Bethany Renew
Midweek Email Devotion
   November 10, 2016   

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! 
Help us now to be reminded that our strength lies not on the things that divide us, but the things that unite us. Give us now the wisdom to find paths for healing and reconciliation. Inspire us to work for mutual respect as we honor our disagreements. Give us the heart to listen to each other's pain. Because you are calling us now to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you, may we now be your beacons of peace in this post election season. Amen. 

NOV. 11-12
You are welcome to donate Christmas and other holiday items. If you have question, contact Jaye 253-272-4614

Nov 13
Join us in celebrating
service & giving. Hear Moises' Testimony. 

(NOV. 13 OR 20)
If you are ready, please bring your pledge card. In the midst of financial challeges, your pledges will help the church leaders to envision our mission & ministry next yr. 

NOV. 13
All hands on deck as  we prepare for Charge Conf.
the next week. 

NOV. 20 
(If you will give a report  click here to access charge conference forms)

Anyone interested with the letter sent by the Council of UMC bishops to the president, click here

Stewardship is not about money or increasing our budget. Stewardship is about returning to the purpose statement of the church. From being concerned about the "purse" to being driven by our purpose. Which says: that God have called us to belong to a community of faith; believe in the gospel of Jesus, and become disciples who will serve the world.
Stewardship is affirming this calling that we belong here. There is a belongingness here that is small, so therefore many of times authentic, friendly, affirming. I did not say perfect. There is also a collective reality here that we share with all human beings: we are flawed, we are defective. That is why we come--because we need each other. There is a belongingness here that heals, replenishes the soul, and encourages the heart.
So when we participate or when we give, we are not just donating our time and money. We are supporting the vision of Jesus to have faith communities like us--where anyone can come.  And by strengthening our stewardship, we are continuously creating this sacred space that is enlarging, inviting, and allowing welcomeness to thrive. Here we celebrate our readiness to embrace and our eagerness to include so one more soul can find a spiritual home; or one more hungry family can be served in the food bank.
We are not just talking about a faith that is inscribed in our creedal statements. We are highlighting here a faith that is applied and lived:
  • A faith that strengthens our guts in the midst of raging storms;
  • A faith the keeps you calm and levelheaded in times of distress;
  • A faith that works when the rubber meets the road.
And howbeit big or small, this is the same faith that energizes every of our stewardship campaigns Why? Because every amount of time, talent, or treasure we contribute, we are planting a seed. I call it a seed because it represents meagerness during the time of sowing. But in God's hands, our seeds of faith are all but already sufficient. Because stewardship calls us to believe in the God who grows the seeds into episodes of increase and multiplication
Mark 4:31-The Kingdom of God is like the smallest of all seeds, yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all with such branches that birds nest under its shades.  So when you give and participate, you are participating in this almost magical spiritual process where your seeds will eventually grow and bless our community and the world.  
You see, the question: do you believe we will survive financially as a church-is not the main question. The most important question should be: "Do you really believe in our mission statement?" Because when we focus on our mission, there is a promise-"That if we seek the kingdom of God, all these things will follow us" (Matt. 6:33). When we follow the purpose, the provision follows us. We then don't focus on the purse, rather we focus on the purpose of our call. Amen. 

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Please click here.
Visit our website for other church info, and you can listen to sermons:

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

Pastor Ferdie Llenado
Bethany United Methodist Church
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