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

Outdoor worship services continue until further notice.

We welcome everyone to join in worship 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

The Fourth of July is usually a happy albeit totally predictable holiday. There are large family picnics, cookouts, and thousands gather in Barnet Park and other similar venues, for patriotic music and a fireworks show. But, not so this year. Families are safe distancing and fireworks shows are canceled in many places. COVID-19 infections are rising in many states. Florida is experiencing over 4,000 new cases each day.

This alone would be a cause for anxiety. But, while COVID-19 cases increase, beaches and businesses are reopening. DHEC emphasizes wearing masks while many encourage getting back to business as usual.

The calm of summer and the non-partisan nature of Independence Day are being shattered by a social movement emphasizing racial equality, decrying police brutality, and the toppling of monuments of those who owned or promoted slavery. To this, we throw in the vitriolic voices connected with this election year.

Now as unsettling as this is, it will do us well to remember the emotional atmosphere of 1776! Leaders were calling for people to believe "all men are created equal!"
  • To reject the divine right of kings
  • To stop being British
  • To form an entirely new republic
  • To prepare for a major war

As a nation, we were born in a anxiety and revolution, so a peaceful and predictable Independence Day is actually sort of un-American.

Live Stream Sunday, June 28, 2020
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Nine O'clock

Central Park
(weather permitting)

John Wesley's Birthday (1703)

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: That 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 whoever 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, Parent of all nations,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 scripture, tradition, reason, and experience.
We believe we are the church, 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 18:1-8
*Gospel Lesson: Matthew 10:38-42

Special Music

Pastoral Prayer: The Lord's Prayer   Tom Norrell, Pastor

Prayer for Illumination:

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 the truth, Good Lord, deliver us. Amen.

Sermon:  Mystical Union Tom Norrell

Response to the Word:  
Lord Jesus, you have chosen us, even in our limitations to be your disciples, and ambassadors of your reign. We are astounded by your faith in us. You have entrusted so much to our care and invested so much in us. Strengthen us in our attempts to represent you to the world. Make us confident that through us you accomplish your purposes for the world. Amen.


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


Central's South Carolina apportionments make up approximately 11% of our annual budget. The money allows us to go places we cannot go and do things for Christ we are not able to do ourselves. For example, six congregational specialists are deployed around the state to assist churches with youth and children's programming, strategic planning, evangelism, Christian education, and much more. Those congregational specialists posses unique expertise for providing guidance to nearly 1,000 United Methodist congregations in S.C. These six men and women are our apportionments at work and one more reason to be joyful as we present our offerings to Central UMC.

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

Tranquility with Tea
a service devoted to quieting minds, opening hearts, soothing souls

Sacred Traditions And Rituals

Sunday Evening, June 28
Six O'Clock
in the Fellowship Hall and Central Park - weather permitting


2  Carrie Shoolbred
3   Andrew Harrelson, Becky Smith
4  Fred Herren, Judy Wood
6  Barbara Ropp
7  Jane Turnage
8  Curt McPhail, Owen Lancaster
9  Kara Bui
10  Jeannette Robison
11  Diane Cantrell, Dustin Wolfe
12  Henry Sparrow
15  Eloise Clyburn, Jim Hasty
16  Dennis Brown
17   Don Coggins
18  Bob Perrin
19  Richard Robinson
20  Charles Stavely, Gayle Wade
22  Aidan Atance
23   Lillie Henson
25 Liz DiMarco, John Stelz
28  Jan Francis, Ray McLees
29  Sam Knight
30 Wales Dixon, Stephanie Younger

Our Pastor will be out of the area June 30-July 9. For pastoral care, please call Paige Wolfe at (864) 710-7363 or Rev. Luther Rickenbaker at (864) 431-5201. You may also call Tom Norrell at (864) 384-2779.  

Central Time June 24, 2020