From Pastor Don
The Gift of Help
I have been watching news reports about a neighborhood in Florida that has literally been swallowed up by a huge sink hole. Some homes have simply disappeared beneath the surface. Adjacent homes have been abandoned until the earth stabilizes.
Most of us (thankfully) have never experienced anything like the Florida sink holes. We may, however, have gone through times that were so difficult or overwhelming that it felt as if life itself was swallowing us up. A health crisis, a family crisis, or financial worries. Sometimes everything bad seems to come our way all at once. It can be too much for any one of us to handle.
If we are going to avoid being swallowed up by the sink holes of life, we are going to need a lot of help. I know that for many of us, the word “help” is difficult to speak. We have been conditioned to believe that asking for help is a sign of failure and weakness.
I believe that God created us to be people who need one another. I also believe that we were created to need the presence and power of God. It is not a coincidence that people who demonstrate great faith readily acknowledge their need of God and their dependence on the help of others. Many of the psalms are cries for help.
hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay!
Jesus repeatedly relied on help for others to share his message of grace and forgiveness. He called disciples to help him. He relied on the generosity of those who could provide meals, housing, and other resources. Even in death, he was cared for by those who made arrangements for a proper burial. If Jesus was not above asking for help, who are we to resist or deny the resources that others can share?
If you are facing a sink hole, do not hesitate to ask for help. God’s help. The help of friends or family. The help that the community of faith can offer. If you know someone who is going through a particularly difficult time, don’t wait to be asked for help. Jump in. Get involved. Our efforts to help may be rebuffed or refused but that risk is worth taking.
The Hymn Abide With Me has always been a favorite. I particularly appreciate the first verse.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
–Henry F. Lyte
Let us put our trust in the One who is the help of the helpless.
Grace and Peace,
Harvest of Hope Dinner & Auction
Saturday, Aug. 19, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Harvest of Hope invites you to a fundraising dinner on Saturday, August 19th. Tickets are $25 in advance, available at Peoples News in Marietta, and $30 at the door.
All dishes will be cooked by local chefs using local ingredients. Appetizers and drinks start at 5:30 p.m. with a dinner buffet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. During the dinner hours, there will be both a silent and live auction.
This event will be held at the Holy Smoke Event Center, 6825 S.R. 821, Whipple, which is 15 minutes from downtown Marietta. Come out and support this local program that feeds the hungry in our community! For more information call 740-538-8811.
Christ Church is excited to sponsor a packing table for the 100,000 Meals for Washington County program! On November 4, 2017, our table will be one of 30. In less than 2 hours, 300 volunteers will package 100,000 meals (a variety of rice & beans, macaroni & cheese, and tomato & basil pasta) to donate directly to the food pantries in Washington County, Ohio.
Festival of Sharing Deadline Draws Near
This summer we are working with other United Methodist churches to restock the regional warehouse with Church World Service kits. These kits are dispersed during natural disaster or communities in need.
If you have not prepared your kit or donated yet, we still have about six weeks left. Below are the three types of kit. In lieu of packing, you can give in any offering the donation value, designated Festival of Sharing, to provide a kit.
- School Kits: Give children in impoverished communities and refugee camps some of the basic tools for learning. Processing: $2. Donation Value: $15.
- Hygiene Kits: Provide kits to make all the difference between sickness and health for struggling families. Processing: $2. Donation Value: $15.
- Emergency Cleanup Bucket: These supplies enable people to manage the overwhelming job of cleaning up after a natural disaster. Processing: $3. Donation Value: $75.
Printed packing directions are available in the Narthex. Please have all kits and donations turned in to the church by Sunday, September 17th.
Junior Choir for grades K-7 will begin rehearsing Sunday, September 17, at 9:00 a.m. in the Junior Church/Junior Choir Room. The practices last 20 minutes each week. The children sing once a month during the regular worship services and at special times during the church year: Palm Sunday, Christmas Eve, Mother’s Day. Directed by Norma Dennis and accompanied by Nondyce Gulick.
Marietta College International Mentors
Suzanne Deitz, local coordinator of International Friendships at Marietta College, is looking for mentor families or individuals for the 2017-2018 academic year.
This is a unique opportunity to provide support and hospitality to an international student, help them adjust to our culture, and give Christian love in a tangible way. The time invested is not extensive as these young adults are very busy with their studies. The most common ways mentors interact with their student is through invitations to holiday celebrations, a home cooked meal, or even an invitation to church.
Most of our Marietta College international students are not Christian, but they are curious and enjoy learning about our culture. If you are interested, call Suzanne at 304-488-1119 or email her at email@example.com. She will walk you through the application process.
