Sheridan Park United Methodist Church

Weekly Message From Pastor Josh Print
From Pastor Josh - a mixture of theological reflection, stewardship reflection, prayer request, announcement and trivia. Enjoy!
 
   

1/9/18
 
Stewardship
 
According to the Apostle Paul, When the Jerusalem Christians faced financial hardship, the Macedonia Church gave generously, even beyond their ability (2 Cor. 8:1–9). Paul cited them as an example to follow. Paul reminds us that when we give all we can to the church, our generosity and the good we do is multiplied, and we reflect Jesus who gave his ministry and life sacrificially. Pledging is important because while there are many wonderful ministries and offerings we support, without support of the overall budget, we would not be able to do the good we do as church.

This Sunday, 1/14, is your last chance to give to this month's noisy money offering! Thank you for making a joyful noise for missions.

This Sunday is also the Human Relations Day Special Sunday Offering. 57% goes to community development, 33% to the UM Voluntary Services Program, and 10% to Youth Offender Rehabilitation programs. 100% stays in the US.

Don't forget to stay after church for a lunch sponsored by the finance team!

Peace,
Pastor Josh      

1/2/18

 
 
The Gist of the Sermon/Stewardship
 
Luke 2:22-40 is, in part, the story of Simeon; a man who upon holding the Christ child proclaimed this to God: "You may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation...a light for...the gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel." What is left in your life to do before you could say the same to God? How else might you share your talents, gifts, and treasure with Sheridan Park UMC to ensure it's faithful future? 
 
 
Youth Group resumes 1/3/18. Youth and Children's Sunday School resumes 1/7/18.
 
 
1/7/18 is noisy money Sunday, rescheduled due to cold weather and low attendance on 12/31.  
 
 
Pastor Josh will be teaching at the School for Lay Ministry in Indianola this weekend (1/6-1/7). Rev. Gary Armstrong will be preaching in his place. During the weekend Pastor Josh can be reached by cell at 515-991-6368 if pastoral care needs arise. 
 
 
Today, 1/2/18: Pastor Josh will not be in the office. He has a meeting to plan the Lay Ministry class he will be teaching this weekend. He can be reached as always at 515-991-6368.
 
 
1/14/18 is the Human Relations Day Special Sunday Offering. 57% goes to community development, 33% to the UM Voluntary Services Program, and 10% to Youth Offender Rehabilitation programs. 
 
 
In church on 12/31 Jolanda blessed us  w/a solo performance of the song "Tomorrow," which encourages us to not put off our trust in Christ to an unknown future, but to do it today. In all things, our giving, our forgiving, our sharing our wisdom with others, I hope 2018 is a year wherein we do not put off blessing others. Rather, let us glorify God by sharing our blessings in the now.
 
 
Happy New Year
Pastor Josh
 

 


 

12/24/17

 
Stewardship

Do you know the story about a little boy who had always wanted to go to a circus? One day he was walking down the street when he saw a poster in a store window. The poster said that a circus was coming to town and that a ticket to the circus cost one dollar. The boy ran home and asked his father if he would give him a dollar to go to the circus on Saturday.  His father told him that if he worked hard and get all of his chores done, he would give him a dollar to go to the circus. Saturday morning came and the boy got up early and did all of his chores.  The boy's father gave him a dollar and the boy headed to town filled with excitement about seeing wild animals, trapeze artists, clowns, and all of the things that come with a circus. He arrived in town early and was in the front row when the circus parade started down main street. The boy was thrilled when the animals and other circus acts paraded by.

At the end of the parade came the ringmaster. When the ringmaster passed by where he was standing, the boy ran out into the street, took his folded dollar bill from his pocket, and handed it to the ringmaster.  "Thanks mister," said the boy, "that was a great circus." Then he turned around and walked home. He thought he had been to the circus, but he had only been to the parade. This holiday season and always, may we not miss the two most important things: Faith and family. Thanks for all the ways you give to Sheridan Park. When you give all you can, your church family and your world are blessed.

 

The Gist of the Sermon

12/24 10:30AM: We are called to live as if the songs that Hannah, Mary and others have sung for centuries are still our inspiration to live as the Lord's Prayer encourages: The kingdom is on Earth as it is in Heaven, all have daily bread, sins are forgiven, and God is glorified (Luke 1:46-56, Isaiah 11, Acts 2). 

