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Invite


Tim Smith eyeing a street sign before we put in our church's new tile in 2014.


Invite

by John Weston

 

Never underestimate the power of a holiday for inviting people to church. You know and I know that as Christians EVERY Sunday is a celebration of Jesus' resurrection. But for people outside the church, Easter is one of the few times a year they feel like they can actually show up without having to have an excuse. Some of our guests will come because it's the seasonal thing to do. And some will come because they feel empty and they don't know what to do, but SUMC is the church where their cousin's memorial service was held, or it's the church that seems to help people in need, or they went to Vacation Bible School there seventeen years ago, and even though they haven't been back since, there's just Something that seems to be drawing them back. God brings people to church ultimately. But we can play a big role in helping that happen. We can invite.

 

Jesus was great at inviting people to events that would bring them closer to him. In fact, Jesus wasn't above inviting himself over to people's houses. Remember Zacchaeus, the hated Jewish tax collector, working for the Romans and getting rich off his own neighbors? Zacchaeus was the kind of guy who could get blood from a stone. Audit was his middle name. But when Jesus sets his sites on this hated public figure who had lowered himself by climbing a tree to get a better look at Jesus and his team, look what happens:

 

Luke 19:5 (NOG) When Yeshua came to the tree, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down! I must stay at your house today.”

 

Crazy, right? Zacchaeus was obviously curious, but wasn't Jesus being over-the-top? Nope. Nailed it. Zacchaeus takes Jesus' self-invitation to Zacchaeus' house and turns it into a ministry event at the drop of a hat—invites all of his tax collector staff and buddies. And it changes his life forever.

 

Years ago I was spending a lot of time in cafes and coffee shops doing church work so that I would have the opportunity to meet people while doing my “office hours.” The Corner Cafe in Post Falls was a favorite breakfast spot, and I went in there about 7:00 to have a bite to eat and work for a couple hours as long as there was room for me. There was a group of old-timers sitting at the front counter. I perched on a stool on end of the counter and started off by asking questions like, “What's your favorite item on the menu?” and “So how long have you been coming to the Corner Cafe?” It didn't totally work the way I thought. They gleefully let me have it by poking fun at me and quickly discovered I was a preacher. There were jokes and questions and comments. Tim was a part of the group. He was more quiet, but listening to all the banter and occasionally jumping in. I learned that he liked motorcycles and rode when the weather was nice. When he got up to leave I shook hands and gave him a church flyer. When we started meeting weekly for worship, Tim was there. And he stuck. He stayed with us through a movie theater, our own commercial space we had to remodel, a hotel, and another commercial space remodel. Tim was quiet, but kind. Grew up on a farm in South Dakota. Our church became his family. God rekindled faith from going to a Methodist church growing up. And over the next several years, more than a couple of the people I met at the Corner Cafe came and visited our church more than once because Tim had invited them.

 

Whether the person you want to invite for Easter is tough and complicated like Zacchaeus or quiet and unassuming like Tim, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the timing and the words. Then go for it. You might even invite yourself over for dinner.

Seattle is Dying

Seattle Is Dying

Provocative, no? This is the title of a KOMO news documentary/opinion piece that aired for a solid hour with no commercials on channel 4 Saturday evening, March 16, at 8:00 p.m. Click on the title and watch it on YouTube. Do you want to see something that speaks to our community? Do you want to see the future of Kitsap County unless we change course? Guess what: it's already here.


KOMO's piece makes the argument that drug addiction is responsible for much of Seattle's visible homelessness and crime. Here's my breakdown of their presentation:

  • Laissez-faire: Current elected leaders are tolerating more and more homeless drug crimes. Seattle's current administration sees the issue as a housing problem, not a drug problem.

  • Limited Policing: Many Seattle police believe they are not permitted to police effectively. Morale is down. Good cops are starting to leave.

  • It's the Drugs: Politicians deny the drug problem behind much of the visible homelessness and crimes that come with it. The filmmakers press for a new program of drug intervention through incarceration and cite success of a recent program doing just that in Rhode Island.

 

Here at SUMC, we help people in need. Maggie Stasny and the Severe Weather Shelter team just put in over a month straight making sure street people and other homeless individuals did not freeze at night. Hallowed Grounds Cafe puts out free meals every Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 for anyone who wants one. The Clothing Closet similarly provides Tuesday afternoons as well. SUMC's food bank gives out all kinds of goods that come in. The church office staff distribute bus passes, information, small food packs, and give restroom access, and even prayer on-the-spot for people in need. How much are we helping? How much are we enabling? How can we help more effectively in the future?


Proverbs 11: 10-11 (NOG) 10 When righteous people prosper, a city is glad.

When wicked people die, there are songs of joy.

11 With the blessing of decent people a city is raised up,

but by the words of wicked people, it is torn down.


