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Worship Preview 6.2.24

First United Methodist Church         


This Sunday: 10:30am – “Our Call as Methodists.” Rev. Christopher Eshelman preaching. Scriptures: 1 Samuel 3:1-20 and Philippians 2:1-13


I’ve been sharing a bit about the history and organization of Wesley’s Methodist movement and United Methodist Church. One of the things I most appreciate is the intentional involvement of laity. Our Annual and General Conference feature both clergy and laity as voting members. The ministry of the church is not done solely by the clergy with the congregation watching, rather the clergy are called to organize the church for mission – all members are called to serve, each with our different gifts, together as our unique part of the body of Christ.


Last week we heard a call story of the prophet Isaiah, whose fear of being unworthy is resolved in his experience of  a vision, his lips touched and cleansed by a coal from the altar. When asked who would go forth, serving as God’s representative, Isaiah declared “Here I Am, send me” (Is.6:1-8). On this Second Sunday after Pentecost, we turn to 1 Samuel 3, which offers us another story of a call to ministry. The aged priest Eli has failed to control his sons who are abusing their power when he realizes his assistant, a young boy, has heard the voice of God and counsels him to listen well.  That boy will grow up to be the priest/prophet/judge Samuel, the one who offered guidance to the tribes of Israel in the last days before the establishment of the monarchy. Samuel would go on to anoint both Saul and David as kings of Israel, but that part of the story is well into the future. At this point, we’re invited to consider the call of Samuel to prophetic ministry.


Drawing from these stories, Sunday I will share a bit about how we call and ordain clergy, how we organize for mission, and we’ll hear how Wesley’s ministry was shaped by our 2nd reading, likely familiar words from Philippians 2. We are to seek to be Christlike in all that we do. So let us consider these stories of Eli, Samuel, Wesley, the UMC and our own journey. We are called to both personal and social holiness. We are called to an active faith, and you are invited to journey with us, 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. Visit for more information on what to expect. Blessings on your journey!


Upcoming Events: 


Wednesday, June 5,  5:30–6:30pm: Feeding Families in His Name – this weekly free meal is available to everyone without obligation. A “to-go” meal is distributed under the portico at 301 S. National. A reminder: Please do not block nearby driveways while waiting. Thank you. If you would like to support this ministry, you can make donations online at


June 17th – 21st, We are hosting VBS this year. We continue to partner with our friends at First Presbyterian but will host Vacation Bible School in our building this time. Mark your calendar for June 17th – 21st 5:30-8pm.

Register at or visit either church office!

Plan to bring your kids or grandkids for a great week of faith and fun rooted in Scripture and then celebrate with us at a combined worship service 10:30am, Sunday, June 23rd here at 301 S. National with a potluck to follow!


Friday, June 28th, 1-4pm  Shepherd’s Center / Adventures in Learning

Our focus in June will be on downsizing and evaluating legacy items. Our speakers will include Tara Solimon Smith on “Who Gets Grandma’s Cake Plates”, Ginger Nance on “Downsizing Home” and Rosemary Harris from Barbwire Roses on merchandising items you’d like to sell. As always it will be a great time of fellowship and conversation with refreshments provided! This event is free, and while aimed at retired adults, anyone interested in the topics is welcome to attend. Invite a friend!





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