If you’ve every had to wait for a train in Cary or dreamed of a jaunt on the Orient Express, you need to come to May’s UMM Breakfast. FUMC’s own Bob Warner, a longtime NC Train Host will be sharing his knowledge about today’s passenger railroads in North Carolina and beyond. Learn about train safety, tips on how to save money traveling by rail, what’s likely to happen with light rail in Cary and lots of other valuable information. Plus, you get to enjoy great fellowship and “the best breakfast in town.” All are invited, just click here to make a reservation. Breakfast starts at 8:00, so come join us.
Archives for April 2015
“Practice makes perfect” or so the saying goes. On the other hand, “nobody’s perfect.” One auto manufacturer advertises “the drive for perfection” while we often respond to a situation or suggestion by saying “that’s perfect.”
Perfection – a pure and untarnished state of something – can be an elusive goal. Perfectionists drive the rest of us crazy because no matter what we’ve done, it may not be good enough unless it’s perfect.
Theologically, perfection becomes even more problematic (particularly for Wesleyan Methodists). We affirm that perfection can only be found in God. Everything – and everyone – else has blemish or spot. Yet, we also believe that we are moving toward perfection and, in fact, that belief is the source of two questions asked of United Methodist clergy at the time of ordination. “Are you going on to perfection? Do you expect to attain it in this life?”
So, what’s that about? What does Christian perfection mean? For us, it means being perfect in love – loving as God loves, totally, unselfishly, with a spirit of serving others. Such love, Mr. Wesley taught, can be attained (though not likely consistently maintained) in this life. He taught that it is the goal of discipleship and it is nurtured by the means of grace. In other words, by practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, worship, Bible study, fasting, caring for the poor, and Holy Communion, we more and more learn what perfect love looks like, practice it more and more until finally we love in a perfect way. In other words, “practice makes perfect.”
Mr. Wesley got such an idea from the little letter of 1 John, among other places. It was a favorite of his and the source of much of his preaching. During this Easter season we have been working our way through this brief epistle and this Sunday we come to a passage that is at the heart of understanding Christian perfection: 1 John 4:7-21. We will think a bit about what all this means and what Charles Wesley meant when he wrote “pure and spotless let us be.”
I hope to see you Sunday as we for the team practice. We’ll pray. We’ll open the Book. We’ll gather at the table. We’ll receive an offering for the relief of the those in need. In other words, we’ll practice until we get it right. Until we’re perfect.
Grace and peace.
Welcome to May!
This week, myself, Christie Brown, our Program Coordinator, Alicia Shelton, our MCC Director and Rev. Martha McLean, our Pastor of Christian Formation, are headed to Atlanta for the Orange Conference. This is a Children’s Ministry conference where we look forward to learning more about the best way to minister to and instill discipleship in our kids at First Cary. Prayers for travel mercies, stamina (conference days are fun, but looong) and open hearts/minds are welcome!! We leave early Wednesday and come home late Friday, and will be brimming with excitement to share our learnings with you on Sunday!
Speaking of Sunday, this Sunday is going to be a special one for our Elementary aged kids. And our preschoolers will be excited to go to the Happy Helpers Club!
For our elementary aged kids: You are in for a treat, as our classes get to see the Spring Children’s Musical, The Life of the Party (story of Lazarus, Mary and Martha), this morning in the Fellowship Hall! We need your class to be in the Fellowship Hall and seated by 9:55a, so maybe you should try to get there by 9:50a. Please ensure you have an accurate headcount as you leave the class and then again when you leave the FH, and that your class stays seated together in the FH.
They need to re-set the FH for the Celebration service, so as soon as the musical is over (should take about 30 minutes), please head to room 118. In room 118 (our Large Group room) we will have cupcakes to say good bye for the summer to our intern, RachelG. Good news, tho, she is returning to us during her final year in Divinity school in the fall of 2015, so it’s not good bye forever, just a good luck. She will be interning at Camp Don Lee this summer, so we want to wish her well! After cupcakes and hugs to Rachel, please return to your classroom for parent pickup.
We will place a note on your door that lets parents know that the kids are all in the FH, so if anyone arrives late, they’ll be able to find your class. Please plan to leave your room no later than 9:45a in order to get to the Fellowship Hall and get seated by 9:50a.
For our preschoolers:
The Happy Helpers Club is back! And, it’s better than ever. This is one of our FAVORITE themes to do with preschoolers. At a young age, children start saying, “I help,” and it’s our responsibility to teach them how to help. God wants them to help others, to think of others before themselves, so let’s make sure they know how to do it! This week, we’ll hear how Ruth helped Naomi by staying with her when she could have returned to her hometown. All month long we’ll be meeting unique Biblical helpers. Here’s a clip to get you excited about HELPING this month: Happy Helper’s video
And your lessons are here:
Think about this for a second: Do you want your children to grow up to be angry? I’m talking about out-of-control, self-centered, short-fused, “I’m gonna hurt somebody if I don’t get my way” kind of anger.
Of course not.
