July-August 2019

From Pastor Karen

I am Grateful

Prayer for a New Heart UMH #392 Dag Hammerskjold

Thou who art over us,
Thou who art one of us,
Thou who art:
Give me a pure heart, that I may see thee;
A humble heart, that I may hear thee;
A heart of love, that I may serve thee;
A heart of faith, that I may abide in thee. Amen.

Grateful | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, OhioSisters and Brothers of all ages at Christ UMC in Marietta:

I am more than delighted that DS Dennis Miller and Bishop Gregory V. Palmer have seen fit to appoint me to be your new lead pastor. I have heard of your faith and of God’s faithfulness for over 200 years, and it is a humbling charge to come among you as a servant leader, and to stand in the tradition of many strong and beloved pastors and servant leaders.

  • I am grateful for the strong staff leadership, who by the time you read this, will have already greeted me.
  • I am grateful for the faithful members of our Annual Conference who I met at Lakeside.
  • I am grateful for the strong, empowered lay persons who are the bedrock of our ministry and our witness to God’s abundant love for the world.
  • I am grateful for the deep and wide history you have of being engaged in and beyond the community of Marietta, leading in the congregation and in the community, living lives as disciples of Christ.
  • I am grateful for the generous welcome I have already received, from staff, SPRC, Trustees, and many others.
  • I am grateful for the beauty and charm of this mission field, the town of Marietta and its surrounds—John Wesley said “The world is my parish.” I confess that this is a part of the state that is new for me, so I feel a bit like those early explorers of the late 18th century, albeit with countless more creature comforts and resources. I will listen to you, and trust you to help me learn these surroundings, so that we can dream dreams and see visions together for such a time as this.

Ever since I received word of my appointment, I have not stopped praying for you, and asking God to fill you with hope, even as you prepared for a shift in the world as you’d known it for over ten years. I asked God to prepare me—to leave Hilliard well and faithfully, and to fill me with hope and ready me to meet new people, to learn new places, and to be faithful to this new call to a new place. God more quickly than I expected, delivered to me a spirit of peace, that all would be well—we know it will be different, and all will be well.

I anticipate spending my first months getting to know you—staff, leadership, and persons of all ages in the pews. I did mention that I know nothing about this part of the state and God’s beloved who reside here, didn’t I? I can read about it, but that’s not the same thing as learning your names, and hearing your stories and history, and your hopes and dreams for our life together going forward. Listening well will take some time.

Changing appointments at this time in our denominational life is not without fear and trepidation. Let’s be honest—we’re most comfortable with, well, being comfortable. And change is anything but comfortable. My desire and expectation is that we will hold fast and steady to traditions that have brought us this far by faith—traditions like welcoming and generous hospitality, feeding the hungry and helping those who are in need, making joyful noises to the Lord—by serving others of all ages—and by asking God to draw us closer to one another and closer to God.

I continue to have faith that God’s people, empowered by the Holy Spirit, living and serving together in ministry, are the strongest force for hope in a community, and even in the world. As we allow ourselves to be taken over and transformed by God’s miraculous love in Christ Jesus, we can’t help but be concerned with others. That love changes our behavior, our attitudes, character, actions, and leads to hope, which does not disappoint. That love changes congregations and communities, and yes, the world.

A tradition for Methodists dating back just a bit longer than Christ UMC is a Watch Night service, held when a new year begins. John Wesley believed that Methodists, and all Christians, should reaffirm their covenant with God annually, so he created a service usually held on December 31. The service would provide a time of deep reflection and introspection, and an opportunity to look back over the year that has passed, make confession and prepare for the year ahead.

I am writing this article before the first Sunday of my new appointment, the start of our shared “new year,” if you will. Central to the service is the Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition, #607 in the United Methodist Hymnal. I invite you to begin praying this prayer, even daily, that it might serve as the ground of our faith, as we prepare ourselves for the new year together that we begin on June 30.

