KinmundyChurch.org: Welcome to our church blog!

We Would Like You To Know —

1.  At this time, due to decreasing Coronavirus rates, the United Methodists Churches of our Illinois Great Rivers Conference are worshiping in face-to-face worship services. On May 14, 2021, the Illinois Great Rivers Conference announce a significant relaxation in safety standards in harmony with recent announcements by the CDC and the Illinois State Department of Public Health. You can read more about these changes below.

2. YOU HAVE SIX CHOICES TO PARTICIPATE IN WORSHIP, depending on what you feel is best for your own safety and situation in this Coronavirus season. We respect your decision.

Choice #1: You are welcome to attend live, Face-to-Face worship at Kinmundy United Methodist Church at 9 am Sunday morning OR at Wesley, 10:45 Sunday morning.

Choice #2: We broadcast the audio of the live service on your car’s FM radio, FM 87.9, to the parking lot at Kinmundy UMC at 9 am. This is a little safer than inside for those who are unvaccinated or concerned about safety. A bucket just inside the door on the corner has bulletins in it. Just like a drive-in, you can bring snacks and coffee.

Choice #3: Please click on the link at the blog post for this Sunday in the “Attend Worship at Home” category to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone. Sermons and worship services for previous weeks are also available.
The same links will be provided on the Kinmundy Church Facebook page.
Pastor Dave intends to continue providing an online service on into the future.

Choice #4: You can also click on the links at the blog post of the day in the “Attend Worship at Home” category to have your own worship service experience, for whatever you are interested in. You can listen to the sermon on audio, pray the prayers, play YouTube versions of the hymns, and/or view the sermon slides with the sermon audio.

Choice #5: A copy of the “Worship at Home” service AND a sermon transcript will be emailed or sent by US Mail Monday to anyone who requests it. Call the church office at 547-7423 to subscribe. The transcript can also be read on the blog after 2 pm on Monday and used in your devotions through the week. Pastor Dave intends to continue provide this on into the future.

Choice #6: If you don’t have the internet and you would like to watch the worship video on DVD, please call the church office.

INFORMATION ON CURRENT SAFETY PRECAUTIONS (May 23, 2021):

WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW … Due to your careful love for your neighbor, the State of Illinois is relaxing COVID restrictions in response to lower numbers. Please pray for wisdom for our leaders and a calm response throughout to the gradual lifting of restrictions.

On Friday May 14, 2021, Curtis Brown, Director of Connectional Ministries for the IGRC, issued an Update on Wearing Masks for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference to say: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has updated their safety guidance to state, “… fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting.” … This means that fully vaccinated people will not need to wear a face mask or physically distance in most of our churches during worship services, gatherings, and meetings, including while speaking and singing.” The IGRC recommends that churches should avoid creating special events, gatherings, or worship experiences only available to those who are already fully vaccinated. Our ministries are meant for all, and we need to be diligent in ensuring that an individual’s access to vaccination does not become a barrier for people’s full participation in the life of our churches.

Unvaccinated people may choose to wear masks for their own safety and the safety of other non-vaccinated people.

Additionally, some fully vaccinated people may wish to continue to wear masks out of an abundance of caution or in solidarity with children and other people who are not able to be vaccinated. Please do not crowd each other as we adjust to these changes.

We will continue to practice all safety measures recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health, as listed above. As a United Methodist Church, we do not wish to discriminate against unvaccinated persons, or require more from them than what we ask of vaccinated persons.

We will also very carefully and kindly respect anyone who chooses to not attend worship at this time, whether it is because they wish to be safer or because they wish to avoid wearing a mask. We love you and support your personal decision, and look forward to seeing you again.

Our goal is to provide the safest possible environment for inside worship at Kinmundy UMC and Wesley UMC, plus safe choices for our members to worship in this time of the coronavirus pandemic.  We will not compromise.

You may read the complete text of Dr Curtis Brown’s Update on Wearing Masks for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference by clicking here.

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KinmundyChurch.org: The Blog of the Kinmundy and Wesley United Methodist Churches, 308 E. 3rd St, Kinmundy, IL, 62854


Worship at Kinmundy: 9 am Sunday. At Wesley: 10:45 Sunday.
Visit us on Facebook here!
Listen to or download sermons and slides by clicking here.

Vision Statement: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
Mission Statement: “Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional.” (¶126, Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church)

The world has 2 needs and 2 kinds of people: People who need to become disciples
and disciples who need to become disciple-makers.
(T4T)

Kinmundy United Methodist Churches
308 3rd Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854
Worship Sunday mornings at 9 am.  Please join us!        

Wesley United Methodist Church
3381 Kinoka Rd, Patoka, IL  62875
Worship Sunday mornings at 10:45 am.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY:
PLEASE CHECK THE CHURCH FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION!

Weekday policy: if South Central public schools are closed because of bad weather,
church activities that day are postponed.
Be Safe!

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home", Overview | Leave a comment

Sermons August 01 2021: A Church Centered on Jesus (Pentecost 09)

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/581359227

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/criv0uVi8Xu

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Let us dedicate ourselves to the service of Jesus by joining in the Centering Prayer:

Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help.
I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life.
Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not.
Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature.
Help me to serve you in flow as I am gifted.
Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood.
I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

HYMN In The Garden
Alan Jackson – In The Garden (Live)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhIGIfsLxVk

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer:
Day by day, day by day, O, dear Lord, three things I pray:
to see thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
follow thee more nearly,
day by day. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN Because He Lives
Because He Lives (Lyric/Live At The Cove Billy Graham Training Center, Asheville, NC/2001)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKaRk1qpR4o

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: A Church Centered on Jesus
Text: Colossians 1:9-23
Series: A Church Centered on Jesus
Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Kinmundy Audio … Wesley Audio.

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SERMON NOTES

Colossians 1:9-23 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

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HYMN I Am Thine O Lord
“I am Thine O Lord” by 200 Voice Mass Choir, Conductor: Emmanuel Ponraj
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3OS0sHUwlk

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord with the words of the Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Three stories.

Story number one. Once upon a time at the children’s sermon, the boys and girls came forward all excited, all happy, all full of energy. And the pastor looked them carefully in the eye and said, “Kids, I want to ask you a very serious question. What has brown fur, lives in a tree, and eats nuts?”

And this little boy in the back row got all excited. He raised his hand, he said, “I know, I know.” The pastor said, “Okay, son, what’s the answer?” And the little boy smiled and he said, “It’s Jesus.” And the pastor said, didn’t want to embarrass the kid, “Now, let’s listen to the question again. What has brown fur, lives in a tree, eats nuts?” And the little boy in the back row goes, “It’s Jesus. It’s Jesus! I know it’s Jesus! I know it’s Jesus!” The minister gave up.

Second story. In 1956, I was one year old. Chicago radio personality Earl Nightingale owned an insurance company and he would give a little pep talk to all the salespeople on Monday morning. And there was a week where he was not going to be there. So he actually recorded his pep talk. It was called “The Strangest Secret.” And it really hit home to many, many people. People began to ask for copies of the recording and it went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies in the years since then– the 65 years since then. And the strangest secret, Earl Nightingale said, is this: you are now and you do become what you think about. In some versions of the talk, it says whatever you think about most.

Third story. What happened here? (There is a picture of a semi-truck stuck under a railroad bridge.) In order to figure out the problem, the company gave out a survey so that everybody could vote. 45% of the people said that the problem was that the bridge was too low. 45% of the people said that the problem was that the truck was too big. 10% of the people who voted in the survey said the problem is you have to believe because if you believe you can do it, you can make it happen. The CEO of the company received the votes and he looked at them and he said, “I know what’s wrong.” He said, “We need a new driver.”

Now, we don’t know whether the driver was distracted. We don’t know if the driver was texting. We don’t know if the driver was having an argument with his girlfriend and trying to eat a Whopper and steering with his knees or didn’t– we don’t know what happened. But we know that truck does not go into the space under that bridge. And if we’re not paying attention when we drive, bad things happen. In fact, distracted driving is a huge cause of accidents.

But not only that, distracted living. Remember the age of Facebook – all you have to do, folks, is get on Facebook and six hours later, you’ll realize you’ve been distracted. Distracted living can be very dangerous, too.

Oh, let me tell you the rest of the story with the little boy. Pastor finds the kid after church and says to the little boy, “Listen, tell me the truth now. What has brown fur, lives in a tree and eats nuts?” And the little boy goes, “Well, a squirrel. And the pastor said, “Well, that’s the question I was asking. Why didn’t you give me the answer I wanted?” And the little boy just looked at him mystified and said, “But aren’t you supposed to be talking about Jesus?”

Friends, it’s important in all that we do, but especially here in church, to not be distracted. We need to keep the main thing, the main thing. And there are a whole lot of people who will argue with you about what the main thing is. But the truth is that the main thing is always Jesus.

