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Lay Leader Lines October 2019

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Q: I’ve been debating with myself on whether or not I would like to serve on a church committee or hold some office in the church. How do I apply for a position as an officer or committee member? Are there any specifications I need to have? If I get on a committee, how long would I serve?

A: If you are interested in holding an office in the church, all you need to do is let the pastor, lay leader or a member of the Lay Leadership Committee (formerly called the Nominating Committee) know. The members of this and all other committees are posted on the secretary’s desk and on a bulletin board in the entry. Some positions do have a requirement that the position be held by a church member in good standing in the church, and some specify the length of time which the person shall have been a church member (often two or three years). Some positions are for three year-terms, and some specify that the member cannot succeed him—or herself for a second term, although after a break the person can again serve on the same committee. Other committees have no term limitations. The specifications for each office are included in the Book of Discipline. In addition, the pastor has booklets which describe the qualifications and duties of each of the required church positions. Committees established by the local church and not required by the Book of Discipline such as our REACH Committee do not have any specifications other than those established by the local church. If you have ever toyed with the idea of serving the church as a committee member or church officer, why not give it a try? We can always use new members with fresh ideas and the unique skills which they can bring to the church leadership!   

A View from the Belfry October 2019

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

What happened??!!?? It was summer, and then even before August had ended, it was autumn! Even early in September trees were turning colors in places, and mosquitoes were disappearing! Pretty soon it will be Halloween, I wonder if we’ll have a Trunk or Treat event at this church as we did last year! It was great fun to see all the kids dressed in their Halloween costumes, getting candy from the trunks of cars in our parking lot! How about repeating the fun, folks?

It is also approaching church conference time. For those of you who never go to church (also known as charge) conference, we conduct a lot of the church business at this time, such as setting the church budget for the coming year, approving lay servants, recommending those who are working toward becoming local pastors, and electing church officers. You might want to come and participate. Everyone can attend the church conference, but only church members are allowed to vote. A great deal goes into preparing for the church conference, such as filling out forms, preparing a slate of potential officers, filling out forms, arranging the service according to the direction of the District Superintendent, filling out forms, filling out forms, filling out forms…. well, you get the idea. Sometimes the forms seem overwhelming, but we really do have some important issues to discuss and business to conduct. This year our church conference will be held on October 24th, with the Staff Parish Committee meeting at 3:00 and the conference at 4:00. Why not come? I’ll promise to be there, or, for those of you who don’t like bats (I don’t                               understand why not, but I can accept that there are some of  you who don’t), I promise to either stay away or keep well hidden!

From the Pastor’s Desk October 2019

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

On Saturday mornings he would sleep until the sun kissed his face just enough. He wouldn’t shower because what was the need? He didn’t need the hot water to rouse.  Chris wanted the baby blanket of ‘just awake’ to      remain soft on his skin as long as it could. And he would intentionally not strap on his wristwatch; the next few hours were not hours to him.  These were the sweetest honeycombs of his week. All he needed was his cardigan and books, a wallet to stay lucky and a gait to remind himself, “Nothing else matters right now.”  Each Saturday morning Chris made his way to Rojo’s in the square just down and to the left of the uneven brick road that snaked squarely round the Yankee Doodle Taproom. Bought, roasted and brewed their own fair-trade organic coffee, they did. That, with a local pastry. Who could want for a better morning? His first pass through the daily psalm and gospel text would often be bookmarked with crumbs of huckleberry scones and stains of Yirgacheffe dripped just so. But the second time around was different. For the second chew through the text, a different locale was needed. He did not expect to taste much the first time; it was always on the second sip of a passage that the flavor made itself known. And for that, he would retire to the third floor of an un-named library.

Reclining in a reading chair gazing out through thick tall panes upon some large elm or maple, there Chris would savor again the sweet words that he had seen before but perhaps never truly relished until that moment. Chris was never able to find the time that he so gladly misplaced on those mornings. He made the time, light enough to forget about it for a while. 

I came across this story on the internet, author unknown, and I envied him and at the same time I admired him, the way he chucked time out the window to enjoy a little Jesus in the morning. I thought, “I want whatever that is.” Not too long ago I heard someone refer to the ‘tyranny of the calendar’. There are several different thoughts on the ‘tyranny of the calendar’, and I think I understand. Each of us has our own pace.  Some are content with their daily reclining sessions, while others have too much and seem in a perpetual state of “hanging in there.” And there are still those of us who no matter the level of chaos or calm, find   choppy waters of dissatisfaction wherever we set sail. In this story, Chris was a busy guy, who made the time to cultivate a rich inner life with God. Never one to brag or bluster, but I would guess you could see the effects on his face after one of his Saturday morning quiet times.  I would imagine almost a radiance, maybe like Moses after taking too long on Mount Horeb. So why don’t we just take not minutes, but a few breaths and blinks, sauntering with scripture and something to sip.  You know, we get this Christian life all wrapped around the axes sometimes. But it’s really just that simple, and infinitely beautiful. You don’t even have to speak; just listen and enjoy Him.