The writer of Proverbs here seems to have in view not the little guy who suffers from bad public policy, but the influencers in the community: leaders, for good or for ill. I believe Kitsap DOES have an affordable housing shortage. Not everyone who is homeless is on drugs. But a majority of the street people our staff know personally are substance abusers. As Kitsap goes in the direction of Seattle, more and more addicted people are going to come through our church office, and unless a miracle happens through prayer for each individual, no amount of goods and services are going to change their situation. And as the numbers increase, so does the chance that someone who is 1 in 1000 or 1 in 10,000 or 1 in a million will come through our doors and something really bad will happen. Jesus calls us to help people in need, so total retreat from the problem has no theological integrity (Mark 14:7, Matthew 26:11, John 12:8, and Matthew 25:31-46). What if more people were getting medical intervention to get off drugs while in prison, and more of the people coming through our doors had a better handle on their addiction so we could get some traction in helping them?


Proverbs 11:14 (NOG) A nation will fall when there is no direction,

but with many advisers there is victory.


Look at the documentary. Pray. Sharpshoot with scripture and common sense: are the filmmakers missing any major pieces? Is there a significant hole in their argument? If the Lord is showing us a solution, we should contend for it.

Now that General Conference has come and gone

Now that General Conference has come and gone
 

If you haven't heard yet, a special called session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church met last week in St. Louis, MO and eventually passed an amended version of what is called “The Traditional Plan” regarding the UMC's stance on human sexuality. The special meeting was convened in order for the denomination to find some way forward through the impasse surrounding disagreements over human sexuality. The Traditional Plan upholds scriptural and traditional teachings about marriage and keeps the church in line with the vast majority of Christian denominations globally, even attempting to enforce discipline over these matters. However, an increasing number of United Methodists in the United States favor widening the definition of marriage beyond heterosexual unions. Last week's decision was another major defeat for progressives, though only by six points (53% for and 47% against). What this means for our local church, which has historically aligned itself with a strongly traditional faith and doctrine, is that we will not, by the current state of things, be forced to officially sanction behavior that is expressly condemned in the Old and New Testaments. Along with the Traditional Plan, a “Disaffiliation Plan” was also passed which is an attempt to provide a “gracious exit” for churches that cannot in good conscience support General Conference's final decision. The exit plan was passed with the intention of protecting either progressive or traditionalist congregations who might need to leave if their favored plan was not passed, that the church should be a coalition of the willing, not the constrained. The Disaffiliation Plan, however, was amended to require 2/3 majority approval at a local church conference as well as a 2/3 approval vote by the Annual Conference. This requirement would effectively nullify the provision for churches trying to leave in cases where a local church was in a theological minority in their Annual Conference region. These are the very basic facts of the outcome.


Even though I, like many of us, feel very strongly about these issues, I want to provide as much information as possible for all of you to make up your own minds, and should we disagree, let it be an informed disagreement.


Here are some helpful links that cover the spectrum from conservative (Wesleyan Covenant Association) to Progressive (Western Jurisdiction of the UMC):
 

Wesleyan Covenant Association - wesleyancovenant.org


“What REALLY Happened in St. Louis (Part 1)” - Tom Lambrecht - Good News - https://goodnewsmag.org/2019/03/what-really-happened-in-st-louis-part-1/


“What happened and what didn't happen at General Conference 2019” - Joe Iovino - The United Methodist Church – umc.org


Greater Northwest Area of the United Methodist Church – https://greaternw.org


Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church - https://westernjurisdictionumc.org/


Church leaders in the first century had to contend with competing voices trying to take the church in different directions. Paul planted a lot of churches, networked those churches, and did his best to hold them on course. Listen to his observation:


Ephesians 4:11-16 (NOG) 11 He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts to his church. 12 Their purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ. 13 This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God’s Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray. 15 Instead, as we lovingly speak the truth, we will grow up completely in our relationship to Christ, who is the head. 16 He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint. As each and every part does its job, he makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.


Are the changes being introduced to the United Methodist Church “uniting us in our faith and in our knowledge about God's Son...” (v. 13)? Or are are they “influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray” (v. 14)?

As you explore the links above you will see divergent views on what it means to be the church. Here in Silverdale, we are looking to the future and formulating strategy to grow us spiritually (v. 15) and numerically (v. 16). There are opportunities everywhere.

It has always been about Jesus!

Praying Our Way Forward February 10 - February 16


FEBRUARY 10, 2019

Prayer Theme: Be Still
Together, we enter this 38th week of the Council of Bishops call to Pray Our Way Forward. There is one more full week before the February 23-26, 2019 special session of the General Conference begins in St. Louis.

Below you will find the names of the active and retired Bishops of The United Methodist Church. They are will arrive early to this important event.  Please join us in prayer and fasting for them—that they may be filled with the Holy Spirit and reflect Jesus in their conduct, their attitudes, and their guidance for the work of the General Conference.

For 12 million United Methodists around the world, prayer is the most significant and positive spiritual thing we can do. Thank you for participating in this global prayer initiative.

