MEMORIAL UMC’s MISSION…

We are CALLED by Christ to GROW in faith, BUILD relationships, and SERVE all people.

WEEKLY CALENDAR

SUNDAY JUNE 28
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost 
9:30 a.m. Godly Play (Contact Lynda Hepler with questions.)
10:00 a.m. R.L. Pope Class Pre-Recording on WGOS AM 1070
11:00 a.m. Live Worship Online via Facebook and on WGOS AM 1070
Hymns:
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (UMH 155, vv. 1, 6)
Just as I Am, Without One Plea (UMH 357, vv. 1, 5, 6)

MONDAY – FRIDAY
10:00 a.m. “10@10” Weekday Devotions via Facebook

TUESDAY
5:30 p.m.  Outdoor Yoga in the Church Back Yard (Weather permitting)

WEDNESDAY
The Weekly Update via Facebook

SUNDAY JULY 5
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
9:30 a.m. Godly Play (Contact Lynda Hepler with questions.)
10:00 a.m. R.L. Pope Class Pre-Recording on WGOS AM 1070
11:00 a.m. Live Worship Online via Facebook and on WGOS AM 1070

PRAYER CONCERNS

If you or a loved one would like to be added to the prayer list, please contact Lorna McCullough at 336-259-5814. If you put a name on the list, please keep in touch to let us know how that person is doing, as names are removed after three weeks.

During the coming week, please pray for…

Gerry Arthur
Richard Herman
Cindy Murphy and Family
Peace and justice in our nation, state, and city
Delores Davis
Dwayne Faircloth
Grant Brinkley and Family
Kaylee Turner
Finley Price Family
Our First Responders, Medical Community, and Essential Workers
All those affected by Coronavirus
Robert Miller
Andrea Cain and Family
Dave Ogren
Dallas Hutchens
Tyler Oldaker
Tim Priska
Chris Eddinger
Tracy Brinkley
Our UM Missionaries
All Military Personnel
The United Methodist Church

We extend our prayers and sympathy to Shell York and family on the recent death of Shelley York. 

MESSAGE FROM DANNY LEONARD

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are healthy and doing well. Life has certainly been different for us over the past three months. Washing our hands frequently, wearing masks and practicing social distancing has become routine. Enjoying meals in restaurants has given way to ordering carryout or cooking at home. A routine trip to the grocery store is no longer routine. Cabin fever is all too real for many. The economic impact of the COVID-19 virus has been difficult as well.

Our efforts to remain virus free and to protect those around us has changed the manner in which we connect with others. Most of us have missed spending time with our friends and family. Social distancing runs contrary to the essence of what being a community is all about. We have worked to provide opportunities for connecting while staying safe. We have been worshiping virtually for several months now. The staff has been working diligently to provide meaningful opportunities for worship and devotion. We have continued to manage the business of the church via Zoom meetings. Many of you have been intentional about connecting with one another through phone calls, text messages and emails. Thank you for taking care of one another.

The $64,000 question is, “When will we return to worshiping together face to face?” That is a question that continues to be a topic of discernment and conversation for our church Administrative Council. We have launched a Healthy Church Work Group that is working to identify what needs to happen for us to safely come together for worship. The collective wisdom of this group is outstanding. They are exploring many possibilities for getting us back together. We realize that some neighboring churches have resumed their corporate worship. We honor their decision and we will continue to move in that direction. Our plan through June 30 is to continue worshiping online. The Administrative Council will be meeting soon to evaluate our next moves.

Thank you for your continued participation in our online opportunities. I hope you will continue to pray for Memorial UMC, our state, and our nation as we seek to be witnesses for the love of God in our community. Please continue checking on one another. A simple phone call may change the direction of someone’s day.

Peace,
Danny

 

PANTRY ITEMS NEEDED

Thank you for your continued giving to CCM. Current needs are listed below. You may drop off donations at the church, placing them on the Mission Racks in the breezeway.

Food Items: Hygiene Items:
canned meat
canned potatoes
pasta sauce
mixed vegetables
crackers
cereal
soap
deodorant
shampoo
toothpaste
toilet paper

UMC SERVICE OF LAMENT: “ALL OUR HEARTS NEED TO BE BROKEN A BIT….”

As part of The United Methodist Church’s anti-racism initiative, church leaders have shared online an unflinching “Service of Lament, Repentance, Communion and Commitment.” The hour-long video weaves in Scripture, prayer, spirituals, photos of racial violence victims — and anguished testimony by United Methodists of color.

WATCH THE RECORDED SERVICE

“All our hearts need to be broken a bit, so that the passion, love and justice contained within them can flow out.” — Erin Hawkins, top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, speaking on the need for a “Service of Lament, Repentance, Communion and Commitment.”