UMW – Submitted by Carol Weinert

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

September 2019

Here it is September again – time to put away the white shoes, beach towels, sun screen and bikinis, and begin thinking about fall harvest, schooldays and United Methodist Women’s programs. But first, let’s recap the summer.​

Our UMW August picnic was, as usual, a big success with perhaps the largest number of UMW ladies attending, including UMW members from Newberry and McMillan. We were also pleased to see in attendance past president Bobbie Clift from Marquette and current UMW president Patti Steinberg. The offerings in the salad luncheon were delicious and speaker Maurita Holland gave an informative talk on UP wildflowers. If you missed the picnic, guess you will have to wait until next year to see what will be presented.​Looking ahead to the upcoming season of UMW programs, the annual District Celebration will be Tuesday, Oct. 8, in Gwinn. Featured speaker will be former “TV star” turned United Methodist pastor Vicky (Crystal) Prewitt. If you would like to attend, get your registration form soon as the deadline is early September. We always carpool to these events so don’t let transportation discourage you from attending. ​

Locally, we will resume our UMW meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 1 PM in the church Fellowship Hall. Meetings are open to all interested church women. ​

The monthly Hymn Sing continues the first Monday of each month at the Medical Care Facility. We meet at 10 AM to present a brief program of familiar hymns and a seasonal message. However, there will be no Hymn Sing in September due to the Labor Day holiday.​

With the recent redistricting of the United Methodist Church in Michigan, the UMW Reading Program for 2019 has been extended to the end of the year, so there is still time to finish up in reaching your personal goal. See Mary Prater for More information.​

UMW Picnic

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

August 2019

Thank you to everyone who participated in making our UMW picnic a success. To Maurita Holland, our speaker, for her presentation on wild flowers in our area, and her homes in Gulliver  and Ann Arbor. Maurita compared the many wild flowers that exist at her home in Ann Arbor, her home on the beach on Lake Michigan and to t he areas in Sweden where she visits.

The salad luncheon was prepared by the UMW. No two salads were alike! Good job ladies! The dessert was prepared by the UMW, with Candace’s recipe. The cupcakes were fun to make, pretty, and very yummy. The napkins, made to look like a lotus flower, were a challenge for some of us, being frustrating, but a lot of laughs putting them together. This was  another one of Candace’s ideas. You can still see some of them hanging in the fellowship hall.

The beautiful hydrangea centerpiece was made by Sharon Vanderville, everything used came from her garden.

We are already looking forward to our next event. Christmas Tea! Get your thinking caps on!!                                                                                                                                Thank again, Lynn LaRose

A View from the Belfry

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

September 2019

Lay Leader Lines

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

September 2019

Norma Johnson – “God’s Way”

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Raise your hand if you remember Frank Sinatra. When he was ending his singing career he sang a song, “I Did It My Way” , this to him was how he lived his life. It occurred to me that the hurt and bad things could have been avoided if instead he had tried to live by God’s teaching. So this version of Frank’s song is for the many people who have tried to make this world a better place b y trying to live their lives God’s way. ]

So now the end draws near.. And so I face that final curtain… My friends I’ll say it  clear… I’ll state my case of which I’m certain… I’ve lived a lift that’s full… before I found myself in this day… But more, much more than that … I tried to do it God’s way.

Regrets?? I’ve had a few … When I tried to get attention … when wrong I really knew… that it was due to my pretension… God planned my charted course… each wandering step… along this roadway… but more… much more than that I tried to make it God’s way.

Yes, there were times when I was scared … I was unsure … and unprepared … but thru it all … I always knew … God walked with me … and helped me thru … You’ll face it all … and you’ll stand tall … just try to make it God’s way ….

I’ve loved … I’ve laughed and cried … I’ve made mistakes … in my way of living … but now … as fears subside … I’m thankful God is so forgiving …

To think he does all that … and shows the way … to make it His day.

Oh … no… it was not me … He showed me His way …

For you and I … what have we got??? An empty life … if we have not …

A faith in God we truly feel … and were secure that when we kneel that God will know … that we tried so … to live life … His way.

Norma Johnson re-wrote the words to Frank Sinatra’s, “My Way” and performed her version in front of the congregation with Ginger Stark accompanying her on the piano.

