New International Version
Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.
Sunday Worship Service
September 19, 2021
17th Sunday After Pentecost
Order of Worship
LIGHTING the CANDLES
WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS
*Call to Worship
*Sing: “Awesome God” TFWS #2040
*Prayer of Invocation
*Sing: “Shout to the Lord” TFWS #2074
*Response: Doxology UMH #95
Chancel Choir “The Prayer”
*Sing: “Are Ye Able” UMH #530
Message “Submit Yourselves” Pastor Kelly
Prayer of The People - Joys and Concerns
L: Lord in your Mercy
We've got new church management software! and you can use it, too!• You can download the app by scanning the code above or clicking here: https://qrco.de/bcNW4x, or • Go to https://shenchurch.onechurchsoftware.com.Learn more about our software in this video
Pastor Kelly was born and raised (mostly) in Iowa. He is a graduate of Newton High School, Grand View University (Business Administration/Computer Information Systems), and Iliff School of Theology (Master of Divinity). He has been married to Lanette since 2007, and between them they have four biological children, one bonus child, four grandchildren, and two dogs (an Akita and a Border Collie). Lanette was also born in Iowa, is a graduate of Midland High School, Kirkwood Community College (Accounting), Northwest Missouri State University (Accounting), and University of Iowa (Business Administration), and is a CPA.
Kelly retired from the Iowa National Guard as a CW3 with 31 years of service, 29 of which were in a fulltime status of one sort or another. Lanette has worked a variety of accounting related jobs from entry level through controller throughout her career, and most recently has been working as an accounting contractor. Kelly’s first appointment was at the Good Shepherd Parish, a 3-point charge in south central Iowa serving Agency, Batavia, and Eldon, beginning in 2017.
They enjoy traveling, going to movies, and playing board games together (especially if it’s a trainthemed game for Lanette). They have both been active in community theatre in the past (especially Kelly). Kelly also enjoys sci-fi/fantasy films and novels and things of a “techie” nature. Lanette enjoys landscaping and remodeling.picture of Pastor Kelly W. & Lanetter available by clicking here.
We need to continue to pray for our church, Pastor Luke, all those that attend in person and on-line. We also need to continue to pray for those in our care centers and prayer list. To view those individuals and families click here.
It is that time of the year to start thinking about summer camps. For a catalog or questions call 1-800-765-1651. You can find out more and register at www.iaumc.org/camps.For more information about summer camps click here. Registration forms and camp activities are available as well on the table below the whiteboard.
Grace and Peace in the name of Jesus Christ,
Over the last year, I’ve had many opportunities to reflect upon the ways that we, as Christians, were given opportunities to respond to the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic presented us with. These past few months there has been a verse from one of the letters of the Apostle Paul that has stuck with me throughout all of this.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
This has been a difficult year, and we’re coming up upon the anniversary of our state’s first lockdown. So naturally, this has been a time to reflect upon the ways that our lives have been affected, but also to recall the conversations I’ve had with people. It seems as though everyone I’ve spoken with has had to make monumentally difficult decisions for the well-being of not only themselves but also their loved ones. And not just physical well-being, but spiritual, mental, emotional, and relational well-being too. This has been something that everyone should be applauded for, as the complexity of our lives oftentimes goes unnoticed by others. These decisions, also, have been made during a climate of sharp disagreements between loved ones and friends alike, as well as an environment where truth and truthfulness have been, at times, difficult to discern.
The emotions that seem to bubble up within people have also run the spectrum from weariness to frustration, confusion to fear, and perhaps even an intentional distancing from sources of conflict. For many of us, the grief and anxiety that has accompanied these feelings have come either from a perceived loss of our ability to choose for ourselves, a sense of abandonment that has come from making sacrifices that others don’t seem to share in, or perhaps some other elusive experience that we just haven’t been able to name.
I say perceived not because these feelings aren’t real, but rather it has been my experience that everyone is simply doing as best as they can and are acting in good faith to meet the challenges of their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. And so I return back to Paul’s encouragement for the believers of Galatia; “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Of course, Paul is likely referring to one of Christ’s commands in John 13:34, that for us as believers we are called to love one another as Christ has loved us. Which convicts the very depths of my heart and causes me to ask the question, “How can we love each other in a time that seems to heap controversy after controversy, and division after division, upon not only ourselves but also our communities?”