 

There is no Youth Group 12/27.

No Youth or Children's Sunday School 12/31.

I will be on vacation from 12/25-12/30. Rev. Gary Nims will provide pastoral care in my absence (515-422-2070). 

 

Merry Christmas,

Pastor Josh 


 
 

12/18/17

 

Stewardship

 

Did you know that the Iowa Religious Media Services, in partnership with the Mid-Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America, hosts the Bethlehem Peace Light each Advent season? Since 1989, Boy Scouts from Austria have enabled the light from the flame in the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem to be distributed across Europe and North America. Your giving, even the small amount that maintains a subscription to IRMS, continues watchfulness this Advent season that has gone on for centuries, connecting us to saints who have gone before, and saints who will follow our example and our footsteps. Thank you for giving all you can, and for all the ways you give.

 

There is no Youth and Children's Sunday School on 12/24 and 12/31.

 

Please join us for worship this Sunday, 12/24 at 10:30 AM, and then again on Sunday night at 5 PM for Christmas Eve worship.

 

Pastor Josh will be on vacation from 12/25-12/30. Rev. Gary Nims will provide pastoral care in his absence (515.422.2070).

 

 

 


 

12/11/17

Stewardship
 
According to the Our Daily Bread website, 12/11, there is a London cafe called Café Rendezvous, where everything on the menu is free. There isn't even a donation jar for your coffee or food purchase. When asked why they would do this, the manager said "We're just trying to treat people the way God treats us." Like the cafe, we believe in a God who is generous beyond our imagination. We are blessed, as Christians, to be a people who know such a love, and can share such a Spirit with others. Thank you for all the ways you give.

The Gist of the Sermon

Yesterday we read Mark 1:1-8, Psalm 85, and Isaiah 40:1-11 in worship. We often think of repentance as a grand gesture like John taking an axe to a tree. But scripture reminds us that repentance is also "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem" (Isaiah 40). How have words of tenderness, concern, compassion, forgiveness, transformed your life? Have you shared such tenderness with even those you have differences and difficulty? How recently?

Upcoming Events:

Tomorrow, Tues., 12/12: Anyone interested in making pancakes for the students at EHS can meet there at 6:30 AM.

12/17: Food Pantry Sunday.

12/24: Regular worship at 10:30. Christmas Eve at 5 PM.

  

12/4/17

Stewardship
 
Unlike the Wise Men, who brought expensive gifts, the shepherds were simply watching their flocks by night. Their witness as the first to hear about the birth of the Christ child is their gift to us as we retell the story year after year. Giving as much as we can financially is important for our sense of generosity and faithfulness. But all the ways we give - time, talent, witness, service, thankfulness, forgiveness, a smile and nod to a friend, these are blessing as well! Thank you for all the ways you give. 
The Gist of the Sermon
 
In church yesterday we read Mark 13:24-37, about the coming of the Son of Man. For Jesus, the Kingdom of God is both a present reality (Mark 1:15); and a fast-approaching event (Mark 13:30-31). At Christmas time, we are asked to live as though the Kingdom is both alive in our hearts and something for which we are always preparing. This dual reality of already-and-not-yet, keeps us watchful of where - as our Advent candles encourage - we find God's hope, joy, love and peace; so we might celebrate it and spread it to others (Matthew 25).

Upcoming Events
Food Pantry Sunday is 12/17.
Sunday School Program is 12/17.
Noisy Money Sunday is 12/31.

12/24 will include regular worship at 10:30 and a 5:00 PM Christmas Eve service with candles.

Peace,

Pastor Josh 

 


11/29/17

Stewardship

Thank you to all who contributed to the Heifer Project fundraising. Just over $1,000 was collected by the Sunday School youth and kids. In a society that often lives out of fear of scarcity, your generosity is a reminder that God's kingdom is a place of compassion, justice, and abundance.

 

Join Valley UMC for "No Room at the Inn" - a festival of the Nativity w/over 400 Nativity sets on display. It runs Friday, 12/1 and Saturday, 12/2, from 10-5pm; and on Sun., 12/3 from 12:30-5pm. Valley UMC is at 4201 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines.

