Small Great Things is a novel by Jodi Picoult which tackles the profoundly challenging yet essential concerns of our time: prejudice, race, and justice. We encourage you to read and come discuss with us on Thursday September 28th at 7:00pm at the FUMC Parsonage, located at 221 Ridge Rd in Middletown. The book is available at Barnes and Noble, Target, Walmart, and various local libraries. This book club discussion will be combined with the Hartford United Methodist Church. We look forward to seeing you there and engaging in meaningful dialogue that is pertinent to our world today!
You know from our Pentecost worship service how important is it to share faith with others - people who we invite through God's Holy Spirit to join us in worship are the logs that our faith is meant to set afire in Christ, so that we can be a strong and faith-filled church. We are here not just to sustain one another in faith - we are here to transform the world through faith!
In your Sunday church bulletin we included a greeting card. We encourage you to send it to someone who you know needs to be touched by faith - not necessarily a friend, but someone who you know needs to be touched by God. The card is attractive, and it should make it easy for you to touch one person or one family with the invitation to be present in the warmth of God's love this summer.
Do you know ONE person or family who needs to be touched by God? For the price of a postage stamp - or less- you can encourage that person to be transformed by God through our church.
If you want to send this card to MORE people, feel free -below is the Microsoft Word file to print it out. Ask the church office for help if you need it. If you're visiting this post as a member of another church, feel free to adapt this design to your own outreach efforts. A church on fire is a church that invites other people to be set on fire. Let's do it!
When [the man possessed by demons] saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?" ~ Luke 8:28
Good people can be possessed by powers greater than themselves that drive them to insanity, and death. In Jesus' time, people saw these powers as demons. Today, we are afraid to call out the demons that affect our loved ones - until, sometimes, it is too late. Addiction to prescription drugs, especially opioid painkillers, is sweeping through our community like wildfire, and leading people to cheaper and more dangerous "street drugs" such as impure heroin.
What does Jesus have to do with opioid abuse? It is up to us to answer the Gerasene demonaic's question to Jesus through faith, for today's people in need. On Wednesday, June 14th, at 6.30PM in the Elks Lodge Crystal Ballroom, First United Methodist Church Middletown is hosting Ginger Katz, a renowned national speaker on the effects of drug overdoses on everyday families like hers.
The death of her son by drug overdose is repeated again and again in our community, and has touched families in our church. Our hospitals, schools, social programs and law enforcement can do only so much to help these people in need. We can help through letting people who we know hear Ginger Katz' words of love and hope, to refer people who hear her to appropriate support, and to pray with them for healing and hope.
HOW TO HELP
Please join our Brighter Visions ministry team in spreading the word about this event. You can print the poster below to give to friends and family, or email it to them. You can pray for the success of this event. You can attend the event, and let people know that you're attending on Facebook. You can share this link to the event summary/
The power of God in Jesus released the Gerasene demonaic from his demons. Though faith and devoted service to our community, we can help God do the same, today.
Our thanks to everyone for a joy-filled Easter celebration, with bright Easter joy rolling away the stone of our doubts and fears in the light of Christ's resurrection! Flowers, families, young adults, long-time members, wonderful music - what could be better than to experience faith with such warmth and hope. See our photos below.
Easter is just the start of getting our faith rolling for the year. We invite you to keep your Easter joy rolling in the days and weeks ahead:
First UMC Middletown worship is great, isn't it? Well, how do we explain this to the world? How can we tell how warm, fulfilling and hopeful our church can be?
This video, posted on both YouTube and our Facebook page, tells the story of a typical day of worship and fellowship at our church. It shows how we grow from an empty room to a people filled with faith, empty the room, and then bring our faith and fellowship to our parsonage. It captures the life of our church, which you can share with others online, and in person. We have a GREAT church, one that seeks to bring God glory every day. Share that joy with others - by sharing this video and all of our messages of hope for the world.
