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Sunday, Jul 31, 2016
First Corinthians 12, selected verses: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.  For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body . . . and we were all made to drink of one Spirit . . . As it is, there are many members, yet one body.” Every church from the largest to the smallest is distinctive in the ways they are Christ in the world.  United Methodists are in t... (read more)
Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016
Gary Hopkins, Prison Ministry Coordinator for the Shawnee Valley District, wrote this devotional based on Psalm 142. A prison is far more than grey walls and steel bars. The word “prison” symbolizes words that define the strong situation encompassing America’s incarcerated and their families. The societal isolation experienced by those sentenced to prison does not vanish with their release from incarceration. Ex-offenders and their families are confronted with... (read more)
Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016
Visit to Sylvania First UMC On June 27-28, Esther Gitobu, one of our United Methodist missionaries serving in Cambodia, visited the Maumee Watershed District, sharing stories and pictures from the Methodist Mission in that country.  The first evening, she shared with an intergenerational crowd from ages 9 to 99 from Sylvania First United Methodist and Olivet Lutheran Churches stories of transformation happening all the time in the lives of young people. In Cam... (read more)
Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016
Dear Ones in Christ Jesus: I greet you in the strong name of Jesus who is the Christ. After a long and fruitful season of conferencing in the United Methodist way, I rejoice in many things, but most of all that Cynthia and I will have the privilege and opportunity to partner with you in ministry for the next four years. A Jurisdictional Conference has several things it must do, among them the election and assignment of bishops. The decision on episcopal assignm... (read more)
Monday, Jul 18, 2016
"This is the time to listen. The time to build partnerships, to build confidence. To be more united for the sake of humanity regardless of our faith." Such was the conclusion reached by Bishop Ntambo of the North Katanga Episcopal Area following his experience at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, this May. The World Humanitarian Summit was convened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "to generate commitments to reduce suffering and... (read more)
Monday, Jul 18, 2016
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, For the last few weeks, many of us have experienced the brokenness of our world in a personal and visceral way. Morning after morning I woke to read of another tragedy. This pain crossed lines of ideology and religion. This brokenness reminds us we live in a world crying out for a Christian presence. Knowing my voice, example and leadership matter, my prayer became, “Lord, how do I go from pondering to pushing for peace in times... (read more)
Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016
Following the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in Baton Rouge, LA, Linworth UMC graciously opened its arms to those who needed to mourn, speak out, or find community with others who felt the weight of last week's headlines. Rev. Curnell Graham (pictured) said of the service, "People needed to have a healthy way to express their emotions and we need the community of all people to come together to work for solutions. The faith community cannot rema... (read more)
Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016
Throughout the Bible, stories are told of how simple acts of hospitality create space for miraculous and grace-filled events and interactions to occur. From Abraham's diligent and compassionate care for God in three strangers, to the woman in the Pharisee's home washing the feet of Jesus, these moments of hospitality allow for the Holy Spirit to move in and around the people involved. Healing, understanding, and love burst forth from these instances of relation... (read more)
Friday, Jul 8, 2016
Beloved in Christ Jesus: Above everything else I want to remind you that today and all days you and all people and persons are beloved children of God. I want to quickly add that the truth that we are beloved is not a guarantor that we will consistently act out of belovedness. Across the last ten days I have wondered if we have been condemned to an endless cycle of violence or to awaken every morning not from a nightmare but to a new nightmare of gun violence,... (read more)
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016
June 28, 2016 "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”—Lamentations 3:21-23 Beloved in Christ Jesus: West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin called the flooding that began June 23 “among the worst in a century”.  President Obama signed a major disaster declaration for three of the hardest hit counties- Greenbr... (read more)