After all, you don’t have to look very hard in communities to see the damage that kind of anger can do. It’s the reason a lady used pepper spray at a Wal-Mart to ward off a crowd of mothers Christmas shopping. It’s the reason people lose it in traffic, or the reason the issue of bullying is escalating in schools everywhere.
The truth is there are a lot of people who are walking around angry. Somehow they grew up and missed a simple principle that is critical to life. Peace.
Peace is part of God’s character and what Jesus came to do for us. God wants us to reflect peace in our relationships with others. We define peace like this: proving you care more about each other than about winning an argument.
It’s interesting that peace almost always requires some type of sacrifice. I can almost guarantee there will be a time in every relationship when you will have to give up something you care about to make peace. Peace will cost you something.
When sin entered God’s magnificent paradise, our relationship with Him was broken. God’s love for us was so great that He was willing to sacrifice to restore the relationship. God proved He cared about peace when He sent His Son to pay for our sins.
Peace is more than just “not fighting” and saying the right things to keep people happy. Peace is living in a way that shows you care more about others than about being right. It’s about building strong relationships through mutual trust.
Working at those relationships is hard work. It will cost us something. It will take time, swallowing our pride, and often will mean walking away from the chance to prove we’re “right.” That’s why we start by getting everyone to memorize something Paul said in the book of Romans. “So let us do all we can to live in peace. And let us work hard to build each other up,” (Romans 14:19, NIrV)
Think about the significance of that phrase. Paul is challenging us to do all we can to live in peace. He stresses how important it is for us to do everything in our power to build a bridge—to fix what is broken—between us and someone else.
Now, let’s talk about some stories that illustrate how and why we should “do all we can to live in peace.”
For our elementary aged kids,
We’ll finish out the month in 1 Samuel 25:1-35. King David became angry with a man who treated his soldiers wrong. David wanted to get revenge, until the man’s wife, Abigail, intercepted him with gifts to make peace and apologizes. Her initiative stopped something that would have been horrible. Even though she was not responsible for the offense, she realized she could play a role in making peace.
Bottom Line: prove you care about others by being part of the solution. Peace is sometimes about stopping an argument before it can escalate into something worse. Creating peace between two other people will take time and energy.
Each of these stories we studied in April illustrates what it means to pursue peace. Sometimes you have to know when to walk away. Sometimes you have to be willing to give up something. Sometimes you have to get involved if you want to be a peacemaker. The point is, when you make peace, you make others understand that they matter more than the argument or more than things.
Let’s help kids grow up and learn to do whatever they can do to fix what’s wrong between them and someone else. Let’s help them learn to make peace a priority in their lives.*
For our preschoolers, this month is all about “Go and Tell”. Your little ones will hear the great commission—how Jesus asked His disciples to “go and tell” everyone everywhere about Him. This week, they will hear about Paul and Silas who were also amazing at the “go and tell” mission. They’ll get to reenact the earthquake that God sent to free them from jail. Through each of these stories we pray that our children will learn that God wants us to “go and tell” also, and that He is with us as we do.
It is picture time again. Our children will be having individual and class photos taken on Wednesday and Thursday April 22nd and 23rd. Wear your smile and say cheese!
Need Yard work done? Leaves raked? Mulch or pine straw spreading? Interior painting? Garage or attic cleaned out?
Teams of ASP volunteers will be available to perform such tasks Saturday April 25th and Saturday May 2nd, with morning and afternoon shifts! $50 per hour per team, 2 hour minimum per project. Requests taken on a first come, first served basis. Please download and complete this form and sign where indicated. Submit completed forms to the church office or emailed to Dennis Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Light and life are found in God and shown to us in Jesus Christ. This love shines light into our lives and through grace we are guided into holiness. Please take a moment and listen to Colin’s sermon if you were not able to make the service this past Sunday.
HANDS HELD HIGH Puppet Ministry—Sharing the Love of God through the Arts
The FUMCC Puppet Ministry began in 1996 as a ministry for youth looking for a means to share their love of God through the arts. The founding ministry leadership team has returned and is committed to reviving the Puppet Ministry with the support of the entire congregation. The benefit of this method is that even in the natural transition which occurs as youth graduate and their parents transition into new areas of service we will have in place a long-term and sustainable ministry.
HANDS HELD HIGH will function with a small group character, providing participants the opportunity to grow in their faith, have fun and fellowship, as well as offer performances in the church and out into the community. All interested persons are invited—there are many different ways to help! The hope is for HANDS HELD HIGH to be an inclusive ministry stretching across generations to share the Word of God through the great variety of creative gifts and graces of God’s people. We especially hope that middle high and high school youth are willing to participate and share their talents!
Get involved as a:
SCRIPT WRITER – Take stories and turn into scripts for The Rock; Create original scripts for outreach
PROP MAKER – Design and build props
PUPPETEER – Learn art of puppetry; Practice and perform
COSTUMER DESIGNER – Design and make costumes
DEVOTIONAL LEADER – Plan and lead devotionals
TECHNICAL SPECIALIST – Responsible for audio and lighting at practice and performances
CHOREOGRAPHER – Design choreography for puppeteers
MINISTRY SUPPORT – Carpenters, sewers, painters, etc.
VIDEOGRAPHER – Record performances