A weekly newsletter from United Methodist Church of Lenox
A NOTE FROM THE PASTOR
A letter from Bishop for February
Beloved in Christ:
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
During the week of Feb. 14, within a span of 96 hours, people of faith and of no faith will observe Transfiguration Sunday, Scouting Ministries Sunday, Valentine’s Day, Presidents' Day, and Ash Wednesday.
As we observe these days with the limitations due to COVID-19 and during a time of deep political and religious division, let us ask ourselves a deeper question: Whose voice do we listen to in the midst of the turmoil and fear we are facing?
When Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, God spoke to them, saying “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” (Mark 9:7).
Do we listen to Jesus' voice as he speaks to us even today? Do our actions follow what we hear?
Recently, I read several articles and commentaries on social media in which people of different faiths and various theological perspectives challenged Christians to do Christianity, not “Churchanity.” In other words, they expect we in the church to live the gospel, not just recite it.
As we journey through Lent, may we seek ways to listen deeply and intently in order that we might hear more clearly the voice of God amidst of the cascade of messages on social media!
You may wonder, “What should we do?” I have no easy answers, and I struggle with you to know what is mine to do. As I grappled with this question, my attention was drawn to a statement by Bishop Jonathan Keaton’s wife, Beverly, who wrote:
“In this world of Great Expectations, I encourage you to Dance your Dance to your ability’s best.
There will be many Beats that you will be expected to follow, and they can change without warning. This may cause you to be become flummoxed.
But remaining true to yourself and ever trusting in God, you will be enabled to accomplish what is meant for you to accomplish.”
(Beverly L. Keaton, “Episcopal Spouses’ ‘Thrival Kit,’” Council of Bishops, The United Methodist Church)
We live in a world where our youth, our children and grandchildren, teach us a lot! One of the things my grandchildren have taught me is a greater appreciation for the art of dance. I see the passion with which they dance and how easily they are able to synchronize their steps to the beat of the music. They not only hear the music, they feel it, and it dictates their movements.
May God help all of us to dance in this life, carefully listening to the voice of God. The world expects this of us. Even though the beat changes without warning, if we listen intently to the voice of God and follow that voice with courage and determination to the best of our ability, God will see us through! God promises us that!
God, who calls and sends,
we rely on your grace
to know and do your will.
So help us God,
to hear and heed your voice,
to follow the way of Jesus,
to trust the Spirit
who hovers and moves
among us and through us.
When the rhythms of life
change without warning,
when discordant sounds
confuse and confound us,
when we grow weary in doing good,
keep our hearts and minds
attuned to your voice
and lead us in paths of righteousness.
We pray in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have a blessed and holy Lenten season.
In Christ's love,
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
First Sunday of February with the virtual communion
On the first Sunday of February, we are going to have a Virtual Communion during the worship service. For the Virtual Communion, if possible, you may prepare the bread and the grape juice in your home to join breaking bread and drinking juice together as one body of Christ.
If you visit the link below or dial this number by your phone, you can join the worship service at 10am
Last Sunday Infant Baptism worship was beautiful!!
This is from Philip, Tina & our family,
we want to say thank you so much for conducting last Sunday's ceremony.
The gifts included blankets, baby bibs & burp cloths, decorating flowers, a check, congratulations cards, cash, decorative cake and gift cards. We are so grateful to everyone for showing us much love. May God richly bless you all.
Feed My Sheep Ministry last Monday
It was a snowy night and only 3 people came out for a meal, but the homeless shelter at St Joseph’s school was bustling and very appreciative of the meals, as it was “seafood night” there and many people didn’t like seafood, but loved the sandwiches! Thank you for your thoughtful participation! Great job! The bags were well stocked, creative and generous!
- John Allen
Christian Education Book Study Group - February 21
Have you resisted, defied, or tried to bargain your way out of what you thought God wanted?
You aren’t alone. Scripture documents similar stories.
In this Easter Study Andy Stanley looks at some of the people whose lives intersected with Jesus in the weeks leading to his crucifixion. Each of them had an agenda that put them at odds with God and Jesus. As you’ll see, there’s a little big of them in all of us.
The High Cost of Following Christ
The Risk of Surrendering to God
The God Who Can Be Trusted
The Foundation of Our Faith
If you like to join this group for the Lenten season, please sign up!! The church will offer the book to all participants. Let Jill Wehry or Pastor know if you like to sign up.
It will start on Feb 21 following the worship service via Zoom.Thanks
Church weekly Schedule
* Bible Study - Wed 10am ( Gospel of the Mark )
* Office Hours
. Pastor Nami working from home ( Tue-Fri, 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm) - available to reach out phone call (442-6314) or email ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
.Kathy, Administration Assistant working in the church office Tue (11am – 2pm) and Fri (9am – 12pm) Hours are flexible so please call church office (445-5918) or email (email@example.com) to make sure she is working
Valentine Bags of Love
We usually collect items for the homeless for Valentines day. We feel this year is even harder on the homeless. so we like to do our best as much as we can do.
Please put items in a 2 gallon bag or paper bag and leave on the bench in the entrance way at church by February 10th. Suggested items are soap, face cloth/towel, lotions, dry deodorant, tissues, chapstick, razors/shaving cream, snacks, cough drops. Label the bags for man or woman and feel free to add any of your own touches:decorations, cards, etc.
Thanks from the Missions Team; Pam, Lisa, Charlene, & Shirley
At Berkshire Allergy Care where Nancy Olson is working as a nurse, Dr. Edwards is looking for volunteers for 5 hours each day to book the appointments a week in advance. They would need 2 medical professionals each day familiar with administering vaccines. They would need two PA's, or NP's, or Doctors each day.
If you are able to help them, please call Dr. Edwards office Monday through Thursday and ask to leave a message for Nancy Olson about volunteering. The number is 413 443 4826. She will return your call.
Get a Vaccine right now
Currently anyone 75 and older are priority, then 65 and older. Then anyone with one health issue. Call Nancy Olson to give your name and phone number. (413-822-1442, firstname.lastname@example.org) Although you are not 75 yrs old, don’t wait and don’t hesitate to contact them if you like to get it. They need to fill up the slot. Call Nancy and get yourself a vaccine.
Weekly check-in with the laity of our District.
One of our co-lay leaders, Joan Farrar will be doing a weekly check-in with the laity of our District. This will be a place where ideas and ministries can be shared. These check-ins will be on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm.
the quadrennial trainings on Anti-Racism taking place this Saturday (February 6 at 9 am), led by the Conference Commission on Religion and Race. Clergy must attend one a quadrennium (many attended in 2019 or 2020), but all laity are invited to attend. You can register here: https://www.neumc.org/eventdetail/14815938
Wheelchairs provide freedom for 50 Liberians by Asbury United Methodist Church in Allentown, PA.