June 6, 2019

I recently finished Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up A Generation For Failure . It is a good follow up to Jean Twenge’s iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood . Both books talk about the lack of “ unstructured time. ” Unstructured time has traditionally been the way that we developed a lot of our social skills when our parents told us to go out and play. Parents are anxious these days about children’s well-being and thus keep their children busy with a plethora of structured activities. When I have talked with youth in our congregation about what they are doing, I have thought about how their lives are much busier and more stressful than mine. I think both books do a good job of explaining where we are, how we got here, and the need to revisit the ways that we use our time.

The summer affords us opportunities for “ unstructured time; ” however, we are apt to look for ways that fill it which in turn neglects its possibilities for human thriving. As your pastor, I want to encourage you to do things that have no purpose; like talking a walk through you neighborhood and wishing the people you see a good day; like playing a game for no purpose other than the fun of playing the game; like talking to that person that you’ve been meaning talk with for months now. We can trust that God can use our unstructured time if we’re not too quick to do more important things.

Worship is sort of like “ unstructured time. ” We have an order of worship, but for the most part, those who come to worship have little control over that order of worship or what happens during that time. Believe it or not, the preacher doesn’t have a lot of control over it either. Worship is complex and surprising and often goes in directions that the leader was not expecting. We encourage you to be open to the ways that God can use worship as well as other aspects of Sunday mornings like Sunday School and the fellowship time. You just need to show up and let the Spirit do the rest! We will celebrate our 2019 Confirmation Class at our 11:00 am traditional worship. We have 13 young people who are publicly professing Christian faith! I want to thank Ellen Bruenjes and Allison Trimble who have taught the class the year. We are grateful for their leadership. There will be a short meditation on Ezekiel 36:24-28 entitled “ Cut to the Heart. ” At our other traditional services, we will focus on Matthew 10:40-42 with a sermon entitled “ Preach Without Preaching. ” The Joyful Noise Choir will present “ Gracious Spirit, Heavenly Dove ” as the Introit at 8:15 and Cathy Kidwell and Terry Rowland will sing “ Because He Lives ” as the anthem. The Chancel Choir will present “ I’m Gonna Sing ” at the 9:30 and 11:00 traditional services and Cathy Kidwell and Terry Rowland will sing “ Because He Lives ” at 9:30. Pia Diggs will be leading our Risk worship service at 11:00 a.m. in the Lord Youth Center. She will be focusing on Acts 2:1-13 and her sermon is entitled “ A Mighty Rushing Wind. ” We hope you will spend some unstructured time with us this Sunday!
As we experience a transition in our youth ministries, we have invited two consultants to help us think about our current realities and our hopes for the future. They will be interviewing members of the congregation who register for an appointment next week. All interviews will be confidential and a summation of impressions will be presented to our youth ministries creative team. If you would like to share your impressions, you can register for an interview at https://tinyurl.com/yxrsju2v . If you are unable to participate in an interview, you may share your thoughts in an email to our consultants at strategicyouth@messiahumc.org .
Floods, Tornadoes, Hurricanes. People affected by these disasters start their recovery with cleaning kits, a specific set of supplies packed in a 5 gallon pail. UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is one of the many NGOs that provide these kits, and relies on local churches to gather and assemble them. Messiah will be putting together 600 kits on Sunday morning, and your help is needed. Plan on spending some time in the Fellowship Hall assisting in putting kits together. All kinds of help is needed, from counting and handing out sets of dust masks, to stacking completed buckets.  And if you are available on Saturday, crews are needed, starting at 9 AM, to stage the materials, and create sets of items. Please consider being a part of this effort to provide aid to those families whose lives were interrupted by such devastating natural disasters.  
The Musical Theater Ministry Presents Tail of Two Cities for 2 nights only!

Dessert and show on Friday, June 21, at 7:30 pm and dinner and show will be Saturday, June 22, at 6:30 pm. Both shows will take place in the Fellowship Hall and proceeds from the show will benefit Messiah’s Music Ministry. For more information please contact Debbie Allred at OLTLFAN1@verizon.net . Tickets will be on sale starting Sunday, June 9 and 16 between services.
This Sunday at 9:30 am in Room 268
The class on "Serious Answers to Hard Questions" will examine the topic of other religions: do we believe that salvation can be found in other religions? How should we as Christians relate to other religions and share our faith? What do the scriptures say? All are welcome to attend, especially drop-ins who may have an interest in this topic. Questions call Steve Freeman at 703-328-4686 or email him at sfreefam@verizon.net .
Children’s Summer Sunday School Teachers Needed.
Children’s Summer Sunday School begins June 30. During the 10 am service, we’ll have three pre-school classes, and we’ll use a rotation model for our current kindergarten - 6 th graders. User friendly curriculum is provided. Sign up to help on the poster in the narthex, signup online or contact Robin Ringler .  
Messiah is hosting a worship service led by Fireproof
Fireproof youth praise band ministry from Holly Springs NC. The event will be held on Tuesday, June 18 at 7 pm in the Youth Center. The group from Sunrise UMC will lead a service entitled “God is Bigger”. It will feature songs, a skit, and a sermon message that highlight the greatness of God.
The mission of Fireproof ministry is two fold. One of the goals is to nurture the budding faith of the youth and encourage them to grow deeper in faith as they grow older in life. In addition, the group also wants to share the love of Jesus Christ and encourage others through their ministry. Fireproof ministry has existed for over a decade. It started with four singers and has grown to two full bands. The group on Tour is a combination of the middle school and high school groups. Fireproof has led music at large conference youth gatherings, at local churches, and has impacted communities throughout their previous Mission & Music Tours. 
We Need Host Families to host the Fireproof Youth Choir . 31 youth and adults need host homes. They will need to be picked up at 8:30 pm from Messiah and dropped off at Messiah by 7 am on Wednesday June 19. Signup now at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E4AABAE28A75-hosting
Messiah Goes to the Minors. 
On Sunday July 21 at 1:05, we will enjoy an outing to a baseball game with the Potomac Nationals in Woodbridge, VA. Tickets are $12 each and include a baseball hat. Please purchase your tickets through the following website: https://www.milb.com/potomac/tickets/groups , then select the group portal and enter our group code: messiah2019. Parking is $6 per car - paid in cash when you arrive at the stadium. See you at the game! Questions? Contact Martin Mitchell at mtm7@georgetown.edu or 571-331-1734
Summer Worship Schedule
Sunday, June 30:
8:30 am Traditional Service and 10 am Convergence Service
Starting Sunday, July 7:
8:30, 10:00 am - Traditional Services in the Sanctuary
10:00 am - Servicio de Adoración en la Capilla (en español)
11:15 am - Non-Traditional Service in our Youth Center
Messiah United Methodist Church | 6215 Rolling Road | Springfield, VA | 22152
703.569.9862 | www.messiahumc.org