Bethany Renew
Midweek Email Devotion
   September 20, 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! 
WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY
OCT. 2 WORSHIP
Christian unity will be the message. In addition to your weekly offering, please consider bringing an extra amount for the special offering. Click here for info. 


October 16
FOOD BANK APPRECIATION
SUNDAY
A Sunday that we will recognize our food bank ministry volunteers.

NOMINATION
MEETING 
Sept. 23 at 6pm

DO YOU HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATION
TO NOMINATION?
If you are already in a committee, will you be willing to continue? 
Or do you want to be considered for other positions? 
If you are not in a committee yet, are you willing to serve in a committee? Your respose will be helpful.
Click here if you want to see the present list of committees. 

COUNCIL MEETINGS
In consultation with Nancy, we are scheduling 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










(BELOW ARE REFLECTIONS AND NOTES FROM THE COMPASSION SEMINAR)
Compassion is manifested 3-fold movements.
FIRST, GOD'S COMPASSION
Jesus knew the overflowing compassion of God that he presented God as a loving Father who grieves for his missing prodigal son; a father who suffers with the pain of separation, and then run, and embrace back his long lost son.
When we feel worn out, shamed or unworthy, it is good to ground our being with the divine compassion of God. To read scriptures. To be still in quiet prayer. Or to come to a worship gathering and know that in God's presence, at that moment, in that sacred space:
  • We are known, we are held, we are celebrated,
  • We are unconditionally accepted.
The presence of God is not the presence of judgment. This presence is acceptance and extravagant care. When you feel depleted, sucked up, drained at the end of a tiring day, pause, breathe, and gather your inner center by reminding yourself, "You are God's beloved."
 
SECOND IS OUR COMPASSION TO OURSELVES
Jesus proclaims, "I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly." This divine intention comes from God's abundant compassion. As surely as our suffering moves God, God also beams with delight when we shine in our fullness. When we lived out our potential and giftedness God cheers, "That's my girl, that my boy." That's my beloved in whom I am well pleased.
And our pain, our powerlessness, our shame, or diminishment brings no pleasure to God.
Self-condemnation or self-rejection is damaging to our inner core essence. Like those internal involuntary monologue of self-judgment, like, "O, I am just so stupid." And sometimes we replay those thoughts and images like a broken player in our head.  
 
The scriptures say, "Love others as you love yourself." And Jesus said, "When we see a speck, in the eye of another, we should first tend to the logs in our own eyes first." Meaning, we can't be too overwhelmed in helping others that we forget to tend to our own spiritual needs first. We can only give that which we already have. We can only give love, when we uphold God's love towards us.
 
 THIRD, COMPASSION TO OTHERS
After we tend to our own inner spiritual need, we use this same principle to see beyond the negative characterization of another person. And then we understand that behind a person's anger is a wounded soul.
  • Or behind someone's obnoxious voice is a fear of not being validated.
  • Or behind a person's gossiping is a need to be heard.
Then that compassionate part inside of us is reactivated. They say that word compassion in Hebrew refers to a person's vital organs-womb, heart, belly, bowels. Meaning, when we are moved to compassion, our depths, our inside is stirred. So when we pray for someone, or when we act on someone's behalf, our prayer and good deeds come from the heart. And I know that is not always easy. But when we know that God accepts us, a spacious awareness is created from within us:
  • So we can welcome one more person,
  • So we can widen our arms to embrace one more soul,
  • So we can move to ease someone's pain,
  • So we can let go of resentment.
To love others because you yourself know that you are a dearly loved-child of God--this is the ground of our interior stability. Our capacity for compassion flows from the wellspring of the love we receive from God and others. 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