 

Each Sunday in Advent we will be doing a hymn sing at 10:20 before worship. Join us, and let the "joy, joy, joy, joy" down in your heart shine through this Christmas season.

 

In our Advent study book - All Earth Is Waiting - author Rev. Katie Dawson points out that the season upends our expectations. In chapter 2, Rev. Dawson reviews A Charlie Brown Christmas, wherein Lucy wants real estate, Sally wants money, Snoopy is busy decorating, and Charlie brown isn't sure what Christmas is about. She notes that Linus clears the way by simply reciting the Christmas story in Luke 2, and reminding us about the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Rev. Dawson goes on to say, about Mary's Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55),  that "Even as the mother of Jesus sings these words...the child in...Elizabeth's womb is leaping for joy. That child would grow to become the man we know as John the Baptist...in his ministry, he helps all of us...understand what it means to clear the way."

 

In this Advent season, I hope you are able to hear through the din that God is Emmanuel, with us, and that God makes "straight paths" even in places we cannot see or imagine (Isaiah 40).

 

Peace,

Pastor Josh

 


 

11/20/2017

Bible

Matthew 25 imagines that Christ is the personal object of the deeds of justice and mercy being done: The feeding, the clothing, the quenching of thirst and the visiting. When we do these things we do them to Christ. In the inverse, when we do not do these things, it is Christ who we reject. May we all see Christ in everyone and do unto others as we would want done unto Christ.

 

Please join us for worship on 11/26 at 10:30 as we begin the season w/our Hanging of the Greens worship service.

 

Stewardship

We will be wrapping up our Heifer fundraising on Sunday w/a bake sale. Thank you for your quarters, your Heifer boxes, and your bake sale items and purchases.

 

Join Wesley UMC and the Capitol Center Preschool for pizza and "A Charlie Brown Christmas," on Friday, 12/1. Please RSVP to me by Wednesday, 11/29 so I know how much pizza to order. Dinner is at 5pm and the movie will start at 5:30pm.

 

Join Valley UMC for "No Room at the Inn" - a festival of the Nativity w/over 400 Nativity sets on display. It runs Friday, 12/1 and Saturday, 12/2, from 10-5pm; and on Sun., 12/3 from 12:30-5pm. Valley UMC is at 4201 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines.

 

No Youth Group on 11/22.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace,

Pastor Josh  

 


11/15/2017 

 

Stewardship
Thanks to all who handed in pledge cards on 11/12!
 
This Sunday 11/19:
Food Pantry Sunday
The scrapbook group will be reviewing the unsorted church materials after church.
 
AD Board is meeting Tues., 11/21, at 7pm. 
 
Usually, Jesus' parables begin with the familiar:
A woman loses a coin...
A traveler falls among thieves...
A boy runs away from home...
 
The parables end with a twist revealing what the kingdom of God is like:
A party is thrown for the boy who runs away...
A one-hour worker receives a day's wages...
A shepherd leaves 99 sheep to seek out the one...
 
Pray for the victims of sexual abuse and assault as our nation continues to deal with revelations about those in high places abusing their power.
 
Peace,
Pastor Josh

11/6/2017

Stewardship 

This Sunday, 11/12, you will be asked to hand in your 2018 pledge cards with the Offering.  Pledging is how we are each stewards of Sheridan Park's future. A steward is someone who looks after, a caretaker. In Matthew 25:14-30 a man gives three slaves 5, 2, and 1 talents each. The first two double the man's money. The third, who was given one talent, returns the talent and says,”Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.” The slave is critical of his master because, in the ancient world, saving was the common practice. To take more than you needed was considered morally wrong. First, the parable reflects the lived experience of peasants, and tells us that the Kingdom of God is a place where stewards stand up against such greedy masters so all have enough. Second, it encourages us to manage what we have to the best of our ability. Thank you for planning ahead, pledging, and seeking to give all you can in 2018.

 

Thanks in advance to those who meet at EHS at 6:30 tomorrow morning to make pancakes for students. The participating churches who do this each Tuesday are a blessing on their "Journey."

 

Please keep Missie, Carolyn Chapman's stepmom, in your prayers. Her heart is functioning at 28% and they are doing tests to see what they can do to improve her condition.