Nothing about the conversations surrounding how we should act during this pandemic has been easy, and in fact, it has seemed that some corners of public discourse have been completely devoid of the graciousness that the blood of Christ affords us. These conversations have been difficult, especially when taking into account that each of us has a level of risk that we are willing to undertake as well as a list of consequences that we are willing to accept. And this not only is different between persons but also changes during different seasons of life or perhaps even as we gain different experiences. So as the state’s Covid numbers drop, knowing the furthest I can see into the future is what I’m going to have for dinner (and even that is not always a guarantee), I would like to suggest and encourage an approach as we begin to return to worship in our sanctuary.
So, what can and should we do? As we’ve seen throughout this past year, many of us will be making hard decisions and will continue to do so. What has made those decisions bearable has not necessarily been what was decided, but rather the love, grace, and commitment of those around us to stick by each other even in the midst of the frustration, the unknown, and perhaps even the loss. Put simply, whether we agree or not, it’s the love of Christ and the love that we have for each other that will make all things bearable. While the Administrative Council has voted to continue to require masks and social distancing, what I am also encouraging everyone to do is bear the love of Christ towards each other and pray for patience, grace, and kindness. We’re in an awkward time in the midst of this pandemic, and it is important to remember that there are no easy answers. Persevere with each other, bear one another’s burdens, and remember that (despite our different approaches and opinions) all of us long to be back in the presence of one another and of God. Thank you for your graciousness and your faithfulness, and I look forward to the day when the community can be reunited.
Ps. Luke Fillmore
The Church Council met on Monday, March 1, 2021. An item of discussion and concern is the 2021 Pledges.
FACTS: As of February 21st our congregation has pledged $29,225 dollars for the budget year 2021.
Will you find that pledge card (orange as shown in the picture) the church has sent you and return it with your support to our church.
As a reminder, if you haven’t completed your pledge for 2020 it would be appreciated if you could take care of this as soon as possible.
Iowa Covid Tracker - To review your county data, click here
Positive Analysis by School Districts click hereHarvard/Globalpandemics click hereYou will find there are inconsistencies in the reports as these groups are following and reporting their information/metrics differently. Look for pieces of information that are confirmed between two or more sites. For updated information from the Iowa Department of Public Health click here.
January 2021 note from Ps. Luke:
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you, I am well pleased.’” Mark 1:9-11 (NRSV)
We’re starting the new year pretty soon, and I believe that I’m echoing the hopes and dreams of many people when I pray that God be gracious to us in 2021. It’s tradition with many to take up a New Year’s Resolution, and I must confess, I’ve never been any good at them. About the middle of February, my gym memberships seem to get lost, my will to cease drinking soda wanes, and my project lists never seem to get any shorter. Countless hours and pages have been spent lampooning our unfaithfulness to such endeavors; and yet here we are, another year, and I have that old itch again to reexamine my life and try and make some changes.
Perhaps you’re in the same boat. That this past year has provided you ample time to sit in your homes and think, or to look at everything you do, everyone you interact with, and every place you go with fresh eyes. That as we stand on the threshold of a new year we are once again invited into a reflection of the year that is passing and to gaze upon a vision of what the next year could be. Throughout the Christian calendar, we are invited to remember the Story of God and find ways in which our own stories echo it, or rather, moments where our stories intersect the divine one and we are invited into it again and again. It’s at the beginning of the calendar year that most people celebrate the Baptism of the Lord (you can find those accounts starting at Matthew 3:13, Mark 1:9, Luke 3:21, John 1:29). Our baptisms mirror the baptism of Christ and life up the essentials of the faith. While each church tradition formulates these words a little different, generally we’re all agreed on a few things:
It is God who saves, and continually invites us into his grace
We reject the forces and powers of evil
We put our trust in Christ alone
A new life is found within in Christ, we are renewed and being renewed
We commit to one another to care for each other
and we are welcomed into the Church, the Body of Christ
This Sunday that we remember Jesus’ baptism, and any remembrance of our own baptism, is a moment where we all reaffirm what God has done in our lives and remember the promises that we made with God, with each other, and with ourselves. It’s a time to remember, renew, and recommit ourselves to the Lord, even if we were baptized as infants or barely remember our own confirmation.
