

 

Calling All Translators to Teach the Faith

We have been discussing some of the problems the Christian church is having and last week we began a four step program to changing the problems and growing Jesus’ church.

  1. The Art of Translation
  2. The Art of Testimony
  3. The Art of Detachment
  4. A Case For Hope

Last Sunday in addition to Worldwide Communion and trying a new order of worship we challenged each other to begin growing from Almost Christian to living as disciples for Jesus and that begins by translating the story of Jesus from generation to generation and from believer to non-believer. How can you be a translator?

 

This Sunday we learn how to write and tell our testimony with effectiveness based on the model we see Paul use in Acts when talking to King Agrippa.  Read ahead in Acts 26 to better understand how we can write a testimony that is concise and easily understood because without our own testimony Translation is difficult.

 

Last night the women’s group continued their study on prayer which you can follow and participate in at the W.O.V.E.N Facebook Page.  The men’s group began a study based on Eric Mason’s book MANHOOD RESTORED and was looking at the Book of Genesis and the fall of manhood. Join us next week as we continue the six week study.  We now offer three groups for children through middle school.

 

Last week I met with the Youth Ministry Team of the Rt. 1 Corridor  United Methodists. The team consists of members of Dorsey Emmanuel, Harwood Park, Melville Chapel and Wesley Chapel.  We are kicking off our first Youth Ministry Event Oct. 15 at the Dorsey Emmanuel Outdoor Prayer Garden Center from 5-6:30 pm with a Camp Fire and SMORES.  This event is Free and open to all youth  grades 6-12.  There will be coffee for adults who want to meet the Ministry team or may be interested in joining the team…the more the merrier.

This will be a student led Ministry meeting the third Saturday of every month for games, study and business from 5-6:30pm.  The students will be planning at least one additional fun or mission event for each month as well as Youth Retreats and Leadership Training Events.  There will also be Youth planned and led worship services at any of the churches desiring to have one.

Remember if we are going to be translators of the Gospel the best translators are parents and family so encourage your Youth to be part of these activities.

 

Cookies for Cops are needed by this weekend.  If you would like to participate please contact Jill Joubert at Dorsey.  If you attend Wesley and need information contact the pastor. 

 

Trunk or Treat Oct. 30 at Dorsey Emmanuel 6pm.  If you would like to have your car in the event please contact Verna Prehn.   If you just want to bring kids for fun no reservations necessary.

 

Mission Needs

Baby wipes, size 4 diapers, Welcome Bags assembly team for Deep Run Elementary, food donations for Thanksgiving and Christmas

 

 

Join us as we grow together!

 

"We Are Not Not Here For Ourselves!"

This is the title of a chapter in Kenda Creasy Dean's book Almost Christian and is also the title of the sermon for this Sunday.  Often in the 2016 church people are looking for entertainment and what they can get from the service.  I am not saying that these two things do not have importance but the real reason we are attending worship is to "Worship" God and to give praise to the savior.  God created us to "love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

In doing those two things we become secondary and Christ becomes primary so it is not about us but about God. 


We are created with gifts and talents to be used for the glory of God.  We have been given resources that are to be used for the glory of God.  We have been given a part in the Body of Christ and stewardship of His church which we are to use for the glory of God.  

Mark 4:34-38, 14:3-9 are the focus scriptures for the message so read ahead and join us for "true" worship THIS Sunday.  Invite a friend!

 

Staying with the theme of the newsletter I am going to ask again for help with the new youth ministry program.  The newsletter last Wednesday announced that there would be a youth ministry planning meeting and I asked all interested adults to attend and to pass the information on to all of our potential youth ministry teenagers. It has been my vision to have a Route 1 Area Christian Ministry for Teens since I started as a pastor at Wesley and then at Wesley and Dorsey.  Last week I met the pastor at Harwood Park and she showed interest in developing a combined youth ministry and I was very blessed Sunday to have adult representatives from Melville Chapel and Harwood Park attend the meeting and three of our youth attended.  I also had support from Verna, Janet and one of the moms unfortunately though no adult leadership from Wesley or Dorsey was present.  Thursday September 29 is our next Adult Leader Planning meeting and it will be held at Dorsey I really hope we are represented and we certainly need female support.  This does not mean you have to be a leader but we need to know there is support since the group will be meeting at Dorsey and to comply with Safe Sanctuary we need men and women leaders.  This meeting is open to ALL as are all meetings except SPRC.

 

Sunday we also planned on attending the Strongman Christian Testimony Demonstration at Annapolis Area Christian School THIS Saturday as a way to introduce all of our youth to each other and invite their friends to a a fun non-threatening event.  I have sent several texts and emails as well as posting on Facebook and have not heard from anyone.  The event is free and should be a lot of fun.  We will again need male and female leaders if we are going to carpool and attend.  As with church attendance most youth attend an event because they were asked and encouraged.  Please contact me ASAP if you are planning on going.  The event begins at 7 so I would like to leave at 6.

 

 

Tonight I am meeting with the Leadership Team and we still need a lot of leadership positions filled in our parish.  Please let me know if you can fill any of the positions I advertised several weeks ago.  

 

Why Jesus?

If you didn't join us last Sunday we continued discussing the book Almost Christian by Kenda Creasy Dean and I opened with the question How would you define Christianity to a non-believer, your children or your grand children?  That question was followed up by So why Jesus?  Both questions and other discussion was to focus on what Dean says is the most common religious belief among teenagers, young adults and their parents and that is defined as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD) which is a mere shadow of true Christianity.  The Sunday morning discussion was very interesting and the discussion at the Living Christian in the United Methodist Tradition Small Group Study Sunday night was even more interesting.  The call for more focus on scripture and on living in relationship with Jesus is what I believe will grow our parish into an even greater family of faith and a true catalyst to fulfilling the mission of the UMC and that is making Disciples for Jesus Christ!  The message is available on the Wesley website and posted to the Dorsey Facebook page.  Our scripture focus was Acts 17:22-32 and Eph. 2:1-10.  Again I am challenging church ministry team members and all members to read the entire book.  This Sunday the message is "A Farm With No Fences" and the scripture focus will be Proverbs 22:6 and John 15:9-17.

 

 

Also THIS Sunday I will meet with all middle and high school youth and any adults interested in youth ministry for about 10-15 minutes after the Dorsey Worship which should be around 12:15.  The meeting is open to anyone in the parish but will focus on future meetings being student led with our first meeting the third Sunday in October which is the 16th and third Sunday evenings after that with activities to be planned by the students and youth leaders.  We MUST have two youth leaders present at every event to comply with Safe Sanctuary Policy.  Parents and friends of Youth please share this information with them!

See you Sunday!

 

The Secret Life of Pets and Finding Happiness

 

That's right this Sunday we will talk a little about the Secret Life of Pets which is new movie about the personification of our pets and what they are thinking and doing while we are present and absent.  One of the things that we often notice about our pets is that they just want to be happy.  They have no responsibilities and seem to be inclined to sleep, eat and do nothing all day long.  So how do we obtain true happiness?  What does the Bible say about seeking happiness?  Where are you on the happiness continuum?  Join us this Sunday as we laugh a little at our pets and look closely at how to seek happiness in a Biblical way. 

 

Tuesday night 28 people from various churches and three clergy from three different churches stood at the corner of Md. 175 and Wigley Ave. in Jessup (Thank You JIA President Doug Gourney) to pray for forgiveness for our country, to pray for healing for our country, and to pray for our local communities.  We heard the prayers of people in our community from different races, genders and denominations.  We even attracted the attention of a passerby who pulled over and joined us in prayer.  The message we want to send is that being involved in our community is not enough and not the answer.  Being involved in praying for our election, our country, our community and all the colors of life is what matters.  God is not the problem God is the answer!  We, the church, are the Body of Christ and we are called to lead the world one person at a time to a relationship in Christ that is Biblical and demonstrates the love of God.