 

I will be away 11/9-11/12. Rev. Bill Cotton will be covering pastoral care and preaching. His number if you need him is 515-314-4633. 

 

Peace,

 

Pastor Josh  

 


10/31/2017

Stewardship

This is A Prayer For The Fall by Bishop Laurie Haller:

"God, as the seasons change, we remember that change is built into the very fabric of creation. We marvel at the beauty of the world that you have given us to care for...we lament the power of nature to destroy and take away...Lord, as we move into the fall, which is often a time of new beginnings...we pray that our eyes would always be open to see you in...children...the cries of the needy; and that our hearts would always be extended to share your love and hope for all.  You call us to be difference makers, and we say, "Yes, Lord. Here we are." Amen. 

 

Thank you for the difference your pledge makes to UMCOR, apportionments, your local church, and the lives of so many. Pledge card Sunday is 11/12/17.

 

A song from the "Peanuts Book of Pumpkin Carols": The Twelve Days of Halloween

On the 12th day of Halloween my true love gave to me,

12 bats-a-flying, 11 masks-a-leering, ten ghouls-a-groaning,

9 ghosts-a-booing, 8 monsters shrieking, 7 pumpkins glowing,

6 goblins gobbling, 5 scary spooks, 4 skeletons,

three black cats, two trick-or-treaters, & an owl in an old dead tree. 

 

The Gist of the Sermon

 Our Gospel reading on 10/29 was Matthew 22:34-46: The Greatest Commandment. The Hebrew verb for love in Deuteronomy 6 (Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and Strength) is aheb, it means to love or link. The word religion has the same root as the word ligament, to bind together. God's love is that thing that calls us to share one journey together as followers of God seeking to be more Christ-like. The good we do, the prayers we pray, our worship and study; these are acts of love seeking to bring us ever closer to God and God's way and truth. That is why they should be done together, in community; for wherever two or more are gathered we find Christ. 

 

Peace,
Pastor Josh 

 

10/24/2017

Stewardship

Do you know the story of the pig and the hen who were walking down the street and saw a sign in a lunchroom window that said "Delicious Ham and Eggs." The hen saw the sign and said, "Isn't it grand that we can give humans something that delights them?" The pig frowned and responded "Yes, but you give out of your abundance. FOR ME, giving is a real sacrifice."  When we give God our best, we demonstrate our faith. Thank you for giving all you can.

 

Sermon

The Gospel this Sunday is the story of the Pharisees asking Jesus which is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-46).  He says love God with your whole self and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 6:5. The Hebrew verb at the root of the word "love" in the Deuteronomy text is "aheb." It means love but it can also mean "link." To love our neighbor is to love God and that loving action is what connects our lives and calls us to repentance and newness as those seeking to be more Christ-like.

 

Upcoming dates

10/26: Simple Supper at Wesley UMC. They host a dinner for the families and staff of the preschool Wesley houses. If you can, come eat and play with the kids.

10/28: Halloween Party, 6-8pm.

10/29: Noisy Money Sunday!

10/30: Trunk-or-Treat, 6-8pm.  Bring candy, park your car in the lower parking lot,  and enjoy the kids as they trick-or-treat. 

 

Don't forget to bring your redeemable bottles and cans to church in support of the Heifer Project

 

Please add Larry Love to your prayers. He had an MRI on his back and is waiting for results.

 

Peace, 

Pastor Josh 

 

 10/17/2017
 
Stewardship
 
In Matthew 22:21 Jesus responds to the Pharisees by saying "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."  The tax paid to Rome is what is being discussed in our Gospel verse. Roman coins carried both the image of Caesar engraved on it and a proclamation of his divinity. Simply carrying the coin forced the people to break the first two commandments!  So if Jesus says “Yes, you should pay the tax,” then he is supporting breaking the commandments. If Jesus says “No, you should not pay the tax,” then he is an anti-imperial agitator who will be in trouble with Rome. Instead he says,  as the King James version states it, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Deciding what is Caesar's and what is God's can be difficult enough. But the coin also reminds us that we are made in God's image. When you look in a mirror, you may see your parents, your younger self, yourself as you are, or a stranger.  I hope you also see that you are made in the image of God, beloved, and called to not only see others as made in God's image also, but to help them find their place in this world as those of us called Christian have found ours. 
 
