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Ladies Aid members, a group of retired women, will welcome the Rev. Baxter Chism to their luncheon meeting on Wednesday, September 12th at 12 noon. The meeting will be held in the Vestry, where a delicious meal will be served by the Ladies Aid Board. Looking ahead to our new season, we will enjoy a food and social auction in October, crafting for our fair in November and in December we’ll ‘go out to lunch’ to enjoy a special Christmas lunch. Ladies Aid meetings are scheduled on the second Wednesday of each month at noon, at which time we enjoy a delicious lunch and program. This opportunity is offered to women in our church family and we have guests too! If you would like more information, please contact the church office.
Friendship Circle members originally meeting this month at the Cracker Barrel restaurant on Thursday, September 13th will meet instead in the Vestry at 9:00 am and will discuss upcoming activities sponsored by Holiday Friends. A large part of our church fair concerning Christmas decor is coordinated by Holiday Friends. Anyone who enjoys crafting and has some ideas on holiday-themed projects can join us. We are hoping for a lively discussion, some great new ideas as participants help us ‘creatively’ begin a new season of Holiday Friends!
We have set up a Care Calendar for Jenna Stanley, who has had a severe reaction to her Lupus medication. She will be residing with Dad and we would like to offer meals to her 3X/week Thank you for your care and attention to this - JOJO
To access Jenna Stanley's CareCalendar site, visithttps://www.carecalendar.org/logon/273662 and enter the following information in the appropriate spaces:
Calendar ID: 273662
Security code: 8806
Jenna Stanley's address is 112 Heritage Drive, Tewksbury, MA 01876.
I really like to read about psychology. It's a hobby of mine. Not only does this discipline help me understand people, it helps me understand myself. We always need to understand who we are.
Case in point, I read an article about why some marriages end up in trouble on psychologytoday.com by Dr. David Woodsfellow. In a lot of cases, your spouse doesn't like to be told what to do (You already knew this didn't you!). They simply want support. Instead of diagnosing what you think is your loved one's issue and telling them what to do, be supportive. Some of us desire more emotional support. Don't ignore but affirm and try to understand their feelings. Others desire support via words of encouragement and uplifting.
There are a lot of us in the world that do not like to be told what to do in whatever we do. I have a friend that meandered through the business world. He was never happy taking directions but he did his best because he has a family to support. Then one day he had this great idea for an invention. He worked tediously in his shop and created the vision he had. Today he has his own company. Lucky him. Nobody tells him what to do anymore! Well, except for his wife.
Sometimes when I read the Book of James I feel I'm being taken to the principal's office. He really challenges me to step up my game and to not only talk about being a Christian but to also practice what I say. Sometimes I say, "Quit being mean to me James!" Don't tell me what to do!
Reading James, I think we are all challenged to live a holy life. Holiness is important. We practice our faith and seek to be more like Christ in all that we do. James isn't really telling us what to do. He challenges us to all live a good holy life dedicated to God.
Christopher P. Momany penned a great article about Christian holiness on ministrymatters.com. He reminds us that holiness is becoming and being who God desires us to be. Everything we do in the name of Christ should be based on love. Holiness is a response to God's grace. Yes, grace and holiness are a process. We should always use our faith and put it into action. That is what James is really saying.
Holiness happens in many ways. Serving others is holiness. Using our spiritual gifts is holiness. Leading in our churches is holiness. Protecting God's Creation is holiness. Standing up for the "least of these" is holiness. Supporting the sick and dying is holiness. Loving our veterans that are homeless is holiness. Taking care of our soul is holiness. Working with other Christians is holiness. Transforming our communities and world is holiness. Leading others to Christ is holiness. Protecting the vulnerable is holiness. Being like Christ is holiness!
Here's a simple prayer for you, "Tell me what to do God! Help me to be holy. I'll patiently wait for the answer. Amen."
As I close out, I pray all of you have a safe and joyful Labor Day holiday! I hope you have a great time with your family and friends.
College Football Season (noticed I used all capitals) is about to start. In my native South, college football is a religion. There is the actual season when the games are played, there is recruiting season when each college goes out and competes for the best players, and spring practice is a season. It is endless. Fans are truly committed to their team and school. If thumb wrestling was sport each university would do what it takes to be number one. There is an expectation amongst the school administrators and the fan base to be number one in everything. Does athletics rank above education? Not necessarily. The schools want to be better than each other in academics too.
Commitment is important. When we are committed to something, we usually get the job done. For example, couples committed to keeping a healthy marriage or relationship will often find ways through difficult times. Committed parents will always find ways to provide the best for their children. If a person chooses to commit themselves to community service, they help transform where they live and the world. Those committed to the life of their church make tremendous impacts on leading others to Christ. Again, commitment is important.
Another word for commitment is covenant. A great example of covenant can be found in Joshua 24 (read it!). The Prophet Joshua had called all the tribes of Israel together in Shechem. Joshua reminded the tribes of their past roots and from where they had come. He stated that many times the people had gotten off track and worshiped other "gods" instead of Yahweh. It was time to renew the covenant and get back on track.
It is always good to take a moment and reflect on our service to God. Are we putting other things first? Where is my focus? How is my devotional life going? Why am I not going to church on a consistent basis? How is my prayer life? Why haven't I found one place to serve in church? Have I loved my neighbor as I have loved myself? Do people see Christ in me?
So Joshua reminded the people of the past and a new covenant was made. The goal was not to live in the past. Yes, you learn from the past, but the focus was on the future. The goal was to leave the meeting in one accord and serve God together.
I'm excited that Fall is almost here. It is time to get focused. Let's renew our covenant and commitment as a church. Thanks, Joshua for the reminder! Celebrate where we have been...but look forward to where we are going!