Sermons August 29 2021: Help Me To Notice My Neighbor (Pentecost 13)

Romel, “The Voice of a broken heart” via Flickr

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/593904175

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/crju3tVQXOe

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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: 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.

HYMN We Gather Together
THE HYMNS ENSEMBLE – We Gather Together… “Lockdown Session”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmR1JszAM1E

(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 There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy
There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy ~ Nate Macy ~ lyric video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5LN1ZvwWfs

(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: Help Me To Notice My Neighbor
Luke 10:25-29, 36-37, John 13:34-35, Galatians 5:13-14
Series: A Church Centered on Jesus

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

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SERMON NOTES

Luke 10:25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
28 And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”


… 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

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HYMN Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace – Best Version By Far! (Judy Collins)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDdvReNKKuk

(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 the service of Jesus as 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

Help me to notice my neighbor. Last week, we talked about the fact that each one of us is unique. God works through each one of us in special and unique ways. No one else can do what you do. And what that means is every single one of us is needed.

There are a couple of realities, though, that go with this. You have something to do. Let’s assume you’re a basketball player. It doesn’t mean that you would play basketball all by yourself. Basketball players get together, and they play as a team. The thing that God wants you to do is likely to draw you to be involved with other people who have the same gift, just like singers will gather together in a choir. So the gift that you have, which is unique and special, is going to draw you to other people. Because even though your bass voice or soprano voice is different, you will join with other people to make something beautiful because you’re serving together.

And not only that, a choir will draw an audience. Carpenters will get together to build a home for a family. People who work together in the business will serve the needs of customers. The next thing in what we do to serve God, to follow Jesus, to do God’s will– it’s going to draw us to be with other people because what we do, we do not do alone.

That’s part of that little request. I still smile when I say it. “In a moment, someone will feel led by the Holy Spirit to gather the offering.” Friends, in order for you to do what God wants you to do, you need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit tapping you on the shoulder saying, “This time, it’s you.” Because just as the choir has a choir director, the part that we play is directed by the Holy Spirit within us who nudges us to say, “This is for you.”

That’s especially important when we go out into our neighborhoods. Because you have a neighbor, and the neighbors you interact with could include people in the choir if that’s your gift, but they also could include other people. People you live next to. People you talk to during the week. You have a neighbor, and your neighbor is your mission field because you are a missionary to that person just as Katrina said about vacation Bible school. She was a missionary to her vacation Bible school class. That was her neighborhood at that point in time, and God worked through her.

So here is the next part in our prayer of how to follow Jesus. Help me to notice. And in this very distracting time of life, and also a very distracting time in history, there’s a whole lot that we don’t notice when we’re distracted. Help me, Lord, to notice my neighbor.

And once I notice my neighbor, Lord, work through me to help the people in my neighborhood. Work through me to pray for the people in my neighborhood … because when God answers prayers, people come to Christ. Marriages are saved. Children are helped. People repent of their sin, and lives change and become better. Work through me, Lord, to redeem my neighborhood.

This is my neighborhood. This is the corner of 2nd and Coal Street in Caseyville, Illinois. I was the pastor of Caseyville United Methodist Church for nine years and two weeks, and when I would back out of my driveway to drive to the church on Sunday morning around 8 o’clock, this is what I would see. That’s the street by which I ride to the church. Caseyville United Methodist Church is nine miles from the Mississippi River. You can see the arch from the parking lot. It is a safe little town, but just like you can imagine in a big city– you see all of those houses? Those are my neighbors. You think I know their names? I sure don’t. I’m embarrassed. I would put this picture on the slide show every time I preached about how we should love our neighbor, and I told the congregation, “I feel bad that I don’t know every one of the people who live in these houses. I don’t know my neighbors.”

Now, out here so close to the farms, I have a sincere and deep hope that we’re different, but that’s how it was in Caseyville. But I want to tell you about the Caseyville United Methodist Church prayer chain. One of the unique and beautiful things about that church is that they had an email prayer chain of friends and relatives of the church. There were over 90 people on the prayer chain, and two men, Rick Penny and Claude Cable, it was their ministry. They were the people who developed it and worked in it, and you could email either one of them and they would send out, within a few minutes, to everyone on that prayer chain, all the prayer requests that they had received. Usually, you’d get one or two a day. And then on Sunday morning, they send out a big one, which contains all the prayer requests from the week that were made in church that Sunday. And I said to myself, as I experienced this, “What a wonderful way that this church has to organize so that we pray for lots and lots of people.” I found it to be very inspiring.

But I want to tell you that about three years later– about four years later, I noticed something that greatly troubled me. It makes perfect sense when you think about it, but almost every single person put on the prayer chain was someone who was already going to church somewhere. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Who’s going to ask a church to pray for them, but people who are to go to a church? And so week after week, we prayed for this person’s cancer and we prayed for this person’s heart surgery. We prayed for this person who lost someone in death. We prayed for children who fell off a bike and broke their arm. And every single one of them went to church somewhere.

And this began to really, really bother me. Because the statistics are that on that street that you’re looking at, in every town all across the United States, 80% of the people don’t go to church. And the assumption in the prayer chain was, here we are, praying for people who go to church as if they’re the only ones who need prayer. We’re praying for someone who has cancer as if no one who did not go to church ever got cancer, in a sense.

Now please understand these two men were replying to the prayer requests they received. But the only requests they received were from churchgoing people for churchgoing people. And so if you looked at who was on the prayer chain, you would think that only Christians got cancer. That only Christians suffered. That only churchgoing people grieved.

And I said to myself, “This town is right next to East St. Louis. It’s a big city. But surely there are people who gossip in this small town. It’s a small town.” Why isn’t anyone putting on the prayer chain their next door neighbor who doesn’t go to church but who just found out they had cancer? Why isn’t that happening? And believe me, friends, that’s where this phrase comes from, Lord, help me to notice my neighbor.

What do you notice, Pastor Dave, when you are driving down this street on your way to church on Sunday morning? Do you think about the people in the houses? Do you wonder what’s going on in their life? No, I’m in a hurry to get to church. And I’m embarrassed. So I began talking about this, and still what sort of prayer requests lined up on the prayer chain still, still probably true. It’s people we know because they go to church. But a tremendous burden came upon my heart during that time that when we know that someone– let’s just use cancer as an example. When we hear that someone at work has cancer, when we hear that someone living down the street has cancer, when we find out sitting at the ball field watching our kid play Little League, that one of the other kid’s mom is sick. The church should be praying. The church should be praying for their neighbors.

And all too often we’re focused on what the church is doing and missing this very important reality of what the church should be doing. And so I began to say silly things like it’s not gossip if you tell the pastor. And, as I had people’s permission, I began to speak in church of who needed our prayers, whether or not they came to church. But I’m afraid I was one voice.

Why is this important? Jesus told a parable. You’re familiar with it. It’s called the Good Samaritan. There is a road from Jerusalem down to Jericho. It’s very steep. And you go down when you leave Jerusalem. You go up when you go toward Jerusalem. The temple is in Jerusalem. All kinds of Jewish people were on this road because they were going to the temple to worship, just like I was going down that street to my church. And it just so happened that a man going down that road was attacked by robbers and left for dead. Now, by chance, a priest was going down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Why would a priest cross the road and pass by? Well, if he’s going up to the temple, if he is in the presence of a dead body, he cannot serve in the temple. That’s part of the Jewish law. So some people say, that priest must be going up to the temple. And he had to make a choice between serving God and helping this wounded man.

