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Worship Preview for 8.6.23 "The Way of Christ and the Will of God" series continues

This Weekend: “The Way of Christ and the Will of God” Series continues. Scriptures: Genesis 2-3, Hebrews 12:1-13, Matthew 18:1-14 Rev. Christopher Eshelman preaching.

Last week we talked about the Creation story told in Genesis 1:1-2:3. It is a story of God intentionally willing, calling forth Creation and finding that creation good. God intentionally creates the great diversity of the world’s plans and creatures. Day and night, morning and evening, creation is good – and it has rhythms. God rests on the Sabbath. Light, holiness, fruitfulness. This is all intended. And within that goodness and God’s intentional will, God gives humanity freewill. We are allowed to say no to God – and that’s when things get really complicated.

This week we will continue our series on the Way of Christ and the Will of God with a focus on Rev. Leslie Weatherhead’s insight about God’s Circumstantial Will, That is, given the circumstances of sinfulness and disobedience, what does God want for us and from us? This is no idle speculation – Weatherhead first preached his sermon series during the London Blitz, when it looked like Hitler might well be winning the war. Things are often not good and clearly not what God intended – and yet often those who gain power and do harm claim to be doing God’s will. Such approaches lead to trails of tears – and I believe Jesus weeps.

This week we will look at the 2nd great Creation story in the Bible, at other ways God responds, and, of course, to Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith. As we unpack these texts, we’ll focus on Matthew 18 talks of temptation and sin. The passage offers several beloved assurances (children, lost sheep), and the troubling image of a millstone. What is God’s Will in these circumstances? As the Word become flesh, Jesus reveals God to us while also revealing what we are called to be as humans. Let us discern together!

No matter where you are on your own journey of faith, you are invited to join in fellowship, worship, and celebration 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. Visit our new web site at and click “New Visitors” for more information on what to expect.

Upcoming Events: Wednesday, August 9, 5:30 pm 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. Note: Please do not block nearby driveways while waiting. Thank you.

Ways to Help: Would your group like to help prepare a meal or volunteer in other ways – contact Pastor Christopher or our coordinator Bonnie McClure at the church (620) 223-1950. Donations to sustain this ministry are also deeply appreciated and can be directed to Feeding Families in His Name, c/o First UMC 301 S. National, Fort Scott, KS 66701.

Thursday, August 10th, United Women in Faith meet at 1:30pm in the Parlor. Pastor Christopher will present the program As we begin Year 3 of his appointment here, he will share a bit more about his own journey and practices like labyrinth walking and iconography that help him along his path as an invitation to go deeper into practices of worship and service that assist each of us. Invite a friend!

New Support for Grieving Mothers: One of our faithful constituents, Cindy Valdez, is organizing an in-person small group, “Support for Grieving Mothers” for the Fort Scott area that will begin in September. Here mothers will find kindred spirits, support, hope and encouragement as they navigate their loss. Cindy already manages two similar Facebook support groups with several thousand members and is adding this in person option, which we are delighted to support by providing the space to meet. Look for details soon or call the church office to be put in touch! (620) 223-1950



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