Bethany Renew
Midweek Email Devotion
   September 28, 2016   


WELCOME!  
I welcome you to Bethany Renew! This is our church's weekly online spiritual connection.  Every midweek, you will receive a devotion, essay, sermon nuggets that are intended to stir up conversations and ideas of how we will proceed on the path of renewal. Feel free to forward this email to anyone who you think will be interested in receiving these readings.  You are welcome to respond or make com ments, or otherwise just sit back and enjoy your weekly readings and reflections! 
TACOMA DISTRICT SEMINAR. 
Family Systems: Integrated Leadership Training For Lay & Clergy. 
October 8, 2016 (Saturday). 
"Anxious Times Call for Non-Anxious Leaders"
THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
(Sept. 30-Oct 3)
I will be at the Annual Leadership Summit ( Vancouver
First UMC, 
Vancouver WA). For pastoral emergency, call Barbara 
(918-815-0482). I will also be available by phone: 908-884-0023.
I will be here on Sunday.

WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY

OCT. 2 WORSHIP
 In addition to your weekly offering, please consider bringing an extra amount for the special offering. Click here for info. 

October 16
FOOD BANK
SUNDAY
A Sunday that we will celebrate our food bank ministry.


COUNCIL MEETINGS
There will be two Council Meetings prior to Charge Conference
OCT. 9 & NOV. 13
(After worship)


CHARGE CONFERENCE
Nov. 20 
12:30 noon
Please put in your calendar.


CHARGE CONFERENCE FORMS
If you are a committee chairperson and you know you will give a report, click here to access charge conference formss











Two characters. First, a flashy, larger-than-life, conceited rich guy. Second, a beggar covered with open painful sores. Jesus named him Lazarus. This story carries a lot of messages. But let me focus on two things.
 
FIRST, DEATH REMINDS US TO LIVE WITH GOD
Because death is the great equalizer. What is my basic similarity with a poor villager In Nepal, and the millionaires in Wall Street? We're all going to die! This flesh will decay and this body will be 6 feet under one day. Reminding us that nothing in this world is permanent. All the achievements, refutations, and possessions, we are going to have to let go of them one day. I know that sounds so doom and gloom. But it is not meant to be. The reality of death can be a great companion, A friend who whispers every now and then and says, "Don't worry. This too will pass." And then it will point to those that are eternal --what truly are real, unfading, timeless and undying. "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience" (Pierre Teilhard De Chardin).
 
SECOND, LIFE IS ALWAYS SUFFICIENT TO PREPARE US FOR DEATH
Abraham responded to the man in Hades saying, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from dead." For some reason or another, I can relate with this guy. I've been in this similar conversation with God before.
  • "Lord, if I only see an angelic being, I'll do what you say."
  • "Lord, if only the heavens will open, then I'll comply with what you want."
  • Or someone said, "If I win the lottery, I will start helping the poor."
  • Or "when my kids are all grown up, then I'll start serving."
  • Or "Only if this church have more members."
  • Or, "If the sermon is more dynamic, more vibrant, then I'll be more interested"
The problem is this: the many "ifs" of life are not here, not yet, or not likely. But we don't always need to seek the things we don't have to attain spiritual awakening. Because the things that we have are already speaking so loudly, revealing so clearly.
  • We have the scriptures and our worship gatherings,
  • We have creation that speaks of God's glory.
  • We have our loved ones that reminds us of God's goodness.
May we not wait for something else to happen before we decide to listen and pay attention. Because what we have now is always sufficient to have a faith renewal; or to change our course of living; or to set a new starting line; or to really, really appreciate our loved ones. Life is always enough for our spiritual growth; or for acts of compassion to help the Lazaruses of this world. And if this God-given life is not enough, then nothing else will convince us. Nothing else will suffice.
 
CLOSING WORDS
May you and I know today that death is not bad news. Death is a reminder for us to live life in its fullness: by caring for the "Lazaruses" of this world; by really connecting to the Sustainer of our being. In other words, may we learn to live with a readiness to die, and to die with a readiness to live again. This is our faith. This is the source of our strength. Amen.


FACEBOOK AND WEBSITE
Please like our new Facebook Page at Bethany United Methodist Church.
Please click here.
Visit our website for other church info, and you can listen to sermons: bethanytacoma.com

BOUNTY FOODBANK
MONDAYS 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Pastor Ferdie Llenado
Bethany United Methodist Church
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE: 10:30 a.m.
personal email: ferdiellenado@hotmail.com
new church email: bethanytacomaumc@gmail.com
visit us at bethanytacoma.com