Category Archives: Uncategorized

Season of the Saints – THANKSGIVING

From the white robes of Revelation 7 to the stories of Saints in Joshua, we arrive at THANKSGIVING of the Saints this Sunday.  In the last two weeks I have challenged some traditional views of what is important to our society versus what is important to joining the Great Cloud of Witnesses and it is interesting that although I saw some questioning looks during the service I haven’t had any challenges or questions.  Please know that talking back in worship is not a problem and questions and challenges after the service are actually encouraged.  We cannot be true disciples of Jesus Christ until we challenge the status quo and go as deep as we can into understanding the Word of God.

If you missed the message check us out on the website at Dorsey or the Facebook Live broadcast from Wesley Chapel!

I again challenge you to seek partnership with your employer, neighbor, friends and family as we prepare to serve over 20 families food for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We will need folks to partner with us to help with Christmas gifts for Deep Run Elementary.  We are serving a teacher appreciation dinner at Deep Run on Tuesday evening during parent conferences and could use one or two crock pots of chili and or salad and drinks and even servers.  A.C.T.S. needs dinner or snacks for THIS Saturday at 5pm.   Hungry Baby could always use more diapers and wipes.  Our AOET sponsor child, Gloria in Uganda, always would like letters.  The United Methodist Board of Childcare would like you to fill your red stockings with lots of quarters and paper like checks and dollars.

Church, you are being called – not by me – but by the God who gave his Son so you could one day join the Communion of Saints in white robes , with stories and thanksgiving to be disciples and not just church members.  Last Sunday we read trust the Lord WHOLEHEARTEDLY.  Where are you in the wholehearted relationship with the Savior of the world?

CALENDAR

Saturday A.C.T.S. Meeting 5pm @ Dorsey

Sunday Worship – Wesley 20am, Dorsey 11am, Lorien 2pm

Monday – Thanksgiving Food Basket Preparation 6pm @ Dorsey

Tuesday – Teacher Appreciation Dinner @ Deep Run Elementary 5pm

Wednesday – Thanksgiving Eve Worship for he Rt. 1 Corridor UM Ministry 7pm @ Wesley

Thursday – THANKSGIVING – not for Turkey, football and family but for God sending His Son to be the Savior of the World

Sunday Nov. 26 Christ the King Worship (Last day in the church calendar) 10am @ Wesley, 11am @ Dorsey

Saturday Dec. 2 Hanging of the Greens @ Wesley Chapel 9am Coffee and breakfast snacks

SATURDAY Dec. 2 LIVE NATIVITY @ Glen Mar A.C.T.S. sponsored trip.  Looking for hot chocolate and snacks to follow at one of the churches

Sunday Dec. 3 FIRST Sunday in Advent – Worship 10am @ Wesley, 11am @ Dorsey, 2pm @ Lorien

PRAYERS

Betty N., Eleanor O., Chris, Rhian and baby, Jessica P.., Carol B., Donald M., Richard W., Richard M., ROCK and A.C.T.S., Harvest Home Food Ministry, Hungry Baby, our church members growing into Disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world!

Make worship a priority… yes even over education, sports, music, fame and fortune!  After all – it is for eternity!

Rick

Is Prayer Action Enough?

In the last several weeks it seems like tragedy is the only news.  Before one tragedy can be reported on another has occurred and resources to help seem limited or extremely stretched – so we pray.  Yet The Bible says that prayer should come first and that without prayer how do we know God’s will for our lives in this season?   I also hear others say stop praying and do something which makes some of us feel inept especially if we are physically or financially unable to provide help.

Prayer is never worthless and is often our best choice especially to discern the will of God.  Prayer needs to be more common and a greater priority in our own lives as well as the life of our church, neighborhood and country.  I just read a Facebook post by a friend who quoted Pastor Jim Cymbala, a 19th century evangelist, who said:

“You can tell how popular a church is by the attendance on Sunday morning.  You tell how popular the preacher is by attendance on Sunday night.  You can tell how popular Jesus is by attendance at the weekly prayer meeting.”

I found this to be a pretty inditing commentary especially since it was written in the 19th century.

So, where is your prayer life – is it morning, evening or mid week?  Do you have regular conversations with the Lord?  Do you believe that prayer is priority and that it changes things and or you?

Every time Jesus experienced a threat in his ministry and every time he needed to make a big decision he would go to pray, sometimes alone, sometimes with others.  Jesus is not only the Savior of the world but his life was an example for how we are to live our lives.