Norma Johnson performing "God's Way"

Norma Johnson – "God's Way"

Posted by 1st United Methodist Church Manistique on Monday, August 19, 2019

Vacation Bible School

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

August 2019

We would like to thank everyone who helped with Vacation Bible School this year. Ruth Annelin and Candace Haskell supplied the food for the snacks each day, Kerry Billings  made a beautiful beach backdrop for us complete with palm trees, we would also like to thank everyone else who helped organize, plan, teach, and gather supplies. We would also like to thank Jill Connin for teaching us  about the different kinds of food families eat and how to make Hummus! The kids had a great time! 

Pastor’s Words

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

September 2019

“I believe in the Holy Spirit.” These words from the Apostles’ Creed give some people pause as they recite them from memory. Being able to explain these words may be almost impossible for person’s confused about their       understanding of the Trinity. As Christians, and certainly as United Methodists, we accept as part of the basic fabric of our Christian belief the concept of God in three persons, blessed Trinity. In reflecting on this thought this week, I decided to share my thoughts concerning the Holy Spirit and my own experience with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the presence we sense when we silence our own thinking and open our hearts to the will of God.      Indeed, our prayers may be directed to God, or the Lord, or Jesus, but the way in which we experience God or Jesus is through the powerful explainable something which occurs at the juncture of our hesitation and sudden decision making. Michael Ramsey states that “there is the constant belief that as Jesus did the work of God in his mission in history, so the Spirit continues the work of Jesus which is also the work of God.” I have often used the metaphor of a burning deep within our body to try to explain the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is inadequate, however, because no physical sensation can come close to explaining the unexplainable. There have been so many times during my life where I was brought out of some very dangerous situations where I truly believe that The Holy Spirit was involved, but, upon reflection I cannot explain how. Something put me in touch with the reality of God. Something put me in touch with the love of Jesus Christ. That something was the Holy Spirit. The leading of the Holy Spirit can also be found in the many sacrificial acts performed by communities of faith. Karl Barth’s use of the phrase “ever-coming” to describe the Holy Spirit resonates well with me. Like our breath, The Holy Spirit can’t be seen, and spreads over a wide area. Barth uses the word conscience to describe a part of the essence of the Holy Spirit, but I do not believe that this captures what happens when one feels the presence of the Spirit. Unlike the conscience which is often associated with notions of punishment, the Holy Spirit provides a gentle tug in the direction of God’s activity. The urging one feels to move off of center point and reach out to     another is in all likelihood the work of the Holy Spirit. According to Mack Stokes, John Wesley believed that the Holy Spirit is present in everyone even before they recognize this fact. It is through this preliminary work of the Holy Spirit known as prevenient grace that the Holy Spirit leads individuals toward justification. For United Methodists, it is difficult to imagine people who do not have the presence of the Holy Spirit: people who might be described as being Godless. I understand that the Holy Spirit is with everyone providing a way to move away from sin. Karl Barth gives a wonderful description of the manner in which individuals lay hold of the Holy Spirit: “in the Holy Spirit he hears God’s Word, far above any ethical reflection which can be of service only in this mundane sphere, and this Word is not lost in the darkness of his human ignorance.” Relying upon my own personal experience, I was struck by Barth’s description. My own call to ministry and my original coming to terms with God’s existence were the results of urgings which were difficult for me to rationalize. Barth’s description of the Word not being lost in the darkness of human ignorance was also very accurate in relation to my experiences. The Holy Spirit moves us beyond what we think is possible to a life of Christian service. We are moved individually, and, through relationships with other Christians, jointly in community. When a decision to act on God’s behalf begins to take shape within a group, I feel the movement of the Holy Spirit. It is like a group “aha” experience or a communal epiphany. God’s will to love and the power of the Holy Spirit result in mighty acts being committed in the name of Jesus Christ for the good of humankind and the world. Feeling the Holy Spirit move among a group of people is like a set of Christmas tree lights which flicker for a while until the right bulb is found and a steady circle of light is formed. The release of emotion which occurs at that moment is close to what is felt when the power of the Holy Spirit is jointly felt by a gathering of people. Following terrible tragedies, communities will often rally together to come to the aid of those in need of assistance. Reasons for acting are often difficult to express. Christians believe that this motivation is the result of the working of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, the motivation to act often fades away and communities return to their previous routines, perhaps neglecting to think of those they aided at all. It is through the presence of the Holy Spirit that Christian communities remain vigilant with regard to human need. Small accountability groups ensure that Christians respond to the cry of the needy and to God’s call for faithful stewardship. The presence of the Holy Spirit reminds us that God’s love cannot be contained within a single vessel. Because of humankind’s sinful nature, faithfulness and responsible living cannot be achieved or maintained by individual effort. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that a faithful response to God’s commandment to love in such a way that we empty ourselves is made possible.