From Pastor Cheryl
Don’t you love nice surprises? I saw The Shack when Karl Kumpf previewed it at church for his Summer Sunday School series. I’d tried reading the book ages ago—and couldn’t get past 12 pages. I saw the trailer in the theater—and was put off by the apparent focus on drama and murder. But I am so glad that Bob and I came down to see it! Not only is the movie worth watching, the story behind it is equally compelling. The movie is about our relationship with God—and I don’t know about you, but I often find that God works in amazing, surprising ways. If you missed it and haven’t been able to attend the Sunday School sessions I’d encourage you to see it, or read it, and talk about it with your friends. You, too, might be pleasantly surprised.
Here’s some things to know about our lay ministries…
- Safe Sanctuary training will be held during Sunday School (9:15-10:15 AM) on August 20th in the Fellowship Hall after Donut Time. This pastor-led training is required annually by our West Ohio Conference for all of our staff and church volunteers 18 years and older. Please plan to attend if you assist with our Children/Youth Sunday School, Children’s Church, After School, Youth Group, or Vacation Bible School ministries. A make-up session will be Sunday, August 27th, from 11:30-12:30 (or after late worship).
- Laity Sunday will be celebrated on Sunday, September 3rd. Come to worship early to see the slide show of this past year at Christ and be sure to come down to Fellowship Hall for refreshments and sharing time between services.
- Rally Day, the traditional Sunday School programming kickoff in the United Methodist Church, is the Sunday following the Sternwheeler Festival. This year Rally Day is September 17th. Children and Youth will begin regular classes this day; Adults will meet in Fellowship Hall after Donut Time to learn about the various classes being offered this fall. Class leaders/facilitators will be asked to give a short overview of what they will be studying.
- Our Thursday Brown Bag classes will resume on September 21st as M.J. Ebenheck leads us in a study about Islam (see her article). An introductory class will be held during Sunday School on Sternwheeler Sunday, September 10th. If you’re not already at the Levee that morning, come and see!
- Christ Cares and Extended Table, our visitation and lay communion ministry teams, are always looking for new members. If you are interested in this challenging and rewarding ministry, please talk with me and plan to attend our joint fall meeting in early October.
Rally Day: GO!
Sunday, Sept. 17th, all services
This year’s Rally Day theme is GO!
Why GO! to Sunday School?
GO! build relationships.
GO! be a world-changer.
Which class will you GO! to?
Where will you GO! from there?
There’s great stuff on the agenda for Rally Day!
For Adults: Join us in the Fellowship Hall at 9:15 a.m. for an in-depth introduction of the adult class offerings. If you can’t make that, the adult classes will be highlighted in both services. Adults will have class options based on topics, Bible study, women’s issues, and more.
For Youth (grades 7-12): Meet in your new digs on the 2nd floor! Hang out on the couch, watch and discuss video shorts based on questions you probably have about the Bible, those ancient folks we read about, and why we believe what we do.
For Kids (grades pre-K-6): Check out our our new class groupings and rooms! Each class (plus Children’s Church) will focus on the theme of GO! “Learn and Serve.” Don’t miss the special children’s time! You’ll receive your portal to GO! online each week for special games, Bible verses, and videos that enforce what you’ve learned each Sunday.
For Everyone: GO! grab some extra-special snacks in the Fellowship Hall before services. During both worship services, Beth Ann Weber will share how Sunday School and the family of faith has led her to GO! and to where.
Being part of a smaller group, meeting to study and discuss God’s word, building relationships . . . it all makes a measurable difference in your spiritual life. If you, your children, or your grandchildren have not joined a Sunday School class yet, make the commitment this September 17th to GO!
(no Children’s Sunday School or Children’s Church. Nursery and Preschool open!)
Youth & Kids GO! to their new classes.
Brown Bag Study: Islam
September 21 – November 16, 2017
Beginning September 21st, the Thursday Brown Bag study group will be undertaking a 9-week course on “Understanding and Appreciating Islam”. The course will be led by Dr. MJ Ebenhack, who is also leading an Institute for Learning in Retirement course on Interfaith Dialogue at Marietta College this fall.
This course will be built around prominent North American Muslims sharing information via videos, including:
- What is Islam?
- The life of the Prophet Mohamed
- The history of Islam
- Women in Islam
- An overview of the Qur’an
- What Islam teaches about peace and violence
- The Muslim way of life
- A virtual visit to a mosque
To get a taste and preview of this study, join us on Sternwheeler Sunday, September 10th, at 9:15 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall for a movie presentation.
Please join us to learn more about Islam, the second largest and fastest growing religion in the world, and discuss how we grow in our own faith while appreciating the paths of others. No books or materials required! To register, contact the church office (740-373-1512).
Does That Do You Ring a Bell?
Handbell Open House: Saturday, Aug. 26th, 10-Noon
Have you ever been curious about handbells? Do you want to give it a try? Has it maybe been awhile? Well, here’s your chance to check things out! We would love for you to join us for an informal morning of ringing, going over the basics, brushing up on techniques, and possibly reading through some music.
