Short Bio – Francis Asbury

[Original Article:  Francis Asbury]

Francis Asbury, 1745-1816

The founding Bishop of the Methodist Church in America was born in England.  Sent by John Wesley as a missionary to America in 1771, he promoted the circuit rider system which proved so eminently suited to frontier conditions.  His powerful preaching, his skill in winning converts, and his mastery of organization had, by the end of the Revolution, established him as the undisputed leader of American Methodism.

Wesley and Asbury agreed that the Methodists in America should be organized into an independent Church.  Thus in 1784 John Wesley ordained two lay preachers as pastors and Thomas Coke as Bishop and sent them to America.  The American preachers gathered at Christmas time 1784 in Baltimore to implement the plan.  A dozen preachers were ordained, Coke was accepted as Bishop, and Asbury was elected and consecrated to the same office.

PDF of formatted bulletin insert

Commitment to Healthy Marriage

[Original found here:  Make a Commitment to Healthy Marriage]

Posted by DC Admin on January 22nd, 2013 — Posted in miscellaneous

Everyone strives for it, everyone wants it, but not many people have it?what is it? A happy marriage! Having a happy marriage is up to you and your willingness to work at it. Marriage is not always going to be like the fairytales we have been programmed to expect, but if you are willing to work at it, it can be very close to that!

Many times people get married thinking that they are going to continue living in the fantasy land they had when they were dating. What they do not consider sometimes is the fact that real life can be hard. Bills will come, kids will come and things will get difficult at times. Have you ever seen your boyfriend sick, or have you ever seen all his bad habits? Once you marry you will find out all of each other?s little secrets. Some things will make you laugh and others will get on your last nerve. Generally people are already set in their ways before they get married even if they are young. This is because we are all individuals and we all do things differently.

If you keep in mind the little things that will come up and bother you and are willing to love your spouse no matter what, you will have a happy marriage. You must be willing to compromise and work on things together as a team. I would recommend if you are thinking about getting married that you have some form of premarital counseling so that you can get started off on the right foot. You will learn a lot about each other during these types of counseling sessions.

Barbecued Chicken

This week’s featured recipe is from Mrs. Haskel Troutman. I found it in the recipe book called “Cooking in Circles” by the Susanna Wesley Circle of Mt Mitchell United Methodist Church, Kannapolis, NC. [© 1974]

Barbecued Chicken

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

Roll chicken in flour and brown. Place in baking dish or pan to put in oven. Heat sauce ingredients to boiling point. Pour over chicken. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in 300 degree oven until tender.

Telling God Stories

Telling God Stories -€” Issue #128

by Betsey Heavner

This is an excerpt from a PDF download. To download the full text of this document click: Telling God Stories.

“In the airport, I was feeling pretty smug about sacrificing my vacation week for clean-up work in Haiti. Once on the airplane, I looked around and realized the plane was full of other people doing the same thing. God was right there dealing with my pride and showing me how we all need to care for each other.” As a member told this “God Story” one Wednesday night, the people at First United Methodist Church in Benton, Kentucky, nodded as they recognized the power of God’s presence in this story and in their own lives.

The telling of “God Stories” began when one small study group decided to act on a challenge from the study material and developed a plan to increase faith sharing in the congregation. They approached the worship committee with the idea of including a three- to five-minute “God Story” in Sunday morning worship. Individuals are scheduled in advance so that they have time to collect their thoughts.

Another way of increasing faith sharing has been created with a slight change to the Sunday morning reporting of joys and concerns. Now the leaders ask, “Where have you seen God at work this week?”

As a next step, the congregation added “God Stories” to the informal worship time during the Wednesday evening programming. Younger people seem to especially appreciate hearing how people experience God in their daily lives.

As the church has shared stories with intentionality, personal faith sharing and regular attendance have increased. Led by the example of others’ stories, volunteers of all ages are coming forward to ask for a turn to tell their God stories.

Lost In Wonder – An On-Line Labyrinth by the UMC

Welcome to Lost in Wonder

You are warmly invited to journey through the ten stages of this on-line labyrinth, devised by the Methodist Church, but offered to all.

A labyrinth is an ancient spiritual tool that leads the traveller along a meditative path. Through images, words, music and actions we hope that you are able to consider your spiritual journey and be inspired and challenged.

Appropriate help for each stage of the Labyrinth
Will take you back to the map of the Labyrinth
Reveals the Priorities of the Methodist Church, highlighting the prioirity with most relevance at each stage
Will take you to the next stage of the Labyrinth

At the end of the Labyrinth you will find a notice board full of information and ideas. This might help you to explore further some of the things that you have experienced in Lost in Wonder. There is also a space to send us your comments – please let us know what you think; we would love to hear from you. 

Visit Lost in Wonder

You will need to have audio turned on on your computer.

Text version of Lost in Wonder (PDF)

Growing the Church

Original Article Found Here:  Growing the Church

I’m Done “Growing the Church”

Posted on February 7, 2013 by 
pew!Pews. Stop filling them. (Photo credit: boxchain)

Yes, you read that right. I’m done.

No more outreach strategies to fill the pews. No more ideas to draw young people. No more switching out the hard stuff for lighter fare in hopes that we will appeal to a larger audience.

No more “growing the church.”

It seems that every time I sit down to think of ways to lead people to Jesus, I find a new way to “align a program” or “bring focus to an issue” — or worse, I find good people who mistakenly think that my job is to be a chaplain, or just their “professional visitor.” Gotta get those visitors to close the deal and join up.

Too many people think that mission of the Church is to swell the ranks and fill the pews. Too many people think that this task is my job. Too many people find me a failure for not getting this done.

So. No more just “growing the church.”

Unless. Unless you mean something different when you say, “Grow, Church.”

Perhaps you mean, “Growing in Grace.” Perhaps the church is learning to become more mature about forgiveness. Maybe that would mean that the churches in the USA would be more willing to reach across boundaries of age, race, gender, and politics (yeah, I said it) in order to develop real relationships.

I would love to grow that church.

Maybe you mean, “Growing in Love.” That could mean that the church is learning to become more selfless. That could turn into giving our time and our money to help people who are in a bad way — even people we don’t think really deserve it.

I could see myself growing a cool church like that.

Maybe you mean “Growing in Depth.” Would that mean that people were learning to accept their flaws without glossing them over? Would that mean an outbreak of patience and kindness that only comes from realizing that we are all screwed up in one way or another, and God loves us anyway? Would that mean that folks realized that they are unqualified to do ministry – just like the minister – and would commit to doing ministry anyway? Would that mean that you realized the value of what you have in Christ is too valuable to not give it away?

I would give my right arm to grow that church.

What do you mean when you say, “Grow the church?” Because if you are looking for growth strategies that capitalize on market demographics and creative sales pitches, I’m probably busy that day you want to talk.

What do you mean when you say, “Grow the church?” Because if you are trying to find ways to impress kids, add some flash to your worship, and pray that they will give enough to pay for the brand new $2.3 million, 2500 seat worship center, I’ve got another appointment to keep.

But if you mean that you are interested in growing disciples into deeply committed Christians, let me invite you to pull up a chair, stop pulling out your hair, give up on pulling up your own bootstraps, and let’s get down to brass tacks.

24 February 2013 Bulletin Preview

Second Sunday in Lent 

The Word of God for the People of God.
Thanks be to God.


“When Did We See Jesus?”   –  Rev. Virginia Herron


Matthew 25:31-46, King James Version (KJV)

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.