(920) 261-0736 ♦ email@example.com
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
*Sundays: 8:00 a.m.
Informal with guitar by the river - approx. June 1 to October 15
In the sanctuary approx. October 16-30
*Sundays: 10:00 a.m.
Traditional service with organ and bell choir
*Sundays: 8:45 a.m.
Sunday School for children youth and adults- September 1 to May 30
*Tuesdays: 10:30 a.m.
Highland Village Bible Study
*Wednesdays: 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.
Confirmation Class for all students in Grades 7 and 8 (approx. Sept. thru May)
Holy Week Schedule
*Wednesday, 6:30 pm
*Thursday, 6:30 pm
Maundy Thursday Worship & Communion
*Friday, 1:30 pm
Good Friday Service at Marquardt Chapel
7 am: Outside Worship
7:45 am: Easter Breakfast
10 am: Easter Worship
March 29, 2015
Persevering to the End
This Sunday is "Palm Sunday," when the Church typically celebrates Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Often we wave palm branches and sing joyful hymns such as "Hosanna, Loud Hosanna!" This Sunday also is "Passion Sunday," when the gospel account of Jesus' betrayal, trial, persecution and death of the cross is read. The Passion hymns are more somber like "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded."
These two are connected by the fact that Jesus understood what was waiting for him in Jerusalem and he "persevered to the end." He presented himself to the adoring crowds just as he presented himself to be tried by the Pharisees and Romans. He had on numerous occasions told his followers that he would be killed; and, yet, this fact did not stop him.
In the same manner, the Wesley's soon learned that they would not be warmly accepted by the Church in their day. Their movement - Methodism - challenged the spiritual malaise of the Anglican Church by calling hearers to a deeper and holier life. Their message was disparaged as "enthusiasm" by many church leaders and rejected. And, understandably, when they accused people of being "triflers with God," "almost Christians" and not wholly surrendered to God, those people were not pleased. It was not unusual for John to be pelted with rotten vegetables or even rocks when he was preaching. But, he persevered and continued to work.
Over the years, Methodism "matured." Wesley continued to preach salvation, but he also spoke for those who couldn't speak for themselves. One example was his work to abolish the slave trade. While to us this sounds noble and right, it was courageous in the context of his time. One of the great successes of his ministry was the Bristol New Room, a center of the Methodist movement. This building, however, had been paid for by merchants who made their living dealing in slaves. Yet, Wesley persevered in denouncing slavery.
Wesley also was concerned that, as people turned their lives around and became more successful, not only spiritually but also in worldly ways, their wealth might lead some to fall away.He preached another challenging message - "Gain all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can." Again, Wesley persevered against the prevailing cultural and worldly belief that valued wealth and prosperity.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenged his followers as well. He told those gathered there, "Blessed are you when people revile and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad." (Matthew 5:11-12) Another difficult message.
In discussing the rise and success of the early Methodist movement as a revival of the Church, we have seen how disciples change over time. Discipleship is a transformation from belief to acceptance and on to a changed life moving from self interest to an increasing commitment in the well-being of others growing out of our deeper relationship with God.
And, while that may sound abstract and idealistic, consider this thought from William Barclay's commentary on Matthew 5:11-12. Barclay writes: "The Church, when it really is the Church, is bound to be the conscience of the nation and society." This is the challenge for us today if we really want to be the "Church."
It is not enough to just believe. It is not enough to claim membership in a church or to claim the name, Christian. It is not enough to simply attend to the spiritual disciplines. What is necessary for us as individuals, congregations and the church is to enthusiastically engage our hearts, heads and hands in the hard, challenging work of fulfilling the Lord's Prayer - "thy kingdom come on earth ... as it is in heaven."
Jesus did just that during the first Holy Week. Not only did he ride into town to shouts of joy, he also challenged the money changers in the Temple, condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, and gave us the Great Commandment. The lesson of Palm / Passion Sunday is that, if we want to be the Church of Jesus the Christ, we need to persevere in the face of opposition to work for a world where justice and peace are more than ideals or slogans.
Grace & Peace
What's Happening Now?
*Froehlich - CUMC Scholarships
Application forms for the Lysle and Dora Froehlich-CUMC scholarship are now available for high school seniors, vocational technical school and college students who are members of Christ United Methodist Church. Contact the church office for applications. Deadline is April 1.
*Lenten Season Schedule
We continue to hold Lenten Worship Services on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Lenten Study called, "Revival," at 7:00 p.m.
*Easter Fun Day
The annual Easter Fun Day event will be on Palm Sunday, March 29, at 10:00 a.m. There will be games and crafts for the children. There might even be a visit from the Easter Bunny!
We will have an Easter breakfast next Sunday, April 5, from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. The menu will include scrambled eggs, sausage patties, pancakes, fruit salad, coffee cakes and beverages. A free-will offering will be taken. We will need volunteers to help with the breakfast and food donations. Check the sign-up sheet in the narthex.
There will be a sunrise service at 7:00 a.m. and an Easter Celebration service at 10:00 a.m. Communion will be served at both services.
*Support Our Mission, Paul Webster
Join our campaign to continue supporting our United Methodist Missionary, Paul Webster, who is working on our behalf in Africa. Paul comes from Wisconsin and runs a very successful agricultural mission in Africa. The needs he serves are great, but the resources are scarce. He needs our help. Pick up a "Mini M&M" container in the Narthex, eat the M&M's and fill it with quarters. It holds 56 quarters ($14) to be exact. Please return your support by April 26.
*Loaves and Fishes
It is our church's turn to help at and donate food to the Loaves & Fishes event on Monday, April 6. See the sign-up sheets in the narthex.
*Fireside Christian Concert
We have 9 tickets left to see the group, "Gold City," who will be featured at the Fireside Theater on Tuesday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. Please arrive at the theater by 5:00 p.m. so you can enjoy a nice buffet supper of fish and chicken. Cost of the event is $36. per person. Please sign up on the sheet in the narthex.
*Pig Roast Fundraiser
Our church will be having a Pig Roast on Wednesday, June 10. This will replace the Ham Dinner we normally have in April. Watch the bulletins and newsletters for more information.