A publication of Richland United Methodist Church - 60 Pomeroy Rd. - Athens, Ohio 45701 February 2015 12 Spiritual Disciplines: Essential Tools for Spiritual Growth Lent is just around the corner! On February 18th, we will worship and remember that “we are dust and to dust we shall return.” Ash Wednesday is a time to remember who we are and whose we are. Then, for the next six weeks we will journey together, through this season called Lent. During this time we will fast, pray, repent and worship. But, did you know that there are 12 Spiritual Disciplines, broken down into three categories, “Inward Disciplines,” “Outward Disciplines” and “Corporate Disciplines.” Spiritual disciplines are means by which we can “practice” our faith. They are tools by which we seek to know God, yield to the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying power, and surrender to God’s Will in our lives. These disciplines are tools by which we seek to “tune ourselves in” to God’s desires and see His kingdom, as He sees it. These holy actions have been practiced by believers since the earliest times, and are firmly rooted in Christ’s commands and examples in the Gospels. Disciplines of Personal Development (Inward) 1. Prayer – communicating with God (Matt. 6:9). Many Christians will admit that they do not pray as much as they out to. Why? For many, it is because they do not know how to pray or whom to pray for. There are many ways to pray, from the “ACTS Prayer” to the “Breath Prayer” to “Centering Prayer.” Maybe this Lenten season you will begin simply with the prayer list in the bulletin/newsletter, and add to it family and friends you want to lift up each day. 2. Meditation – focusing on God and God’s will (Phil. 4:8). We are a society of noise. We are good at listening to the cacophony of sounds around us, and we are good at talking incessantly, but what we are not good at is settling our souls, our minds, and our bodies, and just resting in the Lord. Meditation is quiet contemplation. It is taking a scripture, issue, prayer concern, call from God, etc., and sitting and allowing God to speak to you. We often will say that God does not speak to His children as He did so long ago. I do not agree. I believe God is speaking to us every day, but we are too busy and distracted to hear Him. Take the time, find a quiet place, and open yourself up to God. Rest in Him and listen. 3. Fasting – a reminder of the source of all nourishment (Luke 5:35). We are a society that loves to eat. So, fasting is often seen as counter-cultural. But fasting is not just giving up food. Fasting is giving up anything that distracts you from the Lord. For some that might be video games, for others it might be sports, for many it is food, but you need to discern your stumbling block and then devise a plan to “overcome” it. In place of this distraction, replace it with scripture reading, Bible study, fellowship with other Christians, worship, etc. 4. Study – careful attention to all that God reveals to us, especially through Scripture (Luke 2:46). Christians do not know the Bible! So, everyone can benefit from immersion in Scripture. One mistake Christians make is to open the Bible to Genesis and begin to read through the Bible, chapter by chapter, until they reach Revelation. The problem is, many never get beyond Leviticus or Numbers. They get “bogged down” is some of the more dry or tough reading, and then give up. So, come up with a plan for reading. There are many to be found online. Then, make sure you set aside the time each day to read, meditate on God’s Word and listen for God’s direction in your life and the church. (Continued) Disciplines of Service to the Body of Christ (Outward) 5. Simplicity – seeking God’s Kingdom first (Matt. 6:33). We live very busy and messy lives. We fill our schedules with stuff, and as we try to do EVERYTHING, we are too tired for God, or too distracted. De-clutter your life, and then allow God to have that extra time. 6. Submission – placing God’s will above one’s own (Luke 22:42). Have you given your life, family, job, and call to the Lord? We often will submit to Him in an area or two in our lives, but often we have not given EVERYTHING over to God. Pray that God will reveal to you, areas in your life that need to be surrendered. Then submit to Him in these areas. 