Active Residential Bishops

  1. Christian ALSTED
  2. Sandra L. Steiner BALL
  3. David Alan BARD
  4. Frank BEARD
  5. Thomas J. BICKERTON
  6. Earl BLEDSOE
  7. Benjamin BONI
  8. Lawson BRYAN
  9. Minerva J. CARCAÑO
  10. Kenneth H. CARTER
  11. Sudarshana DEVADHAR
  12. Gaspar João DOMINGOS
  13. Sally DYCK
  14. Latrelle EASTERLING
  15. Leonard E. FAIRLEY
  16. Robert FARR
  17. Ciriaco FRANCISCO
  18. David GRAVES
  19. Grant HAGIYA
  20. Laurie HALLER
  21. Cynthia Fierro HARVEY
  22. Sue HAUPERT-JOHNSON
  23. Jonathan HOLSTON
  24. Robert T. HOSHIBATA
  25. Peggy A. JOHNSON
  26. Scott JONES
  27. Rudy JUAN
  28. Hee-Soo JUNG
  29. Eduard KHEGAY
  30. Paul L. LEELAND
  31. Sharma LEWIS
  32. John M. LOWRY
  33. Daniel O. LUNGE
  34. Tracy MALONE
  35. William T. McALILLY
  36. Michael McKEE
  37. Cynthia MOORE-KOIKOI
  38. Gary MUELLER
  39. Mande MUYOMBO
  40. Joaquina F. NHANALA
  41. Eben NHIWATIWA
  42. James NUNN
  43. Karen OLIVETO
  44. Hector F. ORTIZ VIDAL
  45. Bruce R. OUGH
  46. Gregory V. PALMER
  47. Jeremiah PARK
  48. Jose QUIPUNGO
  49. Samuel J. Quire
  50. Harald RÜCKERT
  51. Ruben SAENZ
  52. Robert SCHNASE
  53. John R SCHOL
  54. Elaine J. STANOVSKY
  55. Patrick STREIFF
  56. James E. SWANSON
  57. Mary Virgina TAYLOR
  58. Pedro M. TORIO
  59. Julius C. TRIMBLE
  60. Kasap Owan TSHIBANGE
  61. Gabriel Yemba UNDA
  62. Debra WALLACE-PADGETTA
  63. Daniel WANDABULA
  64. Hope Morgan WARD
  65. Mark WEBB
  66. John K. YAMBASU
  67. John Wesley YOHANNA

Retired Bishops

  1. Daniel C. ARICHEA Jr.
  2. George W.Y. BASHORE
  3. Bruce P. BLAKE
  4. Heinrich BOLLETER
  5. Warner H. BROWN Jr.
  6. Kenneth CARDER
  7. Ray W. CHAMBERLAIN
  8. Benjamin CHAMNESS
  9. Young Jin CHO
  10. Wilbur W.Y. CHOY
  11. Sharon Brown A. CHRISTOPHER
  12. Michael J. COYNER
  13. Charles N. CRUTCHFIELD
  14. Lindsey G. DAVIS
  15. Emilio J.M. De CARVALO
  16. Kern R. EUTSLER
  17. Robert E. FANNIN
  18. Violet FISHER
  19. Elias GALVAN
  20. Jose C. GAMBOA
  21. Larry M. GOODPASTER
  22. William Boyd GROVE
  23. Alfred GWINN
  24. Susan W. HASSINGER
  25. Robert E. HAYES Jr.
  26. Woodrow J. HEARN
  27. Kenneth W. HICKS
  28. John L. HOPKINS
  29. Hasbrouck HUGHES Jr.
  30. Janice Riggle HUIE
  31. Joseph C. HUMPER
  32. William W. HUTCHINSON
  33. John G. INNIS
  34. Neil L. IRONS
  35. Clifton S. IVES
  36. Alfred JOHNSON
  37. Charles Wesley JORDAN
  38. Benjamin A. JUSTO
  39. Charlene P. KAMMERER
  40. Kainda KATEMBO
  41. Jonathan KEATON
  42. Deborah KIESEY
  43. James R. KING
  44. Walter KLAIBER
  45. Arthur F. KULAH
  46. Clay F. LEE
  47. Linda LEE
  48. William B. LEWIS
  49. Richard C. LOONEY
  50. Ernest S. LYGHT
  51. João Somane MACHADO
  52. Joel N. MARTINEZ
  53. Marcus MATTHEWS
  54. Lawrence J. McCLESKEY
  55. Calvin D. McCONNELL
  56. Marshall L. MEADORS
  57. Jane Allen MIDDLETON
  58. P. MINNICK
  59. Susan M. MORRISON
  60. Albert F. MUTTI
  61. Emerito NACPIL
  62. Alfred NORRIS
  63. Nkulu Ntanda NTAMBO
  64. William B. ODEN
  65. Øystein OLSEN
  66. Fama ONEMA
  67. Donald A. OTT
  68. Joseph E. PENNEL Jr.
  69. Sharon Zimmerman RADER
  70. John W RUSSELL
  71. Roy I SANO
  72. Beverly SHAMANA
  73. Ann B. SHERER-SIMPSON
  74. Herbert SKEETE
  75. Dan E. SOLOMON
  76. Leo A SORIANO
  77. Robert H. SPAIN
  78. Joseph C. SPRAGUE
  79. Forrest C. STITH
  80. Thomas B. STOCKTON
  81. Mary Ann SWENSON
  82. Melvin G. TALBERT
  83. Solito K. TOQUERO
  84. Hans VAXBY
  85. Michael WATSON
  86. Peter D. WEAVER
  87. Rosemarie WENNER
  88. Timothy W. WHITAKER
  89. Woodie W. WHITE
  90. Dale C. WHITE
  91. Max WHITFIELD
  92. Richard B. WILKE
  93. William H. WILLIMON
  94. Richard J. WILLS
  95. Joe A. WILSON
  96. Joseph H. YEAKEL
  97. David K. YEMBA

