From Pastor Don: Always Easter
Our Lenten Journey will soon be over. We will have traveled to the upper room on Maundy Thursday with Jesus and his disciples. We will have worshiped at the foot of the cross on Good Friday. And we will celebrate the empty tomb at Sunrise and Easter morning services. What happens afterward?
Easter is more than just one day. Easter is an every day celebration.
So what do we do after Easter? Maybe we could follow the example of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women that discovered the empty tomb. The Gospel of Luke tells us that “they remembered the words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest”. (Luke 24:8-9)
There are many people who are desperate to hear and see the good news of Easter. May we, as a congregation and individually, be eager to bring this message of life and hope to anyone, at any time, in whatever way God may lead us.
It is always Easter!
Grace and Peace,
Holy Week Services
Our journey through Lent draws ever closer to the cross of Christ. Join us as we observe together the last week of Jesus’ life, his death, and resurrection.
- Palm Sunday – April 9th, 8 & 10:30 a.m.
The commemoration of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Bear witness with us during this worship service that includes baptism and confirmation.
- Maundy Thursday – April 13th, 7 p.m. Experience the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples through this dramatic presentation.
- Good Friday – April 14th, around 1:15 p.m. and at 7 p.m.
The first service is part of our community’s annual Walk of Christian Witness. We will repeat our observance in the evening at 7 p.m.
- Sunrise Service – April 16th, 6:30 a.m. at The Ohio River Levee
Join us to watch the first beams of light break over the Ohio River as we remember the empty tomb at dawn’s break on Easter morning.
- Easter Worship – April 16th, 8 & 10:30 a.m.
We will proclaim the Resurrection together and celebrate the assurance that not even death can separate us from God’s grace.
Foothills District Spring Conference Hosted by Christ Church
Tuesday, May 16th, 7 p.m.
Our church is honored to host the annual District Spring Conference for all Foothills District Lay Delegates and Clergy. The conference is a celebration led by our District Superintendent, Rev. Dennis Miller, of God’s work in the Foothills District in the past year. The service also is a preparation, blessing, and dedication of all those headed to Lakeside for the West Ohio Annual Conference.
Our worship that evening will represent all Marietta UM churches and the community at large. The Community Ukulele Choir will make their debut performance. Jodan Weber will represent Faith and Norwood UMC on marimba, and Gilman UMC will be represented as well. This service will be open to all, whether attending Annual Conference or not. We hope you’ll mark your calendar and come out to worship with our district family.
As host church, it is our blessing to offer hospitality to our many guests. From greeters at the front door to smiling faces at the closing reception, there will be somewhere for you to serve. Here’s how you can help:
- set-up & tear down
- greeters & ushers
- child care
- kitchen crew & servers
- provide reception food (handheld sweets & tidbits) or drinks
Contact Beth Ann at the church office (740-373-1512) to volunteer.
Online Giving Now Available
Did you know that most people don’t carry a checkbook anymore? And for those that carry cash, typically they carry very little. According to the Washington Post, 50% of Americans carry $20 or less. In a recent study by Onovative, they found that only 20% of people carry their checkbook on a regular basis. In this digital age, giving in the traditional offering plate is becoming difficult.
In response to this cultural shift, we’re excited to announce that you now can give to Christ Church online at…
…or by downloading the app Joyfully2UMC for iPhone or Android.
Five Reasons to Consider Online Giving
Online giving doesn’t work for everyone. You need to give in the way that works for you and is most comfortable. But here are some reasons to consider making the switch:
- It makes pledged and committed giving easier. By setting up a recurring gift, your offering gets to the church on the date you want it to, whether you’re out of town, home sick, or you forgot your check on the kitchen table.
- It’s convenient. You don’t have to be sitting in the church pew to give. You can send in your offering anytime, anywhere.
- It’s green. There is no envelope, checks, stamps, or driving to the bank involved when giving online.
- It helps the church plan well. The consistency of recurring gifts helps the finance committee and trustees plan expenditures better and not just guess.
- It’s less work. From the counting, to the recording, to the trips to the bank, traditional offerings create tasks that are not needed for online giving.
