News & Events

Christos Kyrios

Christos Kyrios

Sermon Reflections

Sermons: 11/2/2020 Link

Here are some ideas for you to use to reflect on Sunday’s sermon: Turn off all tech and go outside to take a walk this week, take a family member with you if you can. While you walk spend some time reflecting or talking about how you have known Jesus as Savior, how you have experienced his grace, and what it means to you to call him your Lord.
  1. Pastor Toni Ruth reminded us that to call Jesus Lord means to follow his way. Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and do some self evaluation. Where does the sermon comfort you? Where does it challenge you?
  2. Christo Kyrios (Christ is Lord ) is a costly allegiance. What would it cost you to choose his way above all other? What keeps you from making that commitment?

Pastor Toni Ruth

Sermon 11/8/2020 Link

Scripture: John 1:1-9,14, 1 Kings 17:1-24
In all seriousness, in looking at the beginning of Elijah’s ministry and his struggle against idolatry, we saw how we have our own idols in our time. They may not take the forms they did in ancient times, but we still struggle with divided loyalties and the temptation to put any number of things above our commitment to Jesus Christ.
We also saw that (according to Scripture) the idols worshiped in the ancient world – in Canaan, Corinth, or Rome – were not real. Much like the “Elf on the Shelf” is just an inanimate doll that parents have to secretly relocate every night, the idols of ancient times were also inanimate, unliving, unable to actual do anything. That didn’t make idol worship fake or safe – the behaviors and beliefs of idol worshipers were and still are very real. We make an idol of whatever it is that we put above God and serving that idol shapes and guides our choices and behaviors.
Living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ means that our faith in God and our daily decision to follow Jesus shapes our choices and behaviors. An important aspect of our work of discipleship is recognizing our idols and allowing God to tear them down. That can be a difficult and even painful process, but one that is necessary for us to grow as disciples. But we can be encouraged, because God has given us power through the Holy Spirit, Who works in us and through us, making real God’s sanctifying grace in our lives.
This week, find some time to reflect on the following questions and pray that God will help you to be faithful in following Jesus:
  1. How do we begin to recognize the idols in our lives? What are some potential idols in your life right now?
  2. What resources has God given you to recognize and reject possible idols? What Scriptures, practices, or prayers help you the most in doing that work?
We pray that you will have a week full of God’s grace and comforting presence and we look forward to being with you all again in worship!
Grace and Peace, Pastor Wes
2 Timothy 4:1-8
Yesterday Pastor Toni Ruth challenged us to consider what it means to call Jesus the Truth. As you reflect on this sermon, take a moment to look up one of these passages from John’s Gospel and consider what it means for you to call Jesus the Truth of God.
According to John the Truth:
  • Resides in Jesus (1:17)
  • Is something we DO (3:21)
  • is the purest form of worship (4:23)
  • liberates us, set us free (8:32)
  • is something we bear witness to (8:33)
  • is what Jesus tells and the devil does not (8:40)
  • is what the Holy Spirit guides us into (16:13)
  • is what sanctifies us (makes us holy) (17:17)
What does it mean to you to submit to Jesus as Lord? Where do you feel resistance to the Truth that the Lord offers? How might yielding your life to the truth of Jesus make you a more faithful disciple and servant?
Pastor Toni Ruth


Sermon, November 22, 2020

Christ the King Sunday

Christ the King Sunday is the culmination of the Christian year and the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent. This represents a dramatic shift – we go from focusing on the reign and rule of our Lord Jesus Christ to once again awaiting the arrival of the King as a little baby. That shift reminds us that the “cosmic Christ” that we talked about yesterday – Jesus as the Lord of all creation – is also the same God that has come to near to us in the birth of Jesus and is present with us through the Holy Spirit.

We talked yesterday about how the language that we sometimes see in Scripture, particularly when Paul talks about the “cosmic Christ”, sounds strange to our ears. Even a phrase like “kingdom of God”, which sounds so familiar to us when it comes to Scripture, reflects a different worldview than ours. We don’t typically think of our world as divided up into kingdoms – we talk about nations or states. Instead of kings, we talk about presidents or governors or leaders.

While I’m not suggesting that we remove the word “kingdom” from our Bibles, it’s occasionally helpful think about things in a slightly different way. We saw yesterday that one way of thinking about the Kingdom of God is to think of it as a culture – the culture of God. We talked about the various cultures that we can participate in and how, even in small ways, those cultures make claims on our lives. For followers of Jesus, the culture of God is above any other culture that we might be a part of.

The culture of God is defined by the sacrificial, risk-taking, outcast-embracing love of Jesus. It’s a culture that reflects the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all things. There are times when some of those other cultures – political, social, even entertainment and hobbies – conflict with the culture of God. This means that we have to make some hard decisions about what defines who we are, what we build our lives on, what or who has power over us.

This week:

  • Think and pray about what it means in your life to be part of the culture of God. 
  • What does it mean for your everyday life to take the Lordship of Jesus seriously? 
  • As we begin the season of Advent next week, what are the sources of your hope and joy in this very difficult year?