In Colossians, Paul prays a prayer for us. And really, if God answers this prayer the way he phrases it, you will have a wonderful example of a fully mature Christian. And so from the day we heard, Paul writes, “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit and every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”. This is what God wants to happen in the churches.

Verse 11, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father who is qualified you to share in the inheritance of the Saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness… We don’t live there anymore. And transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He, Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, for by him, all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things. He comes first.

And in him, all things hold together. Please remember that the next time it feels like everything in your life is falling apart!

And he is the head of the body, the Church. Jesus Christ is meant to be the head, the place where decisions are made. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. And here’s the key point: that in everything, he might be preeminent, which is a fancy word that means that in everything, Jesus Christ comes first. He is always the priority, always the leader.

Verse 19:4, in him, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him, toward us, to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Let’s not get distracted. In all things, Jesus should be preeminent.

Verse 21, and you who once were strange and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he is now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him. Verse 23, here’s what is asked of us, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel, for which you heard.

Friends, how do we shift from the hope of the gospel? How do we become unstable? Let’s not get distracted. Let’s keep in mind who Jesus is and keep in mind how Jesus works. Let’s not get distracted.

The picture behind these words is a picture of a computer motherboard. Aren’t computers wonderful? We’re starting to put them in everything. But everything that a computer does is controlled and directed by what is called the CPU, the central processing unit. It’s that big chip, smack dab there in the middle of the picture. It controls everything, and enerything happens in the right order. And it sends out signals to every component. You get to do what you’re supposed to do now, and then you, now you … it’s like a conductor of an orchestra. And everything works together when the CPU is in charge, and everything follows the directions that it gives. If you take that chip out of the throne or whatever you want to call it, where it sits, everything shuts down. Nothing happens.

And it’s the same way in the church. Nothing can go in that place but Jesus Christ … or the church just falls apart. When you went to elementary school, you probably learned this joke: where does an 800-pound gorilla sit? And the answer is anywhere it wants to.

Well, here’s the point about Jesus Christ: where does a loving, all-powerful, all-knowing, always present Savior sit? Tell me the answer: Anywhere He wants to. We need to be a church, if we want everything to go well, we want to be a church where it’s Jesus Christ who is in charge and who makes the decisions. As the CEO of the company said, we need a new driver. And when the church gets into trouble, friends, we need a new driver. We need Jesus to take the wheel.

Some 30 years ago, I heard Michael Slaughter, who is a pastor of Ginghamsburg, United Methodist Church, a church out in the country, around Dayton, Ohio, on a county road, a church that went from 90 people to over 1,200 in just a couple of years because they decided to be this kind of church.

I was at a workshop where Mike Slaughter proclaimed — and he has a gift of irritability, by the way. He irritates people to stir them up! He looked out over all this huge crowd of pastors, and he looked at us and he said, “Here’s something we say at our church. If Jesus would vote yes, you cannot vote no.”

Let me explain that a little bit because all you have to do is get on Facebook for a few minutes and you will find that 10,000 people have 10,000 different opinions, and every single one of them thinks their opinion is right. It’s not that Jesus Christ doesn’t value your opinion. It’s not that Jesus Christ is not interested in how we differ in what we think is important. It’s not that Jesus Christ doesn’t want us to talk over how we think and feel and come to an agreement when we disagree.

It’s not that at all. But when it comes time for the army to march, it’s the general that gives the orders, and everybody doesn’t do what they please. They follow the orders they are given. Now, it is possible if you sat down with Jesus, you could have a discussion with him, and maybe by the time you were done, he would change his mind and agree with you. It could happen. It’s not very likely. And I know many pastors who are always arguing with Jesus because that’s how they try to figure out what Jesus wants them to do. It helps them to understand Jesus more deeply.

But the reality is, is when it’s time to steer the wheel, it’s the driver that drives the bus. When it’s time for the church to move, Jesus Christ is the driver. Jesus Christ is the general. And if you want unity in the church, the place where we find unity – let’s not get distracted – is by joining together to do what Jesus told us to do. Joining together to do what Jesus showed us to do, because sometimes Jesus taught us by giving us an example. And if you and I have a disagreement, we can resolve it by trying to figure out what Jesus would do, and I will gladly join you in that, if that’s what turns out to be true.

Now, please understand what I just said. The pastor’s not supposed to drive the church, nor is the pastor the general. We need to replace the pastor, wherever the pastor’s running the church, with Jesus because that’s when the CPU is in the right place and everything begins to happen smoothly. If we’re going to have a disagreement, let’s let it be about what Jesus wants, and let’s figure it out together because when Jesus is in charge, things will fall into place.

That’s the strangest secret. The more we think about what Jesus wants us to do, the more we will do what Jesus wants us to do.

And I would like to tell you that in 1972, I gave my life to Christ. That was a very, very long time ago. And ever since that day, I’ve been like the little boy who sees Jesus everywhere. I’m always thinking, what does Jesus teach? What does Jesus want? What does this have to do with Jesus? What does Jesus want to tell us about that? And it’s been an amazing life.

I’m now the adult that seeks Jesus everywhere because, since it’s most of what I’ve been thinking about for 49 years – he has become the center of my life, and I give him the credit any place where my life is working. It’s because he is the center of it and the Lord of it. And if Jesus is at the center and the Lord of our church, everything that needs to happen will happen.

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, we don’t always know what you want. Lord, we don’t always understand what your Bible teaches, so we do need to talk about it with each other. But help us, Lord, to understand that you need to be the driver, that you need to be the general, that we need for you to take your throne, just like the CPU is in the place in the computer to control what happens so that everything fits together and works together for the benefit of everything in the church and all of the people. Lord, help us to set aside our own personal wishes, and help us, Lord, not to be distracted so that you can be at the center of our church. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

Posted in Attend "Worship at Home" | Leave a comment

Sermon 7/25/2021: Paul Prays For Us (Pentecost 08)

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/578942502

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/criTngVikmi

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Let us dedicate ourselves to the service of Jesus by joining in the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

HYMN Take Time to Be Holy
Take Time to Be Holy (Lyrics)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WblkcQYxdp8

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer:
Day by day, day by day, O, dear Lord, three things I pray:
to see thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
follow thee more nearly,
day by day. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN He Touched Me
Gaither Vocal Band – He Touched Me [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m–ptwd_iI

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Paul Prays For Us
Text: Ephesians 3:14-21
Series: The Gifts of the Comforter

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.

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SERMON NOTES

Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

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HYMN Standing On The Promises
Standing On The Promises, “Gospel Music Hymn Sing at First Baptist Atlanta”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLlJR61wKW0

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord with the words of The Centering Prayer:

Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help.
I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life.
Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not.
Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature.
Help me to serve you in flow as I am gifted.
Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood.
I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Paul prays for us. The last six to eight weeks we’ve been talking about how we need to pray for each other, that we want to pray for other people, and that God will bring you close to people over whom God wants you to pray. You can look at the person on the other side of the park bench where you’re sitting in the crowd at the ballgame, and you’ll see people that God wants you to pray over so that they would be touched and made whole.

Who should we be praying for? Well, Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:1, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications prayers, intercessions, and Thanksgivings be made for all men.” And when that word all men appears there, it refers in the Greek to all people.

Now, I checked yesterday and the population of the world is currently 7.9 billion people. How is it that we are going to fulfill the scripture and pray for all people? I’ll tell you what I think God has in mind. If you pray for the 10 or 12 people you talk to every week … maybe you’re really extroverted and maybe it’s 20 to 30 … but if you pray for all the people you interact with this week and the person sitting next to you on the pew prays for their 10 or 12 and the person sitting next to them prays for their 10 or 12, the prayers of the church will extend in a wave throughout the entire world.

But we have this very human tendency to pray for all people without thinking that God desires for us to pray for specific people. The commandment’s very simple: we’re supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves. If you pray for yourself, you have somewhat of an obligation, a holy obligation to pray for your neighbor. And again, how did I define “neighbor”? It’s the people you come in contact with each week, the people within your circle of influence, the people who are a part of your social network.

And for the past six to eight weeks, we’ve been talking about how when you find yourself in the presence of one of those people, the Holy Spirit will communicate with you, and will speak to you about what needs to be prayed about. And we talked about the different ways that the Holy Spirit does that.

But sometimes we have to think and figure out in our own way what to pray for. And here’s what will help us do that. Rudyard Kipling wrote it as a poem.
“I keep six honest serving men.
They taught me all I knew.
Their names are what and why and when
And how and where and who.”

And while the Holy Spirit can tell you who and the Holy Spirit can tell you what, the Bible can also be a great way for God to tell us who to pray for and what to pray and of these six serving men, I think who – we’ve talked about that – and what are the most valuable, and the others, why and when and how and where, tend to fall into place when we pay attention to who we need to pray for and what we need to pray.

