The sanctuary God is building through communion with Him and each other, is not being built for the current membership of First Church. The sanctuary God is building is for the thousands of people in the Downtown area that do not have a community of faith to call home.
This last Sunday morning I referenced a former baseball player, Bill Buckner, in my sermon.
Unfortunately, Bill Buckner was most famous for an error he made on the baseball field during game 6 of the 1986 World Series. This error contributed to the Red Sox losing that game. The Red Sox would go on to lose the series to the Mets. Bill Buckner would never be able to escape the shadow of that one play. His entire baseball career would be defined by most people only by his one error.
Over the last couple of months, I have been preaching through a sermon series on "Conversations with Jesus". I've chose different times throughout the Gospel narratives where we get a window into personal conversations between Jesus and individuals. This has given us insight into the character of Jesus and way in which Jesus chose to transform people personally one by one.
The darkness that came over the day on Good Friday has faded into the darkness of night. There is very little recorded about the Saturday that lies between the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection. I can't imagine Mary his mother, his friends, and his disciples slept much that night. Although Jesus said he would rise from the dead on the third day, it doesn't seem like they really understood that to be a promise of an actual resurrection.
I highly suggest all of you participate in as many of the services we are offering this week as you can. Your celebration of Easter on Sunday will be greatly impacted by your participation in these services.
Maundy Thursday- Tonight at 7:00 -- If you're not already planning on coming tonight for the Maundy Thursday Service, do whatever you can to be here. It is always an incredibly meaningful service for me and I promise it will help fix you in the right mind and spirit as we head into Easter.
When we opened the new sanctuary at First UMC, I made a decision to not speak too much more about the fire of 2006. With what we’re witnessing the fire of the Notre Dame Cathedral I feel led to write a few words knowing a few words can not adequately speak to situation at hand.
Early evening one Sunday our Community Group decided to take a Trolley ride down Main Street to the South Main District and back. Our intention was to pray for the people we saw as well as get a mental snapshot of who all is a part of our primary mission field at First Church.
You may or may not have heard yet, but there is a special called General Conference for the United Methodist Church being held in St. Louis February 23–26. This special General Conference will begin to come to the attention of the nation through news media and social media platforms.
As we worship together in such a beautiful and spacious place, it has become more obvious than ever that there is so much more room for others on Sunday morning. Since the rebuilding of the Pepper Building began many years ago, the people of First Church have made many significant and intentional decisions to rebuild and provide space for a large congregation with a very active community of faith.
Last week I had what I would consider a thoroughly civic Monday. I began the day in the deep recesses of 201 Poplar and ended the afternoon in the chambers of the Shelby County Commission, serving as honorary chaplain and giving the invocation before the County Commissioners met.
I do believe God possibly ordained my time in 201 to make sure I didn’t let the whole County Chaplain thing go to my head.