October 1, 2020

The Weekly Wind
News and Updates from Polk City United Methodist Church
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Week 2 – STUDY: Listening and Paying Attention
Doomscrolling. Have you heard this term? It was added to the Urban dictionary this year and has become a global phenomenon, especially in light of the coronavirus. The top definition for doomscrolling is: “When you keep scrolling through all of your social media feeds, looking for the most recent upsetting news about the latest catastrophe. The amount of time spent doing this is directly proportional to how much worse you're going to feel after you're done.”

According to an article written in Psychology Today just this weekend, recent studies in America, Russia and Germany confirm the fact that increased news consumption is leading to an increase in anxiety, depression, and insomnia. And the news these days – no matter the source – is designed to be alarming, being reported in such a way that is meant to grab our attention, to shock us, to anger us or to scare us. It is sensationalized to the point that we have a physiological reaction, and we become addicted. And thanks to cable news and social media algorithms, news organizations know how to tailor their messages exactly for their audience. And even though most of us realize that some media outlets we subscribe to are most definitely biased, we just can’t seem to stop listening and paying attention, even as it ramps up our anger and interjects hateful and vitriolic ideas into every single issue.

So to what or to whom are you listening and paying attention these days?

How can our life and works be better shaped by God’s Word – both through the scriptures, and the life, teachings and example of Jesus Christ, the Living Word? How can we transition from doomscrolling to a better practice of reading the Bible? And letting God’s voice be in our ears, and minds and hearts, instead of being pitted against each other by the fearmongering and doomsday news reporting?

In his book, The Walk, Pastor Adam Hamilton asks us to make a simple goal of reading 5 verses a day. Consider starting with a gospel or the psalms. Or with the GPS guide which contains daily readings. Maybe you could even work up to 5 chapters a week – a chapter a day with two extra days to catch up. When you decided to make this a daily practice, there are several ways you may choose to study in order to glean more from your reading.

1. Start with a good study Bible. Here are a few that I recommend:
The New Interpreter’s Study Bible (NRSV with Apocrypha)
The CEB Study Bible (Common English Bible)
The CEB Women’s Bible (all commentary provided by female scholars)

2. Read scripture for formation with 3 basic questions:
·        What does this scripture tell me about God? (Or Where is God in this scripture or story?)
·        What does this scripture tell me about myself, people in general, or the human conditions?
·        What does this scripture tell me about God’s will for my life? (What actions should I take, or changes should I make, in light of this scripture?)

3. Pray the scriptures. Jesus himself sometimes quoted scripture in his prayers, and we can also pray the scriptures. The psalms are written from such a personal and intimate perspective that they could easily be read aloud as prayer. But we can also take a passage of scripture and make it a personal statement as a form prayer.

4. Practice the ancient form of lectio divina (divine reading). It is a tool for opening your mind and heart to allow God to speak to you through the scripture. Read a scripture passage four times and respond to one of these questions after each reading.
·        Lectio (read): What word or phrase speaks to you?
·        Meditate (meditation): What does your word or phrase mean to you?
·        Oratio (pray): How is God calling you to act in response to this passage?
·        Contemplatio (contemplate): Allow time for silent reflection

5. Study together in a group. There is something particularly strengthening about studying scripture and growing in your faith with others. Small groups can function like “stretcher-barers,” helping to support and encourage one another. (Read about the 4 stretcher-bearer friends in Luke 5 who’s efforts to bring their friend to Jesus resulted in their friend’s healing.)
On the first Sunday in October, United Methodist congregations join many Christian churches across the globe in celebrating World Communion Sunday. United Methodists believe in an open table, anyone may receive communion. Our Book of Worships says, “All who intend to lead a Christian life, together with their children, are invited to receive the bread and cup.”

Come join us for worship this Sunday – Outdoors or Online – and share in the celebration.

BYPC - Please bring your own communion elements of some type of bread and juice.
(A limited supply of individually wrapped crackers and juice will be on hand)

Visit us at www.polkcityumc.org/online-worship to view the bulletin, sign the connect card and make your offering.

Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets and join us for socially-distanced in-person worship. (Masks encouraged.) Unison liturgy and singing can be done softly when masked. Restrooms available.


