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Monday, October 9, 2017

"To-Do" - Pastor Cindy's Devotion - October 9, 2017



Good morning!

I woke up this morning to my to-do list running through my mind:
  • Time to prepare the liturgy for next Sunday’s worship—
  • Yesterday the message was about our homes and the problem of homelessness.  Do I need to do follow up? 
  • Our stewardship campaign, Saints Alive!  Living Generously is kicking off.  Can we be generous saints? 
  • Confirmation begins on the 18th—time to review the materials!
  • New members joining this Sunday!
  • A wedding on Saturday. 
  • Sarah has the bibles ready for our third graders his Sunday.  Anything else we need to do to get ready?
  • I need to call Hillside, our neighborhood elementary school, to talk about working together
  • What should our sermon series be for November?
  • Next week the staff will have a retreat, Am I ready? 
  • And Advent?  Will we have an all-church study for Advent?  (The answer is yes;  we just haven’t selected the book yet.)
  • The Dream Summit.  We have been gathering dreams and dreamers and on October 22 in the afternoon from 3-5, we will come together to dream. 
And people, there are lots and lots of people to see.
And all of this in the shadow of the shooting last week in Las Vegas.  It’s on my mind too. 

All of this (and more actually) needs to be done.  I love the work of the church.  I am a To-Do List, Czar. I constantly run a to-do list.  My worry is that sometimes my to-do list runs me.  Are these the right things to do?  Is this what I should spend my time on? 

So this week, I am stepping away, stepping back, stepping out, just outside the doors of the church. I am bringing my lawn chair to church, setting it on the lawn by the front doors and spending time thinking and planning and praying.  I have a box filled with things I want to read.  I will take that along with me, too. I will carry my cell phone.  (Dave tells me it is cold this morning—I may need a blanket too.)  For this week, I want to give my to-do list to God and let grace help me sort it out. 

I hope you will stop by.  I want to hear what you are thinking about.  Let grace sort your to-do list too. 

So I will be out on the lawn. 

A few practicalities:  There is some business I have to attend to.  Eating, for example.  And I cannot sit all day in a lawn chair, so sometimes I will walk.  But I will carry my cell phone and if I am not at my post and you want to find me, just call or text.   515-988-0636.  I plan to go home around 6:30 or so.  If it rains, I will be in the sanctuary. 

That to-do list above?  All of those things will get done.  I just want to ensure that my heart is in the right place before I go to work on them. 

I leave you with a bit of scripture for the day from Psalm 46:10  Be still and know that I am God. 

Breathing that in this week. 

Every blessing,

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church

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

This week at West Des Moines United Methodist Church…
Wednesday Night Live Dinner!  5:30 on Wednesday Cubbie Bear from the Iowa Cubs will be joining us for supper.  You are invited to share in the fun!


And looking ahead—October 25 Trunk or Treat Night! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

"Providing a Sense of Home" - Pastor Cindy's Devotion - October 2, 2017


Good morning friends,
As I write this, I am sitting at my desk in the corner of our family room.  Dave is upstairs getting ready for work and our dog, Ike, is lying on the floor beside me.  Above my desk is a picture of my granddaughter, and nearby is a picture of my mom.  On my desk among the papers and files, there is a wooden bird a friend gave me.  One wall of the family room is covered with books.  We love books and there they sit like old friends who never left. 

In a few minutes, Dave will come downstairs and we will eat breakfast together in the kitchen.  The kitchen is painted a teal color that I love.  The refrigerator is covered with magnets from our travels.  There is a small chalkboard on the wall where we announce family events, birthdays and anniversaries, countdowns to graduations.  Today it simply reads “RELAX.” 

This is my home.  We moved here 25 years ago.  We arrived the day before the moving van.  Dave and I and our two little girls spent our first night here “camping” in the empty family room sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags. 