So lately I’ve been thinking about my own baptismal vows: to reject a life of sin, to resist evil and oppression in whatever form they take, to put my whole trust in Christ, and to nurture and encourage my brothers and sisters in our own mutual life of faith. While these are my first and most fundamental vows, they’re brought into a sharper focus when viewed with other vows I’ve taken: marriage, commissioning (and eventually ordination), oblation, etc. Our baptisms, in many ways, are the first and most important promises that we can make; they encompass completely the essence of Christianity, but our own traditions and experiences help us to focus and refine the ways in which God is calling us to live our lives and how he is present in them.
This year I’ve pulled out something from my denomination’s history to meditate on throughout the year. It’s a covenant prayer in the Wesleyan tradition and you can find the original English used on page 607 of the United Methodist Hymnal. Like I’ve said, I’m lousy at new year’s resolutions; they just don’t stick. But vows, prayers, longings lifted up to God, these are different for me. Hopefully, as I continually revisit this covenant prayer, it can be used by God as a way to continually be formed into the image of Christ. So, below I’ve taken the language from this covenant prayer and updated it a bit. Hopefully, I’ve kept the spirit of it, but as with all prayer and poetry, there’s always a bit of our own soul that goes into it too. Nevertheless, my resolution this year is to sit with this prayer and remember how much I am loved by God. May you find this as a blessing, recommit yourselves to God, and remember and return to your own baptism as well. Blessings, friends, and here’s to a good and faithful new year.
A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition
I am no longer my own but led by you.
Have me do whatever you would, with whomever you would.
Task me with work, task me with waiting.
Use me for Your glory, or set me aside,
Known for you, or left anonymous for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I offer all things to you, for your use and your joy
with a clear mind and an open heart.
And now, O’ loving and almighty God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You are mine, and I am yours. May it be forever.
And these promises I’ve made on earth,
may they be written in heaven. Amen.
The new Sesquicentennial (150 years) cookbooks have arrived. The cookbooks are being sold for $8.00 each, 2 for $15.00, and if you have bought two for $15.00 each additional cookbook is $7.50. Hundreds of recipes by our congregation! Don't pass up this special Sesquicentennial cookbook! Please call the church office to make arrangements for picking up your cookbook. ***Payment is due when you pick up your cookbook.
Use this prayer checklist to pray every day.
• Praise God for His mighty power and perfect love.
• Thank God for promising to always be with us.
• Ask God to heal those who are sick.
• Ask God to comfort those who are afraid.
• Ask God to protect those in the medical field.
• Ask God to give leaders wisdom.
• Ask God to forgive your sins and heal our nation.
• Ask God to use the church to share His love.
• Ask God to bring revival through this time.
Read Psalms 121 out loud to close out your prayer time.
It’s Here…It’s Here…Online Giving ("Giving" link located upper right corner of the church website) www.sheniafumc.org
Thanks to the COVID-19 Virus our church has been forced to have remote “On-Camera” services on Sunday morning but… the news isn’t all bad. We’ve decided to take advantage of some of the latest technology and offer our members and regular Church-Goers an opportunity to make their regular Sunday Morning Offering ONLINE!
With the help of the new group working with the First National Bank (formerly Century Bank) we now have a direct link for you, sitting at home, to the church to make your offering and regular Tithes. You’ll find a direct link on the Church's Facebook home page AND the Churches Website home page (upper right corner with red arrow) so just click it and select for a one-time giving, set up a regular Tithe, or make a donation and hit submit…
It’s really THAT EASY!
Why not take advantage of extra time you might have because of COVID-19.StoryCircle preserves your loved one’s memories forever. Imagine listening to an aging parent's life stories, in their own voice, whenever and wherever you want. At your request, we send your loved ones story prompts by text message, after which they call a phone number and leave a voicemail to record their memories. Over time, you’ll collect a rich library of audio stories about their life. Get started by registering at StoryCircle.co
And, your loved one’s recordings are private to those in their listening circle.Follow StoryCircle on Facebook
They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits'end. "Lord, help!" they cried in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress." (Psalm 107:27-28 NLT)
Like the Psalmist, we cry, “Lord, help!” when we are in trouble and can't find a way to get out of it by ourselves. We've exhausted our resources, stamina, skill, and patience, and are at the end of our wits! The devotional thought for today ponders what it means to be at wits' end, and what to do about it.
