Pastor's Ponderings

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Baptism

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Baptism

This week in the worship services we had the occasion to celebrate three baptisms. This is always a celebration! It represents the intentional desire on somebody’ part to make the community of faith bigger that it previously was. It means that our arms of welcome are stretched out to include someone new.
United Methodists baptize both infants and adults. It’s not that one way is correct and the other is not. Some churches, such as our Baptist friends, baptize individuals when they are able to make the decision to follow Jesus Christ. When an infant is baptized, it’s the parents that are proclaiming their faith and making a promise to raise the child so that faith may be passed on to the child. Later on, the child will still be invited to make a decision about faith in Jesus Christ and membership in the church. That’s what we call “Confirmation”. What the Baptists do all at one occasion, we often separate into two acts, or rather one act with two parts.
By having a young child baptized, the focus shifts a bit from the individual to the parents and the church that take on a role of raising up the child. It’s a wonderful promise we make:
We will surround this child with a community of love and forgiveness, that they may grow in their service to others. We will pray for them, that they may be true disciples who walk in the way that leads to life.
A church needs to be reminded regularly of that promise that stands at the heart of the Sacrament of Baptism. Saying the promise reminds us of the kind of life we are called to live together. It’s great to see the baby and the hope and joy she or he brings to the family, but it is even more wonderful to see a church that takes those promises seriously and lets them shape its life.

See you in church,

Pastor Steve
Things to pray for this week:
• For children who have been baptized. For youth starting confirmation classes, for parents and sponsors living out their promises they made in baptism.
• For Sunday School classes for children and youth, for Youth Fellowship, for Kids for Christ and Veggie Tales/Movie Night.

in Faith

Labor Day

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Labor Day is September 5.
For many of us, this weekend represents the end of summer, a holiday sale or a chance to enjoy cooking on the grill. But Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Labor Day is a great opportunity for us to consider how God wants to be part of our lives not just on Sunday morning, but throughout the week as well. It may be obvious but it still bears saying: God doesn’t stay home or remained confined to a church building while we go out to earn the bacon. God wants to be a partner with us in our work. God longs for us to recognize ways in which our faith in him shapes how we act in our classrooms, offices, labs, cubicles and all the other places we make a living.

One simple thing each of us can do is think of a phrase throughout the day that can remind us of the connection between faith and work. For example:
“Be still and know that I am God.” or
“Lord, Show me how to love today.”
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” or even simply,
“Jesus is here.”
I know a woman who keeps a small Bible in her workspace as a visual reminder of the gospel as she goes about her work as a sales rep. Another worker takes a few minutes at lunch time every day to say a prayer for the people he works with and asking God to help him do his work in a way that is honorable and in keeping with his faith.

What can you do to make the connection between the faith you treasure and the work you do? How might you invite God to come to work with you this week. And meanwhile, relax and enjoy the hotdogs and hamburgers on Monday.

See you in church,

Pastor Steve

Things to pray for this week:
• Ask God to provide you insights into your personal problems.
• Prayer for first responders- firefighters, police, paramedics and EMT’s

 

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