MEMORIAL UMC’s MISSION…
We are CALLED by Christ to GROW in faith, BUILD relationships, and SERVE all people.
MONDAY – FRIDAY
10:00 a.m. “10@10” Weekday Devotions via Facebook
8:00 a.m. Men’s Prayer Meeting Online via Zoom (contact Brian Russell)
5:30 p.m. Outdoor Yoga in the Church Back Yard (Weather permitting)
SUNDAY JULY 19 ** Online Worship Only ** See update in this newsletter.
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
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
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…
George and Florence Highsmith
Shell York and Family
Peace and justice in our nation, state, and city
Grant Brinkley and Family
Finley Price Family
Our First Responders, Medical Community, and Essential Workers
All those affected by Coronavirus/COVID-19
Andrea Cain and Family
Our UM Missionaries
All Military Personnel
The United Methodist Church
WHEN WILL WE GATHER IN PERSON?
This was not an easy decision. We want to come back. Everyone does. And we want to take care of our people, especially our most vulnerable. When we looked at the number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, we didn’t think it was prudent to gather in person with the rate of infection going up as it is. Our decision to postpone in-person worship also aligns with the advice of our bishop. The number of cases should be in decline before we gather again. Although we are not establishing a new date at this time, we will give another update by the end of July. And as the pandemic spread slows, we can look forward setting a new date.
We want to assure everyone that your church is at work. The wheels are turning. A top-notch Healthy Church Work Group was established to study what we need to do to reopen. Under their careful guidance, we are taking steps now to create the safest possible environment for in-person worship when we ultimately do come together again. We are ready and look forward to that day.
Meanwhile, we’re going to continue to worship every Sunday online at 11:00 a.m. on Facebook Live and WGOS 1070. You can also access the video of the 11:00 a.m. worship after the fact, on our Facebook page or the home page of our website. We have worked to address sound and technological challenges for our broadcasts; we want to make sure nothing hinders our ability to worship together online.
The church’s staff and committees are at work, too. We’re doing different things to adapt. For your spiritual growth, we offer our “10@10” Daily Devotions online, a new offering that has come out of this difficult season. The Men’s Prayer Breakfast is meeting virtually, as are our teens in their small groups. The Missions Committee is still working to serve the needs of our community. The sewing ministry made thousands of masks for the community. Our children have had Godly Play online as well as the option of a virtual VBS and a summer reading group. And our choir continues to gather for fellowship online, even reaching former members who now live far away. And there are doubtless many other connections taking place among us.
Thank you for all the ways you have supported one another and the staff as we all try our best to find new ways of being the church during this COVID-19 pandemic. Keep taking care of each other and let your church staff and leaders know how we can support you.
SAVE THE DATE: CELEBRATING REV. PEGGY FINCH, SEPT. 20TH
With gratitude we acknowledge the innumerable contributions of Reverend Peggy A. Finch, whose retirement is effective July 1, 2020. We look forward to gathering, in a safe way, to honor Peggy and express our thanks, in worship and a celebratory reception to follow, on Sunday September 20th.
As with all church plans, we will be closely monitoring the health climate and will adjust plans if needed. In the meantime, please save the date for these special events.
UNSNARLING US AND CHURCH RACIAL HISTORY
(From July 3rd Issue of UM News Weekly Digest)
Methodism’s founder wanted to minister with Native Americans and abolish slavery. But decades after John Wesley’s death, a Methodist bishop was a slaveholder and a Methodist clergyman was responsible for one of the worst massacres of Native Americans in U.S. history. So what went wrong? United Methodist historians and other leaders led a livestreamed denominational town hall July 1 to explore their church’s complicated and sometimes suppressed record on race. Their aim: To help United Methodists turn away from past transgressions and join the denomination’s renewed push against the sin of racism.
Click on the links in this story to learn more.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org
Rodney Denton, Minister of Youth and Young Adults – Ext. 18; email@example.com
Lynda Hepler, Minister of Children and Families – Ext. 11; firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Russell, Director of Contemporary Worship – Ext. 20; email@example.com
Danny Frye, Director of Music – Ext. 12; firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Frye, Secretary – Ext. 14; email@example.com
Peggy May, Financial Secretary/Treasurer – Ext. 13; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jarry Oldaker, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds – Ext. 17; email@example.com
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-472-7718.