 

 

Invite a friend to worship this Sunday!
 

John 10:10

As a follow up to the message last Sunday which we all provided I am continuing to focus on Life this week.  The movie that will set the theme this week is Me Before You and we will focus on Finding God's Purpose for My Life.  You don't need to watch the movie but you may want to read about the main ideas behind the movie.  In addition make John 10:10 your memory verse for this week because last week we focused on the need to claim the name of Jesus especially during the struggles our society is facing.  This week we will use John 10:10 to remind us that no matter what our walk or station in life Jesus said he came to Give Life (without limits to who what when or where) not take life.  Invite your friends and challenge your non-believing friends to join us as a relevant church preaching the Love and Grace of Jesus Christ for ALL.

At Wesley Chapel the message from the congregation on Sunday was that we need to be in prayer more often and to be in prayer in public.  Keep an eye on our Facebook pages and on your email as I continue to organize with other churches in the area for a public prayer time before Sunday.  I am open to ideas as we consider Rt. 175 in front of Wesley, The Jessup Community Hall, Shopping Areas and or neighborhood prayer walks.  As the body of Christ we can change the world!  Not by following the crowd or believing the public information sources but by living the love of Christ.

Thank you to ALL who worked so hard at the Yard Sale.  I am proud of our churches being in the community and inviting the community to join us!

Join us for worship THIS Sunday!

A Day Late

Sorry for missing my Wednesday newsletter deadline.  Several circumstances affected my memory loss maybe the best excuse is I took about a half of a sick day yesterday but either way I wanted to make sure I at least got a calendar out.

 

Tomorrow night is Women and Girls Night Out at Dorsey where we are showing the movie War Room.   Men tell the women in your house you will take care of everything at home and send them out for a great night out with the women and girls.  Ladies invite a young woman or girl to join us so they can get to know a more mature woman of faith and maybe find out there is a mentor for them right in their church.  This is also a great activity to invite neighbors and friends.

This Sunday we are honoring the men in our congregations and neighborhood by providing a Men's Breakfast beginning at 9 am  at Dorsey Emmanuel.  Men bring your sons, friends and neighbors its FREE!  We will continue the theme by preaching on Christian parenting and the example of the "Good Good Father."

This Sunday we will also be taking time during the worship for a special prayer time for the victims of the Orlando, Fla. shooting.

The Dorsey Emmanuel family had a great time last Sunday with our invited guests Howard and Waverly Masonic Lodge.  This week the Wesley Chapel family welcomes the masons from Solomon's Lodge in Savage.  Both of our campuses welcome guests anytime with or without invitation.

 

Things We've Learned About God

God Loves You EVEN When You Mess Up
God Is In Control EVEN When Your Life Seems Out Of Control
God is with me EVEN When I Don't Feel It
 and THIS Week - God Has a Plan EVEN When We Don't Know What To Do

Many of us can probably share a story/testimony supporting all four of these "things" I've learned from God but do we?  Ultimately the church of Jesus Christ is known by its fruit and if we never share our fruit or help grow new fruit in folks who feel as lost as we once felt then why are we surprised when the world turns to astrology, human secularism, agnostic, atheist or become enamored by various cults.

I am presently reading the book Almost Christian by Kenda Creasy Dean and am amazed at how much info I missed the first time.  Actually I got to meet Dean at Annual Conference a few years ago as Bishop John Scholl had her attend and teach two days of workshops based on her book.  I am not going to bore you with a book report but suffice it to say the church may very well be reaping what it sowed in the last 50 years.  The book is about youth and young adult ministry and debunks the theory that those folks are not interested in religion but highlights that religion no longer appears very different from the rest of the world to them.  She claims it is the older folks in the church who have watered down the message to the point that our teenagers and young adults have learned that church is something you do when you can fit it in and even then religions are all the same and if you don't really like Christian theology just change it a little with something you like better.

I'm not going to throw anyone under the bus and say this is true for all but I can see her point in my life and not only in things I was taught but unfortunately in things I passed on to friends, family and my own kids that I realize were only Almost Christian.   So what have you learned about God?  Are you sure it is factual?  Does it really matter to you?  If so why?  If not why?   You really should be able to answer these questions so to quote the TV show Mission Impossible - Your mission if you choose to accept it is to make a list of things you have learned from God and then test them out against scripture, tradition, reason and experience.  Then go produce fruit!

 

Annual Conference

Today was the first day of the Baltimore/Washington Annual Conference in Washington, DC.  This is the annual meeting of the conference where business and worship are conducted for the year.  The United Methodist Church provides a lay delegate from each church and the pastor an opportunity to vote on the resolutions brought to the floor.  Dorsey Emmanuel elected Verna Prehn and Wesley Chapel elected Janet Oursler.  These delegates are elected at our Charge Conference usually in the fall of the year.  You can find a list of the resolutions being addressed as well as regular coverage of the vents at Annual Conference at www.bwcumc.org.  So the pastor will be away the rest of week but will be at church on Sunday.  If the pastor is needed please contact him by email or cell phone.  

MEN'S MINISTRY! 
I have attached a men's retreat flyer to this email.  The retreat is being sponsored by one of my friends and partners in ministry Pastor Marty at Life Connections Church and his church along with Jessup Baptist and our churches are being asked to join in.  Adrian Branch is the guest speaker for the weekend and we need a count of those interested by the end of this week.  We must be sure we can guarantee our minimum and can then increase if we get the minimum.  Please let me know ASAP if you are interested in attending so I can place us in the count.

CHURCH SURVEY
Last Sunday everyone who attended worship received a church survey which I really value so please return the survey to me.  Parents I want the ideas of our students who are old enough to respond and to those individuals who are celebrating their one year anniversary of being confirmed need to know that you are a full fledged member of the church.  You are no longer just your family opinion.  You pledged your time, talent gifts and witness to our church therefore let me know the truth.  I will also attach the survey so it may be given to anyone in your family or neighborhood that has had or does have any contact with our church.  
I WANT TO HEAR FROM EVERYONE!

VBS
Registration is open ONLINE!  Share it on your Facebook page, make copies and give to family and coworkers, volunteer to help!  VBS is the first week in August.  If pastor can get home from seminary in DC the rest of us can find time to register and drop off kids and maybe even volunteer a day or five.

 

What I've Learned About God and United Methodists

 

Sunday we started a new sermon series entitled What I've Learned Abut God and we discussed our first less and that is that God loves us EVEN when we mess up.  This Sunday our lesson focuses on God is in Control EVEN when our Lives Seem Out of Control. I hope you are checking out the messages on Sunday morning and if not you are checking them on the webpages.  If you are following online and want a sermon handout that I give each Sunday contact me and I will email it to you so you can use it to take notes and respond to the message.

In addition to the sermon series I have been preparing for two summer school classes and one of the classes focuses on the United Methodist and what we believe and how we worship.  As I have been reading and writing for this class I realize that there has been a direct correlation to several of my sermon preparations and our desire to grow the ministry and mission of our parish.  

Andy and sally Langford write in the book Living as United Methodist Christians that "United Methodist Christians celebrate God's salvation and grace in Jesus Christ, practice spiritual disciplines, and put Christian belief into daily practice.  Our goal as United Methodist Christians is to create a balance in our lives between faith and works, belief and action, and inward piety and outward service. (Langford p.87)  United Methodists have a long history of putting our faith to work.  UMCOR is often the first world disaster mission on the scene and the Salvation Army is either just ahead or right after them and it begin with United Methodist influence.  Private colleges for minorities and others have been at the forefront of American United Methodism. Locally and more recently the UMW were directly responsible for the origin of Hope Works of Howard County and the Domestic Violence Center and the Human Trafficking task force. 