That began the adventure of living in this house.  Since then we have painted and remodeled and mowed and raked and pulled weeds (and sometimes failed to pull weeds.)  Our children have grown.  Our daughters have homes of their own, but they come to visit and they move through this house with familiarity.  They may have their own homes, but they still carry this house in their hearts. 

Family dinners, graduation parties, Christmas celebrations, Beggars Night when Spiderman and princesses showed up on the doorstep.  After two weddings, we came back home, back here exhausted but too excited to sleep.  This is where we have recovered from the flu.  This is where we have lived in grief at the loss of a loved one. Dave and I have aged and the house has stood through it all.  A shelter through storms.  A sanctuary at the end of the day.  Our lives have taken root here.  This house is the roof over our heads and the foundation beneath our feet. 

Outside I can hear thunder.  Rain is on its way.  We will be fine.  We live in this house. 

On Saturday at West Des Moines United Methodist Church we want to provide this same sense of home to another family.  Working with Habitat for Humanity, we will be framing a house in the parking lot.  Note the word “we.”  The work will be provided by our willing hands.  You are invited to volunteer.  Colleen K. is coordinating this.  The Habitat staff has assured her that there is work for every skill level.  Colleen is also planning a lunch and willing hands are needed for lunch too.  I encourage you to invite family and friends and neighbors to help with this.  You may know someone who is a bit leery about the church.  “Do churches ever actually DO anything?”  On Saturday we will DO something big.  We will build a home for someone else. 

You can sign up to volunteer simply by going to https://gdmhabitat.secure.force.com/ volunteer/VolunteersJobListingFSC?jobId=a0G61000006R3IN&nMonthsToShow=6.  This will take you to the Habitat for Humanity sign up. 

And then on Sunday during worship, we will ask God to bless the house and the family who will live there.  Millions of people are homeless without the kind of security my home has provided for me.  On Saturday together our willing hands can change that for one family. 

Thank you, God, for the opportunity to make a difference. 
See you Saturday and Sunday. 

Every blessing,
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 West Des Moines United Methodist Church
The 48th Annual Hunger Hike will be held in Des Moines on October 8 at 1:30.  Like to walk?  Want to be part of addressing hunger here in the Des Moines area?  Contact the church for details. 


Sunday, October 8 at 4pm come and enjoy our Fine Arts Concert.  The Grand View University Choir and the area organists will perform.  

Monday, September 18, 2017

"The Economy of Forgiveness" - Pastor Cindy's Devotional - September 18, 2017


Good morning friends,

Last week I issued a challenge to everyone in the church to do something to improve the lives of children beyond our own families.  I asked that everyone do something within the week.  There has been a lot of buzz about what people might do.  I have been excited about the plans and conversations I have heard.  I want to extend the timeline to the end of September.  By September 30 do what you can to improve the lives of children.  And one more thing, I would like you to let the church know what you have done.  Simply email Linda or me.  We want to celebrate the impact we can have on our community.  Thank you. 

My daughter lives in a small nearby town and last night a friend and I drove there to visit her.  It was a really nice evening, so we decided to go for a walk.  The town has a town square with a stately old courthouse.  We headed for the square, with a stop at the local ice cream shop on the way. 

We got our ice cream and we walked on toward the square.  The sun was going down.  The shops were closed.  We strolled and window shopped. 

We came to a corner and as we stood there waiting for the light to change, a car ran a red light and hit a pickup truck broadside.  If you have ever witnessed an accident, you know the sounds.  The squeal of tires as the driver realized his mistake and tried to stop.  The thump as the car and pickup collide.  The crunch of metal.  The sound of glass and plastic shattering.  It all happened in an instant.   

A big dog had been riding in the back of the pickup and on impact, it flew out of the bed of the truck, into the air and onto the concrete. 

We all felt a burst of adrenaline.  My daughter reached for her phone to call 911 and told us to see if everyone was all right.  We ran into the street and called to the drivers.  The driver of the pickup got out quickly.  He seemed angry but physically fine.  He scooped up his dog and put him in the cab.  He told us the dog was all right too.  I hope the dog was.  He has to be pretty bruised and sore today. 

