Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving to God

Listening to Christian Radio the last week, I've heard people say that they were thankful for friends, family, and friends and family.  When it comes to Thanksgiving, who are we thanking?  Our friends and family or God?  I hope that we as Christians first and foremost thank God for giving us Jesus - His only son, who taught us how to live, went to the cross so that our sins may be forgiven, and prepares a place for us in Heaven.  Secondly, we have many blessings to thank God for.  What I am especially thankful for this year is how God has made each of us very special.  How God has given each of us our own unique talents and gifts.  I thank God that I am with some very special people at home and at work.  Recognizing the talents and gifts in those around me and encouraging them to use their God given talents and gifts benefits the Kingdom and allows us to truly be the Body of Christ.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

16,000 UMCOR Cleaning Buckets and Counting ...

More than 16,000 Cleaning Buckets have been distributed to help in the clean up of Sandy.  See previous posts on how you can assemble Cleaning Buckets and take them to First United Methodist Church in Palmyra or directly to Mission Central.
Mission Central: Mechanicsburg, PA
Mission Central is the mission warehouse of the Susquehanna Annual Conference. It stores and distributes relief supplies and hosts volunteers. The volunteers help assemble and verify relief kits, and also participate in local outreach projects. For more information, please visit
Rev. Rob Visscher, Executive Director
Mission Central
5 Pleasant View Drive
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trust not Clarity

How many times have we prayed for clarity in our lives?  Clarity to know what God wants us to do.  Clarity on important life decisions.  We have probably even prayed that others have clarity in their lives - that they may know what God has in store for them.  In Allie's message today (see previous post to listen), she retells the story of a person meeting Mother Teresa and asking her to pray for clarity in his life.  Mother Teresa says, "I'm not going to do that.  God doesn't work that way."  The person, a little taken aback, replies, "Why not?  You seem to have clarity in your life."  Mother Teresa responds, "I've never had clarity.  What I have is trust.  I will pray for you that you trust God."
Wow.  That hit me like a ton of bricks.  Who are we to know what God has planned?  Isn't this what got us in trouble in the first place?  (See Adam and Eve).  But trust . . . trusting in God that his plan is best for us; that no matter what, God is holding us in his hands; that it is ok to step out of the boat; to give everything away and follow Jesus; to take up our cross daily; to live, love, and serve fully as Jesus commands us.
Clarity?  Lord I pray that I trust you in every step of my life.  Amen.

Message of Faith and Hope

Listen to the amazing story of a young lady and her battle with cancer.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Faith Makes Things Possible, Not Easy

The title of this post came from the Upper Room Devotional the other day.
How does this statement apply to our lives when things are not going the way we hoped?
What do you do to keep the Faith when things are difficult?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Every wonder who helps those in need around the World?

UMCOR Does!!!!!!!

Flood Buckets

Here is a very important way we can all help those affected by Sandy.  Flood Buckets and or supplies for Flood Buckets can be dropped off at Palmyra First United Methodist or taken directly to Mission Central in Mechanicsburg.

Cleaning Bucket
Value: $ 55.00
5 gallon bucket with resalable lid
Buckets from fast food restaurants or bakeries can be used if washed and cleaned.
Do not use buckets that have stored chemicals such as paint or pool cleaner.
Advertisements on the outside are acceptable.
liquid laundry detergent
two 25 oz. or one 50 oz. bottles only
liquid household cleaner
16 oz. liquid cleaner that can be mixed with water
no spray cleaners
dish soap
28 oz bottle any brand
1 can air freshener
aerosol or pump
1 insect repellant spray
14 oz. aerosol or spray pump with protective cover
1 scrub brush
no toilet-bowl brushes
plastic or wooden handle
no kitchen or dish brushes
18 cleaning wipes
handi wipes or reusable wipes
no terry cleaning towels
remove from packaging
7 sponges
remove from wrapper
no cellulose sponges due to mold issue
5 scouring pads
remove from wrapper
no Brillo, SOS pads or any kind that will rust
50 clothespins
remove from packaging
clothes line
two 50 ft. or one 100 ft.
cotton or plastic.
24 roll he
avy duty trash bags
emove from the box
30-45 gallon size
5 dust masks
2 pair disposable waterproof gloves
rubber or latex
remove from packaging
1 pair work gloves
cotton or leather
leather palms necessary

Assembling Directions

Place all liquid items in the bucket first. Place remaining items in the bucket fitting them around and between the liquid items. Sponges, scouring pads, clothespins and trash bags can be separated in order to fit all of the items in the bucket.
Ensure the lid is closed securely.
Important Notes
All items must be new except for the actual bucket and lid.
All cleaning agents must be liquid and in plastic containers. No powders please.
If you cannot find the requested size of a liquid item, use a smaller size. Including larger sizes of any item will prevent the lid from sealing.
If all of the items on the list are not included, please put a label on the bucket indicating what has been omitted.
Cleaning buckets are only used within the United States. They are not opened to verify the contents unless there is indication some items have been omitted.

