The Vista

News and Events for Vista Ridge United Methodist Church

February 11, 2016

Pastor Mary Beth's Musings

And so, the season of Lent begins. We had a peaceful and inspirational Service of Ashes last night. Many thanks to Brian Hardesty-Crouch and the VRUMC Choir for the beautiful music and leadership!

What did the ashes signify? Ashes signify our sorrow for the mistakes we have made. People in ancient times wore sackcloth and ashes as a way of expressing their repentance of their sins. Remember in the Jonah story that when the king and the people heard Jonah’s story, they all put on sackcloth and sat in ashes? God saw this act as a sign of repentance and spared the people of Ninevah (Jonah 3:1-10). When we participate in the Service of Ashes, we confront our sin: those things that separate us from God.

There’s always a lot of conversation among “churchy people” at the beginning of Lent: What are you going to give up? Chocolate? Meat? Facebook? Fast food? Some give up something they believe is getting in the way of their relationship with God. Others give up something they really enjoy to be in solidarity with the sacrifice of Christ. And some choose to develop a spiritual practice that will help them draw closer to God.

I’m going to practice Gratitude during this season for the many ways that I see God in my life, in my family, in you, in our world in hopes that it can become a regular part of each day. Not just for these 46 days of Lent, but beyond. Much beyond.

So as I stood in my closet this morning, I was reminded that I often say to myself in that moment of decision, “I have nothing to wear!” Not true! I have a closet full of shoes and clothes that keep me clothed, warm and protected. I am thankful for the resources that enable me to have more than one pair of shoes, more than one jacket, more than one pair of pants, many of which I rarely, if ever choose to wear. I learned yesterday of a new and interesting challenge for Lent: 40 Days - 40 Items. Each day of Lent, remove one item from your closet that you no longer wear or need and put it in a bag. At the end of 40 days, donate the items to a place that can share them with someone who really needs them.

What will your Lent practice be?

Glory to God!

Pastor Mary Beth

P.S. This Sunday, we address Question #7 of 7 Big Questions: Can I Know God Personally? Spoiler alert: the answer is Yes! We’ll talk about how that is possible.

Blood Drive on Sunday

Have a heart on Valentine’s Day and help save a life with a blood donation on Sunday. Sign up to participate online at Carter BloodCare. The blood drive will run from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

This Surgical Team Saves Lives — So Does This Soccer Team. Give Blood.

Ian Gill New Director of Music and Arts

Ian Gill has been hired to serve as director of music and arts, and will begin his new position at Vista Ridge UMC on March 1.

He has been serving as associate director of music at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman, OK, for the past three years. He also is assistant conductor for the Norman Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ian has a master's degree in choral conducting from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor of science degree in music education, with emphasis in guitar, from the University of South Florida. A college highlight was touring with world-renowned guitarist George Benson.

He grew up in Georgia and Florida, and will be moving to Texas with his wife, Grace.

Youth/Parent Mission Trip Meeting

A Parent/Youth Meeting about the summer mission trip will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday in the sanctuary. It will address plans for the trip (including air transportation) as well as Team 316 points and the projected total cost without Team 316 participation. Youth currently in 6th through 12th grade are invited to participate in the summer mission trip. The group will serve in Virginia Beach the week of July 10-16. A $50 non-refundable deposit is due Sunday, February 21. Contact Daira Curran,, with questions.

Thank You from Douglas Family

Words cannot express how blessed I feel to be a part of such a wonderful church family. Thank you for the past two years of prayers, cards, visits, encouragement and support. Doug felt much love and support and appreciated it all, especially his trips to Winstar with his “guy pals.” My family and I are grateful to Pastor Mary Beth, Sherry, Laurie, Anton and the many other people involved in making Doug’s Celebration of Life so beautiful. We received so many complimentary notes from family and friends and couldn’t have imagined it to be more perfect. Lastly, thank you to all my sweet friends who so graciously provided and served lunch after the service. It was so wonderful to be able to visit with family and out of town friends before they left to return home. Your love, caring and support will always be remembered by our family.

We love you all.

Phyllis, Jeana and Ryan

New T-shirt Orders

Another order will be placed mid-month for our new church T-shirt with mission statement. The shirt is often worn during special church events and when serving in the community. To purchase a shirt, complete an order form available in the Welcome Center. Deadline is Sunday, February 21.

Chilly Trifecta Successful Event

A big celebration for this year’s Chilly Trifecta event, which raised $3,639 for Vacation Bible School (VBS). Thanks to those who attended the event, provided their homemade chili, made and bid on yummy desserts and showcased their talent. Please visit the table in the narthex to complete an application to volunteer for this year’s VBS on June 13-17. Volunteers can pre-register their children for VBS as well.

Gospel of John Study During Lent

The Gospel of John is the most deeply spiritual of the four gospels. It includes some of the loftiest and most loved verses in all the Bible. This Lent, join Pastor Mary Beth and experience a season of spiritual growth and life-changing renewal while reading the entire Gospel of John. The group will meet at 9:45 a.m. Sundays from February 21 through April 3, and use Adam Hamilton’s “John: The Gospel of Light and Life.” Sign up to participate in the Welcome Center or online. Cost for the book is $15.

Holy Week Activities

· Maundy Thursday Seder Meal/Holy Communion—Thursday, March 24, 6:30 p.m.

· Good Friday Service of the Cross—Friday, March 25, 6:30 a.m.

· Good Friday Tenebrae Service—Friday, March 25, 7 p.m.

· Easter Eggstravaganza—Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m.-noon

· Easter Sunday Worship—Sunday, March 27, 8:30 and 11 a.m.; breakfast at 9:45 a.m.

New Electronic Option for Giving

Vista Ridge now offers an electronic option to make financial contributions and donations to the church. There is no charge to use this online giving opportunity. Use the link——and follow the steps with contact information and card number.

Sermon Podcasts

Miss a worship service? Listen to past sermons here.

Vista Ridge United Methodist Church

Traditional Worship, 8:30 a.m. Sunday

Blended Worship, 11 a.m. Sunday