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Monday, August 27, 2012

Mits-Wits kick off!

On Sunday the Mits-Wits Adult Sunday School Class held its annual Kick-off Breakfast Picnic at Pearson Park.  It was a super fantastic event.  We had over 40 members in attendance.  It was a covered dish affair with members bring fruit, pastries and breakfast delights.  Dick organized and supervised the on-site cooking.  Mike, Michelle, Ken and Robert prepared fresh scrambled eggs (4 different ways) and hash browns lyonnaise.  Coffee, tea and orange juice was provided. 

After we all ate way too much, Robert and Mariann led us in a short business meeting and a review of upcoming events.  The Program Committee has completed scheduling program for the remainder of 2012.  Programs will start on September 9.  You can find a complete list of programs on the Mits-Wits page on the Church's web site, www.wdmumc.org under Ministries-Christain Education.

We also used this time to wish aloha and safe travels to Bob and Lindia, long time class members, who will be moving to Portland. 

After the picnic a large group of members attended the 11:00 service to hear Pastor Jen's first WDMUMC sermon.  And what a treat it was. 

Anyone who is interested in joining an adult Sunday School class,  feel free to join us in the Wesley Center at 9:50 AM starting September 9.

Mike Plymale, WDMUMC member

What's your Story?

"What's Your Story?" That's the question new Associate Pastor Jen Hibben asked today in her sermon at West Des Moines United Methodist Church. Her message is based on one of her favorite stories in the Bible -- the story of Samuel (1 Samuel 3) -- a story where God speaks to a child. Background for the story is that Samuel's mom, Hannah, had been barren, and she prayed, "Lord, if you will look u
pon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life." And so after Samuel's birth we find him in the house of Eli, where Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. One night after both Eli and Samuel had gone to bed, the Lord called out to Samuel. But in those days hearing from God was not common. And Samuel did not yet know the Lord. So he thought Eli had called him. Because Eli was not used to hearing from the Lord either, he may have thought Samuel just had an active imagination, so sent him back to bed. After the Lord called Samuel for the third time, and Samuel went to Eli again, Eli then realized that it was the Lord who was calling. So Eli told Samuel what he needed to do, teaching him how to respond, using the words, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." Without Eli, Samuel may have missed God's call. When God called the fourth time, Samuel was ready, and responded, as instructed, with the words, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." Today God speaks to us. It's important that we're listening for God to speak. We don't have to be called to be a pastor for God to talk to us and call us. We're all called to be ministers. What ministry is God calling you to? God talks to all of us and has plans for all of us. Sometimes we resist God's message -- we're not always ready to hear. And sometimes we have worries or anxieties about God's call. But the best advice is this: just do what Eli told Samuel to do. Simply respond, "I am here, Lord. Speak, for your servant is listening."

Gene Kelsey, Director of Christian Education

Thursday, August 23, 2012

WDMUMC at the fair

Check out this great article in the Des Moines Register about our State Fair stand and this video interview with Duane Daby! I spent a wonderful afternoon, and evening, there and loved chatting with volunteers and customers. The theme of the fair this year was "Nothing Compares," that goes for our stand as well! Great work volunteers and thanks to those who came out to visit and eat!

Pastor Jen, Associate Pastor

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Open Door of Forgiveness

Dr. Daniel's sermon on Sunday: "The Open Door of Forgiveness. Very challenging! To err is human; to forgive is divine. Jesus taught, as recorded in Matthew, the importance of forgiving one another. 1. It's an experience -- we've received from God over and over and over again! The Bible says we all have a problem called sin. And in the world it's even glorified. God invented the remedy: for
giveness. Jesus demonstrated it with His first words while on the cross: "Father, forgive them..." It's uneared, undeserved, unconditional grace. 2. It's an expression -- we must forgive others even as Christ has forgiven us. The best gift that could be given to another. Forgiveness doesn't change the past, but it enlarges the future and sets us free. Thank you, Dr. Daniel, for your boldness and clarity in presenting God's message to us!

Gene Kelsey, Director of Christian Education

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Imitators of God

"Be Imitators of God" is what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians. Dr. Daniel talked about that today in a passionate, soul-stirring message. Paul preceded those words by saying, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." What does the mean? The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead who resides within us, and guides us toward God. Do not shatter, crush or break the heart of the Spirit by having these negative emotions. Knowing that it's challenging to be a new person in Christ Jesus, Paul gives us a formula: 1. Look inward. That is, take care of what is inside you. Search your own heart. Get rid of all that gunk. 2. Look outward. That is, take care of our relationships. "Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another." 3. Look upward. It's not enough to just look inward and
 look outward. We must look upward and recognize how Christ has forgiven us. And then be imitators of God. Live a life of love. If we are to live a new life in Christ, we must be aware of emotions within us that must be kept under control; we must have our eyes open to opportunities for service and witness through kindness and tenderheartedness and forgiveness directed toward the people that we meet. But , we must also focus our eyes on Him who comes to us with love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. Something to think about this week...How is God call you this week to "be imitators of God?" What are some ways in which you can touch other people's lives because God has touched your life? How is God calling you to rid yourself of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander with every form of malice? How can you be more kind, compassionate and forgiving of each other just Christ forgave you?

Gene Kelsey, Director of Christian Education

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why Do We Need Jesus?

Why Do We Need Jesus? Using John 6:24-35, Dr. Daniel offered a response to this question. After feeding the 5,000, Jesus and the disciples left, and the people began to look for Jesus. People are still searching for Jesus today. Rich people, poor people, young people, old people, peole of every race and nationality are searching for Jesus today. 1. People who are on the verge of losing hope need J
esus. When Jesus says, "I AM..." the impact is to bring hope. 2. People who have no purpose for living need Jesus. So often we look to (material) things to fill our lives. But only Jesus can satisfy the soul. 3. People who have a great emptiness in their lives need Jesus. We can perhaps go a few weeks without food, or perhaps a few days with out water, but we must not go even an hour without Jesus! The greatest failure in life is failing to go deep enough to discover the power of God and faith. How about you? Are you searching for Jesus? Is there emptiness in your life today? Do you need Jesus in your life? Jesus told the crowd who came seeking him that they needed bread that endures unto eternal life. They said to him, "Sir...give us this bread." Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

Gene Kelsey, Director of Christian Education