Traces of Grace
Thoughts from Pastor Scott
When we think about the Methodist tradition, it is natural for our thoughts to turn to John Wesley. He is widely considered the founder of the movement and its chief spokesman and theologian. However, Methodism never would have become what it did, if not for the work of John's brother, Charles.
Charles joined John to study at Oxford University and, together with some other friends, they founded a group called "The Holy Club" that sought to encourage one another in their growth in discipleship and holiness. Charles was an integral part of the spread of Methodism not because of his preaching, but because he had an incredible gift of setting rich theology to music as hymns. These hymns carried the Wesleyan message and theology to the people and Methodists have been a singing people ever since.
Over the next several weeks I want to highlight some of Charles Wesley's beautiful hymns; sometimes with commentary and sometimes letting them speak beautifully for themselves. This week's hymn, Depth of Mercy (#94 in our red hymnals, but only the 4 verses noted in bold):
Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?
I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.
I my master have denied,
I afresh have crucified,
And profaned His hallowed name,
Put Him to an open shame.
I have spilt His precious blood,
Trampled on the Son of God,
Filled with pangs unspeakable,
I, who yet am not in hell!
Lo! I still walk on the ground:
Lo! an advocate is found:
Hasten not to cut him down,
Let this barren soul alone.
Jesus speaks, and pleads His blood!
He disarms the wrath of God;
Now my Father’s mercies move,
Justice lingers into love.
Kindled His relentings are,
Me He now delights to spare,
Cries, How shall I give thee up?
Lets the lifted thunder drop.
Whence to me this waste of love?
Ask my advocate above!
See the cause in Jesus’ face,
Now before the throne of grace.
There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.
Jesus, answer from above,
Is not all Thy nature love?
Wilt Thou not the wrong forget,
Permit me to kiss Thy feet?
If I rightly read Thy heart,
If Thou all compassion art,
Bow Thine ear, in mercy bow,
Pardon and accept me now.
Pity from Thine eye let fall,
By a look my soul recall;
Now the stone to flesh convert,
Cast a look, and break my heart.
Now incline me to repent,
Let me now my sins lament,
Now my foul revolt deplore,
Weep, believe, and sin no more.
I love this hymn because it speaks to a reality that I think we all experience at some point when we recognize just how unworthy we are of the love that God in Christ has lavished upon us. But the hymn doesn't leave us stuck in our sinfulness; it implores God to lead us to repentance and transformation, the hope of which is found only in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. We return to our regularly scheduled programming this week!
Want to become a member of First Methodist?
Are you interested in becoming a member of our congregation? We are in the process of organizing new members and confirmation classes. If you are interested or want to hear more about either of these opportunities, please fill out the linked form. Feel free to reach out to Pastor Scott if you have any questions. Thank you!
Informational Meeting - Mission Team
This summer, our church is taking a mission team to La Pamilla, Mexico. Pastor Jeremy has had a long-term connection with this village and has helped lead teams down to build the Sanctuary at the local Methodist church.
We will hold an informational meeting after the 10:30am service on Sunday, January 15, to talk about the details of the trip, provide a tentative timeline, and discuss the team expectations. If you are interested in joining this team for a ~ 10-day trip at the end of July/early August, please join us; attendance at the meeting is not a commitment to go on the trip. No construction skills needed.
Wee Soccer is Back in February!
Does your child need to burn some energy? Our Wee Soccer Program takes place each Saturday in February (4th, 11th, 18th and 25th). K-3, $10.00 per child which includes a shirt for girls or boys. If interested, please call the church office to register (856) 858-1186 from 9am-1pm, Monday through Thurs. Or you may register in person on January 21st, 12pm-2pm. If anyone is interested in helping, please contact Pat Gunning.
Women's Winter Walks in the Woods
Women’s Winter Walks in the Woods - Second Saturday Series
Gather for fellowship and exercise while enjoying God’s glorious nature! Meet @ 9:15, hike 9:30-11:00 - routes will be determined by pace and time available.
January 14 – Smith’s Woods – 39 E. Railroad Ave., Eastampton, NJ - 2nd Parking Lot
February 11 – Long Bridge Park – 895 Deacon Rd., Hainesport, NJ
March 11 – Amico Island - 81 Norman Ave., Delran, NJ 08075
hiking is weather permitting - we will hike in drizzle/mist and cold
Please contact Nicole Meyers for more information:
609-519-1283 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This event is for
women ages 18 and up, it is time set aside for women’s fellowship.
