Announcements for Sunday, April 16, 2023!
In-Person Worship begins at 9:30am (Contemporary Service) and 11am (Traditional Service)
Keep up to date with what is happening in our UMC district by accessing their website at https://threenotchd.org
ONLINE WORSHIP SERVICE
For Sunday, April 16, 2023 will be available on Sunday at Ginter Park United Methodist’s Facebook page and on the YouTube channel.
This week's sermon is "Easter People"
AN EASTER MESSAGE FROM OUR PASTOR
Happy Easter! It is April, when everything comes to life dynamically. Sometimes when walking in the park, you can hear the sound of a woodpecker pecking at a tree. When you listen closely to the clear and refreshing sound, it feels like a gap opens up in your heart. During Holy Week, I thought about why the young Jesus in his early thirties did not try to avoid death. Why did he walk steadily towards death, which he could have avoided if he had wanted to? Even his disciples could not understand his actions. Peter tried to stop his teacher’s path several times, warning him of the upcoming trials, and Judas turned his back on the Lord in despair, thinking that death could not solve anything. Jesus did not avoid the abyss of death in front of him. Those who are in the Lord's life do not die even if they die. Those who believe and live will never die eternally. It does not mean that their physical life will continue. Just like a river flows into the sea and loses its individual name but becomes part of a greater life, the lives of believers also reach eternity through being embraced by eternal life. Believing in the Resurrection is living out that eschatological hope in the present. A few years ago, I saw a picture of the Atacama Desert in Chile, which had turned into a field of flowers beneath the Andes Mountains. Its an extremely arid area, but due to a weather anomaly, an enormous amount of rain poured down, causing dormant mallow flowers to bloom all at once from the ground.
People couldn't help but feel awe at the sight of a land of death turning into a flower field. It’s said that similar wonders occur sometimes in Californias Mojave Desert. Isn’t human life the same way? Even if someone appears rough, fierce, and selfish, couldn’t someone plant the seed of beauty inside them, which might bloom into a flower at the right time? Of course, there are some who never bloom. But that doesn’t mean we can give up planting the seed. We only sow and water it, believing that God is the one who makes it grow. We can’t react to all the suffering in the world, but we can stand in solidarity with those who have decided to be the “planters” and stay with them. I think that’s like handing them a handful of seeds. Many of our fellow church members are experiencing health difficulties, especially our elderly members. It’s really painful to watch those who have dedicated themselves to the church gradually weaken. We can’t undo the natural process of life, but we can’t leave them alone. We need to embrace our elderly members with great honor, care and love, knowing that they are deeply connected to the community of faith. New guests often visit our church. When we meet unfamiliar faces, it would be nice to exchange even a kind word, rather than just passing by. They are the people whom God has led to us. Let us sow and water ourselves, believing that the Risen Lord is the one who restores and makes us anew.
Blessings in the Risen Christ,
Pastor MiRhang will be on vacation April 18-May 9 visiting her family in Korea. If you are in need of pastoral care during that time, please contact Rev. Roy Quist at 804-266-3164.
Mary Liz Kehoe (recovering from surgery) and the Kehoe family, Adelaide Simpson (Dennis Winstons wife), Charllot Perry (Ruth Plott's Mother), Callie Robinson, Prayers for the Scott Family, on the passing of their mother, Michael Rew, Frankie Irons, Marylin Miles, Ruth Blevins, Betty Ford, Carolyse Walters, Julie Duke, Cindy Jones & Robert Jones, Daisy Sanders, Beverly Samford, Cora Matthews, Anne E., Bill Fulcrod, Shirley Overstreet, Jane Whitlow, Cindy White, Jennifer Maitland, Barbara Jessup, School Shooting Victims in TN, Mississippi (tornado), Turkey, Syria, & Ecuador (earthquakes), Ukraine, our Afghan evacuees, for people who love and care for people with COVID, Pastor MiRhang & TaeWon (travel)
JOIN US FOR Breakfast at 9
In the Social Hall! Everyone is Welcome! April 9th (Easter): Breakfast for a King!, May 14th: Eggs “Bennie, fresh fruit, June 18th: Crispy Potatoes & Sausages.
The Office of Loans and Scholarships (GBHEM) will be awarding over 2,000 students a total of $4 million in financial assistance for 2023! These future leaders range from first year freshmen to doctorate level students across the denomination. Students who are members of The United Methodist Church may apply for a Fall 2023 GBHEM scholarship online by March 30 at www.gbhem.org/scholarshipapplication.
