From Pastor Don: Sunrise-Sunset Challenge
On January 7th, I encouraged the Christ Church family to set a goal of observing a sunrise and a sunset on the same day sometime in 2018 and to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for each. Sometime this year, maybe on your birthday or some other occasion, set aside the time to get up early and watch the sunrise and then set aside the time to watch it set.
As the sun rises, try offering a prayer of thanksgiving. This can be spoken or silent. The prayer may be as simple as: God, thank you for this new day. And as the sun sets: Thank you, God, for the gift of this day.
You may want to read one of the following verses of scripture:
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. –Psalm 118:2
From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised.
This doesn’t have to happen in any particular place. It can be in your backyard, looking out your kitchen window, any place. You may want to go to a favorite spot and do this and spend some time in prayer and contemplation.
You may choose to do this by yourself or maybe you want to do this with your spouse or a group of friends.
Why am I asking us to do this? Because I believe it is good for us to experience the cycle of day and night, darkness and light, beginning and end; while being intentionally aware of the presence of the God of all creation.
When you do this, I would love to hear about your experience. Maybe you could share something about it during worship or with your Sunday School class or small group.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Grace and Peace,
Special Speaker Feb. 18
Sunday School Hour and Worship Services
Rev. Dr. Richard Boone, Church and Community Worker Missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries serving as the Horizon Prison Initiative coordinator at the London Correctional Institution in London, Ohio, will be our guest on Sunday, February 18th, during the Sunday School hour and both worship services. He has extensive experience in urban ministry, ethnic and inter-ethnic ministries, the Kairos Prison Ministry, and the Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis movements.
Rev. Boone’s visit is sponsored by our United Methodist Women furthering their goal to educate our congregation on UMW areas of concern and action. The United Methodist Women International has four mission work priorities: climate justice, maternal and child health, criminalization of communities of color, and economic inequality. Rev. Boone will be addressing the racial and gender issues of mass incarceration in Ohio.
Rev. Boone is an ordained elder in the West Ohio Annual Conference who has been associated with Horizon Prison Initiative since 2012. He was previously pastor of Faith United Methodist Church in Canal Winchester for six years, and from 2000 to 2006 was director of the United Methodist Mission Society of the Capital area districts of the conference.
These services are a wonderful and unique opportunity to learn firsthand about incarceration issues in our own state. We hope you will mark your calendar and attend both the 9:15 meeting and worship service on February 18th.
The Outreach and Missions Committee are moving forward with several activities in 2018. We continue serving the free community lunch on the first Friday of each month. We serve an average of 80 meals, including our take-out lunches. The next lunch is set for Friday, February 2, 2018. If you would like to help out, contact the church office.
Mark your calendars for February 17th, 2018. We will be hosting a Pot-Luck Dinner at 4:30 PM, in the Fellowship Hall. Plan now to bring your favorite dish and join us for some good fellowship, meet some new members, and visit with friends. As part of out pot-luck dinner activity, we are asking you to bring new pajamas, children sizes 5-8, for us to donate to needy children through the schools. We will provide table service and drinks for the dinner.
The Outreach committee will also be working on a project to provide Hygiene Kits for the food pantry. We will make a list of the items needed, and let the church membership know what will be put in the kits. Look for this project to begin in late February.
Good News from Christ Broadcast Change
You may or may not be aware that during 2017 the Christ UMC radio ministry Good News from Christ experimented with broadcasting on two additional radio stations, WJAW-FM in McConnelsville and WJAW-AM in St. Marys. Unfortunately, even though it is likely we had listeners in both areas who appreciated our Sunday morning worship broadcasts, we didn’t get a single response from anyone in those areas during the year. Our church has therefore decided that it was better stewardship to resume our traditional broadcast schedule. (The air time in 2017 was provided free by the good people at WMOA to give us a chance to see if the extra stations were worthwhile to our ministry.)
So in 2018 we will continue to broadcast every week only on our local station, WMOA-AM, 1490 on your radio dial, at 10:00 a.m. Sunday mornings. We know from stories we hear that we have a loyal audience of listeners who count on our radio broadcast for their Sunday morning worship experience.
And of course, our broadcasts will continue to be available on our church web site, www.christumcmarietta.org. Sunday morning services generally appear on the web site 5 to 10 days following the service, and are kept on the web site if you want to listen to past services. This also gives people who have been in worship at Christ Church the opportunity to listen again to a meaningful sermon or a good anthem.
We also want to welcome a new “producer” to our Good News from Christ team. Linda Ankrom has joined Jeff Walker and Karl Kumpf in editing and announcing the broadcasts and can be heard every third week introducing the programs. We welcome Linda to our team and appreciate her valuable contributions to this ministry.
Good News from Christ might be a good way to invite a friend or neighbor to check out our church, or to do a service to a home bound acquaintance by letting them know they can worship with us at home.
Thank you for your support of our radio ministry through your regular offerings.
