We are told that “God works in mysterious ways, God’s wonders to perform.” This Sunday in church we heard a sermon about a woman from Jericho named Rahab who was a prostitute and God was able to work through her to bring about a miraculous event.

The old song, “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho” wouldn’t have been written without Rahab making it possible. Amazing, God can use all of us to dispense Gracious Love!

If God can work in and through people like Rahab, God can even work through us. Are we open to God’s guidance and love coming to others through us? It’s risky business to open ourselves to God’s love. Give it a try.  

Ron Nicholas

 

“I love the Bible…When I open its pages, I hear God speaking to me.  Its story, particularly the story of Jesus, is the one story I hope will define my life.  The Bible captures my deepest hopes and highest aspirations.”

From:

Making Sense of the Bible or Rediscovering the Power of Scripture for Today

Who writes things like this?  From whose mind comes the succinctness to say in just a few words exactly what I feel, but could never write?

The answer is Adam Hamilton of course, and the thoughts are just the first few from a wonderful book he has written and which as many of us as can squeeze into the church library on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings during Lent will share.

Imagine six weeks of study, not only with Pastor Hamilton, but with others from our church who feel a longing to share the Good News of the Gospel with YOU.

If you have thought about Lent as a time to expand yourself spiritually or begin a time of reflection and introspection in your life, there will be no better time than starting Sunday the 22nd or Wednesday the 25th along side your friends from Glendale.

Call the Church Office or send an email to reserve a copy of Adam’s book.

If that looks like a sales pitch…well, just remember the old joke about if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Hope to see you in the library a lot this Lent.

Mike Shultz

Reflections on our 30Th Anniversary

Since celebrating our 30th Chartering anniversary in January, I have been remembering back to the past, present and dreaming of the future.

Back in September of 1981 our land was purchased by the New Church Development group. There were people working behind the scenes long before our first Pastor Wayne Walther was even asked to take on the task of a new church start. How well I remember Floyd Bosshardt the consultant for this major project and the kind, warm person he was.  

What a joy to be given the opportunity to give back to helping others with the 30th Anniversary commitment cards. Glendale has been the recipient of many gifts over the years.   

A seed was planted in Savage all those years ago that has grown into Glendale UMC. Just like a child we have had our growing pains but we have also had some wonderful joys as well.

While it is good to remember and know where and how we came to be it also time to look to our future and our presence in this community.  What is God calling us to do next?  This coming weekend the Healthy Church Initiative Team and all of you are invited to attend Saturday, Feb 7th. 9 A.M to Noon.

Come join us to see what God holds in store for the future of Glendale. Let’s plant some new seeds in a new season.

“For every thing there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”   Ecclesiastes 3:1

Shelley Shultz

DON’T WORRY—BE PEACEFUL!

I was the world’s worst worrier when I was growing up and after I became an adult.  I suspect that I said “what if” a minimum of at least once a day, and there were days when I could probably have set records with the number of times I said that ridiculous phrase! 

We human beings are extraordinarily capable of worrying!  “What if we don’t have enough money after we buy this?”  “What if someone we know sees you doing (X)?”  “What if they get in a car accident?”  Worry, worry, worry.  It’s a wonder we get anything finished given the amount of time we worry about whether we are doing it right, if everyone will approve, and whether it will turn out OK?

What is interesting to me is that we all worry as though we have no control over whether we should worry or not.  Philippians 4:6 reminds us, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  It’s one of my favorite Bible passages. 

Worrying about what is going to happen in the future makes no difference in what happens—no difference.  Worry gives us ulcers, sleepless nights, and stressful days.  Some of us even think that we are demonstrating our love for someone by worrying about them!  Here is what I have learned:  Worrying doesn’t contribute anything to anyone! 

I am essentially no longer a worrier.  Now, instead of worrying about things, I follow the advice of the writer of Philippians and turn whatever is worrying me over to God.  Notice that if you are busy praying and supplicating, there is no space for worrying!  And the result is “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Peace that surpasses all understanding…that is definitely a sign of not worrying.  I’m all over that! 

Barbara Moore

God Wants You!

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:  Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”                                                                         

                                                                                                                   Romans 12:1-2 The Message

I’ve heard that our only craving should be for God….   Yet, after allowing indulgences during the Christmas holidays, I’ve been experiencing cravings for chocolates, sugary treats, coffee, and other foods that I know (in my head) aren’t healthy choices, but hunger for (in my belly).  I treasure my relationship with God, but it’s often ordinary things that get in the way. 

Our church is experiencing renewal.  In order to be fully present and able to contribute to that renewal, I want to deepen my daily awareness and consciousness of the Sacred.   In the past I’ve found fasting to be a spiritual discipline that helped me break my addictions and turn my attention back to God, but this time I want to do so in a healthy way.  So I’m now taking part in a 12-Day Detox Cleanse to reset my appetite.  The plan I’m using this time uses only food-no purchased supplies, and by Day 7 I’m already experiencing relief.  My attention has been freed.

If you are searching for fresh ways to infuse, or to recognize, the Sacred in the ordinary, you may want to discover writings of the former monk and psychotherapist, Thomas Moore.  Two of his books, Care of the Soul and The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, have been helpful in giving me creative ideas to bring deeper meaning to my activities. 