Join us on Saturday, August 26th from 10am-noon in the Church Sanctuary. Wear comfortable shoes; we will have gloves available for you to use. Everyone from 6th grade to 99 years of age is welcome, this is your chance to try it out with no commitment! Current ringers are encouraged to attend as well as anyone interested in or curious about ringing bells.
ESL Class Forming
A new English As a Second Language class will be offered at the church beginning September 5th. The class will be for people in our community whose first language is not English and whom desire to improve their English speaking skills.
The class will be free of charge and held for one hour, one day a week. The class will be held Tuesdays at 1 p.m. in one of the Christ Church classrooms. If you know of anyone who might be interested in this class, please inform them of the class and ask them to register with Beth Ann (740-373-1512). Gail Popp will be the teacher.
From our Minister of Health
Listen . . .
In 1980, West Ohio Conference hired a very talented consultant, Tim Savage, who developed a listening program which has at its premise that deep listening to another person is the best route to genuine caring and compassion that assists in establishing a connection with someone. At that time, Savage’s focus was helping to stop the flow of people out of church by helping congregations become a more caring community in part by using good listening skills. The conference trained a talented group of instructors to work with congregations in all the districts. Some of those instructor’s names will sound familiar: Karl Kumpf, Candy Green and Pete Hoffman. And there were several members of our congregation at that time who took the Listening Lab courses, learning the art of true listening – tuning into the other person and establishing a relationship of trust. I was one of those lucky folks and to this day consider the Listening Lab one of the best courses I’ve ever taken, giving me tools to live by in both my professional and personal life.
In the health profession, it’s easy enough to see the transition from listening to others to listening to yourself and your own body. What is it your body is trying to tell you? One of my enjoyments in life is watching professional tennis, particularly the four major tournaments. In July, that means breakfast with Wimbledon literally as it’s televised live from England for two weeks at 7 am here. I enjoy watching the young Serbian, Novak Djokovic, who is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all times. In a post-game interview, a game in which he was forced to retire, he spoke of the serious elbow injury. He said he had to listen to his body, which for a tennis professional, means possible months of recovery, therapy, possible surgery and missing major tournaments.
My husband is another good example of the importance of listening to your own body. Since retirement in 2000, he has been exercising three times a week at our local hospital’s wellness center. Late this spring he developed some tightness in his chest one morning accompanied by nausea while using the Nordic Trac machine. He got off, reported his concern to the staff and our PCP. Stress test and catheterization results showed some heart vessel blockage that could not be repaired with stents; so we will be facing coronary bi-pass surgery in Columbus next month. How wise that he listened to his body immediately and the problem was diagnosed.
Are you getting messages from your body like unexplained weight loss or gain, changes in normal body functions, memory loss, or changes in skin lesions to name a few? What is your body trying to tell you and are you listening?
UMW Kick-Off Potluck
Thursday, Sept. 14, Noon
Christ Church United Methodist Women invite all women to our fellowship potluck luncheon on Thursday, September 14th, at Noon, held in the church Fellowship Hall. This event begins our UMW year. We’ll present the ministries and Circles of our group, answer any questions, and get to know each better. So all are welcome, regardless of membership in the UMW!
Christ Church UMW has two Circles: an afternoon Circle that meets the third Thursday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and an evening Circle that meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.. Each circle will hold its first meeting in September. New members are always welcome!
Ring Out, Wild Bells!
We will be kicking off regular bell rehearsals tentatively, on Wednesday, August 30th at 6:30 pm. This dedicated group practices weekly through April and rings in worship typically once a month. We ring in the Christmas Eve service and the Marietta Spring Ring (in April). This season, we may attend the Spring Handbell Festival in Charleston, April 13 & 14, 2018. Watch the weekly email updates for confirmation of the start of rehearsals.
Lift Your Voices to God, with Singing
Our Sanctuary Choir is open to all who love to sing, no auditions necessary! This choir rehearses Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. and sings each week at the 10:30 a.m. service through May. We also participate in the Christmas Eve Service. The group is open to ages High School and up. Rehearsals will tentatively begin on Thursday, September 7th, and the choir will sing for the first time on Rally Day, September 17th. Stayed tuned in the weekly email updates for any changes to this information.
Fall Walks to Emmaus
- Women’s Walk: Sept. 28 – Oct. 1
- Men’s Walk: Oct. 5 – 8
The Walk to Emmaus is a once-in-a-lifetime spiritual retreat focused on Christian discipleship. Walks occur two times per year for men and women, ages 18 and above. If you have not attended a Walk to Emmaus, but would like to or would like more information, speak with Pastor Don or Pastor Cheryl, visit the Mid-Ohio Valley Walk to Emmaus website, and view the video below.
Attending a Walk to Emmaus requires sponsorship by a prior attendee. There are many within our congregation who would love to sponsor you for this meaningful experience.