The driver of the car sat stunned for a bit longer and then he got out too.  He told us he was ok. 

The driver of the truck yelled at the driver of the car.  The driver of car shouted back “I am sorry” and then he leaned his head against his car.  They wisely kept their distance from one another. 

When all this began we were the only people on the street, but within a few minutes a dozen people, who must have heard the collision, arrived. 

The police arrived quickly.  They were calm and matter of fact, all business. 

The truck had a sizable dent in the side.  The car was in much worse shape.  The front end was smashed in.  It would not start and didn’t look like it was drivable.  It was sitting in the middle of the intersection obstructing traffic.  The two police officers pushed the car out of traffic and into a parking spot.  Then the driver stood and talked with them.  I heard one of the police officers say “It happens.”   

Just a few hours earlier I preached about forgiveness. 

The guy ran a red light.  Why would he do such a thing?  There are probably a dozen good reasons why he would.  Maybe he was tired because he was working too much.  A lot of people are working too much these days.  Maybe he was distracted by whatever else is going on in his life.  Maybe he just didn’t see the truck.  Every driver has had a moment when they “just didn’t see” something or other. 

Sunday morning, we talked about an economy of forgiveness.  You forgive me, and because I have been forgiven, I forgive someone else, and that person extends forgiveness and we all do this because ultimately we have all been forgiven by God and really it is the only way to live.  I once rear-ended a pickup truck.  It was completely my fault. 

For a moment last night, the peace was disrupted.  And there are consequences.  Someone, probably the police, had to sweep up all that glass and plastic.  Today the insurance companies are at work sorting out the damages.  The driver of the car will be without transportation for a while.  I hope the dog is ok.  By morning, more consequences may be evident. 

We walked on home and you could feel a sense of grace settling around as though God got the 911 call too.  Peace being restored.  There was a path forward in forgiveness.  There is always a path forward in forgiveness.

Every blessing,

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
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.   

This week at WDMUMC…
Wednesday Night Live supper at 5:30 and all sorts of activities around the church.  You are invited!

We are building a Habitat for Humanity House in our parking lot on October 7.  Check out our website for details! 


Next week I will be on vacation and there will be no midweek devotion.  Love God and serve your neighbors.  Or serve God and love your neighbors.  Either works. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

"Change a Child's Life" - Pastor Cindy's Devotional - September 11, 2017


Good morning!

Something happened yesterday at worship.  I want to share it so the midweek is arriving early. 

Yesterday we talked about being disciples.  Jesus’ ministry lasted three years from the time when he began teaching and preaching and healing until his crucifixion.  Just three years—but his mission has lasted 2017 years—because he handed it over to his disciples, people like you and me.  It is pretty amazing that Jesus would put such important work in our hands, but for some reason Jesus did.  Jesus still inspires and leads and energizes and enables his mission, but we, disciples, carry it out. 

Yesterday we read Matthew 18.  Jesus’ first disciple recruits asked Jesus a basic organizational question.  Who Is the greatest?  Who was in charge?  Jesus answered them by placing a child in the middle of the conversation.  A child was the greatest and he urged us (his disciples) to welcome children. 

Ok, he didn’t exactly urge us—he went on to say awful things would happen if we didn’t care for the little ones.  It may sound like a threat.  I think caring for the small and the vulnerable is simply the reality in Jesus’ kingdom. 

So at the end of worship, the pastor (ok—that was me) issued a challenge.  Every person was asked to take Jesus’ words seriously and do something this week that improved the lives of children.  Not our own children or grandchildren—of course, we are caring for them.  We were asked to do something that improves the lives of children, beyond our own families.    

After worship, several people stopped me and said they didn’t know what to do.  I knew exactly how they felt.  I live in a comfortable suburb.  I think that blinds me to the needs of children.  (My neighbor kids seem to be doing fine.)  I need to learn more about the needs of children across our community.  I have to do some research.  I have to step out of my comfort zone to discover what the needs of children are. 