So my point is what have we learned from God and United Methodists?  In Men's Group last night we read James Chapter 4 and looked closely at verses 7&8 where James writes that that if we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil the devil will flee from us and verse 8 begins by telling us to draw near to God and God will draw near to us.  We decided that in other words we we feel like God has moved and left us maybe we should look closer at verse 8 and realize that James says the first step is for us to draw near to God.  What better way to draw near to God than through one of the several spiritual disciplines recommended by John Wesley.  Search the scriptures, pray, worship, hear the word proclaimed, participate in Holy Communion, fast, help others are the primary but anyway that you attempt to actually live out your faith will act as a means of grace for you and others.  One of the men talked about a time when a coworker was going to use the company vehicle that he usually drove but wouldn't because he always had the radio set to Christian Radio and the person didn't want to offend him by changing the station.  The interesting point to this was the non believer was afraid of the consequences and all he heard from the coworker was its a company truck change what you want.  The non-believer assumed there would be a sermon given because he wasn't a believer instead what he experienced was a work partner who simply listened to the radio station of his choice.  It appears to me that even listening to music you like that happens to have the message of salvation can be a means of grace.
What have you done to draw near to God and what have you learned from God when you drew near?

 

THIS Sunday is THE Day!

There are multiple reasons THIS Sunday is THE Day.  
Not the least of which it is another day in life given to us by the Lord.  A day to do what we are created to do and that is honor God with all that we have in our lives.  To love our neighbor as ourselves by not just being kind but sharing with them the greatest story ever told, written and lived, Jesus Christ Risen!
It is also a THE Day at Dorsey Emmanuel as we celebrate 166 years of ministry as a church.  This year in addition to the luncheon after church we will celebrate by using an Order of Worship from the 1921 Evangelical United Brethren Hymnal.  That's right; for all of us who were not at Dorsey before 1968 Dorsey Emmanuel was a part of the Evangelical United Brethren denomination.

Now for why the pastor thinks THIS Sunday is THE Day: It is Pentecost!
This is the day in the church calendar that some say is the birthday of the church but I believe that it is even more than that.  It is the fulfillment of all that Jesus promised.  He told the disciples he would be going away but would send a comforter to be with us always-The Holy Spirit.  Pentecost is the day Peter preached what is often called the greatest sermon ever.  It is the day that the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of fire and set the world on fire for Jesus.  For all who have acknowledged, received, accepted (or any other term that is used) the Holy Spirit we know that it is that day that changed our lives forever.  John Wesley described the day as having his heart strangely warmed.

THIS Sunday is THE Day because it is the celebration of  a High Holy day in the Christian Church and is so essential to our faith that the United Methodists placed the fire of Pentecost on the cross designed for its trademark.  We are a church and people of Pentecost so where will you be THIS Sunday?

The United Methodist Church General Conference occurs every four years(Quadrennium).  United Methodist clergy and laity from around the world meet to worship and make decisions for the future direction of the denomination.  This year General Conference is in Portland, Oregon and began yesterday.  You can go to www.bwcumc.org and click on the links related to General Conference and actually follow the events live.  In addition there are five BWC Bloggers sending opinion and updates via Facebook, Twitter and the conference webpage.  Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about the events and the decisions being discussed.

Forming Our Faith and Growing as Disciples

For the last several months I have been intentional in our sermon series.  I believe that our purpose in life is to honor God through a relationship with Jesus Christ and an indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  We do that by acknowledging every aspect of our life fits this purpose.  Our jobs, our music, sports, our parenting our neighboring, being a spouse, being a friend are a few examples of how we are to live out our purpose of honoring God.  

I have been reading the Book Formation of Faith by Sondra Matthaei and find it very related to my thoughts about ministry over the last few months (coincidence right?).  She writes about designing a Formation of Faith plan that will grow Disciples in our church not just members.  Matthaei and I agree on her model of discipleship that being one of constant growth.
  

In her words: "God's invitation to communion; God's healing grace and our expression of love of God through love of neighbor in deepening communion; adopted as children of God in full communion with God and all of creation.(Matthaei)

Over the last few months we have discussed Who Jesus Said He Was so we could better know Jesus as our Savior and better share our faith.  We followed that with the series we are finishing this week called Can You Hear Me Now where we have been studying God's call to Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah so we could better hear the call of God in our own lives.  

The question for us as individuals and us as a church/parish is according to Matthaei are we at the Invitation to Communion with God stage, the Deepening Communion or Full Communion stage of Faith Formation and how can we grow each other and the parish to "Full Communion"?

See you in service!

 

Good Ivan or Bad Ivan?

This question is how a long time member of Wesley Chapel described trying to figure out if God was talking to him or Satan.  Leo Davison stated this story many times to Bible study groups and to me directly over the years.  With his captivating smile and that certain look in his eye when he was being just a little mischievous, which he could be, he would continue to tell the story about how he named the two voices in his head or as he would say on his shoulders "Good Ivan" and "Bad Ivan". " Mr. D" as most of  us called him lived a life of faith for 104 years and to this day his stories stay with many of us.  This story however reflected what appeared to be one of the great faith challenges many people in the church were facing.  "How do I know if it is God calling me or Satan distracting me?"  Well, in the next four weeks we are going to look closely at how God called people in the Bible, often referred to in theology class as call narratives or as Dennis Bratcher, professor at Point Loma Nazarene University referred to it The Prophetic Call Narrative: Commissioning into Service.


Nearly everyday of my life I have either asked myself or been asked by others how do I know if God is calling me or I have been told that God would never call someone into service because they weren't educated, theological, good enough, etc.  Yet scripture refutes all of those ideas.  In the Old Testament and the New Testament God called the least expected people and those who were least expecting.  In the next four weeks I challenge everyone to read Old Testament and New Testament scriptures that tell us the story of people being "Called" to God's service because on each Sunday during that four weeks we are going to examine what a "Call" from God looked like in the Old Testament and examine what it looked like specifically in the lives of Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah.  

Like our last series on the I Am Statements of Jesus where I challenged you to now say that you really know and understand who Jesus said he is and what that means to you, I am challenging you to hear the call of three people in the Old Testament and see the similarities in their call and then write down your own Call Narrative.  Plan on taking good notes and doing a little more study than usual because like finally knowing Who Jesus Is,  knowing 'the call" on your life for service to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is even more life changing for you and the church.

THIS Sunday I want everyone to be prepared that we are going to begin taking a special offering for Bishop Matthews. As the United Methodist Church requires retirement at age 72 Bishop Matthews is retiring after 40 years of service which began in the Baltimore/Washington Conference.  Bishop Matthews and his wife have begun the building of a new Health and Sports Complex at Africa University so in tribute to their ministry all donations will go to the cause.  Africa University has long been a project of the United Methodist Church with the Baltimore/Washington Conference leading the way.  
Checks made payable to Conference Treasurer marked in memo line Bishops Love Offering and may be sent to BWC 11711 east Market Pl. Fulton Md 20759 or you may give on Sunday to the church and mark the gift specifically for the Bishops Love Offering and we will forward the money in the name of the church. Bishop Matthews has served many years and we don't always get to be a part of one who retires especially one who began his ministry in the BWC.


Prayers
Frank and Arlene, Lois, George Anderson Jr., Jessica, prayers of celebration for my niece Jennifer and her fiance Jeremy on their engagement, 392d Battalion and all of our servicemen and women, Ken Joubert who returned to active duty with the Howard County Police, all of our ministry teams.
I look forward to sharing our call narratives and seeing where we are led!