7. Solitude – withdrawing from the world to spend time with God (Matt. 14:23). You might say, this is redundant, I am already fasting, praying and meditating. What more can I do? Solitude will invite you to take longer times in each of these. Start slowly. An overnight might be all you can handle. You can work your way up to a weekend, and if you have the time to do so, maybe you can eventually work yourself up to a week. But, find some time away with the Lord! 8. Service – supportive action toward others (Mark 10:45). Plan some time working in your church, community, state or on an international mission project. Like other Spiritual Disciplines, take baby steps. Begin with a project of service within your church (straightening up the sanctuary after worship, preparing communion elements, praying over the pews before worship or a special event.) Then discern a need in the community (help at a food pantry, women’s shelter, Habitat for Humanity build project, etc.) Then work your way up to a mission project within your state (Jackson Area Ministries in Jackson County, OH; Friendly Center in Toledo, OH., etc.). Once you have given in these areas, you might be ready to travel to Nicaragua, Africa, Vietnam, etc. on a mission project. Disciplines of Service with the Body of Christ (Corporate) 9. Confession – acknowledging one’s sin with and to others in the community of faith (James 5:16). Do you humble yourself before the Lord, sharing your struggles? Offering your brokenness? Confessing your sins? Let go of hurt, anger, resentment and sinful habits which keep you away from the Lord. Pray that He guides you to spending time in more than just shallow prayers for yourself, but helps you to really offer up what keeps you broken. 10. Guidance – giving and receiving direction from others along the journey with Jesus (Acts 15:8). Find a trusted Christian who can guide and direct you. This might be your pastor, a Christian friend, a trusted family member, an Emmaus friend, or someone who does this professionally, who you will pay for this service. Pray for God to lead you to that person who can give you the guidance you need today. Then set up a schedule to meet, and stick with it! 11. Worship – giving God glory through attitudes and actions (1 Cor. 14:26). When you worship, do you celebrate God’s majesty and goodness? Are you fully worshiping when you sit in the pew? If you are struggling to fully worship, then get to the root of what is keeping your from doing so. For some it is that you haven’t prepared your heart, soul and mind for worship. Morning prayer and centering can get you to a place of focus and worship. It may not happen at home, as getting kids dressed and driving to church might pull you out of the place you need to be that morning. Maybe you can drive separately and come to the church ½ hour early, kneel at the altar or pray over the pews that God will not only help you to focus, but will help others as well. 12. Celebration – Sharing joy is what God has done (1 Cor. 5:8). In addition to Sunday worship, find other ways to celebrate and praise God. A retreat or conference, Christian concert, or ladies’ or men’s night out, might be good for your soul. There are many ways that you can celebrate. It might take additional time, resources and money to do this celebrating, but if this will help you in your faith journey, then it is well worth it! One of the greatest needs of the church today is spiritual power. Even for all that the church does right, it often lacks the spiritual power for these things to be effective and to change lives. We need to recover the power of the Spirit, for I believe that it really is the answer for our times. Through Jesus Christ we have the hope of a new, transformed humanity. May the same grace that draws us to Christ in the first place continue to be at work in us as we present our lives before Him by way of the spiritual disciplines of the faith. ~ Pastor Karen Preaching for Lent THE 7 LAST WORDS OF CHRIST Feb. 18 – ASH WEDNESDAY “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” (Luke 23:34) Feb. 22 – FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT T “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) March 1 – SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT “Dear woman, here is your son….here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27) March 8 – THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT T”My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mark 15:34) March 15 – FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28) March 22 – FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT “It is finished!” (John 19:30) March 29 – PASSION/PALM SUNDAY T“Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” (Luke 23:46) Important Dates in February: 01 4th Sunday After Epiphany: He is Our Light: Revelation 02 Ground Hog Day 08 5th Sunday After Epiphany: He Is Our Light: Rest Valentines Day Dinner: 12:30 @ Lui Lui’s 09 UMW: 5:pm @ Terry Ann Foglesong’s 15 6th Sunday After Epiphany: He Is Our Light: Transformed 16 President’s Day 18 Ash Wednesday 7:pm 22 First Sunday of Lent 26 Blood Drive —Buss —12 noon to 6: pm Lenten Devotions: Interested in writing a Lenten Devotion or two? There is a sign-up sheet on the Ministry Table with information and daily scriptures. RICHLAND UMC Tuesday Mornings Breakfast and Bible Study For those in our church facing a particularly strong need for intercessory prayer please contact the church office to request the scheduling of the church family to pray for you throughout the day. Each Tuesday @ 6:30 am, 44 Elmwood Book Study Contact: Mark S. “Final Saturdays” Men’s Breakfast at Church @ 8:00 am Richland UMC Contact the office if you are interested! Please know that our prayer shawl ministry is alive and well. If you know someone who would like a prayer shawl, please contact Peete Bowen to make arrangements to have a shawl sent to you. Youth Meet every Sunday @ 6 pm for dinner! 