Some Common Questions
So you’re considering an online donation, but some questions come to mind. Here are four common questions that people ask:
- Is online giving safe? Yes, it is very safe. Our online giving provider, Vanco Services is a PCI (Payment Card Industry) Level 1 Compliant Service Provider, which requires adherence to rigorous security standards and comprehensive independent onsite assessments on a regular basis.
- Are there any fees involved? No…and yes. You will not be charged a fee to donate. But to offer this service, the church is charged 2.75% of your donation total. If you wish to offset these fees, you may do so at the time of your donation in the indicated field.
- What do I do during the offering time? It feels awkward not to give in the plate. That’s a very valid point. You may feel like you’re not participating or that you’re not modeling a generous spirit. If that’s the case, feel free to put a note on your Connect Card that says, “I gave online”.
How to Give Online
Using any internet-connected device:
- Go to christumcmarietta.org/give.
- Click on the “Create Profile” button on the right.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to create your profile and make your donation.
Using the Joyfully2UMC app on your tablet or smartphone:
- Download the app.
- Allow the app to detect your location.
- Search and select Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ohio.
For any questions or help in setting up your giving, contact Beth Ann (740-373-1512) or stop by the church office.
UMW General Meeting: Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging
Sunday, April 2nd, 9:15 a.m.
It’s a beautiful line when Robert Browning says, “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” However, he is not addressing the fears of falling, aches, loneliness, nursing homes, and so on. Instead, The UMW General Meeting on April 2 at 9:15 in Fellowship Hall will address those issues with a speaker from the Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging.
Everyone is invited to learn from our speaker how to navigate through the system to provide in-home assistance, adult day care, legal aid, medical resources, job placement, nutrition information, and assisted living. It addresses concerns with diabetes control and combating isolation and loneliness.
Aging happens to the best of us, so let’s plan ahead and discover what is available in our area for us. Please join us on April 2nd to learn about this phase of our lives.
God’s Girls Bake Sale
Sunday, April 23rd
Bring your pocket money and your sweet tooth to church with you on Sunday, April 23rd. God’s Girls women’s Bible study group will be holding a bake sale during both services. Items will be purchased by donation only. All proceeds will go towards building a home for a family in need in Honduras.
Hearts Forever Changed, a locally based short-term missions team, travels annually to Honduras to build homes and relationships. God’s Girls hopes to raise $1,600 to build their third home through this team’s ministry.
For more information, contact Shelly Stormes (614-365-0934).
From Pastor Cheryl: Are you ready for Easter?
That may seem like an odd question, but it’s really not that different from asking during Advent if someone is ready for Christmas. While Advent and Lent are both seasons of spiritual preparation, we tend to answer during Advent based on how our physical preparations are going—are the presents bought, the cookies baked, the parties planned. With fewer physical preparations needed for Easter, answering the Lent question takes more thought.
Many of us began Lent with ashes on our foreheads or hands, reminding us of our mortality and our need for Christ. Giving up unhealthy habits or taking on healthy ones during these 40 days further reminds of us Jesus’ suffering on the cross and his selfless love. Several of you have told me about your Lenten fasting—I know people who have given up sweets, social media, alcohol, and swearing. On the other hand, I know people who have taken on Lenten disciplines of connecting with loved ones, writing daily prayers based on scripture, and regular exercise.
Personally, I’m having mixed success with this year’s Lenten discipline of purging my personal belongings. Each day I try to throw out, donate, or recycle something that I’ve been holding on to—and obvious things like expired coupons don’t count. This past week I “winter sowed” (google it!) flower and herb seeds that were given to me up to 20 years ago. Some were from my dad, others were from a neighbor’s funeral. I doubt they’ll germinate. But if they do, what a wonderful reminder that whenever we discard the old, we make space for the new.
Here’s what’s happening with some of our lay ministries…
- Christian Education needs to know your opinions about Summer Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. If you didn’t get to fill out the surveys in our recent bulletins, contact Laura Warren (740-706-9246) or another member of the committee to let them know what you think.
- The Emmaus Community is preparing for Spring Walks. Currently they are short on women pilgrims for the Walk on April 6-9. If you are interested in attending this Christian formation event, please let Pastor Don (740-373-1512), Mark Duckworth (740-525-2376), or myself (740-373-1512) know.