From Pastor Cheryl
Yesterday I heard an interview with Christian Picciolini, author of White American Youth: My Descent into America’s Most Violent Hate Movement—and How I Got Out. Today Picciolini is an accomplished author, speaker, and media producer who has committed his life to dissolving the movement he helped create. He credits Mr. Johnny Holmes, black security guard at the high school which expelled him twice, for turning his life around by showing him compassion when he didn’t deserve it.
I don’t know about you, but for me, compassion is usually the last thing I feel for those espousing hate. And yet, as I listened, I realized that Picciolini’s life had been transformed by Christ, whether he knew it or not. Surely, if the person who was considered to be one of the most dangerous new leaders in the world can be turned from hate to love by the gift of compassion, then we need more of it, not less. May God grant me—and all of us—the desire to connect with those whom we fear, and the grace to reach out in compassion, forgiveness, and mercy.
Here’s an update on some of our lay ministry opportunities:
Christ Cares and Extended Table will hold their joint winter meeting on Sunday, February 4th at 9:20 AM in Room 208. Interested in learning more about these are ministries of listening, presence, and serving Holy Communion? Plan to join us.
After School, our Wednesday afternoon tutoring ministry with first, second, and third graders at Washington Elementary School, is often short on volunteers in the winter months due to vacations and illness. If you would like to help with this ministry, talk with Cheryl.
Children’s Church meets during late worship, after Children’s Time. Leading this ministry is a great way to get to know our young people! If you’ve been wanting to volunteer but lack Safe Sanctuary training, contact Cheryl and we’ll schedule another round.
Have something else in mind? Let us know and we’ll try to help.
Pastor Cheryl Arnold
Malala Yousafzai Documentary
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai Documentary to be shown for World Interfaith Harmony Week, Feb. 1-7
World Interfaith Harmony Week is February 1-7, 2018. To celebrate this world-wide observance locally, Mid-Ohio Valley Interfaith and the Marietta College Office of Student Life will present the documentary “He Named Me Malala,” the story of Malala Yousafzai, winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize and youngest Nobel Prize laureate. In 2009 Malala was shot by Taliban militants for her pursuit of education in northwest Pakistan but miraculously survived. She is now an international advocate for the right to education for all persons as she pursues her own education in the United Kingdom.
The documentary will be shown at the Anderson Hancock Planetarium on the Marietta College campus on Friday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday, February 3 at 5:00 p.m. in the Rotunda at the Glenwood Retirement Center on Glendale Extension in Marietta. The film will be followed by a guided discussion on the importance of education, especially for girls, and how people of all faiths can support education for all. The program is free and open to the public.
The Shack, movie and book study
United Methodist Women’s 2018 Reading Program
604 6th St., Marietta
Sight and Sound Theatre Trip
June 21 – 22, 2018
God’s Girls will be sponsoring a bus tour for any interested person to Lancaster, PA to the Sight and Sound Theatre for its new production of Jesus. The trip will be hosted by Carol Brown, owner of C.L. Tours. The bus will be at the Christ United Methodist Church parking lot on Third Street on Thursday, June 21. We will attend the performance of Jesus Thursday evening and then be taken to Cork Factory Hotel, Lancaster’s newest renovated upscale boutique hotel which was built in 1865 and originally housed Armstrong Cork Company. After breakfast on Friday, there will be a tour of Amish country and time for lunch and shopping. We will return to Marietta Friday evening. The cost of the trip is $299 which includes the bus fare, ticket to Jesus, hotel room (double occupancy), continental breakfast, and the cost for a local tour guide for the Amish countryside. Tip for the bus driver and lunches and dinner are not included.
As the Sight and Sound Theatres website states, they are “passionate about bringing the Bible to life. Sight and Sound takes theater to a whole new level. Every show is an epic experience with a meaningful message. Sight and Sound’s unique theater experience begins with a 2,000-seat auditorium, a 300-ft. stage that surrounds the audience on three sides, state-of-the-art technology, and live animals.”
If you are interested in going or need more information, please contact Beth Morgan (740-336-7153). We must have a minimum of 30 people to offer this trip. We need an early estimate of interested people, a deposit of $50 by March 15, 2018, and the remaining $249 by April 15, 2018. Payment is non-refundable.
From Our Minister of Health
On the first day of the new year, it is my tradition to get down the old calendar and transfer all the birthdays of family and friends to the calendar for the new year. On the calendar for last year, I also have documented the number of flower arrangements I make each month for hospice. Through this congregation’s generosity with mugs and flowers, we were able to brighten the lives of over one hundred hospice clients and their loved ones last year. (Next time Pastor Cheryl does her slide show during worship check out the photos of the flower arrangements so you have a feel for what the hospice nurses are delivering.)
This new year’s day tradition of mine was also a reminder of some suggested topics I wanted to share with you for the coming year.