A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

Holding you in grace, prayer, love and hope,
Pastor Karen

Pastor Karen Muntzing | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ohio

Pastor Karen’s Bio

I am not a “child of the church.” Church was not our family’s practice or expectation. I had a profound experience of the love of God when I was in high school. Unfortunately, within a year or so, I had an experience that sent me running from God and the church for about 17 years. My journey back involved deep healing and a continual growing in understanding of God’s love for me, even despite me. That there is nothing in heaven or on earth that can separate me–or anyone else–from God’s amazing love in Jesus Christ is good, even great news. As I have served in ministry, I am compelled that all receive the news that they are beloved by God. I believe that love is the most transformative force in the universe, and I believe at its best, the local church is the strongest outpost for sharing, proclaiming, and enacting that love in the world. Read more . . .

Summer Sunday School | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ohio

Summer Sunday School

During the summer months our youth and adults combine for weekly topics of interest, meeting in the Fellowship Hall. This summer we’re focusing on topics of faith through TED Talks sprinkled among several of our summer favorites. See our schedule below:

July 7 TED Talk “The Gospel of Doubt” by Casey Gerald. Discussion led by Mark Duckworth.
July 14 TED Talk “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown. Discussion led by Beth Brown.
July 21-28 “Love Listens” A two week introduction to the invitational ministry of Trevor Hudson. Led by Karl Kumpf.
Aug. 4 TED Talk “What Makes a Good Life: Lessons from the longest study on happiness.” by Robert Waldinger. Discussion led by Carl Carpenter.
Aug. 11 Hymn Sing with Vicki Schwartz McCoy & Norma Dennis
Aug. 18 Safe Sanctuary Training
Aug. 25 Annual Conference Report. Discussion led by Russ & Jenni Garrison
Sept. 1 Laity Sunday
Sept. 8 Pastor Karen & Pastor Cheryl
Sept. 15 Rally Day!

From Pastor Cheryl

Boy with hot air balloon | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, OhioLife is full of transitions. . .and Christ Church in the midst of one. Thanks to all of you who helped with Pastor Don’s departure, my absence to help care for my father, and Pastor Karen’s welcome. We are blessed at Christ to have a gifted laity who are willing to serve in whatever ways they can—and that makes being a pastor here a privilege and a joy. As we begin this new season of ministry, I invite you to continue serving God in ways that are familiar to you, and in entirely new ways as well. Let’s join in God’s business of “New Creation!” so that Christ transforms our community and our world.

Here’s some of what’s currently happening in our lay ministries:

Vacation Bible School got off to a delicious start with the famous VBS bread and a potluck. We sang our favorite VBS songs, did crafts, and visited with one another. Thanks Laura Warren, Steve Brown, and Christian Education for your planning and for making this a night to be remembered. If you missed it, the next VBS dates are July 24 and August 14—be sure to invite your family, neighbors and friends!

The Marietta Ukulele Choir kicked off our performance season by opening for High Schools That Rock at East Muskingum Park’s Thursday night Music in the Park series. Several new players have joined, so if you’ve even considered picking up a ukulele we have a spot for you. Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings from 7-8 PM in the Fellowship Hall—we can even loan you an instrument for a while.

Our Thursday Brown Bag study, TED Talks, is on break for now. Topics we covered this spring/summer included happiness, the mental abilities of animals, gender issues, world championship whistling, and how we know what we know, among others. A TED format is being followed for many of our Summer Sunday School sessions. No homework is required, just come when you can—you’ll be glad you did!

Has God been calling you to do something? Are you ready to answer that call? Let us know how we can help.

Pastor Cheryl Arnold
740-373-1512 (church)
740-896-3824 (home)

Throwback VBS

July 24, August 14

Throwback Thursday VBS on Wednesdays! Multi-generation fun nights with VBS oldies but goodies - potluck meal, games, crafts, Bible lessons, and favorite VBS songs.Join us this summer for an all-generation VBS full of fun! Once a month we’ll meet on a Wednesday evening at 6 p.m., starting off with a potluck dinner. Then all ages will travel down memory lane and enjoy activities from past favorite Vacation Bible School programs. The evening will include games, crafts, Bible stories, singing…all the oldies and goodies. Even our famous VBS bread will make a return!!!