There’s a branch of therapy that’s called reality therapy. It’s really helpful when people are very, very confused because when you think about mental illness in the extreme or when you think about somebody just simply struggling with an emotional problem, a lot of times, that struggle comes about because things just aren’t clear. Life is all mixed up. Life is all crazy. How do we sort it out and understand it? And these questions can be helpful to us to understand what we need to do. And they can also be helpful to us to understand what we need to pray.

I have been dreading going to my doctor for months now because, during the whole coronavirus thing, my health began to decline. And the reason it began to decline is I stopped doing the good things that make my health better. And I knew there were going to be numbers, and the number I was most dreading is known as the A1C number. That’s the number that indicates the level of your blood sugar over three months’ time. You can’t beat it by being very careful the week before you see the doctor! And it also indicates that I have fallen short of what I need to do. And so in the midst of that confusion, I have to figure out, what do I do now? And what I’m sharing with you is, that also means once I figure out what to do, how am I to pray so that I would have God’s help? Let’s take a look at these four Reality Therapy questions because they may be helpful to you when you’re struggling with a decision.

The first question is this one, what do I want? Believe it or not, the greater the confusion, the harder it is for a person to clearly state what they want because they feel pulled in multiple different directions. They feel pulled because they want to please this person. They want to please that person. And they don’t have a clue about what it means to please themselves, nor do they understand what would please God. “What do I want?” is a good question to ask God in prayer … to see Thee more clearly, in other words.

Now, once you figure out what you want, when your doctor gives you a number, it’s pretty clear the number that the doctor wants it to be, then you have to look at what you’re doing. What do I want refers to the future that we’re praying for, but what am I doing refers to what is happening right here and now.

You would not believe how many people are in denial. You would not believe how many people lie to themselves about what’s happening now. If you write down what you think you ate one week, and the next week, you write down what you actually ate, you’ll find there’s quite a discrepancy. If you write down how much you think you watch television and then the next week, you write down what you watched, quite often there’s quite a discrepancy, and that applies to all sorts of things, because when we think we know what we’re doing, quite often that reflects wishful thinking. Now, wishful thinking – that’s what we want – it’s in the future. But if you’re lost and you want to find your way to where you need to be, you need to figure out where you are. And when people do this, for example, with food, they discover there are all kinds of little things that go into their mouth that they just didn’t remember or realize. Please understand, I am no better than anyone else! But if you know what you’re doing now, you can pray to God, and God can use that for repentance because there will be– if you know what you’re doing now, some things you’ll want to do them differently. If you know what you’re doing now, that’s good, you want to keep doing that. You need a clear understanding of what you’re doing now.

And then you need to have the courage to ask yourself the third question. If I had asked myself this question much earlier in the year, I would have gone to the doctor much sooner! This may be the toughest question for any of us to answer. Is what I am doing now going to lead to what I want in the future? And it’s then that we start to see how to adjust the mix, how to tune up the engine of our life for the very best. And it’s then that we see how we can pray so that He can touch me, and my life will never be the same, as the hymn says. And if you’re praying for somebody else and their problems, how God can touch them and their life will never be the same because that’s what we want. And it’s then that we understand what to do now.

Now, you can use these questions to help you understand how to pray for yourself because life is not voodoo. Life can be clearly understood if we look at it clearly.

And in addition to that, when you look at the people around you, the people you have contact each week – and some of them struggle with very serious problems – you can pray. You can say, “Lord, help me to understand what they want. Lord, help me to see what they’re doing. Help me to understand if what they’re doing will lead to what they want.”

Because you know the definition of a judgmental person: what I think you should be doing is what you should be doing. Sometimes we’re not right. “Lord, help me to understand what they should do now so that I can pray that you would bless them.”

You see, these questions can help us to understand what we need to do and how we need to pray. They can help us to understand what other people, who really bother us with their problems– they can help us to understand what they need to do, but instead of lecturing them or telling them what they need to do — by the way, if you noticed, that doesn’t work, especially with children, especially with people who have a lot of problems — but instead telling them what we think they should do. Perhaps what we need to do is tell God and ask God in prayer to help them. Sometimes, we have to figure out the what, what we should pray.

Let’s take a look at what Paul did. You see, Paul prayed for people and he explained this to them. Ephesians 3:14, for this reason, Paul writes, “I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory, He may grant you to be – please, say that word with me – strengthened, through His spirit in the inner man.” God is wealthy with regard to his power to help us. How would your life be different and better if God strengthened you? How would the people around you live a better life if God strengthened them?

Here’s how Paul prays, that we might be strengthened. Ephesians 17, and these, by the way, are like levels. They are like stories in a building. Paul is building the church here. He prays that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. He prays that you be rooted and grounded in love, not rooted and grounded in anger or envy or strife. He prays that you may have the power to comprehend, the power to understand, to see more clearly with all the Saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth. And from that deeper understanding, verse 19, to know the love of Christ, to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge. And if all these things that Paul prays for come to pass, they lead up to this final level, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now, if each one of us, if all the people around us in our community began to experience Christ dwelling in their hearts, began to be rooted and grounded in love, began to have the power to understand, began to know the love of Christ, if everyone around us was filled with all the fullness of God, do you think this would be a blessed community? Do you think this church would be blessed? Do you think we would be blessed? These are good things to pray for!

And so Paul concludes, now to him, who by the power at work within us, is able … God is not helpless. God is not hopeless. And someone once said, “God is not taking a nap.” God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think. If we understood that that was the truth, if God’s power could flow through us, because it says there, “God’s power is already working within us…” If God’s power can flow, what an amazing change would happen in all the people we know in our church and in our own families and our own life. So to him who is able, glory be in the church and in Jesus Christ to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

This is what Paul says that he prays for the people who will be reading this letter to the Ephesians. But you know something, friends, we can take these words right out of the scripture and begin to pray them for people. We can see someone and maybe we’ll just know in our spirit what they need to do is be rooted and grounded in love. We can see someone and their problem, maybe the person in the mirror, and we can see that they need to realize that God is able to do far more abundantly about anything they request. We can pray the prayers we find in scripture.

So let me tell you a very, very sad story. Mark Twain wrote this story. He said that a historian was, for some reason, granted a favor by God. And the historian said, “You know I have studied war over all the centuries. I want to meet the greatest general of all time.” And God sent an angel and took the historian by the hand and led him to a cobbler shop in the town where he lived. (Now, friends, please understand me, there’s nothing wrong with being a cobbler. It is a wonderful type of work that helps people.)
And the angel announced, “This man is the greatest general who ever lived.”
And the historian exclaimed, “How can he be the greatest general that ever lived? He’s just a cobbler!!?”
“Nevertheless,” the angel said. “If he had become a general, he would be the greatest general that ever lived.”

And you see, this is one of the saddest, saddest realities. God has a plan and a hope and a wish for each one of us, and sometimes because we don’t have enough faith, sometimes because other people tear us down and tear down our self-esteem and other people criticize us and cause us to have a lack of faith in God, have a lack of belief in ourselves, sometimes we settle for what’s easy. The historian was looking for the greatest general of all time. If God granted me the same favor, I would ask God to meet the greatest pastor of all time. What if the greatest pastor of all time was someone who had never had the courage to follow the call? And as for the rest of us, the greatest farmer, the greatest teacher, the greatest politician, the greatest doctor, the greatest nurse, how many of us fall short of what’s possible because nobody prayed for us?

Because the prayers of other people were insufficient … I want to tell you, that greatly bothers me because I think what’s happening in the Book of Acts, what’s happening in the Season of Pentecost is, God is organizing God’s people to pray. And if we pray in an organized, disciplined manner, according to God’s word, with diligence, we will begin to see miracles happen in the lives of people all around us, not the least of which is the person who is to be the greatest general will actually become the greatest general and fulfill God’s will for his life. Prayer is needed here.

Let me tell you a story about a Baptist missionary, Adoniram Judson, who became a missionary in Burma. And sometime after 1814, he was traveling through the country and they camped on a hillside. And down over the hillside in the valley, they could see the cook fires scattered all over the valley. Every fire was a family. Or maybe several families who built their huts close to each other, a little tiny village. Every fire was a family, and he saw hundreds of them. And he looked down over that valley and he ached with a desire for them to find Christ. And he felt so helpless and inadequate for the task.

And he knelt in prayer and at that point, most Baptists don’t like to say that such a thing happens, but he heard an audible voice from God. (In all my years, I have never heard God speak to me in an audible voice. I know people who have heard a voice, but it’s not ever been me.) But in this case, for the first time in his life, this Baptist missionary heard God speak in an audible voice. And as Adoniram Judson was looking out over that valley, the word that he heard from the Lord was this, “Ask Me for them.”