On the other hand, some people say that the priest is going down. He’s finished his service. But he still crosses the road because he thinks serving God means not to get close to that dead body. So likewise, a Levite, a church leader, somebody like the president of the church council– so likewise, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him pass by on the other side, had to make a choice. Am I going to do what God wants and stay holy and not touch that dead body? Or do I do something to help that person? There’s no question that they noticed. But it falls to a Samaritan to do the right thing, somebody who most people would say in the Jewish nation is not a religious person at all.

Now, this parable is told in order to explain a situation that came up. And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” And the lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.” Another way to say the same thing is what God wants should be the highest priority. And then he says, “And your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said to him, “You have answered right. Do this, and you will live.” But the lawyer desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

And embodied in that phrase is the idea that I get to choose who my neighbor is. And so Jesus tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus talks about a priest and a Levite who seem on the surface to choose God’s priorities over other priorities. But it’s a Samaritan who does the right thing. And at the close of the parable, Jesus asks this question, “Which of these three do you think prove neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” And the lawyer said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

And Jesus says to us, “Go and do likewise.”

What does God want from you and me? At the end of the day, when God looks down upon us, “Did you put me first today, Pastor Dave?” You know what God is really asking? “Pastor Dave, did you show mercy to your neighbors today?”

Galatians 5:13, Paul writes, “For you were called the freedom brethren, and thank God we have a great deal of freedom. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. And opportunity to do what you selfishly want. An opportunity for you to please yourself and ignore everyone around you. But instead, through love, be servants to one another.” For the whole law, for everything that God wants from us, the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

That’s what God wants. That’s what we need to be doing. That’s a wonderful thing if you’re a priest on the way to church. It’s a wonderful thing, everything is happening in church. Everything we do is wonderful. But what God asks us to do is to notice our neighbor. And to love them. And you know what the big problem is? We’re so busy, and we’re so distracted, and there’s so much going on. To be honest, we don’t notice something going badly in someone else’s life.

Billy Graham’s daughter, Ruth Graham, wrote a book in 2004. The title of the book was this, In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart. Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s daughter, lived a horrible life that was full of suffering. And she wrote this book to explain to the church people, if you look around you in every single pew, you will find people whose lives are not perfect but who are pretending that it’s perfect so that no one will know. Maybe it’s true this morning that this room is full of people whose hearts are breaking. Yet we have the blessed hope. We have the love of God and each other. We encourage and we pray for each other.

But just think a moment, friends. In every street, there are people with broken hearts. And no one notices. It takes a long time for a marriage to fail. It takes a long time for cancer to take someone’s life. It takes a long time for a child to grow up in an abusive home until it’s so bad that everyone notices. And in every street, there are houses where people have broken hearts. And we’re in a hurry to get to church and don’t even notice.

I often thought to myself what I really should do on Sunday morning. It’s only four blocks to church from this corner. I thought to myself, I ought to walk those four blocks and pray for every house between my house and the church. I thought that was a good idea. When do you think I ever was early enough to do that? You see, that’s the truth, friends. We’re in such a hurry. If there are broken hearts in every pew, we ought to remember there are four times as many broken hearts on every street because four out of five people don’t come to church. So who is your neighbor?

I wonder if you’ve heard the phrase, six degrees of separation. The idea of six degrees of separation is, for you to send a message to anyone in the entire world, it takes six people … for you tell this one, and that person tells that one, and that person tells that one. And people are connected by friendships such that within six people you can send a message to anyone in the entire world.

I used to think this was crazy until I was talking to Gene Simon, who was the executive director of Chaddock in Quincy. And he said to me that his cousin was Kate Capshaw, who is married to Steven Spielberg. It just kind of wakes you up. And I shared that story in a UMW workshop in Springfield. And a bunch of ladies at one of the tables started laughing. And I asked them, why are you laughing? And they said, well, Steven Spielberg’s wife, her mother goes to our church.

So you don’t know the power that you have. But within the United States, they’ve actually calculated this back in 1973, it takes only three connections to reach anyone in the United States.

Now, here’s what that says to me. I may not know the people who live in those houses on my street. But my church people probably do because they’ve lived in this town their whole life. And anyone they don’t know, they know somebody who does know. So the people in this room this morning, either you or someone you know, knows every single person in this whole town. And either you or someone you know knows every broken heart and why it’s breaking. You or someone you know knows every hurt that people are feeling. So if you will pray for the hurts you know – and you will ask people you know, do you know anyone who needs prayer? – every single hurt will be prayed for.

All of us have neighbors. We need to pray for them. Sometimes, we need to do more than just pray. Not saying that shouldn’t happen. But certainly, the simplest and easiest way for you to love someone is to pray for God to bless them and help them, to keep them safe, and, when something’s wrong, for God to help make it right.

And if we begin to reach out and pray for our neighbors, God will begin to answer those prayers. And all of a sudden, that person will realize that God is real. And God has touched their life. And they’ll begin to seek the blessing that we have of knowing Jesus Christ.

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, we ask ourselves each morning, where are you? What are you doing? What are your plans for today? And, Lord, if this scripture is right, your answer could very easily be, I’m out with your neighbors. I’m out helping them. I’m healing them. And I’m helping them to see that God is real. Lord, help us to understand that when we follow you, when we arrive where you are, we will find that you are with our neighbors. And, Lord, especially our neighbors who we do not see in church, Lord, I ask that you would open our hearts to notice the hurts that people deal with all around us so that we can pray for all of the people who are hurting. And when things are going right, we can rejoice and be thankful. Help us, Lord Jesus, to notice our neighbor. And work through us to redeem and heal and change all of the people that you love in our neighborhood. Help them, Lord, to discover that experience of amazing grace. We ask this in Jesus’ 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 — August 29 – September 5

OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — August 29 – September 5

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS: David Kueker, our four Superintendents, 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 –
Kay Lydick

Please Pray For God To Bless These People For Special Needs –
K Dolores Johnson – Cataract surgery on 8/24, doing well. Kim’s mother.
K Wayne Bushue – Surgery on heart valve at Springfield on 8/24, doing well.
K Pat O’Leary – In hospital with Covid, very ill.
K Kathy Arnstrom – Hospitalized with Covid, She is on a ventilator but is improving. Kathy is Judy McCarty’s sister-in-law.
K Gerri Molina – Gerri is feeling better. Send her a card at Rm 404, Select Specialty Hospital, 400 SE 4th St., Evansville, IN 47713

Please Pray For God To Bless These People With Ongoing Needs
Kent Johnson, has broken leg (Kim’s brother), Bill Olden, Mike Webster, Fleta Lybarger, 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, 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 –
– Donald Hickam
– Phillip Schooley, K-A class of 1963
– James D (Jim) Hester

Please Pray For This Week’s Prayer Families –
We are praying alphabetically for four members and friends each week. This week’s families are:
· Wayne Bushue
· Jim Butts: Trever
· Quinten & Barb Butts
– Kelly Jo Cavins; Allie & Emma