Praying Our Way Forward - February 3rd to February 9th

Prayer Theme: Behold the Beauty of the Lord
(Re-posted from umcprays.org)

Together, we enter this 37th week of the Council of Bishops’ call to Pray Our Way Forward. There are two more weeks before the February 23-26, 2019 special session of the General Conference begins in St. Louis. The entire United Methodist family is called to prayer and fasting for the mission and unity of The United Methodist Church.

Below you will find the names of some of our leaders who will serve as delegates.  Please join us in prayer and fasting for them—that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit in their conduct, their attitudes, and their decisions. For 12 million United Methodist around the world, prayer is the most significant and positive spiritual thing we can do at this important moment in the history of the United Methodist Church. Thank you for participating in this global prayer initiative.

Please invite your family, your small group, your local congregation, your district, and your annual conference to join us in fasting and prayer.

Together we pray for a few of the 864 delegates and 200 alternates to the 2019 General Conference:
Barbara Joyce Ware, Laity, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
William Timothy McClendon, Clergy, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
James Henry Salley, Laity, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Kenneth Lee Nelson, Clergy, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Joseph E. Heyward, Laity, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Timothy Julian Rogers, Clergy, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Herman B. Lightest Jr., Laity, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Robin Dease, Clergy, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Jacquelyn G. Jenkins, Laity, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Tiffany Denise Knowlin, Clergy, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Laurence Michael Cheatham, Laity, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Narcie Jo McClendon Jeter, Clergy, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Martha Fridy Thompson, Laity, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Athon Melton Arant Jr., Clergy, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
David Verne Braddon, Laity, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Susan P. Leonard, Clergy, South Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
William Stanley Hatcher, Laity, South Georgia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Donald Lee Adams, Clergy, South Georgia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Allison Ross Lindsey, Laity, South Georgia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Jay David Hanson, Clergy, South Georgia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
James Larry Price, Laity, South Georgia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Bob Mark Moon, Clergy, South Georgia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Carl Espy Childs Jr., Laity, South Georgia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
James Arch Coward Jr., Clergy, South Georgia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
James (Jim) R. Allen, Laity, Tennessee, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Harriet Jean Bryan, Clergy, Tennessee, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Holly Shaw Neal, Laity, Tennessee, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Jacob Clark Armstrong, Clergy, Tennessee, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Cornelia Anne Clark, Laity, Tennessee, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Stephen E. Handy Sr., Clergy, Tennessee, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
George Mead Brown, Laity, Tennessee, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Jackson Wayne Henry, Clergy, Tennessee, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
Together we pray for one member of the General Commission of the General Conference: Betty Katiyo
Together we pray for one member of the General Conference Staff: Susan Brumbaugh, Coordinator of the Calendar

Together we pray for a few members of the Council of Bishops in the USA and around the world:
Bishop Ruben Saenz, Jr., of the Great Plains Episcopal Area and his spouse, Maria Saenz.
Bishop John R. Schol of the Greater New Jersey Episcopal Area and his spouse, Beverly Schol.
Bishop Robert Schnase of the Rio Texas Episcopal Area and his spouse, Esther Schnase.
Bishop Elaine J. Stanovsky of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area and her spouse, Clinton
Bishop Patrick Streiff of the Central and Southern Europe Episcopal Area and his spouse Heidi Streiff.
Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., of the Mississippi Episcopal Area and his spouse, Delphine Swanson.

Together we pray for one member of the Commission on a Way Forward:
Tom Berlin, USA, Virginia, elder

Together we pray for one United Methodist Commission or Agency and leader:
The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) distributes the official publications, records and forms of the denomination; publishes books through Abingdon Press; and operates Cokesbury, its retail division, and MinistryMatters.com, which offers online resources and community for leaders. The publishing house also produces and distributes church school materials and study resources throughout the denomination.  Brian Milford serves as President and Publisher.