(From June 24th issue of UM News Daily Digest)

 

 

CLERGY AND STAFF ARE AVAILABLE

You may contact members of the staff directly or by calling the church office at 336-472-7718 and following the instructions on the recording. Here is a list of staff phone extensions and email addresses, for reference:

Danny Leonard, Senior Minister – Ext. 16; dleonard@mumctville.org
Peggy Finch, Associate Minister – Ext. 15; pfinch@mumctville.org
Rodney Denton, Minister of Youth and Young Adults – Ext. 18; rdenton@mumctville.org
Lynda Hepler, Minister of Children and Families – Ext. 11; lhepler@mumctville.org
Brian Russell, Director of Contemporary Worship – Ext. 20; brussell@mumctville.org
Danny Frye, Director of Music – Ext. 12; dfrye@mumctville.org
Susan Frye, Secretary – Ext. 14; sfrye@mumctville.org
Peggy May, Financial Secretary/Treasurer – Ext. 13; pmay@mumctville.org
Jarry Oldaker, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds – Ext. 17; joldaker@mumctville.org

FINANCIAL GIVING OPTIONS WHILE THE OFFICE IS CLOSED

Thank you for your ongoing generosity to Memorial. While the office is closed, there are three options for making gifts to Memorial:

The address for mailing checks is:
Memorial UMC
P.O. Box 428
Thomasville, NC 27361-0428

Online gifts can be made securely at https://onrealm.org/mumctville/give/now which can also be accessed from our website homepage.

Electronic funds transfer (EFT) giving can be set up for your recurring tithe. For information on how to arrange this, please email or leave a message for Peggy May, Financial Secretary, at pmay@mumctville.org or 336-472-7718.

FEATURED DEVOTION

We close this week’s eNews with a 10@10 devotion shared by Rodney Denton on March 27, 2020.

So, I don’t know how many of you have been following our 10@10 Devotion series, but I have really enjoyed them! One of the many things that I have noticed coming out of these devotions which is really cool and has become a great consequence of being at a multi-staff church is the wide variety of styles, gifts, and personalities that we all bring to the different parts of our ministries. I believe that you can see our RANGE pretty well-depicted in these daily devotions.

As I watched everyone else’s video, I couldn’t help but be just a little envious of the other ministers and wonder where I fit into this talented group. I mean, I love the way Danny Leonard is such a great storyteller and how he is able to choose just the right story to help us better understand his point. I wish I had a better understanding and could relay Biblical knowledge and insight as well as Peggy Finch does. Lynda Hepler is so artsy and crafty and has such a knack for incorporating art into her faith practices and I’m NOT sure if you have heard her sing, but she has a beautiful voice! And then there is Brian Russell!!! I mean, I wish I had just a fraction of the talent that man has. It simply isn’t fair that he can bring in a guitar to his devotions and sing a song “I’ve never sung before…” live? Come on, Brian! Do you have any idea the disaster it would be if I tried to do something like that? 

So, after watching all of these talented folks “do their thing.” it is a little bit of a temptation to try to do things “their way.” I mean, there are days that it seems easier to be someone else than it is to be myself. Unfortunately, thanks to my wife, Martha Jo, the vast majority of my life has been chronicled on her Facebook page. This includes the good, the bad, and the embarrassing! In fact, there are times that people on Sunday mornings know things about my life before I do. For example, I found out from a friend through a text message just this week, “Gracen didn’t want to flush the toilet this morning because he wanted to see how much he pooped in a day.…”  You get the idea. So, it’s hard to fake “living my best life” when my real life is always being broadcast to the world—warts and all.…

But in a way, being real and authentic might be the best thing that I have to offer.  In a world that seems to thrive on appearances and branding and being “the best,” maybe it’s OK to NOT try to be like everyone else. I may not be a great storyteller like Danny.  I may not have a firm grasp on Biblical history like Peggy. I am far from artistic and can’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I’ll leave that to Lynda! And I may not be as talented as SOME people who shall remain nameless. But maybe it’s OK to just simply be Rodney!

A recent incident in my life got me thinking about some of this which has led to this devotion. You see, I am currently participating in a weight management plan through Wake Forest Baptist Health Weight Management Clinic. Shout out to these folks who have helped me in many ways! I am currently down 60 pounds and still going!  Incidentally, this is where my wife works as a Nurse Practitioner. As a part of this plan, I meet with a variety of people on a weekly basis. Last week I had a meeting scheduled with my dietician. Because of the shelter in place protocols, many of these visits have been scheduled as video visits.  So, my dietician called me a day before to make sure that I had the ability to participate in a video visit. We talked and I assured her that I had the ability to participate in the visit.  

