August 31st E-votional

By now, you have no doubt read countless stories and seen dozens of pictures of the devastating flooding in Texas due to Harvey.  I hope you have kept everyone down there in your prayers.  Thousands have been forced from their homes, many people have lost everything, and the death toll will only continue to rise.  The news is heartbreaking and scary.  When I see news like this, I think of Mr. Rogers.  Did you know Mr. Rogers was ordained Presbyterian pastor?  He once said, “When he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: ‘My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Look for the helpers.  Look for people like Houston Police Sgt. Steve Perez, who was so determined to get to work to help people earlier this week, that he lost his life when his car was overcome by water.  Look for people like Jim McIngvale, known as “Mattress Mack,” who owns two furniture stores in Houston.  With water rising and more people being driven from their homes, he opened his stores so that people would have somewhere dry to stay and have furniture to sleep on.  Look for people like the unnamed pastor  who put his life at risk to go into a flooded roadway to check cars for people trapped in them.  These are the people who give us hope, these are the people that shine a light in the darkness.

While our first instinct should be to look for the helpers, we shouldn’t stop there.  We should follow up by looking for ways to help.  Ways to become the helpers.  We should find ways to lend support to people in need.  Because we are followers of Christ, we have hope, so we should be the people that bring hope.  Christ commands us to love others as he loves us.  Christ brought us hope and love and grace, when we had none.  We should be the people spreading hope and love and grace.  We should look for the helpers and then look for ways to join with the helpers.  We should look to be the helpers, whether it is during a hurricane, snow storm, or just every day life.  We should look to be the light in someone’s darkness.

Matthew 5:14-15: “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

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August 23rd e-votional

Recently, Heather and I stumbled upon Penzeys, a spice company (I know, we lead exciting lives).  In our first order were two things that grabbed my attention.  The first was a booklet on soul.  It included the following quote, “Cooking is an amazing thing.  It both protects us against, and heals us from much of what would otherwise leave us broken.”  The other thing they included was a bumper sticker that said, “Love People, Cook Them Tasty Food”.  We liked this so much that we now have kitchen towels that say it too!

As I reflected on this, I thought that while we can say that cooking brings people together, more often it is the eating that brings people together!  That is one of the many reasons why I think celebrating Communion is so important to our faith.  When people gather around the table, they are nourished.  When people gather around a table together, they are prepared to share with one another.   When people gather around the table, they do so, united, with a common purpose.  When people gather around the table they talk with one another.  Finally, when people gather around a the table nobody goes hungry and everyone has enough to eat.

It should be the same with our faith.  When we gather in faith, we should be nourished, prepared to share with each other, united with a common purpose, entering into fellowship with one another, and making sure nobody is in need.  I believe that is part of why, at the last supper, Christ took the ordinary and made it holy.  In doing so, her reminds us that when we do these things, we remember him and he is present.

The “soul” booklet from Penzeys ends, by saying, “Cooking is fun and tasty, too. Plus it brings added richness to life. Each of these blends continues the ripples of lives lived spend in kitchens and around dinner tables sharing goodness. Each tells a story that, at its heart, is on of kind souls making the effort of combining flavors just right to bring smiles to those they cook for.  When you cook, you really are connected to a whole lot of goodness. Do what you can to keep that goodness alive.”

When we gather around the Lord’s table together, we really are connected to the love of God as shown in Jesus Christ.  We are fed by that love.  That love gives us a common purpose.  God’s love calls us into fellowship with one another.  We are called to do what we can to share that love.

1 Corinthians 10:17 “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”

 

August 9th News and Notes

 

Family Crisis Center Meal

The Family Crisis Center meal is August 20th.  There are still several slots open, please see the clipboard in the Narthex.

 UPB at the Baysox

On August 19th, everyone is invited to see the Baysox take on the Erie Seawolves at 6:35.  It is Kids Appreciation Night with free backpacks to the first 500 kids, ages 3-12, as well as kids only raffles, contests, and more.  It is also Halloween celebration night and there will be fireworks after the game.

 

Bowie Food Pantry School Supplies

The Bowie Food Pantry is collecting supplies and in need of the following: New backpacks (middle and high school), 3 ring binders (3 inch, 2 inch), new New 2-Pocket Folders (plastic), Subject Dividers, Flash Drives – any size, Pocket dictionaries and thesauruses, Post-it Notes, all sizes Highlighters, Dry erase markers, Graph Paper, Crayons – 8 and 16 packs, 3 X 5 index cards, Copy paper, Quart and gallon ziplock bags, Paper towels, Clorox disinfectant wipes, and Liquid hand soap.  The mission and service committee asks that you leave the donated school supplies in the basket in the Narthex.

Back to School Pool Party

The Children, Youth, and Family committee is hosting a back to school pool party at Whitehall pool from 12-4 on August 27th.  Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided.  Please bring a dish to share.  You must let Pastor Chris know you are attending by August 23rd.

Kick-Off Sunday

Kick-Off Sunday will be Sunday, September 10th.  Stick around after church for fun, activities, and games!

Two Week Outlook

Thursday, Aug 10th

  • Men’s Breakfast, 7:45, Nautilus Diner, Crofton

Friday, Aug 11th

  • Ladies Luncheon, 11:30, First Watch

Sunday, Aug 13th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Chat & Chew following worship
  • Committee Chair Meeting following worship

Wednesday, Aug 16th

  • Board Meeting, 7:00

Sunday, Aug 20th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Crisis Center Meal

Looking Ahead

  • September 10th: Kick-Off Sunday
  • September 20th: Seeds begins
  • September 30th: SMA walk
  • November 26th: Hanging of the Green
  • December 17th:  Children’s Christmas Program
  • December 24th: Christmas Eve

August 9th E-votional

For this week’s e-votionals, I wanted to share something that two people wrote about Art & Music camp.  They were going to share these messages on the Sunday after camp, but could not make it to worship.

“Hello, this was my fourth year being a camper.  This year I was in Ms. Carol’s Blacksmith’s group.  I had a lot of fun learning how God made us, how He is always for us, how He is always with us, how His love will alst forever, and that God has plans for us.  I really enjoyed camp, especially art, drama, and the snacks.  Thank you Pastor Christ and everyone else that took time to make this past week so special for all of us.”

“Hello, I was a helper this year in Mr. Terry’s Potter’s group at Art and Muisc Camp.  This was my second year being a helper and both years brought me exciting, fun, and new experiences everyday.  Being a helper is just like being a camper because we get to do all the fun activiies that the campers do, but we also get to watch the kids and make sure they’re having a good time.  Thank you to Pastor Chris, Ms. Diane, Mss. Sue, and all the adult volunteers for making this a fund time for both me and th ecampers.  I really enjoyed being here the past four years.  Thank you again.”

Both of these young people will probably never attend our church regularly, in fact they belong to other churches.  That isn’t why we participate in Art & Music camp.  These notes remind us why we put in long hours working not just for Art & Music camp, but for all the other missions and ministries of UPB.  We do it to reach out, to share God’s love, to help people, and to hope that they draw closer in their own walk with God.  We don’t engage in mission work, hoping to get anything in return, but instead, to try to further the Kingdom of God.  It isn’t about us, it is about God and the work God has called us to.

Mark 9:36-37: “Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.'”