Some people began talking about what they might do. One was a retired teacher and she taught on the east side of Des Moines.  She talked about calling the school and seeing what they needed.  Someone else mentioned the DMARC Food Pantry.  That might be a place to meet the nutritional needs of children.  We have at least two retired people who volunteer at our local schools.  Ann RC and I spoke after worship and she sent me this email after worship:

Cindy, 
Here is the literacy/mentoring program I was talking about after service on Sunday.  
I know Hillside hosts this program along with many other schools and children's programs around central Iowa.  This would be a great opportunity to "remove a stumbling" block for a child.  
Thanks 
Ann

(By the way, Ann is one of our younger disciples and our younger disciples are waiting and watching for the church to make a difference in the world.)

248 people attended worship yesterday.  Another 800 people receive this email.  Can we, as disciples, make a difference in the lives of children in our community and world?  Jesus seems to think so. 

Blessings,

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
Like us on Facebook and visit us at wdmumc.org

Next Sunday our sermon series Questions Disciples Ask continues.  “What about forgiveness, Jesus?  What are we supposed to do about that?”  Read Matthew 18:15-35 for Jesus’ answer.  Next Sunday, we’ll talk about it. 

This week at West Des Moines United Methodist Church…
Wednesday Night Live!  Good food, lots of learning opportunities and music!  You are invited!

And a whole lot of people changing the lives of children. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"Is Life a Test?" - Pastor Cindy's Devotional - September 6, 2017



Hello, friends!

I admit it—I am an easy target for personal preference quizzes in magazines.  Do you know what I am talking about?  These are the articles that have a catching headline like “What’s your Cooking IQ?” or “Decorating Diva or Cabin Queen, what sort of decorating is right for you?” or “Choosing a Pet that fits your lifestyle.”  And then the headline is followed by a series of questions. The reader answers the questions, adds up the score, and discovers that they are rookies in the kitchen, love French Country design, and would be happiest with a gerbil. 

So today the midweek devotion is a personal preference quiz.  Just answer the four questions below:

  1. Name three people who have made a real difference in your life. 
  2. Describe what is tugging at your heart right now. 
  3. If you could make one change in the world, what would you do? 
  4. What is the first step to the change you describe above? 

Now that you have finished the quiz above, here’s my personalized assessment of your answers:

Boy, people sure have made a difference in your life!  Thank the three people you listed.  The best way to thank them is by making a difference in someone else’s life.  Look around.  Who needs your encouragement? 

Re-examine the tugging at your heart.  Perhaps it is God tugging at you to do something to change the situation. 

Write the one change you would like to see on a small piece of paper and put it in your pocket.  Carry it around today. 

Take the first step. 

Congratulations!  You passed the quiz.  Wow, you seem to be a person with a good heart!  I was so impressed by your responses, I have already prayed for you. 

A few years ago I took a test like this with a bit more teeth in it.  It was an assessment of my level of racial bias.  It was created at Harvard University as part of their Project Implicit which looks at how we perceive and judge.  (Google “Project Implicit” to learn more.)  The results shocked me.  This link will take you to the test I took:  https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/user/agg/blindspot/indexrk.htm.

Is life a test?  I don’t think so.  I do think it is a journey and along the way we discover how to love those we journey with and which path we should follow.  A test from time to time is a good way to reset our GPS. 

Blessings, 

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265
Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org

This week at West Des Moines United Methodist Church—


Wednesday Night Live starts tonight!  Good food, games, and fun together.  Supper begins at 5:30.  Come early at 5 and enjoy a cup of coffee!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Thoughts While on the Steps" - Pastor Cindy's Devotional - August 30, 2017


Yesterday I sat on the Grand Avenue steps of the church and ate my lunch.  The weather was beautiful.  Cars and trucks drove by and I watched and enjoyed the time. 

That is pretty much my midweek for this week.  I just sat and took in the world around me. 