July 24th – Christmas in July
August 14th – Sands of Time

This event is for families, singles, couples, ages two to infinity. Activities are for all ages to enjoy together. Any oldies are welcome to enjoy fellowship time together if they prefer.

Questions? Contact the church office (740-373-1512).

Summer Special Music

Summer Special Music | News & Views | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, OhioDuring the summer months our Sanctuary Choir takes a well deserved break. We use this time to allow other folks to share their musical gifts in worship, whether it be vocal, instrumental, or musical ensemble. To participate, you must be available for both the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. Accompanists are available upon request.

If you would like to serve the congregation in this manner, our music director, Beth Payton will be scheduling Sundays from Memorial Day through early September. Please schedule early as available dates are on a first-come first-serve basis.

From Our Minister of Health


New Growth | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, OhioOn May 22, on the 8th floor of Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, our grandson was given new life in the form of a bone marrow transplant; a gift from a young female donor who lives somewhere in Germany, a person we may never know. The attending staff at his procedure called it Cameron’s rebirth-day, because essentially he’s a new person as far as his immune system goes. The intensive radiation and chemotherapy treatments wiped out his immune system prior to the transplant so it wouldn’t/couldn’t fight the donor cells. (It is beyond my comprehension that this hospital does over 500 bone marrow transplants a year!)

When our son told me the staff’s terminology for Cameron’s day, I couldn’t help but think of Nicodemus coming to see Jesus in the night as he searched for answers about the truth of God. You’ll recall Jesus said we must be born again or born anew in order to have a direct, personal relationship with God. A rebirth experience.

I have come to understand that all of life is a series of death and resurrection experiences. These transitions or experiences may not all be as dramatic as what Nicodemus learned or what Cameron has been through, but they are rebirth nevertheless. Divorce or loss of a job are a few that come immediately to mind. Cameron, whether or not he is aware of it at this point, is physically and spiritually a different person and his disease journey will change his perspective of who he is for the rest of his life.

I want to thank all of you, our Christ Church family, for the prayers and support you have given our family during this journey with Cameron’s cancer. Our son and grandson remain in St. Louis in an apartment near the hospital for the rest of the summer. Should Cameron develop any side effects of the transplant, it is comforting to know that help is available immediately. We received the good news this week that his recent bone marrow biopsy shows no signs of leukemia and 100% donor cells. For this we celebrate!

Sherrie Hoffman

Thank You from Don & Sandy

Thank You! | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, OhioWow! That’s the word that comes to mind whenever I think about the incredible farewell reception on June 2nd. Sandy and I were overwhelmed by the planning and preparation that went into an unforgettable day. We have read all the cards and cherish the many kind words.

The food and fellowship were equally wonderful.

We want to thank everyone for the effort that went into planning and preparing the reception. You gave us a day that we will not forget.

Please know that we continue to pray for you and this next chapter in the life of Christ Church.

Thank you!!

Don and Sandy Archer

Photo by Sarah Soto, used by permission. Worshiping together is one way we stand with migrants. Learn what you can do to make a difference in your community and around the world. | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ohio

Photo by Sarah Soto, used by permission.
Worshiping together is one way we stand with migrants. Learn what you can do to make a difference in your community and around the world.

Ways United Methodists Can Stand with Migrants

A UMC.org Feature by Joe Iovino*

This article is reprinted from UMC.org’s July 2, 2019, front page article.

Global migration is a phenomenon impacting countries around the world at historic highs.

According to the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, forced displacement is “a crisis of global proportions and immense moral and ethical implications.”

Many of us cannot imagine what it must be like to abandon your home nation due to war, natural disaster or economic hardship. Yet this is indeed the reality for many people in countries around the world, including in our own communities. In an effort to protect and provide for their families, some make the difficult decision to look for a new nation to call home.