You may remember from former articles I have written, that hospice is a care option for those who have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness. For those under hospice care, some difficult decisions, conversations and choices have already taken place between the client, family members and the physicians. The goal is to provide comfort and focus on quality of life at this stage of approaching death. Ideally these discussions and decisions are made long before they are needed and are in the form of legal documents of advance directives and medical power of attorney. On April 30th, my mother-in-law will be 100 years old! She is in reasonably good physical and mental health and because three of her children live within in a mile’s distance, she is able to remain in her home by herself. She is obviously a very independent woman. But she is also unwilling at this point, despite multiple attempts by my husband to have a discussion about when this independence is no longer possible, and what her wishes, and choices are for when the reality of the body’s eventual decline happens. This is obviously a challenging situation. I would encourage all who are reading this to set a goal for this new year to do the paper work for advance directives if you have not already done so. Last year I read the wonderful book, ‘Being Mortal’ by the New York surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande. He suggests we need to change the philosophy of health care from ensuring health and survival to ‘enabling well being’. “Arriving at an acceptance of one’s mortality and a clear understanding of the limits and possibilities of medicine is a process, not an epiphany.” The goal is to have a good life to the very end, but we need to have discussions with those we love as to what that exactly looks like. When we do advance directives, we are asking ourselves how would we want to spend our time as health worsens and who do you want to make decisions for you if you can’t.
The other program I wanted to mention is that of Palliative Care, which is just in it’s infancy at our local hospital. Palliative care is a treatment option for the seriously ill individual who may or may not be terminal. Its goal is to provide comfort, relief of pain and stress for patient and family as a companion to curative care. In other words, palliative care is not subject to any timing restrictions and can apply over periods of weeks, months or even years. In serious progressive illnesses it is sometimes difficult to manage the symptoms or conditions and in palliative care these issues can be addressed either at home or in short term hospital stays. As this program develops locally, I will update you.
Vacation Bible School Planning
Believe it or not, this is the traditional time of year that folks start preparing for VBS. Vacation Bible School is a lot of effort that equals a big blessing. But it’s not such a big blessing if all the planning falls on just one or two people.
Do you enjoy creative ideas? group brain-storming? seeing smiles on children’s faces? Do you have one night a month you could give up this winter/spring season? Then please consider offering your help to the VBS planning committee. Contact Laura Warren and let her know you’re in!
Prayer Shawl Ministry Continues
Many folks turn to crochet or knitting during the winter months. Now is the perfect time to make a prayer shawl or even a few to add to our church supply. Currently, supplies are low and we’re looking for help to build back up our stock.
If you’re not familiar with our prayer shawl ministry, here is a primer.
What is a Prayer Shawl?
A handmade wrap used as a spiritual practice by the one who stitches to communicate their thoughts and prayers for the recipient. The shawl is symbolic of the all-encompassing, unconditional, and healing love of God. They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, hug, shelter and beautify.
Prayer Shawls are intended for someone undergoing a medical procedure, as a comfort after a loss or in times of stress, during an illness and recovery, to enfold a loved one journeying their final days here on earth.
Making a Prayer Shawl
- Choose your pattern. There are several available in the church office. Pinterest is also a great source of free Prayer Shawl patterns.
- Choose your yarn. Let your fingers do the shopping! Choose a soft yarn that not only speaks soothing comfort but also is gentle on fragile skin. We do have a supply of yarn available, just ask!
- Pick up a prayer tag from the church office. Once your shawl is complete, fill out the tag with your name and the date completed then tie it on the shawl.
- Pray for the recipient as you stitch. If you would like prayer ideas, you can pick up a list when you pick up your pattern and tag.
- Bring shawl to the church office, completed and tagged. It will be added to our supply and distributed as we receive requests.
Requesting a Prayer Shawl
- Before requesting, please read the “Prayer shawls are intended for . . .” paragraph above.
- Submit your recipients name and need to the church office. We record each name that receives a shawl, keeping a count of shawls distributed.
- Supplies allowing, you will choose from our stocked shawls and receive two handouts to accompany the shawl, explaining its significance.
- Before delivering your shawl, please complete this most important step! Take the shawl to your Sunday School class, small group, to one of the worship services, to your group of friends. Have the group pray over the shawl and its recipient, either passing it around or all holding the shawl together. Write a personal prayer on the tag.
- Deliver the shawl. Make the visit a time to share all that the shawl represents, looking at its tag and handouts together.
If you have any questions, contact Beth Ann or stop by the church office.
Lenten Book Study
Thursdays @ Noon, Starting February 15th
In the Gospel of John, Jesus gives us the “I Am” sayings, meaningful metaphors such as “I am the bread of life” and “I am the light of the world,” to reveal his mission and purpose. One by one, the “I Am” sayings of Jesus not only grab our imagination about Jesus’ identity, they also help us to experience God, who spoke the first “I AM ” to Moses. Join us for this Lenten study series as we learn more about the God we can know and as we seek to answer Jesus’ question to us, “Who do you say I am?”
Week 1: “I Am the Bread of Life”: Knowing God’s Satisfaction
Week 2: I Am the Light of the World”: Knowing God’s Guidance
Week 3: “I Am the Good Shepherd”: Knowing God’s Care
Week 4: “I Am the True Vine”: Knowing God’s Power
Week 5: “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”: Knowing God’s Way
Week 6: “I Am the Resurrection and the Life”: Knowing God’s Possibilities