 

Feed Your Faith and Your Doubts Will Starve to Death 

Several years ago someone gave me a little book entitled God's Little Instruction Book - Inspirational Wisdom on how to live a happy and fulfilled life.  It is a book of a lot of everyday sayings and cliches with a supporting scripture.  Today I decided to look at this book again to write the weekly newsletter and "Feed Your Faith and Your Doubts Will Starve to Death" is the phrase that caught my attention especially since we have been studying the 7 "I Am" statements of Jesus in hope of developing a better understanding of who Jesus is and what that should mean to us and our lives.  In other words we have been focusing on feeding our faith so we can better face the challenges of life.  

The supporting scripture on this page is Hebrews 10:39 (NLT) "But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.  
Are we? The faithful ones?  Or are we the ones who are more concerned with fitting in?  The ones who don't want to be viewed as different?  The ones who are afraid to say I know who Jesus is because he told us 7 different times in scripture who he is?

Sunday four of us went to see the movie God's Not Dead 2 and the closing moments emphasized that silent Christians created a lot of the opportunity for the problems incurred by the character in the movie and then at the closing credits was a long list of court cases that had been used as references during the writing of the screen play for the movie.  Almost a fourth of them were from Pennsylvania and Virginia including states all over the country from rural to urban.  Many places where one would think that Christians were speaking out yet apparently not. 
 
What is more important with you the decision of popular opinion, the government or Jesus?  
How often have you felt unprepared to share your faith?  How often have you gone beyond a few Sundays a year to grow your faith?  

If we do not grow our faith then we are growing our doubts.  It is very interesting when I hear "I just don't understand God" and yet know that so many folks really don't spend much time reading God's Word or sharing in supportive Christian groups.  They spend most of their time with people who have a cursory understanding of Christianity or do not approve of Christianity at all and yet they wonder why they do not understand God. 

We are closing the I Am Statements on Sunday with I Am the Vine!  Our Tuesday night small group studies are challenging hard questions about where is God in everyday life. Sunday night we challenge United Methodism and Christianity against the other faith systems of the world.  Our youth group challenges each other on what they believe and how it relates to school and life.  The opportunities are there and if you want to starve your doubts you MUST feed your Faith!  Or as a wise old coach of mine told us a hundred times "if you continue to lay down with dogs you will get up with fleas."  In other words as our grandparents said you will reap what you so.

Join US as WE ALL grow our faith and challenge popular opinion. 

Now What

Easter is over and now what?  For some folks the next church day is Dec. 24 which this year is Saturday meaning Sunday is Christmas Day.  For some it is the next wedding, baptism, funeral etc.  Yet for some it is the next time they can serve at Our Daily Bread, deliver diapers and wipes to a needy mom, teach and or participate in a small group study that will help them grow to a more disciple like relationship with Christ or help sponsor a child in Africa.  Maybe you will choose to join me tonight at a meeting to fight Human Trafficking, or maybe you will join one of our members working with AA and NA.  Church is wherever you are but joining together in worship on Sunday is what grows us as the family of God and the Body of Christ.
No matter what spiritual growth challenge you take I hope Resurrection Worship has inspired, motivated or challenged you to to seek out the true meaning of Easter and use that power that raised Jesus from the dead that lives in you.

Sunday we got to worship with about 220 people.  Easter Son Rise joined about 90 people from many different churches and denominations.  Worship at our two churches joined about 115 people in worship and we closed the afternoon worshiping with about 15 residents and staff at Lorien who also celebrated Holy Communion.

We also got to share fun and fellowship on Saturday with a large crowd at the Easter Egg Hunt.  I cannot thank all of the people involved for their ministry.  I would love to mention all the names but know that i would miss a few.  Tammie and Kristie did a great job of publicizing and organizing and dozens of others including our youth who had just returned from IMPACT were hands on.

This Sunday we continue with the Sermon series "I Am" from the Gospel of John.  Our last two "I Am" Statements are I Am The Way, Truth and Life and I Am The Vine.  On April 17 we will start the series "Can You Hear Me Now?" focusing on the call narratives in scripture and explore the idea that maybe we could missing the call God has on our life.

 

Faith of Our Fathers

Maybe best known as a hymn it is now the title of a movie recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
The hymn was written by Frederick Faber in memory of the Catholic martyrs.  The movie will open on July 1 and focus on the struggles of individual soldiers and the many families living without their loved ones.  It also highlights the importance of sharing our faith and being the Godly man we were intended to be.

This Sunday Faith of Our Fathers, the movie, will be the focus of our sermon and more specifically the theme of Integrity will be the message.  Before worship begins at 10 at Wesley and 11 at Dorsey we will gather for breakfast at Dorsey at 9am.  The breakfast is free so bring your father, bring your son, bring a friend and lets begin the day dedicated to fathers by celebrating all men.  

Thank you to Karen Tavennar, Lisa Mueller, and Janet Oursler for recognizing our teachers at our partner schools this last week of school.  These three have been our liaisons with Ducketts Lane Elem., Jessup Elem., and Deep Run Elem. for the last year and their ministry is invaluable.  Be sure to thank them when you see them and thank our teachers when you see them.

Jill Joubert has our VBS registration website up and running so post it on your Facebook page, tell your neighbors and offer to help them register.  If you know of kids who would like to attend but need a ride let us know asap so we can contact the family and see how we can help.  Jill would also like to have even more help than we already have and if you only have one or two evenings we can get you scheduled to help.  VBS will be Aug. 10 - Aug. 14 

 

What A Great Time to Invite a Friend

The Dorsey/Wesley Parish has a lot going on in the coming weeks which give all of us opportunities to invite guests to an activity that is a little less formal than worship, not that church is actually formal.  

June 14 Our Daily Bread Mission Team
June 14 Free Dinner and Movie at Wesley 5pm
June 21 Father's Day Men's Breakfast 9am @ Dorsey
Every Sunday will be Movies and Songs of Summer Sunday

More than 75% of people attending church are attending because they were invited by a member of that church.  Interestingly enough the ancient church was no different.  There were no Circuit Riding Preachers, no evangelists, no special programs simply one new or old Christian telling a friend who was a non-believer what Christ had done in their life.  This is how disciples for Jesus Christ who are transforming the world are made.

Someone just asked one of our members if there were any projects that needed funding at the churches and both churches are in the midst of some major renovations.  Dorsey has just completed a $10,000 renovation to the once parsonage/education building to make it livable and able to be licensed for rent.  The Wesley Chapel congregation was planning a major rest room renovation and found out there are some foundation concerns that need to be fixed first totaling about $15,000.  If you or your company or a business that you kn ow is looking to donate to a special project I think the church is a great option.  I mean after all we are the only Howard County (and support ALL counties) mission to provide diapers, wipes, food, etc. to moms, dads and families.  We partner with three elementary schools in our communities; Deep Run, Ducketts Lane and Jessup Elementary.  Our parish also supports Howard County Coalition for Compassion, Our Brothers and Sisters Keepers, AOET Uganda, United Methodist Missionary in Zimbabwe, provide mosquito nets to areas with malaria, Project Support Baltimore, three local families who are homeless, and financial support to several families for other issues.  So your donation and that of your friend or their business goes to do a lot more than keep the lights on.   If not able to give please pray for the churches that we continue to allow Christ to use us to help make disciples.

 

Festival Season

 This time of year one can find a Strawberry Festival, a City Day, or a multitude of other celebrations in almost every church small town, or big city.  It is great to see the way a community comes together and so many different groups work together to make the vent a great day.  Even busy parents seem to find time for their kids to attend between innings of baseball and softball and quarters of lacrosse, etc.  To see people in community is really exciting in fact it seems almost Biblical.  Both the Old and New Testaments talk about the church and God's people being in community with one another.  

