Posts by PastorKB

Faith UMC Update July 20, 2017

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Krista Beth | 0 comments

Dear Friends in Faith, This week we managed to string together a couple of sunny, dry days.  What a blessing!  I’ve certainly enjoyed not getting wet while walking the dogs.  I think it is true that we appreciate our blessings even more when we have to wait for them! Let’s pray that these blessings continue and the rain stays away for our church picnic on Sunday.  Yet, even if we are inside in Brand Hall the blessings of fellowship, food and fun will rain down on us! Below I’ve included a prayer celebrating God’s creation. Please scroll down to read the announcements about events and opportunities in our church and community. Your Friend in Faith, Pastor Kristabeth That we can glimpse you within creation is a beautiful thought, but also tells us that you desire to be seen, to be found and known. Open our eyes, Lord, as we walk through this world, feel the wind and sunshine, see the majesty of creation unfolding before our eyes. Help us to see you.  Amen. ~ Faith and Worship Pastor Kristabeth’s Schedule and Office Hours Week of July 23-29: (Schedule may change as visitation needs and other pressing matters arise.) Sunday: Worship 9:30am, Worship at the Pines 11:30am, Church Picnic 5:30pm-7:30pm Monday: Office 8:30am-11:30am, Office Work and / or Visits in Afternoon Tuesday: Lectionary Group 9am-10am, Visit, Afternoon Off Wednesday:  Worship at St. Michael’s 11:30am, Office 1pm-4pm, Trustee Meeting 7pm Thursday: Office 10am-2pm, Visit, Barnes & Noble Open Hours 3:30pm-5:30pm Friday:  Office 8am-10am, Office Work and / or Visits in Late Morning, Afternoon Off Saturday:  Pastor’s Sabbath   Rosemary, our Office Administrator, is on vacation July 24-28.  Office coverage will be limited.  Please call before you stop by the church office.    Worship Sunday, July 23 – Family Stories Theme: The Black Sheep Scripture:  Genesis 28:10-19a, Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 Sermon:  “The Morning After”   Summer Worship Series:  Family Stories – Bring Family Photos for Altar Ancient Families, Modern Stories, Sundays June 18 – July 30 We are nearing the end of our worship series “Family Stories.”  You may still bring your family photos to decorate the worship space!  These last two Sundays of the series you will have the chance to share a family story during our worship time and / or at other times during the service.  If you have a (short) family story you would like to share please let me know by e-mailing or calling the church office at 863-6764.   Church Picnic THIS Sunday, July 23rd 5:30-7:30pm at Veteran’s Park Pavilion, Dorset Park, South Burlington:  Hot dogs will be provided.  Bring a dish to share!  Rain location is at the church in Brand Hall.    Lake Monster’s Game with Fireworks Saturday, August 19 Ticket Prices: $6.00 – Adults and Children under 12, $4.00 Seniors and Children under 12 Deadline for Sign Up:  August 1 (Sign-up sheet on kiosk) See Tim Hess with any questions. Children’s Table in Sanctuary For those children who are too old for the nursery, but too young to be expected to sit quietly for an hour, we have set up an activity table in the sanctuary.  Children are not required to be at the table.  They are welcome to play at the table for part or all of worship, as they would like.  There are coloring sheets, books, and games available.  If you have an older child who would like to sit at the table and engage with the younger ones as a helper, that would be great too! We hope this creates a space in which parents can worship and children feel...

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Sermon July 16: Coming of Age

