Wesley Fellowship News
Jeremy has been having great conversations with Phillip Carlisle and Kelsey Burns, the new leaders of the Wesley Fellowship, the United Methodist campus organization. They are planning for a 24-hour prayer vigil on September 17th‐18th. Students will be invited to sign up at Briton Bash on September 3rd, and the event will take place in our own building. Wesley Fellowship is planning to use the room above Fellowship Lounge as their headquarters.
posted July 30, 2014
Community Ministries News
We have a small group of people working with the Battle Creek Woman’s Co-op on the development of a Co-op for Albion. The sticking point, as always, is funding for a staff position. The vision is inspiring, however, and is definitely moving toward reality. When the plan is developed, a larger group of interested persons from the community will come together to learn about it and bring their own support.
Please pray for the ministry, as it may turn out to be the most important community ministry in which we have ever participated.
posted July 30, 2014
Study Groups: Updates
Book Study Group
The Adam Hamilton book study, "Making Sense of the Bible", meets on Sunday nights at 6:00 pm will in August meet only on the 3rd and the 31st. Stay tuned for a new study to follow. More information on this book study is below.
Bible Study Groups
The Tuesday morning Bible study group has been meeting at Biggby’s, but meetings will also be irregular through August. Check your email for meeting changes, as we may meet in homes or other locations, and Jeremy will be present only on August 5.
The Wednesday Bible study group is not be meeting during August, but will be back at it immediately after Labor Day.
Both Bible study groups are working through Job, which is surprisingly relevant and human, and not so hard as you might imagine! You are always welcome to join any of these three groups.
More information on the Bible Study groups may be found on the Bible Study pages.
posted July, 30, 2014
What’s Happened at Annual Conference this Year?
The West Michigan Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church was held at Calvin College, June 12-14. Remember that this is not “important higher‐ups,” but instead it’s regular folks from every United Methodist congregation in West Michigan.
The Board of Christian Camping received permission to run a financial campaign across the conference, raising money for camp scholarships and for moving three site directors to full time support.
Several members of Kalamazoo First UMC brought a resolution in support of clergy who perform gay marriages, and to deepen our commitment to welcoming all people. This does not have the authority to change the rules for clergy; it simply expresses the desire of many people in our conference. After a very rich and personal conversation, it passed with some amendments.
We renewed our covenant relationship with the Methodist Church in Haiti. The campus ministries of the conference brought a measure to establish a formula for their budget support, which passed.
Our main keynote speaker at conference was Marcia McFee, an expert in creative worship. We had special presentations also about the Imagine No Malaria campaign, camping ministries, and college ministries.
Our lay member of conference is Sally Ammerman. John Williams was also present as a district representative, and Phillip Carlisle, our Wesley Fellowship president, was present and met many other college students from around the conference.
posted July 8, 2014
Community Ministries News
The baby pantry has been quite busy for the past few months. In April we assisted 5 families, in May there were 11, and currently we are in the middle of June and have already assisted 12 families. House by the Side of the Road has been in full effect as well. Many families were in need of assistance as their utility bills had drastically grown and increased due to the freezing temperatures we endured this past winter. Healthy Babies Day is right around the corner and the church will have a signup sheet for our Fall Faith in Action activities. This will once again be a great community gathering where the church has the opportunity to spread love throughout the community. If anyone needs to reach Community Ministries please call Alana Smith (517) 315-5803.
posted July 8, 2014
A New Book Study: Making Sense of the Bible
A study of the book Making Sense of the Bible by Adam Hamilton, a United Methodist pastor, starts Sunday, May 4, at 6 om. What a great chance to think and talk about just what the Bible has to say to us today about the issues that divide Christians. This book is available in print, on Kindle, and from the iTunes Store.
Comments from the author:
In my upcoming book, Making Sense of the Bible, I suggest that there are three "buckets" into which scriptures fall:
- Scriptures that express God’s heart, character and timeless will for human beings
- Scriptures that expressed God’s will in a particular time, but are no longer binding
- Scriptures that never fully expressed the heart, character or will of God
Bucket one scriptures include passages like the two great commandments: love God and love your neighbor. They include passages that call us to "do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God," and to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Most of the Bible fits into this category—capturing God’s heart, character and timeless will for humanity.