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CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS – August 29 – September 5, 2021

CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS – August 29 – September 5, 2021
WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW

THIS WEEK’S CHURCH CALENDAR
Sun 8/29
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
Tues 8/31
— … PASTOR DAVE’S Sabbath Day
6:00 pm … KIM’S BIBLE STUDY, Week 9
Wed 9/1
9:00 am … KIM’S BIBLE STUDY, Week 9
1:00 pm … QUILTERS Meet
1-5 pm … PASTOR DAVE Volunteers at Kdy Library
Sun 9/5
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. Committee Meetings
  • Missions Committee, Monday, September 27, 11 am
  • Administrative Council, Monday, September 27, 7 pm
  • Other meetings related to our October 26 Church Conference will be set soon.
  1. 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. Physical distance is the most effective precaution against COVID!
    It is possible but unlikely that a vaccinated person can get COVID. A vaccinated person with COVID is as contagious as anyone else, so some may choose to wear masks to protect others. You can be contagious before you even know you are ill. 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 this current surge of the Delta variant.
    ———- new information ——————————————-
    The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Governor announced Thursday (8/26/21) a state-wide mandate beginning on Monday, Aug. 30, that all people wear face masks while with non-household members in public indoor spaces. … As much as we’d like it to be otherwise, COVID-19 is still a danger to our congregations and communities. As disciples of Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, Christians are called to model the highest standards of care for others, especially those who are at higher risk of becoming sick.

    We
    Encourage you to wear a mask while inside the church building
    Encourage you to spread out, as social distance protects everyone.
    Worship is prerecorded, so if you are feeling cautious or not feeling well, you can watch on your computer, tablet or smartphone by clicking on the link on the church Facebook page or the church blog at www.kinmundychurch.org—top right corner.
    Will continue to send the bulletin and a transcript of the sermon by US mail each Monday to those who request it. We can also provide you with a DVD of the prerecorded service to watch on your TV at home if you request it.

    OTHER GUIDELINES
    Unvaccinated people who have been potentially exposed should
    i) isolate for 14 days OR
    ii) isolate for 7 days after exposure and after receiving a negative test result (test
    must occur on day 5 or later) in accordance with CDC guidelines:
    https://www.cdc.gov/…/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html

    Fully vaccinated people do not need to isolate after a possible exposure but should
    do so immediately if they begin to experience any COVID-19 symptoms:
     Fever over 100° F.
     Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
     Cough
     Chills
     Fatigue
     Muscle or body pain
     Headache
     New loss of taste or smell
     Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
     Sore throat
     Congestion or runny nose

    Maintain 3-6 feet of social distance between yourself and non-household members. Give everyone more space if you are speaking loudly or singing indoors.

    Our communities need encouragement, hope, and love. Give everyone an extra amount of care, forgiveness, and grace. People are weary and heart-sick with the weight of COVID-19. Everyone is having to make difficult decisions and weigh complex risk-reduction strategies for themselves and others. Allow some extra grace for everyone. Listen and encourage before judging and attacking. Our successful witness as Christians is mostly about how we treat people, especially the people we encounter outside of our churches and ministries.
  2. HAILEE IS 8 TODAY. Happy birthday from all of us at KUMC.
  3. TWILIGHT CIRCLE — Members of the TWILIGHT CIRCLE met at the Salem Grace U.M.C. in Salem for an “outing/meeting” Thursday, August 26. The church opened their “GIFT SHOP” just for the group’s safety, with all wearing masks. It was amazing seeing all the HANDWORK donated by members and friends of the church. Beautiful quilts, baby blankets, bibs, carriers for hot food, potholders, dishcloths, etc. Following purchasing items (all money goes to mission) they were then shown two other rooms, one where they do craftwork for the GIFT SHOP and one with baby items mothers can earn “BUCKS” for purchasing things by bringing a church bulletin, using the WIC program, donating blood, etc.
    Susan Smith was the hostess and afterwards treated the ladies to a milkshake at DENNY’S where they had their regular meeting. Her devotions were on the book of JOB. Those attending were Susan, Sandy, Diane, Patsy, Joyce, Helen and her guest Brenda. It was a nice change of getting together. Jeanette had to cancel out and was missed.
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Sermons August 22 2021: Help Me To Serve You As I Am Gifted (Pentecost 12)

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

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. Thank you to the Collingsworth Family for permission to use three of their videos in our worship during the pandemic! Please visit them online at https://thecollingsworthfamily.com/

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/589566194

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/crjq36VjmT2

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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.)

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.

HYMN 133 Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
The Everlasting Arms – Collingsworth Family
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1ZffJPRpmI

(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 The Collingsworth Family (Holy, Holy, Holy) 05-03-13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbezPGo9gB0

(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: Help Me To Serve You As I Am Gifted.
Text: 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11-27
Series: A Church Centered on Jesus

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

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SERMON NOTES

7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

11 All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single organ, where would the body be?

20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, 25 that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

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HYMN The Collingsworth Family – Since Jesus Came Into My Heart
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp4aPI4FJGc

(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 the service of Jesus as 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

As I shared with you for a couple of months now, there’s been a moment in the service where no one is going to know what happened in advance because the pastor says, “The Holy Spirit is going to ask someone to take the offering.” Now, I’m sure that some of you think that’s just a little silly, but something that is less and less common in churches is for us to be open enough to let the Holy Spirit lead people in the service. All too often in churches today, everything that’s said is scripted. Everything that happens is planned out so that worship can never vary. And in some ways and in some times, that keeps the Holy Spirit from acting in people’s lives.

In a whole lot of churches, they won’t allow the microphone to be taken around for people to share a prayer request. Do you know why? No one knows what someone will say. And so … is there an opportunity for people to do what they feel God wants them to do? Is there an opportunity for people to share their gifts, even if it’s as a beginner, as Halee just did, playing a piano solo? Are we willing to allow room for the Holy Spirit not only to interfere but to shape what happens on a Sunday?

Now, there are some of us that love reruns on TV. We love reruns. We love knowing every single thing that’s going to happen! But Sunday morning is a little more interesting if you don’t know everything that’s going to happen. And so a church that is connected to the Holy Spirit, a church that is connected to Jesus, will make room for people to share their individual gifts and talents so that when a person hears Jesus speaking to their hearts, when they hear the Holy Spirit speaking to their hands, they will feel comfortable standing up to do what God wants them to do … because each one of us who is following Jesus has something to do.

A little bit later today, there’s going to be a family gathering in my family, and right now, everybody’s thinking, “What can I bring?” Some of those things are worked out in advance. Some of them aren’t. “What can I bring?”

Let me tell you a joke. Once upon a time, an elementary school teacher said to the class, “Boys and girls, we’re all different people from many different places. So I like to invite you to bring to show and tell tomorrow something about your religion.” And so the next day, a little boy came in and said, “My family and I are Islamic, and this is a prayer rug. And three times a day, we get down on our knees on the prayer rug, and we pray.” And the teacher said, “Well, that’s wonderful.”

And another little girl came up and said, “My name is Mary, and my family’s Catholic, and my mama uses a rosary.” And she held up the rosary so that people could see it, and she told the kids about how each bead helped you keep track of your prayers; her mama would hold one bead and say the Lord’s Prayer. Then she’d say it again. And she’d say it again. Then she’d say it again.