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Sunday Message | 0 comments

http://faithsbvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Coming-of-Age_E.mp3 Faith United Methodist Church July 16, 2017 Sixth Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture:  Genesis 24:19-34, Psalm 119: 1-5-112 Prayer for Illumination: Nourish us, O God, with your word of life.  Bring us to our senses so your purposes may be apparent to us.  In our sharing and our reflecting, may we rejoice with our sisters and brothers as we find new life.  Amen. Sermon:  Coming of Age I am probably not the most qualified person to be giving today’s sermon.  You see, I am an only child and today’s story is about brothers and, more specifically, sibling rivalry.   I didn’t have brothers or sisters to compete with for Mum or Dad’s attention.  No one compared me to an older sibling or told me to be a good example for a younger one.  So, today, I am going to ask for your help with the sermon.  We warned you that you might have a chance to tell a story today!  But first, I’m going to set the stage a little bit – give you a chance to think if you have a story to share. So, let’s consider, if you had a choice, would you want to go back and live your childhood over again?  Childhood.  Our first experiences with accomplishment and our first glimpses of defeat.  It seems like childhood is, in some ways, the time in our life that holds the greatest possibility, while also forcing on us the most change.  As Bill Watterson, the creator of the comic Calvin and Hobbes, once said, “People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children.” It is probably no wonder that many people look back on childhood with a bittersweet feeling.  Childhood days were filled with play and laughter to a degree that we don’t often experience as adults.  But childhood was also when we faced life’s first hard lessons.  Our first skinned knee.  Getting teased in school.  At a tender, young age we learned that the world is not always a happy or safe place. The Scripture hints that Jacob and Esau most likely didn’t have an easy time in childhood.  Isaac and Rebekah ~ the lovebirds from last week’s story ~ were not the best parents.  They chose favorites.  For twins, Esau and Jacob were nothing alike.  Esau was the type of boy who loved to hunt and be outdoors.  He and Isaac probably spent a lot of time together in the fields.  Jacob was a quiet boy who liked to stay inside, probably helping Rebekah with the household tasks.  Isaac and Rebekah, whether wittingly or unwittingly, created competition between their sons instead of love and mutual respect. The first example of this is from our lesson today.  Jacob cheated Esau out of his birthright for a bowl of stew.   Now this just sounds ridiculous.  Don’t you think?  Jacob was greedy and devious.  Esau was impulsive and short sighted.  Esau was so hungry that he thought he was going to die.  Jacob took advantage of his brother’s vulnerability.  Jacob one-upped Esau and we get the feeling he was pretty happy with himself. But Jacob didn’t stop there.  His deviousness continued.  He had his brother’s birthright and he wanted his blessing, too. If we read on in the book of Genesis we see the family story take a tragic turn. While Esau was out hunting game, Jacob sneaked into his tent to deceive their old, blind father.  Jacob tricked his father into thinking he was Esau and he, Jacob, received Esau’s blessing.  First a birthright and now a blessing.  Once Esau discovered what had happened,...

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Sermon July 9: “A Match Made in….. Nahor”