We thank Ted Lawrence for his initiative in taking an online United Methodist Church course on welcoming ministries. His insights will help us to become a more invitational church! You may recall that Ted handed out a questionnaire on Sunday during church announcements. If you haven't done so already, please complete the short checklist questionnaire that he provided and return it to him via his email or in person on Sunday. A printable copy of his checklist is here. Alternatively, you can complete the following online version of the questionnaire and Ted will get the information that way. No personal information is collected. Thank you, your insights are helping us to grow God's mission on earth!
What comes to mind when you hear the word mess? Your home? Your schedule during a particularly busy week at work? Your family? Messes are a part of being human and a part of living in a messy and broken world. The good news is that God is in the mess – not making the mess but working to redeem and restore it.
In Restored: Finding Redemption in Our Mess, author Tom Berlin helps us see our mess through the eyes of Christ to find redemption and restoration. Using Scripture, devotional tools, and the writings of key Christian thinkers, Berlin encourages reflection and meditation through our own brokenness. Only then can we focus on the cross as the place where we truly surrender control, leave our mess, and find redemption.
This book and DVD study will begin Sunday, February 26th, at our 221 Ridge Road parsonage after worship, and Thursday, February 23rd, 7 PM, at the parsonage, and will continue for six weeks. Please sign up below and don’t miss out…..video and table of contents after signup form.
Table of Contents
PHOTO SLIDESHOW AT BOTTOM OF POST
First UMC Middletown had a very special worship celebration this Sunday, as our guest Rev. Ken Kieffer, our outgoing NYAC CT District Superintendent, offered a powerful sermon on Jesus' conversation with a Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42) which Rev. Ken titled "Trauma Queen." His sermon was a remarkable testimony to the experiences of his own life that invite us to put our own lives' traumas into perspective through faith. A beautiful themed altarscape graced our worship space, and wonderful music and witnesses to grace completed a vibrant morning of faith. Rev. Ken got a sense of what worship is like at "that church at the Elks Club," and he was duly impressed!
After worship, we hopped over to our parsonage for our annual Church Conference chaired by Rev. Ken, which celebrated the life of the church as we conducted our annual business. We lifted up our successful ministries, new ministries being led by Sharon Riley, Jill Bennett, and Rossana Barnaby, our new members, our improved fiscal outlook, and our progress towards purchasing land for a new worship center. We also discussed new global mission projects that we can support that offer God's hope around the world. We have much to be grateful for as we enter the new year, having crossed through the "desert" of transition from our old worship space, and as we prepare to cross the Jordan into a new promised land of growing faith in Middletown. May our horns blow loud and clear at the city's walls! We wish Rev. Ken all the best in his new upcoming assignment, and we thank him for his heartfelt support.
Welcome to 2017! To you, it might be just another year in your life. Well, God is here to tell us that it can be a year of fresh starts, through a relationship with God and faith-filled people who can give you new energy, new hope, and brighter visions. Whatever is frustrating, filled with loss, and seemingly hopeless, God is ready to plunge us into a fresh new outlook on life - and eternal life.
Recently, our church remembered of our baptism vows in our Sunday worship. Just like Jesus went to the Jordan River for John's baptism to confirm God's promises for salvation to the world, we put everything that should be dead in our life behind us, and allowed God's waters to wash over us for a new start. We are offered one baptism from God for the forgiveness of sins, but God encourages us to reconnect with God's baptism promises whenever we need it.
Are YOU ready for a new start this year? If you're new to our church, we welcome you, your friends, and your family to experience a church community that is deeply committed to helping people experience the God who never gives up on us. We don't force any ideas or commitments on you - we offer you the love of God freely and willingly, and invite you to experience what it's like to be a part of a community of Christians dedicated to second chances.
Are you already a member of our church community? We remind you to rejoice in the renewal of your baptism, and to keep it holy by offering God's love to everyone in our community who needs it. Let everyone know who much our church excites you. Get involved in our mission projects. Wear your church name tag around town when you shop. Invite people who need to be touched by God into God's presence in our worship services.
Everyone in our community needs and deserves a fresh start. We hope that we can find it together, with God's help!