First UMC Sealy Digest
A look at happenings at First United Methodist Church Sealy
This 3rd week of Easter, we'll continue our new Sermon Series, focusing on our Baptismal Vows and the Book of Acts. (See the full schedule below.)
Celebrating the 50 Days of Easter
Historically, the Great Fifty Days of Easter were far more important to the church than the 40 days of Lent. The 50-day period of rejoicing dates back to the second century. We don’t know why the shift to concentrating on Lent leading only to Easter occurred, or why so many churches continue to put stress on Lent but not on the Easter season, especially in today’s world! Because it seems like folks would love an extended season of REJOICING, maybe even more than a season of penitence.
This year we will embark on an Easter series about living out our membership vows as United Methodists, because our membership in the church is rooted in our baptismal covenant. This series makes use of the Revised Common Lectionary passages from the book of Acts assigned for the season of Easter and a booklet written by my friend, Dr. Mark Stamm, professor of worship at Perkins School of Theology: Our Membership Vows in the United Methodist Church.
It just so happens that there are seven membership vows and seven Sundays from the Sunday after Easter until Pentecost, so it seemed like a good idea to try to bring the readings from Acts together with Dr. Stamm’s book.
Imagine the possibilities: There is no call to fasting during the Great Fifty Days. There is no “giving something up” for Easter. It is, rather, an extended period of, in the words of Augustine, “peace and joy.” In the early church, during the season of Easter, people were invited to pray in a standing position, arms out, faces up, hearts lifted. That’s called the orans position. Let’s try the orans posture! I will invite you to pray the Lord’s Prayer in this position during the Great Fifty Days.
It’s still Easter. Let’s celebrate throughout these 50 days. Pastor Curtis
AROUND FIRST UMC SEALY:
Year of Giving Goal for April: Personal Hygiene Kits Personal hygiene is a top need for people struggling financially in Austin County. In keeping with our vision of 'caring for the needs of our community,' First UMC is collecting hygiene kits in the moth of April. These hygiene kits offer a first line of defense against the spread of illness – which is a first step toward staying healthy! So please generously support our effort to supply these kits to the Christian Food Pantry. Items to collect include:
- 1 gal. Ziplock
- Full Size Shampoo/body wash
- Full Size Lotion
- Hand sanitizer
- Facial tissue
- Full Size Deodorant
- Disposable razors
- Shaving gel
- Hair brush & comb
- Antibacterial soap
- Soap holder
- Toothbrush holder
- Full Size Toothpaste
- A note from you!
Choir practice tonight at 7 p.m.
Upper Room Devotions for May-June are available in the Narthex.
Finance and Church Council meets next Tuesday, April 15, in the conference room.
The United Methodist Women meet next Wednesday in the conference room at 9:30 a.m. All women are invited to join them for fellowship.
Raising Academic Performance (RAP) is in need of a mentor for a Sealy Elementary student. Elementary students are 5-9 years old and are seen by mentors from 30 minutes to one hour per week. Mentors encourage students to do better in school, have fun with them and help equip them for life by being positive role models! RAP provides training and ongoing support. Please help them make a positive impact on a child’s life by becoming a mentor. Contact Carla Reichardt at 979-877-8597 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMING THIS MONTH & BEYOND
2016 Summer Camp: July 11-15 (Tri-District Camp) Each summer, youth visit Lakeview Methodist Conference Center for a unique Christian camp experience in the Piney Woods of East Texas, to get closer to God through worship, education, and activities.