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Thursday, November 15, 2018

"Midweek and Two Oportunities" Pastor Cindy's Devotion 11/15/2018



Hello everyone,
Our sermon series this month is called Life, according to Jesus. And we have been following Jesus through the scripture, looking at how he lived.  Last Sunday life, according to Jesus, was about healing.  Each of us has a part in the healing of the world. Today I want to offer two opportunities to get involved in some healing work.  They might surprise you.
Dr. Jones from Hillside, our neighborhood elementary school, contacted me this week.  He is looking for a “book enthusiast” who could volunteer in the school library at Hillside shelving books.  The librarian teaches throughout the day, has little extra time, and shelving books is an on-going burden.  That may not sound like healing, but ask a tired teacher what he or she needs and the answer is generally “help!”  Volunteering in the library would be a great help, a kind of healing.  Getting to know the librarian and building a new relationship, that’s a kind of healing too. This just might be a mutual healing--both the librarian and the volunteer finding peace in this.  Contact me if you are the "book enthusiast" Dr. Jones is looking for!  (We require background checks for all persons who work with children.  We can easily do that here at the church.)
On Sunday afternoon at 4 pm, Music and More on Grand will present “WDM UMC’s Got Talent.”  Fifteen talented individuals and groups from our church and beyond will sing and play instruments and dance (Yes!  Methodists CAN dance!).  Music is a healing balm for our souls.  So come and let your soul be soothed!  Even better, bring two friends, maybe people who don’t get out a lot, or people who feel left out.  Let this fun afternoon heal them too. 
Throughout the week WDMUMC is in the business of healing, from the AA program to our extensive work in hunger, to the SHIPP program that “heals” Medicare worries.  Healing is a good gift from God that leads to joy and we each get to play a part.  Thanks be to God.
 
See you on Sunday.
Blessings, 
Pastor Cindy
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
515-279-0826
Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org
We worship at 8:30 and 11 and we would love to worship with you. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

"Midweek and Kindergarten Billy Goats" Pastor Cindy's Devotion 11/08/2018



Good morning,
We are in the middle of a sermon series called “Life, according to Jesus.” And this week, life, according to Jesus, is about healing.

Do you remember the first time you realized that your body had the power to heal?

When I was in kindergarten, I walked to school with the neighborhood kids.  I lived in a small town and the school was about five blocks away.  That winter the city tore up one of the streets.  I don’t know what they were working on, maybe a broken water main.  Whatever happened, for a few weeks there was a long pile of gravel that ran like a miniature mountain range along the sidewalk.  Why would any kid walk on the sidewalk, why you could climb on top of a four-foot high mountain range?  So each day on the way to school, we climbed up on our mountain range like the little Billy goats we were and “balanced” our way down the street on our way to school.

The weather turned cold.  The gravel iced up a bit, but still, our mountain range was too tempting and too much fun.  One day the thing our mothers warned us about happened. I fell, slid on the gravel and tore a pretty good gash in my knee.  I don’t remember any pain, but there was a two-inch cut and lots of blood.

In those days girls were required to wear dresses to school, so I was wearing a dress that day. And because it was cold, I was wearing tan colored tights.  The knee of my tights was ripped open too.
Blood was pouring out of the wound.  We were closer to school than home (besides our mothers had warned us about walking on the gravel) so on we went to school.

There was a little boy in kindergarten who had a crush on me.  I knew that because just days earlier when we all laid down on our rugs for nap time, (Do kindergartners still do this?  Really, we spent about 30 minutes just lying there.) this particular little boy asked me to marry him.  We were both five.  We hadn’t learned how to read yet and we were just learning our colors.  I think I turned him down, but I don’t remember for sure.

The day I cut my knee, when we arrived in our classroom, he was already there.  By that time, my knee was covered in blood, and my torn tights were soaked in blood too.  The teacher went into immediate first aid mode.  And the little boy took one look and began screaming.

He thought my torn bloody flapping tight was my flesh.  He thought the skin had been ripped off my leg.  He went ballistic.

I still don’t remember any pain.  I just remember his reaction.  I think the teacher had to take care of him before she took care of me.

I had a scar for a long time.  I checked this morning and it has faded away.  As for the little boy, I assume he healed too.

I think this the first time I learned that our bodies have this amazing resiliency.  A built-in ability to recover.  Does this have anything to do with God?

It has everything to do with God.

Blessings to you this day.  See you on Sunday.
Pastor Cindy
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265
515-279-0826

Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org
We worship at 8:30 and 11 on Sunday mornings and we would love to worship with you.

This week at WDMUMC:
The Youth are cooking up a Grand Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday to support their mission trip next summer.  They will be serving from 11-1.  You are invited!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"Midweek and I am Done" Pastor Cindy's Devotion 10/31/2018


Good morning friends,


I am done with hate.  How about you?  I have just heard too much of it lately.  It has seeped into our lives as though it is somehow the normal response to every challenge.  Blame somebody. Hate somebody.
    

I am done.  I feel the weight of hate in our world and I worry about the toll it is taking. Hate hems us in.  Fills us with an anxious caution that has little reality.  Makes targets of groups of people.


Hate makes us feel odd if we are simply open to others.  Makes trusting in love seem simple-minded, risky.
   

The world is a bit of a mess, but God has not abandoned us. Nor has God privileged us, given us special status so that we can somehow avoid the mess.  There are real challenges to work on and the work can be very exciting. There is an adventure to be had unless of course, we put our energies into hating.  That leaves little for God to work with.
  

I know ending my relationship with hate will take a change of heart and the courage to stand up to hateful actions.  Reaching out our arms as Christ did.  I am working on that.  I will need Christ. I believe he is ready to help. 