You see, the missionary may not have been smart enough, the missionary may not have had the power to reach these people. But God Has what we lack. “Ask Me for them.”

And he began in prayer to ask for all of the people living in the valley. And you know something? He went down from that great hill and began to preach, and speak, and there was a great revival in that valley, and all of those people came to Christ.

But what we need to understand is where it starts. “Ask Me for them.” “Pastor Dave, what a wonderful story from our past!” What makes you think it’s our past brothers and sisters?
This is a crowd of people – thanks to I70sports.com, you are looking at the crowd in the stands the day the South Central High School baseball team won the state championship in their division. Do you think that God does not speak to us? “Ask Me for them.” You may recognize some of these people. I couldn’t quite make out their faces, so I don’t recognize anybody, they all look familiar. But I will tell you the truth, every single person in that crowd has something they struggle with. Is somebody praying for them? Is somebody’s asking God’s help for their life? The four words come down to us today brothers and sisters, “Ask Me for them.”

Because God wants better for their lives than the struggle they deal with today. It should make us a little bit ashamed how quick we are to pray for ourselves, how quick we are to pray for our best friend, for our church, and how slow we are to pray for people that we see on the other side of the gym, that we don’t know very well. “Ask Me for them.” Because you see, one of those people might be the world’s greatest pastor. One of those people might be the person destined to find the cure for cancer. One of those people might be the best cobbler you’ve ever known, and when you need a cobbler, you sure need one. But it comes down to us through all of history to pray for God’s will to be done in the lives of people that we don’t even know. Because that’s the missionary task that comes to us.

What good could God do in our community, in our neighborhoods, in our church, if we began to pray in an organized, disciplined manner for the people around us?

Please pray with me. Lord, when we’re walking down a hallway, we see the person in front of us. We step to the side so we don’t bump into each other. But Lord, help us to also see them as someone who you love, whom Christ died for. And to pray for them in their hour of need, to pray for that stranger that their life might be blessed, that they might find Christ to be Healer, to be Savior, to be Comforter, to be Guide. That falls to us, Lord. Help us to pray, not just for ourselves, but for all the people around us that your Will will be done. And we ask this in Jesus’s Name. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — July 25 – August 1

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS: David Kueker, our Superintendent, Carol Lakota Eastin, and our Bishops, Frank Beard and Gregory Palmer. If you need Pastor Dave for prayer, please call or text his cell phone, 618-780-0151, or email at dkueker@yahoo.com. or on Facebook as David Oliver Kueker.

Prayer Request From Jesus: Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Please Pray For God To Bless Our “Care Card Ministry” Person Of The Week
K Maurine Millies

Please Pray For God To Bless These People For Special Needs –
Bill Olden – Has pancreatic cancer and is taking chemo treatments.
Mike Donoho – Very ill. He is in Select Speciality Hospital in Evansville, IN.
K Cecil Jones – Has been at SLU hospital in St Louis after having a stroke. Is doing well and is likely at home now..
K Gerri Molina – Is at Select Specialty Hospital in Evansville, IN. She is feeling better and has begun therapy. Please keep Gerri in your prayers. Cards may be sent to: Room 404, Select Specialty Hospital, 400 SE 4th St, Evansville, IN 47713.

Please Pray For God To Bless These People With Ongoing Needs –
Wayne Bushue, Terry Hicks, Dennis Seavers, Cathy Wilkins, Noah Eller, Alex Hays, Mike Webster, Fleta Lybarger, Bill Olden, April Mercer, Gene Simmons, Duane Ambrose, Marie Dickerson, Cindy Kueker (Pastor Dave’s cousin), Molly Monical, Russell Kilby, Shirley Miller, John Holzhauer, David Mendenhall (Steve Wilkin’s friend), Helen Sullivan, Aaron Guerrettaz (Jo Williams’ nephew, Jim & Nancy Guerrettaz’s son), Kay Feather Lydick, Caitlin Engel (Julie Jones’ cousin), Quinten Butts, Mike Donoho, Haven Mueller, Kayley Wilhelm, Larry & Dolores Johnson (Kim’s Parents), Nancy Weeks-Lafenhagen.

Please Pray For God To Bless Our Military Families
Sgt Rusty & Nicole (Nolan, Michael, Lydia) Robb – US Embassy in Dublin, Ireland

Please Pray For Those Grieving For–
— Lee Roy Allen, K-A class of 1964
– MaryJoh (Colclasure) Hughes,
K-A class of 1965

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CHURCH WEEKLY CALENDAR July 25 – August 1, 2021

CHURCH WEEKLY CALENDAR & WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW
July 25 – August 1, 2021

Sun 7/25
9:00 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Kinmundy First UMC
10:15 am … GATHERING in Fellowship Hall for Coffee & Cookies
10:30 am … SUNDAY SCHOOL at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Wesley UMC

Mon 7/26
11:00 am … MISSIONS Meeting
7:00pm … AD COUNCIL Meeting

Tues 7/27
— … PASTOR DAVE’S Sabbath Day

Wed 7/28
1:00-5:00 pm … PASTOR DAVE Volunteers at Kdy Library

Sat 7/31
— … KRD PASTORS Picnic at Salem Park

Sun 8/1
9 00 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Wesley UMC

WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW —

1.Upcoming Committee Meetings:
Monday, July 26 11:00 am Missions Meeting
Monday, July 26 7:00 pm Ad Council Meeting
Monday, August 9 7:00 pm Trustees Meeting
Monday, August 16 7:00 pm Endowment Mtg

  1. VBS 2021 — Monday thru Friday we climbed aboard for mountains of fun at Rocky Railway! On this faith-filled adventure, kids discover that trusting Jesus pulls them through life’s ups and downs. We had a train crew of 19 kids, 2 teachers, a “conductor” and an engineer= 4 adults, that joined another 84 at Salem Grace UMC for a fun filled week.
  2. THE SALT Potluck Luncheon was success. We had 22 members and friends who enjoyed food and fellowship on Wednesday in the KUMC Fellowship Hall. SALT (Senior Adults Lunching Together)
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Sermon 7/18/2021: The Reputation of Jesus (Pentecost 07)

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/576276338

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/crib0iVi0cF

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Let us dedicate ourselves to the service of Jesus by joining in the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

HYMN 397 I Need Thee Every Hour
Randy Owen, The Isaacs – I Need Thee Every Hour [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfPZ9mRIKgs

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer:
Day by day, day by day, O, dear Lord, three things I pray:
to see thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
follow thee more nearly,
day by day. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN 405 Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of The God
SEEK YE FIRST (The Kingdom Of God) | The Maranatha / Karen Lafferty | Worship Song | With Lyrics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3S1wfXmYPw

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: The Reputation of Jesus
Text: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
Series: The Gifts of the Comforter

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Audio at Kinmundy UMC … Audio at Wesley UMC

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SERMON NOTES

Mark 6:30 The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

(Mark 6:35-52 describes the feeding of the 5000.)

53 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennes’aret, and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized him, 55 and ran about the whole neighborhood and began to bring sick people on their pallets to any place where they heard he was. 56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the market places, and besought him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.


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HYMN Count Your Blessings, Name Them One By One
Guy Penrod – Count Your Blessings
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBYTjNQ8ens

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord with the words of The Centering Prayer:

Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help.
I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life.
Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not.
Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature.
Help me to serve you in flow as I am gifted.
Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood.
I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Quote from Putting Down Roots by Norann Voll. Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

The reputation of Jesus: Jesus has a reputation, and as we lift him up, we strengthen the power and influence of his reputation.

Let me remind you of a story from Matthew, Chapter nine, about a woman who was in trouble. She had an illness, which was a matter of great shame in the nation of Israel and the religion of Judaism. She had an illness that caused her to spend all of her money on doctors seeking a cure, and nothing worked. She was in a place of great hopelessness, when all of a sudden, she made a decision, and you’re familiar with that decision. She decided if I simply touch the hem of his garment, I will be healed.

Now, think a little bit about that. That is a decision a little bit like I can text and drive perfectly safely. That is a decision a little bit like, if I have cancer, all I need to do is drink enough diet Mountain Dew because that cures everything. (Now, we know that that’s wrong because it’s diet Dr. Pepper that we should be drinking!) But really, when you think about it, this takes a lot of gall. Essentially, most of us would say, “This is a stupid decision on her part.”

Nonetheless, she got up close to Jesus in a crowd of people. It was important to her because of the nature of her illness that she be healed with no one knowing it because there would be great public embarrassment to her. So in the crowd, she reaches out and follows through on this stupid, stupid decision that she made, and it worked and she was instantly healed. Not so stupid, is it?

But the lesson that we need to learn from that is the same one that Jesus gave to her. When it was all figured out, Jesus looked at her, and he said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” She made a decision of faith, and she kept to it.

