Centerport United Methodist Church
The Pastor's message comes from the Summer issue of our monthly church newsletter - The Focus.

A Season of Change

 

    As I write this column, I am looking forward to spending the next two weeks of the summer renewing. Although I will be in town and on the island, we all need to recharge, and take some time to rest. But I can tell you, I can hardly wait for our new season to begin!
 
Why, do you ask, am I committing the sacrilege of looking past vacation to a return to work? Because, quite simply, church is really going to cook this Fall. With the arrival of Pastor Wayne this past Spring, and now our new Music Director, Joe Ferrante (starting on Kick-Off Sunday, September 16), a whole new era in this church is beginning. Not only because of the skills, energy, enthusiasm and commitment these two bring, but also in the time it is freeing up to develop new ministries and the synergy growing to make our church an even more dynamic community of faith.
 
We’ve set our sights on making worship the best it can possibly be, a consistent and vibrant youth program, expanding the opportunities for members to be in ministry and mission, and planning for ways to make our church more visible and known in our community. And we’re just getting started!
 
Can you tell I’m excited? Still, Wayne, Joe, and I can’t do it alone. We need a responsive, energized membership to help the church be what God wants it to be. That’s where you come in. We all have great demands on our time. But, as part of this congregation, I ask that you consider these five things that any member can do on any Sunday to make a difference:
 
1. Come to church – your very presence adds to the atmosphere and makes a statement to newcomers. Visitors will far more likely return to an energized church.
2. Come to church to worship – worship is not just about what we receive from God, but what we offer to God. True worship is an offering of praise and thanks to the Giver of our lives and our blessings.
 
3. Come with a receptive heart – be open and ready to receive the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, and what God has to say to you this day.
 
4. Be a good host – When you encounter a newcomer at church, extend a warm welcome. Even better, seek out a new person and get to know them. They will remember the interest you display in them.
 
5. Join a small group – worship is wonderful, but spiritual growth is deepened when we engage in sharing, prayer and discussion with a small group. We will be starting more new groups at different times of the week, and I hope you’ll be part of one.
 
There you have some basic things you can do to help our church. And notice I didn’t even mention money or serving on a committee! I do hope that you will be part of the action around here, beginning with our Kick-Off Sunday on September 16. Joining your church family on that day—and every Sunday—will remind you and I just how much we have to celebrate.
 

 

 


Pastor Roy        

 


THE BIBLE - OUR KEY TO WISDOM


    There was a traveler who was preparing for a long trip, and he said to his friend: “I’m just about packed. I only need to put in my guidebook, pack my lamp, mirror, a microscope, a telescope, a book of fine poetry, a few biographies, a package of old letters, a book of songs, a sword, a hammer, and a set of books that I have been studying.”… “Hey man”…the friend said…”there is no way that you are going to fit all that into your bag.”… “Oh, yes,” replied the traveler, “it doesn’t take much room.” He placed his Bible in the corner of the suitcase…and closed the lid.

 

The Bible contains all we really need. The more you read and study the Bible, the more you will learn about God. The Bible is a very personal thing between you and God, and the more you know about God, the more you are going to love Him.           The Bible is really one story, even though it consists of 66 books, written by about 40 different authors over hundreds of years, it contains only one predominant theme, with a whole lot of sub-plots. The Bible is one book, one history, one story… His Story, as behind 10,000 events stands God, the builder of history, the maker of the ages. And as you read through the Bible you discover that there is one great purpose through the history of mankind: The Eternal Design of the Almighty God to redeem a wrecked and ruined world.

 

If you wanted to summarize the Bible you could look at it from this perspective:


God is the author – The Creator of the universe wrote the Bible, it is God’s Word, a record of how God has chosen to work through history.

We are the characters – Every book of the Bible describes how God has interacted with people. It focuses on us, His Creation…it tells us in great detail how God reached down to bring us back to Himself.

Jesus is the theme – in the great drama called human history… God has written Himself into the plot…because 2000 years ago He came to earth in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

The Bible provides us with insight into God…understanding His ways. It enables us to gain wisdom. Wisdom is what teaches us how to succeed in life by living in accordance with the order of the world. The real essence of wisdom is spiritual and comes from God. It involves observation, instruction, and faith in God.

 

We seek God’s wisdom in our quest to know what is good and right, and to live God’s way. This wisdom begins in our ability to recognize God’s presence.

 

When we are aware of God in our lives, the choices that we make are not so difficult. When we are aware of God in our lives, the decisions and the actions that we take come easier. When we are aware of God in our lives, we stop floundering around, as we now make the most of our lives, we make the most of our time and the choices that are presented to us.

 

In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul, while in prison in Rome, writes his letter to the church of Ephesus, which was a place characterized as the center of nature religion.

 

Paul writes his letter and reminds the church that 

the peace which now existed between the Jews and the Gentiles can be attributed to the work of Jesus; the walls of hatred that separated the two were broken down, Jesus Christ created a peace between these groups; he preached of peace to the Gentiles who were far from God in their hearts; he preached peace to the Jews who were near to God; and Jesus brought them together through his dying on the cross. His death served to remove hatred of each other and unite them to the Father by the same Spirit.

 

Paul leaves a message that there is only one Lord, one Spirit of God, and one God, who is the Father of all people.

Ephesians 4:2-6:

“Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of peace that binds you together. There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you. There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism; there is one God and Father of all people, who is Lord of all, works through all, and is in all.”

 

Paul imparted a message of unity: the unity of the people as a group committed to Christ, unity of a group of people with Christ in their hearts, unity of a group of people that understand that Christ is the bond that binds them together; unity as the Body of Christ, which is God’s people, in unity with our Lord Jesus Christ. He also provided instructions on how to live the Christian life. He provided wisdom, through his advice on Living as Children of Light. In God’s presence we quest for wisdom, for the ability to know and to do what is right in God’s world. In order to be reconciled with God, we have to live a life that measures up to the standards which he places before us, for it is not our world, it is His.

 

We need the wisdom to open up to the new ways that the Spirit may lead us, once we turn ourselves over to God. The power of wisdom strengthens us, the community of God’s people by leading what becomes a common commitment, our commitment as the Body of Christ, as a Community of Faith, to seek out and embrace God’s right, just and good purposes. We need the wisdom to understand exactly what the right thing is; and to choose to do it, not because it pleases us, but because we know it pleases God.

 

As we move forward may our lives and the works we do at Centerport United Methodist Church be a reflection of each of us, committed to doing our best to please our God and do God’s Will here on earth.

 



Brother Wayne Redman
Certified Lay Minister