 
 
Upcoming dates:
 
 
10/22: Blanket Sunday. $5 covers the world in warmth and love. 
10/28: Halloween Party, 6-8pm.
10/29: Noisy Money Sunday. Let your loose change make noise for missions!
10/30: Trunk-or-Treat, 6-8pm

 
The Sunday School kids will be starting their Heifer Project fundraising soon. We are blessed to be able to help people help themselves in a sustainable way.

 
Peace,
 
Pastor Josh
 

10/9/2017
 
Stewardship                                                                                           
Our pledge commitment Sunday is 11/12.                   
 
Upcoming opportunities for giving:                                                 
10/15 Food pantry Sunday                                                         
10/22 Blanket Sunday: $5 covers the world in warmth and love!   
10/29 Noisy Money Sunday: Make some noise for missions!
 
Other dates of interest:                                                                         
10/28 Halloween Party 6-8pm.
10/30: Trunk-or-Treat 6-8pm.       
 
Musical Interlude                                                                                
On the eve of the Spanish-American War the 7th Army Corps was encamped in Havana, Cuba on Christmas Eve. A sentinel from the 49th Iowa called "Number ten; twelve o'clock and all's well!"  A strong voice raised the chorus of "How Firm A Foundation." The 6th Missouri, joined in. Then the 4th Virginia. Soon the whole regiment was singing:                                                   
"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, for I am the thy God and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand."       
 
 
The Gospel reading for Sunday is Matthew 22:1-14, a parable about a party thrower whose preferred guests and social equals do not come so he invites the least and the lost. This risks his own social status because even something as simple as eating outside your social circle was rarely done. In other words, the Kingdom of God is like a place where grace welcomes us all into relationship with God and makes us one.               
 
Peace - Pastor Josh
 

10/2/2017
 
Stewardship
November 12th will be our pledge commitment Sunday. In Mark 12:41-44 Jesus tells the story of a widow who gave two copper coins. Jesus proclaimed, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living.” I thank you for giving all you can in prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

 
Fall Sale
Sale items are due to the church by Thursday, 10/5, at Noon. The fall sale is Saturday, 10/7, 9-3.
 
October Events
 
 
Charge Conference, Sun., 10/8, 2pm, at New Hope United Methodist Church in Beaverdale.  
10/15: Food Pantry Sunday.
 
10/22: Blanket Sunday; Heifer Project starts!  
 
10/28: Halloween Party 6-8pm.
10/29: Noisy Money Sunday.
10/30: Trunk-or-Treat 6-8pm.  
 
Please add Puerto Rico and Las Vegas to your daily prayers.
 
 
 
 
Micah 4:1-4 shows a vision where weapons are transformed into instruments of harvesting food. This transformation is not complete until the nations themselves beat "...their swords into plowshares, and their spears into  pruning hooks." Violence is often fueled by fear and self-protection. In Micah’s vision, peace is given by God after weapons of violence are transformed: “they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid.” 
 
(My reflection on Micah was adapted from a statement released today by Susan Henry-Crowe, the General Secretary of our General Board of Church and Society, in response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas. For more on the United Methodist call to end gun violence, cut and paste the following link into your web browser: 
 
Peace,
 
Pastor Josh 

9/25/2017
 
Stewardship
 
"Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to [God's] service, you could not give [God] anything that was not in a sense [God's]...already." - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
 
 
Gospel
 
Our Gospel reading for Sunday will be Matthew 21:23-32, including the Parable of the Two Sons. A father asks his sons to work in his vineyard. One son says no, but changes his mind and goes. The other son says yes, but then does not go. Many Christians - including clergy - say that part of their faith story is saying no to God, at least at first. Perhaps the no is to being ordained. Perhaps the no is to making a beneficial change in life that is not easy. Sometimes we feel unworthy, or not ready, or guilty. We are blessed to believe in a God who has the patience to wait for the "Yes!" Consider hymn #530 "Are Ye Able." Jesus asks if we are able "to be crucified with me?" In the hymn we answer "Yea," for the hymn calls us "sturdy dreamers." Your "yes" and your dreams are a blessing to Sheridan Park. the Bible is full of dreamers. Keep dreaming.
 