Praying Our Way Forward January 27- February 2

JANUARY 27, 2019

Prayer Theme: The Extraordinary in the Ordinary
Together, we enter this 36th week of the Council of Bishops call to Pray Our Way Forward. There are three more weeks before the February 23-26, 2019 special session of the General Conference begins in St. Louis. The entire United Methodist family is called to prayer and fasting for the mission and unity of The United Methodist Church.

Below you will find the names of some of our leaders who will serve as delegates.  Please join us in prayer and fasting for them—that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit in their conduct, their attitudes, and their decisions. For 12 million United Methodist around the world, prayer is the most significant and positive spiritual thing we can do at this important moment in the history of the United Methodist Church. Thank you for participating in this global prayer initiative.

Please invite your family, your small group, your local congregation, your district, and your annual conference to join us in fasting and prayer.

Together we pray for a few of the 864 delegates and 200 alternates to the 2019 General Conference:

  1. Steve Lyles, Laity, North Alabama, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  2. Robin Bradley Scott, Clergy, North Alabama, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  3. Scott Young Selman, Laity, North Alabama, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  4. Dale Robin Cohen, Clergy, North Alabama, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  5. William Zachary Riddle, Laity, North Alabama, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  6. Mary Bendall Henley, Clergy, North Alabama, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  7. Carol Y. Toney, Laity, North Alabama, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  8. Tiwirai Kufarimai, Clergy, North Alabama, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  9. Gary W. Locklear, Laity, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  10. Gray Southern, Clergy, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  11. Emily D. Innes, Laity, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  12. Elizabeth Hackney Hood, Clergy, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  13. Samuel (Duncan) D. McMillan IV, Laity, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  14. Timothy John Russell Sr., Clergy, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  15. Christine Dodson, Laity, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  16. Lisa Naa-Shormey Yebuah, Clergy, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  17. Mack B. Parker, Laity, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  18. Robert E. Bergland, Clergy, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  19. Steve Taylor, Laity, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  20. Patricia H. Archer, Clergy, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  21. Eston C. Brinkley, Laity, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  22. Timothy Lloyd Reaves, Clergy, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  23. Labella D. Smith, Laity, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  24. Laura Fine Ledford, Clergy, North Carolina, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA

Together we pray for one member of the General Commission of the General Conference:
Ellen Natt

Together we pray for one member of the General Conference Staff:
Don Reasoner, Director of Translation Services

Together we pray for a few members of the Council of Bishops in the USA and around the world:
Bishop Gary Mueller of the Arkansas Episcopal Area and his spouse, Karen Goodman Mueller
Bishop Mande Muyombo of the North Katanga Central Conference
Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa of the Zimbabwe Central Conference and his spouse, Greater Nhiwatiwa
Bishop James Nunn of the Oklahoma Episcopal area and his spouse, Mary Louise Nunn
Bishop Karen Oliveto of the Mountain Sky Episcopal Area and her spouse, Robin Ridenour
Bishop Hector F. Ortiz Vidal of the Puerto Rico Episcopal area
Bishop Bruce Ough of the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal area and his spouse, Char Ough
Bishop Gregory Palmer of the Ohio West Episcopal area and his spouse, Cynthia Palmer
Bishop Jeremiah Park of the Harrisburg Episcopal Area and his spouse, Lisa Park
Bishop Jose Quipungo of the East Angola Episcopal Area

Together we pray for one member of the Commission on a Way Forward:
Jacques Umembudi Akasa, Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, laity

Together we pray for one United Methodist Commission or Agency and leader:
The General Commission on United Methodist Men (UMM) is led by Mr. Gilbert C. Hanke, General Secretary. Gil, a layman, says: “We train and provide resources for local churches, districts, and annual conferences to have a sustained, all-inclusive ministry to, for and through men that reproduces Wesleyan disciples and promotes scouting as a ministry of the church within their community. We provide training and materials electronically, but we also offer presentations, workshops and participation at conference, district, and local church events. Our central focus is on Jesus Christ and his church. For more informationclick here.

Praying our Way Forward January 20- 26

JANUARY 20, 2019

Prayer Theme: The Kingdom of God Is Among You
Together, we enter this 35th week of the Council of Bishops’ call to Pray Our Way Forward. There are four more weeks before the February 23-26, 2019 special session of the General Conference begins in St. Louis. The entire United Methodist family is called to prayer and fasting for the mission and unity of The United Methodist Church.

Below you will find the names of some of our leaders who will serve as delegates.  Please join us in prayer and fasting for them—that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit in their conduct, their attitudes, and their decisions. For 12 million United Methodist around the world, prayer is the most significant and positive spiritual thing we can do at this important moment in the history of the United Methodist Church. Thank you for participating in this global prayer initiative.

Please invite your family, your small group, your local congregation, your district, and your annual conference to join us in fasting and prayer.