Let us pray for Las Vegas, Mexico City, Florida, Texas, The Islands including Puerto Rico.  Let’s pray for victims and perpetrators,  single, married, separated, divorced, young, old, middle aged.  I could go on listing, but hopefully you get the message – PRAY for all and seek Jesus as primary in your life, then make room for the Holy Spirit to begin transformation.

 

CALENDAR

Sunday Worship – 10am @ Wesley, 11am @ Dorsey, 2pm @ Lorien

Tuesday Nights – Life Bread 6:15 Dinner, 7 pm Groups

Saturday Oct. 21 ROCK Planning @ Conference Center 10am

Saturday Oct. 21 – UMW Pit Beef Sale Noon – 2 @ Dorsey

Sunday Oct. 21 – Pumpkin Decorating Festival 1-3pm @ Wesley

Sunday Oct 29 – Trunk or Treat @ Dorsey

Saturday Nov. 4 Annual Church Conference 11am @ First UMC Laurel

Saturday Nov. 4 Mission Central Trip leave from Melville Chapel 7am

 

Together we can share Jesus and transform the world!

Rick

Transition and Transformation

This Sunday many of our neighboring United Methodist Churches will be welcoming new pastors for the first time as the season for new appointments begins.  I can remember my first July appointment in 2010 when I was appointed to Dorsey Emmanuel because my actual first appointment began in November as the pastor of Wesley Chapel retired on medical leave.  It was my first Sunday preaching two services and beginning a season in my life when I would no longer return to the public school system in August.  I believe we have grown together and advanced the church of Jesus Christ together – yet the Church is never without its challenges.

The Church is a collection of people believing in Jesus as their Savior and those seeking to know more about who Jesus is and what it means for their life when they accept Jesus as their Lord and become baptized.

In fact I have always said the Church should be a hospital for sinners and not a resort for saints and if that is true the Church is going to have some imperfections, personalities and behaviors that need some healing and growing.  That means that each of us have to show grace and receive grace.  In other words we have to accept some imperfections in others and we have to acknowledge that we too have imperfections and realize that our behaviors are being received and tolerated by the grace given us.

Now don’t get me wrong – that doesn’t mean that we get to continue in all of our bad habits just because someone is supposed to be giving us grace.  We should be working daily by studying the Scriptures, seeking a spiritual mentor and talking to God daily in prayer to assist us in giving grace to others but even more importantly transforming us from the old self centered us into a true disciple of Jesus Christ who asks “What Would Jesus Do?”

If we are to be the church of Jesus Christ for the world and thereby making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world we must first allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from “this is just the way I am” to “this is who Jesus made me”!

 

PRAYERS

Roy and Betty, Almeda, Charles and Eleanor, Clif and Jess, Leon P., Frank and Arlene, Eileen and family, Amie, Nathan and Abby, VBS, Mission and Outreach opportunities, our local and world leaders

 

“Christ Centered, Growing Relationships, Serving in Mission!”

Rick

Lent

This time next week I will be preparing for Ash Wednesday Worship at 7pm at Wesley Chapel.  Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, 40 days excluding Sundays before Easter, when we are to reflect on our walk with the Lord and use the time to focus more than usual on repentance and prayer.  Many times this involves giving up something we do, eat etc. that may be detracting from our relationship with God.  Sometimes we take on a new focus on prayer, scripture reading and study etc.   I think Lent is especially important to remind us that although God meets us in the person of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit where we are and as we are that relationship is based on our willingness to seek forgiveness and accept the Salvation of Jesus Christ by turning away from our sins and living our lives in Christian service as we grow in Sanctifying Grace.  For Wesley, salvation was not one moment or one experience, but a life-long process of becoming more and more like Christ. Lent is a period in the church to remind us that although God loves us we are responsible for seeking forgiveness of our sins and living out our faith.  I hope you are planning on joining us for worship next Wednesday as we celebrate the season of Lent.

Prior to Ash Wednesday we join together for Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras.  Shrove is a derivation of the English word Shrive which refers to absolution of sins through confession.  Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras refer to the tradition of eating rich foods before the period of fasting from many of those foods during Lent.  Our parish will join with Harwood Park UMC to eat pancakes and celebrate Mardi Gras at Harwood Park between 5 & 7pm.

During Lent our Sermon Series will be “Who do YOU say I am?”  Each week will look at an “I Am” statement in scripture and discuss how it relates to each of our lives.  However due to the snow we will complete our “Get Fit” series first.  This Sunday we will be talking about Christian Relationships and how to improve our Relationship Fitness.  This is part one of two parts because the next Sunday is Valentine’s day and we will have “Relationships Part 2 – Let’s Get Intimate”.  That’s right we will spend the morning talking about what the Bible has to say about our most intimate relationships.