St. Paul's Food Pantry
The St. Paul's Food Pantry assists individuals in Collingswood and surrounding communities who face food insecurity, as well as those who occasionally need help when faced with illness or loss of income. The food items needed are:
- Coffee - Regular
- Vegetable Oil
- Dish and Laundry Detergent
- Small 2-3 pound bags of sugar
- Body soap and Shampoo
- Household Cleaners (like "Lysol")
- Mayonnaise and Ketchup
Any questions, you can contact Connie Cline @ 609-230-3084.
Donations for the Collingswood food pantry should be put in the usual collection bins. Thank you for your generosity!
Our Traditional Sunday Morning Worship Service begins at 9am in our sanctuary. This service incorporates the great hymns of our faith, creeds, responsive readings, prayers, Scripture readings, and a sermon, among other things.
During the 9:00 hour, we also have Sunday school available for children, youth, and adults.
Our Contemporary Sunday Morning Worship Service begins at 10:30am in our sanctuary. This service incorporates new and old songs, most often led on guitar, as well as Scripture readings, prayers, and other worship elements. Nursery is available during the 10:30 service for children birth-Kindergarten and all children are welcome in the worship service. There is also an adult Sunday school class that meets in the parlor during the 10:30 time slot. Our 10:30 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 email@example.com 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
All of our past morning worship services can be viewed on our website by visiting https://fumccollingswood.org.
You can also view the services on our YouTube Channel.
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.
Prayers in the Parlor now in the Library
Prayers in the Parlor is now being held in the Library (Great Room). This is a time to gather and pray over the requests of our congregation and happens every Monday at 8:30am and Tuesday through Thursday 9am.
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
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 grace to trust God and lead our congregation faithfully and well. Full recovery from shoulder surgery for Pastor Scott.
- Pastor Jeremy & Rebecca - as they navigate the loss of Jeremy's mom, Jennifer.
- Linda Adam's - daughter-in-law's brother Ed passed away - prayers for the family
- Steve Bottiglieri's father Vincent - heart
- 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 - total hearing loss in 1 ear
- Connie Cline's longtime friend has cancer/is steps from eternity and needs to get into a relationship with God.
- The Cluelow's - Jenn's medical, Bri's family medical health not good.
- Shauna Coffey - beginning another series of cancer treatments for cancer no longer in remission. Any prayers are appreciated.
- College Students attending Passion Conference- that God would prepare their hearts for what He has in store for them in January at the conference in Atlanta.
- Jim Craig - broken collarbone and Parkinson complications
- Kristie Crozier's daughter Grace - safe travels as she moves to Colorado
- Susan Dallegro - friend Jennifer sick on ventilator and her mother Maryann
- The Edwards Family
- Marilyn Ellis's friends Julie and Dorothy both have cancer
- Harry Ellis - Blood Pressure
- The Imm's Family, friends of Dotti Escuti
- Dick, Peggy and Janel Esher
- The Family of Charlie Ferrara who passed away
- Ken Franck's cousin Regina Gebka - ovarian cancer - recovery from surgery 9/1 and chemo treatments
- Pat Gunning's niece Marsha - Leukemia
- Jeremy F. Hagan - for the salvation of Uncle Charles [Hagan] and Brian Byus.
- Carol Harding - home from the hospital
- Tina Hemphill & family - in the passing of her birth mother
- James Jungclaus (& family) in the passing of his wife Donna
- Klimczak's daughter Kim - hit by a car at high speed - suffered many injuries
- Dick McCloy - permanent remission from 6 months of chemo treatments
- Mary Ann McCloy - shortness of breath and fatigue, recovery from heart procedure on Nov 4th
- Nicole Meyers - her parents' medical concerns
- Dawn Molloy's lifelong friend Ellen - has finally left the hospital/rehab. She is still recovering, and we are requesting your continued prayers. Thank you for your support as we travel this unfamiliar road. Each day is a new day. God is good!
- Mondatsos' daughter Anna
- Ella Patterson's brother - seizures
- Jaime Frost, daughter of Harry & Linda Rameriz - serious health issues
- Rameriz's - as they settle into their home in SC
- Sherry Rappe's granddaughters' best friend Francesca - (brain bleed/blood clot) - Hoping to be released from rehab 12/17.
- Kay Shannon's husband's cousin Lynne - in the hospital with cancer and pneumonia
- Mark Skrobanek's mom, Carol - May God give her clarity for treatment after medical testing
- Joan Stecher's friends Denise Young and Danielle Catling
- Joan and Ken Steward's granddaughter Katelyn - continued healing.
- Bill Walters - Healing from the flu so he can travel back home.
- Margaret Ward - son-in-law released from the hospital, recuperating at home - heart
- Ruthmarie Weinberg - Medical tests
- Michael Zee
- Our Missionaries
Remember, you are loved!
In His Grace,
The FUMC Staff