These festivals remind me of two things.  First that the church is part of the community and thereby should be part of community festivals.  Second is what makes families find time to be part of the secular community but cannot seem to find equal time for the church community?  What are they missing about the love of Jesus that prevents them from wanting to come to worship and thank God for all of the love we have been given?  These are two of the many questions the church needs to ask to reconnect with folks who appear to be on the borders of the church.  It is essential that those of us in the church need to share our story about what God has done in our lives and then like "Produce" in the movie we talked about on Sunday invite them to church.  Those outside the church or on the fringes of the church don't care how much we know until the know how much we care.  This week invite them to join us as we continue our Movies and Songs of Summer.  This week we are listening to Jeremy Camps song "He Knows" so checkout the song on YouTube or listen for it on the radio.  On May 15 it was listed in the Top 15 Christian Radio.   

June 7 has been declared a special day in the United Methodist Church of the Baltimore/Washington Conference.  We are taking a special offering to help Baltimore City churches in the Sandtown/Winchester area meet the mission needs in those communities.  Checks can be made to the BWC Treasurer or to the church ans we will direct the money to the Conference Treasurer. 

 

Welcome New Members

Sunday was a great day at Wesley Chapel/Dorsey Emmanuel.  We took in nine new members and four of them were youth who each shared a great testimony of what Christ has been doing in their lives. Two of our youth were baptized before taking their membership vows and their testimonies were especially moving.  We celebrated worship with almost 120 people and had receptions for the new members at both churches.  If you haven't yet seen the pictures check them out on the two Facebook pages.

Today the Baltimore/Washington Annual Conference began its 231st meeting at Harbor Court Hotel in Baltimore, Md.  I was at the clergy executive session today and Verna was at the laity session tonight.  Tomorrow I will be joined by Verna, the lay member to annual conference for Dorsey and Janet, the lay member to annual conference for Wesley.  Worship begins at 8am and we will be in session until 9pm.  All sessions can be seen live at www.bwcumc.org I encourage you to check out the worship and the business sessions.  The worship sessions could replace your regular devotional time and the business session tomorrow night will be a unique "Circles of Grace" method of Holy Conferencing as the church addresses several resolutions related to social justice concerns from members.  Your pastor will be facilitating one of the circles of grace.

UMC HIstory - Since this is the 231st meeting of the Baltimore/Washington Annual Conference do you know where the first UMC Conference was held in the U.S.?  Baltimore, Md.  Yes we are the home of the very first Methodist Annual Conference.  The "mother Church of Methodism is Lovely Lane UMC 2200 St. Paul St. Baltimore, Md.

Ministry Updates
Hungry Baby Mission can always use diapers, wipes, donations, and folks to meet clients and help organize inventory.
Our Daily Bread Mission Team one Sunday every month can always use another server, dishwasher, etc.
Imagine No Malaria - It costs about $10 to purchase a mosquito net to prevent malaria
Summer Small Group - Living as a Christian in the United Methodist Tradition every other Sunday beginning May 31 6-7:30 pm -at Wesley Chapel.  This Sunday -Where is God when bad things happen to good people?
NEW! Middle School Youth Ministry - Looking for more team members to lead this essential new ministry.

 

Pentecost and New Members

This Sunday is not just the celebration of the giving of the Holy Spirit and one of the best sermons ever preached thanks to the apostle Peter. But it is also the day we will be receiving new members into both churches, as if we needed anything else to bring us to church to worship the Lord.
I certainly hope that you will make a special effort to come celebrate what the Lord has been doing in your life and what He is doing in the lives of our youth and new adult members.
Both churches will have a special reception after worship to celebrate these folks.

A special thanks to Verna Prehn for spending Friday night and Saturday with me and the confirmation class.  These kids have been really amazing.  They received journals and have begun a discipline of scripture study using their journal.  They have come together to form their own small group support team to help each other progress in their faith walk.  

In addition to Verna, Cindy Kerr shopped for our fabric paints to help decorate the confirmation stoles and Dottie Kirchner spent most of the two days with us providing all of our meals after doing the shopping with some important donations from several members of both churches.  Dottie cooked, cleaned and even listened in with the kids as we worked on confirmation lessons.  We COULD NOT have done this without YOU!
 

The new adult members have been meeting on Sunday evenings discussing the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, The Apocrypha, Holy Communion, Baptism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, and many other theological topics.  The group has included folks who are already members and even some members from other congregations.  Even though the new members will join the congregations this week the group has decided that we enjoying learning with each other and we like the challenge of learning new ideas about what we and others believe so beginning May 31 we will continue to meet every other Sunday from 6pm to 7:30 at Wesley Chapel.  This is a great group for the most experienced  Christian to the person who is not even sure they want to be a Christian so it makes it a great place to introduce a friend with a lot of questions to join us.  I hope to see even more people come join the "Living Christian in the United Method Methodist Tradition Class".

 

Where Do I Find That?

Last week I was in Colorado but it was really easy to keep in touch at home.  I could update the Facebook page, checkout the websites, post my newsletter and even review my sermons.  
Just today someone said to me they wished they could hear the sermon from Sunday again and also wanted to share it with a friend.  I reminded them that they could hear it again and share it with a friend because it gets posted to the church websites.  So that prompted me to again remind everyone where they can find out what is going in in the parish.

Facebook Wesley Chapel
Facebook Dorsey Emmanuel

If you are looking for church calendars check out the website.
If you are looking for church ministry and contact info check out the websites.
If you are looking to hear sermons check out the websites.
Church pictures are also on the websites.
Looking for a Book/Bible Study go to the Dorsey Facebook Page
Looking for daily prayer, Bible verses, and last minute info check out Facebook Pages
Actually we hope in the future to have a link on our websites so folks can give to specific mission projects or a place to make their regular giving.
Let us know if there is a way to get information to you that we are not using and we will see what we can do.  Oh yea, we do still use snail mail and a special thanks to our mailing ministers at both churches who make sure the newsletter gets mailed to those without email.

This Sunday we will focus on Philippians 4:1-13 and not that anyone I know needs to talk about it but we are talking about "Stress.  What Stress?"  Join Us!

It is that time of year when the pastor is preparing for summer school so please understand when he is not as available as usual.
                                                    

 

National Day of Prayer

Today is The National Day of Prayer and I hope you read this before noon so you can take time by yourself or join some friends at work, school or your neighborhood and pray together at NOON!  Christians all around the country will be stopping today at noon for five minutes to pray together.  Let us pray for our country.  Not for the best political leader but for all leaders to seek God when they make decisions.  Pray for your children and all children to come to know Christ.  Pray that each of us will grow in discipleship, not just church membership.  If you miss the noon time prayer then take time to pray with others around the country.  My noon time prayer will be your 2pm prayer and our west coast brothers and sisters will be praying at 3pm your time.

Mothers Day is this Sunday and we look forward to a lot of you bringing your family to join us in family worship.  Phil. 3 will be our focus on finding our Joy by letting Go of the past.

 For all folks at Wesley: Greetings from Rev. Tom Bennanzar whom I spent the day with today as I visited him at his home in Aurora, CO.

See you at worship!

 

What does this reveal?

This week the men's small group Covenant Bible Study began studying Apocalyptic writings in the Bible beginning with the Book of Daniel.  One of the first things we discussed was that Apocalyptic does not mean future telling it actually means reveal.  This past week we have unfortunately had to deal with people revealing a lot of anger and lawlessness.  Like the Book of Daniel and Revelation the images tell a variety of stories and it is up to everyone to begin to interpret the images. 


 Are we able to see beyond our preconceived view points to begin understanding the messages in the images?  