Congratulations to our own Brandon Dix who went swimming in the Chesapeake Bay last Saturday and raised over $700 for the Special Olympics.  Special congratulations to his dad and grand dad who challenged him to go back and actually put his head under and he did!  Brandon is a sophomore at Long Reach High School.

Since we are celebrating our youth I want to challenge all of our youth and their families to commit in the next week to join me in Ocean City March 18-20 for the Metro-Maryland Youth For Christ IMPACT Retreat.  The sooner I have commitments the more money we can save on registration and the sooner we know how many groceries and chaperons we need.  You can check out the event here.  You can also find past conferences on YouTube.  This event attracts over 3000 young folks and adults from all over Maryland.

In His service!
Rick

Ever Feel Desperate for God?

As I occasionally do I am going to share an article from this week’s edition of Relevant Magazine.  In the last few days we have read about people being desperate for snow plows, warmth, food, parking places (with and without a chair), and maybe even a few parents desperate for school to start again.  But today I read an article that talks about being “Desperate for God” which is a term I have heard used over the years and thought that it reflected a huge desire to have a close relationship with the Lord but after reading Graham Cooke’s article in Relevant Magazine I am rethinking ever using the phrase again.  Read what he says about the phrase and how it can be misunderstood:

A while back, I was visiting a friend of mine named Steve. Steve has two young daughters, who were 4 and 6 years old at the time. Steve had to leave the room to take a phone call, and while he was out of the room I overheard the 6-year-old tell the 4-year-old they were “going to church tomorrow.”
Without missing a beat, the 4-year-old said: “We don’t go to church, we are the Church. That’s because we are in the Kingdom.”
And the 6-year-old asked, “What’s the Kingdom?”
“The Kingdom is the rule of heaven here on earth,” said the 4-year-old.
When you hear conversations like this one between children, you realize there is no “junior” Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that can talk to an apostle can talk to a 4-year-old girl.
That 4-year-old gets that the Church comes out of the Kingdom. The Church is governed by the Kingdom.
A lot of us live the other way around. We see the Kingdom as something that comes from the Church. From this perspective, the Kingdom only happens sometimes, if the Church is doing its job right. God will show up occasionally, and then He disappears until He decides to stop by again.
But, in Jesus, God doesn’t just “show up” anymore. Instead, we have God living inside of us. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. It’s the difference between what I call a “visitational culture” and a “habitational culture.”

Cooke closes his article by saying that “desperate” is how people feel when they are not sure if they are ever going to get what they are seeking.  He highlights that desperate just does not truthfully describe God anymore than “going to church” describes what the church really is. Cooke says, “I am not remotely desperate for God. I’m too busy just being delighted in Him.”

God is where we are all the time.  We do not have to run to God because he is not running away.  Emmanuel, God with us is who Jesus Christ is.  Sure, we sometimes have to slow down and look for where God wants us in a certain situation, but be certain that in your most joyous and desperate time God is with you through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

To read more of this story, click here.

Our New Years Sermon Series will continue in spite of tornadoes and snow.  This Sunday we will talk about being Physically Fit for God in addition to Spiritually and Financially Fit and hopefully closing out the series Feb. 7 with Getting Fit in our Relationships.

As a result of congregational input from the Financially Fit for God Sermon we are sponsoring a four part class on Financial Fitness with several financial experts.  This series of workshops is OPEN to Anyone!  You may invite your neighbors, coworkers, children, grandchildren and yourself.  This is a great opportunity being afforded us absolutely FREE!  We will even have the Consumer Credit Counseling Service leading the final night.  The amount of information you will receive would normally be provided at a fee but Janet has arranged the workshops FREE of charge.  Please do not ignore or miss this opportunity.
Topics included: How to Read a Credit Report, Identity Theft and Password Protection, Budgets, Saving, and all of the CCCS Services.