Blessings,
Pastor Cindy
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
702 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265
515-279-0826


Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org

This week at WDMUMC:

Midweek Refuel TONIGHT!  Suppers at 5:30.  Hope to see you there!


Feeding the Hillside staff!  Hillside, the elementary next door, is having parent-teacher conferences on November 13 and 15.  These are long days for teachers and staff.  They have asked if we could provide food.  On November 13 they need desserts and sides.  On November 15 they are looking for casseroles and desserts.  Anyone interested in cooking for the Hillside bunch?  They have a staff of 50.  Linda Plummer, our congregational care coordinator, is the point person on this project.  If you are interested in helping please contact Linda at lplummer@wdmumc.org



Stewardship!  If you have not completed your stewardship pledge for 2019, please do so as soon as possible  We are making our ministry plans for 2019 and your financial support makes the work of this church possible.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

"Midweek and We are Getting Ready for a Celebration" Pastor Cindy's Devotion 10/24/2018


Good morning friends,


This Saturday at 5:30 we are celebrating a baptism.  The parents of a two-month-old little girl are bringing her before God and the church to celebrate her life and bless her on her way as a Child of God, a disciple in training.  (I am not sharing her name because this message is eventually posted on Facebook and I want to offer the family some sense of privacy.)


We typically have baptisms on Sunday morning during worship.  But that doesn’t work for this family.  Loved ones are traveling to Des Moines from across the country and this baptism needs to happen on Saturday evening.


We are not baptized into the church building or the pastor.  We are baptized into the church community.  That’s where you come in.  The church needs to surround this little girl.  As you are able and available, come and join in the celebration.


And in addition to this, you are invited (again as you are able) to bring a baby gift.  The gifts not for this little girl.  She is surrounded by a loving family and has all she needs.  Her very first ministry on the evening of her baptism is reminding us that not all children have what she has.  The gifts that we bring will be given to the Zero-3 Program for infants and toddlers who are in foster care.  The director of the Zero to 3 program tells me they need diapers, wipes, bottles, Similac (in the blue can), blankets and maybe some small toys.  You can also bring books for the 2-4-2 Program.  For the 2-4-2 program bring two identical books.  One book goes with the child to their foster home.  The other goes with the parent.  Foster families arrange for a phone call between the child and their parent and during that call the parent reads the book over the phone to the child.  It is a way of keeping child and parent connected, even under difficult circumstances.  If you have already bought cute little baby things, that’s fine too.  All of these things will be given to children who need them.  You do not need to wrap them. 
   

Why do this?


Because the church is for the people and we can rearrange our lives to meet the needs of others.


Because baptism is a glorious wonderful thing.


Because babies are glorious and wonderful too.


Because we are grateful for both.


Because we are disciples and we care.


Because Jesus has empowered us to change the world, and this is a start.


I am excited.


Blessings,
Pastor Cindy
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
515-279-0826


Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org.


What’s happening at WDMUMC:

Trunk or Treat tonight!  Princesses and cowboys and goblins and ghosts will be trick or treating here tonight from 6-7:30.  Free offering supper!  Come and bring your trunk, or bring the ghosts and goblins in your life.


The Imani Church next door is celebrating their 10th anniversary!  Congratulations to Pastor Joshua and the entire Imani Family.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

"Midweek and Thinking About the L-Word" Pastor Cindy's Devotion 10/17/2018


Today I am just thinking….


I sometimes think that we have worn out the word “love.”  We have overused it. We say we love the Boston Red Sox or [your team goes here], pizza, puppies, and today’s beautiful weather.  I am careful about using the word “love” in my sermons because love is often regarded as wimpy, the stuff of chick flicks.  We have also sexualized it, as though love and lust are synonymous.  We have in many ways, made love a small thing, Maybe that’s our way of trying to control its power.
  

And it is powerful.  Loving is a courageous, daring act.  It takes a lot of guts to love deeply, to give of ourselves, to risk disappointment, to regard someone or something as more important than our own survival. 


Love is not confined to the love between people.  We can love an idea, like freedom or education, and love it into reality.  I think Jesus was like that.  I think he loved people, but more than people he loved who we could become, that kingdom he so often mentioned.  He loved that idea with his whole being.


So I watch for love in action and I find myself looking for other words for love. 
Mercy, respect, sacrifice, commitment, courage, devotion, friendship, honor, community, acceptance.
  

Help me out here.  Do you have words for love?   Where have you seen it in action?


Blessings,
Pastor Cindy
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265
515-279-0826


Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org.


We worship at 8:30 and 11 on Sunday mornings and we would love to worship with you.
 

This week at WDMUMC:
Consecration Sunday!  This Sunday we will celebrate our future as consecrate our financial pledges for the year ahead.  Come and join the party!


Midweek Refuel!  Supper’s on tonight at 5:30!  (Pasta night!) Lots of activities for young and old.


Trunk or Treat!  Next Wednesday!  Morganne is collecting candy in the bin outside her office.


A Baptism Celebration!  On Saturday, September 27th at 5:30 we are celebrating the baptism of a baby girl.  And you are invited.  Family members are flying in from across the country and they are not able to make a Sunday morning service, so we are holding a special service.  Babies are baptized into the church community and we need members of the church community to surround this little girl.  Can you come and represent the church?
 

And—there’s more.  This little girl is surrounded by loving parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents and church.  Not all babies are.  So we are celebrating this baptism with a “baby shower” for babies in need.  You are invited to bring a baby gift and these will be given to a local program that supports infants and toddlers at risk.  We will celebrate babies!



It is good to be the church.