I am worried about the people in Houston and the horrible flooding. 

I officiated at a funeral this week and I feel the grief of friends and family.  I will attend another funeral on Friday

I am thinking about the future of our church, what I will preach this Sunday and in the weeks that followed.  We are ordering Advent bulletins.  I met with a confirmation leader to make plans. 

The violence and divisiveness in our country breaks my heart and I want to find my place in building peace. 

All of this and more is on my mind and on my desk.  As a disciple, it is my job to work and serve and build the kingdom God dreams of. 

But if I don’t take time and look at the world around me and take it in in all its beauty, I will lose track of why I do what I do.  It is this thing called “sabbath” that God gave us.  Sabbath is holy time to rest and enjoy and refuel.  Without it, work is simply work and our lives are a rush of to do lists.  Sabbath restores our “why.”  Why work?  Why serve?  Why pray for the people of Houston?  Why work toward peace? 

Because yesterday at noon, God sat with me on the Grand Avenue steps and I heard God sigh, “Isn’t this a good world?”  And a holy yes poured into my soul. 

And then I went back to work, reminded again of why I work. 

My prayer for you today:  that you have a time of Sabbath and that the holy yes finds you. 

Every blessing,

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265
We worship at 8:30 and 11 on Sundays and we would love to worship with you.

Visit us at wdmumc.org or like us on facebook.

This week at West Des Moines United Methodist Church
On Sunday in worship we look at just what God is promising when God says “see I am making all things new.”  Come and join in the conversation.

Thursday night at 6 Pastor Cindy will be talking about “What Makes a Methodist a Methodist” with people interested in learning more about the United Methodist Church.  You are invited. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"God Bless Our Neighbors" - Pastor Cindy's Devotional - August 23, 2017



Good morning friends!

Last Sunday morning just after our casual service ended, a young man approached me.  He said he was a  neighbor from across the street.  There had been a wedding in his family and they had covered the tables at the reception with paper.  They had a big roll of paper left over.  “Could the church use it?”   “Yes.  Thanks for thinking of us.  And next Sunday night we are having a Block Party.  You’re invited!”  He smiled and left and a few minutes later the paper appeared in the lobby downstairs. 

On Monday I walked over to Hillside School to drop off flyers about the Block Party.  I told the woman working in the office that if the school ever needed anything, to let us know.  The church would be glad to help.  We’re neighbors. 

The Imani Church, just on the other side of our parking lot, has offered their parking lot as a place for us to park on Sunday evening so our parking lot will be available for the party.  They’re coming to the party too, and they are pretty excited. 

Hillside school children and their families, Imani church people, a young man I had never seen before.  Our neighbors.  People I never intended to meet or share my life with and yet, there they are. 

Here’s the question I find myself asking this morning:  Does God put us in a particular place at a particular time surrounded by particular people so that we can care and support one another?  Are the people who live and work around us not just a coincidence, but the specific people God wants us to know and share our lives with?  Are they people who need my presence?  Are they people whose presence I need? 

I am writing this at home.  Out my window, I can see my neighbors’ homes.  In one home two young men have gone off to college.  In another home, a young man is facing challenges.  Two houses are for sale and we will be getting new neighbors.  The school bus will soon be by to pick up children on their first day. 

I admit, and this is really a confession, I never thought about this before.  I am pretty guarded about who I interact with.  Thinking of all these neighbors, I wonder if I don’t treat love as though it is in limited supply, and mine to own.  In truth, love is something I have received in quantities greater than I could ever deserve.  And as love has flowed into my life.   From my life, it should flow into the lives of others. 

God bless my neighbors.  And use me in the blessing. 

Amen!

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265
Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org.

This week at West Des Moines United Methodist Church:
We will worship at 8:30 in a traditional way and at 11 in a more casual setting.  Come and join us!  We are making our way through a sermon series called In the Beginning.  Need a fresh start in your life?  God loves beginnings! 

