We are in the Season after Pentecost for approximately the next six months. During Easter Season, the church forms people in basic Christian doctrine and prepares them for their Spirit-given ministries in the world. During the Season after Pentecost, the church challenges and supports people as they live out these ministries.
Trinity Sunday launched us into our ministries after Pentecost with a celebra-tion of the Triune God in whom all our lives and ministries are grounded. We end the Season after Pentecost on Christ the King Sunday, which points us to our final destination in the culmination of the reign of the one who makes us and all things new.
During these months, I will be alternately focusing on readings from the epis-tles and the prophets. Most Sundays we will be reading both, so we can fol-low both teachings, but I will switch the sermons at key point to keep you on your toes.
Here is what the two streams of readings look like:
Mission in the World but not of the World: The Epistle readings in Galatians, Colossians, Hebrews, Philemon, I and II Timothy, and I and II Thessalonians consistently keep that tension alive. Throughout these letters, there is a con-sistent focus on how being disciples of Jesus makes us different from “things as usual,” both personally and corporately.
Prophetic Ministry — Calling and Working for Justice, Righteousness, and Peace: This year is the “year of the prophets” for the Old Testament read-ings. Included are Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, and Habakkuk.
The sermons will cover the entire book of Galatians and then we will jump to Amos and Hosea. In August, we will be back in the New Testament book of Hebrews and in October move to Habakkuk.
Fasten your seatbelts, I bet we will be covering some ground you have never been over before. Go ahead and read the whole book of Galatians this week and I will let you know when to read Amos so you will be ready to Re-ceive the Word of the Lord.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Curtis
I wanted to share an article that appeared in Ministry Matters on Monday. Great Question!
'WILL THE CONFERENCE AFFECT PORTLANDERS?' By Nance Hixon
May 9, 2016
"Will the conference affect Portlanders?" she asked.
Tomorrow, May 10, the United Methodist Church's General Conference will begin in Portland, Oregon. Every four years bishops and delegates from around the world gather somewhere for General Conference and make decisions affecting the mission, the money, the principles and the organization of the UMC. I was just reading an article from The Oregonian explaining all of this to the locals, and the article ends by briefly addressing the question: "Will the conference affect Portlanders?"
The answer? Yes. Traffic may swell near downtown, the restaurants near the convention center will definitely be crowded at lunch and hotel rooms will be fewer and pricier for the duration of the conference. (Also, these United Methodists will be doing some volunteering while they're in town, "so some Portlanders may benefit from their presence.")
While I am glad to hear it reported that some people may be blessed by Portland's United Methodist guests over the next week and a half, even that happy observation only reinforces another, rather depressing take-away.
Will the conference affect Portlanders?
Yes. While they're here (mostly inconveniencing us).
But that's all you need to worry about.
Beyond the immediate effects on traffic and hotel room availability, etc., once they're done and gone: No, the conference will not affect Portlanders.
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. But apparently Portland hasn't heard that we're transforming the world.
Which makes me wonder: have the people in your town heard? Or in mine?
Or do they just know that you don't want to turn left onto the highway right here on Sunday mornings, because the church traffic makes it tricky, and that you need to get to the restaurant pretty early to beat the after-church crowd?
Will the conference affect Portland? Will it affect Oregon? Will it affect Georgia or Michigan, Natchez, D.C., Manila, Mutare or Baton Rouge? Will the work of United Methodists affect the world? Will your congregation? Has anyone seen the world-transforming, disciple-making power of your church?
In Portland they haven't.
They just know we have meetings, argue over different things and occasionally some people may benefit from our presence.
So what do we need to be doing? What does your congregation need to be doing right where you are? How can we love the Lord and love our neighbors in a way that the world will hear about? How can we start to take people from assuming the conference will not affect them to never forgetting how those United Methodists affected their lives for good?
United Methodists everywhere have two critical tasks this week (and I'd invite Christians of all stripes to join in both). One is to pray for the deliberations and decisions of the General Conference, that the Holy Spirit would stir in hearts and direct the church.
Two is to go and touch someone's life in the name of Jesus Christ.
In other words, to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
This piece originally appeared on the author's blog. Reprinted with permission.
In matters of faith, we at First United Methodist Church, Sealy put primary reliance on the Bible. In scripture, we understand that we are all God’s children; therefore, we will be a church that cares for the needs of our church and local community through prayer, deeds, inspiration, and love in the spirit of Christ.
Caring for the needs of our church and community through prayer, deeds, inspiration and love in the Spirit of Christ.
Sunday Worship: 10 am
Adult & Children & Youth Sunday School 9 am
First Kids Mother's Day Out
(Tuesday & Thursday; 8am to 2pm; Ages 1-3)
Rev Pat Bell, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Sealy
200 Atchison Street
Sealy, Texas 77474