Now, keeping the faith is not very popular today. There’s a lot of us who protect our feelings from potential disappointment. What if it doesn’t work? We protect ourselves by not believing, but doubting.

But there is such a thing as the placebo effect. There is such a thing that what you believe does have power in your life.

This is my little insulin pen that I inject a little bit of insulin into my body every night … friends, it’s really smart for me to believe that this medicine works because by being skeptical, by being afraid to believe, we can undercut the efficacy of any medicine, any treatment, any doctor’s advice. Make your decisions carefully, but remember the power that faith has to release God’s will to act in our life.

About a week and a half ago, I put this picture on Facebook of a woman drinking her coffee, and I told this little story from Norann Vall, who said that she was sliding into chronic depression. She could feel herself at the edge. She could feel the darkness creeping in. And her husband said to her, “Just write down one thing. Write down one thing that you are thankful for.” And so she did, and the only thing that she could find to be thankful for was the beautiful image of the gleam of the sun on the surface of the coffee in her morning cup of coffee. Now, we all know, by the way, that that morning cup of coffee is somewhat miraculous, but it was beautiful and it lifted her spirits and she wrote it down and you know something? It lifted her up just a little bit as she wrote it.

Finding that one simple thing to give thanks for and writing it down started a chain reaction. She found another and another and this practice of giving thanks and writing it down protected her, lifted her up out of a growing depression.

What you believe can affect your life and health.
What you decide to believe can release God’s power in your life.
And what you are thankful for strengthens your faith.

Once upon a time – and that means that the preacher made up the story – a daughter went off to college. And when she left, the father handed her a checkbook and said, “Use this carefully.” Well, three weeks later, she called her dad and she said, “Dad, there’s something wrong with my checking account. The checks keep bouncing.”

And the dad said, “Well, have you carefully written in the checkbook register every check you wrote, the date of the check, the number of the check, and the amount of the check?”

And her answer was, “Well, dad, I still have checks left. How can I be out of money?” (I told you I made this up.)

And the father very carefully said, “What we need to do is keep a record of every expenditure.” So they went back through and they reconstructed each check that was written and the father said, “Now add that up for the balance.” And she added it up and she said, “Oh, Dad, I’m in so much trouble. I am thousands of dollars overdrawn.”

And the dad said, “Honey, have you written down the deposits?”
And the daughter goes, “What deposits?”
And the father says, “Have you written down the deposits that I made into your account so that you would have what you need?” And of course, she hadn’t. She hadn’t noticed.

But they wrote down the deposits, and guess what, everything was okay … but you need to keep track of the deposits or you won’t understand what your balance is.

Our heavenly Father makes a direct deposit, a blessing, into our lives. And just like direct deposits, if you ever have any of those with your checking account, unless you write them down, they’re not there when you calculate whether you’re blessed or whether you’re overdrawn. When we count our blessings, that’s a secret of happiness … especially if you count your blessings while other people are adding up their troubles. We need to focus our attention on our blessings and it will help us to be thankful. That will increase our faith. That will release the power of God.

The scriptures in this section are about Jesus and the crowds. This is a picture of a crowd in Ghana, Africa. They’ve gathered for a revival. There’s no place to hold it inside, so they’re outside. What’s written at the website is that the rain was so heavy it almost forced the people to go home. But in Africa, there are not as many hospitals as in the United States. There are not as many doctors. There are not as many social service agencies to help people. And so people have become used to the reality that if they can’t fix it themselves, they may need to come together and ask God for help. And so, you see, their need causes a crowd to form. And in Africa, Jesus has a reputation of being someone who can help people in their time of need.

Mark 6:30. Jesus had sent the apostles out in groups of two to preach and to do miracles and to do all these other things, and the Holy Spirit worked through them, and they were very excited. They came back to where Jesus was, told him all that they had done and taught. And Jesus said to them, come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest awhile. For many were coming and going around them and they had no leisure even to eat.

You see, there were always crowds around Jesus of people who needed help. And so they ran away. They escape. Verse 32. They went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. But many saw them going and knew them. And they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. As Jesus went ashore, he saw a great throng and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.

Now, something to keep in mind, miracles are wonderful. But sometimes the way you heal people is you teach them. You teach them things like how to wash their hands. You teach them things like what God wants. You teach them about the importance of forgiveness. All the other and various things that Jesus taught brought healing into the lives of people.

Let me go back here, what happens right after this is the miracle that’s called the feeding of the 5000, where Jesus decides to feed them. And, of course, there are lessons in that miracle. But today, we’re talking about the crowd. So right after that, Jesus, again, is trying to seek a chance where they can be with each other. So they can talk quietly and privately. So they go across the Sea of Galilee again to the other side. Verse 53, “When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, immediately, the people recognized Jesus. And they ran about the whole neighborhood. ‘Jesus is here. Jesus is here.'”

Because, you see, Jesus has a reputation.

And they began to bring sick people on their pallets to any place where they heard that he was. And wherever he came in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the marketplace because Jesus had the reputation of being someone who would help. And in that setting, centuries ago, there were few other options.

But look at this last phrase here. “They laid the sick out everywhere where they knew he would pass by, and they besought him … They begged him … that they might even touch even the fringe of his garment. And notice: and as many as touched it were made well.”

Not so stupid. It’s a decision, after all, because, now that everybody believes it, it still works.

So here’s the question. How did all of these crowds of people come to the decision that this touching the hem of his garment would bring healing?

It’s because people who saw it the first time didn’t keep quiet about it. They were amazed. They rejoiced. They gave thanks. And everything they said increased the reputation of Jesus.

If you’re blind, like Bartimaeus was, cry out. He can help you.
If you have leprosy, he can help you. Whatever it is, Jesus can help you.

And this lesson that’s taught by the woman who reaches out and touches his garment now has become known as a sure thing. And it works.

But why does it work? People have come to believe because they believe this: what Jesus did earlier, they believe he’ll do now.

And I want to say to you, brothers and sisters, what Jesus did in these pages of the bible that we read, I believe he will do that now.

But as Jesus said to the woman, “It’s your faith that makes this work.” So how do we increase our faith, and increase the faith of other people around us as well?

Something we need to remember is every single one of us is a part of a network. This wasn’t something that was invented when they invented Facebook. Human beings have always talked with each other. We used to call it gossip. Now, we call it social media. But human beings have always been made this way. You have a network. There is a network of people that you talk to every week. And you have influence over them, and they have influence over you. They listen to you. They don’t always do what you say, but they listen to you, and you have influence over them.

When you give thanks for what God has done, the people in your network gain more faith. It’s the same thing that Jesus said, “Your own faith has healed you.”

And so when we give thanks– look at what Jesus did. Look at that beautiful gleam of the sunrise on the surface of my cup of coffee.

Look at what Jesus did. Look at that sunset. Look at that field of corn. That’s an answer to prayer. Look at what Jesus has done.

When that’s the message that spreads back and forth through our network, people gain in faith. And so the gossip about one healing spreads throughout the whole nation. But I want to suggest to you, when you’re talking about something wonderful that God has done, let’s not call it gossip. Let’s call it gospel.

The word gospel means good news. Let’s not call it gossip. Let’s call it good news. Because when we give thanks, it builds the faith of people. And faith causes miracles.

Now, we don’t normally assign homework in church. There’s not normally a final exam in church. But I do want to tell you — there will be a pop quiz when I interact with you this coming week. If I see you somewhere, in the grocery store, I’m going to look you in the eye, if I don’t forget, and I’m going to ask you what God has done that you found worth being thankful for.

To be honest, if you write it down, it’ll be more powerful. Like it was powerful for Norann. But I’ll ask you what God has done that has made you thankful.

And so here’s the thing, I’m not hoping to stump you. But unless you think about this in advance, you might find yourself stuck without an answer. “What have you got to be thankful for today?” I will say to you. And I hope you immediately pop out with your answer. Because not only will you pass the test, you will strengthen my faith.

Because Psalm 107:2 says this, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” The good news in your life wasn’t put there to stay. The good news from God was given to you so that you can give it away. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.”

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, sometimes we choose to believe the silliest things. But Lord, when we choose to have faith in you, sometimes we are astonished by what is released to act in our lives because we have chosen to believe. Lord, don’t let us be influenced by a world that keeps telling us to doubt. The world keeps telling us not to hope. The world keeps telling us not to yearn for the best. Lord, help us to make the decision to hope and believe and have faith in a God who sees our great needs and answers our prayers. Because then, Lord, your power can be released throughout our personal network to bless and help people all around us. Lord, we ask that this might happen in the name of Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — July 18– July 25

OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — July 18– July 25

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS:
David Kueker, our Superintendent, Carol Lakota Eastin, and our Bishops, Frank Beard and Gregory Palmer. If you need Pastor Dave for prayer, please call or text his cell phone, 618-780-0151, or email at dkueker@yahoo.com. or on Facebook as David Oliver Kueker.

