First United Methodist Church https://firstmethodistclinton.org Clinton, MS 39056 | 601.924.6671 Mon, 23 Nov 2020 21:22:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/cropped-FirstUnitedMethodistChurch_512-32x32.jpg First United Methodist Church https://firstmethodistclinton.org 32 32 Clinton, MS 39056 | 601.924.6671 First United Methodist Church clean First United Methodist Church podcast@firstmethodistclinton.org podcast@firstmethodistclinton.org (First United Methodist Church) Sermon Podcast for First United Methodist Church Clinton, MS First United Methodist Church https://firstmethodistclinton.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/FirstUnitedMethodistChurchiTunes.jpg https://firstmethodistclinton.org The Voice, November 23, 2020 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/the-voice-november-23-2020/ Mon, 23 Nov 2020 21:20:03 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=237564

Dear Friends,

As with most things in 2020, this year’s Thanksgiving celebrations may look different. You may not gather in the same places or in the same ways. Some of your family may be unable to travel, and you may be attending “virtual” Thanksgivings. Many stores on “Black Friday” will be closed (which may not be a bad thing!)

We can be tempted to think of how much is different, how much we’ve lost, how much further we have to go until the pandemic is over; and as a result feel like there is no reason to be thankful this year. But, as Christians, our gratitude is not tied to “everything going right.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul urges us to “give thanks in every circumstance.” We are called to look for the good in every moment, and be grateful as a result. 

Here are some ways I’ve found gratitude in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Family: this has been a difficult year for my family. As you know I lost my father in April, and in October my nephew died after a life-long battle with Muscular Dystrophy. Both of these men, in their own ways. shaped me into who I am, and I miss them deeply. And yet, our family has drawn closer together through these losses and we’ve leaned on each other to draw strength. As a result of the pandemic we’ve spent more time at home with the kids, eaten more dinners together, and played in the yard until dark. I am grateful for my family. 

​Faith: ​this has been the most challenging year of ministry I’ve ever had. And yet, I’m amazed at the resiliency of the Christian faith. Growing up, we always sang the song, “the church is not a building…the church is the people.” And this year we’ve been asked if we really believe that! I’ve seen people of all ages connect online and participate in drive-thru mission events. When we did return to limited in-person activities, I’ve seen people graciously honor one another by wearing masks, bumping elbows, and waving ecstatically since no one can see our smiles. We’ve loved our neighbors by doing our best to keep others safe. We’ve continued to worship God in our sanctuary, worship center, and in hundreds of homes across Clinton and beyond. When the conveniences of our faith are stripped away, we often see the reality beneath. And I’ve seen a deeper faith in Jesus emerge among so many this year. I am grateful for our faith. 

​Future: ​I believe that we have a future. This is not a “gut feeling” but a deep trust in the promises of God. I know that most of us are ready for 2020 to be over: no more pandemic, no more shutdowns, no more politics! But I’m ready for the future for a different reason. I’m excited for the opportunities we will have in the future, if we’re willing to remember the lessons we’ve learned. We have learned to use technology to share the Gospel and connect with people who may have never crossed our threshold. We’ve learned to be more flexible, less rigid, and more understanding when things don’t go “just right.” We’ve learned that it’s ok not to have every single night of our weeks jammed pack with “stuff” and it’s actually refreshing to not be so busy. We’ve learned that life can change in an instant, and so we should savor each moment with family and friends. I can’t change the past, but I can change my priorities moving forward. I am grateful for the future. 

In all these circumstances, I choose to give thanks. For my family, for the Faith, and for our future, I am truly grateful. I challenge each of you, somewhere between your turkey and your nap, to pause and reflect on what you are grateful for this year. It may be more challenging, but I imagine it will be more honest. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Grace and Peace,
Ricky 

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Podcast https://firstmethodistclinton.org/podcast-2/ Mon, 16 Nov 2020 21:18:46 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=237534
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/first-united-methodist-church/id1475677380?itsct=podcast_box&itscg=30200

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Job Openings https://firstmethodistclinton.org/job-openings/ Mon, 16 Nov 2020 20:29:12 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=237531

JOB OPENING: 

January 5th – May 27th
Tuesday and Thursday Each Week
8:30AM – 2:30PM
MMO One Year Old Teacher X 2
Primary Care Giver and Teacher Providing a Safe, Loving Environment Through 

Play, Snack, Learning, Lunch and Nap Hourly Wage Position of Typically 12 Hours/ Week Email Jamie to Schedule Interview ASAP jamie@firstmethodistclinton.org 

JOB OPENING: 

January 6th – May 21st
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Each Week
11:15AM – 2:15PM
Preschool Play Day Teacher X 2
Primary Care Giver and Teacher Providing a Safe, Loving Environment Through 

Play and Lunch
Hourly Wage Position of Typically 9 Hours/ Week Email Jamie to Schedule Interview ASAP jamie@firstmethodistclinton.org 

You may interview for one or the other or both. You could be hired for one or the other or both. 

