Wednesday, November 18, 2020

 

LIVING and LOVING IN LODI      Sunday, November 22, 2020

 

From Pastor Pam: 

Let Your Light Shine!

During these late autumn days many struggle with the decreased hours of sunlight. Something in our spirit seeks the light:  we love to bask in the summer sun, gaze at the distant stars, follow the ever-changing moon. In the cold months we illuminate jack-o-lanterns and string festive lights around our homes and Christmas trees.  While these lights bring smiles, the Light that is Christ brings even more:  the light that is Christ helps us see and clean out the dusty corners of our  hearts and shines in our relationships so that they become more free of ego, more loving, and  wonderfully Joy-filled.  Let us shine with the Light of Christ!

And  although this may be not be the Thanksgiving we are used to, it is still a very special  day of the year to let our hearts feel light with grace as we rejoice and give thanks grateful  hearts ! I am so grateful to be a part of the LUMC church family!

 

Weekly Scripture: Philippians 2: 1-13

Imitating Christ’s Humility 2 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was[a] in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form,  he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

 

Hymns#327    “Crown Him With Many Crowns”  (verses 1, 4)

  #131    “We Gather Together”  (verses 1,2,3)

  #102   “Now Thank We All Our God”  (verses 1,2)

 

****Advent Booklet – it’s ready for pick up!  You can pick it up at the church along with the $5 Challenge envelope.  The booklet and challenge envelope will be placed in gallon Ziplock bags, in a bin, right inside the single door of the church, this Sunday after the service has been recorded. (11ish) Many of you have a door code, for various reasons.  Those of you that do not have a code to the door, call me or text me, (Dottie 330-887-1471) and I will give you a code to get in the door.  The booklet is full of wonderful thought- provoking stories and thoughts.  We will all read it together, each day of Advent. ****

 

Noteworthy News and Needs:    Do you have News or Needs or Prayer Concerns?  Please share them with Dottie or Pastor Pam so we can include them in the weekly e-mail.  

 

$5 Challenge – are you up for it?  Our $5 challenge this year will be to share the warmth of Christ’s love by helping others, who are struggling to pay their utility bills and to help make sure they have food on their tables. Due to the virus, there are so many things we cannot do (our dinners, adopting families for Christmas, etc.)  HOWEVER there are still many things we CAN DO!

The $5 challenges you to: 

1. Give back your $5 to the grocery/utility fund. 

2.  Grow your $5 then give to the grocery/utility fund.  

3.  Challenge others to join you in sharing the warmth of Christ’s love by group donating to the grocery/utility fund.   (The grocery gift cards will be for Miller Brothers.  Keeping it local!)

The $5 Challenge envelopes will be given out with the Advent booklets the week of Thanksgiving

 

Advent Study:  Join me for a wonderful Advent bible study! In his most recent book   Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas renowned United Methodist pastor and author, Adam Hamilton explores biblical names for Jesus: King, Savior, Emmanuel, and Light in ways that refresh our minds and prepare our hearts for the coming of our infant savior. As I read through the book, I am especially impressed by how the author relates each image with issues that are very contemporary, with historical concepts, and with timeless truths. We can meet via Zoom or through e -mail conversations. The books are available for $13.50 or whatever you can pay, for this five week study which will begin the week of November 29.  Please let Pastor Pam know if you would like to be a part of this study.  (216)-704-0307        pamelab23@hotmail.com  

~We are SO SORRY that we had to close our Sunday worship services in the building, yet again, due to the virus. Your safety is very important to us!  However, we are still live on Facebook at 10:00am AND later, once the service has been uploaded, our private YouTube channel!!!!  The link will come Sunday afternoon, in an e-mail. You MUST click the link to be able to watch the service as it is private on YouTube.  We are doing the best we can to keep people connected and worshiping!

The Trustees In Action:   We may not be able to gather in-person in our lovely building, but you should know things are continuing behind the scenes. The large cross that used to hang on the parking lot side of the building is in the process of being put back into place! It has been in Ruth Anderson's basement and has made its way back to the church. Thank you to Donnie Graves and his son, Alan, for replacing ballasts and re-configuring the cross to hold LED bulbs.  We will need to rent a high lift to get it in place but hope to have it hanging in time for our Beacon of Hope celebration (see below for the information) during the Christmas season.   