Prayer Request From Jesus: Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Please Pray For God To Bless Our “Care Card Ministry” Person Of The Week
Gerri Molina, Rm 404, Select Specialty Hospital, 400 SE 4th St, Evansville, IN 47713

Please Pray For God To Bless These People For Special Needs –
Cecil Jones
K Wayne Bushue – Is home from the hospital
K Gerri Molina – Is at Select Specialty Hospital in Evansville, IN. She says she likes it there and we hope the next stop is at home in Kinmundy. Please keep Gerri in your prayers. Cards may be sent to Room 404, Select Specialty Hospital, 400 SE 4th St, Evansville, IN 47713.

Please Pray For God To Bless These People With Ongoing Needs –
Terry Hicks, Dennis Seavers, Cathy Wilkins, Noah Eller, Alex Hays, Mike Webster, Fleta Lybarger, Bill Olden, April Mercer, Gene Simmons, Duane Ambrose, Marie Dickerson, Cindy Kueker (Pastor Dave’s cousin), Molly Monical, Russell Kilby, Shirley Miller, John Holzhauer, David Mendenhall (Steve Wilkin’s friend), Helen Sullivan, Aaron Guerrettaz (Jo Williams’ nephew, Jim & Nancy Guerrettaz’s son), Kay Feather Lydick, Caitlin Engel (Julie Jones’ cousin), Quinten Butts, Mike Donoho, Haven Mueller, Kayley Wilhelm, Larry & Dolores Johnson (Kim’s Parents), Nancy Weeks-Lafenhagen

Please Pray For God To Bless Our Military Families –
Sgt Rusty & Nicole (Nolan, Michael, Lydia) Robb – US Embassy in Dublin, Ireland

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CHURCH CALENDAR — July 18– July 25, 2021

CHURCH CALENDAR & WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW — July 18– July 25, 2021

Sun 7/18
9:00 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Kinmundy First UMC
10:15 am … GATHERING in Fellowship Hall for Coffee & Cookies
10:30 am … SUNDAY SCHOOL at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Wesley UMC

Mon 7/19
9-12 pm … VBS BEGINS — Will join with Salem Grace UMC. (Van leaves at 8:30 am)

Tues 7/20
9-12 pm … VBS at Salem Grace UMC

Wed 7/21
9-12 pm … VBS at Salem Grace UMC
11:30-1 pm … SALT POTLUCK
1:00 pm … QUILTERS Meet

Thurs 7/22
9-12 pm .. . VBS at Salem Grace UMC
1:00 pm … TWILIGHT CIRCLE Meets. Susan Smith, devotions & refreshments.

Fri 7/23
9-12 pm … VBS with VBS PROGRAM on the final day
1-5 pm … PASTOR VOLUNTEERS at Kinmundy Library
6:00 pm … FOOD PANTRY PREPARATION

Sat 7/24
9-10 am … FOOD PANTRY DISTRIBUTION

Sun 7/25
9 00 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Wesley UMC

  1. Upcoming Committee Meetings:
    Monday, July 26 …11:00 am … Missions Meeting
    Monday, July 26 … 7:00 pm …Ad Council Meeting
    Monday, August 9 .. 7:00 pm .. Trustees Meeting
    Monday, August 16 . 7:00 pm …Endowment Mtg
  2. SOBER REALITIES: Unvaccinated people may choose to wear masks for their own safety and the safety of other non-vaccinated people. Please do not crowd each other as we adjust to this change.
    It is possible but very unlikely that a vaccinated person can get COVID. Not everyone feels safe not wearing a mask—please be kind. We’ve had a tough year!Please pray for wisdom for our government leaders and a calm response throughout to the lifting of restrictions.
    .
  3. VBS 2021 – Once again, we will be partnering with Salem Grace UMC and be a part of their amazing Vacation Bible School – NEXT WEEK – Monday through Friday, 9 am to noon, July 19-23 with the closing program on Friday. Rocky Railway, Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through, is the theme. (If you would like to ride with us in the church van, meet us at the Kinmundy church at 8:30 – we hope to be back between 12:20 and 12:30 pm each day.) Or you can meet us there. Pastor Dave and Debbie Price will be teaching one of the classes. Registration forms are available on the counter in Vervadene’s office if you didn’t register online.
    .
  4. DICK & DIANE (GRAY) HANKS of rural Iuka will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. An open house is being planned for Sunday, July 25, from 2-4 pm at the Marion County Farm Bureau Building, 1630 North Broadway, Salem, IL.
    The couple are the parents of 3 children. Curt and Cherity Hanks, Iuka, Holly and Jason Sigrist, Farina, and Heather and Mitch Wilkins, Iuka They are also blessed with 10 grandchildren.
    They were married on July 25, 1970, at Brown Christian Church in rural Kinmundy. Due to the Covid-19, the celebration was postponed until this year.
    Everyone is invited to help them celebrate. No gifts, please.
  5. OUR HAND N HAND GROUP had their first event since the pandemic, Monday evening. 17 mini-golfers had a great time playing18 holes of mini-golf and eating ice cream at Dairy Mart. The rain held off so we could be outside! There were 17 mini-golfers in all!
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Sermon 7/11/2021: The Influence of the Comforter (Pentecost 06)

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/573494430

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/criXVfVihjD

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Let us dedicate ourselves to the service of Jesus by joining in the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

HYMN 526 What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Alan Jackson – What A Friend We have In Jesus [with lyrics]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCV5t8wRBI8

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer:
Day by day, day by day, O, dear Lord, three things I pray:
to see thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
follow thee more nearly,
day by day. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN 328 Surely The Presence Of The Lord
“Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place” – The Woodlands UMC Chancel Choir
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6ZOVBYxBJk

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: The Influence of the Comforter
Text: 1 Timothy 2:1-4, John 14-16
Series: The Gifts of the Comforter

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audio … Sermon slides as a PDF file.

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SERMON NOTES

1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. 3 This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. 

John 14:25 “These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 

John 15:26 But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me …

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HYMN 536 Precious Name
[Gracias Choir] W.H.Doane : Take the Name of Jesus With You / Hyemi Choi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI5BxfMZ46g
or
Take Thy Name of Jesus with You by Table Singers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD4VVybpgjA

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord with the words of The Centering Prayer:

Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help.
I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life.
Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not.
Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature.
Help me to serve you in flow as I am gifted.
Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood.
I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about this park bench and the idea being that you and I are going to spend time with people, sometimes strangers, but most of the time, people we already know. And they’ll be at the other side of the bench. And you’ll be on your side of the bench. And God will love them through you.

Well, Pastor, how will God love them through me? Here’s the answer. If you will allow yourself to listen to God, if you will open up your heart to feel, you’ll have a sense that the Holy Spirit wants you to do something. Now, if you want to, you can call that a hunch. If you want to, you can call that your intuition. But if you listen to God, you’ll have a sense of when you’re supposed to say something or, perhaps, say nothing. You’ll have a sense of whether you’re supposed to do something or, perhaps, just be there with the other person.

As we smiled just a moment ago, as you heard me say, “in a moment, someone will feel the need inside themselves to stand up and collect the offering.” So I want to tell you honestly. It’s exactly like that. And, again, you can call it a hunch. You can call it an intuition. But sometimes, we know things. And we don’t know how we know them. But we just have a sense of what we’re supposed to do.

What I want to say to you this morning is sometimes, that’s the Holy Spirit because the wind blows toward you. And then the Holy Spirit helps the person you’re with because you’re in their presence. That is a very important thing, especially when it comes to reaching the goal which is recorded in scripture: 1 Timothy 2:1-4 “First of all then,” Paul writes, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.” Different kinds of prayers are to be made for all people. “This is good,” Paul says. And it’s acceptable in the sight of God, our Savior, because – notice the fourth verse – God, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

This is the goal. And the way God has chosen to meet this goal is to minister to people you know through your presence and even more through what the Holy Spirit does when you are present with other people.

And you’re welcome to argue with God. Lord, are you sure that’s why? Shouldn’t it be the preacher who does the ministry? Well, yes. But the preacher can’t do it all by himself or herself. God has chosen to work through all of God’s people, even the people who feel the least able to be helpful. You’re welcome to try to change God’s mind. But I decided a long time ago that I would not try to change God’s mind. I have a certain way of doing things myself, and what I’ve learned over all the years of doing this work as a pastor, better things happen if when I am in your presence if I open myself up to try to be aware of what the Holy Spirit wants to happen. What the Holy Spirit wants me to say. What the Holy Spirit wants me to do. And that’s how I get my work done. And it’s also how God’s work gets done, I feel because God wants to work through every one of us so that this will come to pass. That’s the goal. brothers and sisters. Everyone is to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. This is what God wants.