I have been extremely pleased with some of the news images and extremely concerned with others.  I have been equally concerned with some of the Facebook responses that reflect those opinions in the news that have yet to be proven with evidence.  


As Christ's church we need to be open to all stories so we can allow Christ to respond through us.  If we have already made up our minds then it seems to me that we are sitting on the control seat of our life instead of Christ.  In counseling classes one learns early on that no feeling is wrong to the person who is experiencing the feeling.  It is very possible that the persons feelings have no supportive evidence but yet to that person they are very real.  It is sometimes as simple as our parents and grandparents taught us "walk a mile in their shoes first."

Exciting times at Dorsey Emmanuel and Wesley Chapel.  A new small group entitled Being Christian in the United Methodist Tradition was begun to introduce folks new to our parish to the theology of United Methodists and for the individuals to consider making the step to church membership.  It has become a small group open to new, old and guests challenging each of us to grow closer to Christ by understanding what the Bible calls us to be.  Our next class is Sunday May 17 6-7:30pm @ Wesley Chapel.

The youth confirmation class took on the challenge of understanding worship and the sacraments this last Sunday and next Sunday discuss the Wesleyan Quadrilateral which the adult small group discussed this week.
Our Tuesday night Life Bread groups were well attended and everyone was growing in their faith.

Mothers Day is coming and I hope your family will join us to celebrate mom.  We will continue our sermon series on the Book of Philippians and that Sunday we will discuss Phil 3:12-21 with a sermon entitled "Letting Go of My Past!"

                                               

Being Christian in the UM Tradition

This Sunday evening at Wesley Chapel 6pm to 7:30pm I will resume our theological discussion related to understanding what it means to be Christian in the UM Tradition and how that is the same or different from what you previously experienced or heard about United Methodist and other religions.
This class is a MUST for all new members but it is also highly recommended for ANYONE who wants to better understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
If you have a friend who is always challenging you about what you believe or is really questioning here God is in the world today this class would be a great opportunity to introduce them to the church and to help answer their questions.  As we said to each other, no topic is off limits.

The Confirmation Class for the youth is also addressing some challenging topics while having fun.  They have discussed the Divinity of Christ, Salvation and this coming Sunday they will discuss the Sacraments of the United Methodist Church.  I can't thank all of the adult leaders that have been teaching and mentoring enough.  This opportunity for our young folks to grow their faith would not be possible without you.
In addition to the regular Sunday Confirmation Classes the youth will be "Locked In" at church Friday May 15 from 5pm for dinner to 3pm on Saturday in final preparation for their decision to be baptized and become members of Dorsey Emmanuel UMC.  
We will need dinner, breakfast, lunch and snacks so if you are asked to help support these young folks in their Confirmation experience please try to say yes and if we do not ask you please take the initiative to volunteer.  
You are also welcome to stop by around meal times to offer your support as a Christian mentor. Please keep our sick and struggling in your prayers.

See you in worship and bring a guest!

 

JOY JOY JOY

Have you finished reading Philippians?  Its only four chapters and is the source of every sermon for the next 6 weeks.  Each week we will discuss half of a chapter as we seek knowing JOY all the time.  Easter Sunday we talked about Easter Joy!  Last week we discussed having Joy No Matter What!  This week we are talking about a winning attitude based on Phil 2:1-11.  In fact the message title is Winning the RIGHT Way!  If you are a golf fan then this past weekend was a big weekend for you as the Masters Championship was played and this year was won by a 21 year old golfer, Jordan Speith.  Jordon is a prime example of winning the right way.  
Join us Sunday as we discuss how God sees us winning the right way in fact as your read Philippians this week come up with a list of people that you consider are winning the right way according to Philippians 2:1-11.

Although the Sunday after Easter is often the lowest attendance Sunday in the church year we celebrated Christ with several guests and got to resume our Confirmation Class.  If you haven't seen the photos on Facebook take some time to check them out and while you are there look at the W.O.V.E.N. study page and check out some of the exciting insights from the many participants.
Also remember you can keep up with the Sunday sermon series on the websites for both churches.

THURSDAY evening we have a team of folks going to BWI to participate in operation Welcome Home.  This is an easy and very rewarding mission opportunity as you simply have to show up help put a few snacks in bags for the family and then simply sit back and applaud our troops and their families as the enter the terminal.  Contact Lisa if you are interested in more details.  The team will leave from Wesley Chapel.

This coming Sunday is another busy Sunday as we have our two regular worship services as well as our 2pm worship with the residents and guests at Lorien Nursing and Rehab in Elkridge.  This Sunday is also the third Sunday of the month which means the Our Daily Bread Mission Team is meeting at 8am at Wesley Chapel to go to Baltimore and serve at the mission.  Contact Janet or Donald if you are interested in helping.
Sunday night is Confirmation Class at 6pm.

Celebrate the JOY of Jesus by reaching out to others and sharing what Christ has done for you!

See you at church!

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Easter is 50 Days 
Easter season on the church calendar is 50 days in length leading to the celebration of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday.  This year we will be celebrating Pentecost with the baptisms and commitments to church membership.
  

Confirmation classes are in process and these are designed for young people who were baptized as infants and now wish to "Confirm" the vows made on their behalf by committing to the next phase of church discipleship and declaring their membership.  The classes are also for youth who were not baptized but now wish to make the discipleship decision to be baptized.
We are also conducting a small group study or class for adults who want to know more about the United Methodist Church and/or desire baptism or church membership.  We have been calling this study "Being Christian in the United Methodist Tradition."  Our next group isSunday April 26, 6pm at Wesley Chapel and all are welcome!

It was a great Holy Week and Easter Celebration at the Dorsey Emmanuel/Wesley Chapel Cooperative Parish.  We shared worship Maundy Thursday with  45 people from four congregations and guests.  Good Friday worship was celebrated by 47 people from two congregations and guests.  The Community Easter Egg Hunt was celebrated by over 100.  Easter Son Rise at Meadowridge Memorial Park was celebrated by over 80 people who heard the Resurrection Message brought by Pastor Wanda London from Payne AME and combined attendance at the 10 and 11 am services at both churches was over 110.  Since Easter is celebrated 50 days and we just introduced step 1 to having JOY in your life according to the Book of Philippians and there are 7 more steps I hope to see at least 100 every Sunday!  No Really!  Wouldn't it be exciting to grow in our faith walk together seeking the answer to how we get JOY in all aspects of our life.  

Next Sunday Philippians 1:12-30 Experiencing Joy No Matter What!

See you in worship!
 
Holy Week
I hope to see everyone at the many services this week.  The Church of Jesus Christ is called to worship together and celebrate the season and each other.  Whether a large church or small church our purpose is to make disciples of Christ and that begins with each of us as individuals.  

We often lose site of the mission of the church and that is one of the many reasons I encourage Holy Week Worship services.  Programs are nice but if the programs are simply the same events the PTA, and Civic Organizations provide we have missed the calling of God.  As a small church it is sometimes very hard to provide a large amount of programs yet our new children's ministry team is providing Sunday morning worship time for the kids, an Easter Egg Hunt for the entire community, kids small group study on Tuesday Night at Life Bread, Confirmation Class,  and has special plans for dads on Fathers Day, and a VBS in August.

Our adult ministry team leads Tuesday night adult groups for men and women and is now leading a new small group study on certain Sundayevenings entitled Being Christian in the United Methodist Tradition leading to baptism, membership or simply more understanding of what we believe.  

Our mission team continues to support the only Baby Mission for diapers, wipes, and food in Howard County.  The mission team sends a team of servers out the third Sunday of every month to Our Daily Bread in Baltimore.  We also partner with Jessup Elementary, Ducketts Lane Elementary and Deep Run Elementary.  All along continuing to provide food, and financial support to local families and sponsor a young man going to college in Uganda.

