Posts by PastorKB

Faith UMC Update September 14, 2017

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Krista Beth | 0 comments

Dear Friends in Faith, Over the past few weeks we’ve seen the devastation of two massive hurricanes.  We’ve also witnessed the heroism of neighbors and emergency workers, and the generosity of millions who’ve given money to help those who’ve lost so much.  Coming on the heels of the divisive and hateful events in Charlottesville, this witness of neighbors helping neighbors reminds us that the bonds of love are stronger than hate.  We have more in common than that which divides us. Let us reject the rhetoric of hate and embrace love.  Let us see each other in all our humanity and reach toward each other in generosity.  If you scroll down you can find information about how to donate to hurricane relief efforts through UMCOR.  Also, below, I have included a prayer for a world impacted by natural disasters. Your Friend in Faith, Pastor Kristabeth   This beautiful world can be cruel, destroying life and livelihood in an instant, challenging our faith in a God who cares. This beautiful world is yours, Lord, created in love, gifted by grace. Help us understand it , care for it , protect it, and when disaster strikes be there, if not in person, then in prayer. ~ John Birch at Faith and Worship   Pastor Kristabeth’s Schedule and Office Hours Week of September 17-24 (Schedule may change as visitation needs and other pressing matters arise.) Sunday: Worship 9:30am Monday: Office 8:30m-10:30am, Afternoon Meeting in White River Junction Tuesday: Lectionary Group in St. Albans 9am-10am, Visits Wednesday:  Working Out of the Office Thursday: Office Hours 10am-2pm, Barnes & Noble Open Hours 3:30pm-5:30pm Friday:  Office Hours 8am-10am, Writers Workshop 10:30am-12:30am, Clergy Lunch Saturday:  Pastor’s Sabbath   Worship Sunday, September 17 Theme: Preachers’ Aid Society Scripture:  Luke 12:13-21, Psalm 107:1-9 Sermon: Caring for Those Who Have Cared for Us – Rev. Wesley Palmer   Guest Preacher from The Preachers’ Aid Society Rev. Wesley Palmer will be our guest preacher on Sunday.  Rev. Palmer is the executive director of The Preachers’ Aid Society.  You may remember our work with The Preachers’ Aid Society for our Forward in Faith capital campaign in 2013.  With their help we were able to raise funds to re-pave our parking lot, re-roof our building and re-carpet the gathering space and sanctuary, as well as support PAS in the building of retired clergy housing in Wells, ME.  Rev. Palmer will share the ongoing mission of PAS and how it connects with God’s mission in the world!   Run for JUMP Kenny Chamberlain (who was confirmed on Sunday) is participating in the Run for JUMP and would appreciate any support you can give!  Here is the link to his donation page: Way to go Kenny!   Hurricane Relief Efforts UMCOR is our United Methodist disaster relief agency.  Through their work we respond to emergencies all over the world and 100% of our donations go directly to those in need.  Here is the link to the donation page for relief efforts for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma:   BISHOP’S DAY IN THE DISTRICT – Tuesday, September 26th Trinity United Methodist Church, Montpelier 6pm – Potluck 6:30pm – Conversation with the Bishop Save the date and let Pastor Kristabeth know if you would like to attend and carpool.   METHODIST MIXER – SEPTEMBER 30TH The next Methodist Mixer will take place on Saturday, September 30th at Chef Leu’s. For those unfamiliar with the Methodist Mixers, we are a group of people from local Methodist churches who gather twice a year to enjoy good fellowship at a local restaurant. For reservations, please RSVP Beth Williams, 802-881-1984....

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Sermon August 27: How Much Is Too Much?

Posted by on Aug 27, 2017 in Sunday Message | 0 comments Faith United Methodist Church August 27, 2017 Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture:  Luke 12:13-21   Prayer for Illumination: (Responsive) Seek first the things of God. We are created in God’s own image. Set your minds on things above. We are children of eternal life. Clothe yourselves in this newness of life. In Christ we have been born anew!   Sermon: How Much is Too Much? How much is too much?  That’s a good question.  Do you ever look around your homes, your basements, your garages, at all the possessions that you have accumulated over the years, and wonder, where did all this stuff come from?   When Gary and I were packing to move last year we wondered how we could possibly have acquired so much stuff.  It seems to me that belongings have a way of multiplying on their own, almost as if we have no power to control it.  Do you know what I mean?  One day your closet is neatly arranged and organized and the next day it is overflowing with so much stuff that you can’t find anything. It is a known fact that Americans have an abundance of things ~ more than any other country.  We could rattle off statistics to show how we compare with people in other parts of the world, but all you have to do is go to any mall or shopping center – Taft Corners would do – to see the masses of people whipping out their credit cards and toting their shopping bags.  Americans love to spend money and have nice things.  And in many ways we feel entitled to these things – like it’s somehow our birthright to have the newest car or the latest fashion.  But, as one comedian joked, “You can’t have everything.  Where would you put it?”  Well, in true American spirit we have storage unit facilities popping up all over the place.  We pay a monthly fee to store the stuff we can’t fit in our houses.  Yet we need turn no further than our Bibles to see that questions surrounding possessions are not new, and are surely not unique to Americans.  In the Gospel lesson we see Jesus teaching on the way to Jerusalem.  Suddenly a man from the crowd interrupted his teaching and called to Jesus, saying,  “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”  A classic case of sibling rivalry over Mom and Dad’s estate.  Apparently this man didn’t feel he was getting his fair share and thought Jesus could do something about it.  While Jesus may not have appreciated being pulled into a family squabble, he had just the parable to shed some light on the situation. There was a farmer, Jesus told the crowd, who had an abundant crop.  In fact, his land yielded so well that he didn’t have enough room to store his harvest.  This turned into quite a dilemma for the man (a good problem to have, some might say).  He felt that he needed to keep every bit of that crop.  So he pulled down his small barns and built larger ones that would accommodate all that he had.  Standing back and surveying all that he done, he said to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”  Sounds pretty good to me.  So what’s wrong with that? we might ask.  The man did well and prepared himself for retirement.  It actually sounds like the American success story.   We might even clap the farmer on the back and congratulate him saying,...

