Traces of Grace
Online Worship This Sunday
We are again looking forward to the building being open for our Sunday morning worship service this Sunday, November 8th, for anyone who would like to join us in the Sanctuary at 10:00am. (We ask everyone to arrive 15 to 20 minutes early so that we can get you checked in before the service starts at 10am sharp)
Don’t miss our live stream worship service Sunday morning at 10:00am, and Zoom fellowship directly following. Pastor Sam will be continuing the sermon series "Blessings In Challenging Times" with a message from Matthew 5:13-16 called "An Impact That Lasts". Both links are available on our website at fumccollingswood.org, where you’ll also be able to view the service throughout the week.
Attending Our Service In-Person?
We welcome you to join us on Sunday mornings at 10am, using either of the two Park Avenue doors. Please use the door that corresponds with the side of the sanctuary in which you’d like to sit. Lots of things will be different, as we are taking every safety precaution possible, but it's a small price to pay to be able to worship together in-person. If you are planning on attending, we ask that you please help us to prepare by pre-registering HERE.
If for any reason you feel uncomfortable attending a service in person, that's ok! We will still be live streaming our service as we have been since the beginning of October. You can access the live stream by clicking the following link - faithlife.com/fumccollingswood/livestream.
If you can't make it in person, or to the livestream, you can still watch a video of the service at anytime throughout the week by visiting the SERVICES page of our website - fumccollingswood.org/services.
However you choose to worship with us, feel free to view our digital bulletin, which is also listed in the SERVICES page of our website (link above). It will show you the announcement slides, the songs/hymns that are sung in the service, and the scripture references... just like a regular bulletin, only without the paper!
We're so excited to continue this journey with all of you. As always, if there is anything we can do to help you along the way, please don't hesitate to contact us
Opportunities For Showing God’s Love
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and Neighborhood Center and Soul Cafe are both collecting turkeys to be given to families in need. Due to Covid, Neighborhood Center regretfully will not be able to do their family grocery store where people select food items according to family size. The safest way to help is to give qualified families a turkey and a $25 gift card to ShopRite or Acme. Gift cards may be given to Sharyn Bailey at worship on Sundays, life groups or Bible studies. The cards may also be deposited in the office with an indication on the envelope for Neighborhood Center or Soul Cafe. Turkeys may also be brought on Sundays; contact Sharyn (email@example.com) to make arrangements or for more information.
Operation Christmas Child
Completed Christmas Shoeboxes need to be brought to the church by next Sunday, November 15. If you plan to drop your boxes off at the church during the week, please contact Pat Gunning (home, 856/962-8010 or cell, 609/792-4441).
Thought For Today
Someone said to me this week, “Wow Pastor, another tough week with the pandemic, the elections” and they begin to share their personal journey. I was reminded in my devotional readings that this is thanksgiving month. A time to reflect, to be thankful, to remember that the Lord is our refuge and strength. The Lord is our joy and hope.
I started to think in the midst of all the life changing things I could focus on “Lord, may I begin to center on you!” At that moment my daughter sent me a picture of my 3 year old granddaughter eating a barbecue sparerib with a smile from ear to ear. Not a concern in this world except that the dogs in the house don't get that rib! Life is funny; Jesus had a unique way of helping those he loved to focus on what's most important. Below are part of his words from the Sermon on the Mount which I will be sharing in a couple weeks. What makes all the difference is we focus on. Jesus says...
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
- Matthew 6:25-34
So as we think about all the things that concern us remember... God knows! In fact, I was reminded by Janet Dension this morning “the most important thing we need to know today is that we know the One who knows.” If God allows an election, no matter on what level... he already has a plan to redeem the next four years for his greater good. Our goal is to live holy lives. The challenge is remembering that God doesn’t consult with us; we are to consult with Him.
God told Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” and then God said, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” - Isaiah 55:8–9
The good news that should put a smile on our face like the smile a barbecue sparerib puts on my granddaughter is that we can trust in the words Bill Gaither penned “Because he lives we can face tomorrow, because he lives all fear is gone, because I KNOW who HOLDS the future, life is worth the living just because he lives!”
And that is enough.
Let's continue to pray for the spiritual condition of our day which needs to experience the love and forgiving power of Jesus in our lives in a fresh new way. We continue to pray for so many who reach out for prayer within our church family and our greater community, and missionaries both local and around the world. We continue to thank God for the many blessings... we know God answers prayers. Here are prayer concerns for this week:
- The election results and how our country responds
- Our church and the community
- Unity and reconciliation throughout our country
- The schools and the children and staff
- Our country and leaders
- Continue to pray for Linkin Miller, Joy Evans, Margret Robinson, and Mary Mondatsos
If you have any prayer concerns or ways we can serve you, please let us know. We desire to journey with you even through these days of social distancing. Remember, you are loved!
In His Grace,
Pastor Sam and the Staff