I just got in the mail a new curriculum that I'm considering using for Lent this year. It's called Revival by Adam Hamilton and it is a six week study on faith as John Wesley lived it. More than just an interesting historical study of the founder of United Methodism, it is a devotional journey designed to help us see events in John Wesley's life as lessons of inspiration for our own spiritual journey. In my estimation, United Methodism has been, since the days of John Wesley in the 1700s, the best example of a well balanced model for faith and living. Wesley considered faith to be important and to that end spent time in daily prayer and study, but he also considered works of justice and mercy to be important. He led by example and encouraged others to help the poor and lonely, to visit those in prison, and to give as much as one could of one's time and money to those in need.
By looking at his life and faith, we seek to be inspired to revive our United Methodist spirit and live life as fully committed Christians. Many of us long for a revival, not only for our own spiritual journey, but for the journey of the faith as a whole. Most Christian faith communities in the United States are experiencing numerical decline, and with it some are experiencing a spiritual decline as well. All across our nation we are ready for a revival!
In his book, Hamilton talks about God's work in the life of Christians as similar to the work needed to restore old cars. He talks about conversing with the guys who ran a junkyard full of Mustangs in Kansas City. When he asked one of them, "What do you see when you look at these dilapidated Mustangs in the salvage yard?" He said, "I don't see them as they are. I see what they could be."
This is a metaphor for the Christian life. The church is God's salvage yard and we are all junkers, waiting for the loving and attentive care of God who sees what we can be. All we need to do is to ask God to restore us and God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, will restore us to that which God created us to be.
This fall, as we gather as a faith community to pray, sing, and be inspired to go out and serve, may we, too, experience revival!
On the journey,
Blessing of the Backpacks, Bags and Briefcases
This year we are blessing the backpacks, bags (diaper and otherwise), and briefcases on Sunday, September 7, during worship. Students, bring your backpacks, others bring your bag/briefcase/whatever you use to transport your work related materials (this includes diaper bags, because we all know that changing diapers is work!) to worship. We will offer a blessing for all backpacks/bags/briefcases, for those who carry them, and for all that will be going on in the coming year at work, at home, at school. The blessing will be a part of morning worship and will get us all off to a good start for the year!
Sunday Morning Schedule
Beginning Sunday, September 14 we will resume our normal Sunday schedule listed below. We hope everyone is rested and revitalized by the summer, and we're looking forward to the Fall season. See you in church!
9:15 am: Choir Rehearsal
10:00 am: Worship followed by Fellowship Time
11:15 am: Chapel Chimers in the Bell Room
11:15 am: Faith Formation Hour:
ACE • Grapple • Church House Rock
12:15 pm: Youth Group
Strengthen the Chain! Become a Link!
The prayer chain ministry has been an active, vital part of the life at Aldersgate for decades. It is open to anyone. If you have a request please email email@example.com or call the church office at 952-929-6725 (office hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) and it will be passed on to the approximately 20 individuals who are on the email prayer chain. Sometimes you may wish for these prayers to be very specific, naming the person and their illness or concern. Other times you may wish the request not contain much information for privacy sake. Also, if you would like to be a part of this ministry and have your name added to the email prayer chain, please email the church office. May the work of your prayers bring healing to all the people you touch.)