Stay inside your vehicles and join us for Drive-In Worship on FM Radio (station will be announced that day) or livestream on Facebook.


Small Groups are forming now for the Fall and Winter months, so that we can become more deeply committed Christians who meet and study together to grow our faith and our relationships with God and one another. We feel these are especially important during this time of social distancing and want to encourage every single adult to join a small group!

There are a variety of groups available – click each one for more information, or to join.
Adult Bible Study – Traditional small group that meets on Sunday after Worship (with a zoom link for those at home)
Texting Small Group – a way for you to join others in a group text to read and reflect on scripture, and share life and faith together.
Virtual Tea Time – a monthly Zoom call, especially for those who may live alone or who are not able to participate in groups in person; join online or dial in by phone on the third Wednesdays at 3:30pm
Walking Club Fitness Group – see more below
Selah Yoga Fitness Group – see more below

We would love to help you create your own small group!  Groups can gather online, via text or social media, or choose to meet outdoors at church, in someone’s driveway, garage, deck, or even at a park. If you have an idea for a group you’d be willing to host, please email Pastor Melody!

This Fall, as we work on getting in shape spiritually, many of us are looking for ways to get into better physical shape, as well. We have two new opportunities for Fall Fitness at Polk City UMC – join us for one or both! (Masks and social distancing encouraged)
·        Tuesdays (Sept 22 – Oct 27), 5:15-6:15 PM
·        Cost: Free
·        Location: Various Trails in Polk City
·        REGISTER HERE to receive trail locations
Outdoor Yoga:
·        Wednesdays (Sept 30 – Nov 18), 5:30 – 6:15 PM
·        Cost: $64 for the session or $10 drop-in
       (bring cash or check payable to Brandy Young LLC)
·        Location: Polk City UMC Soccer Field
Don't forget to bring food items for DMARC to the orange tub in front of the church!
Sign up your third, fourth, fifth, or sixth graders for FUEL, a new group meeting Sundays from 3 to 4 outside. Registration required:
For detailed information, check out our recently redesigned website!
Great concert by Becker at the Tournament Club of Iowa on Saturday night! Thanks to everyone who came for the concert and donated to the NP Comet Cupboard. Over $2700 was raised! Each week we spend an average of $650 on food, above the food items dropped off at the mini-pantry daily. What amazing support to keep food available in this community!

The next Food Bag distribution is scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd from 10am – Noon. You can fill a bag for $35, or consider donating the following food items: Ground Beef, Chips, Peanut Butter, Pancake Mix, Pancake Syrup, Canned Vegetables, Canned Fruit, Canned Tuna or Chicken, Mac-n-Cheese mix, Cookie Mix or Bag of Cookies

Previously, I have mentioned that one of the fourteen pantries that the Des Moines Area Religious Council(DMARC) Food Pantry Warehouse assists is close to us in Ankeny. It is included in the Impact Community Action Partnership located at 2701 SE Convenience Blvd there. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 brought about this Partnership. Services offered include help with housing and energy, food and disaster relief. They address the root causes of poverty including Head Start to weatherization assistance, job training, and education support and elder care programs among many others. The organization is putting a human face on poverty and helping those who do not have a voice and providing opportunities for self sufficiency, 
They are presently using Covid isolation practices. If a person wishes food there, they must call ahead (515-518-4770)for a prepackaged sack of food to be given to them.
A very helpful group of services for those in need.

If you would like to help this pantry or the other 13 pantries monetarily, please visit our church website polkcityumc,org/give. If you want to write a check, it may be written to Polk City United Methodist Church with "DMARC food pantry" in the memo and mailed to the address on the above website. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Pennington (DMARC Delegate) penningtonl!q.com


Thank you for all that you do!!!
Linda P.
Mark Your Calendars!

Thursday, Oct 1 – Praise Band Rehearsal (Perschall’s), 7:00pm
Sunday, Oct 4 – World Communion Sunday, 9:30am | Adult Small Group & Youth Group, 10:30am |Fuel Kids, 3:00pm
Monday, Oct 5 – Trustees, 6pm
Contact Us
Christine Perry
Administrative Assistant
Lauren Wilken
Director of Children/Youth Ministry
Melody Webb
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