Posted by on Jul 9, 2017 in Sunday Message | 0 comments

http://faithsbvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/A-Match-Made-in...Nahor_E.mp3 Faith United Methodist Church July 9, 2017 Fifth Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture:  Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67, Psalm 45:10-17 Prayer for Illumination: Abraham and Sarah heard God’s call and traveled where God led. Rebekah heard God’s call and traveled to Isaac as God led.  The God of our ancestors calls to us even now.  May we travel where God leads in the name of Jesus the Christ who strengthens us for the journey.  Amen. Sermon:  A Match Made in….. Nahor Today, in our Family Stories series, we have a love story.  It may not be the kind of story that we expect, with our modern day understanding of love.  Isaac and Rebekah didn’t meet at a bar on single’s night.  They didn’t message each other on Match.com.  Their eyes didn’t lock over the coffeemaker at work.  Their love story was more of the ‘arranged’ variety.  Abraham decided that it was time for his forty-year-old son to settle down, so he sent his servant back home to the city of Nahor in the country of Haran to pick a wife for Isaac from his family clan. In those days it was often the families that set these things up, taking into account dowries and clan relations.  Not very romantic.  Custom even required that, once betrothed, the groom wasn’t supposed to see the face of his bride until the wedding night.  (We’ll see later how that got Jacob into trouble when, intending to marry Rachel he married Leah instead.  But that’s a story for another day.)  Today we see Isaac, the long-awaited and much beloved son of Abraham and Sarah, take another step toward the promise as he welcomes a wife and settles down as a family man.  We may wonder why Isaac waited so long.  As the bearer of the promise one might think he would want to get the promise going.  Let’s get this party started!  If one is going to be the father of multitudes, one better start having babies.  But Isaac, at forty-years-old, lived seemingly as a bachelor, a loner, moving around, tending his flocks and herds. Isaac’s reluctance to settle may have had something to do with what we talked about last week, Abraham’s near sacrifice of him.  Maybe Isaac had some trust issues having been nearly killed by his own father, at God’s instruction no less.  Maybe Isaac didn’t think love was a real thing, having been hurt so badly by one who supposedly loved him.  At the end of today’s lesson we find Isaac coming from the land of Beer-lahai-roi to the Negeb.  Beer-lahai-roi is the land associated with his step-mother Hagar, the land she and Ishmael went to when fleeing Sarah’s anger.  Isaac having just been to Beer-lahai-roi brings up memories of another of Abraham’s questionable actions, the banishment of Isaac’s own half-brother. With family like this, who needs enemies, right?  And neither was Sarah, Isaac’s mother, blameless.  But she did, it seems, hold a place in Isaac’s heart.  For it was at her death that Abraham sent for, and Isaac accepted, a wife. So far we’ve talked a lot about Isaac, but Rebekah is no wall-flower in this story.  In fact, most of the story we read this morning is about her and her family.  Rebekah has variously been described as generous, compassionate, full of energy, and courageous with a sense of adventure.  In fact, in this story, and throughout their marriage, Rebekah really over-shadowed Isaac.  She was a strong woman who usually got what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to take a chance. And it appears that Rebekah’s...

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Faith UMC Update July 6, 2017

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 in Krista Beth | 0 comments

Dear Friends in Faith, The Burlington fireworks, watched from North Beach, were beautiful.  Gary and I biked from our home in the New North End to North Beach to join the throngs of people gathered to celebrate Independence Day.  There were young families and groups of teens, older couples and gatherings of friends.  “People-watching” before the fireworks began, I thought how the crowd assembled on the beach represented our country ~ diverse in age, race, political view, economic status, religious belief, but united. At the conclusion of the show everyone applauded and then, courteously, made their way out of the park. (Gary and I then had to bike home in the dark, which turned out to be more fun than we expected!) Below you will find a prayer for unity of spirit and the ability to see God’s beauty in everyone.  Further down are announcements about some events and opportunities in our church and community. Your Friend in Faith, Pastor Kristabeth In a world which cares more for the needs of self than others, and is increasingly becoming more inward-looking and fractured, give us a heart for the vulnerable, the refugee, the forgotten, the lost; a heart that is based on yours, poured out for the needs of many and not for the comfort of a few. Give us a heart which looks out and sees your beauty in all people, and welcomes them as a friend. Amen. ~ Faith and Worship Pastor Kristabeth’s Schedule and Office Hours Week of July 9-15: (Schedule may change as visitation needs and other pressing matters arise.) Sunday: Worship 9:30am, Visitation Team Meeting 11am, Wedding Meeting 3pm Monday: Office 8:30am-11:30am, Afternoon Off Tuesday: Lectionary Group 9am-10am, Lunch Meeting Wednesday:  Worship at St. Michael’s 11:30am, Office 1pm-4pm Thursday: Office 10am-2pm (11am Meeting with District Superintendent), Visit, Barnes & Noble Open Hours 3:30pm-5:30pm Friday:  Office 8am-10am, Writer’s Workshop 10:30am-12:30pm, Visit Saturday:  Pastor’s Sabbath   Worship Sunday, July 9 – Family Stories Theme: And Two Become One Scripture:  Genesis 24:34-38, 42-40, 58-67, Psalm 45:10-17 Sermon:  “A Match Made in….. Nahor” Healing Prayer following Worship   Summer Worship Series:  Family Stories – Bring Family Photos for Altar Ancient Families, Modern Stories, Sundays June 18 – July 30 We travel with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Leah and Rachel, hearing their stories and reflecting on our own stories in light of God’s great promise that they ~ and we ~ shall be a blessing to the world. During this series we will be decorating the church with family photos.  Please bring in your family photos – modern or of past generations – so that together we may see the varieties of families that make up the family of God!   Church Picnic Sunday, July 23rd 5:30-7:30pm at Veteran’s Park Pavilion, Dorset Park, South Burlington:  Hot dogs will be provided.  Bring a dish to share!  Sign up on the kiosk so we know how many hot dogs to prepare and to let folks know you are coming!   Lake Monster’s Game with Fireworks Saturday, August 19 Ticket Prices: $6.00 – Adults and Children under 12, $4.00 Seniors and Children under 12 Deadline for Sign Up:  August 1 (Sign-up sheet on kiosk) See Tim Hess with any questions. Children’s Table in Sanctuary For those children who are too old for the nursery, but too young to be expected to sit quietly for an hour, we have set up an activity table in the sanctuary.  Children are not required to be at the table.  They are welcome to play at the table for part or all of worship, as they would...

