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New Community E Note 7/14/2023

I hope you will join us in person or online for this Sunday’s worship service. Our scriptures this week are Romans 8:1-11 and Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23. The Gospel lesson is often referred to as the parable of the sower and reminds us that not all seed sprouts in ways that can be harvested. Yet, much of the seed does and failure is almost always a part of our success. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves if we are willing to fail while striving for success? Do we find it much easier to cautiously avoid failure in ways that minimize both failure and success? What are we willing to risk when attempting to live into God’s work in the world? This Week’s Psalm Psalm 65 1Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed, 2O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come. 3When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions. 4Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple. 5By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. 6By your strength you established the mountains; you are girded with might. 7You silence the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples. 8Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.] 9You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. 10You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. 11You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness. 12The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, 13the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy. It is quite possible that the author of this Psalm has been through a very difficult period in their life and found resolution and peace. Giving God the credit for this transformation, the writer keeps the vows he made when crying out to God for help. “By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.” The writer is clear the it is God who chooses us and brings us near—not our own actions and decisions. Having been brought near, we discover the awesome power and generosity of God and live in the abundance that God has provided. The Psalm celebrates the joy –and thanksgiving—of a people living in the love of God. A Day in the New Community Cafe Wonder what happens in the cafe? In just four hours this Friday, we provided food and cold water for eight of our local homeless friends, fed a couple of dogs, welcomed a new volunteer, offered free cell phones to four people with low income, provided technical assistance to a church member accessing our Facebook page, gave away baby clothes to a mom in need, and shared treats donated by a local bakery with everyone. In just two months, our new cafe has become everything we hoped it would be and more. Thanks to everyone for your support. If you’d like to help, we would love more volunteers. We are open Wednesday through Saturday from 1 - 5 pm. Talk to Chris Allen-Rowe if you are interested. A little bit of history John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Movement, is often quoted as having said on more than one occasion in the eighteenth century that “The world is my parish.” The statement has been used by many evangelists as motivation to go into the “whole” world and preach the gospel. Wesley’s original intent might have been much different. John Wesley spent his life traveling from village to village and preaching six or seven times a week. Because he didn’t have a “parish” –a regular church appointment— and his methods were a bit unusual, he was mostly unwelcome to preach in village churches. He spent a lot of time preaching in fields, town squares and other outdoor settings and generally drew large crowds. When criticized that he wasn’t a parish priest and therefore not a real cleric, he responded by remarking that “the world was his parish.” Many thanks to Scott and Stella for repairing the fence around the trash bin again. We are hoping with work starting on the project behind the church that we will have less folks coming across the field to cut the fence. It is going to be hot this weekend! We plan to grill the hamburger patties early Saturday morning and hold them in the roasters until we put them on the buns at lunchtime. Hope to see you Sunday. With love and appreciation, Pastor Jim

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