Another little boy came up and he said, “My name is Billy.” And he unzipped a container and he said, “I’m a Methodist and this is a casserole.”

But Methodists don’t use prayer rugs and we don’t use rosaries. But boy, we know how to use casseroles, don’t we? In fact, God can minister through casseroles; they bring people together.

But there is one other thing about casseroles that we all know. There are certain things you should never, ever, ever, ever bring to a potluck. Do you know what they are? They are the things that someone else always brings. Because by God, if you bring Chinese slaw, Aunt Fran is going to be very upset. And if you bring pea salad, Betty Mae is going to be really upset because that’s her dish to bring. And so everybody thinks through, “What can I bring so that everything is provided on the table when the people gather?”

When I was in seminary, I went to a Southern Baptist church. It was a Southern Baptist seminary. It’s a wonderful church. They had a potluck just before their prayer meeting every Wednesday night. Do you know what the problem is with having a potluck every single week? People stop showing off. [laughter]

That’s the thing about wonderful Methodist potlucks is that, if everybody’s showing off, it’s better than any restaurant you could want to go to. But when it’s every single week, you know what happens? Twelve different kinds of macaroni and cheese out of a box. [laughter] One lady puts corn in hers, another lady puts green peppers in hers. So at least they’re a little different. But we are at our best when everybody brings their best. God works in the Methodist Church through casseroles.

Now, which instrument is more important? A lot of that just simply depends on who you are. Because if you’re the mother of the tuba player, you wish that singer would sit down so that your tuba-playing daughter could have her solo. Isn’t that true? And if that tuba player comes to our church, we’ve heard her play all kinds of sacred music. Because just like a casserole, it comes out of who we are and we love that.

But you can imagine what it’s like for the mother to have two daughters and one sings and one plays the tuba. And one thinks she’s better than her sister. And one thinks that all the attention should be on her. And the mother’s looking at them saying, “Both of you are wonderful and special.” But they don’t always feel that.

Think about the casserole again. Which ingredient is the most important? In that cheesy casserole, I can see zucchini, I can see tomatoes, I can see cheese, I think I see a mushroom. We all have our favorite ingredients. But you know something? If you had your favorite ingredient in a big pile in the middle of the dish, it would not be as good as what happens when all the flavors are together. See, that’s the challenge for a church. How do we let each individual flavor be tasted so that every flavor works together? That’s the challenge.

Here’s what 1 Corinthians 12 says about that: the church is just like a human body. In fact, Paul calls it the body of Christ.

And the key point there is verse 7: to each– to each. Let’s not be mistaken, to each. To each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good. One of the saddest and cruelest things that you can say to anybody in a church is you have nothing to offer. But it’s also not scripturally true, because it is very plain, by the wording of this verse, God’s Holy Spirit shows up– that’s what it means to manifest. God’s Holy Spirit shows up in every single person in some way for the benefit of everyone. And there’s a little acronym called S.H.A.P.E. that helps us to identify how God shows up.

God shows up in the center of your heart and who you love. When God asks you to do something to serve in some way, it’s going to be you reaching out toward people you feel love for. You will be drawn to certain people. You will be drawn to help people with certain problems, because the Holy Spirit will point you to the people, will point you to the need where you have something special to offer.

Not only that, you’ll find that what the Holy Spirit asks you to do will fit with your abilities and what you do well. There are some people, honest to God, the Holy Spirit does not want them to sing a solo. But they have something else that they have a wonderful ability to do! What God asked you to do will fit with how God has made you in terms of your abilities.

What God asks you to do will also fit with your personality. Now, occasionally, God has us do things that are uncomfortable so that we can grow. But generally speaking, the way God made you will fit with what God is asking you to do. If you’re a shy person, you’ll not be going door-to-door talking to strangers. God’s will for your life will fit with the kind of person God has made you to be.

And not only that, you’ll find that you’ve had lots of experiences, lots of practice. God does not put people on the spot and expect them to do something they have never tried before. Frequently, God prepares you for what God wants you to do, so you’ll be able to look back and say, “Well, I’ve done that before, and I’ve done that before. I know how to do that.” These are all the different ways that God shows up and works through us.

Paul goes on to explain this in the Corinthian church because, you see, they had a problem with competition. They had a problem with people arguing to get more attention to themselves. And they had an argument about whose gift is more important. And Paul had to correct that. Prior to Verse 11 here, nine gifts are listed. Those are not the only nine guests. Those are the nine that they fought about. All these, Paul writes, are inspired by one and the same Spirit who apportions to each one— to each is given, apportions to each one individually as He wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one spirit, we were all baptized, connected, put into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves or free. And all were made to drink of one Spirit.

That’s what we have in common. A connection to one another through the Holy Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member, but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

You see, the problem they had in Corinth is people were looking at themselves and saying, “Because I’m not like that person, I have nothing to offer.” And brothers and sisters, that’s simply not true. We’re all connected to the body. We all have something to offer, but sometimes we don’t realize what we have to offer.

You see, each one of us has a specialty. We’re alike in many, many ways, but each one of us has a specialty. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing. If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? If everybody was a singer, where would be the rhythm section, the bass and the drums and the organ and the piano? If the whole body were a soprano, where would be the harmony? You see, all those different specialties work together so that God’s will can be done because each one of us is special. You were made special.

And here’s the worst part. You don’t get to choose how you’re special. But, you know, because if you did, you’d want to be the singer. And if you did, you’d want to be the lead guitar player. And if you did, you’d want to be– well, you probably wouldn’t want to be the preacher, but you know what I mean. Envy works in groups of people. But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. God arranged every one of us in the church to do what we’re supposed to do, each as he chose.

So, therefore, we need to ask ourselves, “How am I special? What can I bring? What can I do that others can’t?

And it’s especially important that no one look down on the gift that God has given them because you’re necessary for the body to be in good health. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? Because that we’re special, each one of us is actually a specialist. And so God makes sure that everything’s handled. There’s someone who has a specialty to do that thing. As it is, there are many parts yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor, again, the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” Nor can the pastor or anyone else say, “I have no need for you,” because God has designed you to be an essential part in the area where you are a specialist.

So what can I bring? The psychological word for this is differentiation. We are at our best, we are at our happiness, we are most fulfilled when we’re able to be different and do our own thing, whatever that is, yet feel connected and loved and a part of the family of God.
So that’s what Howard Thurman said: “Don’t ask what the world needs because then you won’t be obeying your specialty. You’ll be trying to fit yourself in with what someone else thinks is needed. Let God tell you. Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs and what the world needs to see in a church, what the world needs to see in people of faith is people who have come alive.”

As Saint Teresa said – and this is each one of us doing what we do together – “Christ has no body but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands. Yours are the feet. Yours are the eyes. You are his body. Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Christ has no body now on Earth but yours.”

Because as 1 Corinthians 12 points out, this is how God decided to work: through all of God’s people. And when we’re each doing for the common good, what we’re allowed to do, then everything is in place. So our prayers, we follow Jesus. We start by making a commitment. We begin to learn in ways that show us the map of what God wants us to do. But eventually, we’re going to be asked to do something.

