Plymouth Park UMC News and Events
The PPUMC Missions Committee will be at the Kroger Store on Beltline collecting food for Irving Cares on Saturday, March 31.
Saturday, March 31 at 9:00 am the Trustee Committee has scheduled an all church work day.
Current items on the task list are sanctuary cleaning, windows, gutters, trimming landscape, as well as a few repairs. Please try to join the trustees in getting our Church grounds and building ready for Easter Sunday. Come out and help make your church a more enjoyable place to be!
Our 3rd Annual Palm Sunday lunch and Easter egg hunt is scheduled for Palm Sunday, April 1 right after the 11am service.
The menu will be Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans, and dessert at $5 per person/$2.50 for children 2-5, 2 and under are free. You will pay at the door.
And yes, we will absolutely, positively have a peanut butter and jelly station for any children who don’t like ham.
RSVP to Cori at ext. 205 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may come just for the egg hunt but please let us know.
On Palm Sunday, April 1, the Plymouth Park Praise band and the Plymouth Park UMC Chapel Choir will present Your Great Name: A Worship Event Lifting Up the Name of Jesus during the 9:15 a.m. worship service.
Our talented worship team will give a spirit-filled musical presentation, creating a worship experience you won’t want to miss!
Youth Needed for Easter Egg Hunt
We need youth to hide the Easter eggs for our hunt on Sunday, April 1. If you volunteer you will not only get a free lunch but you will also get to eat early. You will begin hiding eggs about 12 noon and finish about 12:30. All are welcome but you MUST RSVP by Thursday, March 30 so that I know to add you into the lunch count. Contact Cori at email@example.com or sign up in the Youth hall to volunteer.
Student Outreach this week!
This is the final week in our series “Truth or Dare”. Last week’s discussion on being nice certainly touched a nerve or two! This week we’re going to talk the truth about money. How much do we worship money or the things it can buy? When attached to money, it becomes our master instead of God. The truth is, money in itself is not bad, evil, or wrong. But when we have an unhealthy attachment to it or the things we can buy with it, then our worship moves from God to money.
Money can not buy contentment. That can only come from God.
Maundy Thursday service
The Senior High youth are in charge of the Holy Week service on Maundy Thursday, April 5. We still have a number of spots open. The clipboard with the signup sheet is circulating around the Youth Hall.
All Church work day
It’s time to clean up the church to get ready for our Easter guests. Join us Saturday, March 31 for the semi-annual clean up day. We’ll begin about 9 am and finish up by lunch time. If you stick around, I’ll treat you to lunch!
Look for the sign-up sheet right inside the Youth Hall.
The Horsman family is in charge of breakfast this week.
Senior High Mission Trip deposits due
Your $50 deposit for the Senior High Mission Trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama June 8-16 is due this Sunday, April 1.
If you need more information regarding mission trip, please talk to Peg.
The stock sale letters are signed, sealed and on their way! The next step for the Stock Sale is phone calling which begins April 23. If you have not yet signed up to participate in the Stock Sale or the Fish Fry on April 29, please do so.
We raise nearly ½ of the money necessary for mission trip on these two fundraisers. They are both gigantic events that require lots of people. When you sign up, you need to show up! Failure to participate in these two fundraisers will increase your cost for the Mission Trip $50 per fundraiser.
Confirmation this week
The 6th grade Confirmation Class will meet this Sunday, March 25 at the usual time, 5:00-7:30 pm.
I am struggling with my faith today.
I just read a small blurb on the internet that Casey Anthony has put out a statement that she is being baptized in order to “to ensure her own salvation so that she’ll see her daughter again someday.” She also says that she is “looking for a new beginning.”
If you don’t know, Anthony is the young mother whose trial for murdering her 2 year old daughter was a national obsession. She is widely thought to be guilty even though she was acquitted at her trial. And in reading the comments from others who have read this article it is clear that most think that there is no redemption for her.