We are also working on restoring our chime system. We disconnected it when the elevator was installed and never put it back into place. Won't it be nice to hear music or bells coming from our church, again?  We need to reprogram it and run new electrical wiring, but we hope to have this finished soon!

The ramp is still moving forward as well.  The walls are basically done, and the larger door to the choir room has been purchased and painted (Thank you Jim Baughman!). We are close to being able to pour concrete.  Safety railings will be added along the edge of the stairs to the boiler room. (Thank you, Dave Anderson for research and ordering)  in the spring, we'll add the railings to the ramp as well. We would like to add a few asphalt parking spaces at the end of the ramp but need to evaluate finances first. Regardless, a project, many years in the making, is reaching fruition.

We will update the congregation soon concerning our Celebrate 100 fund…what was proposed, pledged, received, and what expenses still remain.  Thank you for your continued support!

BEACON OF HOPE PROJECT

Elva Dunham recently shared an idea, since we cannot be meeting in the church, that we should consider lighting up the outside of the church to serve as a Beacon of Hope to all in our community.  The project has gained instant support and enthusiasm and the following are some of the ides we plan to accomplish.:

1. Re-install the Cross that used to hang on our building facing the parking lot. Elva has agreed to pick up any expenses involved, as a memorial to Bill Dunham. Donny Graves and his son, who is a licensed electrician, are coordinating this project.

2. Carillons: Donny and his son are working on the electrical needs to get it playing, again, through the bell tower speakers. Missy has agreed to select the music. Larry Scott along with his two brothers with pay for this project.

3. Place our wooden Nativity set out, with a spotlight, set on a timer.

4. Place LED lights around the Fellowship Hall door and the door facing Medina St.  The lights will be on a timer and fastened to the church building. We will use existing Christmas wreaths but will purchase some Christmas garland.

What a wonderful gesture to reach out to our community with this Beacon of Hope theme. If you would like to contribute any monies for the lights and Christmas garland, we need about $150 to cover these expenses. Mail your checks to the church and designate that the money is for our Beacon of Hope project. Any additional monies will be placed in a fund to help us expand this theme next year.  Thank you in advance for supporting this project.

Sincerely, Elva Dunham and Larry Scott. (Call Larry with any questions (330) 887-5224)

 

~Lodi Tech Team: We hope you're finding ways to share in Sunday worship as we, in turn, get better at filming and uploading.  We are averaging 34 people watching the service via YouTube on a weekly basis.  Facebook Live is being viewed on average more than 70 times per week. Wow! (I think some of those are our own congregation clicking in and out, but that's Ok.) If you have a chance, check it out on Facebook. (Lodi United Methodist Church). There are new people clicking on the page. Engaging them, inviting them to our church, and to our events is a wonderful way to witness. 

     So glad we have these opportunities. In a year that has us distanced; we've found a way to worship together.  Once the Covid-19 numbers go down, we will be training more people to be a part of our team (Travis and Nicholas Bloom!).  We're also starting to take a look at our website and see if we can update and make it more available to those searching for a church. Text Katrina if interested or with ideas. (330-819-6890)

 

The Celebrate “100” group is laying the groundwork for celebrating our church building turning 100 next year.  If you have anything you would like to contribute or help with contact Larry Scott 330-887-5224 or

scottlandyard@neo.rr.com

 

 

You can mail your offerings to:  Lodi UMC, PO Box 3, Lodi, OH  44254 

 

Rev. Pamela Buzalka       (216)-704-0307        pamelab23@hotmail.com

Thursday, November 12, 2020

 

LIVING and LOVING IN LODI      Sunday, November 15, 2020

 

From Pastor Pam: 

Love Letters in November
Often we think of love letters or sweet valentines coming to us in February. But I believe that God sends us love letters, often in the form of heart -opening surprises, every day of our lives. Often these gifts of grace come just when we need them most. Psalm 23 reminds us so beautifully that our Shepherd guides us to what is good and healing for our souls. Despite the challenges of last week— church moving to on-line worship only, the schools closing, concerns of those  in our church family and nation, God’s “notes” of love and encouragement follow us all the days of our lives and we can dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
      Last week the way the sun shone through the red and gold leaves on the trees in the parsonage yard recalled for me Moses and the burning bush- the love note saying you ARE on holy ground. As I drove into Cleveland, a huge flock of white birds flew across the city skyline, that I knew so well, spoke to my spirit of the loving reassurance Jesus gave us that his very Spirit would be with us always.   And finally as I walked into the Lodi post office I met up with Elva Dunham. The very fact that I was there at the moment was the result of several “God- quirks.”  How often God speaks of his love for us through the dear people placed on our path. We can rejoice in the Lord, always!
      My prayer for all of us is that we delight in the little and great gifts of love God sends us each day to remind us we are His beloved children in whom he is well pleased !
Look and listen for the letters of love!

