Notes from Pastor Sue

Notes from Pastor Sue

Sharing our Gifts

We’ve been looking at the promises people make when they join the United Methodist Church: to support the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, and their service.  Today we’ll consider what it means to support the church with our service.   As with gifts, service means different things for different people.  The hope is that all members serve God in some way, including through the church’s ministries.  Sometimes that may mean primary leadership of a committee, sometimes it means…

The Promises we make

We’ve been reflecting on the promises we make when we join the church. Over the last two weeks we have reflected on offering our prayers and our presence. Today we come to the third thing we promise: our gifts.  Particularly at this time of year, gifts bring to mind brightly wrapped packages, but of course we know that’s not what this means. Having just concluded our annual stewardship campaign, I think also of the gift of money. Certainly, we ask members of the church…

Be Present

Last week I began to reflect on the promises people make when joining the United Methodist Church, to support the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, and their service.  Today I want to consider the second of those: to support the church with our presence. There was a time when to be an active member of a church was generally understood that one would attend worship at least three Sundays our of four.  Certainly, in those days it…

The gift of Prayers

When people join the United Methodist Church, they promise to support the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, and their service.  As we conclude our stewardship drive, for the next few weeks, I want to reflect on the non-monetary ways people support the church. The first of these is by supporting with their prayers.  In a previous church, there were a couple of people I used to visit at a nursing home every few months.  When I would…

I Don’t know his story

Recently, Doug and I were at the intersection of 205 South and Mill Plain Blvd.  As if often the case, a man stood by the side of the road holding a sign.  In this case it said, “I’m $20 from shelter.”  It was about 8:00 PM. I notice that as he stood there, his eyes closed and he swayed.  When a car revved its engine, he startled.  It looked like he was falling asleep (or passing out?) on his feet.…

A Candle For Tom

I lit a candle for Tom yesterday.  It was the Memorial Service at our Virtual Annual Conference.  Traditionally, the memorial service is a carefully staged and formal worship service at which those Bishops, pastors, and other significant ministry leaders in the Annual conference who have died in the last year are remembered.  As we do at our All Saint’s Celebrations in the local church, often we have lit a candle for each person remembered. This year the service was virtual…

Something New at mill plain

Something new took its place at Mill Plain United Methodist Church recently.  We hung Reconciling Ministry banners on our bell tower.  They include the Reconciling Ministry logo and the words, “You are welcome here.”  You can see them driving east or west on Mill Plain Boulevard.  We hope they say to everyone that indeed, they are welcome here.  We hope that especially they communicate our welcome to people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations.                 As we…

PEACE

I was in 7th grade when my parents gave me permission to leave school early to attend a protest against the Vietnam War.  For several days prior to that, some friends and I had gathered to make arm bands that said, “Peace.”             I was an early teen with little understanding of world events or military strategy.  At that age, many people see the world rigidly, with little room for nuances and the complication of multiple perspectives.  All I knew…

The Truth

In another community, my husband and I attended the installation service for a pastor of a neighboring church.  The church was of another denomination so I was interested to see how the service would go.  The sanctuary was full, both of   the parishioners of that church as well as people from the community like me.  When we went in an usher handed us a  program and we read through it prior to the service beginning.                 We nudged each other…

An Unfamiliar Face

Christmas Eve I noticed an unfamiliar face at one of our services.  It was a man, wearing a knitted cap, sitting by himself.  Between the face mask and his hat I could not tell his age, just that I didn’t recognize him.  That in itself was a joy: a new person had found our church.                 After the service I greeted him and welcomed him to our church.  He said he had noticed we were open and came in looking…

WE OFFICIALLY BECAME A RECONCILING CHURCH

Mill Plain United Methodist Church took a momentous step December 2, 2021.  By action of our Charge Conference and after a congregation-wide ballot that was 91% in favor, we officially became a Reconciling Church.  That means we openly welcome and affirm people of all gender expressions, gender identities, and sexual orientations.  This vote was the culmination of work that began in 2019. When the pandemic hit, we put that work on the back burner for a while, morphed into work…

3rd Grade Bible presentation

Last Sunday we gave Bibles to Third Graders.  This is a long-standing tradition in United Methodist Churches.  The exact age varies a little bit, but somewhere around that time, we give children their own Bibles, figuring that by the age of 9 or 10, most children have become good enough readers that they can read the Bible for themselves.  Often adults tell me they still have their Third Grade (or whatever year) Bible.                 The practice varies a bit in…