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Sermon August 20: Um….. Jesus

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Sunday Message | 0 comments Faith United Methodist Church August 20, 2017 Ninth Sunday after Pentecost – Holy Humor Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture:  Matthew 15:1-2, 10-11, 21-28, Psalm 133 Prayer for Illumination: Lord of love, come to us this day with clarity.  May the words that I speak and the thoughts that we form bring to us a message of wholeness and the light of truth.  Strengthen us, enliven us, empower us, for the living of your Word.  Amen. Sermon:  Um….. Jesus Once upon a time, a woman called the local pastor and asked him if he would officiate at a funeral for her dog.  The pastor was a bit put off by the request.  With a somewhat disgusted tone in his voice he suggested that there was no way he could do such a thing but that she might try one of the other churches in the area.  She agreed to do that but not before she asked the pastor for some advice. “Pastor, do you think $500 is an appropriate honorarium for a funeral of this kind? And would I make the check out to the minister or to the church?”   The pastor quickly cleared his throat and said, “Wait a minute, why didn’t you tell me your dog was United Methodist?” This is as far as I got in my Holy Humor sermon before Charlottesville happened.  I thought the lectionary delivered up quite a juicy gospel lesson for our Humor Sunday.  Jesus calling a woman a dog!  This is a one of a kind scripture in that way!  I was looking forward to celebrating the spunk of the woman who wouldn’t take no for an answer and poking a little fun at Jesus who seemed to be, as many of us are, quite stuck in his ways.   I mean, it was a bit ironic that Jesus had just been telling the Pharisees that it isn’t what you put into your body that defiles you, but what comes out.  And then Jesus came out with a doozy of a line, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But then Charlottesville happened and this scripture didn’t seem quite so funny.  Discrimination is no laughing matter.  When I saw the news footage of white nationalists, members of the KKK and white supremacists wielding torches, displaying Nazi symbols and chanting their hateful rhetoric I was horrified.  I hope you were, too.  No, I don’t deny the right to free speech or the right to assemble.  What horrifies me is that people ~ people not that different than you and me ~ would have so much hate in their hearts that they would speak and act in such a repulsive and violent manner.   Hate directed toward immigrants, Jews, African Americans, gays, lesbians and transgendered people, Muslims – basically anyone who doesn’t conform to a white, heterosexual standard.  And, in my opinion, the violence was compounded by leaders in our nation who refused to immediately condemn such behavior. What those at the highest level of our government don’t seem to understand is that actions taken to stand up against hate do not equal the actions of those who perpetrate hate in the first place. So today’s Gospel lesson is tricky.  First we hear Jesus telling the Pharisees that it isn’t what goes into the mouth that defiles, but what comes out of the mouth – our speech, how we treat other people.  But then we hear Jesus speak words that cause us to cringe.  Before Jesus stood a woman – a Canaanite – with a sick daughter.  As...

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Sermon August 13: Putting Yourself Out (of the boat)

Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 in Sunday Message | 0 comments Sermon By Tim Hess August 13, 2017 Sermon “Putting Yourself Out” {Notes to accompany Matthew 14:22-33} This week, we find Jesus in need of some alone time for spiritual renewal. He has not yet managed to take a break to deal with his own need to grieve the loss of his friend and cousin John the Baptist. Matthew tells us that Jesus dismissed the crowds, sent the disciples on ahead in a boat, and went up on a mountain to spend some time alone in prayer and reflection. The disciples themselves had had a long, hard day.  They had worked with Jesus as he healed the sick, and taught.  They had been a part of the feeding of over 5,000 people.  They were tired, and probably longed to relax and get a good night’s sleep. I should point out at this point, that a boat or ship was one of the earliest symbols for the church, and the waters represent the chaos of the world, sometimes calm and sometimes turbulent. Continuing the story, Douglas Wingeier, writing in “Keeping Holy Time”, offers, The disciples were in the midst of a dark and scary chaos. It did not look good—such a great storm and such a fragile boat.  Their whole world seemed to be collapsing around them and their lives appeared to be in danger.  Have you ever had one of those days? Life seems to get crazy sometimes. We love the smooth times, don’t we, when all is well.  But, O Lord, we have serious problems with wind and waves, like the disciples did in the passage from Matthew. We want God to “fill our sails with a lovely breeze that guides our sturdy boats across the glassy sea”; but you know that life isn’t just glassy seas and gentle breezes, and sturdy boats {leaks have to be repaired in roofs!}. Sometimes things get rough. We need help to keep our trust in the Lord during all these rough times.  He calls to us to reach out, to take our focus off our own panic and place our trust in him. God asks us to reach out to others, who are not in our boat, with the same kind of love and compassion that he has given to us. Today many of us come to him with burdens and cares on our minds. Our “seas” are not calm, but he does offer us a lifeline.   He is with us, guiding our lives.  If we ask him, he will give us courage and hope, strengthening us to truly be his disciples. If we want to cement our relationship with God, have an impact on others, and perhaps leave a legacy to God’s glory, then we, like Peter, need to get out of the boat more frequently.  To do this, we must face our doubts and fears.  Jesus didn’t come to make us comfortable, he came to make us brave! A Case in point…. Many young people in our community have written the church off as irrelevant, because the church is not engaging the world in a way that they find useful.  Pastor Dawn Chesser adds “many young adults simply cannot envision a future that in any way resembles the lifestyles that previous generations have enjoyed. They imagine a life defined by struggling to find work, and having difficulty making ends meet economically.  They worry about the health of the planet and climate change.  They imagine the near destruction of the planet as previous generations have known it, and they don’t understand why the church seems to be forever squabbling over...

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Faith UMC Update August 10, 2017

Posted by on Aug 10, 2017 in Krista Beth | 0 comments

Dear Friends in Faith, Another sunny day in Vermont!  Could we get used to this?  I think so!  But even with the warmth of the sun, I’m starting to feel a crispness in the air at night that reminds me autumn is just around the corner.  And with autumn comes the return to school for some and the start of new adventures for others.  Ben moves into his dorm at UVM in two short weeks.  Others begin their college adventures even sooner.  Let us pray for our students – those beginning at new schools and those returning to familiar places.  And let us pray for each other that, as the days grow shorter, we may find moments of peace to experience God’s presence in the joy of summer in Vermont. Below I’ve included a prayer for your spiritual reflection. Please scroll down to read the announcements about events and opportunities in our church and community. Your Friend in Faith, Pastor Kristabeth   Enter my hearing, Oh, silence Soften my sight with love Rid my thoughts of harshness Open my search for good   Lighten my heart, compassion Relieve my soul from the fight   Wash me, best intentions In hope’s pure promising light   Protect my day, good instincts Safe from remorse this night ~ Richard Holdsworth   Pastor Kristabeth’s Schedule and Office Hours Week of August 13-19 (Schedule may change as visitation needs and other pressing matters arise.) Sunday: Worship 9:30am, FLOCK Teachers Meeting 11am, Visit Monday: Office 8:30am-11:30am Tuesday: Lunch Meeting, Working out of the Office Wednesday:  Vermont Interfaith Action Convention 9am-3pm, Staff Support 6:30pm Thursday: Office 10am-2pm, Visit, Barnes & Noble Open Hours 3:30pm-5:30pm, Tending Faith 7pm Friday:  Morning Confirmation Class Saturday:  Pastor’s Sabbath and Evening FUMC @ Lake Monster’s Game!   Worship Sunday, August 13 Theme: Family Stories:  Direction Scripture:  Psalm 105:16-22, 45b, Matthew 14:22-33 Sermon: “Putting Yourself Out” – Tim Hess Preaching Healing Prayer   Holy Humor Sunday:  August 20 Do you have a joke you want to share?  Do you have a crazy hat you can’t wait to wear?  Bring both to Holy Humor Sunday on August 20th!  The theme for Holy Humor Sunday is “He Who Laughs Last….”   Circle Sunday August 20 following Worship (Note Change of Date) Sunday, August 20th will be our quarterly Circle Sunday!  On Circle Sundays the Ministry Circles of Compassion, Encouragement and Inspiration meet.  Ministries of Compassion are ministries that show concern or care for the experiences of others. Ministries of Encouragement are ministries that support others in their spiritual growth. Ministries of Inspiration are ministries that move us closer to God.  Please bring a simple pot luck dish to share.  A collaborative meeting of all Circle Ministry Teams will gather from 12-1pm. There’s a Circle for Everyone!  Families, singles, children, elders, youth….. everyone has a place in the Circle!  Plan to stay for Circle Sunday and discover where your gifts can be used in the work of the church!   Hymn Sunday:  September 3 On Sunday, September 3 we will sing all our favorite hymns – or as many as we can squeeze into our worship time!  Sign up on the kiosk to sing your favorite hymn and indicate the hymn name, number in the hymnal, and which two verse you would like to sing.  Then warm up your vocal chords for a Sunday morning filled with song.  We will not have communion September 3.  Communion will be shared September 10.   FLOCK Kick-Off Sunday – September 10 FLOCK Classes (preschool through high school) begin for the Year.  A Potluck Lunch will follow Worship and FLOCK.   THIS...

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