Mission Central: Sandy

Mission Central relief agency responding to New York needs in aftermath of Sandy, waiting for other requests

Volunteers assemble cleaning buckets in this file photo on the website of the North Carolina Conference. A file photo by Bill Norton.By Barbara Dunlap-Berg*
By Barbara Dunlap-Berg*
“Just because you see a little girl crying on the news because she lost her dolly in the hurricane, don’t start a toy drive.”
So advised Patti Glasser, director of operations for Mission Central, the mission warehouse of the Susquehanna Annual (regional) Conference. In Mechanicsburg, Pa., about three hours from the Big Apple, Glasser and her staff of five already are responding to Hurricane Sandy-related needs from New York. They are waiting to hear from other affected states.
When a disaster occurs, Glasser explained, “we have to allow nature to take its course. First, the floodwaters come, then they recede, then disaster coordinators go into the area and assess the damage and see what is needed.” The next step is to coordinate resources – both people and supplies.
Mission Central staff shipped 1,000 cleaning buckets to hurricane survivors in New York, Glasser said. Eventually, she anticipates thousands more of the buckets will be requested from New Jersey and Delaware.
Urgent needs
Current urgent needs are personal insect repellant spray (6-14 ounces), liquid household cleaner (25- or 50-ounce bottles) and liquid laundry detergent (12-16 ounces). “Ultimately,” Glasser added, “we will need the entire contents of the cleaning buckets.”
What doesn’t Mission Central need?
“Clothing and toys,” Glasser replied. “Quite honestly, people are so kindhearted and giving,” and they want to do something. But unsolicited donations overwhelm staff and volunteers.
“When people don’t even have food and clean water, their needs are very basic. People have to be patient and respond to specific requests.”
Founded a decade ago, Mission Central, along with satellite “HUBS,” supplies humanitarian goods and logistical services to hundreds of ministry and social service agencies. The agency hosts 9,000 to 10,000 volunteers annually.
“God is at work”
Mission Central processes United Methodist Committee on Relief “Relief Kits” for use around the world, provides needed supplies for local and national ministries and assists projects that share God’s love around the world.
“Mission Central,” said former board member and active United Methodist Stephen Drachler, “does a tremendous job responding to natural disasters around the world. God is at work through these dedicated disciples of Christ.”
To learn more about Mission Central, go to Ship or deliver donations to Mission Central, 5 Pleasant View Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. Make monetary donations on the organization’s website or mail checks to the address above.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

If You Do Anything This Sunday Morning . . .

You’re invited...

…to hear the inspirational story of a cancer survivor

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012
         9:00 and 10:30 services       Palmyra First United Methodist Church 520 East Birch Street
                                                            Palmyra, Pennsylvania 17078
                                                     Like Us on Facebook!


Allison Speck is a senior at Messiah College.  Allie, as well as her family, have endured an emotional roller-coaster as Allie battled two different types of cancer.  What makes Allie’s story inspirational is the faith she and her family have had in the three and a half years since her initial diagnosis.  Allie, and her family, have leaned on the Word of God, as well as prayer, to help them deal with the pain, agony, and suffering over this period of time.  You will be inspired once you hear Allie present her experiences of looking to the Lord for strength and perseverance as she lived through numerous surgeries, treatments, and setbacks.



Monday, October 29, 2012

I went to church last Sunday and the Church broke out.

This reminds me of the old joke where the person goes to the fights and a hockey game breaks out.  What I’m talking about is that I went to church – the place most Christians go one hour per week and the place that seems to be more important than those around us; and the Church – the holy, universal Church of Jesus – appeared in all its glory.  You see, when I got to church last Sunday, the most terrible thing had happened . . . there was no coffee.

But there was much weeping, gnashing of teeth, and wearing of sackcloth.  Well, maybe not the sackcloth.  But something else happened.  Someone got a pot of coffee brewing.  Another got out the cups.  Sugar and creamer appeared.  And some people got the cookies out of the freezer and carefully thawed them in the microwave.  People of our church were being the Church!

Now it seems that people at church fell into one of three groups last Sunday.  There were those that were concerned about who was on the list – the list where people sign up to make coffee.  Or they were concerned about whose job it was to make sure that there was someone signed up on the list.  Or they felt that we should just do without coffee as that would teach those who never sign up to make coffee to sign up in the future.  (Obviously, this person had already had their coffee at home.)

The second group wasn’t going to make coffee.  It wasn’t their job.  Besides, they had made coffee a long time ago.  It was time for someone else to make coffee.  But if someone did make coffee, they were sure to have a cup.  Reminds you of the story of the Little Red Hen.  No one wanted to help make the bread but everyone sure wanted to eat it.

And there was the third group.  These folks were more concerned about others than themselves.  They wanted to make sure that the visitor they hadn’t even met received the welcoming hospitality they deserve.  So they set aside their egos, serving without complaining, helping each other in the kitchen, and washing the dishes afterwards.

Which group do you think Jesus would have been in?  I’ll give you a hint.  It was the group where people were serving like Jesus did.  Matthew 20:28 says, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.”  We are the Church!  Romans 1:6 says that we are called by Jesus to be the Church.  We can be the Church!  But it’s a choice that each one of us needs to make.

Someone mentioned that maybe we are too concerned about things like the “list”.  They asked the question, “What would happen if we weren’t organized”?  Would the coffee get made?  Would we have worship?  Would we help those in need?  Would we do justice, love mercifully, and walk humbly with God?  (Micah 6:8)  Would we give the hungry something to eat, the thirsty something to drink, welcome the stranger, cloth the naked, take care of the sick, and visit the imprisoned?  (Matthew 25)  Would we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love others as we love ourselves? (Mark 12:30-31)  If we are the Church, we will!

The choice is up to each of us.  Will we be the Church or will we be more concerned about the church?