May your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life be experienced as nourishing, and may you become more aware of the myriad ways that you are, indeed, uniquely connected to Divine Love. 
Ann Scarborough         

Last Sunday in church, Pastor Becky Jo played a video by the Casting Crowns called “Does anybody hear her?”  In this video, a young woman is struggling with some bad decisions and, sadly, her family and the Christian community is not there for her (until the end of the video when a woman finally notices her in anguish).   I thought about that video a lot since then – would I notice a young, distraught person in a coffee house?  If I did, what would I have said? 

If I had noticed her, I would have probably said something encouraging or comforting, but would I have invited her to church?  In all honesty, evangelizing is not something I am strong in.

Glendale United Methodist Church mission statement is to make and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ, who will be the hands, heart and voice of Jesus in our world.  This mission statement resonates with me because I believe making and nurturing disciples of Jesus Christ is a good thing.  I love Jesus and believe he is my Savior, so of course I would want that for another person too!  But although I agree with the mission statement, I have not been good about putting it into action.

The nice thing about our church is that I know I’m not alone here.  Even though evangelizing is not strength of mine, I know there are charter members who door knocked in the early days, Glendale Disciples, and others that can help advise me in this area. 

Matthew 28:16-20 – The Great Commission

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Lisa Duffy

“Go”

Back in the day; the Minnesota Annual Conference “sent” a group of 37 people, plus Wayne Walther, who was just appointed to his “dream job” (starting a new church); to survey and gain insight as to what people might have in being part of and starting a new church in the community.

Over 100 “positive” interested surveys were turned over to Pastor Wayne to follow up on and begin the process of seeing a new UMC church located in Savage.  That was 30 years ago, last summer. 

To “Go” out in the community is never easy for shy people; I am one of those Garrison Keillor types– I probably should have been a Lutheran, but grew up Presbyterian.  Being invited by Pastor Wayne to “Go” and serve has been a joy in my life, even though it is still difficult for me, I said yes again to go out and talk with some of our neighbors in Savage.  Kay Dunning and I knocked on 71 doors and had conversations with 29 people last Saturday, as part of the Healthy Church Initiative. We talked about Ruby’s Pantry and our food distribution ministry.  Only 2 people turned us away…not a big deal in the whole 2-1/2 hour activity for our church.

So, when someone asks you to serve and “Go”– know that it is always easier when God is part of the plan and you go out as a team!  Thank you to the vision of our Bishop and Cabinet over 30 years ago when people in our community said they had interest in a new church.   Amen.

Best Regards,

Rob Scarborough

Discipleship                

In looking at the scripture for this next Sunday the Gospel lesson is from Matthew chapter 28 verses 16-20.  Jesus gives his disciples the Great Commission.

Verse 19 says: “Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them disciples; baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

 

This past weekend and this week we have been blessed to have sent our own 12 disciples out from Glendale. They went just as Jesus asked.  Telling our neighbors about Ruby’s Pantry and a little about Glendale UMC and to share the Love of Christ.

I had the opportunity to hear several stories from some of them this past weekend and how they were blessed in doing something that was not necessarily in their comfort zone.

When you get the chance ask the following Glendale Disciples their stories. There are theirs to share with you: 

Ron & Dorothy Nicholas, Marcia Hill, Mary Randol, Kay Graf, Bob & Ann Scarborough, Kay Dunning, Mike & Paula Gaboury , Paul McEathron and Linda Rizzo.

Shelley Shultz

What a wonderful Advent!  What a glorious Christmas!

And many thanks to those who helped me through The Season this year. 

I have a specific problem with the Advent/Christmas season that I’ve shared with many of you in years past.  It has a lot to do with the time I spent in retail, in malls, and in the pursuit of the almighty dollar as a young man making a way for myself in the world.

Those years are well in my rearview mirror now, but the effects linger for me.

Barbara, Dorothy, Mary, Bob & Bob, Becky Jo, Jim, Kay, Ron. Cindy, Linda V, Ann, Linda R, Chad, and Luke & Charles too helped make this a season of Hope and Joy and Peace, and Love for me because I was able to include prayers you had written for me into my mornings and my morning devotion time.

Bless you all into our new year and not only do I hope this will become a Glendale Advent Tradition, but I hope I can also make a small contribution to the effort next year.

Mike Shultz

In November I watched as my brother-in-law’s sister carried her mother’s remains into the sanctuary for her funeral service.  I was overwhelmed with the way she held the urn in the same way a mother lovingly carries a baby to put her to rest at night.  With gentle love and a last chance to offer her mother such, she swaddled that urn so tenderly.  I was awed by her ability to do this one last thing for a child of God she called mother.

 

I think of that image as I think about Mary carrying the Messiah in the safety of her womb.  Had Mary known what would come of her son, I wonder if she would have wanted to keep that baby inside of her.  There in the safety of her womb no authorities could charge him with offenses, no courts could convict him of a crime whose sentence could be the cross.  If she had known, wouldn’t she have wanted to keep that baby inside of her?

But only when born did the possibilities of Messiah come to fulfillment.  Only through birth could the hope of Jesus come to be real.  Only by coming to life as a vulnerable baby could God accomplish God’s saving work in Jesus.

I wish for Mary that she could have held Jesus at the end of his life, like she did at the beginning.  I wish she could have held Jesus as my brother-in-law’s sister carried her mother’s remains at the end of life.  That moment of tenderness and love was only hers at the start of Jesus life.  But, oh the bravery in Mary being willing to birth one to whom she would far too soon give back.  I wonder if she knew.

Pastor Becky Jo Messenbrink