Upcoming Dates:
 
9/30: First UMC downtown, 8:45-4:30: "Unheard Voices from the Heart of Palestine" Conference. For more info call 244-6209, ext. 209. Registration has been extended to Tues., 9/26. 
 
Each Wednesday at 6pm: The Youth Group thanks you in advance for serving meals. You are always welcome to eat, discuss, and play with us. 
 
10/1: Communion Sunday and World Communion Sunday Offering. Thanks for supporting international and graduate students in their studies.
 
10/7: Fall Sale. 9-3.
 
10/15: Food Pantry Sunday. 10/22: Blanket Sunday. $5 covers the world in warmth and love.
 
10/29: Noisy Money Sunday.
 
Peace,
Pastor Josh 


9/20/2017
 
Stewardship
 
Luke 15:8-10 tells the story of a woman who has ten coins, loses one, and then turns on a light, sweeps the house, and searches carefully until she finds it. This brings to mind a few principles that are common to most stewardship programs for families, persons, or churches:
 
1. Seek to be debt free
2. Give Generously 
3. Live as modestly as one can
4. Be industrious in work and saving
5. Care for your family 
 
In his sermon "The Use of Money" John Wesley encouraged early Methodists to Gain, Save, and Give all they could. This is timeless advice for we modern United Methodists. Thank you for your labor, your financial responsibility, and your generosity as we all seek to come as close to a tithe as we can. Did you know that all of Wesley's sermons are available online (http://www.umcmission.org/)?
 
Upcoming dates:
 
 
9/21: Cowles Commons, 6:30pm, International Peace Day Prayer Service for Peace
 
9/30: First UMC downtown, 8:45-4:30: "Unheard Voices from the Heart of Palestine" Conference. For more info call 244-620, ext. 209
 
Each Wednesday at 6pm: The Youth Group thanks you in advance for serving meals. You are always welcome to eat, discuss, and play with us. 
 
 
Peace,
Pastor Josh
 

9/12/2017
 
Stewardship

2 Scriptures on money:

Matthew 6:21: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Thank you for all the ways you seek to put God first both in your life and in how you live that life.

 

Sunday Scripture Review for Devotional Idea:

Romans 13:8: "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law."

 

Upcoming dates:

9/16: 8AM, Men's Breakfast at Perkins

9/21: Cowles Commons, 6:30pm, International Peace Day Prayer Service for Peace

9/30: First UMC downtown, 8:45-4:30: "Unheard Voices from the Heart of Palestine" Conference. For more info call 244-6209, ext. 209

 

Peace,
Pastor Josh

 


 

9/5/2017 

Stewardship

As Christians we say the greatest love we know is God's love.  One of the ways God shows us love is by giving us the ability to give in many ways. As one of our hymns from Sunday said, God has given us "Many gifts, one Spirit, one love known in many ways. In our difference is blessing, from diversity we praise. one Giver, one Lord, one Spirit, one Word known in many ways..."  Giving not only honors God, and supports causes we care about like our church, but giving is a gift from God for the joy we experience when giving. Thank you for all the ways you give.

Bible

In Paul's famous treatise on love, 1 Corinthians 13, he could have talked about eros, romantic love. He could have talked about philia, or friendship. He could have talked about stoia, or love we have for family. Instead, in describing love, the Greek word Paul used was agape love. This is the kind of love we see revealed in Christ. It is a sacrificial and inclusive love that cares for neighbor, other, stranger, friend, and family. It is the love God has for us to forgive us and call us to be as loving as we can. Thank you for being on this journey of sacrificial love together as the body of Christ called Christian, United Methodist, and Sheridan Park.

This Sunday:  9/10: Education meeting at 8:30. Sunday school for all ages at 9:15. Choir meeting after church. 

Prayer 

Please continue in prayer for the victims and recovery teams dealing with Hurricane Harvey. If you were not prepared to in worship last week; remember to bring a check to church this week with memo line "hurricane" or "UMCOR". Thank you for all the ways you give. 