6:30—Youth Celebration Nursery Hours: 9:45 to 11:30 am during Sunday morning We thank the volunteers who value the young lives among us and give of their time to care for and nurture them. With Pastor Karen — All are invited to attend! Thursday @ 5: pm to 7:00 Disciple I On birthdays, we honor our beginnings and remember that in God’s eyes, we have a place in this world no one else has.” Ashton—10 yr. old, car accident –critical Robert Fowles—cancer, complications, healing for him and the family Lauren Abdella—healing-knee surgery Beth Tyre Dajnowicz—breast cancer & tests Praise — birth of Mason Thomas Wadsworth — parents: Kandi and Ryan —grandparents: Cindy & Dante Oliveri Nathan Brookins—cancer returned Jim Skaggs — Barb Ingram’s dad in hospital Paul Jones—healing and strength Cody—young man seriously injured—fall Ginny Hankins, Brenda Davis’ mom—health Tammy Jordan— cancer Cheryl & Susan—Mark Heflin's’ sisters—cancer Vicki Cochran— health concerns Rick Ketchum — ALS— on ventilator Tim Whitmer — Barb Ward’s cousin—cancer & spirit to move Rod Bowen—health concerns Joyce Booth — C. Adkins’ friend—bone cancer Bob Gleason — end stages of cancer Ashley Mercer — passed away—remember the family and friends in your prayers February 02 03 05 07 09 11 13 16 18 19 22 24 25 26 Robert I. Joshua Col. Mickey Coz. Roderic G. Hope D. Diane Jay. Michael Wo. Virginia J. Connie Cl. David D. Megan Hol. Jeremy M.r Paula In. Bill Den. Kaitlyn Hix. Beth Be. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Our military members, family, and friends : Noah Davis, Grace Kirkland, Zach Isaac, Seth Shull, Rusty Henry, Scott Dennis, Brandon Follrod Keep those who have suffered at the hands of terrorists in your prayers and ask that He may help those who commit wrong in the name of religion, to see the error of their thinking. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken…..William Shakespeare David & Brenda D. (42) Michael & Barbara Wa. (43) Noah & Lauren Da. (4) Music News: Chancel Choir News: Weekly Rehearsal— Thursday January 08 @ 7:30 –9:00 pm (S) Yearly: $190,000.00 (weekly) $3,650. Behind Budget: $ - 2,844 behind for the year Praise Band: Weekly Rehearsal—will resume — Wednesdays @ 6:00 PM (S) District Apportionments: up to date Youth Praise Band: Weekly Rehearsal—Sundays @ 10 -minutes after Service. Also 5:30 on Tuesdays Thank you for your prayerful attention to the support of the work of the Lord through Richland United Methodist Church Thank you all for your service in 2014. We are looking forward to growing in commitment and impact as we continue to lead worship here at RUMC. Electronic giving cards are on the ministry table or available in the office. You can use that option when you travel, for you convenience, or one time gift. UMW: Conference Apportionments: behind 15% Monday, February 8 @ 5:00 PM @ Terry Ann F. Thank you for all you do to serve our Lord! Facilities Forms Every activity which takes place in the Church must have a Facilities Use Form filled with the office in order to be placed on the calendar and take place. These forms may be obtained by email from the office, in hard copy from the office, and soon in a special envelope on the office door and from the church website. If you do not have a form you may be asked to leave. If your activity is in conflict with one which does, you will be asked to leave. The point of this is to avoid conflict, hard feelings and double booking of space. Only regularly scheduled services, Sunday School, rehearsals or Bible studies do not need to file forms. Also, to borrow items from the church including the kitchen or Fellowship Hall, you will need to file forms in the office and notify the office when you return the items.. Prayer Cards * Offering Envelopes * Tissues Please check the blanks to indicate how you wish the prayer cards used. Otherwise we do not know your wishes, and the staff will only pray over the card. Use Offering Envelopes, if you wish, for regular offerings. You may also indicate on the envelope, when you designate an offering for a special purpose. If you use the Tissues, please take the remainder of the pack with you with our complements. It is perceived as unsanitary, when you leave the open pack. Please use the above items only for their purpose. They are not doddle paper, airplanes or items for play. Also, try to put things back as they were found in the pew racks. The custodial and office staff clean up after you!
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