Now, there are some problems with achieving this goal, and let me share some research with you. There is no county within the United States where the percentage of church attendance is higher than 10 years ago. This was published in 2004. I’m certain it’s still true today. But it’s been a long time since 1994 for the statistics to go down and down and down.

The 2nd problem. Sociologists Presser and Stinson, based on their analysis of census time diaries where people keep track of what they do during the week, just like the Nielsens keep track of the television they’re watching. They determined that the percentages of Americans who attended church the previous week plummeted from 42% in 1965 to 26% in 1994. Now in Morgan County, Illinois, when I was pastoring in Jacksonville, one of the pastors encouraged our ministerial association to try to verify this statistic, and we contacted every church in Morgan County and collected their attendance for five Sundays in October of 1999. Even the little tiny churches that met in houses. And what we found is the average over those five Sundays was 27% of our county was in church on Sunday morning.

Now think about what that means. You go and stand in line at the grocery store. Three out of four people in front of you were not in church. You go to a ballgame to cheer on your grandchildren, perhaps, and you look in the stands, three out of four people in the stands do not attend church every week.

In 2009, at a national conference for United Methodist on Evangelism, our former Bishop Gregory Palmer announced that that number had dropped to 18%. Wherever you are in a crowd of people, four out of five do not have a church that they attend every week, or they might attend every other week. They might attend once a month, but there’s a lot of people who are ready to respond to the gospel.

We have the sense that everybody we know already goes to church. Well, I want to tell you that they’re fibbing. My father grew up Lutheran, but he had trouble with the church he grew up in. And so he stopped going. He wouldn’t go to any other church … because he was Lutheran. So there’s a lot of people that’ll tell you the church they’re avoiding, but they still don’t go.

The 3rd problem, J. Russell Hale in 1980 published research that suggested that contrary to public opinion, the unchurched phenomenon in the United States may be primarily rural than urban. The public opinion that all country people go to church faithfully is not as true as we would think. And 41 years has unlikely changed that reported fact.

The 4th problem. Natural Church Development was an international study of churches to identify what made a difference in churches growing. What actually made a difference, according to a sample of over 70,000 churches that has grown into multiple hundreds of thousands of churches. That research indicated that the strongest negative factor to growing a church – the strongest negative factor to making disciples – is church size. What does that mean?

What that means is the smaller churches are much more effective at influencing people to come to Christ than the larger churches. In fact, as the church gets larger, it will have a tendency to draw in fewer and fewer new people. Overwhelmingly, the small churches have a far greater potential than larger churches to fulfill that goal of everyone to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth, contrary to what you may have been told. Now, this is an unrealized potential in most small towns and open country churches. But it’s the truth.

What happens that makes a difference? You see, there is great hope. There are large numbers of people, all around us in small towns and in the country, that do not have a church family. And small churches are very able to reach out to them and help people become followers of Jesus Christ.

And here’s what I would suggest makes an even greater difference. When all of us use our influence, helped by the Holy Spirit’s influence, there is a very great power to help people realize that they need what Jesus Christ offers. So if we surrender to the Holy Spirit, I think that’s the biggest difference. And so we’ve been looking at the different ways that Jesus foretold that the Holy Spirit would want to work through you in the days of Pentecost which are still with us. And in the days after Easter which are still with us. What the scripture talks about has not changed. What Jesus said back then, Jesus still says today.

John 14:13, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it. That the Father may be glorified in the son.” Verse 14, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another counselor.” King James uses the word, comforter. In the Greek, it’s the word paraclete which means one who comes alongside to help in whatever way that’s needed. The paraclete is to be with you forever, even the spirit of truth.

Jesus says, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Why? Because if you allow the Holy Spirit to influence what you’re asking for in prayers, you will be praying in alignment with the will of God. Then Jesus says, verse 26, “But the counselor, the comforter, the paraclete, the Holy Spirit, who the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things.”

How will the Holy Spirit teach us? The Holy Spirit will “bring to our remembrance all that I have said to you,” Jesus says. So there you are talking to someone. And all of a sudden, you remember a particular verse of scripture. You remember a time when Jesus said something. And you know something? That could be a hunch. That could be your intuition. But it might be that the Holy Spirit is trying to explain something to you about what’s going on by reminding you of a scripture. And what are you supposed to do with that? Sometimes, we’re supposed to mention it. Sometimes, we’re supposed to think about it. But I think that since God wants to answer our prayers, I think we are to allow that scripture to influence our prayers. And the Holy Spirit, through our prayers, will influence the other person.

John 15: 26, “But when the counselor or the comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness to me. And you also are witnesses.” We need to understand that this influence, this persuasion that causes people to want to be closer to Jesus, it’s the power of the Holy Spirit acting on the other person. Now, you’re along to help, but we need to let the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting. It’s the Holy Spirit that witnesses to people.

Probably the last thing we want to do is to develop these little tiny mini-sermons that some people recommend as a witness. And anybody who gets within 10 feet of us, they get a little mini-sermon. Instead, we need to let the Holy Spirit do the talking, and sometimes that talking is done without words. It’s directly into the heart and soul of the other person. It’s the Holy Spirit that will bear witness to Jesus. And sometimes, you and I are to be a part of that by saying or doing something.

John 16:7, “If I do not go away,” Jesus says, “the counselor will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”

Brothers and sisters, you and I never, or perhaps I should say, almost never, need to convince someone else that they’re a sinner because given the level of guilt and sorrow people feel in their hearts, they probably already know that. You and I never need to convince someone what righteousness is. And certainly, there is a temptation in all of us to be self-righteous. It’s the Holy Spirit that’s going to convince people what is right and what is not right. You and I never, almost never, need to pass judgment on anyone because it’s the Holy Spirit that is working in people’s lives to turn things from the devil’s way to God’s way. You and I don’t need to do this, but we need to allow the Holy Spirit to work.

And also in our prayers, we’ve talked about this repeatedly, If you’re sitting on one end of the bench and you see that there’s something, sorrowfully, that’s not quite right in the life of the person next to you, pray for them. “Lord, forgive them. Help them. Bring them to you. Lord, forgive them. Help them. Bring them to you.”

Finally, John 16:13, “When the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” When you need guidance, let the Holy Spirit influence you. When you’re not certain what to do, not certain what to say, not aware, with certainty, of what God’s will is, let the Holy Spirit guide you. And you know something, if you’re quiet … If you’re quiet, sometimes, you’re able to speak at a later time. We need to listen to God. If we listen to God and we miss an opportunity to speak, it’s not like we’ll never see that other person again. Let the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth because he, verse 14, will glorify me. Because he will take everything that God the Father has taught the Son and will share it with you.

So let’s consider what is possible if we allow the Holy Spirit to influence other people through us. Let’s do the math.

Jesus chose 12 people to follow him. He prayed all night long and he chose 12 of the people who had been with him for some time to be his disciples, and he called them apostles because that word means sent ones. These were the 12 that he was going to work with, and send them out to do his will.

And you know something? Just like little children grow up to be adults, just like little children grow up to be parents, if you’re a grandparent, you know exactly what this is. There are all those years you look at your children, and you say, “Where are my grandchildren?” It’s the same way with disciples. Jesus looks at his disciples, and says, “You’re not supposed to keep all of this just for you. You’re going to reach out and help someone else to follow me, too. And you’re going to be like the grown-up one, and they’re going to be like the little baby.” Jesus did not say, “Born again,” by accident. People begin from scratch, but they grow up. And they grow up because someone’s involved in their life that teaches them and helps them. So we have generations of disciples.

But for now, just consider the power of influence. Jesus chose 12. Let’s assume, as you look through who you talk to every week, who’s on a park bench with you every week, that there are 12 for you. Now, don’t let me stop you from praying for 120 people. Don’t let me stop you from praying for 1,000 people. Let me invite you, though, to notice the example of Jesus. How much influence spreads if 12 people pray for 12 people?

The influence, then, of a church of only 12 people can be 144 people … 12×12. Let’s assume that those 144 people also choose 12 people to pray for and to watch over, and the Holy Spirit uses them to reach out to that person. The influence of that church now extends to 1,728 people, far beyond the borders of our town of 700. Now, if we take 12 to the fourth power, the influence of a church praying for people extends to 20,736 people.

You see how, if we commit ourselves to be an influence of the Holy Spirit on people we know, that influence spreads and multiplies.