Sunday from 5:30-7:30 it’s time to party!  You are invited to our Block Party!  Free food, games for the kids, and just plain fun being together.  Bring a lawn chair and plan to meet some great people! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"May We Find Our Way Back to Beauty" - Pastor Cindy's Devotional - August 15, 2017


I have a young friend who is kind and compassionate.   She is a blessing to me.  A year ago she left family and friends and moved half way across the country to attend seminary.  As you can imagine, that was a stressful time.  To help ease the transition, we decided to look around each day, spot something beautiful, take a picture of it, and text the picture to each other.  We agreed to do this for 30 days.
 
So each day we sent pictures.  Cloud formations.  The cannas in my front yard.  Sunsets.  My mother’s hand.  The view out our windows.  We looked and saw beautiful things and sent them to each other.  It was fun and reassuring.  Even though this was a time of change, even though she was facing a big learning curve in a strange new place, there was still beauty in the world.  We only had to slow down and look.  (I recommend this!  Try it with someone you love!)

She texted a few weeks ago to see how I was doing in my new appointment serving as the pastor at West Des Moines United Methodist Church.  “Most challenging thing I have ever done,” I told her. 
And she suggested 30 days of beautiful things, this time for my transition. 

Game on.  This time our sense of beauty had changed a bit, more nuanced.  She sent me a picture of a backpack filled with things she was taking to a student who was in the hospital.  I sent her a picture of my windshield on one of the few days it has rained this summer, beautiful, precious raindrops. 
She sent a picture of the flower bed in front of the office where her boyfriend works.  I sent her a picture of the first page of a sermon I had been struggling to write.  She sent me a picture of stained glass window.  I sent her a picture from the Des Moines Register of a rattlesnake that was spotted in Madison County, which we noted was probably beautiful to another rattlesnake.  She sent me a picture of the mug she received when she worshiped with us.  I sent her a picture of an ear of sweet corn. 

And on Saturday I received this message:  “I’m having a hard time finding beauty today—I’m devastated by the events in Virginia.” 

Blinded by evil. 

I wonder about the cost of violence.  In Charlottesville, three people have died and many others were injured.  That alone is heartbreaking.  But I wonder how many people across the country felt like my friend, defeated.  How much does violence and hatred in our world chip away at our hearts?  In our church, we are daring to dream about our future.  Does violence and hatred diminish our ability to dream? 

I often hear people say that they don’t like to read the Old Testament because it is so violent.  There is a lot of violence in the Old Testament.  Almost all of the Old Testament was written during times of war and oppression.  The people are crying out to God for a world where they can live in peace.  In Psalm 137 the people have been captured and exiled to a foreign nation.  They hang their harps in the willows.  In their pain, they cannot bear to sing.  The violence has not only broken their hearts, it has broken their ability to care for others. The psalm ends with the writer calling for the brutal death of the children of their enemies.  The cost of violence and hatred: our own souls. 

I plan to send my friend a picture today.  I am looking around for some sort of beauty that will counter what she has seen and felt.  I am looking.  And praying. 

May peace be our goal.  May the love of others not just be our hope, but also our mission. May the gracious presence of God in our lives free us to give of ourselves freely and accept others.  May we live with justice.  And in living lives that reflect the love of Christ, may we find our way back to beauty.  

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265

Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org. 
We worship at 8:30 and 11 on Sunday morning and we would love to worship with you. 
This link will take you to Bishop Laurie Haller’s statement on the violence in Charlottesville.  http://www.iaumc.org/features/bishops-statement-on-charlottesville-9023957

This week at West Des Moines United Methodist Church: 
Next Sunday we continue our sermon series “In the Beginning…”  How does the disciple life begin?  If Paul’s life is any indication, the disciple life does not begin with a big celebration and a pat on the back.  Paul’s disciple life began in a completely different way.  And even though it had a rough beginning, Paul became a New Testament hero.  What might God be beginning in you?  Read Acts 9:1-19 to prepare.  See you next Sunday. 