And if you’re not certain what that is, really, please remember you have a specialty and you are special. And not only that, you are this church’s expert on that one thing, whatever it is, that is your specialty. We cannot be all that God wants us to be without you.

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, unless we’re arrogant, unless we’re narcissistic, when we look into the mirror, we’re actually kind of humble. We’re not always certain what you want us to do. We’re not always certain that we’re up to the task. Lord, help us to believe the truth of scripture that it is your choice to work through all of your people. And that means, Lord, it’s your choice to work through us, each of us. We bring our flavors, we bring our specialty, and we make everything wonderful when each one of us does what you have created us and called us to do. Lord, may that be even more true than it is today. And 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 )
 

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OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — August 22 – August 29

OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — August 22 – August 29

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS: David Kueker, our four Superintendents, 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 Shirley Miller, Kinmundy, IL 62854

Please Pray For God To Bless These People With Special Needs
K Pat O’Leary – In hospital with Covid, very ill.
K Kathy Arnstrom – Hospitalized with Covid, She is on a ventilator but they have been able to turn the oxygen down to 70% and she is on antibiotics. Kathy is Judy McCarty’s sister in-law.
K Barb Wilson – Had cataract surgery on Tuesday. Doing well.
K Cathy Wilkins -Took radiation treatments twice a day this past week in St. Louis. She is doing well.
K Gerri Molina – Is at Select Specialty Hospital in Evansville, IN and appreciates 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 –
Montana Ford, Kent Johnson (Kim’s brother), Bill Olden, Noah Eller, Alex Hays, Mike Webster, Fleta Lybarger, 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, 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 –
– Donald Hickam
– Phillip Schooley, K-A class of 1963
– James D (Jim) Hester
– Ed St Jean, Kinoka Rd
– Raymond Woods, Odin

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CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS – August 22 – August 29, 2021

CHURCH SCHEDULE & EVENTS & WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW
August 22 – August 29, 2021

THIS WEEK’S CHURCH CALENDAR

Sun 8/22
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 8/23
7:00 pm … ENDOWMENT Meeting

Tues 8/24
— … PASTOR DAVE’S Sabbath Day
6:00 pm … KIM’S BIBLE STUDY

Wed 8/25
9:00 am … KIM’S BIBLE STUDY
1:00 pm … TWILIGHT CIRCLE – Susan Smith has devotions
1-5 pm … PASTOR DAVE Volunteers at Kinmundy Library

Sun 8/29
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 8 23 7:00 pm Endowment Meeting
  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. Physical distance is the most effective precaution against COVID!
    It is possible but unlikely that a vaccinated person can get COVID. A vaccinated person with COVID is as contagious as anyone else, so some may choose to wear masks to protect others. You can be contagious before you even know you are ill. 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 this current surge of the Delta variant.

3.TWILIGHT CIRCLE — Presents 30th newborn baby basket. Pasilee May Elizabeth Smith born June 13, 2021, received a baby basket this past week from the Twilight Circle. Items included in the basket are clothing, diapers, blankets, a stuffed animal, etc, a crocheted blanket made by Judy McCarty and a gift card. Pasilee May Elizabeth Smith is the daughter of Destiny Smith of Kinmundy. Grandparents are Jeff & Janna Smith, great grandparents are Terry & Iva Hicks and Paul and Chris Smith. In 2014 twilight members presented the first newborn baby basket to Victoria Simmons for Aubree. There have been 17 baby girls and 13 baby boys receive the baskets. If any church member has a family member or friend who has a newborn baby or will be having one soon, let Joyce Holley or one of the Twilight Circle members know.

  1. ANSWERED PRAYERS — UPDATE ON BISHOP BEARD: Bishop Frank J. Beard has just released the following, 8/20/21:
    Members and Friends of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church:
    Thanks for your prayers and expressions of concern and love regarding my medical leave. The surgery on my left eye was successful and I am improving. The pressure in my left eye is now down to 8. The doctor is amazed. I am so thankful for the prayers. The healing process is slower than I would like but I am adjusting to the limitations. The doctors say it will take about 10 weeks for my eye to heal. The plan is to have the surgery on my right eye Oct. 28. I remain on schedule to return to active duty Jan. 1. Melissa sends her love and expresses her appreciation for all of your prayers, cards, calls and other expressions of love.
    God bless, Bishop Frank Beard
  1. PRAYER FAMILIES OF THE WEEK — Please Pray For God’s Blessings
    Brad & Mary Brimberry
    Clint & Stacie Burleyson; Megan, Kendall & Carter
    Heather Bushue
    Matt & Carrie Bushue; Reese, Kayden
    We are beginning an audit of our membership books.
Posted in Bulletin, News and Prayer List | Leave a comment

Sermons August 15 2021: Following Jesus With A Map … Walk This Way (Pentecost 11)

Photo by Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash, Map via Pixabay, plus CPM Booklet cover

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/587280464

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/crj23sVjw2C

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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: 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.

HYMN 600 Wonderful Words Of Life
Allison Durham Speer, Wesley Pritchard, Sue Dodge, Larry Ford – Wonderful Words of Life [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q499q89HOpM

(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 507 Through It All
Andrae Crouch – Through It All [Live]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO5Qt2VQn4k
or
THROUGH IT ALL (Andraé Crouch – COVER)| THE LIVING STONES QUARTET
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu_nYQQMp7Y

(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: Following Jesus With A Map … Walk This Way
Text: Psalm 1:1-3, John 8, Matthew 28:20
Series: A Church Centered on Jesus

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

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SERMON NOTES

Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not.
Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature.

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

John 8:31 Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

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HYMN 348 Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling
Softly and Tenderly | Reflections | Fountainview Academy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqPBk4mHdNs

(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 the service of Jesus as 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

We’ve been talking about following Jesus, but you can follow Jesus much more effectively and efficiently. You could follow Him more nearly and clearly … if you have the benefit of a map because a map will tell you which way to go. And what we need is that guidance to walk this way.

That’s the second part of the Centering Prayer. We are aware that Jesus asks us to follow Him, but we also are aware that we often follow a little behind. We’ve been distracted by something off to the side. There are a few of us who are ambitious and full of energy and we charge on ahead, past where Jesus is. The goal is to be with Him. And so sometimes we need a map to get back to where He is because we just, one way or another, slip behind.

This is a matter of learning. As the Centering Prayer says, Guide me to all that is good. Cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. We are learners. If you look the word disciple up in the dictionary, it will tell you that a disciple is a learner. But part of learning is to develop a map that will help you to get where you need to go.

This was a saying that was on Facebook this week. It’s really incredibly wise. Let me share it with you: We have not succeeded in answering all your questions. Indeed, we sometimes feel we have not completely answered any of them. The answers we have given only serve to raise a whole set of new questions. In some ways, we feel that you are as confused as ever, but we believe that you are confused on a much higher level and about more important things.

Benjamin Franklin actually is the first one I know to have said something like this, but I know it to be true in my life. The more confused I am, the greater my tendency to listen to others. But certainly the more certain I am that I am right, the more it’s true that I know that I can’t possibly be wrong, I’ve learned the hard way that the more I’m certain that I’m absolutely right, the more likely it’s true that I am completely wrong. Why is that? Because it’s so easy to miss something. It’s so easy to focus on one thing and forget about everything else. But that’s the wonderful thing about questions. If we keep asking questions, we keep learning.