- Children’s Church allows our elementary school-aged children to learn about what happens in worship. The more leaders we have, the fewer times any individual has to miss late worship. If you are interested in spending about 40 minutes on one Sunday (now through May) with our kids, contact Jan Rary (740-376-0540).
Is there another way you’d like to serve? Contact me or Pastor Don (740-373-1512) with your ideas and questions.
Vacation Bible School: Save the Date!
Please mark your calendars for Vacation Bible School, June 12th – 14th with a possible kick-off event on Sunday, June 11th. VBS is still in the planning stages and the committee will release details as soon as they are finalized. Stay tuned!
Yarn for Inmates
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is enlisting the help of Noble Correctional Institution in crocheting hats and blankets for the premature babies serviced by RHMC. We’ve been asked to participate in this unique opportunity that gives dignity and purpose to inmates and support and love to premature babies.
Yarn donations are needed to supply the inmates in this endeavor. Any yarn type or color is being accepted though baby yarns are ideal. Bring your yarn donation to the marked box in the Education Wing.
From our UMW President
On March 23, 1869, eight women gathered at Tremond Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts, and organized the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, what would become United Methodist Women. Those women raised money to send a doctor, Clara Swain, and a teacher, Isabella Thoburn, to India as missionaries to serve the women of that nation. Thus began a journey of vision and mission that continues today.
For 2017 in continuing our ministry to women and children, our offering received from the Call to Prayer and Self-Denial will support partners that provide programs and advocate for the health of mothers and their children. Each year, nearly a quarter of a million women die worldwide from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Some 19,000 children die every day from treatable diseases such as diarrhea and tuberculosis.
Health care for women and children has been at the heart of United Methodist Women since the organization was founded in the 1800s. This month the two circles at Christ United Methodist Church donated close to 250 dollars for the Call to Prayer and Self-Denial. We are proud of our continuing ministry to women and children.
Marietta Area Spring Ring
Sunday, May 7th, Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption
Come listen to our Cathedral Handbell Choir play alongside five other handbell groups from our area, as they perform in concert. The choirs will play seven massed numbers. Many groups will perform solo pieces as well. The choirs in attendance will be:
- Mid-Ohio Valley Ringers
- Christ UMC Cathedral Handbells
- Basilica of St. Mary Handbells
- First Presbyterian Handbells
- First UMC of Parkersburg Handbells
- United Disciples of Christ Handbells, Charleston
Several pieces will be accompanied by instrumentalists: Vicki Schwartz-McCoy on flute, Bob Chase on guitar, David Puls on violin, Cynthia Puls on cello, and Basilica Organist John Ontko.
This is the 27th year for this event, an evening of wonderful music in a beautiful setting. The choirs have worked hard throughout their ringing season to prepare music which culminates in this event. Come out and support Christ Church’s Handbells, you won’t be sorry!
UMW Racial Justice Spiritual Retreat
April 29th, 10-2, Hilliard UMC
The West Ohio Conference UMW retreat, themed “Oh, Freedom!”, will explore and contemplate how racial justice affects our society through personal stories, reflection, and song. A box lunch and morning coffee is provided. You are asked to bring your own beverage mug and a Bible. This is a free event, but donations will be accepted to cover the cost of lunch.
Register by Wednesday, April 19th, by emailing your name, district (Foothills), phone number, and any dietary restrictions to Sylvia Kempton. If you would prefer to mail in a registration form, you can pick one up in the church office.
From our Minister of Health: Farewell Alive Now
Over thirty years ago, a friend introduced me to a new devotional magazine being produced by the Upper Room in Nashville called Alive Now. It has been part of my devotional life since my first subscription that many years ago. Maybe you have picked up copies in the book rack in the Narthex of our church.
You can imagine my dismay and grief, when at the end of last year, the editor of the devotional announced they would discontinue the print magazine with this month’s issue, citing today’s “changing publishing landscape” as their reason. Being a tactile person, I enjoy the feeling of the paper and holding magazines and books as I read.
