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Earth Day, 2021

Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22; churches typically observe Earth Day Sunday during the month of April. It is an opportunity to reflect on the goodness of God’s creation and the human responsibility to steward it through worship, education and action.

The Rev. Pat Watkins is an expert in educating others about how theology relates to caring for creation as an important Christian mission. Watkins was a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries assigned to the care of God’s creation. 

“Many of us are stuck at a grade school level of theological competence and Bible understanding,” Watkins explained. “If we looked deeper into the Bible, we’d be surprised. Relationship with God and relationship with the Earth are very prevalent in the Bible, but we focus primarily on our relationship with God and not the Earth.”

“It’s more than recycling and Styrofoam” he continued. “It’s about relationships with God, each other, and God’s creation. It’s about how we live with each other. It is a covenant.”

Watkins said, “The United Methodist Church is an amazing and powerful group of Christians because of our Scriptures. We just don’t use that power enough. We need to be the voice of creation care.”

Watkins shared some Biblical references that call us to care for God’s creation.

Genesis 2:7 – The Lord God formed the human from the topsoil of the fertile land and blew life’s breath into his nostrils.”

Adam was created out of dust of the Earth. How could there be any more of a relationship with the Earth than to be created out of it? It’s as if God scooped up a couple handfuls of earth and formed humanity. When God formed Adam he was not a living being until God breathed life into his nostrils and we became living human beings. The fact that we exist as living, breathing human beings suggests that we have a relationship with the Earth because we were created out of it and we have a relationship with God because we breathe the very breath of the one who created all that is.

Genesis 3:23 – “The Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to farm the fertile land from which he was taken.”

Even the fact that God put Adam and Eve in a garden is an important point. Due to their disobedience, they were kicked out of the garden and the land was cursed making it more difficult for them to coax the earth to provide for them.

Genesis 4:12 – “When you farm the fertile land, it will no longer grow anything for you, and you will become a roving nomad on the earth.”

The story of Cain and Able is also a story of disobedience. When Cain, a farmer, killed his brother, God punished him by removing him from the soil. He became a wanderer across the earth with no connection to any land. When he lost his relationship with the land, he could no longer see the face of God. Relationship with the land and relationship with God were, for Cain, inseparable.

Disobedience of God and violence towards one another results in negative consequences for the earth.

Genesis 9:13 – “I have placed my bow in the clouds; it will be the symbol of the covenant between me and the earth.”

Few people know that Noah’s father, Lamech, thought that his son might one day be the “righteous” one to remove the curse on the land (Genesis 5:28-29). When Noah’s Ark came to rest and the animals were released, a rainbow appeared. It was a sign not only of God’s covenant with Noah, but also with the animals and the earth itself. Noah’s story is a story of reconciliation of humanity and the earth. God saw what he had done and promised he would never again curse the land.

John 1:3 – “Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being.”

At the beginning of John’s Gospel there is an understanding by the writer that Jesus was present at Creation and that everything that ever came into being came into being through Christ.

John 3:16 – “God so loved the world that God gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.”

Many think that the whole Christ event was just about personal salvation, but actually, it was about God’s love for everything God has made. The word world is better translated as cosmos.

The Apostle Paul

Romans 8:19 – “The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters.”

Colossians 1:20 – “He reconciled all things to himself through him — whether things on earth or in the heavens. He brought peace through the blood of his cross.”

Paul has the understanding that Jesus was the redeemer not just of humanity, but of everything God created.

Learn more about The United Methodist Church and its teachings about the natural world, and creation care.

This piece was written by Susan Passi-Klaus, a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Media contact: Joe Iovino.

 
 

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Pentecost is Sunday, June 9, 2019

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Pentecost is a Christian holy day that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit 40 days after Easter. Some Christian denominations consider it the birthday of the Christian church and celebrate it as such.

Originally, Pentecost was a Jewish holiday held 50 days after Passover. One of three major feasts during the Jewish year, it celebrated Thanksgiving for harvested crops. However, Pentecost for Christians means something far different.

Before Jesus was crucified, he told his disciples that the Holy Spirit would come after him:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16–18

And 40 days after Jesus was resurrected (10 days after he ascended into heaven), that promise was fulfilled when Peter and the early Church were in Jerusalem for Pentecost.

 

 

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Disciple Fast Track

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For nearly thirty years, the original Disciple Bible Study has helped millions of people read through the Bible and grow their faith through a 34-week class. 