So the first question, which is one asked by the author of the piece is: is baptism and salvation a media event? Why did she think it was necessary to let everyone know? It reminds me of the time in college when my mother and I were at a car lot looking at a used car for me. After some high pressure sales tactics the salesman looked at us and said, “I’m a Christian. I don’t lie.” We didn’t buy a car from him. Anyone who would use Christ to sell a car was not someone we wanted to deal with. And make no mistake, Casey Anthony is trying to sell herself to a public who vilifies her.
Her next question is whether being baptized is all she has to do to “ensure her salvation”? According to the Book of Discipline, baptism is “God’s gift of unmerited grace through the Holy Spirit. It is an incorporation into Christ which marks the entrance of each person into the church and its ministry (Romans 6:3, 4, 18)”(page 197). It also states that “Faith is the only response essential for salvation.” (page 47) So according to our Methodist beliefs it is not baptism which brings salvation but faith. But we are also a people of grace. We believe that there is no place we can go that God is not already present in prevenient grace. “God’s grace also awakens in us an earnest longing for deliverance from sin and death and moves us toward repentance and faith.” (page 46) My last question is about the pastor who will be baptizing her. Has he/she counseled with her. Is the pastor required to do it? Can a pastor refuse simply based on his/her belief about her guilt?
So many questions and so few answers. I believe in God’s grace and I believe in forgiveness of sins. But are there sins that can’t be forgiven? If she is guilty of murdering her child can God forgive that simply by the act of baptism? How do I know if she is sincerely wants a new beginning or simply wants to keep her name in the public eye? How do I know if she is worthy of forgiveness? The answer, of course, is that is doesn’t matter what I think. I cannot be her judge and I do not get to decide who is going to heaven. In Acts 10:15 a voice from heaven tells Peter, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” Has God or will God make her clean? Will she ensure her salvation with her baptism? Is she beginning a new life in Christ? I don’t know and I don’t need to know. This is God’s business and not mine. My job is to remain faithful in Christ and to live according to that faith in order to ensure my own salvation.
Everything else is out of my control. And so I pray for Casey Anthony that she may truly find her way to faith and to salvation. All of the rest is up to God.
And that’s Good News!
A couple of weeks after Easter Sunday Bill will be presiding over a wedding in Washington D.C. This means that I will again be blessed with the opportunity to preach. One of the lessons of seminary is supposed to be that it is important for preachers to maintain a personal bible study that is unrelated to their preaching or classes that they teach. I confess to you that there are days when this confuses me. It seems to presume that when a pastor prepares to preach or teach, we hold the Word of God at a distance and only consider how it might apply to everyone else, as if we are somehow above it all. Yet when preparing to bring scripture to you, I often feel the Holy Spirit draw near.
Yesterday I was reading the scripture for this upcoming sermon and beginning some exegetical work while hymns played in the background. It is one of the Easter appearances...between Easter morning and the time when Jesus ascends to heaven. And it was one of those moments. I wondered what it would be like to be one of those disciples; to have walked with Jesus through his ministry on earth; to have been at that Last Supper; to have been waiting in the garden and seen him arrested; to have seen him as he appeared to the disciples....I wondered...and it seemed very near.
This sermon is over a month away so I don’t really know just yet how we will travel through it together. But the experience has made me think about how we are approaching Easter. We are moving through Lent and will soon enter Holy Week. I wonder how much our journeys have and will mirror the journey of the disciples.
As the disciples travelled with Jesus in his ministry, they were pretty clueless. Jesus repeatedly tried to prepare them for what was coming, while they either couldn’t or wouldn’t understand. Was it just too far outside of their experience or expectations? Each Sunday Bill has asked us to consider meaning in our Lenten disciplines; yet how many of us have given up or taken on anything for the Season of Lent this year? Are we just “along for the ride” or are we seriously considering what it means to be a follower of Jesus? Are we listening and understanding as Jesus strives to prepare us? Or have we closed our hearts, minds and souls because it is just too much trouble to step outside of our comfort zone?