One of the greatest things that can happen in a church is for people to ask questions. And I’ll be very serious with you. I would be so blessed if every week you contacted me with questions. Now it’s not the kind of questions like “stump the preacher” — “Pastor, where did I leave my car keys?” But to be very honest, if we’re all learning, we will ask questions and then we will learn more. Questions are good.

And let me tell you something else, answers are often overrated. There is an evangelistic missionary movement called Church Planting Movements or CPM. It began to take effect 21 years ago in the year 2000 in nations in the third world where Christianity was being persecuted, particularly in red China, Cambodia, Vietnam, dictatorships, and Islamic countries in Africa, and in the Middle East. CPM was extremely effective at converting literally hundreds of thousands of people to followers of Jesus Christ.

It is a lay-led movement. And they do some things that to most of us in the Western world make no sense. Somebody comes up to the missionary or one of the lay disciple-makers and says, “I want to understand why you Christians believe this. Would you please explain to me why you Christians do that?” And the missionaries have been very carefully trained not to provide answers. You know what happens when you provide an answer? People stop asking questions.

What they’re actually trained to do and when I first read about this, I was shocked because it is so different from my way of thinking, because supposedly the pastor is the answer man, when somebody who’s not a Christian asks you a question, the way you reply to them they are taught is to say something like, “I’m not exactly sure, but I know how we can find out.” And they will hand the person a New Testament, ask that person to turn to the first words that Jesus says in Matthew, and they’ll begin to read the New Testament in Matthew out loud together.

And they’ll get to the end of the first chapter. And the missionary will say, “Did we find the answer to the question?”

“Well, no.”

“Well, let’s read the next chapter.” And then they’ll read the next chapter, and then the next, and then the next. Sometimes they get all the way to the last verse in Revelation. “Did we find the answer to your question?” Here’s the astonishing thing. “Well, I didn’t find the answer to my question, but I found so many other answers to questions I didn’t know I was asking.” And what they train the missionaries to say is, “Well, let’s start all over again in Matthew 1 and see if we can find it this time.”

Because here’s the truth, when people are reading the scripture, God provides the answer they need to them because God is aware of every question for which they need an answer. So I want to suggest to you that answers from human beings, including me, can be unhelpful … because if you memorize every answer that I give you, you won’t know the scripture that supports that answer. You won’t know the nuances that are in God’s word.

And all too often the giant feuds and fights that are going back and forth in religion in our nation are because people are fighting about which human answer is correct instead of letting the Bible give them answers through absorbing the words of the Bible.

How do I be more successful in this life? This is Psalm 1:1 … Blessed is the man, the woman, the child who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the sit of scoffers. But how do you learn not to do those things?

Look at verse 2, but his delight is the law of the Lord. When you see that phrase, law of the Lord, it literally translates from the Hebrew as instructions. You could substitute law of the Lord with the word of God or the words of the Bible.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night. Now, I have to tell you honestly, brothers and sisters, that could mean all day and all night. That could mean 24/7. But what I actually think it means is that this blessed person stops in the morning and consults God’s word about what should I do today? And then in the evening, they review the day and consult God’s words for what can I learn from my mistakes?

If we would pause in the morning and the evening to consult the map of scripture, we would always be on the right path. But here’s the promise, the very next verse, he is like a tree planted by streams of water. In a desert country like Israel, being close to water, that’s the key to being fruitful. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither and in all that this person does, they prosper. But the reason they prosper is that they consult the wisdom of God’s word in the morning and the evening. A good thing for us.

John 8:31, Jesus reminded us of the importance of his words with this. Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him. You see, the first step is belief. Now is the step that follows belief. If you continue in my word, Jesus said, you are truly my disciples. Being a disciple means continually reading the word of God. So I always like to say, let’s begin with the words of Jesus and become an expert on them. “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.” Verse 32 – here’s the result- “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” The words of Jesus provide us with the truth.

“And they answered Him, ‘We are descendants of Abraham and have never been in bondage to anyone. How is it that you say, You will be made free?'” And anyone could say, “Well, wait a minute, what about slavery in Egypt? What about the fact that we’re under Roman dictatorship right now?” In other words, their response to Him is nonsense.

But Jesus answers the question within their statement. “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.'” The Greek word for sin [h’amartia] means “missing the mark”. Now, you can make a mistake on purpose, or you can make a mistake by accident, but what Jesus is saying is that everyone who makes a mistake becomes influenced … falls under the curse of making mistakes … can become a slave to making mistakes … a slave to sin.
The slave does not continue in the house forever. The Son continues forever. So if the Son makes you free by providing you with the truth, you will be free indeed. The Bible gives us the truth as Jesus’s words come into our hearts and our experience. And Jesus can help set us free from all the ways that we fall to one side or the other from doing what is God’s perfect will for us.

This is so important that at the close of the Book of Matthew in the Great Commission, Jesus reminds the disciples who are now going to carry out His will and build His Church that they are to go into all the world. They are to make disciples there to baptize them. And then, Verse 20, because this goes the rest of their life, “‘Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded,'” not simply to know and not also simply to do, but to teach everyone how to do in such a way that others see their obedience to every command of Jesus.

And since teaching others every command includes teaching them to do this, Matthew 28:20, those disciples are taught to teach others, and it comes right down to us, brothers and sisters. We teach ourselves, but we’re supposed to teach others.

How can the teacher teach without first reviewing the textbook? In the back of your bulletin each week, you will find the S.O.W. questions. These also come from CPM, this incredibly successful evangelistic disciple-making movement. You take a verse and you ask that verse a question. Here’s the first question you ask. “What does it say?” Then you ask the question, “What does it say that I need to obey?” And then you ask the question, Who needs to hear this? Because maybe that scripture is not for you, maybe it’s for someone else you know, who’s really suffering. Maybe it will give them instructions that will save their life, will save their job, will save their marriage, will heal their family.

And with the CPM S.O.W. Question Bible study method, you ask those questions of every single verse. For God so loved the world. What does that mean? That he gave his only begotten son. What does that mean? That whosoever believeth in him— whosoever? Who would that involve? Does that mean me? Should not perish but have everlasting life...

Don’t run out of questions because your questions will guide you toward the truth, as Jesus promised in Matthew 7:7. Ask and it will be given you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be open to you. Let your questions find answers in the words of Jesus Christ.

Well, let me tell you about a personal problem I have. Back in July, on the 11th, Kim and I needed to be in Fairfield, Illinois. And I knew without a shadow of a doubt, the best road to Fairfield is you go out toward Louisville, and then you turn and you go down to Flora and then you follow U.S. 45 down to Fairfield. That’s the right way to do it, right?

I have no idea why the county would decide to dig up a bridge or whatever it is they’re doing on the road to Louisville at the county line. But you see, Kim and I need to get to that meeting, and neither one of us like to be late and there it was, road closed.

And so we turn to the right and began looking for a way through the country. Now, I don’t know if you remember back the middle of July, it seemed like every place we turned went down into a low place that was full of floodwater. We finally got there. We were only five minutes late, but it wasn’t because we practiced the law of speed limits. But we did get there.

