E-Note from Pastor Karl / Feb. 18, 2017

Dear Cedar Grove UMC family,

Living a holy life involves a call to transformation. When God gives the command in Leviticus 19:18 to love our neighbors as ourselves – one of the two commandments Jesus referred to as the “greatest” – God invites us into relationship with others.

The Lord commands that the change in our lives extends to others, not only to our loved ones but also to all those around us and even those unknown to us. That change includes our actions, reactions and inactions. Partiality and favoritism drop out of the equation; retaliation and grudge-holding are not allowed.

The nature of our relationship to a holy God shows forth in our concern for others and our desire to deal fairly with all people. Jesus reveals God’s character to us and shows that we have work to do. Often we want to choose what constitutes living a “holy life,” but the scriptures lay out clear guidelines. We must desire holiness on God’s terms. In surrendering our will to God’s will, we will show our love for our neighbors and our concern and compassion will be in plain sight for all to see.

In worship this Sunday, we will continue our sermon series entitled We Believe in … In this series, we’re exploring the essential beliefs of the Christian faith and how they give meaning and purpose to our lives. As we do, we are being guided by the words of the Apostles’ Creed each week. This Sunday, my sermon will be “The Forgiveness of Sins.” God is a God of the second chance, and the third chance, and the hundredth chance and the thousandth chance … No matter how we stray, God’s love remains steadfast. Please plan to join us for worship at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Bring a friend – or friends – with you!

Prior to worship, we will have Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. as we study the lectionary texts each week. This week’s texts are Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23; and Matthew 5:38-48. Please join us!

Also on Sunday, we will have our special offering to support the Methodist Home for Chidlren. MHC serves some of the most vulnerable people in our state–children who’ve been through revolving short-term foster placements, who were born addicted to drugs, who’ve suffered physical and psychological abuse, teenagers who are lost to themselves because of mental illness, substance abuse and other destructive behaviors. Through residential and community-based services, MHC works to create safe, loving homes for children and to stop the causes of abuse and neglect. A great portion of MHC’s operating budget comes from this annual special offering being collected in all the churches in our conference. Please prayerfully and generously support MHC with your gifts on Sunday!

The UMW will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the home of Paul Compton. Paula Crabtree will host the meeting and provide the program. All who are interested are invited to attend!

Once again this year, we will host a meal packaging event for Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) on the First Sunday of Lent, March 5. Setup will begin at 2 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall with the meal packaging starting at 3 p.m. We will be packaging 10,368 meals. We’ll have jobs for people of all ages, so please invite all your friends to come join in on the fun and help us!

The Admin Council will meet at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26 in the Multi-Purpose Gathering Room. Admin Council members and committee/team leaders and members are encouraged to attend!

Please continue to bring your canned goods and other nonperishable items each week and drop them in our collection baskets in the narthex. Your gifts are taken to the OCIM food pantry in Hillsborough, where they will be distributed to families throughout northern Orange County. As we heard last week, the OCIM shelves are quite empty! They are especially in need of non-perishable food and canned goods for kids, like Spaghetti-O’s. Let’s be sure to bring our OCIM offerings each week. Thank you for touching the lives of others through this outreach program of our church!

For 2017, we’re setting our goal for 150 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. To help keep this ministry before us throughout the year, we are again collecting items for shoe boxes each month. These items will be stored at the church until early November, when we will have another shoe box packing pizza party.

  • In February, we are asking that you donate bars of soap.

Our large blue Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child box is in the narthex for collecting the items each month. What an exciting way to bless children throughout the world! Your gifts will show the love of Christ and the power of the gospel to a child whose life you will indelibly touch, even though you may never meet that child.

We post announcements of our upcoming sermon series and activities, along with the GPS and other items, on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Cedar-Grove-UMC/161622617284308. Please go to this page and “Like” us so that you can keep up with the latest announcements. Then, when you do see a new posting to the Facebook page, share it on your timeline. This is an easy, non-confrontational way of inviting and sharing the opportunities for worship and fellowship at CGUMC with all your Facebook friends!

In addition to Facebook, you can also follow the many happenings and ministries of CGUMC online in the following ways:

  • News of upcoming events, the current GPS (Guide to Prayer and Study) and other announcements can be found at www.cedargroveumc.net under the “News” link.
  • Catch up with all the events at Anathoth Community Garden at www.anathothgarden.org.
  • To reach the office staff by email: for the church, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ; or for Pastor Karl, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!



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