Migrants escaping violence took refuge at the United Methodist Church in Jalingo, Nigeria in 2017. Migrants escaping violence took refuge at the United Methodist Church in Jalingo, Nigeria in 2017. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, United Methodist Communications. | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ohio

Migrants escaping violence took refuge at the United Methodist Church in Jalingo, Nigeria in 2017. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, United Methodist Communications.

What The United Methodist Church says

The United Methodist Church upholds practicing hospitality to migrants, immigrants, refugees, asylees and others without regard to race, status, nationality, or religion.

The United Methodist Social Principles, found in our Book of Discipline, include a section titled Rights of Immigrants that states, “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination.”

A resolution titled Global Migration and the Quest for Justice affirms, “Christians do not approach the issue of migration from the perspective of tribe or nation, but from within a faith community of love and welcome, a community that teaches and expects hospitality to the poor, the homeless, and the oppressed,” an echo of Jesus’ parable of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-46).

Another resolution, titled Welcoming the Migrant to the U.S. reads, “Welcoming the migrant is not only an act of mission; it is an opportunity to receive God’s grace.” This reflects what we are taught in the book of Hebrews, “Don’t neglect to open up your homes to guests, because by doing this some have been hosts to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2 CEB).

“Welcoming the migrant is not only an act of mission; it is an opportunity to receive God’s grace.” (United Methodist Book of Resolutions) Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications. | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ohio

“Welcoming the migrant is not only an act of mission; it is an opportunity to receive God’s grace.” (United Methodist Book of Resolutions) Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

What you can do

Because no person, organization or nation can solve these issues alone, we can convince ourselves there is nothing we can do to make a difference. In reality, there are a variety of things United Methodists can do to stand with and support migrants in our communities and around the world.

Pray. We pray that God will bring peace and justice for all people.

Advocate for legislation. The first time you contact an elected representative can be uncomfortable, but rewarding. Government officials listen to their constituents, so voice your concerns to those in power. Ask them to support policies that are hospitable to refugees and immigrants, and to introduce new legislation to make immigration, refugee and asylum processes just and efficient.

Welcome migrants and refugees to your congregation. Invite those new to your community to learn more about your congregation as a place of Christian worship, a part of the community, and a resource for assistance. Research ways your congregation can serve immigrants in your community.

Support language classes. Many communities need volunteers to teach the dominant language in your nation. In the United States, for example, there are typically needs for English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Volunteer to teach. Ask your congregation to host classes.

In a train station in Budapest in 2015, migrant wait to travel to German, Austria and other European nations. Donations to UMCOR’s Global Migration fund help meet the needs of migrants around the world. Photo by Daniel Peters, United Methodist Communications. | Christ United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ohio

In a train station in Budapest in 2015, migrant wait to travel to German, Austria and other European nations.
Donations to UMCOR’s Global Migration fund help meet the needs of migrants around the world. Photo by Daniel Peters, United Methodist Communications.

Support local employment counseling services. Many communities have programs that offer assistance to those looking for work. Volunteers are trained to help fill out application forms, prepare resumes and navigate employment websites.

Donate to the UMCOR’s Global Migration fund. Our United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and United Methodist Global Ministries are working to provide relief and safety to migrants around the world. Or consider providing hygiene kits that will be distributed by UMCOR.

Speak up for a spirit of welcome in your community, locally and nationally. Around the world, xenophobic rhetoric, attitudes, and actions are turning communities into places of inhospitality and exclusion on local and national levels. This is having a real impact on policies and is fomenting acts of violence. Oppose fearmongering and xenophobia in conversations in public and in private—at the market, at church, at school, and at home. Remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). Be an active citizen and speak out to make society better.

The Rev. Jeania Ree Moore, Director of Civil and Human Rights, General Board of Church and Society, The United Methodist Church contributed to this story.

Joe Iovino works for UMC.org at United Methodist Communications. Contact him by email or at 615-312-3733.