Together we pray for a few of the 864 delegates and 200 alternates to the 2019 General Conference:

  1. Reginald Gerard Clemons, Laity, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  2. Charles Chappell Temple, Clergy, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  3. Donald (Don) Reed House, Laity, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  4. Kenneth R. Levingston, Clergy, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  5. Morris Franklin Matthis, Clergy, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  6. Edgar Lee Erwin IV, Laity, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  7. Laceye Cammarano Warner, Clergy, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  8. Andrew (Andy) Ramirez Hernandez, Laity, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  9. Stephen Paul Wende, Clergy, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  10. Thomas (Tom) Roderick Wussow, Laity, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  11. Catherine Sue Sullivan, Laity, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  12. Merle Matthews Idom Jr., Clergy, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  13. Janice Arlene Gilbert, Clergy, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  14. Melba Augustine Wilson, Laity, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  15. Edward Cecil Jones III, Clergy, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  16. Oscar Luis Garza, Laity, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  17. Keith Conan Whitaker, Clergy, Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  18. Molly Rebeccah McEntire, Laity, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  19. Alex Arthur Shanks, Clergy, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  20. Derrick Scott III Laity, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  21. Rinaldo D Hernandez, Clergy, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  22. Alice Marie Williams, Laity, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  23. Dionne Chandler Hammond, Clergy, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  24. Milton E. Wilson, Laity, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  25. David Allen Dodge, Clergy, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  26. William Russell Graves Sr., Laity, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  27. Cynthia Dee Weems, Clergy, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  28. Jeremy Kirk Hearn, Laity, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  29. Jacqueline P. M. Leveron, Clergy, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  30. Rachael Preston Sumner, Laity, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  31. Sharon G. Austin, Clergy, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  32. Carlene Rebecca Fogle-Miller, Laity, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  33. Geraldine Williams McClellan, Clergy, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  34. Janet Butler Earls, Laity, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  35. David Allen Jr., Clergy, Florida, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA

Together we pray for one member of the General Commission of the General Conference:
Kim Simpson

Together we pray for one member of the General Conference Staff:
Rev. Gary Graves, Secretary to the General Conference

Together we pray for a few members of the Council of Bishops in the USA and around the world:
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung of the Wisconsin Episcopal Area and his spouse, Rev. Im-Hyon Jung
Bishop Eduard Khegay of the Eurasia Episcopal Area and his spouse, Vika Nogay
Bishop Paul L. Leeland of the Charlotte Episcopal Area and his spouse, Janet Leeland
Bishop Sharma Lewis of the Virginia Episcopal Area
Bishop John Michael Lowry (Mike) of the Fort Worth Episcopal Area and his spouse, Jolynn Lowry
Bishop Daniel O. Lunge of the Central Congo Central Conference and his spouse, Julienne Dembo Lunge
Bishop Tracy S. Malone of the Ohio East Episcopal area and her spouse, Derrick Malone
Bishop Bill McAlilly of the Tennessee Episcopal Area and his spouse, Lynn McAlilly
Bishop Michael McKee of the Dallas Episcopal Area and his spouse, Joan McKee
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Pittsburgh Episcopal Area and her spouse, Raphael Koikoi

Together we pray for one member of the Commission on a Way Forward:
Brian Adkins, USA, California, elder

Together we pray for one United Methodist Commission or Agency and leader:  Dawn Wiggins Hare serves as the General Secretary of the General Commission on Status and Role of Women (GCOSRW; COSROW) challenges The United Methodist Church to commit to the full participation of women in the life and mission of the church. The commission serves as an advocate for, and on the behalf of, women; seeks to eliminate inequities in relation to women in the church; and monitors the general agencies, institutions, and connectional structures to ensure the inclusion of women. For more information, click here. https://www.gcsrw.org/

Praying Our Way Forward January 13-19



JANUARY 15, 2019

Prayer Theme: We Stand on Holy Ground

Together, we enter this 34th week of the Council of Bishops’ call to Pray Our Way Forward. There are five more weeks before the February 23-26, 2019 special session of the General Conference begins in St. Louis. The entire United Methodist family is called to prayer and fasting for the mission and unity of The United Methodist Church.

Below you will find the names of some of our leaders who will serve as delegates.  Please join us in prayer and fasting for them—that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit in their conduct, their attitudes, and their decisions. For 12 million United Methodist around the world, prayer is the most significant and positive spiritual thing we can do at this important moment in the history of the United Methodist Church. Thank you for participating in this global prayer initiative.

Please invite your family, your small group, your local congregation, your district, and your annual conference to join us in prayer.