When the disciples come to Holy Week they will initially remain clueless. Then they will be shocked, overwhelmed and frightened by the events that will transpire. How will we move through those days? Will it be real to us? Will we react as the disciples did or will we have embraced the lessons that Jesus as offered to us? Perhaps we will be a part of the larger crowd and see no real significance in the events...just move through like these are any other days. Will we enter the Upper Room and wait in the garden? Or will we go about our regular business unaware? Will we journey to the cross and weep or turn our heads away so that our eyes do not see the pain that will be suffered on our behalf? Will we hear his cries or turn the radio up loud enough to drown out all unpleasantness around us? Will we sit the in quiet of Holy Saturday and try to absorb all that has happened, to absorb the sacrifice of our Lord.... or will we be too busy shopping for new clothes for Easter morning?
We can travel through Lent as clueless as the disciples and the crowd who have followed along for the ride, or we can prepare ourselves. We can travel through Holy Week as those who are overwhelmed and afraid like the disciples....or as unaware as much of the rest of the crowd, or we can bow before so great a love. If we remain in the crowd, we will never reach Easter morning. We can get there with the disciples only appreciating the significance when our Lord appears. Or we can listen to our Lord along the rest of the journey through Lent and into Holy Week and give adoring thanks in each step as we follow.
Easter will be here soon and be much too magnificent to be missed! See you in church.
The menu this week is Hamburger Casserole, Toss Salad. Bread and Dessert. Please let me know if you are coming.
We begin our Easter study this week with Kid Kingdom doing cooking and Club 345 playing games. Please let me know if you can help this week or any week this month. Thanks to Tiffany, Rebecca, and Kristen for stepping up to help yesterday!
Easter Candy and Egg Donations Needed
Palm Sunday is fast approaching and we need individually wrapped candy and plastic eggs for our annual Easter Egg Hunt. There will be a box in the Ministries Center and in the education wing of the church for donations. Wednesday is the last day to donate.
Palm Sunday Lunch and Egg Hunt
**Time to RSVP**
Our 3rd Annual Palm Sunday lunch and Easter egg hunt is scheduled for Palm Sunday, April 1 right after the 11am service. Yes, it is the week right after the Chili Cook-Off but just think of it as two Sundays in a row you don’t have to worry about lunch!. The menu will be Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans, and dessert. The cost is $5/6 and older, $2.50/ages 2-5, and under 2 is free. And yes, we will absolutely, positively have a peanut butter and jelly station for any children who don’t like ham.
**PLEASE RSVP by Wednesday for both lunch and egg hunt or egg hunt only.**
**We will need help after P3 to get the room set up. We will need to put up all the chairs and set tables up with the brown folding chairs. We need all the help we can get!**
The Chimes Choir will play again on Palm Sunday, April 1. Rehearsals will be changing to 7-7:15 on Wednesday nights. Third graders who want to be in Chimes should join the RevElation Choir at that time.
Remember that this is a busy Sunday for our children. We will have a palm parade at P3 and 11am, the children’s choirs are singing, and the chimes choir will be playing. For the palm parades please meet at the back of Fellowship Hall before P3 and at the back of the sanctuary before 11am. I don’t have all the info for the choirs at the moment about when and where to meet but I will let you know as soon as I know.
Our theme this year is Babylon: Daniel’s Adventures in Captivity. We have decided to try new dates rather than losing our Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts and youth. VBS will be the week of July 23-27 from 9am-12pm. Please mark your calendars now so that you and your children can be a part of this fun time of learning. We are collecting the following: baskets (all sizes), fringe woven blankets and rugs, boxes, and greenery (fake and real). You can bring them to my office and if you want them back be sure to label them.
Trevor and Ashley
Have a blessed week!
Palm Sunday is fast approaching and we need individually wrapped candy and plastic eggs for our annual Easter Egg Hunt.
There will be a box in the Ministries Center and in the education wing of the church for donations.
The PPUMC Children’s Ministry, Adult Ministry and Music Ministry sponsor this year’s fun and tasty event. All funds raised will support the PPUMC “Community Assistance Fund”, a special fund helping those individuals who come to our church for much-needed help!
Tickets will be available at the door. The prices are: Adult - $7.00, children up to 10 years old - $2.50 and children 2 and under - free. Your adult ticket will include the meal and 3 sampling tickets. Additional sampling tickets will be available at 3 for a $1.00!
Come join us for great food and great fun!
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Plymouth Park United Methodist Church is proudly connected to The North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church.