Finally through our apportionments to the Baltimore/Washington Conference of the United Methdosit Church we support several missionaries around the world and the U.S.  These funds also support the United Methodist Camping Ministry, Red Bird Mission in Kentucky, a large number of traditionally black colleges founded by the UMC and many theological schools around the world.

In addition to these missions our small churches have a unique opportunity to be an intimate supportive community of believers.  Celebrating your faith in Jesus Christ this Holy week is one of the many ways to grow that community of faith by sharing Jesus with a neighbor or friend.  Invite them to join you!
John Wesley said Do ALL the Good you can by all the ways you can!

See you in worship!
 
Discipleship
Discipleship is not just for 12 or 13 men with names like Matthew, Mark, Peter, James and John.  Discipleship is what each believer in Jesus Christ is called to be a participant.  It is when we walk with Christ and go beyond "oh yea I believe in God and I go to church" to I follow Christ and seek to be like him.  To be a disciple we have to be educated by knowing His Word.  We have to be in a relationship with Jesus and that is done through prayer.  Our lives should reflect the relationship we have with Jesus which means we must turn away (repent) of our sins and begin our journey to perfection.  Perfection means a journey to holiness not perfection as the world claims perfection.  Our perfection comes from the Grace of God through Jesus Christ.  We will always fail and we will ALWAYS be loved by God.

A few weeks ago I said I had been challenged to give memory verse suggestions which would be one of those steps in becoming a disciple so today I am adding the following verses:

Romans 12:1; John 14:21; Hebrews 5:8

Write them on a 3X5 card and attach them to your day planner, dashboard, mirror, etc. and read them as often as possible and watch the memory begin and feel the difference between "I believe" and "I am a disciple."

Last Sunday you missed a lot of exciting things if you were not involved in the parish ministries.  

During Sunday morning worship you would have been introduced to the "Flat Wesley's", heard a letter and seen pictures from a Ugandan missionary who shared her story about malaria and how it took the life of her sponsor child, Marium and we closed out the discussion of the 7 Deadly Sins by discussing Lust, Gluttony and Greed.

The sermons can been seen and heard at www.wesleychapelumcjessup.org.  or www.deumc.com

The "Flat Wesleys" were at Life Bread and will be making several more appearances in the next few weeks and we are trying to get the PowerPoint letter from our missionary up on the websites and or Facebook.

Sunday evening there was FREE dinner and movie night at Wesley which featured a late St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner followed by the movie The Identical which I have been told is the best movie we have shown and there have been some real good movies.
I have yet to see the movie because the closing excitement Sunday was our first confirmation class as a parish and I was teaching the class with the help of Verna, Bill, and Don.  

This Sunday is what I call a stand alone Sunday for sermons which means it is not part of a series of sermons so this Sunday join us as we hear what Palm Sunday means to us TODAY.

Sunday is also Confirmation Class #2 about the church and the Holy Spirit 6-7:30pm.
Also a first for the Dorsey/Wesley Parish is the first of three adult baptism and membership classes which will begin at 6pm to 7:30pm.  This is a great class to get prepared to be baptized, become a church member or continue your Discipleship education to understand what it really means to be a Christian in the United Methodist tradition.  Bring a note pad, your coffee, questions and plan on being casual, comfortable and challenged.  ALL are welcome!

The snow is over and I hope to see everyone back in worship soon.  Please remember that even when you are absent the ministry of the churches continues and  your support is essential to those ministries.  Prayerfully consider regular giving and try to catch up when your regular weekly or monthly giving is interrupted.
The church does offer electronic giving opportunities.

See you at all of the worship opportunities!
 
Lent 3
 
 
Although we have missed the first two Sundays in Lenten Worship due to snow this past Sunday was the third Sunday in Lent which means we are half way through Lent.  During this time of reflection what have you changed about your relationship with Jesus.  A couple of weeks ago I listed three Bible verses to begin memorizing as requested by one of our readers, how many have you memorized? 

Reflecting upon the ashes from Ash Wednesday have you increased your prayer time?  Have you participated in one of the several church missions and ministries?  Have you reflected on your giving of time, talents, and gifts?  Have you made a decision to take the next step in discipleship by signing up for the Youth Confirmation Class or the Adult membership class?  Have you joined the Facebook "One Word" Study Group?
Well, even if you have not it is not too late.  Unfortunately many of us decide to give up on growing our discipleship because we get started and then we "fall off the wagon" or we get started "too late". God doesn't expect perfection of us but He does expect us to continue to grow toward perfection, not perfection in this life but in perfection of our relationship with Jesus.

During the remaining days of Lent I hope we continue to reflect on the sin that separates us from our growth to perfection in Jesus.  In the last few weeks several families have been going through grief experiences that challenge their faith and it reminds me of a statement a fellow pastor made at our monthly breakfast when he said no gardener ever says let's go to the top of the mountain to plant our flowers and crops because the soil at the top of the mountain is thin and hard, God grows the richest and most beautiful grass in the valley.  It is in the valley when we usually rely heavily on God and during that time in the valley, much like the plants, we grow the most.

I just finished reading the book "If You Want To Walk On Water You Have To Get Out Of The Boat" by John Ortberg, a book given to me by my youngest daughter, who reminded me she gave it to me almost 10 years ago, but I did finish it.  Chapter 7 doesn't talk about living in the valley but it does talk about living in the cave in reference to David hiding out in the cave.  In the cave David says to God "You Are My Refuge"  during Lent may we look at the valleys and caves of our life and know that God is our refuge and that we are growing the most because we have let go or lost control and let God take over.  Ortberg challenges us to ask ourselves the following questions when we find ourselves in the cave of failure:
1. Am I chasing the right dream
2. Is what I am pursuing consistent with God's calling on my life?
3. Am I operating out of what God made me to do,or out of my own needs for appearing important and significant?
4. Am I willing to remain in the cave if it means being true to God? (Waiting on the Lord)

This week add another memory verse, join a study group, sign-up for membership and or confirmation classes, join the prayer ministry team, celebrate with us at Sunday worship.  Allow God to grow us in perfection.

Check out the Sunday sermons on the website and share them with others.  There was a lot of discussion on Facebook this week about Anger and my impersonation of Earl Weaver.  Which of the 7 Deadly Sins will we discuss this week?  Join us and find out!

Blessings
Rick

Memory Verse

2 Corinthians 1:20 Contemporary English Version 

20 Christ says “Yes” to all of God’s promises. That’s why we have Christ to say “Amen” for us to the glory of God.
 
Snow Snow Go Away!
As we wait for another snow storm this winter that has been unusually cold I want to acknowledge all the folks that have tried to keep the facilities in good condition and all of those who have worked on the early cancellation notices and making sure that as many people as possible are notified either electronically or personally.  In fact for those who do not know the second Sunday worship cancellation was coordinated between Maryland and Florida as Janet and I were stranded in Orlando on Saturday afternoon as we prepared to fly home from visiting our daughter, Ashley.  Lisa, Verna, Scott, Donald, Carolyn, and others were either texting or calling to keep all of us informed as to the snow predictions and conditions.  Just yesterday we again had to implement a cancellation policy for our Life Bread groups.  Although it may not be necessary again this winter, I hope, Janet is coordinating the collection of information to get the parish cancellations on at least one of the TV stations if not more.

In addition to the upkeep of the buildings and the coordination necessary to keep people safe going to and from our worship services I am especailly pleased to hear how many people have called neighbors and friends to check in on them and see how they are doing during the storms.  This is the example tha Jesus and the apostles gave to us as the "go to" church and not the "come here" church.  The people of our parish are The Church, not the building.  Please continue to minister to those around you so they may see the love of Jesus in your heart.  