Pastor Wes




It’s hard to believe, but it’s registration time again! Registration for church members will be January 28 – 31 from 9 -1.  Beginning February 3, we will open registration to the public and classes will be filled on a first come,  first served basis. Our classes can fill up very quickly so it is very important for you to turn your form in to me by January 31 if you would like priority consideration.

 Below are the classes we plan to offer along with the tuition:

Three year olds:

One M/W/F class – $220/ month

Two T/TH classes – $150/ month

Four year olds:

Three M/W/F classes – $220/ month

One T/TH class – $150/month

One M -F class – $340/ month

The registration fee is $75 for one child and $50 for each additional child in the same family. The registration fee must be paid at the time of registration and will be refunded only if all classes requested are full. 

If you are interested in registering your child for the 2020 – 2021 school year, please pick up a registration form from the Preschool Info table, or stop by the Preschool Office. If you have questions or would like to schedule a tour, contact  Lisa at  704-455-3544.

Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry

From time to time we all go through difficult times when we could use a little support and help to get through.  Having someone to listen with compassion and offer support can be a difference makerThat’s one reason why Stephen Ministry is at Harrisburg UMC. 

Stephen Ministry is a system of caring ministry where members of a congregation are specially trained to provide one-to-one care to people who are facing a difficult or challenging time in their lives.  Stephen Ministry St Louis, a non-profit ministry organization headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a transdenominational ministry that maintains a support network to Stephen Ministry congregations in the US, Canada, and 30 other countries around the world.  It is a distinctively Christiancaring ministry in which pastors and lay people work together to meet the needs of people within the church and community who are experiencing a wide range of life circumstances.  

The team of people who direct Stephen Ministry at Harrisburg UMC are called Stephen Leaders and were trained at a 7-day Leader’s Training Course taught by members of the Stephen Ministry Organization. Our current Stephen Leaders are Pastor Toni Ruth Smith, Pastor Richard Smith, Sandra Bilbro and John Lomonaco.  

Lay caregivers, called Stephen Ministers, who have spiritual gifts appropriate for caring ministry are trained by our Stephen Leaders. Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training, learning principles and skills that equip them to provide high-quality, Christ-centered emotional and spiritual care to others.  Through training, they also gain insight into the thoughts, feelings, and actions of people who are hurting.  For whom are Stephen Minister’s trained to provide care?  Stephen Ministers care for people experiencing grief, separation or divorce, job related stress or loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, unplanned pregnancy, infertility, birth of a child, loneliness, military deployment, spiritual struggles and much more 

Our Stephen Ministers provide one-to-one, Confidential, Christ-centered care to help people, called Care Receivers, through many of life’s issues whether in times of transition or major life crises.  Stephen Ministers meet with their Care Receiver on a weekly basis in a private, confidential setting to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support.   

The joy that motivates our Stephen Ministers to commit to this ministry is based on serving Christ with their best gifts.  Our entire Stephen Ministry team is committed to helping individuals experience the support and concern they need for as long as they need it.  Through our commitment to care, it is our prayer that the hurting and vulnerable among us will experience the hope and healing that Jesus Christ offers. 

Contact Pastor Toni Ruth  should you be interested in receiving a Stephen Minister

Young Persons and Sunday School

School Begins Soon and We have a Place
for Your Young Person in Sunday School!!
August 25 is promotion Sunday, and that means we are gearing back up for regular Sunday school in the youth and children’s areas. We are excited for your young people to join us in Godly Play in the elementary-aged groups, for the 5 th and 6th  graders to be joining us for our Connect Sunday School Class in the Library, and the youth, grades 7 th  – 12 will be meeting in the youth room exploring a variety of topics and books in the Bible.
Our purpose in Sunday School is to do our part in providing basic education and understanding of our faith and all that it encompasses. It is an important piece of faith development and connection to the church. Another very significant piece of Sunday School is the connection of children and families to one another as a part of our connection to the body of believers and specifically the family of Harrisburg United Methodist Church. I want to invite all of you to come and join us in Sunday School, there is even an adult component and we definitely have a place for you!
A second and larger piece of helping your young person to develop a life long love and reliance on Jesus is you, the parent. You have the most influence on your children. You spend the most time with them and you have the most opportunity to help them grow and make faith decisions. We have a place for you too! Toni Ruth will be doing a parenting study in her class this fall, that will help equip you and encourage you as you raise your children. We also have a loving and caring community that will be there to support you when you need it. Come and join us in Sunday School and bring your whole family!
Pastor Richard
Questions contact Pastor Richard or
call 704-455-2311

Promotion Sunday – August 25, 2019

Promotion Sunday – August 25th

Children ages 2 through the 4th grade and their parents are invited to the Fellowship Hall at 9:45 a.m. for a morning snack and fellowship.  At 10 a.m. the children will be lead to their classes by the teachers.

Preschoolers – ages 2 & 3 (Room 14)

Children ages 4 years old through the 4th grade will attend  Godly Play Classes.  (Room 7 & 8)

Godly Play Curriculum provides children the opportunity for spiritual development through storytelling, creative play, and community. 

5th & 6th graders (Room 2) use a curriculum called  Connect, which connects all the Godly Play story to a larger picture of God working in our world.


PO Box 970
4560 Hwy 49 S., Harrisburg, NC 28075
Send Us an Email
(704) 455-2311

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