UMCOR SYRIA AND TURKEY RELIEF:
Please join UMCOR in prayer for the many people affected by these devastating earthquakes, including the rescue crews seeking survivors and those caring for the injured and displaced. Support relief and recovery efforts for this and other international disasters by donating to Advance # 982450. Please put “SYRIA/TURKEY” on your check or envelope when making offerings. Further information can be found at https://umcmission.org/news-statements/umcor-response-to-earthquakes-in-turkey-and-syria/
Our church maintains an extensive clothes closet which is often made available on Wednesday mornings to clients of our food pantry. The clothes closet is managed by our church sexton, Bonnie Evans. A volunteer is needed who can be available on most Tuesday mornings between 9 and 11 to work with Bonnie to help sort and label the various articles of clothing. If you can help with this, please contact Bonnie or the Church Office.
AFGHAN REFUGEES IN NEED:
Our Afghan refugees will be moving to a different location at the end of this month. Any monetary donations will be greatly appreciated.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO SUPPORT UKRAINE
Our prayers are constant and urgent for the Ukrainian people. Many of you have asked about the ways to help the people of Ukraine and to support our United Methodist witness in Ukraine. Bishop Khegay in Eurasia said that the best way to provide financial support is to contribute through the Global Ministries Advance for Eurasia and designate your gift for Ukrainian Assistance. Following is a link to the Eurasia Advance information: https://advance.umcmission.org/p-191-eurasia-in-mission-together-russia-and-belarus.aspx. Please put “Ukrainian Assistance” on your check or envelope when you make offerings. We will send the fund to Eurasia Advance. As of June 30, $1575 has been sent to the conference for Ukraine.
FOOD PANTRY REPORT:
Your food pantry has completed its first quarter of operation for 2023 and continues to provide food to an increasing number of people who need additional food in order to ensure a healthy and nourishing diet. During March, we served an average of 171 households each week. This equates to an average of 453 individuals each week. On March 29 we served 197 households. Last year during March, we served an average of 107 households each week. Our pantry serves clients each Wednesday morning from about 9:30 until Noon. We pack food bags on Tuesday mornings from 8 until 10. As we approach the Summer season, we anticipate an even larger demand for our services. Summer is also the vacation season so we will need additional volunteers to fill in on Tuesday or Wednesday when our regular volunteers are away. Please let us know if you are available. We would like to have a back up list of volunteers who may be available on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings when needed. Also this Summer, we anticipate that many families will visit the food pantry with their children. We would like to have something available for these children. Therefore, if you could purchase children’s books that the school age children could take home to read or picture or coloring books and crayons to give to the pre-school children, that would be a great help to this ministry. As always, we need paper grocery bags with handles. These are expensive to purchase (31 cents each) so if you could save these for us and ask your friends and neighbors to do the same, this will help us to save this money which is needed to purchase food. Canned fruit, canned vegetables, tuna and cereal are also needed as well as monetary donations. Our pantry receives an allotment of USDA food once each month. We do not have to pay for this food; however, it is not nearly enough to meet the needs of an increasing number of clients. During the period of February and March, our weekly purchases of food from FeedMore have averaged $400. We are fortunate to have received a grant this year from the Virginia Conference in the amount of $9,500 and a grant from the Richmond District Board of Missions in the amount of $3,000. We will need to depend upon our church budget and additional contributions for the balance of funds needed. Our volunteers enjoy the work of providing food in the name of Christ and appreciate the prayers and support that you provide to this ministry.
FINANCE/CHURCH COUNCIL MEETING:
We will meet at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom this Monday, April 17, 2023.
ADDRESS UPDATES NEEDED:
We are trying to update our contact information to make certain we can get things like the newsletter and giving statements to each of you. Please take a moment to make sure we have up to date email and snail mail addresses.
A Church member is in need of a double or full bed. If you can help please see Rev. Baek.
One or two people needed to sort through our donations of clothing on Tuesday from 9a.m. - 11a.m. Please give the Church Office a call if you are available to help.
Looking for content to listen to as you drive home, work out, or cook dinner? The Connectional Ministries office has several podcasts including the Audio Advocate that shares news and ministries. Listen on "The VAUMC Connection" now on Apple, Spotify or the conference website.
WE NEED YOUR TENNIS SHOES!
Please bring your gently worn sneakers to donate to church for our fundraiser to help build a shelter for the Pumpkin Patch. Sneakers can be placed in the bin underneath the table outside the Church Office.
NEW ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL:
Following the 9:30 Contemporary Service in the Social Hall everyone is invited for a 2nd Cup of Coffee and a study entitled “Your Congregation as a School of Love” with Brian McLaren.