Curious. Caring. Classic.
Spartanburg's First Church, Founded 1837

Outdoor worship services will continue until further notice.

We welcome everyone to join in worship through our live stream Sunday mornings at 9:00 am
on the church's Facebook. You can find the service at a later time on the Church's website.

Servant Leader
by Tom Norrell

I hope that you had a good 4th of July week. I hope you are well rested and are ready to get back to our life together, albeit altered. In spite of being apart physically, we are moving forward thanks to your generosity and energy.

Here are some things you are working on:

-There will be a new plastic frontal on the sign in the front of the church. It will read the following:"Central U.M.C.Study and Worship; Live and Online"
-There will be a work of art expressing our commitment to "open doors" near the entrance of the city parking building. It will be made by Barbi Bondogna.
-The new Central U.M.C sign will be close by. Work will be done on our building. We will shore up our foundations, provide for safe grounded electrical systems, and replace roof where needed.

Evangelism, Communications, and Marketing:
-New signage to help people find their way is around our facilities is now in place.
-The committee is working with the Trustees to improve our Audio/Visual/Media hardware and programming.
-We will have an outdoor fellowship dinner on July 15 and in August (date TBA). You can drive through or picnic in our park.

Education and Spiritual Growth:
-The Upper Room Sunday school class continues to meet via Zoom at 10:30 am each Sunday.
-Meditation sessions are held each Sunday night at 7:00pm in Central Park
-The Children will begin an at home vacation Bible school next week.
-MYF continues to meet virtually on Sunday evenings.

-With your continued loyal giving and finds from the Paycheck Protection Program, our finances are stable and we are greatly appreciate you all. Thank you!
-Giving has increased!

Worship and Study:
-Due to increasing cases of COVID-19, we will continue worship outdoors. Please read your emails carefully. We may change the time to beat the summer heat . If you are in an at risk group, please stay at home. We will be meeting under and around the portico of the Education Building to take advantage of the shade. Please bring a portable chair.
-Many excellent study opportunities are available at Amplify.com. The password is LBPSCM. This is a service of the United Methodist Church.

I cannot thank you enough for your patience, hard work, generosity and willingness to learn new skills! I am proud of have chosen to forgive ahead and use this as a time for preparing for new types of ministry in the future.

Order of Worship for Sunday, July 12, 2020

Greeting and Announcements

Call to Worship:
Minister: This is the day that the Lord has made.
People: We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Minister: This is which was spoken by the prophet Joel; I will pour out of my Spirit
upon all flesh.
People: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Opening Prayer
Confession of Faith:
We believe in the one God, creator and sustainer of all things, the source of all goodness and beauty, all truth and love.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, our teacher, example, and Redeemer, the Savior of the world. 
We believe in the Holy Spirit, God present with us for guidance, for comfort, and for strength.
We believe in the forgiveness of sins, in the life of love and prayer, and in grace equal to every need.
We believe in the Word of God found in the scripture, tradition, reason and experience.
We believe in the church, we who are united in the living Lord for the purpose of worship and service.
We believe in the reign of God as the divine will realized in human society, and in the family of God,where we are all brothers and sisters. We believe in the final triumph of righteousness and in the life everlasting. Amen. 
First Lesson:  Genesis 25:19-34
This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb,and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.Esau Sells His Birthright. Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!” Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Second Lesson: Matthew 3:1-9; 18-23
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”

“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Hymn 393: Spirit of the Living God

Special Music: My Jesus I love Thee                                        arr. Dan Forrest
Phil Vernesoni, Soloist

Pastoral Prayer: The Lord's Prayer                                  
Sermon: Real Families                                                     Tom Norrell, Pastor
Response to the Word: 
Almighty God, you have created us in your own image; grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil, and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice among people and nations, to the glory of thy holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
Compassion Camp
Compassion Camp starts July 13 and will continue for five weeks throughout the summer. Each week will include a Bible story, music, creative play, a compassion in action activity, and more. We'll give you the materials each week, and you complete the activities on your own schedule. There will be some online components and some instructions for at home adult led activities. The activities are geared towards preschool age children and K-5th graders.   

Please register and share with your friends.  Registration to receive the first week's materials ends today. Contact Paige at paige@centralumcs.org if you have any questions or would like to help.  Let's learn together how we can be more compassionate. Be Loved. Be Kind. Be You.

Click here for camp registration: Compassion Camp Registration!
Wednesday Night Drive Thru To-go Dinner
July 15, 2020
6:00-7:00 PM
BBQ Dinner, Dessert, & Bottled Water
Central Park at 6:30 PM
Cost- Adult: $7, Children: $4, Cap: $25
Please make Reservations with church office by Monday, July 13.
There will be sign up sheets available at our outdoor worship s
Please indicate whether you will take boxes home or eat in Central Park when making reservations (even if you were on standing list). 

Congratulations to two of our youth: Aidan Atance and Loral Stinson.

Aidan , a rising junior at Spartanburg High School, has been accepted to the Governor's School for Science and Mathematics for the upcoming school term.

Loral , who is a rising senior at Spartanburg High School, recently won the South Carolina Junior Golf Association tournament at Woodfin Ridge on Monday June 29,2020.

We can't wait to see what these two continue to do in their future endeavors. We are so proud of both of them! Congratulations again, Aidan and Loral!
Our Offerings Do Marvelous Things
Our contributions to Central's operating budget support sixteen Advanced Special Ministries throughout the state of South Carolina. Once is in Spartanburg on Highland Avenue, the Bethlehem Community Center. It provides a wide array of ministries including after school, youth sports, senior wellness, support groups, and food assistance. Another Advanced Special Ministry which we support is Killingsworth Home in Columbia, which provides shelter and counseling for women in crisis. Advanced Special Ministries are some of the many reasons we can experience joy and satisfaction when we support Central Church.

Mission Statement:
"Our purpose is making and nurturing disciples of Jesus Christ."

Journey To Reconciliation
a service devoted to groaning for a new creation of wholeness

Sacred Traditions And Rituals

Sunday Evening, July 12
Six O'Clock
in the Fellowship Hall and Central Park - weather permitting
Feeling stressed about the virus and it's health, economic and social effects? Join John Simmons at 7:00pm on Sundays in Central Park for a time of meditation and mindfulness activity designed to deal with stress. There is room to practice social distancing and masks are encouraged.
John is certified as a Mind Body Skills Trainer by the Center for Mind Body Medicine in Washington DC. In the past 12 years, John has led dozens of workshops using mindfulness to help cancer patients, patients with chronic pain, patients with post traumatic stress disease and people with varying degrees of anxiety and mild to moderate depression. There will be no fee and no meditation experience is required. The experience will be open to anyone.
*Bill Cubitt: Spartanburg Regional- Room 8528.
Special thanks to everyone at Central who helped achieve and surpass the goal for the Well Project in memory of Tom Miller, who was a faithful member of Central United Methodist Church of Spartanburg from 1969, until his death in 2019.
To Dwayne and Sarah Broyles by Henry and Linda Sparrow
To Tom Miller by Mary Lou Miller
COVID-19 Office Hours
Monday-Wednesday: 9:00 AM—Noon
Friday: 9:00AM-NOON
Telephone (864) 582-7263  Fax 582-6944
Tom Norrell, Senior Pastor (864) 384-2779
Paige M. Wolfe, Minister of Christian Ed. and Programs  (864) 710-7363

Central Time July 8, 2020
Curious. Caring. Classic.
Spartanburg's First Church, Founded 1837