 

Weekly Scripture: Matthew 25: 14-30          The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15 to one he gave five talents,[a] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

Hymns#2172  "We Are Called"

    #568 "Christ for the World We Sing" (verses 1 & 3)

    #578  "God of Love and God of Power"

 

Noteworthy News and Needs  Do you have News or Needs or Prayer Concerns?  Please share them with Dottie or Pastor Pam so we can include them in the weekly e-mail.  

 

$5 Challenge – are you up for it?  Our $5 challenge this year will be to share the warmth of Christ’s love by helping others, who are struggling to pay their utility bills and to help make sure they have food on their tables. Due to the virus, there are so many things we cannot do (our dinners, adopting families for Christmas, etc.)  HOWEVER there are still many things we CAN DO!

The $5 challenges you to: 

1. Give back your $5 to the grocery/utility fund. 

2.  Grow your $5 then give to the

grocery/utility fund.  

3.  Challenge others to join you in sharing the warmth of Christ’s love by group donating to the grocery/utility fund.   (The grocery gift cards will be for Miller Brothers.  Keeping it local!)

The $5 Challenge envelopes will be given out with the Advent booklets the week of Thanksgiving.  (We realize we are not in church, but are working on a way to get everyone a copy of the booklet and $5 envelope.)

 

Advent Study:  Join me for a wonderful Advent bible study! In his most recent book   Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas renowned United Methodist pastor and author, Adam Hamilton explores biblical names for Jesus: King, Savior, Emmanuel, and Light in ways that refresh our minds and prepare our hearts for the coming of our infant savior. As I read through the book, I am especially impressed by how the author relates each image with issues that are very contemporary, with historical concepts, and with timeless truths. We can meet via Zoom or through e -mail conversations. The books are available for $13.50 or whatever you can pay, for this five week study which will begin the week of November 29.  Please let Pastor Pam know if you would like to be a part of this study.  (216)-704-0307        pamelab23@hotmail.com  

~We are SO SORRY that we had to close our Sunday worship services in the building, yet again, due to the virus. Your safety is very important to us!  However, we are still live on Facebook at 10:00am AND later, once the service has been uploaded, our private YouTube cannel!!!!  The link will come Sunday afternoon, in an e-mail. You MUST click the link to be able to watch the service as it is private on YouTube.  We are doing the best we can to keep people connected and worshiping!

~Lodi Tech Team: We hope you're finding ways to share in Sunday worship as we, in turn, get better at filming and uploading.  We are averaging 34 people watching the service via YouTube on a weekly basis.  Facebook Live is being viewed on average more than 70 times per week. Wow! (I think some of those are our own congregation clicking in and out, but that's Ok.) If you have a chance, check it out on Facebook. (Lodi United Methodist Church). There are new people clicking on the page. Engaging them, inviting them to our church, and to our events is a wonderful way to witness. 

So glad we have these opportunities. In a year that has us distanced, we've found a way to worship together.    Once the Covid-19 numbers go down, we will be training more people to be a part of our team (Travis and Nicholas Bloom!).  We're also starting to take a look at our website and see if we can update and make it more available to those searching for a church. Text Katrina if interested or with ideas. (330-819-6890)

 

The Celebrate “100” group is laying the groundwork for celebrating our church building turning 100 next year.  If you have anything you would like to contribute or help with contact Larry Scott 330-887-5224 or

scottlandyard@neo.rr.com

 

You can mail your offerings to:  Lodi UMC, PO Box 3, Lodi, OH  44254 

(The offering and balances will be updated in next week's e-mail.)

 

Rev. Pamela Buzalka       (216)-704-0307        pamelab23@hotmail.com