On the other hand, if the thought of having 12 children totally horrifies you, maybe we can cut it down a little bit to 6. Some of you are going to say, “Pastor, six is way too many.” But you see, baby Christians grow up to be grown-up Christians, and grown-up Christians make baby Christians. If only 6 people committed themselves to influence others for Jesus Christ, they would influence 36 people … 6×6. If 36 people committed themselves, each, to pray for 6 other people religiously, their influence would spread to 216 people. If all of those people committed themselves to pray for 6 other people their influence would spread to 1,296 people, and you see the influence of the Holy Spirit would begin to change those people’s lives. Now, if they grew up Catholic, they might go back to the Catholic Church, but the odds are, from the studies you’ve seen earlier, most of them simply do not have a church. It’s very likely they’ll come to church here.

Marion County has 36,853 people estimated in 2021. If Bishop Gregory Palmer is right, more than 30,000 of them do not have a strong and living faith. The influence of the Holy Spirit, the seed is going to fall on very, very fruitful ground — because, you see, this is a lot of influence.

But if somebody wants to say, “Pastor, six is too many. I can only pray for one person. That’s all I can do, just one person.” But if each one found one to pray for, on average, over a year’s time, 6 people could influence 12, 12 people could influence 24, 48 people could influence 96, 96 people could influence 192 people, and 192 people could influence 384 people in six years.

You’ll notice this is a picture of the Wesley Church. It’s surrounded by cornfields. It’s located in Foster Township, a very rural area. But according to the population figures, there are 405 people in Foster Township and if Gregory Palmer’s percentage is correct, 332 of them don’t go to church. Even one person– if you allow the Holy Spirit to work through you, even one person can be a way for the Holy Spirit’s influence and blessing to flow out to many, many people who need it.

But see, here’s the fact– and if you’re a farmer, you understand that. If you don’t work the ground, nothing good comes up. And, brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit wants us to go out into God’s harvest and work the ground. And how we work the ground is we pray for the people we’re in contact with because the presence of the Holy Spirit flowing through us, flowing past us, flowing around us will change the lives of people to bring them to the light, to bring them to a knowledge of the truth, to bring them to be people who are saved. You see, that’s the goal because God desires all people to be safe and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

So here’s my question. Who have you prayed for in the past week? And if you’re like most of us, we pray for people who are in a horrible crisis. You probably prayed for Gerri Molina. You probably prayed for other people who are in the hospital. You pray for people who are dying. But you know what happens if those people get better? We stop praying for them. If we only pray for people when they’re suffering and only pray for them once a year, we have limited the power of the Holy Spirit to change their lives.

Who have you prayed for this past week? God is drawing you to pray for certain people, and you’ll know that’s true because you’ll have a burden on your heart. You’ll have a concern– it might be a hunch, it might be your intuition, but it might just be the leading of the Holy Spirit that this person might be your person to pray for. Don’t wait until they’re in trouble. Just like your own child, pray for them whether they need it or not, because if you do that, the Holy Spirit will influence people through you.

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, 12 committed, praying people can make an enormous difference in the influence that you have on our community. 12 people can make a gigantic difference because they can multiply that influence out into thousands and thousands of people. But, Lord, 6 people can also have a great influence. And, Lord, even one person who’s willing to pray for other people to come to Christ, even 1 person, with your help, working to do God’s will, can have a great influence to help people to come to Christ. And so, Lord, as you look over our congregation, and you look over the people we are in the presence of as the week goes by, Lord, we just ask you through the Holy Spirit to influence all of those people to come closer to you, and we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

We’re going to sing “Take The Name of Jesus With You.” When you’re sitting on that park bench, you can, under your breath, say the name of Jesus, and make that moment a holy moment where Jesus is present. Let whatever is in your heart, become a prayer for whoever is near you that day. Let’s stand and sing. Take the name of Jesus with you everywhere we go! [music]

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources
Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — July 11 – July 18

OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — July 11 – July 18

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS: David Kueker, our Superintendent, Carol Lakota Eastin, and our Bishops, Frank Beard (on medical leave) and Gregory Palmer. If you need Pastor Dave for prayer, please call or text his cell phone, 618-780-0151, or email at dkueker@yahoo.com. or on Facebook as David Oliver Kueker.

Prayer Request From Jesus: Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Please Pray For God To Bless Our “Care Card Ministry” Person Of The Week
Larry & Dolores Johnson, (Kim’s parents)

Please Pray For God To Bless These People For Special Needs –
K Wayne Bushue – In St Anthony hospital at Effingham, his body is retaining fluid; please pray for this to resolve.
K Gerri Molina – Admitted to Good Sam hospital, Mt Vernon Sunday, July 4. CO2 was high. She has the tracheostomy back in and CO2 is down. She will likely be going back to the hospital in St Charles. Keep Gerri in your prayers.

Please Pray For God To Bless These People With Ongoing Needs –
Terry Hicks, Dennis Seavers, Cathy Wilkins, Noah Eller, Alex Hays, Mike Webster, Fleta Lybarger, Bill Olden, April Mercer, Gene Simmons, Duane Ambrose, Marie Dickerson, Cindy Kueker (Pastor Dave’s cousin), Molly Monical, Russell Kilby, Shirley Miller, John Holzhauer, David Mendenhall (Steve Wilkin’s friend), Helen Sullivan, Aaron Guerrettaz (Jo Williams’ nephew, Jim & Nancy Guerrettaz’s son), Kay Feather Lydick, Caitlin Engel (Julie Jones’ cousin), Quinten Butts, Mike Donoho, Haven Mueller, Kayley Wilhelm, Larry & Dolores Johnson (Kim’s Parents), Nancy Weeks-Lafenhagen

Please Pray For God To Bless Our Military Families –
Sgt Rusty & Nicole (Nolan, Michael, Lydia) Robb – US Embassy in Dublin, Ireland

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CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS July 11– July 18, 2021

CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS & WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW —
July 11– July 18, 2021

THIS WEEK’S CHURCH CALENDAR
Sun 7/11
9:00 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Kinmundy First UMC
10:15 am … GATHERING in Fellowship Hall for Coffee & Cookies
10:30 am … SUNDAY SCHOOL at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Wesley UMC
3:00 pm … PASTOR DAVE to KRD Clergy Meeting in Fairfield

Mon 7/12
6:00 pm …HAND N HAND – Diary Mart, Salem, Mini-golf & sweet treats

Tues 7/13
— … PASTOR’S SABBATH DAY

Fri 7/16
1-5 pm … PASTOR VOLUNTEERS at Kinmundy Library
6:00 pm … FOOD PANTRY PREPARATION

Sat 7/17
9-10 am … FOOD PANTRY DISTRIBUTION

Sun 7/18
9 00 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Kinmundy First UMC
10:45 am … WORSHIP in Sanctuary at Wesley UMC

WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW —

  1. Upcoming Committee Meetings:
    Mon 7/26, 11:00 am … Missions
    Mon 7/26, 7:00 pm … Ad Council
    Mon 8/9, 7:00 pm … Trustees
    Mon 8/16, 7:00 pm … Endowment
  2. SOBER REALITIES: Unvaccinated people may choose to wear masks for their own safety and the safety of other non-vaccinated people. Please do not crowd each other as we adjust to this change.
    It is possible but very unlikely that a vaccinated person can get COVID. Not everyone feels safe not wearing a mask—please be kind. We’ve had a tough year!
    Please pray for wisdom for our government leaders and a calm response throughout to the lifting of restrictions.
  3. HAND N HAND is going to Dairy Mart! On Monday, July 12, at 6:00 pm, come to Dairy Mart for a game of mini golf and a sweet treat on us! Adults and children are welcome to participate. Hope to see you there. Let us know if you plan to attend.
  4. SALT POTLUCK is returning on Wednesday, July 21, from 11:30 – 1:00 pm. We will have a cookout with sides. Please plan to attend and bring a side dish or a dessert. The meat will be furnished. There is a sign up sheet in the office or you can call Vervadene and get your name on it. This list is helpful in knowing how much meat to prepare, but if you decide to come at the last minute we will have plenty.
  5. VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL — We will be joining Salem Grace Methodist Church for vacation bible school beginning July 19-23 with the closing program on Friday, July 23. Rocky Railway, Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through will be the theme. The black van will probably leave the church parking lot at 8:30 am and return around 12:30 pm. (Or you can meet us there.) Registration forms will be available soon.. If you have any questions you can talk to Debbie Price.
  6. DICK & DIANE (GRAY) HANKS of rural Iuka will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. An open house is being planned for Sunday, July 25, from 2-4 pm at the Marion County Farm Bureau Building, 1630 North Broadway, Salem, IL.
    The couple are the parents of 3 children. Curt and Cherity Hanks, Iuka, Holly and Jason Sigrist, Farina, and Heather and Mitch Wilkins, Iuka They are also blessed with 10 grandchildren.
    They were married July 25, 1970, at Brown Christian Church in rural Kinmundy. Due to the Covid-19, the celebration was postponed until this year..
    Everyone is invited to help them celebrate. No gifts please.
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