One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Emily Penfield Featured

I’ve been using this space in recent months to share with you about our church’s move to create a non-profit organization to sustain and grow our low-income food cooperative ministry.  This month is no different, except I want to share one step that we didn’t expect. We named our organization Table to Table, Inc. because the co-ops bring neighbors together serving each other to put food on their dining tables.  It also represents God’s bountiful table where we are fed a meal of forgiveness and redemption, and where there is space for all people.  We were notified last month that …

It’s Been Five Years!

Emily Penfield Featured

September 2019 marks five years that we’ve operated our low-income food cooperatives.  The first one began meeting on September 2, 2014 with 10 families.  We’ve grown to serve 50 families which represent 156 people we are engaged with in our community.  Over the past 5 years, we’ve served 300+ people and made some wonderful relationships and connections, in the midst of this empowering endeavor. As communicated earlier this year, we’ve formed Table to Table, Inc, a non-profit organization supporting this ministry.  Currently, the Table to Table board is working on fundraising, with the goal of expanding to three co-ops.   We …

Community Event Wish List

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Friends, As you are out and about, could you please help us with our “wish list” for items we would like to add to our stockpile for community events such as Trunk or Treat, the Easter Egg Hunt, and perhaps a new one or two!  Stay tuned! Just put the item(s) in the brown basket and we’ll get them sorted!  Also, there is one “big” wish at the end of this list.  It’s not an immediate need but is something we could really use if one becomes available. Thanks!Kenny   Community Event Wish List   Gently loved stuffed animals of …

Persistent and Persevering Prayers for Provisions

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

During July and August, our sermon series is on PERSEVERING, and we are using stories from the book of Acts to learn how to persevere in our discipleship.  As I was studying this topic, I came across another story where someone had persevered in getting what they needed.  In Luke 11: 5-13, Jesus tells of a friend who needs some bread and knocks on a neighbor’s door late at night with his request.  At first the answer is “no” but the friend is persistent in knocking and asking for bread.  Finally, Jesus says, the neighbor will get up and get …

Letters from the Council Chair and the Pastor

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

Peter, Paul and Persevering When conflict arises, do you fight or take flight?  Most of us handle stress, anxiety or other emotions that conflict or tension create, by staying with it and pushing through, OR running away.  Sometimes, depending on the situation, backing away is appropriate.   But when we think about ministry, justice work, courageous conversations, or working on healthy relationships what is usually called for is perseverance. When I was a young adult, I was definitely a runner.  And also an avoider.  I would go way out of my way to avoid a tough situation.  If I felt someone …

Vacation Time

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

It’s that time of year when many people take vacations and plan getaways from their routine.  It can be refreshing to take a break, check out different scenery, immerse yourself in a new environment.  Summer, which often has a relaxed schedule, is an opportune time for this.  I’m looking forward to my girls’ being out of school so we can take a trip together later this month. I’m really pleased that we now have an excellent way to keep people connected and engaged when they out-of-town or can’t come to Sunday worship:  our podcast.  A podcast is a recording that …

Walking Through Forgiveness

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

Most people who’ve ever forgiven someone know that forgiveness is a process.  It’s hardly ever instant.  My dad and I had a tough relationship during my teens and early 20s.  Soon after my wedding, my dad announced that he was divorcing my step-mother (the source of our trouble) and he wanted to come see me.  Matthew and I were living in Atlanta and going to seminary. My dad was coming in for a business meeting, but had a few hours to meet me.  It was a nice spring day and he suggested we go for a walk as we talked. …

UMC Conference News

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

WUMC friends – This week at the UMC General Conference in St. Louis, the One Church Plan which most reconciling UMCs hoped would move our church toward more inclusivity, did not get the majority.  And the Traditionalist Plan, offering a continued prohibition on same gender weddings and ordination of LGBTQ persons, was passed .  This plan does not only hold the status quo, it is more punitive and exclusionary.  For me, and for many of you, this is a devastating outcome.  Personally, I feel like the ground below me has shifted considerably and I’m trying to find my foothold on …

This Month’s General Conference

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

February 23-26 are the dates of the long-awaited called General Conference for United Methodists.  The meeting will happen in St. Louis, MO, but because of technology, we’ll be able to stream the sessions and find updates and summaries through our own United Methodist Communications.  Many of are anxious about the outcomes, yet our faith is in God reminds us to trust in the Holy Spirit’s movement.  As the time nears, let us continue to pray all the delegates will be open to the Spirit. We’ve had some congregational discussions about the options, plans and hopes.  These are too many to …

Prepare

Emily Penfield Uncategorized

Prepare is NOT my favorite word of Advent and Christmas.  I like Light, Joy and Hope better.  Yet Prepare comes up every year, in the scriptures (Prepare the way of the Lord), in our homes (Prepare the holiday meal) and on the streets (Prepare for large crowds and traffic in the malls).   I groan at this because I’m one who likes to just jump in, rather than getting my ducks are in a row.  Just let it happen already! But experience tells me that I’m better off when I slow down, get organized, and most importantly get my attitude, mind …