We close this week’s eNews with a 10@10 devotion shared by Rodney Denton on May 22, 2020.
Good Morning Everyone!!! Welcome to our 10 @ 10 Daily Devotions. I want to thank all of you for your continued support and kind words that you have shared with the staff here at Memorial as we try our best to find new ways of “being the church” during this COVID-19 pandemic! Please feel free to comment or react to any of our videos so we know how we are doing! And thank you for joining me this morning!
Well, first things, FIRST, today is a special day in my life! It is my 27th wedding anniversary! That’s right! 27 Years ago today, just right up the road at Canaan United Methodist Church, Martha Jo Carroll made me the happiest man on earth by agreeing to be my bride. It is just as clear today as it was way back in 1993 that, fortunately for me, I married way beyond my station in life, because MJ has taken much better care of me than I would have ever taken care of myself. She is a blessing to me in too many ways to list here, but I find new ways to appreciate her every day as a wife, a mother, and my soulmate. Thank you, Martha Jo! I love you and look forward to the many more years that we have ahead of us!
So, over the years I have learned a great deal about my wife, and one of the things that consistently stands out is the rich quality of love that she shares not only with me but with practically everyone that she meets. She has a way of looking past shortcomings and flaws and general awkwardness to find that “diamond in the rough” that we all have but which sometimes takes some patience to find and polish. This skill has come in quite handy, as you can imagine, through our marriage, and it has been an inspiration to me as well. I have learned so much about not judging a book by its cover. It has pushed me not to settle for the face value and easy answers that present themselves in any given situation or with any given person. Yes, it has been Martha Jo who has made me a better person by accepting me, right where I am, encouraging me to be the best that I am and, through her example, to live out that love and share it with as many people as I can. This unique quality is what I admire about my wife, but I also know that, if you ask her, she would admit that it comes from the love that God has put in her heart.
It is this very love that I want us to take a look at this morning as we check out a passage found in 1 Samuel 16:7. I first remember reading this passage when I was in seminary. I was having some serious questions and doubts about my calling to ministry, and it helped me understand a little more about what God values in people. In this, passage God has given the task of finding a new king for the nation of Israel to the prophet Samuel. The King at the time was King Saul, not to be confused with New Testament Saul who became Paul the great missionary and letter writer. King Saul had done some things that were “unrighteous,” and God had rejected him as king. So, now it was time to find a new King for the nation of Israel. The person had to be someone chosen by God and fit for the position of leadership. The prophet Samuel was sent to a man named Jesse who had 8 sons. God had told Samuel that the King would come from Jesse’s family. As each son was presented to Samuel and each one was not chosen, God gave Samuel this advice, which I love so much…
“7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Of course, we may all remember that the chosen King ended up being Jesse’s youngest son, David, who, although the smallest of all the brothers, was able to defeat the giant Goliath in one-on-one combat. Sometimes it is so easy to include or exclude people based solely on their appearance. Sometimes we even turn that judgmental eye back on ourselves and accept or reject ourselves by the way we feel that we look or how we perceive other people to have judged our appearance. We have all been brainwashed into thinking that we can only truly trust the beautiful people, and that every hideous “Beast” ends up turning into a handsome “Prince” by the end of the movie. But real life doesn’t always work out that way. There are plenty of Beasts with beautiful hearts and plenty of Princes with dark, troubled hearts. That is why it is so important for us to have the keen awareness to see through the exterior, look past looks, and pay attention to the heart of the matter.