Reeling, Staggering, and Don't Know
What to Do!
According to Psalm 107:27, a person who is at wits' end is like a drunkard who sways and stumbles and can't stay upright! Emotions like worry, anxiety, and anger battle for supremacy, leading to frustration and defeat. You consider and try out several options, but NONE of them work, and finally you've reached the limits of your physical and mental energy!
There's no need for despair. The scripture references in this devotional thought for today offer hope and salvation! Psalm 107:28 is a timely cry for release from the distress. The Lord promises to help when you ask Him. You have a choice to continue wallowing in exhaustive misery at your wits' end or to release your burdens to God, who will rescue and save you from harm.
After meditating on the Scriptures in the devotional thought for today, what will you do the next time you are at your wits' end?
Father, I'm out of ideas and solutions to problems I thought I could fix. Help, please save me. I'm giving you my burdens and am waiting for Your Rescue!
When children can't attend Sunday School in person bring Sunday School into your home with lesson activities and resources. April 15th lesson, "Doubting Thomas Believes." Click here for activities & resources. Theme: Jesus has risen. Believe it or not! Scripture: John 20:19-31Click here for lesson activities & resources. April 22nd lesson, "The Road to Emmaus" Theme: Jesus reveals himself to his followers Scripture: Luke 24:30-31Click here for lesson activities & resources.April 28th lesson, "The Good Shepherd's Voice" Theme: We know Jesus' voice Scripture: John 10:4Click here for lesson activities & resources.May 5th lesson, "Jesus Is The Way" Theme: We can only come to God through Jesus
Scripture: John 14:6Click here for lesson activities & resourcesMay 12th lesson, "Jesus Gives Us the Comfort" Theme The Holy Spirit is our comforter Scripture John 14:16Click here for lesson activities & resourcesMay 19th lesson, "Up, Up And Away" Theme: The Ascension of Christ Scripture: Acts 1:9Click here for lesson activities & resources.May 25th lesson, "Filled With the Holy Spirit" Theme: God sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost Scripture: Acts 2:4Click here for lesson activities & resourcesJune 2nd lesson, "And It Was Very Good" Theme: The Creation Scripture: Genesis 1:1Click here for lesson activities & resources.June 9th lesson, "Issac is Born" Theme: God keeps His promises Scripture: Genesis 21:1Click here for lesson activities & resources.
A conversation takes two people. One speaks the other responds. One asks a question. The other answers. If prayer is a conversation between us and God, then God must answer us when we pray, right? While we cannot hear the audible voice of God, He DOES answer our prayers. Sometimes He says yes. Sometimes he says no. Sometimes he says...wait. Whatever the answer, God will reveal His will for our lives through the prayers that we pray. Read more
When someone does something nice for us, we say thank you. When we receive a gift at Christmas or on our birthdays, the polite thing to do is send a thank you note. How can we possibly begin to thank God for all the things He does for us? When we pray, we need to always begin with thanks, letting God know how grateful we are for His blessings.
Has someone thanked you for something this week?
When was the last time you said thank you for something?
What is one thing you can thank God for right now?
At the end of his life, David said a prayer of thanks in front of his people for all God had done for him. David's life had as many downs as ups, but he never forgot all of God's blessings.
1 Chronicles 29:10-20
Let's follow David's example. Let's thank God when we pray.
Every time you say a prayer this week, thank God for something. You can thank Him for Jesus, for our church, for our home, for family, for friends, for any number of things. The more we thank God, the more our faith will grow as we remember all His blessings.
Pastors and lay leaders around the globe have found the need to engage with their congregations remotely. One tool many church leaders, businesses, and other organizations use is called Zoom. Learn more about Zoom by taking this short course. Click here.
"Take just a minute and refresh...Perfect for a morning pause or a midafternoon rest. Click on a subject and open your heart."Crashing, Joy, Kindness, They See You, Convictions, Love to Laugh, Waiting on God, Are You Dwindling, Are You Listening, He Loves Us, In Need Of A Friend, Quit Worrying, Say You're Sorry,