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The Voice, November 16, 2020 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/the-voice-november-16-2020/ Mon, 16 Nov 2020 13:53:25 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=237553
Dear Friends,
I would like to update you on a recent change to our Weekday Ministry Program in response to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. 
 
Our Weekday Ministry consists of three programs:
• Mother’s Morning Out (1 and 2 yr. old’s)
• Wkday Preschool (3 and 4 yr. old’s)
• After-School Care Program (K-5th grade)
 
Like all childcare centers across the nation, COVID-19 has caused a significant increase in costs, particularly the need for more staff to allow for smaller groups. Most childcare centers have also seen a dramatic decrease in enrollment among school aged children as families have opted for virtual school, hybrid programs, or homeschooling during the pandemic. 
 
After reopening this fall, our After-School Program has not returned to the enrollment levels needed to sustain itself financially. After surveying the other childcare centers in the community, all of which also had lower enrollment in their After-School Programs, it was determined that the supply of open spots far exceeds the current need in our community. As a result, the Weekday Advisory Board approved the decision to close our After-School Care Program with no immediate plans to reopen. 
 
At the same time, there is a growing need to expand the capacity of our Mother’s Morning Out Program and extend the operating hours of our Preschool. These programs have returned to healthy enrollment levels and we feel that we can support more families looking for care for their young children. 
 
Closing the After-School Care program, while disappointing, does allow us to immediately refocus our attention on expanding the other two programs of the Weekday Ministry. We also would hope to reopen the After-School Program as the community need for such care rises in the future.
 
I want to commend our director, Jamie Steadman, and her staff, who have worked under enormous challenges, all while keeping our children safe and happy. 
 
I invite you to continue in prayer for all our schools, childcare centers, teachers and staff who are on the front lines of educating our children in these unprecedented times.
 
Grace and Peace,
Ricky 

 

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A Reluctant Prophet https://firstmethodistclinton.org/a-reluctant-prophet/ Thu, 12 Nov 2020 20:00:40 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=237419

In the midst of pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a presidential election, we long for a word from the Lord. In scripture we see that the People of God have lived in times of feast and famine, times of good kings and times of bad, days of hope and days of fear. They cried out for a word from the Lord, and we see that God hears their cry. 

November 15 – “A Reluctant Prophet”

Jonah is commanded by God to prophecy to the people of Nineveh, and immediately runs away! He doesn’t want to listen to God, he doesn’t want to help the Ninevites, he doesn’t want to be a prophet. Perhaps we have felt that reluctance to speak a word of hope to people we’d rather leave hopeless.

Jonah 1:1-6

Jonah Tries to Run Away from God
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6 The captain came and said to him, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.”

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First United Methodist Church 20:35
The Voice, November 11, 2020 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/the-voice-november-11-2020/ Wed, 11 Nov 2020 11:33:00 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=237428
Dear Friends,
I hope you have seen the news of the birth of Wesley Lacefield, son of our youth pastor, Hunter, and his lovely wife Annah Catherine. We’re so thrilled for them and grateful for a healthy delivery!
We’ve experienced a bit of a baby boom around the church this year, staff included! (But not me, that I’m aware of!) I’m grateful for all the signs of new life. While much of the coming months still remains unclear, what is certain is that we have a future here at First United Methodist. We can look forward to baptizing these children, giving them Bibles, confirming them in their faith, and watching as they grow in their walk with Jesus!
Of course, you make that possible through your generosity. We’ve had a great start to our stewardship campaign collecting, in just two weeks, more than half of our normal yearly commitments. Thank you to everyone who has already made a commitment, and for those still considering you can help us reach our goal! Don’t forget that you can download a form online and let us know your commitment, mail it into the church, or drop it off at your convenience. 
As we enter into a time of year where out thoughts naturally turn to gratitude, I hope you consider making your commitment for 2021, so that we continue to provide opportunities for all these children to know how much they are loved by God! 
Grace and Peace,
Ricky

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The Year that King Uzziah Died https://firstmethodistclinton.org/the-year-that-king-uzziah-died/ Fri, 06 Nov 2020 17:25:25 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=236982

In the midst of pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a presidential election, we long for a word from the Lord. In scripture we see that the People of God have lived in times of feast and famine, times of good kings and times of bad, days of hope and days of fear. They cried out for a word from the Lord, and we see that God hears their cry. 