When I was in high school, I was a pretty good student. I generally made straight A’s, was involved in lots of clubs (mainly to get out of class from time to time), AND I participated in sports after school. So, this sort of gave me a very wide social circle. My junior year, we had some new teachers, and I ended up taking US History with one of them, Mr. Miller. He was a good teacher. I learned a lot in his class, and I liked him. The fall quarter of my junior year started out just fine. I was doing well in my classes, but Mr. Miller’s class was sort of challenging. I am sure that since he was just starting out, fresh out of college, he sort of wanted to set a reputation for himself as not being an “easy teacher.” Perhaps he also felt the additional burden of preparing his students for the challenges that we would face at the college level. So, the first test in Mr. Miller’s class came along, and I am proud to say that I aced it! Not only did I get an A, but I got the highest grade in the class, a 100! The next day, he gave back the graded tests, and I was so proud! After class was over, we were all leaving, and Mr. Miller asked me to stay for a moment. He looked at me and said, “So, you made an A on my test.” Thinking that he was congratulating me on such a fine effort, I said “Yes, I did!” Then he said something that, in the moment, I thought was quite benign and was simply a question; he said, “Do you always make grades like this?” Still clueless about what he was driving at, I said, “Well, yes, I do.” Then he said something that, at the time, I took as a compliment, though in hindsight, I’m not sure if he meant it that way. He said, “You just don’t look that smart.” So, I said, “Well, thanks!” mainly because, for me, I felt like I was doing a good job of flying under the “nerd radar.” I may have been making nerd-level grades, but at least I could blend in with my wider circle of “normal” friends as well.
This brings me back to my point from earlier. So often we make judgments about people based on their outward appearance. We may even have the, let’s say, “fortitude” to share those judgments with those people. But it is really dangerous for us to make snap judgments about others and to react to people based on those snap judgments. Let’s be clear: this can refer to being unfair or dismissive to people we do not find attractive as well as giving the benefit of the doubt or a free pass to those we do find attractive.
We have all been warned “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and at one time I thought that this old adage was simply about judging others’ appearances. The more I learn about people, the more I realize that this saying could be a warning that a lot of damage and hurt can be caused by refusing to take the time to get to know people for who they are, instead of how they look. Mr. Miller did not cause me any permanent harm or emotional damage, but he certainly could have. I mean, if I hadn’t been so focused on blending in with my peers, and if I hadn’t had positive people in my life like my family who supported me and encouraged me, Mr. Miller’s words—from a person in a position of influence and power, tasked with not only teaching but shaping the future of young people under his care—could have really hurt. His big mistake was that he opened his mouth before he opened his heart. He based his assumptions only on what he could see instead of getting to know the real me. And that same mistake can be our own if we fail to acknowledge the power that our judgments and the subsequent words that accompany those judgments can have on the people around us. Every one of us is entrusted with vulnerable people in our lives on a daily basis who have a desperate need to hear any life-giving words of encouragement and acceptance that we can muster. We can choose to use our words to build people up or to tear them down. I can tell you that there are far more people in this world who are quick with a sharp word of criticism and judgment than there are people who seek to uplift and reassure.
In my ministry working with teenagers, I find that anxiety and insecurity can often reside just below the surface. Although many adults have found clever and sophisticated ways to cover and hide those insecurities, they are still there. With this in mind, I want to suggest that not only does our Scripture today give us guidance in how to treat one another, but I believe we need to apply this same wisdom to ourselves as well. So often we place our value solely in our perception of how we look. We place so much emphasis on appearance that we can undervalue our own worth because of our body image, our self-esteem, or even a “bad hair day” (say, if we haven’t gone to the hair salon in like 3 months). Understanding that “the Lord looks at the heart” is something that we should be as quick to apply to ourselves as we do to others. Sometimes it is easier to give grace to other people than it is to ourselves. I want to remind all of us that true beauty comes from the inside. I once heard this quote from Swiss psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
May we all let our inner light shine in such a way that we make the world redefine what beauty is!
This week I want you all to consider what the world would be like if we took time to try to judge less and love more? What would the world be like if we spent more energy trying to celebrate the things that make each one of us different instead of using those things to draw lines in the sand that separate us? What would it be like if we stopped settling for easy answers that lead to snap judgments and did the hard, fruitful work of getting to know one another’s hearts! What would the world be like if we tried to build one another up instead of tearing one another down? What would it be like if we were as free with grace and acceptance as God is? Let those lights shine, brightly!
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen!
Remember to join us this Sunday at 11 AM on Facebook Live or WGOS 1070 AM. Have a great day and stay healthy, people!
YOU CAN WATCH AND READ ALL 10 @ 10 DEVOTIONS HERE.