June 14th, 2012
Last Monday morning, during the closing session of Annual Conference, a severe thunderstorm came through Springfield, causing a power outage in the Expo Center. Within a second or so, the emergency generators kicked in and, after the sound system reset, the Conference continued.
My sense is that too many of us view God as the ’emergency generator’–after our own power fails, then God ‘kicks in’ and keeps us going. That understanding of God is consistent with one of the presentations by Kenda Creasey Dean, who said that the dominant religion in the US is what she calls moralistic therapeutic deism:
Moralistic–God want people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions. Good people go to heaven when they die.
Therapeutic–The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
Deism–God, Creator, exists and is not involved in my life except when I need God to resolve a problem.
This (mis) understanding of God is reflected in our language–the emphasis on inviting Jesus into our life, or accepting Jesus into our life, rather than the biblical model of accepting Jesus’ invitation into his life. There is a huge difference, and if we are going to reclaim the church’s primary role of making disciples of Jesus, we will understand and live the difference.
A few “people notes” from Annual Conference:
Max Marble (Wentzville Church pastor from 1993 to 1996) retired, and was honored by several presentations, including a proclamation from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (a member of First UMC, Jefferson City, by the way)
Diana Loomis (Wentzville Church pastor 1998 and 1999) was back from New Mexico, where she is Director of Church Relations and Development at McCurdy School in Espanola)
Adam Caldwell (Wentzville Church youth intern in the summer of 1993) was commissioned as part of the process toward ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church.
Speaking of the process toward ordination, our own Peter Norton is enrolled at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas and will begin classes in the fall. Please keep him in your prayers. If you would like to contribute toward Peter’s seminary costs, please contact the church office.
Here’s what is happening on Sunday during Children’s Church in The ARK:
We believe that stories about Paul’s life give us strength to tell others about Jesus in all situations. The June Bible verse is “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith.” Romans 1:16 Join us this week as we learn about another one of Paul’s journeys, and create boats in a variety of different ways! See you in the ARK! Don’t forget your passports!
MISSOURI RIVER RING HANDBELL CONFERENCE
All three of our church handbell choirs are participating next week in the “Missouri River Ring” Handbell Conference at the St. Charles Convention Center. Under the direction of Lisa Conley, they’ve spent many months rehearsing the music, and will be joining other handbell choirs from Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. This is the first time the Conference has been held in Missouri since 1992. The final concerts are free and open to the public; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Young Ringers Concert (for grades 2-12) is at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 21 (please note the change in time; originally scheduled for 11 a.m.). The Adult Choir Concert is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 23. Our Rainbow Ringers and Tinntinabulators will participate on Thursday; our adult Belltones on Saturday. Come hear them ring!
JOPLIN DISASTER RESPONSE
During the week of May 28, three members of our response team worked the Joplin area to fell and buck trees. Our next Joplin trip departs Sunday, August 12 and returns Friday, August 17. If you would like to participate, please check the Connect Card on Sunday and Rodger McQuate will contact you with details. We need to submit our volunteer list and “skills assessment” to the Office of Creative Ministries by July 15. As always, many thanks to the church congregation for your support and prayers. Questions? Contact Rodger at 636-887-1884.
VOLUNTEERS IN MEDICINE
Since 2010, Volunteers in Medicine-Lake St. Louis (VIM) has been serving those in Lincoln, Montgomery, St. Charles and Warren Counties who are not eligible for Medicaid, but are unable to afford medical services. They do this with the help of area residents (including a number of our church members) who volunteer their time to dedicated service. Because of our special working relationship, we are happy to announce that Cheryl Moellenhoff, Executive Director for Volunteers in Medicine-Lake St. Louis, is this year’s recipient of Missouri’s Senior Service Award. Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and Missouri State Representative (District 13) Chuck Gatschenberger will present the award next Wednesday, June 20, at the Cancer Center located on the campus of St. Joseph Hospital West. The reception begins at 3:30 p.m. and the award will be presented at 4 p.m. All are cordially invited to attend. Reservations are not necessary, but those who are attending are encouraged “to arrive ea!
See you Sunday at the place where we celebrate our connection to the Ultimate Power of the Universe by saying yes to Jesus’ invitation. I look forward to chatting with you during our farewell reception at 11:30.