Starting the week with intention. 12.4.2023
Fairmount Avenue UMC is a joyful, welcoming community; igniting hearts and minds for God's work.
How Does a Weary World Rejoice? We acknowledge our weariness.
On Sunday, I offered in my sermon one practice from "The Book of Joy," by His Holiness the Dali Lama,, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams. This book captures the conversations as these two spiritual leaders discuss joy. At the end of the book, there are practices to overcome obstacles to joy and cultivate joy.
One of the practices is a Lojong practice, a fundamental premise of Tibetan mind training, where we embrace whatever is causing our suffering and accept it as a spiritual practice to help us grow and develop. This one found at the end is for suffering, adversity and illness, found on page 323… (This book is available in our church library.) I’m going to invite us to adapt it to include weariness.
How does a weary world rejoice? We acknowledge our weariness.
1. Think of where you are experiencing suffering, adversity, or weariness.
2. Think of others who are experiencing the same situation.
3. How might this situation be useful to you?
4. Try to feel grateful for the opportunity that this suffering, adversity or weariness has given you.
5. Try saying this sentence: “May my suffering, adversity, my weariness spare others from a similar suffering, adversity or weariness.”
This reflective practice is similar to what we find in James 1:2-4.
"2 My brothers and sisters, whenever you face various trials, consider it all joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance complete its work, so that you may be complete and whole, lacking in nothing."
I pray that this week you find time to sit and name your weariness, so that you might be able to embrace and grow from it. And then look ahead to next Sunday, when we continue in Luke's gospel, with verses 1:24-45 and answer our question, "How does a weary world rejoice?" We find connection.
Fellowship Servers for this Sunday, November 26
This Sunday: Carol Gregorson, Sik-Toh & Linda Ting, Craig Dawson & Bonnie Beverly
December 17 Servers: Jennifer Root, Tom & Cindy Radtke, Mike Looney & Barb Brunzell
December 24: No morning worship.
December 31: No fellowship time servers scheduled. All are invited to bring cookies to share!
A link to the full calendar of servers throughout the year is included at the bottom of this email.
Thank God It's Wednesday (T.G.I.W.)
Here's a look at our weekly schedule:
5:30-6:30pm - Wednesday Supper in the Fellowship Hall
6:30-7:30pm - T.G.I.W. Programming for Explorers (kids), Followers (youth), and adults
6:30-7:30pm - Heritage Ringers Rehearsal in the Wesley Room
7:45-9:15pm - Adult Choir Rehearsal in the Rosenberg Room (choir room)
It's really easy....
1. Come up with an event, activity, or location.
3. We will invite the church to "Meet Up."
4. Show up and welcome anyone who comes!
Consider hosting with a friend. A "Meet Up" could be simply meeting at a coffee shop, a park, or a community festival. Maybe you'd like to host a bike ride "Meet Up" or a hiking "Meet Up." Or maybe going to a sporting event or concert... Whatever you like to do can be a "Meet Up."
This is a great way to get to know each other, create opportunities for newer people in our church to get connected, and invite your friends!
Get Involved at Fairmount Avenue UMC
A Joyful Welcoming Community
- Midweek Bible Study - Wednesdays at 12:00pm via Zoom. Join Pastor Shawna online each week for a time of discussion, prayer, and connection. No homework or preparation required. Drop in when you can! Click here to join.
- Music Makers - Thursday, December 7 at 5:30pm in the nursery.
- Children's Christmas Program Rehearsal - Saturday, December 9, 1:00pm-3:00pm.
- Children's Christmas Program Performance - Sunday, December 3 during worship.
- Y.A.M. Take-n-Bake Gathering - Sunday, December 3 after worship.
Igniting Hearts and Minds
- Explorers Sunday School: Time for a “Christmas Vacation" Sundays, 9:00-10:00am before worship. Christmas is the best time, all the time. On this Christmas vacation, explore the power of Jesus from before he was even born to the first people he met, and in the lives of all God’s people today. For kids in PreK-5th Grade. For more information email Ashton Pappas, Director of Children’s Ministries, at email@example.com.
- "A Room in the Inn" - Don't forget this year’s Christmas program! The performance will be during worship next Sunday, December 10. Please email Ashton with questions or to participate.
