Connecting Gifts to Needs

Emily Penfield Featured

Last month I wrote about a new effort for our congregation to discover, develop and deploy our spiritual gifts.  Our tool for this is a Spiritual Needs Assessment.  Directions for how to complete this are below.  If you haven’t already done this, I urge you to by the end of the month.  There are 20 spiritual gifts we are looking at, with definitions, coming from the New Testament.  We want to know everyone’s gifts so we can organize our church and ministries using them, instead of focusing on things in which we don’t have as much passion or interest. Another …

More Gift Unwrapping

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Most likely you’ve unwrapped a gift or two in the past couple of weeks.  You’ve probably thrown away the wrapping paper by now, thanked the gift-giver and maybe put the present to good use.  Even though the Christmas season is over on January 6th (Epiphany – the day we celebrate the wise men visiting Jesus with gifts) we will continue to focus on gifts at WUMC.  This month we will begin a sermon series on our God-given gifts;  plus we will use an online tool to help us unwrap and discover our spiritual gifts.  This gift inventory will be offered …

God’s Revolution

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

When I think of a revolution, I often get images of a battle or war, like America’s Revolutionary War or the French Revolution that came shortly after it.  The word “revolution” comes from the Latin word “to turn around.”  When people revolt they want their circumstances to turn around.  It might be their economy, their culture, or most often their socio-political situation, including how they are governed.  People under oppression or trapped in unfavorable ways revolt and make a turn for independence.  And often, because the way we humans deal with power, this often comes with loss of life. God’s …

Space for Remembering

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

With the holidays approaching, we may have mixed feelings about those we celebrate with, and those who are no longer with us to celebrate.  It can be tough being a part of a family, especially when expectations are not met.  It can also be hard to live without those who are family to us, after they die.  Instead of singing about joy and merriment, some of us are sad, mad, or tired.  God’s grace has space for all these feelings, and our church does so too as we remember together. This Sunday, Nov 5th was All Saints Sunday.  We remembered …

The Heartache of Nature

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

Harvey, Irma, Maria, earthquakes, wild fires, floods, tornadoes – these are just some of the natural disasters that have happened in the past few weeks.  People are suffering; lives have been lost; damage to homes and infrastructure is overwhelming.  This creates heartache and we wonder where is God in these catastrophes?  Why so much devastation in a short amount of time? Our Wesleyan faith searches for the grace in these situations.  God’s prevenient grace means God does not punish us with death, but God’s grace is always open to us until the end of our lives. Those who die in …