Together we pray for a few of the 864 delegates and 200 alternates to the 2019 General Conference:

  1. David Ralls Reed, Laity, Memphis, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  2. Schuyler J. Lowe-McCracken, Clergy, Memphis, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  3. Elyse Jeanette Bell, Laity, Memphis, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  4. Edward Royal Bromley II, Clergy, Memphis, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  5. Frederick K. Brewington, Laity, New York, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  6. Timothy J. Riss, Clergy, New York, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  7. Gail Douglas-Boykin, Laity, New York, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  8. Noel Newton Chin, Clergy, New York, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  9. Jorge Alfonso Lockward, Laity, New York, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  10. Kristina D. Hansen, Clergy, New York, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  11. Dorothee Elisabeth Benz, Laity, New York, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  12. Alexandre DeSilva-Souto, Clergy, New York, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  13. Kevin G. Goodwin, Laity, Peninsula-Delaware, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  14. Derrick Emmanuel Porter, Clergy, Peninsula-Delaware, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  15. William Westbrook Jr., Laity, Peninsula-Delaware, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  16. Megan Kyoko Shitama Weston, Clergy, Peninsula-Delaware, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  17. Eric Stephen Park, Clergy, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  18. Nancy Denardo, Laity, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  19. Robert Frank Zilhaver, Clergy, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  20. Richard Christian Hoffman, Laity, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  21. Alyce Weaver Dunn, Clergy, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  22. Paul Michael Morelli, Laity, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  23. Amy R. Wagner, Clergy, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  24. Diane M. Miller, Laity, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  25. William Bright Meekins Jr., Clergy, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  26. Vicki Jean Stahlman, Laity, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  27. John William Seth, Clergy, Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  28. Teresa L. Keese, Laity, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  29. Laura Anne Merrill, Clergy, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  30. Abel Vega Jr., Laity, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  31. Teresa Gayle Welborn, Clergy, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  32. Ralph Gene Thompson, Laity, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  33. Eradio Valverde Jr., Clergy, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  34. Carol K. Loeb, Laity, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  35. Carl Walter Rohlfs, Clergy, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  36. Jefferson (Jay) Kearn Brim, Laity, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA
  37. Edgar Avitia-Legarda, Clergy, Rio Texas, South Central Jurisdiction, USA

Together we pray for one member of the General Commission of the General Conference: Mujinga Kashala

Together we pray for one member of the General Conference Staff:  Sara Hotchkiss, Business Manager of the General Conference.

Together we pray for a few members of the Council of Bishops in the USA and around the world:
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and her spouse, Allen Johnson, of the North Georgia Episcopal Area
Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata and his spouse, Greta Hoshibata, of the Phoenix Episcopal Area
Bishop Jonathan L. Holston and his spouse, Felecia Holston, of the Columbia Episcopal Area
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson and her spouse, Michael Johnson, of the Philadelphia Episcopal Area
Bishop Scott Jones and his spouse, Mary Lou Reece, of the Houston Episcopal Area
Bishop Rudy Juan and his spouse, Leigh Juan, of the Davao Episcopal Area

Together we pray for one member of the Commission on a Way Forward:
Jorge Acevedo, USA, Florida, elder

Together we pray for one United Methodist Commission or Agency and leader:
The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) focuses on bringing about full and equal participation of the racial and ethnic constituencies in The United Methodist Church. The commission carries out its work through advocacy of the issues and by reviewing and monitoring the practices of the denomination. The General Secretary of this agency is Erin M. Hawkins. Click here for more information. http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/qa-general-commission-on-religion-and-race

Praying our Way Forward January 6 - 12



JANUARY 6, 2019

Prayer Theme: The Poverty of God

Together, we enter this 33nd  week of the Council of Bishops’ call to Pray Our Way Forward. There are six more weeks before the February 23-26, 2019 special session of the General Conference begins in St. Louis. The entire United Methodist family is called to prayer and fasting for the mission and unity of The United Methodist Church.

Below you will find the names of some of our leaders who will serve as delegates.  Please join us in prayer and fasting for them—that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit in their conduct, their attitudes, and their decisions. For 12 million United Methodist around the world, prayer is the most significant and positive spiritual thing we can do at this important moment in the history of the United Methodist Church. Thank you for participating in this global prayer initiative.

Please invite your family, your small group, your local congregation, your district, and your annual conference to join us in prayer.

Together we pray for a few of the 864 delegates and 200 alternates to the 2019 General Conference:

