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Lower United Methodist Church
December 16, 2020

 

“The Lord God’s spirit is upon me because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor.”

 Isaiah 61:1

 His name was Josué and he was only 5 when he came to our Vacation Bible School for the first time at our multicultural church in Northern Virginia where I was the Associate Pastor. He had never attended preschool and spent every day with his Mom and Grandma, isolated from the rest of the world. I thought the experience would be good for him to learn about God and to socialize with other children. 
 
On the first day they came to check out our Vacation Bible School. They had never been inside a church and were overwhelmed by all the children already divided into small groups, each with their name tags and hats with the color of their group. I welcomed them with a smile and showed them around, explained what they would do in each class, and convinced them to leave Josué in the capable hands of our teachers who only speak English.
 
As you can imagine it was not going well. I tried to put a blue hat on his head, and he refused to wear it. I tried to put his name tag on, and he pulled it off and threw it away insulting me with more bad words than I have ever heard from anyone before. Luckily, no one understood the blasphemous words, but they understood his fears.
 
 Our director of music who was Korean, came with her big smile, grabbed him by the hand, and said goodbye to us as they disappeared following the blue group. Josue was screaming in Spanish, she calmed him in English, neither one understood the other’s words, but they did understand what really mattered. I told the family they could go home, that he would be fine, but I was not sure this was going to work.
 
Less than 30 minutes later, a teacher asked me to come quickly to the music room and immediately a wave of negative thoughts crossed my mind as I imagined what this little one had done now. As I looked through the glass in the door, I was amazed to see him completely transformed, singing loud, following the movements with the biggest smile on his face!

I checked on him in the next class where he was finger painting and covered with blue paint up to his elbows. He couldn’t believe that they would let him play with paint. When lunchtime came, his family came to make sure he was fine. When he saw them, he smiled and explained he had to sit with the blue group because that’s where he belongs, his hat and name tag firmly in place.
 
Josué had a wonderful time at VBS and he and his family began to come to church where I baptized him. Through this experience, I learned that people are so used to bad and difficult news that is hard for them to believe that there might be a place where they are welcomed in love. The good news of the gospel might sound too good to be true until they experience it in their own lives. I knew that coming to VBS would be a blessing for this child, but he resisted because he was never invited before. Just like Jesus did, I want to bring the good news of Christ wherever I go, even when people have no idea how amazing God’s love is until they experience it.

Rev. Ileana Rosario
 

Prayer List Updates

Please remember these people
in your prayers:
Lee Rosser
Chris Waltrop
Patricia Ellis
Wes Holland
Carolyn Cox's Granddaughter Carlie
Kathleen Kruse's Nephew Kenneth
Raymond Benson
Family of Joe Nelson
Dalton Brownley's Grandson Randy
Family of Karen Parker

We pray for safe availability of COVID vaccine.
We give thanks for the beautiful Christmas tree and decorations at LUMC. 

Advent continues as we prepare for Christ's birth...
Each Sunday our children will light the traditional Advent wreath as we focus on the anticipation of Christ’s birth leading up to Christmas and in the expectation of his second coming. 

Christmas Eve Services
 We will offer two services: the first outside by the crosses at 6:00 pm and the second one inside the sanctuary at 7:00 pm. 
All are welcome, of course, but due to the pandemic, please register for the 7:00 pm indoor service by contacting the church office at (804) 776-6250 or by e-mail lumc@va.metrocast.net
 
Consider scheduling recurring electronic contributions in the new year. To sign up, see our website: www.lowerumc.org.

Help us continue being a place of worship and blessing for the community with our many programs, missions, worship and outreach. Thank you for your faithful support!
Last week's offering:
$3,910.00
Needed for weekly budget:
$4,130.00

Our offerings to date:
$181,691.64
2020 Budget:
$214,754.00
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