And I said to myself, never again. I’m going to learn. I’m going to make a map.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, August 7th, just a week or so ago, I headed the right way to Fairfield, and son of a gun, the county still hasn’t finished that work on the county line. What’s going on here? I mean, if they put up the barricades, you think they would actually do something … but it’s still there.

And I said to myself, never again. I’m going to make a map. So I turn south and I kept going south and east and south and east and south and east. And I finally got to Fairfield.

And on my way home, I decided to go through the country again. And this time, no matter how I went, pulled over, looked carefully at the GPS, no matter which way I turned, I ended up on the wrong side of the county line road.

Twice I went down roads that looked like this. And friends, I’ll tell you, it’s a warning if the grass is growing in the middle of the road. It truly is. It’s a warning. And I said to myself, never again.

Next time I go to Fairfield, we’ll find out whether I learned, right? But I do know this, it’s happened to me enough now that I know to turn right on Meachem Road. Sure hope I don’t miss the street sign.

And then once I get down Meachem Road far enough and I set the GPS for Brown Chapel. It was flooded the first time we got there. Now, it’s not. And I think I’m going to be able to get there.

But you see, this is what happens. As we travel the road, we make a map … sometimes on paper, sometimes a mental map. And as you travel … in the sense of following Jesus … in your life, you are making a map.

And there are places on your map, to be honest, that are blank. You haven’t been there or maybe when you got there, you didn’t update them, having forgotten. But as you follow Jesus, there are places on your map that are blank.

But here’s the amazing, miraculous, almost magical thing. As you read your Bible every day, the words of Jesus begin to fill in the blank spots on your map so that when you look at it, you will find that Jesus has provided you with an answer to the question, where am I and which way do I go now?

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, we thank you for your guidance. We thank you for the sense that we just kind of have this inner knowing within our spirit that tells us to turn this way or that way.
But Lord, sometimes that inner knowing isn’t you. Sometimes it’s the way we’ve always done it before. So we’re just absolutely certain by now that that bridge between here and Louisville has been fixed. Sometimes, Lord, that feeling that we have is not the best way.
Lord, I pray as we seek to follow you with a map, because how else, Lord, can we tell other people the best way to follow you? As we seek to follow you, Lord, with the map, thank you, that the word of God fills in the blank places in our experience.
And Lord, all too often, before we get there, we’ll find that you have already marked on the map the solution that we most need in that daily moment. We ask you to bless us with your guidance through the word of God 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 )
 

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OUR CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER PAGE — August 15 – August 22

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS: David Kueker, our four Superintendents, 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 –

Duane & Marti Ambrose

Please Pray For God To Bless These People For Special Needs –
K Kyle Williams – Had surgery for a ruptured appendix. Doing well.
W Becky Goldsboro – Is home doing well. Becky is taking therapy for a short time as an outpatient at Good Sam hospital
K Gerri Molina – Is at Select Specialty Hospital in Evansville, IN. She is improving and taking therapy to regain her strength 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 –
Montana Ford, Kent Johnson (Kim’s brother), Bill Olden, Noah Eller, Alex Hays, Mike Webster, Fleta Lybarger, 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, 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 –
– James D (Jim) Hester
– Ed St Jean, Kinoka Rd
– Raymond Woods, Odin

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CHURCH CALENDAR August 15 – August 22, 2021

Sun 8/15
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

Tues 8/17 — … PASTOR DAVE’S Sabbath Day
6:00 pm … KIM’S BIBLE STUDY

Wed 8/18
9:00 am … KIM’S BIBLE STUDY
1:00 pm … QUILTERS Meet
1-5 pm … PASTOR DAVE Volunteers at Kdy Library

Fri 8/20 5:30 pm … Food Pantry – Preparation for Distribution

Sat 8/21 9:00-10:00 am … Food Pantry – Food Distribution

Sun 8/22
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 8/23 7:00 pm … Endowment Meeting
  2. NEW UPPER ROOMS are at each entrance.
  3. CONGRATULATIONS – To Mitch & Rebecka Hendrickson on the birth of their third son, Duke Morris, born Sunday, August 1. He weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and was 21 1/4 in long. Duke is welcomed home by big brothers, Dean & Dallas. Doug McCarty is the grandfather and Judy is the great-grandmother of Dean, Dallas and baby Duke.
  4. GERRI’S BIRTHDAY – Word from Gerri is, she received 27 cards and had visits from Justin, Jill and Joyce to celebrate her birthday on August 7.
  5. ANNIVERSARY – Kim’s parents, Larry and Dolores Johnson, will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary August 19. If you would like to send a card to be received at a family gathering that weekend, it can be mailed to Johnson Anniversary, Kinmundy United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 158, Kinmundy, IL 62854. (No gifts are requested.)
  6. 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. Physical distance is the most effective precaution against COVID!
    It is possible but unlikely that a vaccinated person can get COVID. A vaccinated person with COVID is as contagious as anyone else, so some may choose to wear masks to protect others. You can be contagious before you even know you are ill. 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 this current surge of the Delta variant.
  7. OUR PRAYER FAMILIES OF THE WEEK —
    Please Pray For God’s Blessings
    Leah Blomberg; Austin, Aidan & Alivia
    Barth & Kate Bookhout; Abbey & Eli
    David Bookhout
    Adam Brimberry
    We are beginning an audit of our membership books.
    .
Posted in Bulletin, News and Prayer List | Leave a comment

Sermons August 08 2021: Follow The Light (Pentecost 10)

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/584346603

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/crji36Vjl9H

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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: 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.

HYMN 98 To God Be The Glory
To God Be The Glory | Fountainview Academy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WmQmL77WkE

(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 349 Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS| THE LIVING STONES QUARTET
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTZtKoAwf0U

(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: Follow The Light
Text: Matthew 4:16-25
Series: A Church Centered on Jesus

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

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SERMON NOTES

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.

Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.

Matthew 4:16 … the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zeb’edee and John his brother, in the boat with Zeb’edee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. 23 And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decap’olis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.

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HYMN 344 Lord You Have Come To The Lakeshore
Pescador De Hombres-You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IAZS3jtfwc

(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 the service of Jesus as 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!

PHOTO by Tama66 via Pixabay.

TRANSCRIPT

I have noticed every day now for all my 66 years that as the day goes on, it begins to get dark. And I don’t know if this experience has ever happened to you, where you’ve gone into a room, and for one reason or another, the light is not plugged in. What an amazing thing it is to plug in the light and for the light to come on.

Last week, we talked about the reality that Jesus Christ needed to be in the center. Jesus Christ needed to be preeminent. 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, that in everything he might come first, that in everything, he might be the highest priority. And the difference, when we make it so, is like plugging in a light in a dark room. Friends, this is our purpose to make Christ first in all things.

Legendary Green Bay Packers’ coach Vince Lombardi had a saying that became so characteristic of him that to say it is to remind people of him. It’s run to daylight. And what he meant by that was that the running back needed to look down the field and look for where there was open space and run to daylight through that open space.

Here’s where that saying came from. In the college where Lombardi coached, there was a running back who every time in practice, when he would run to the left, he would get tackled. Well, when he would run to the right, more often than not, he would find his way through the defense in practice to score. Lombardi pull him aside one day and said, “Why is this?”