Blessing of the Backpacks!  Time to head back to school and this Sunday during worship we will be blessing backpacks!  Bring yours and we will bless it.  Open for “children” of all ages.  We know some adults carry backpacks too! 

Dreaming… We are free to be the church and it is time to dream here at WDMUMC.  What should the church look like in the year ahead?  How can we strengthen our worship services and open them to more people?  How can we get to know one another better and grow as disciples together?   How can we make a difference in our community?  We are gathering dreams and dreamers.  Outside Pastor Cindy’s door, there are sticky notes.  If you have a dream, or if you are a dreamer, or if you want to nominate a dreamer, fill out a sticky note and put it on Pastor Cindy’s door.  It is time to dream!


Get ready!  Neighborhood Block Party August 27!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"No Limits" - Pastor Cindy's Devotional - August 9, 2017 - Mike Powers, Guest Writer

Hello, Friends!

Here's a question for you.  Does anyone dream anymore? Not just the sleeping sort of dreams but the kind of dreams that send us forward?  Do people dream about a better world?  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: "I have a dream that my four little children will someday live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."  A big dream.  Does anyone have those sorts of dreams anymore? That sort of dream is fueled by hope and faith and a vision that sounds a lot like the kind of kingdom Jesus described.  Do we still dream like that?

I do.  And I hope you do.  Call me a fool, but I don't think God is done with us.  This seems like an incredibly hopeful time to me.  I want to dream with the people of West Des Moines United Methodist Church.  We have sticky notes laying around at the church.  If you are a dreamer, write your name on a note and put it on my door.  If you know a dreamer, nominate them and write their name on a note and put it on my door.  If you have a dream, write it on a note and put it on my door.  We will gather up the dreams and the dreamers and see what sort of future is ahead.

Mike Powers is dreaming and he has written today's midweek.

“No Limits” by Mike Powers

 A few weeks ago I walked into my office and someone had written the following question on a large white board on a wall, “What one thing would you do if you knew you could not fail?” The question remained on that white board for several days and was finally erased. But it has lingered in my mind.

An opportunity to achieve without fail would be a rare and precious gift. Not one to be squandered on something that is not meaningful. The question forces one to identify and prioritize what is important to them. The question also prompts a person to expand their thinking as to what is possible if there were no insurmountable barriers to success. To dream without the constraints of limitations.

That is a sobering prospect. To some extent, by believing that there are limits to what is possible, we acclimate ourselves to the status quo and don’t spend the time to consider what could be achieved if change could occur. Perceived limitations can restrain change but they can also shield us from confronting what our priorities would be if anything were possible.

With the arrival of Pastor Cindy and the great field of energy and enthusiasm that surrounds her, this is an opportune time for each of us to consider what is our dream for West Des Moines United Methodist Church? If we knew that we could not fail, what do you want the church to achieve?

As I speak with members of the church, my sense is there is a renewed spirit of optimism and positivity about our future. It is a new day and we all need to think expansively about what we should be doing. How can our church make a meaningful difference? Everyone has a role here. What is your dream for the church?

In coming weeks, we will be having this conversation as a church family. Be bold in your thinking as the Holy Spirit will be our ally in this process. Jesus said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NRSV)
Mike Powers

I can’t wait to see what happens.
Wherever you are, whatever you are facing in life, I hope you are dreaming of a better world.  I am certain God delights in our dreams and is ready to help them come true.

Every blessing,


Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265
515-279-0826
Visit us at wdmumc.org or like us on Facebook

This week at West Des Moines United Methodist Church:
This Sunday we continue our sermon series, “In the Beginning?”.  David was called by God to lead the nation of Israel.  David did not look like the right person for the job.  What did God see that others didn’t see?  Read 1Samuel 16:1-13 to prepare and next Sunday we will talk about it!  Something new is always beginning.

West Des Moines UMC Disciples at the Fair!  Keep our disciple crew at our state fair stand in your prayers!  We are the church, even as we serve up biscuits and gravy!