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
Big Band Show Successful Thanks To Efforts Of Many
A big "thank you" to all who made the Big Band Show of 2014 a success. You should be very proud of our production and the fact that we raised almost $1900 for FUMC community ministries through our efforts. Simply put, the Big Band Show was a grand evening of fellowship, food, and fun. Ken Fourn’s Sounds Appropriate band and Pastor Jeremy’s jazz quintet provided excellent renditions of notable swing and jazz favorites from across several decades and these bands provided this music as a donation to our event. Their contribution of time and talent was a very generous gift to this church. Thank you to all who contributed desserts for the buffet, "for sale" food, auction desserts, and drawing items. As a result of these donations of food, the audience was able to choose from a large array of dessert items to enjoy while listening to the wonderful music, purchase some items, and bid on five special desserts to "order" for a later date during a silent auction period. In addition, a supporting cast of committee chairs made sure every detail was accounted for: Royal Ward served as our Master of Ceremonies; Polly Moore headed a crew who worked in the kitchen, arranged for beverages, and cleaned up tables; Jake Weber and Kathy Hutchins coordinated the dessert buffet; Bill Rafaill guided the ushers and tickets takers; Scott and Connie Tuthill decorated the tables; and Rick and Barb Lange advertised this event over the past several months. Some of these people had others working with them also. Finally, Ann and Natalie our building attendants, made sure the tables and chairs got set‐up and taken down and Sally Ammerman and Carol Maynard kept track of ticket sales. What a team effort! All in all, I saw a lot of happy faces among those who made this show happen on the night of the event, and I know the people who attended had a good time because they danced (well, some), munched, clapped, and toe-tapped their way through the night.
Bless you all for your great service! Barb Rafaill
posted March 3, 2014
Lenten Supper Series
Ash Wednesday, March 5th, will kick off our Lenten Supper Series. We will meet each Wendesday at 6 pm in Fellowship Lounge through April 9th. The theme for this year's conversations will be an exploration of our congregation’s Vision, Mission, and Values. Pastor Jeremy discusses the Lenten Supper Series in his monthly letter to the congregation published in the March 2014 Silver Spire.
posted March 3, 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
Church Council Meeting Time Change
In an effort to be more available to everybody, the Church Council begins this month with a new meeting time: the third Sunday of the month at 11:15 am, meeting in either the coffeehouse or the Fellowship Lounge. The meetings are open to anyone who’s interested, and chairs of all committees are expected to attend or send a representative.
posted October 29; updated December 2, 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
We’re trying to reorganize our programs for elementary age children this Fall. We’d like to have volunteers who are willing to help once a month, with a variety of activities, from cooking to crafts to music. Volunteers need to be willing to be out of worship on the day they help, to receive children who leave worship following the Conversation with Youth. Thinking about it? Contact Pastor Jeremy. This is an urgent need, so please strongly consider stepping up!
posted September 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