  1. Martha Ensley Stokes, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  2. Thomas Martin Berlin, Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  3. Warren Randolph Harper, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  4. Meredith Leigh McNabb, Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  5. Shirley Marie Cauffman, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  6. Jane Denise Honeycutt, Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  7. Nathaniel Leon Bishop, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  8. Clarence Rutherford Brown Jr., Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  9. Virginia Leigh Greer, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  10. Tammy Lynn Estep, Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  11. Darlene Van Camp Amon, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  12. Theodore Smith, Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  13. Joyce Cecile Winston, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  14. Ileana Rosario, Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  15. Gene Dwight Mims, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  16. Peter Mason Moon, Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  17. Elizabeth Nicola Christian, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  18. Richard Kendall Soulen, Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  19. Alison Marie Malloy, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  20. Mark Victor Ogren, Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  21. Marshall Siddons Bailey, Laity, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  22. Robert Emory Vaughn Jr., Clergy, Virginia, Southeastern Jurisdiction, USA
  23. Nibron Galadima Haruna, Clergy, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  24. Tanko Lawrence Ayuba, Laity, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  25. Habila Balasa Bala, Laity, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  26. Gladys Maisule Apson, Laity, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  27. Eunice Musa Iliya, Clergy, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  28. Ande Ikimun Emmanuel, Clergy, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  29. Sheriff Isaac Simon, Clergy, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  30. Thomas Azanchi Bakawe, Clergy, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  31. Luka Bitrus, Laity, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  32. Abel Nemuel Lamido, Clergy, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  33. Ishaku Bagudu Nuhu, Laity, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  34. Joyce Madanga, Laity, Southern Nigeria, West Africa Central Conference
  35. James Charles Nibbelink, Laity, Desert Southwest, Western Jurisdiction, USA
  36. Daniel D. Hurlbert, Clergy, Desert Southwest, Western Jurisdiction, USA
  37. Marie Louise Kuch-Stanovsky, Laity, Pacific Northwest, Western Jurisdiction, USA
  38. Mary Kohlstaedt Huycke, Clergy, Pacific Northwest, Western Jurisdiction, USA
  39. Donald L. McCammon, Laity, Yellowstone Western Jurisdiction, USA
  40. Tyler Flint Amundson, Clergy, Yellowstone Western Jurisdiction, USA

Together we pray for one member of the General Commission of the General Conference:
Samuel (Duncan) McMillan, IV.

Together we pray for one member of the General Conference Staff:
Francey Hooton – Page & Marshall Coordinator.

Together we pray for a few members of the Council of Bishops in the USA and around the world:
Bishop Ciriaco Francisco and his spouse Restetita Francisco of the Manila Episcopal Area
Bishop David Graves and his spouse Nancy Graves of the Alabama-West Florida Episcopal Area
Bishop Grant Hagiya and his spouse Jan Hagiya of the Los Angeles Episcopal area
Bishop Laurie Haller and her spouse, Gary Haller, of the Iowa Episcopal Area
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, President-Designate of the Council of Bishops; and her spouse, Dean Harvey, of the Louisiana Episcopal Area

Together we pray for one member of the Commission on a Way Forward:
Alfiado S. Zunguza, Africa, Mozambique, elder.

Together we pray for one United Methodist Commission or Agency and leader:
The Rev. Kim Cape, D. Min., serves at the General Secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). This agency builds capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim, and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation.

Sevens Prayer

Sevens Prayer

 

Mark, Matthew, and Luke's gospels all share that Jesus took an extended period of time of prayer and fasting to prepare for the beginning of his ministry:

 

Mark 1:12-14 12 Immediately the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness. 13 He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

 

Matthew and Luke give us insight into specifically how the enemy tries to tempt Jesus in three ways: disrupting Jesus' fast, worshiping the devil, and treating God's power and protection like a toy. The devil's attempts contain scripture but are not scriptural. Jesus sees right through it. The devil fails.

 

Our New Year's Fast is something like this: we are preparing, as a body, to enter into this year's decisions and ministry with the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit, just like Jesus. In this New Year we are making Big Decisions about our future. Will you join me in the sanctuary at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 9th, Thursday, January 10th, Friday, January 11th, and Saturday, January 12th? It's not every day that we call special times to pray. And it's not every day that we consider a major decision to strike a business deal to cede our property to commercial ventures—one in this case that would cause us to take down the sanctuary and the “west wing” and either renovate or rebuild the remainder of our facility either on the current property in downtown Silverdale or elsewhere. That's big! That's why I am opening up lots of opportunities to pray.

 

Here's how it will look:

 

Sevens Prayer

 

  • Four nights: Wednesday, January 10th through Saturday, January 12

  • 7:00 p.m. start

  • Finish by 8:00 p.m. unless the Holy Spirit moves us otherwise

  • Low-structure: Much of this time will be silent prayer. We will wait on the Lord together. There may be singing, but we will not have a band or sound system or video projectors turned on.

  • Listening Prayer: Waiting on the Lord and asking him for wisdom and discernment.

  • Matters for Intercessory Prayer:

    • The people of Kitsap and how we will reach and serve them

    • church members

    • church leaders

    • District Superintendent Mark Galang

    • Bishop Elaine Stanovsky

    • SUMC's physical plant needs

    • The United Methodist Church

  • A notebook will be available for people to jot down anything they believe may be from the Holy Spirit during their prayer time. This will be given consideration during our meeting Sunday.

 

Many of us are spending the first few weeks of this year fasting and making special time to pray and be with the Lord. This is a great opportunity to have some of that time—come share it with your brothers and sisters in Christ! Come to one or come to all of these prayer times. If you are unable to make it, set aside the 7:00 hour to pray at home. 2019 has Big Things ahead. And we want to be ready to meet them. Jesus' way.

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