So, let me just mention at this point, if you know me or have spent any amount of time with me, you know that when things are a little tense or I begin to feel uncomfortable, I typically compensate by adding some humor. Often it can come out as something inappropriate — not that I intend it to be inappropriate; I just don’t always think through how it might sound until it has already come out of my mouth. So, back to my phone call with the dietician…

I’m not sure exactly why I said this—I guess that with all the anxiety over the Coronavirus and all the adjustments that we are all having to make because of it, I thought it would be funny to ask a silly question. So, the voice in my head popped in with a question and I sort of let it out before I fully thought through how it would sound. So, I said:  “So, on these video visits, do I have to wear pants?” She sort of stopped talking for a moment, I am sure trying to figure out if I was serious or not. And then she sort of quickly ended the call and said she would see me during our meeting tomorrow but just make sure that the camera is directed in the proper direction. After her reaction, I was really embarrassed and I called my wife Martha Jo – who has to work with this lady – and said, “Um, I think I was inappropriate with your dietician this afternoon.” She said, “What did you do?” I told her about the incident, and she had to go explain to the dietician that I am more of a spaz than a pervert and that I would most definitely have pants on during our meeting the next day.

But this brings me to one of the unintended consequences of all of this social separation. We are using technology to connect more than ever, and, although you see me from the waist up, there’s really no telling what’s going on behind the camera. (Deacon tells me it’s definitely “business on top,” you have no idea what’s going on below the bottom.) I have heard it referred to as InstagramReality, where we put on our best face for the camera.  And although fashion magazines have been promoting the idea of physical perfection for years, now anyone can use Photoshop or Facetune to alter reality and offer a less than authentic version of ourselves to the world. But this issue isn’t just for those people who snap the perfect selfie or are considered to be influencers.  Every day, we all try to hide our imperfections, then promote those things that come easy to us. Those things that we feel like we have a handle on. Even Christians fall into this trap of perfectionism. We try our best to share prayer concerns for OTHER people but silently dwell with the things that trouble our own souls and make us feel vulnerable. We extend grace to others who have wronged us but are often harboring guilt and shame for things in our past. We carry the weight of questions, doubts, and fears because they might be misinterpreted as a lack of faith. What would it be like if we offered the world, and one another, a wide-angle view of our lives?

There is a verse in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 12 that gives me great comfort as I contemplate the possible ramifications of being open and honest and authentic about my very imperfect life. In verses 9-10 we find:

[God tells us…]“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” [Then Paul continued…] Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Maybe a life of genuineness and authenticity begins with being vulnerable and admitting our struggles to one another. How freeing and healing would it be to accept ourselves to the point of sharing our fears and doubts and concerns? How much do we need to hear words of acceptance and grace from a caring friend?

I’ll start this process today: 

I admit that when the Coronavirus was a disease that mainly affected older folks and people with pre-existing medical conditions and they were living in China, I was kind of OK with that. But I recently read an update that another hard-hit demographic were American males, over 40, who were overweight, with high blood pressure. WHOA! My Coronavirus Response went from a very passive attitude of “I’ll do whatever I am told,” to anxiously and aggressively washing my hands and staying away from crowds and monitoring any newscast updates that come on TV and keeping my hands away from my face at all times. The truth is as time passes, the more anxious I get. I really do trust that God has this whole thing under control, but deep down I am still a little scared. As a pastor, I feel the pressure to act like I have the faith to move mountains and have no worries about the future, but I also care deeply about the people who might be affected by this disease. This includes myself and my family. This illness is unlike anything we have ever experienced before.  I don’t know if I would consider the feelings I’m describing as weaknesses like those described in the passage from 2 Corinthians, but I definitely characterize this situation as difficult and a hardship and I feel so POWER-less. I need to know that God is made powerful in my weakness. I need to know that when I experience fear and doubt and I am feeling anxious, God’s power is made perfect in my struggle and His grace is enough.

So, my challenge to you this week is, since we are all sort of stuck at home anyway, use this time to reach out to others in alternate ways than we usually do. Just yesterday Daelyn came to me and said, “Dad, the worst part about being out of  school is that no one has texted me or called to talk to me. I really miss everybody.” So, I responded by asking, “Well, have you been texting or calling anyone?” Her response was, ”No.” So I said, “Well, maybe if you reach out to other people, they will respond to you. What if everyone was sitting at home waiting for someone else to connect with them?” She went to get her phone. The same is true for all the rest of us.  Maybe someone is home alone waiting for someone to call text or video visit, and we just need to take the first step to break the ice. Now, it’s up to you if you want to wear pants or not!!!

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

YOU CAN WATCH AND READ ALL 10 @ 10 DEVOTIONS HERE.

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