Financial Fitness Workshops (attendance at all is recommended but not necessary)
February 18, Feb. 25, March 10, March 17
7-8:30 pm @ Dorsey Emmanuel UMC

See you “as the church”!
Rick

 

Get Fit

We are continuing our sermon series on Get Fit.  Last Sunday was Get Fit – Financially, the first Sunday was Get Fit – Spiritually, This Sunday (I Hope) will be Get Fit – Physically, followed by the last in the series Get Fit – Relations.  If you haven’t been able to be at church, and attendance has been a little low, like the temperature and hopefully it will warm up and we all get to see you because we do miss you when you are not there.  In addition to the Sunday messages there will be at least two follow-up workshops at the end of the sermon series.  We are scheduling dates and times now for a Get Fit Financial Workshop and a Get Fit – Physical Workshop (this will not be an exercise class but an opportunity to discuss diet and exercise options as well as provide a forum for you to ask questions about diets and exercise plans you have heard about or tried and maybe not found successful and we will give you information about why or why not the diet and or workout plans may or may not be appropriate for you).  Relationships will be talked about more during the Valentines weekend worship service as we often do.  Spiritual discipline workouts can be joined Tuesday evening at Life Bread, every other Sunday at Living Christian in the UM Tradition Group or online at W.O.V.E.N. our Facebook study group.  Being FIT is not an event it is a LIFESTYLE!

I am in the process of registering our churches with WBAL TV/Radio for weather and emergency cancellations.  We will always post on our Facebook Pages but I wanted this opportunity for those not online or on Facebook.   Hopefully the predicted snowfall will not be as great as they are forecasting and we will not have to cancel worship and no one will be shut in for very long.  After all it is a Maryland snow prediction and could and often does change without notice.

THIS Sunday is also a very important night of training for ALL of our ministry leaders and is a great opportunity for those of you who are not yet in a leadership to come learn about church ministries.  This is required for ALL leaders 2016 leaders.   The training will be 6 pm at Wesley and finished at 7:30 pm.

See you Sunday and check on your neighbors, family and friends if the weather creates shut ins.

Rick

Epiphany

JANUARY 6 is Epiphany or Three Kings Day.  This is the day the church celebrates the three kings or wise men arriving to see Jesus; probably at his home and most definitely not at the manger since Jesus was almost two years old at this point.

No matter what the location or actual timeline the message is that people of all socioeconomic groups came to worship Jesus much like the church of 2016.    What we can learn from this is that the Magi did not come to Jesus to get something out of him or like us coming to church to get something out of church.  They came and we come to Worship Him!  I’m not saying that our visit to church on Sunday should not give us some spiritual renewal through songs, the spoken word or the Lord’s Supper but we should be coming to church Sunday morning to WORSHIP a Savior who gave all for us even as we are yet sinners.

This Sunday we continue to work on our fitness for 2016.  Last Sunday we discussed Spiritual Fitness.  Which of the 8 Spiritual Fitness workouts have you begun?  I know the handout didn’t get printed so I am going to try to remember to attach it to this newsletter so you can review it.  Also remember that the sermons are on the church websites.  In fact I saw someone shared the message on Facebook this week and called it a lesson not a sermon.  There is nothing in life that is done well without a little practice and certainly not without intent so what are you doing to improve your Spiritual Fitness.

Join us this week for Financial Fitness.  You may ask how that has anything to do with church?  Well, in the past months we have discussed Financial Wellness and found that finances are one of the main reasons our personal and social relationships struggle and if that is the case how can we be truly Fit for 2016 if our focus is on a negative relationship with our finances.

Join us and see what The Bible has to see about being Financially Fit.

 

See you in church!

Rick

Happy New Year!

As the world tries to tell us Christmas is over, remember: January 6 is Epiphany (or Three Kings Day) so the Christmas celebration continues!  However, time does move on, as do the Seasons of the Church, because in six weeks it will be Ash Wednesday and Lent will begin.

It has been a great Christmas season of worship and mission.  We fed over 100 people between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We provided Christmas gifts with the help of Solomon’s Masonic Lodge to over 30 kids and their families.  We continued to provide diapers and wipes through the Hungry Baby Mission and contributed to the United Methodist Board of Childcare through the Christmas Stocking Program.  UMW provided gifts and supplies to survivors of human trafficking through Howard County AGAST.  Combined Christmas Eve worship was over 140 and the Sunday after Christmas wasn’t too bad either.

On Sunday we begin a new sermon series entitled Get Fit!  Pretty appropriate for the New Year and considering your Pastor’s past career.  But this series is not limited to just the physical in fact this Sunday we are going to talk about getting Spiritually Fit followed by getting Financially Fit, then Physically Fit, and finally Relationally Fit.

Getting Fit Spiritually, Financially, Physically and Relationally is the perfect plan for the start of the new year especially since I believe our parish is sitting right on the edge of our next big growth step.  We have achieved a great mission ministry and now we need to grow ourselves and each other in all four of these fitness areas before we can jump to the next level of being the church of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Fitness or, as John Wesley called it, Discipline is essential to growing every other aspect of our lives.  When we grow spiritually our finances, self-image, and personal, family, church and community relations will also grow.  Make a resolution that THIS year you will read The Bible and join at least one study (not one day, one study) before June.

