Devotion: Week of March 29, 2020
This past couple of weeks have been full of change in our worlds. The way we communicate, work, play, and worship have all shifted and it has been unsettling to all of us. Change is not a bad thing but when it is unexpected it often leads to losses for us that we are not prepared for. I have felt that in these last weeks and know from you all that you have too. Anxiety is high, we are all grieving losses (some small and some big), and we all wonder if we’ll get sick or what will come next. In Psalm 46, the Psalmist describes feeling that the whole earth is changing, the mountains shake in the heart of the sea, the waters roar and foam, the mountains tremble with tumult (v.2-3). It has felt like that some days for sure.
One of the big changes for Wes and I is that the staff has moved our offices in preparation for our building project. We would have had to make this move without the coronavirus concerns, but we would not have made it so quickly and urgently. As I learn to do ministry in 1,000 new ways in my new space in our basement one of the gifts has been my new view (see picture). As it sit at my desk writing or on virtual meetings (Zoom) with you all, have had the opportunity to watch out this window as spring comes. It feels like watching a slow motion video as each day brings new buds, new leaves, new songs from new birds. With this comes a peace that the Psalmist offers in the midst of the tumult of change and trouble,
Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
For me these days it sounds for all the world like Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:26-34
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
And why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today
and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you
—you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’
or ‘What will we wear?’
For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things;
and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Today’s trouble is more than enough for today and if we can find a moment to be still and see the coming of spring, the promise that God is still in control, then maybe that deep breath we need is just outside our window.
God my help, open my eyes to see and not worry. Be my refuge in this time of trouble. Be enough for today. Amen.
We hope that you are blessed by joining us in praising God and hearing the Word proclaimed! As we worship together online, please be mindful of folks you worship with on Sunday mornings who may not have access to email or Facebook – a phone call or a note in the mail is a wonderful way to keep in touch and share the love of Jesus! Also, follow this link
to set up online giving if you haven’t already.
We pray that in this difficult and confusing time, we remember that our strength is in God, Who holds our lives in His hands. Know that you are not alone and that you are loved – by your church family and by Almighty God!
Pastors Wes and Toni Ruth
Our Next Faithful Step – Building Team Update
The Building Team continues its faithful efforts, and we rejoice in the overwhelmingly positive outcome of our Church Conference vote last month to faithfully continue moving forward.
Here are a few highlights:
Letter of Engagement with Wesley Community Development
We have formally appointed WCD to represent HUMC as the point of contact with all contractors through building completion. Joel Gilland continues as the primary contact. Joel is working on the documentation for the parcel to be subdivided and coordinating the construction drawings.
Formal Contract with Myers and Chapman, the General Contractor
Under the guidance of Joel Gilland of WCD, we have been reviewing our contract options with Myers and Chapman. We plan to use a Cost Plus contract which we believe is the best option to help control costs.
Prep Work with Town of Harrisburg
Our architect and civil engineer held a Question and Answer session earlier this month with representatives from the Town of Harrisburg. This was part of the prep work for the permitting processes for enhancements and renovations.
In the next month or so we will begin prep work to move out of the various spaces that will be renovated during this project. Like anytime you move, this is an opportunity to go through our stuff and see what we can get rid of and what we need to keep. Paring down what we have will help us better know what we need to be prepared to store in our new spaces. We will need your patience and flexibility and as the time gets closer your time and willingness to help pack boxes and move into storage. Keep your ears open and we’ll make sure you are all in the loop.
Capital Campaign Update
As of February 17, 2020, we have received a grand total of $463,919.24 of gifts from our Overflowing Capital Campaign. This represents 43% of the total pledges received in less than 10 months. The faithfulness of our congregation is strong as evidenced by the generosity of each one of you!
The Building Team covets your prayers as we faithfully move forward with this project. If you have any questions, please contact any member of the building team.
Justice Ministries is an organization committed to combating sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of women, with a focus on rescue and housing. The goal is to locate victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, help them get our of their situation and into a safe place, facilitate an environment conducive to healing and assist them in their transition to independence.
Mark Blackwell founder of Justice Ministries will speak at Harrisburg UMC on March 1st at 12:15 p.m. in the fellowship hall. A Soup and sandwich will be provided so please register below. No cost we just need a count. Thanks you
To read more about Justice Ministries visit there website https://www.justiceministries.org
Special Feature at this months
Free Community Dinner, January 30th
at Harrisburg United Methodist Church 4:30 – 6 p.m.
The Hickory Ridge Ladies Varsity Basketball team will be cooking and serving this months community dinner. Join us to enjoy a spaghetti dinner and encourage & celebrate these amazing young women.
No reservation required, just join us.