Peace,

Pastor Josh

 

 


8/28/2017 

 

 
Stewardship
John the Baptist challenged his listeners to "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:7-8). When asked what they should do, John said "Anyone who has two shirts should share...and anyone who has food should do the same" (Luke 3:10-11). Whether you determine your pledge by dividing the budget by the number of members or the number of worship attenders; or by tithing on your income, or by another formula - John's message is that repentance produces generous hearts. 
 
The Gist of the Sermon
Yesterday's Gospel text was on Peter's Confession that Jesus was the Christ (Matthew 16:13-20).  It can be easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. If we have education, jobs, a home, a family - like our neighbors - then we are on the right track leading a good life. But to confess "Jesus is Lord" is something different. It is to embrace that we are not yet who God is calling us to be. Finding that unique, authentic, new life, is the essence of the Christian journey. Moses gave up princely privilege. The persecutor Saul became the apostle Paul. A carpenter became the Messiah. Who is God calling you to be today? 
 
Facebook 
You can read Bishop Laurie's response to the Texas hurricane on the Sheridan Park Facebook page. Check it out! 
 
Peace,
Pastor Josh 
 
 
 

8/17/2017 
 
Trivia
Did you know that the hymn "The Old Rugged Cross" was written in 1913 by George Bennard? Bennard grew up in Iowa, and was converted to Christianity by the Salvation Army at age 22. Soon thereafter, he began conducting revivals throughout the Midwest. He eventually became a Methodist. Mr. Bennard began writing the hymn to calm his nerves after he was heckled at a rally in Michigan. The song caught the attention of evangelist Billy Sunday (also an Iowan) and was first popularized on his nationally broadcast radio show. 
 
Stewardship
In the November 2013 Our Daily Bread, Philip Yancey tells the story of Gordon Cosby; a pastor who served the Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. There was a widow in his church whose income was barely enough to care for her six children.  Nonetheless, she gave $4 per week to the church. Cosby decided to tell the widow she should use the money for her family instead. The widow responded "You are trying to take away the last thing that gives me dignity." Question for reflection: How have you been blessed as the one who gives?  (Mark 12:38-44)
 
Bible
Our Gospel reading this week is the story of the Canaanite woman who needs Jesus to cure her demon-possessed daughter. At first Jesus does not answer her. Then, the disciples urge him to send her away. Jesus' answers them "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." She asks for his help. Jesus says "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs." The woman responds "Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." Jesus concludes with "Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed.  This is a pivotal story in the Gospels and in our life as the Church. This is the moment Jesus' ministry and our mission truly expanded to all the world. Question for reflection: Who brought you to faith and showed you God's love was available to all? 
 
Missions
Brenda Goodall, pastor at Epworth and Simpson, has an international student from Ghana who needs to give presentations each year. Would one of your small groups or Sunday school classes be willing to host them in conversation? Let me know. 
 
Prayer Request
Pray for all the students, staff, teachers and parents as a new school year begins!
 
Peace,
Pastor Josh 
Stewardship                                                                                            Our pledge commitment Sunday is 11/12.                   Upcoming opportunities for giving:                                                 10/15 Food pantry Sunday                                                          10/22 Blanket Sunday: $5 covers the world in warmth and love!   10/29 Noisy Money Sunday: Make some noise for missions! Other dates of interest:                                                                         10/28 Halloween Party 6-8pm. 10/30: Trunk-or-Treat 6-8pm.       Musical Interlude                                                                                    On the eve of the Spanish-American War the 7th Army Corps was encamped in Havana, Cuba on Christmas Eve. A sentinel from the 49th Iowa called "Number ten; twelve o'clock and all's well!"  A strong voice raised the chorus of "How Firm A Foundation." The 6th Missouri, joined in. Then the 4th Virginia. Soon the whole regiment was singing:                                                   "Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, for I am the thy God and will still give thee aid; I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand."                                                                                     The Gospel reading for Sunday is Matthew 22:1-14, a parable about a party thrower whose preferred guests and social equals do not come so he invites the least and the lost. This risks his own social status because even something as simple as eating outside your social circle was rarely done. In other words, the Kingdom of God is like a place where grace welcomes us all into relationship with God and makes us one.                        Peace - Pastor Josh 
 

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4100 E Sheridan Ave
Des Moines, Iowa 50317
(515) 266-6404

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