Bucket two scriptures, those that expressed God’s will for his people in a specific time and circumstances but which do not express the timeless will of God, include the command that males be circumcised, commands regarding animal sacrifices, clean and unclean foods, and hundreds of other passages in the Law. The Apostles, in Acts 15, determined that most of the laws like these were no longer binding upon Christians.
The idea of a third bucket, passages that never reflected God’s heart and will, is disconcerting to some. It challenges some deeply held beliefs about how God spoke and continues to speak through the biblical authors. Here are a few examples of scripture I don’t believe ever accurately captured God’s heart, character, or will: In Exodus 21:20-21, God permits slave-owners to beat their slaves with rods provided they don’t die within the first 48 hours after the beating "for the slave is his property." God commands the destruction of every man, woman, and child in 31 Canaanite cities and later kills 70,000 Israelites in punishment for David taking a census. These passages seem to me to be completely inconsistent with the God revealed in Jesus Christ who cared for prostitutes, commanded that we love our enemies, and gave his life to save sinners.
To learn more about the author visit his website.
posted March 31, 2014
It's Time to Sign Up for Camp!
Brochures have arrived, and you can go online to register youth and children for our United Methodist camps. Just scroll down to find the registration link. Remember that between the United Methodist Women and our congregation, we will pay half of your registration for a week of camp. Camp changes lives!
posted March 31, 2014
Thinking about Joining Our Church?
Come find out about United Methodists, about this church, and about yourself. Three Sunday nights at 6 pm, starting February 23rd. Whether you’re transferring from another United Methodist Church, or coming back to church after many years, or for the first time, come join us!
posted February 3, 2014
Give If You Can
During each Sunday service an offering is taken. It goes without saying that is costs money to operate the church. In addition there are also special giving opportunities that you can specify by writing your designation on an offering envelope or on the memo line of a check:
- The House by the Side of the Road is a fund from which we help individuals in the community who need emergency help with bills.
- Missions support our missionaries overseas who are engaged in human service work aorund the world.
- The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is present around the world where there are disasters, whether it be hurricane relief on the east coast of the US or working with and helping refugees in Sudan or Turkey.
posted December 31, 2013
“How Early Christians Read the Bible”
Pastor Jeremy is selling copies of a small book that he wrote for the AALL class he is teaching this month. Copies are available in the church office for $6. It is about how and why the various books were chosen for the New Testament, and how various Christians interpreted the difficulties of the Bible in the first four centuries of Christianity. If you are interested in the history of the Church, this should be interesting to you.
posted October 3, 2013
Many of you have asked if it could be possible. Now it is! First United Methodist is embracing technology and offering a giving option that may be more convenient for many of you, the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Program.
Here is how it works: you authorize a specified amount of money to be transferred directly from your checking or savings account to the church account. You choose a donation frequency: semi-monthly or monthly. Indicate the amount of the contribution and how it should be divided. Then complete an authorization form that will be made available (with name, address, and bank information), mail it to the church or drop it in the offering, and we will arrange for your savings or checking account to be debited as you select.
The EFT program is fast, safe, and easy. In fact, it is less risky than checks, as it cannot be lost, stolen, or destroyed in the mail, and the rate of accuracy is high. All EFT donations will be reflected on your quarterly giving statements, and your bank statement will provide you with a record of transfer as additional proof of your donations. Of course, you can cancel your authorization of transfer or change your donation amount at any time by notifying the Financial Secretary.
This program is sponsored by the United Methodist Church and was tested by the UM General Council on Finance and Administration.
The Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) program yields very significant benefits for our church and makes life easier for you:
- The satisfaction of giving to God first
- Less work for church volunteers in processing the collection
- A more predictable income flow for better planning
- Improved cash management with less labor
- Easier personal budgeting
Of course, the traditional choices remain, we understand that the EFT giving option is not for everyone. Some may feel that the act of writing out a check or putting money in an envelope is an important element of sacrificial giving. We will continue to provide offering envelopes for everyone. All donations for missions and special projects will be received in the traditional way.
posted May 26, 2010