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

Outdoor worship services continue until further notice.

We welcome everyone to join in worship online Sunday morning at 11:00 am
on the church's website or on Facebook.

Servant Leader
by Tom Norrell

Where Are We?? COVID-19

Several weeks ago I asked you to go to our Annual Conference website www.umcsc.org and read the "reset/restart RENEW" guide for reopening worship. We are clearly in the stage, "restart," and are worshipping in person outdoors each Sunday at 9:00 a.m. This past Sunday approximately sixty worshippers participated, and we will probably continue to do so until the summer heat drives us indoors.
The sanctuary has been roped off for "safe distancing." Our facilities are sanitized regularly and sanitation stations with masks, gloves and sanitizer are at each entrance to our facilities. Our committees and classes can meet on Zoom or in the Fellowship Hall, if fewer than sixteen, which has been sanitized and is set up for "safe distancing."
The church office is now open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. until noon. If you are in an at risk group or have any fear of coming to the church for any reason, please STAY HOME! Your pastor is available for prayer, counsel, and questions at the church office (864) 582-7263, ext. 102 or my cell (864) 384-2779.
When we are together please remember:

Do not touch anyone.
Stay at least six feet from other people.
Do not exchange items by hand.
Wear a mask.
Pick up your own documents or supplies.
When in the sanctuary or Fellowship Hall, sit only in designated areas.

Our Board of Trustees and Evangelism, Communication and Marketing Committee (ECM) have evolved into the "RENEW" stage. They are beginning to gather ideas and plan for increased audio/visual capacities in our online-multimedia age. We want our facilities, equipment and programming to be ready for a vigorous renewal in 2021 and beyond.
As always, I solicit your ideas and suggestions. The regular process of ideas and plans "percolating" up through our frequent in-person committee meetings obviously cannot function as it did. You must make the extra effort to call or e-mail without being timid.
I look forward to receiving your input.

Race relations: Racial inequality and police reform have become burning issues. The protest movement is national and local and will continue. I applaud the efforts of the Clemson University Board of Trustees to address some aspects of its racist past. Where we stand as Methodist Christians is clear.

Our Social Principals state: We affirm all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God. We support the basic rights of all persons to equal access to housing, education, communication, employment, medical care, legal redress for grievances, and physical protection. We deplore acts of hate or violence against groups or persons based on race. Racism is the combination of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominant race is innately superior to the others. Racism includes both personal and institutional racism. Institutional racism is the established social pattern that supports implicitly or explicitly the racist value system. Racism plagues and cripples our growth in Christ, inasmuch as it is antithetical to the gospel itself. Unfortunately, historical and institutional racism provide support for white privilege, and white people, as a result of the color of their skin, are granted privileges and benefits that are unfairly denied to persons of color. Therefore, we recognize racism as sin and affirm the ultimate and temporal worth of all persons. We assert the obligation of society and groups within the society to implement compensatory programs that redress long-standing, systemic social deprivation of certain racial and ethnic groups.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 fears keep many of us away from mass demonstrations. Let me suggest that for study materials you can go to Amplifymedia.com (Access code: LBPSCM) We will notify you of any gatherings or online events, when we become aware of them.

Fortunately, the justifiable anger has taken on a feasible and overdue focus on reform of police training and policies. I think law enforcement leaders want the public's help in these reforms. Obviously, there is much more to be done to fight systemic racism but this is a positive concrete first step.

I am confident in this season of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit will guide us as we move boldly into a better future, as we resist both the virus and violence. Our bishop recently gave us some key strategic words for being the Church of Christ in our time:

"Engaged, Aware, Flexible" "Try and Re-examine" "Pray, Plan, and Pivot."

We will be, and do these things with the indwelling power of God's Holy Spirit!


Speaking Down Barriers training session for all volunteers will be held Thursday, June 18, at 6:00 p.m.
Read more information below from the SDB team, add to your calendar, tell us you're coming, and click the Zoom link to attend. 

And . . .

Church and Society < gbcs@umcjustice.org >

Happy Father's Day!
Live Stream Sunday, June 21, 2020
Nine O’clock
Father’s Day

 Call to Worship 
 Opening Prayer                                             
  Litany: " Let Us Now Praise Famous Men”   THE BOOK OF HYMNS
Old Testament Lesson:   Psalm 113:1-9 NRSV
Recognition of Fathers
Prayer for Fathers 
      God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men, that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their love and faith shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 
Second Lesson: Colossians 3:12-15; 19-21 & 4:6
 Special Music  
 Pastoral Prayer;  The Lord’s Prayer   
  Prayer for Illumination (unison)
From the cowardice that dares not face new truth, from the laziness that is contented with half-truth, from
the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth, Good Lord, deliver us. Amen.   
Sermon: Father Law, Daddy Grace     
*Response to the Word
O God, having made us in your image, you have given each here a measure of authority, may we exercise it constructively and temper it with words and deeds of affirmation so that those around us may see you in us and see you in us in such a way, that they will fall in love with you and your kingdom. Amen. 

Tom Norrell, Senior Pastor
Paige Wolfe, Minister of Christian Education
Keith Jones, Choir Director
Brian Dailey, Organist

The COVID-19 pandemic is undermining the health of men, women, and children all around the world. The poor in developing nations are at exceptional risk. The United Methodist Church's Global Ministries invites us to make contributions to the Abundant Health Fund. Go to: umcabundanthealth.org for more information. Designate your gift to Central Church "Advance #30217770.

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

Here Comes The Sun   
a service devoted to reaching for the light

Sacred Traditions And Rituals
Celebrating the Solstice and
Gay Pride Month
Sunday Evening, June 21st
Six O'Clock
in the Fellowship Hall and Central Park
  - weather permitting

Central Time June 17, 2020