Traces of Grace
Thoughts from Pastor Scott
Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
In Psalm 62, which was on our reading plan for this past Tuesday, we read the words, "my soul finds rest in God." We see this theme woven throughout the Old Testament. For instance, in the creation passage, we are told that after God completed his work of creation, "he rested from all his work." (Genesis 2:2) And after the conquest of the Canaanites under Joshua's leadership, "The Lord gave them rest on every side." (Joshua 21:43-45)
One way to read these passages would be to read our modern, American understanding of the word "rest;" an afternoon lounging in the hammock with a glass of lemonade in hand. But is that what finding rest in God is like? Did God take a nap after finishing His creative work? Did the Israelites go on vacation after comleting the conquest or did they start building towns and cultivating fields?
But I think there's another way to understand this concept and Old Testament Scholar John Walton has been super helpful to my thinking about this idea of rest. He says,
- "What does divine rest entail? Most of us think of rest as disengagement from the cares, worries and tasks of life. What comes to mind is sleeping in or taking an afternoon nap. But in the ancient world rest is what results when a crisis has been resolved or when stability has been achieved, when things have 'settled down.' Consequently normal routines can be established and enjoyed. . . This is more a matter of engagement without obstacles rather than disengagement without responsibilities." John Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One, p71 (emphasis mine)
Our souls finding rest in God does not mean that struggles cease, or the work is over, or we get to kick back and disengage from the world. Our souls find rest in God when our hearts are completely submitted to His rule and reign and we focus our energies on bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to bear on our sphere of influence within the world in which we live.
We find rest in God not when we assert our will on the world, but when we learn to submit our will to His will.
Grace & Peace,
Music is a big part of life. And not just playing music or singing, I mean the music that we listen to and which becomes the soundtrack to our lives. Somehow, maybe because our rhythm of life changes, or because we take more road trips or day trips, but somehow, summer in particular seem to be marked by certain songs. Maybe that's true for you too.
This summer, from July 1 through September 4, our sermon series will be "The Songs of Summer: A study in the Psalms." In this series we'll be look at a selection of Psalms, which were the songs and poetry of the people of Israel. We're going to look at how these Psalms arose from the experience of the Israelites, how they shaped their faith, and how they express things that are common to all of us.
9:00am Sunday School (GSC, 9:15am; this is the last Sunday for GSC until September)
10:00am Combined Worship Service
Kids Church is happening!
Kids from 1st-5th grades will be dismissed from the worship service prior to the sermon to participate in Kid's Church. This program will take place in the Great Room.
Summer Gatherings - Andrade's
As we welcome Jeremy & Rebecca Andrade to the First Methodist family this summer, we want to create some opportunities for you to get to know each other. We are working to put together a schedule of small group gatherings for this summer and early fall and we would love for everyone to participate. If you are interested in attending or hosting a gathering, please call the church office. Thank you.
Vacation Bible School is here!
Mark your calendar for the remaining Vacation Bible School days: Thursday, August 4th, and Thursday August 25th. The theme is “Heroes of the Faith.” You may enter the side entrance on Dayton Avenue. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Caring Ministry - Stuffed Animals
Please feel free to take one of the stuffed animals in the Narthex (back of church) to give to anyone who is sick or needs some
T.L.C.. They have been prayed over and tagged by the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Thank you!
Hymns, Worship Songs, Creeds, Prayers, a Sermon; a truly blended service. Communion will continue to be served on the first Sunday of each month. Kids will be dismissed for 'Kids Church' before the sermon.
Our combined service will also be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend in-person. Anyone can access this livestream, but if you'd like to chat with others throughout the service, you must have a Faithlife account and become of member of our Faithlife Group. If you aren't already a member of our group, and would like to become one, please email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply with an invitation.
Here are all the links you'll need for the full Sunday Morning experience...
Join our Live Stream Service - https://www.faithlife.com/fumccollingswood/livestream
Access our Digital Bulletin - https://fumccollingswood.org/bulletins
Online Giving - https://fumccollingswood.org/giving
Verse of the Month
We praise God and thank Him for all the prayers that have been answered throughout this challenging time and also:
- For all God is doing, even in the smallest of details!
- For our freedom to worship together in person.
- For members of our church family who have recovered from surgeries, treatments and illnesses.
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
"Prayers in the Parlor" is a time to gather and pray over the requests of our congregation and happens every Monday through Thursday, beginning at 9:00am. Feel free to come and join us!
Please continue to pray for...our homebound members; our church members who are in need of spiritual, emotional and financial care; any families and relationships that have been strained during this time, our Troops and our Missionaries. The list is long, but God is BIG!
Please pray for the following:
- Pastor Scott & Meg - for the Lord's guidance & direction in all matters and decisions.
- Pastor Jeremy & Rebecca as they begin serving at FUMC.
- The Zook Family as they transition into their new home and ministry.
- Linda Adam's sister Lois - recovery from surgery
- John Adeboye - needs room to rent in Collingswood
- Bob Alber- recovering from recent hospitalization and Barb Alber is recovering from recent surgery - missionary
- The Berryhill's friend Melinda Johnson diagnosed with brain cancer
- Kathy & Phil Boswell (Phil - recovery from surgery) health problems & medical concerns
- Dave Cahilly - health issues
- Mary Emily Cameron - recovering from a broken bone in her neck
- Connie Cline's longtime friend has cancer/is steps from eternity and needs to get into a relationship with God.
- Joyce Cluelow - Mom is sick with Covid
- The Cluelow's friend Liz for keeping the house & new job
- Shauna Coffey - ongoing medical tests and medical issues
- Jim Craig - broken collarbone and Parkinson complications
- Susan Dallegro - friend Jennifer sick on ventilator and her mother Maryann
- The Edwards Family
- Harry Ellis - Blood Pressure
- The Imm's Family, friends of Dotti Escuti
- Dick, Peggy and Janel Esher
- Maria Gianfrancesco - continued recovery from knee surgery
- Dave Hammond - for continued recovery
- Carol Harding - home from the hospital
- Karen Kline and family in the passing of her son Craig
- Brent MacGlaughlin - health issues
- Dick McCloy - permanent remission from 6 months of chemo treatments
- Mary Ann McCloy - shortness of breath and autoimmune condition Myasthenia Gravis which has caused eye lid drooping
- David & Katie McDevitt's son
- Kathy McGuarn's daughter Jenny DePaul - upcoming surgery September 12th
- Gus Mondatsos - second hip surgery July 7th
- Ella Patterson's brother - seizures
- Jaime Frost, daughter of Harry & Linda Rameriz - serious health issues
- Rameriz's - move to South Carolina
- Sherry Rappe - Medical tests
- Sherry Rappe - prayers for the Poljenka family in the loss of their mother - (Sherry Rappe's daughter's mother-in-law)
- Dave Schmid - Retired missionary
- Kay Shannon's husband's cousin Lynne - in the hospital with cancer and pneumonia
- Joan Stecher's friends Denise Young and Danielle Catling
- Michael Zee
- Our Missionaries
If you have any other prayer concerns or ways we can serve you please let us know. We desire to journey with you.
Remember, you are loved!
In His Grace,
The FUMC Staff