November 8- “The Year that King Uzziah Died”Isaiah 6:1-8

The Sunday after the Presidential Election our candidate may have won, or lost, or we may not know the result. What we do know is what God does when there’s a potential change in leadership.

 

Isaiah 6:1-8

A Vision of God in the Temple
6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 The pivots[a] on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph[b] touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

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First United Methodist Church 18:09
A Time for Prophets https://firstmethodistclinton.org/a-time-for-prophets/ Fri, 06 Nov 2020 17:15:27 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=236970

In the midst of pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a presidential election, we long for a word from the Lord. In scripture we see that the People of God have lived in times of feast and famine, times of good kings and times of bad, days of hope and days of fear. They cried out for a word from the Lord, and we see that God hears their cry. 

November 8- “The Year that King Uzziah Died”Isaiah 6:1-8

The Sunday after the Presidential Election our candidate may have won, or lost, or we may not know the result. What we do know is what God does when there’s a potential change in leadership.

 

Isaiah 6:1-8

A Vision of God in the Temple
6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 The pivots[a] on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph[b] touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

November 15- “A Reluctant Prophet”- Jonah 1:1-6

Jonah is commanded by God to prophecy to the people of Nineveh, and immediately runs away! He doesn’t want to listen to God, he doesn’t want to help the Ninevites, he doesn’t want to be a prophet. Perhaps we have felt that reluctance to speak a word of hope to people we’d rather leave hopeless.

Jonah 1:1-6

Jonah Tries to Run Away from God

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. The captain came and said to him, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.”

November 22- “Always Enough”- Joel 2:21-27

Thanksgiving is a day devoted to family, feasting, and football! But at its heart is a day we’re asked to recognize the generosity of God, and be thankful for the blessings we have. The prophet Joel reminds the people that in God’s economy there will always be enough.

Joel 2:21-27

Do not fear, O soil;
    be glad and rejoice,
    for the Lord has done great things!
22 Do not fear, you animals of the field,
    for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit,
    the fig tree and vine give their full yield.

23 O children of Zion, be glad
    and rejoice in the Lord your God;
for he has given the early rain[a] for your vindication,
    he has poured down for you abundant rain,
    the early and the later rain, as before.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
    the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25 I will repay you for the years
    that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
    my great army, which I sent against you.

26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
    and praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
    and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

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The Voice, November 2, 2020 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/the-voice-november-2-2020/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 13:39:43 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=237478
Dear Friends,
As we approach the election, I wanted to let you know about two important things happening at your church. 
First, we are once again serving as a polling site. It is an honor to provide a place for citizens of our community to exercise their right to have a voice in who leads our government. While it causes extra work for our staff and extra traffic around the building, it is a great way to use our facility for the benefit of others. The gym has been sanitized and prepared in order to keep the poll workers and voters as safe as possible. 
Second, we are opening our Sanctuary on Tuesday, from the hours of 8am to 4pm for prayer and reflection. We invite you to come any time during those hours to pray for our country, for the candidates, and for the peace of God’s Kingdom to be known on earth. We will have some prayer prompts and scripture guides for you. Feel free to come and stay for as long as you would like. Staff will be on site to keep everyone safe and socially distanced, and to assist you if you have any questions.
I leave you with this advice of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement. In 1774 he met with those in a Methodist society who had votes in a coming election, and advised them:
  1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy;
  2. To speak no evil for the person they voted against;
  3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those on the other side.
As Americans, we are privileged to live in country where the voice of the people is sovereign, but as Christian we have a greater privilege to live in a Kingdom where Christ is King. 
Grace and Peace,
Ricky 

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All Saints’ Day https://firstmethodistclinton.org/all-saints-day/ Sat, 31 Oct 2020 17:00:46 +0000 https://firstmethodistclinton.org/?p=236966

Remembering the Saints who rest from the labors.

Matthew 5:1-12

The Beatitudes
5 When Jesus[a] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely[b] on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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First United Methodist Church 19:48