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Membership and Tough Questions - Worship Preview for July 24th

First United Methodist Church This Weekend:Sunday at 10:30amMembership and Tough Questions” Scriptures: Psalm 139, Mark 5:24-24 and Numbers 5 Rev. Christopher Eshelman preaching. After a great Sunday with our neighbors celebrating VBS, we return to worship in our Sanctuary and our consideration of what it means to be a member of a United Methodist congregation. Two weeks ago, Pastor Christopher talked about our membership vows – pledging our “prayers, presence, gifts, witness and service.” Unlike most Churches – United Methodist do not start with agreement to a particular creed, but rather pledge action. We affirm the historic creeds of faith – Nicaean, Apostles, etc. and hold Articles of Faith in common – but our focus is on grace experienced and lived out, not, for the most part, on detailed agreement.United Methodists believe in actualizing their faith in community — actions speak louder than words. The three simple rules are: “Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.” Some beliefs we share with other Christians are the Trinity (God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and Jesus’ birth, death and Resurrection.With John Wesley, we generally hold a “both/and” approach – recognizing different answers to tough questions can shed light on the whole truth. Like all humans and human institutions, we sometime get sidetracked and fall short of our ideas, but our Wesleyan heritage is one of service in community. This is why you will often find United Methodists at the core of ecumenical and interfaith efforts. United Methodist affirm the Bible as the primary authority for our faith and practice, yet realize that different traditions, experiences and the reason God gives us will lead to different understandings and interpretations. Sunday we will look at some beloved and some difficult texts and consider how Jesus lived and taught - and how his example might guide us in addressing the tough questions and disagreements of our day. If you do not have a church home, or just need a change, you are invited to join in worship at 10:30am at 301 S. National, coming just as you are with your questions, doubts and hopes - and to experience the transformative, healing love and grace of Christ - which makes us whole.Check our web site more information on what to expect. --------------- This Week:Wednesday, July 27th, 5:30pmFeeding Families in His Name– this weekly free meal is available to everyone without obligation. Community Office Hours:Pastor Christopher will be available at Common Grounds on Monday, July 25th from 9:30am to 10:30am and Hedgehog, Ink! from 2:30-3:30pm on Thursday, July 28th.Come say hello! You are also welcome to make an appointment to meet at First UMC’s offices. Call (620) 223-1950.



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