And the running back pointing to the trees over to the left and said, “Coach, it’s dark over there and I can’t see my way to run past all the other players. But over on this side, you see that big white garage? Against the light, I can see where the obstacles are and I can run past them.” Friends, when we try to run into the darkness, we’re not going to be able to see where to put our feet. But if we run to daylight, we’ll see the way past any obstacle.

Let me tell you a true story. In 1978, I was a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. I had a job as a youth pastor at the Buechel Methodist Church on Hikes Lane in suburban Louisville. We were a congregation of about 325 people on a Sunday morning. And down the street from us was a church that was doing pretty well. Their name was Southeast Christian. They had about 500 people attending their church. And nine years later. I signed up to go to a small group conference. And, lo and behold, it was Louisville, Kentucky, and it was at the Southeast Christian Church on Hikes Lane. And I said to myself, I know where that is. So I drove to Louisville, and I drove by the Methodist Church that had all those memories. And I drove down the road to where Southeast Christian was located in 1978. And there was nothing there, nobody there.

So I took a closer look at the address, and it was the wrong address. The church had actually relocated in 1987 to another address on Highlands. So I went four blocks in the other direction past the Methodist Church, pulled into a gigantic facility, giant parking lot. As I remember, a ball field in back, plus a soccer field. I came inside the church. There was a gym. There was a running track. There was a fancy exercise room. And I thought to myself, “This is very strange.” Come to find out, they had outgrown the previous church and then moved down the street because they needed a bigger facility. And their average attendance was now 6,000 people on a Sunday morning.

And I said to myself, “What happened?” I wanted to find out what happened, what the difference is.

Well, their Wednesday night service was there while I was there for the workshop. And I came early to the Wednesday night service, and I walked across that balcony, there were about a half dozen people sitting up there, scattered far apart. And I walked up to each one, and I told my story, “I’m a minister from Illinois, used to work down the street. And there were so many changes here at this church.” And I said to them, “I’m really curious to learn why this happened.” And I said, “Could you tell me why you chose to come to this church?”

And every single one of them said, “I come here because I feel close to Jesus Christ, because I’m here,” every single one. I want to tell you, I was furious. What I wanted them to tell me was having a gym made all the difference. I wanted them to tell me that it was the great programs with youth and children, and it was the gourmet coffee they served in the lobby, and that the music was awesome … because that was everything, back here in Illinois, we were telling people that this made the difference. How dare they tell me that the reason they came here was to be closer to Jesus Christ? That’s what we tell people in the church that I pastor … so how could that be the difference?

And the pastor, Bob– the music started, and it was okay. And the pastor, Bob Russell, stood up. He was the one who’d been the pastor during all this time. And he was very mild-mannered. He was very soft-spoken. His sermon wasn’t very good. He did not tell a joke. He did not tell an amazing story. It was the least showbiz sermon I have ever heard in my life.

He just patiently laid out what the scripture that we were looking at that night had to say. And I said to myself, “I’m a better preacher than he is.” Now, I’m being humble here but honest to God, that’s what I was thinking. And then he finally said the thing that helped bring it all home again in this very calm, quiet, practical voice. He said, “People ask us why things have happened in this church the way they have.” And he says, “There’s one thing, and that’s we understand that the main thing is keeping the main thing … the main thing. And the main thing is always Jesus Christ.” So apparently, that’s what you do. And they kept on doing that. In nine years, 500 to 6,000.

What happens 20 years later? Southeast Christian is now the seventh-largest church in the United States. 23,000, 24,000 people come to worship every Sunday morning at this location. Their current goal is to create new campuses and increase their daily attendance to 70,000 and beyond in 24 locations, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper in 2016.
How does such a thing happen? Maybe there’s something to this main thing.

Matthew 4:16, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region in the shadow of death, light has dawned.” Friends, I want to tell you, I want to see the light dawn in Kinmundy. I want to see the light dawn in our church. I want to see the light dawn in my life, because light dawns in the darkness when Jesus Christ becomes preeminent.

There are three things that go together for light to dawn. From that time, Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” “Repent” is a part of that because there’s a change toward what God wants when the light dawns.

And here’s the second thing that happens. The very next verse. “And as he, Jesus, walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And immediately, they left their nets and followed him.” Do you know why they immediately left their nets and followed him? After he called them, he kept going because he had things to do. And they realized, “If I just sit here, I’m going to fall behind.”

And going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, in the boat with Zebedee, their father, mending the nets. And he called to them. And immediately, they left the boat and their father, and they followed him.

Friends, it’s not good enough for Peter and Andrew and James and John to say, “Jesus, I’m ready to follow you. I’ll see you back here every Sunday morning at 9 o’clock” — if they were going to follow him, they needed to get up right then because he was going forward. And you see, that’s the secret. When there’s repentance and when people get up to follow, light is going to dawn. What happens when light dawns?

“And he went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.” I would like to see this light dawn here in Kinmundy. I want people to find healing and wholeness. I want people to be able to solve their problems. I want families to fall deeper in love. I want marriages to be restored. I want the light to shine in darkness. How do we make that happen? We need to allow our lives to change: that is, to repent, and then we need to get up and follow.

So how is it that a church goes from 500 to 6000 to 23,000 attenders? How does that happen? Well, here’s one of Bob Russell’s favorite sayings:

“When you see a turtle on top of a fence post,
you know it didn’t get there by itself.”

For all of the years that he was the pastor of this church that just kept growing … because the light was shining … because people were repenting and they were following … and God was working through them, Bob Russell kept saying, “Friends, what you see happening here is something that only God can do.” It’s not something we did. But because we were willing to repent, because we were willing to follow, because we were willing to allow God to work through us, because of God, this church happened. But we need to remember that it’s just like a turtle on a fence post because this is something that God does.”

And it’s just astonishing. One of Bob Russell’s other secrets, they sang, “To God be the glory, great things he has done,” as the first hymn in their service, literally for years, Sunday after Sunday after Sunday because Bob Russell wanted them to understand that if something happened, God did it.

I would like to tell you that it’s possible that Kinmundy United Methodist Church could become the sixth-largest church in the United States and beat those people. It’s possible. It’s possible that we could become the seventh-largest church in Marion County. It’s possible. It’s possible that a miracle America will happen, and God will pick up our church and put us on the same fencepost just like a turtle. It’s possible.

But I think the greater thing for us to keep in mind is this, the question is not about what God can do. God can do whatever God wishes to do. The question is whether we will fall short. The question is whether we will wind up hindering God by holding back on our following Jesus because we could hinder God if we refuse to repent. We can hinder God if we don’t realize that there’s a difference between where we are and where God wants us to be. We can hinder God if we’re unwilling to close that distance by following. We can hinder God because God has chosen to work through God’s people. But it’s always something God has done.

Lord Jesus, today I, David Kueker, am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I repent. I want this to be different. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. And I get up and I run to daylight because if the light of Jesus Christ is in front of me, I can see my way through every obstacle to God’s will being done. I have a purpose and following Jesus is that purpose.

Lord Jesus, I ask that you would be more and more the center of my life and that you would draw me toward you. Lord, I ask that you would be more and more the center of our lives and that you would draw us toward you … so that we could see you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day. 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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