October 4, 2018
One in Christ

“I’m not praying only for them but also for those who believe in me because of their word.   I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. I’ve given them the glory that you gave me so that they can be one just as we are one.    I’m in them and you are in me so that they will be made perfectly one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you have loved them just as you loved me. (John 17:20-23, CEB)  
In his final hours, Jesus prayed several prayers from the depth of his being. Some have suggested that this particular one from John 17 might best be called the Lord's Prayer and that the one we often pray in worship would be better termed, the Disciples' Prayer, since that was how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. 

Nonetheless, when Jesus prayed on that final evening of his life, he prayed that we might be one. One in spirit. One in mission. One in Christ. His is a powerful prayer that continues to resonate centuries later.

For me, World Communion Sunday is one of the most meaningful reminders that we, the Body of Christ, are called to be One with each other. World Communion Sunday is shared on the first Sunday of October, a tradition which began back in the 1930's.

Each year, I try to imagine the multitude of people in congregations all over the globe who are "doing this in remembrance" of Jesus. Some of these congregations have just a small handful of participants, and many are the size of a family reunion. Some, like ours, number in the hundreds, and a few have thousands or even more who attend. Some congregations meet in buildings which have been created at great expense to glorify God, and others meet in very simple structures, with most falling somewhere in between. Some congregations are located in rural towns and villages, others in suburbs, and some in the midst of densely populated urban areas. The languages spoken, the clothing worn, the music sung, the customs followed, the way hospitality is offered, the way people get to church - all of these things are widely varied from place to place.

And yet, there is this common truth that emerges in every setting.
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Christ has died... FOR US! 

And so we remember. We take bread - wheat, rye, pumpernickel, Hawaiian, sourdough, Italian, pita, unleavened matzo, naan, tortilla, ciabatta, injera, baguette, white, flatbread - and we break it and eat, remembering Christ's body, broken for us. Can you envision the great variety of people whom God loves? Likewise, we take the cup and drink from it, remembering the blood that Jesus shed to show us just how valuable we are to him. 

As you prepare to join with others in worship and come to the table of the Lord this Sunday, I invite you to ask God to open our eyes to the unity in Christ that we can discover, even amongst all of our perceived differences. The prayer below may be a helpful tool to help you open yourself to Jesus, whose heart was beating strongly for unity in His Body, the Church he loves. Let us pray...

Today, God, we confess fumblings and failures in accomplishing unity, as we set aside yet another day to remind ourselves of the task.
On this World Communion Sunday, give us eyes to recognize your reflection in the eyes of Christians everywhere.
Give us a mind to accept and celebrate our differences.
Give us a heart big enough to love your children everywhere.
We thank you for setting a table with space enough for us all! Amen.

*From the Africana Worship Book, Year B , (Discipleship Resources, 2007)

Grace and Peace,
Pastor David Rittgers
This week's sermon will be "Discovering Gravity," based on theme scripture from Matthew 19:16-26 (CEB) .The choir will be singing "A Gaelic Blessing" at 9:00.

Kindling Music

Remember: Now is the time to bring in items for the Yard Sale!
TUMC Yard Sale: The TUMC Yard Sale will take place on Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM each day. Lunch is available for purchase from 11:00 AM -2:00 PM both days.

Proceeds from this event will go to the Youth Mission Fund to help prepare for a 2019 Harvest of Hope Mission Trip and a 2020 Mission Trip to Brisas Del Mar, Colombia. We will start collecting yard sale items after the Kindling service on Sunday, September 30 in the Annex Room off the Fellowship Hall. Please remember we will not be accepting TVs, mattresses, or clothing to put into the sale. However, your clothing donations can be placed in the "Restoration Thrift" bins outside the north entrance

If you would like to donate food for the kitchen, you can bring water and pop (labeled Yard Sale) to the kitchen any time after the Kindling service on Sunday. If you are willing and able to donate baked goods, you may bring them (labeled Yard Sale) to the kitchen starting today - Thursday, October 4. Sign up sheets to help with the Yard Sale are available at the welcome center, or you can contact Jen Hiner to sign up. Thank you for supporting our youth mission fund and the community of Orrville. Happy Yard Sale-ing!

Dinner Church Gathering: A gathering will take place this Sunday evening (10/7) from 5:00-7:00 in the TUMC Fellowship Hall. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. If you have interest in being part of this new "fresh expression" of church, please come and learn more. A small group has been learning and talking and is now ready to move forward. Many hands and hearts will be needed to take this new mission to our community.

Women's Bible Study: Join Sherry Leggett as she leads a Women's bible study on the book of Philippians in Room 105 (for the 7th and the 14th) on Sundays at 5:15 PM. If you would like to join, please email and download the First 5 App on your iPhone, kindle, or android.

Grief Share: This support group meets weekly in the Fellowship Hall Annex room on Wednesdays from 5:30 - 7:00 PM. The current class runs through November 14. Contact church office to register.

Blood Drive: Will be in the Fellowship Hall on Friday, October 12 from 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
MYF trip to Ramseyer Farms: On Sunday, October 14th our middle and high school youth will be taking a trip to Ramseyer Farms at 5:00 PM.

Fall Cleanup: Saturday, October 20th will be the date for the church fall cleanup.
Prayer Requests
Church of the Week: Church of the Cross UMC
Prayers for those in the military

Jodi Shilling - Beginning new chemo treatment
Betty Hammar - Health concerns
Requested by Mary Lou Lisic
Carter Jenkins – Tumor found on ribs
         Requested by Linda Werntz
Dave Danko – Cancer
         Requested by Gail Steiger
Helen Gerber – Health concerns
Sophia Werntz – Continued health concerns
Barb Miller - Cancer
Helen Hochstetler – Health concerns
Kathy Wagner Wince – Lyme Borrelia Disease
         Dick & Marguerite Wagner’s daughter
Dawn Zerrer – Treatments for stomach cancer
Requested by Julie Leathers-Stahl

Please keep the office updated on the status of those on the prayer list. Requests will stay on the list for one month, unless the office is notified otherwise. Thank You!
Trinity United Methodist Church
1556 Rex Drive
Orrville, OH 44667