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Sermon July 2: The Fear of Isaac

Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 in Sunday Message | 0 comments

http://faithsbvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-Fear-of-Isaac_E.mp3 Faith United Methodist Church July 2, 2017 Fourth Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture:  Genesis 22:1-14, Psalm 13 Prayer for Illumination: We thirst for your presence, O God.  When we feel that you have forgotten us, draw close to us and remind us of your steadfast love.  When things feel difficult, show us that you are with us and provide for our needs.  When we are tempted, assure us of the freedom of life in Christ.  When we feel estranged from you, welcome us with your grace, that your love may transform us in the arms of your mercy.  Amen. Sermon:  The Fear of Isaac  Last week we thought we had a tough scripture, with the story of Abraham sending his first-born Ishmael away from the family and out into the wilderness.  Sarah wanted Abraham to prune some limbs off the family tree so her son, Isaac, would be the one to inherit the family fortune, the flocks and the herds….. and the blessing.   But today it looks like all that is in jeopardy.   The longed-for son, the bearer of the blessing, may not make it out alive.  The Scripture tells us that Abraham received message from God telling him to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering on a mountain in the land of Moriah, so that was what Abraham set out to do. This summer we are following along with Abraham and Sarah, watching the story of their family unfold, for our summer worship series “Family Stories.”  In the weeks to come we will see how the blessing is carried from generation to generation.  And we’ve already seen that those who bear the promise are not perfect people.  Thank God one doesn’t have to be blameless in order to be part of God’s work in the world.  But today’s story pushes the boundaries a little…. far. The story starts with God calling out to Abraham, to which Abraham responded, “Here I am.”  Now, the Hebrew word translated “here I am” is hineni.   (As an aside, this word, hineni, has recently stepped into the cultural vocabulary with Leonard Cohen’s last album You Want It Darker, which received a lot of press both before and after he died.)  Hineni.  The word conveys much more than it’s English translation can capture.  Hineni means, “Here I am to do whatever you ask of me.  I give myself over to you.”  So here we see Abraham trusting God so much that he basically agrees to do whatever God asks before he even knows what the request is.  And why wouldn’t he?  God had promised ~ and delivered ~ lands, riches, a son.  So why wouldn’t Abraham trust God? But then the unimaginable happened.  Abraham heard God tell him to take his beloved Isaac and offer him as a burnt offering, a sacrifice.  So, as the Scripture continues, we see Abraham get up early, gather supplies, and lead his son up the mountain.  First century rabbis, writing on this passage, point out that Isaac carried the wood for the sacrifice as one carries his own cross. There are many questions about this story.  As Kathryn Schifferdecker asks, “Is it a story of an abusive God?  A misguided Abraham?  Religious violence at its worst?  Or is it a story of faith and obedience?”  Is this all a nasty joke God played to see how far he could push Abraham?  It makes very little sense to me.  Why would God finally give Abraham and Sarah their long awaited boy ~ the fulfillment of all their dreams ~ only to threaten to take him...

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