January 24 is leadership training night for the parish and will be held at Wesley Chapel, 6pm to 7:30pm.  This is required for all elected church leaders and is recommended for anyone interested in learning the leadership ministries and various opportunities in the church.

THIS SUNDAY is the Open House sponsored by the Pastor and Janet as a thank you for all the ministry support we have shared in the last year.  Oh yea and of course to continue the Christmas season all the way to Epiphany.  Please join us for at least a part of the time and bring your appetite!  1pm to 4pm.  Good news or bad news, depending on your view, there will be at least one wild game recipe.

See you at church!

Rick

 

Advent 4

It is almost hard to believe that it will be Christmas in 9 days.  I actually wish there was a little more time, not to shop, but to just be excited about the anticipation.  I mean watching the lights go up, lighting another candle every Sunday, listening to the music and looking at all the beautifully wrapped gifts.  Isn’t it interesting that most Christians don’t see the excitement in Advent and yet the prophet Micah prophesied the birth of the Savior to be born in Bethlehem 700 years before the actual birth of Christ.  Now that is a long Advent!

This past week the parish was really active.  Our children’s ministry team held a kids Christmas party on Saturday at Dorsey and that was a great success.  Sunday we celebrated worship together, sent a mission team to Our Daily Bread, went caroling at Frank’s Produce, and had a cookie exchange at Wesley Chapel.

This week we had our Tuesday Night Small Group Study and are preparing to finish our Angel Tree Shopping.  Solomon’s Masonic Lodge has given us $450 to purchase gifts for our Christmas Mission with Deep Run Elementary.  Stacy Dix has volunteered to do the remaining shopping for just a few angels not picked up by the church members.  Tonight I will be meeting with Howard County AGAST and delivering winter clothing for survivors thanks to our women’s ministry team.
This Sunday we will celebrate the last Sunday in Advent during morning worship by focusing on the shepherds and looking at how God is interrupting our lives this Christmas and every day.  How have you responded to God’s interruptions in your life?  Our response is what non-believers see as evidence that God is a loving God or not.

 

Join us for worship!
Rick

Advent 3

It is really hard to believe it is the third Sunday in Advent.  This Sunday we light the rose colored candle.  Check out the United Methodist website for details on the celebration of Advent using the wreath.

At the Dorsey/Wesley Parish we are going to continue our Series When God Interrupts by focusing on When Christmas Gets Messy – Ask Joseph.  This Sunday the choir will be singing at Dorsey and the Our Daily Bread Mission Team will be in Baltimore.

In addition to Our Daily Bread and Worship the parish Caroling Team- THAT’S YOU! – will be singing at Frank’s Produce on Old Waterloo Rd near Deep Run Elementary
 We will meet at Frank’s a little before 2 or you can meet at Wesley at 1:30 to car pool.  We will sing for about 30 minutes and then gather at Wesley Chapel for the Christmas Cookie Exchange at 3pm.  You may choose to take part in one event or both.  For the cookie exchange it is bring a dozen and take a dozen.  

On Saturday the kids have their day as Dorsey is sponsoring a kid’s Christmas Party 1-3pm.  All are invited.

This week the United Methodist Women met for their Christmas Party and I was honored to be included for a great meal and see the women joining in fellowship and mission.  Their mission project is to reach out and help survivors of Human Tracking.

Also this week we had a family related to Wesley Chapel and Solomon’s Masonic Lodge pay off a lay away account for our friend Jessica and her kids.  Our Angel Tree is almost empty but still time for you to take an angel and buy a gift for one of our Deep Run Elementary students.  We also could use donations to buy gift cards for families at Ducketts Lane Elementary and Karen Tavenner is taking those donations.

If you know a family that could use food this Christmas let Carolyn Brooks know.

I could not be more excited or proud of our parish the mission outreach we have accomplished:

  • Hungry Baby Mission
  • AOET sponsor Brian to attend University
  • Our Daily Bread Mission Team
  • UMW Pillow Case Dresses and flip flops
  • UMW combats Human Trafficking
  • Social Concerns feeds 70 plus at Thanksgiving
  • Community Partnership with Solomon’s Masonic Lodge
  • Transportation, food, bills paid, etc. for individual cases
  • Imagine No Malaria
  • Teacher Appreciation Dinner
  • Board of Childcare
  • Community Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Facebook Ministry

    Join us as we demonstrate that knowing Christ means living and acting as Christ!

    See you in church…wherever church occurs!
    Rick