It is hard to believe but this Sunday will be the third Sunday in Lent.  In fact the Jessup Ministry Team met at Meadowridge this morning to plan the Easter Son Rise Service.  Lent should be a time of reflection for all people, to reflect on where we are in our relationship with Christ.  In the next 24 hours if you have some shut in time from the snow take some of that time to reflect personally and as a family on your relationship with Christ and His church.

March 22 is a busy Sunday for our parish.  We will celebrate a time of worship at 10 and 11 am.  In the evening the monthly Family Night Dinner and Movie will begin at 5pm at Wesley Chapel featuring the movie The Identical.
But maybe the most exciting event is the first confirmation class in 5 years will begin at the Dorsey church from 6pm to 7:30pm and will continue for the next nine weeks with Easter Sunday as an "off" Sunday.  During the 8 wk class schedule there will be two classes for adults who are seeking baptism and/or church membership.  Please prayerfully consider this next step of discipleship.  If you are a parent or grandparent Confirmation Class if for any elementary age or older person to Confirm their childhood baptism and become a full member of the church.  For those who have been baptized it is an opportunity to reaffirm that baptism and to learn more about what it means to be a Christian in the United Methodist tradition.  Please contact Pastor Rick for information.

Prayers
Jane and Bob Rose, Ron Moten, all battling addiction, all parents and spouses seeking to grow Godly families, Eileen Goldhammer, Theresa Anderson, George Sr. and George Jr., and Ashley, Juanita, Marvin, Eileen Gregor, Amie, Jim, Nathan and baby, Carol B., Jessica and family, for all those looking for a church that will accept them as they are and where they are.

Looking forward to seeing lots of faces in worship this Sunday as we talk about what God says about ANGER (#3 of the Seven Deadly Sins).  Anger deprives a lot of us from knowing the Joy of this life.  Come join us as we talk about healthy and unhealthy anger and how we let go of unhealthy language and let Jesus fill that space.  I'm sure we all know someone who could use a chance to talk about the anger in their life so why not invite them to join you at Dorsey Emmanuel/Wesley Chapel Parish. 
 
God is Love Happy Valentines Day
Looking for a good date night for Valentines day?  Try starting your day in prayer.  Ask God what you can do to grow your relationship with your partner.  Valentines Day like every other day is just that another day but we try to make it special and sometimes that doesn't always work but with God's blessing all of our days are special.  

For all of the singles out there don't put too much pressure on yourself to find a date.  If dating isn't in the picture join some other friends and plan a fun night out or at home.  For those who are dating, again don't put too much pressure on the night.  Allow time for the two of you to talk and reflect on the time you have been given to share with each other.

For those of us with spouses we all need to make time to have our spouse feel special and yes even make some time to be alone with each other.  Scheduling your time alone together is not wrong, not having time together alone is.  Paul challenges us as married couples to be together as often as possible.

Well, that sounds great but what about the spouses with young children?  Plan a family Valentines Day and then show your children how a husband and wife should treat each other on Valentines Day by scheduling some time together even if you never leave the house just some mom and dad time to talk and watch TV if nothing else.  After all our children form their guidelines on how they expect to be treated by watching what they learn at home.  God's plans for our intimate relationships are not the same as our children see on TV or in the movies.  Men teach your daughters how they should expect to be treated by respecting and loving their mother.  Teach your sons that a Godly relationship with a woman is respectful, caring and loving and not a conquest.
  

Mothers show your daughters how to show respect, care and love by how you treat their father.  You too should demonstrate to them how a woman of God respects herself and expects to be treated by a Godly man.
No matter what your situation, and I know I haven't covered all possible situations, take some time to reflect on the love you have received in your life - from your family, friends, your community, your church and most of all your God.  Because God loves you so much that He sent his only Son that whoever believes in Him will not be lost  but will have eternal life (John 3:16).  Now that's a love affair!

This week I was challenged by someone to provide some ideas to help us follow through on the Bible verse memorization challenge so let's begin with the verse above John 3:16.  Why this verse because when someone challenges you as to whether or not God really loves us this is the answer.

So what about those times when we are depressed try 2Samuel 22:29 You are my lamp O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.

How about when you feel like you are separated from God? Romans 8: 31-32 (CEV) What can we say about all of this?  If God is on our side, can anyone be against?  God did not keep back His own Son, but He gave Him for us.  If God did this, won't He freely give us everything else?

Share Jesus with someone this week and join us as we discuss the Deadly Sin of Envy in worship!
See you then!
 
This Sunday we begin discussing the Seven Deadly Sins:
PRIDE
ENVY
GLUTTONY
ANGER
SLOTH 
GREED
LUST
These seven deadly sins were taught by the ancient church and have been part of the catechism of several denominations.  We will look at a little history but a lot of what the Bible says about how these seven sins fit into our lives in 2015.  Lent begins Feb. 18 Ash Wednesday which begins a period in the Christian calendar when we focus on repenting of our sins so we grow closer in our relationship with Jesus.  Plan on joining in worship Ash Wednesday at Wesley at 7pm.

This week we have several of our friends and church family in need of additional prayers.  Last night Carolyn Brooks from our Dorsey family was admitted to Howard County General and is still there for blood pressure concerns but no cause has yet to be found.  Cheryl Smith and her husband Smitty from our Wesley family need prayer as Smitty is recovering from surgery.  In addition Cheryl's former father in law Mitch Frye died today and her sons and former husband can use our prayer and support.  Marvin Bladen is improving at Sunrise and Dot Scruggs is recovering from the flu.
 
Special thanks to the trustees at both churches as we continue to enhance your worship experience by 
improved and more efficient lighting at Wesley and a great survey of facility improvements at Dorsey.

See you Sunday in worship!
 
 
Seven Deadly Sins
Many of us who grew up in the protestant tradition probably didn't hear much about the Seven Deadly Sins and their roots in our theology.  Yet those who may have had a different theological upbringing may have heard more than we wanted to about the Seven Deadly Sins.  
Beginning Sunday Feb. 8 The Dorsey/Wesley Parish will get to discuss all of the Seven Deadly Sins as they relate to our faith walk in 2015.  Each Sunday we will discuss a different one of the Seven Deadly Sins beginning with Pride on Feb. 8.

This Sunday we will end our sermon series "What's Next?" with a message on "The Power of the Next Steps", scripture memory, holy communion, baptism, membership, and sharing your testimony.  In the bulletin will be a commitment card to sign-up for instruction for baptism and  membership as your decision to fulfill "What's Next" in your life.

Last Sunday we had our third dinner and movie night at Wesley Chapel and it has been a long time since I laughed as hard and as long as I did while watching Mom's Night Out.  What a great comedy with a Christian theme.  If you haven't joined us for Dinner and Movie Night you should really make it a point to mark your calendar for the next one.

I have heard some exciting ideas arising out of our Leadership U Training session two weeks ago and I am really excited to see several people taking ministry leadership positions for the first time.  The trustees at both churches have jumped into their ministries with both feet. 

Wesley Chapel has new energy efficient lighting in the sanctuary and the kitchen.  We are now using as much wattage overall as we were in one light in the sanctuary.  In addition the trustees are taking bids for rest room renovations so we will be more welcoming to visitors and members as well as ADA approved.

Dorsey has created a list of prioritized projects that are being delegated to a variety of individuals thereby creating more ministers with more input into managing our buildings and properties.  Also Donald is scheduling a meeting with the county for final approval on the education building renovations.

W.O.V.E.N. in Christ is another example of the leadership taking charge and creating another opportunity to study God's Word.  Check out our Facebook pages to learn more.
Join us Sunday morning and invite a friend!