I went kicking and screaming to the phone and called the publishers to express my anger and dismay at no longer being able to look forward to reading their devotional magazine. They shared my grief and cited among other things, financial concerns in their publishing world, promising expanded digital publishing for its readers (fine if you have access to a computer). They invited me to sign up for daily devotionals at alivenow.org. I confess I did follow thru on that and am enjoying this option as I open my email daily. But oh how I miss the paper…
Thanks to the wisdom and forethought of our church secretary, Beth Ann, we do have copies of the final issue sitting in the narthex next to the Upper Room devotional guide. On page 14, is a wonderful poem that I’m sharing with you. On Monday, March 20, this was the email I read from Alive Now for that day:
I run as a child,
seeing an open door,
laughing, arms open
to whatever waits,
this new day,
no fear, no question,
dancing in rain
splashing in puddles,
into whatever lies beyond the door.Grab my hand, Jesus!
We’ll dance and sing!
Together, you and I,
we’ll paint the sky
What helps you step into joy? What brings you the most enjoyment? What do you learn about the nature of God in those joyful moments?
It was indeed food for thought as I pondered what brings me joy…daily walks, seeing the seasonal changes, texting or phone calls with my children who are many miles away, reading Adam Hamilton’s new book in our Lenten study, visiting with friends, trying new recipes for my husband and I to share, feeding the birds…
What brings you joy and what are you learning about God in those moments?
Our Christian Education Committee is compiling a complete list of this year’s graduating seniors and college students. If you have a graduating student, please contact Laura Warren (740-706-9246) or the church office (740-373-1512). This is an important step in your young person’s life and we want to honor their accomplishments!
An Important Decision for the UMC Judicial Committee
During the week of April 24th, the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church will meet to rule on a very full docket of questions.
*Judicial Council determines the constitutionality of acts, or proposed acts, of the General, jurisdictional, annual or central conferences —- either on appeal or through request for declaratory decisions; determines whether acts of official bodies of the church conform to the Book of Discipline.
*Judicial Council also reviews decisions of law made by presiding bishops.
(*from The United Methodist Handbook, pg.54)
Of all the issues facing Judicial Council, the most pressing is a ruling on the legality of the election of Rev. Karen Oliveto (last July at Jurisdictional Conference) to lead the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference as Bishop. The question is whether or not a clergy person, in a same sex marriage, can be duly elected to this office.
Our current Book of Discipline contains the following language:
The Judicial Council will have to consider the language of the Book of Discipline, the intent of that language, the understanding of scripture, and the current division within our denomination around this issue.
I call this issue to our attention because, regardless of how Judicial Council rules, there will be significant fall out. It is possible that some United Methodist congregations will decide to officially leave the denomination if the decision does not align with their beliefs.
It is likely that this decision will receive some attention from various media outlets. I want to prepare you for the potential discussion and outcry that may follow the council’s ruling. Regardless of any and all protests, we are called to love one another, to pray for each other, and to trust in the work of God’s Holy Spirit. In the meantime, let us pray for the leadership of The United Methodist Church and our Judicial Council.
As always, I will do my best to answer any of your questions around this matter.
Grace and Peace,
Many Thanks for Many Mugs!
Thank you so much for the outpouring of mugs! Your help plays a big part in our hospice ministry. And future (non-holiday) mug donations are always welcome.
Minister of Health
Foothills UMW Cookbook Fundraiser
The Foothills District UMW are gathering recipes for a cookbook fundraiser. Please send your favorite recipes to Mary Dailey by June 1st.
To send a handwritten or typed recipe, please mail your submissions to the address below:
26822 Huckleberry Rd.
Coolville, OH 45723
The funds raised through this project will be used to meet the district’s pledged goal for The Legacy Fund. The past two years has seen a shortfall, but the fund is still accepting pledges and gifts.
The Legacy Fund insures that the UMW legacy of helping women, children, and youth will continue for the next 150 years. You can contribute by phone: 800-278-7771, online or by mailing a check to:
475 Riverside Drive
New York NY 10115
(write “Legacy Fund” in memo section)
Mid-Ohio Valley Ringers in Concert
Sunday, April 9, 7 p.m.
Our own Beth Payton is a member of this top-notch group. So mark your calendar and plan on a beautiful spring evening of handbell music.