- Explorers T.G.I.W., Who is Jesus? - Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” This week, make sandwiches to donate for the Minnesota Sandwich Project. Join us for “Thank God It’s Wednesday” activities 6:30-7:30pm. Also on Wednesdays… Handbells return for Christmas! Our final bells rehearsal will be this Wednesday, December 6, 6:00-6:30pm, before T.G.I.W. activities. Please let Ashton know if your child will participate. For more information email Ashton Pappas, Director of Children’s Ministries, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Followers Youth Faith Formation - Sundays, 9:00-10:00am. Come often; come when you can! What to expect: Questions, learning with conversation, and at least one fun activity/game! For more information email Cindy Radtke, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, at email@example.com.
- Followers T.G.I.W. Youth Group - Wednesdays, 6:30-7:00pm. Come often; come when you can! What to expect: We will build community through games, activities, prayer and worship. And we will explore our faith in action! For more information email Cindy Radtke, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Y.A.M. Faith Exploration - Sundays, 11:45am-12:45pm. Come often; come when you can! All young adults invited. Next Sunday, December 10, stay to make Take-n-Bake Ravioli in the downstairs kitchen! Terri Ausen will provide lunch! Then stay for homemade fettuccine with creamy vegetarian pumpkin sauce, ingredients provided. Text/call Cindy at 763/321-8077 or email email@example.com to sign-up! What to expect: Building a small group, time for questions, learning about early church community, and faith in our daily lives.
- Y.A.M. Service Saturday - Saturday, December 16, 4:00-6:30pm. All young adults invited. What to expect: Serve and join the guests for the evening meal at Project Home’s Provincial House (Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul). For more info, text/call Cindy at 763/321-8077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Adult Sunday School - Sundays at 9:00am.
- T.G.I.W. for Adults - Wednesdays at 6:30pm.
For God's Work
Worship Volunteers Needed! We need volunteers to assist as ushers, greeters, liturgists, and to serve on the Worship Committee. Volunteering is flexible to your schedule. Contact the church office if you think you can help by emailing email@example.com.
First Fruits - We’re so grateful to all who have recently signed up to volunteer. If you are interested in delivering food donations to Keystone Community Services after our monthly donations, please contact the church office or click here: Help Collect and Deliver First Fruit Donations to Keystone
Adopt-A-Drain– Sign up to Help! We are looking for volunteers to clean the storm drains near the church: 3 at the corner of Fairmount and Saratoga and 2 on Fairmount just east of Snelling. Volunteers are asked to pick up trash, leaves and debris to allow water to drain. Please go to Fairmount Ave UMC: Adopt a Drain Signup to sign up for a month. If you have any questions, please contact Nita at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Serve a Meal at Provincial House - Project Home is looking for volunteers to serve meals as a part of its weekend meal teams at 1880 Randolph Avenue. There are four shifts available every weekend on Saturday and Sunday for lunch and dinner. This opportunity is great for groups of 3-6 people. Currently the way it works is for one person to sign up for the shift and then bring another 2-5 others with them to help. The link for more information and to sign up: https://tinyurl.com/PHMealTeams2023. Questions? Contact Steve Wertz, who has already signed up for the dinner shift on Saturdays and who is willing to join a shift if available and/or meet you at the Shelter to assist with finding the entrance and guiding you to the kitchen and dining room.
Children's Clothing Collection - We are collecting gently used clothing as well as winter outerwear (jackets, snowpants, hats, mittens, boots) for Folwell Community School in Minneapolis. The school houses Pre-K- 5th grade and has a population dealing with many challenges— lack of stable housing and income, food insecurity, etc. The nurse’s office tries to keep extra clothes on hand and, particularly heading into the winter season, extra outerwear for children who might otherwise not be able to go outside for recess.
There is a labeled bin in the Wesley Room for any donations. Thank you!
Worship Resources for Online Worship:
- Be sure to follow Fairmount Avenue United Methodist Church on Facebook.
- Subscribe to Fairmount Avenue UMC's YouTube Channel. We will be using YouTube to offer other creative learning experiences as well as publishing our weekly worship.
Fairmount Avenue United Methodist Church
Location: 1523 Fairmount Avenue, Saint Paul, MN, USA
Mission Statement: To be a welcoming, joyful community igniting hearts and minds for God's work.