The new Disciple Fast Track study leads groups through the Bible in 24 weeks-12 on the Old Testament and 12 on the New Testament. Study manuals and videos give participants tools to absorb and retain what they learn about the Bible. 

Our church is now forming a Disciple Fast Track group to go through the study together. Pastor Dan will be leading. We will meet Wednesday evenings, 7:00pm.

 

Main Features of Disciple Fast Track:

· Classes meet for a total of 24 weeks

– 12 Weeks Old Testament (August 31 – November 16)

– 12 Weeks New Testament (January 4 – March 22 +/- for inclement weather)

· Each group session lasts 75 minutes

·Daily scripture & workbook readings.

· 24 weekly illustrated whiteboard review videos

 

Please sign up on the Connection Card in the bulletin this Sunday for more information or click here.

 

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Today’s Bible Verse ~ Mark 8:36

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Today’s Bible Verse

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” –Mark 8:36

 

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Today at Pender UMC ~ June 5

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Please join us June 5, 2016 at the 8:15, 9:30 or 11:00 am worship services

The Children’s Musical “The Story-Tellin’ Man” will be performed at all 3 services. It will be presented by  our Wesley & Asbury Choirs in the Sanctuary

Listen to 287 past sermons by Pastors Kenny Newsome, Dan Elmore and others in the Pender Podcast.

Please click here to Give Online!

What to expect at Pender UMC

Directions to Pender

Sunday Childcare

Wondering where to take your children on Sunday mornings? Below is a summary. More detailed information is available at the Welcome desk located in the main lobby and here.

  • NURSERY CARE ~ Birth through 2 years, 9:30 am – 12:15 pm
  • SUNDAY SCHOOL 1 ~ 2 yrs. – Adults, 9:30 am – 10:40 am
  • SUNDAY SCHOOL 2 ~ Grades 4 – Adults, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm
  • CHERUB CHURCH ~ 3 yrs.- Kindergarten, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm
  • JUNIOR FELLOWSHIP ~ Grades 1-3, 10:45 am – 11:30 am
  • JUNIOR CHURCH ~ Grades 1 – 5, 11:30 am – 12:15 pm


Calendar of Events

Also today:

  • June 5: This Week at Pender email newsletter
  • June 5: Items of the week needed for Western Fairfax Christian Ministries to distribute to the needy in our area:
    • Flour and Sugar
    • 46 oz. bottles of oil, fruit juices, plastic bags and egg cartons are always needed and welcome too!

    Donations can be left in the blue grocery cart in the coat rack section.

  • June 5: The Waitlist is open for Vacation Bible School (VBS).  More information
  • June 5: Volunteer to help with Vacation Bible School (VBS).  More information
  • June 5: ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT! Registration is open for Music Camp.  More information
  • June 5: Volunteer to help with Music Camp.  More information
  • June 5: Registration is open for Philippi.  More information
  • June 5: Traditional Service,  8:15 am. More information
  • June 5: Common Ground Service,  9:30 am. More information
  • June 5: Sunday School Classes.  9:30 am More information
  • June 5: New Directions Sunday School Class. New study entitled “Soul Keeping – Caring for the Most Import Part of You” by John Ortberg. We meet in Rooms 218-220 at 9:30 AM. If any questions, feel free to contact Carol Wilson If any questions, feel free to contact Carol Wilson by email or at (703) 815-1744.
  • June 5: The 10:30am Sunday School Class is reading a new study by Adam Hamilton entitled Seeing Gray in A World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and Politics. Contact Angie Green for more information.
  • June 5: Sunday School II for adults. 10:45 am-noon
  • June 5: Traditional Service,  11:00 am. More information
  • June 5: Teen Sunday School. 11:00 am-noon
  • June 5: Pizza With the Pastors, 12 pm More information
  • June 5: The Pender Youth Orchestra, 4:15-5:00 pm. The Youth Orchestra is open to all youth grades 7 through 12 who play a wind, brass, stringed or percussion instrument. New members are always welcome! The Orchestra plays 4-5 times during Sunday morning worship from December-June. More information.
  • June 5: Sing ‘n Celebrate, 5 pm More information
  • June 5: Celebration Ringers, 5:00-5:45 pm.  Register for this choir
  • June 5: Youth Handbell Ensemble, 5:00-5:45 pm.  Register for this choir
  • June 5: Youth Choir, 5:45-6:30 pm.  Register for this choir
  • June 5: Turning Point Youth Group, 6:30-8:30 pm, with dinner. More information

 

 

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