Welcome To Grove Memorial United Methodist Church!!

Worship Services begin at 9:40am in the sanctuary, led by Pastor Randy Traxler.  Join us before the worship service in the hospitality room, located in the back of the Sanctuary for water, coffee, or snacks while we enjoy socializing with each other.

We hope you explore our web site and get to know more about us and entice you to come visit our church!

We would like to thank you for visiting our web site and learning more about our church. We have a wonderful church located at 611 South Main St, Lewistown, Pa. We have Sunday School Classes starting at 11am for children and adults.

Matthew 25:35

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…”

 

Call to Worship & Prayer of Confession – October 14, 2018

Call to Worship (Hebrews 4, Mark 10)

L: The kingdom of God is at hand.

P: We want to enter this kingdom.

L: The mercy of God is made known.

P: We want to receive this mercy.

L: The grace of God is abundant for all.

P: We praise you, O God, for your compassion and your love. Accept our grateful praise as we come to worship you today.  Amen

Prayer of Confession

Lord, we look for you in the wrong places.

We put our trust in material things.

We worry about things we cannot change.

We wonder if you are even there at all.

For all the times we have doubted you, Lord, forgive us.

For all the ways we have neglected your word and ignored your people, forgive us.

Do not be far from us, Lord.

There is no one else we can turn to for help.

Renew our fickle hearts and help us put our trust in you. Amen

Announcements – October 7-14, 2018

  • October 28: IHS Doughnut/Bagel order due
  • November 3 (10am): HUB gathering @ Watts UMC in Belleville
  • November 7: IHS Ham Loaf/BBQ Orders Due
  • November 15: IHS Ham Loaf/BBQ Pick Up
  • November 18: IHS Class Homecoming Meal @ Grove
  • November 18: Charge Conference @ Trinity (3pm)

 

Potato Drop was canceled.

Candy Donations: are being accepted for the outreach for trick-or-treat.   See Jayne P. for details.

Choir Practice: Wed 5:30pm @ Grove Memorial

Bible Study: Wed 6:30pm @ Grove Memorial, Tue 7pm @ Lake Park

Meals on Wheels: If you can help on Tuesdays or Thursdays, please contact Pastor Randy.

Donations for HUB: (by Oct 28) See Nancy B. with your monetary donations so we can supply toothbrushes.

Thank you to our September and October, helpers!

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard: October donations are now being accepted.

Call to Worship & World Communion Sunday Prayer of Confession – October 7, 2018

Call to Worship

L: As we gather around the table of the LORD today,

P: we remember the peoples of the world divided into many nations and tongues.

L: We gather in the name of the Almighty, Creator of every man and woman, every plant and animal.

P: We join in the chorus of praise with sisters and brothers around the world to celebrate our LORD.

L: May Christ’s church be strengthened and united through the sacrament of Holy Communion.

World Communion Sunday Prayer of Confession

Lord, on this world communion Sunday, help us examine our hearts so that we may pay proper respect to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  Thank you for offering reconciliation to all of humankind, the forgiveness of sins through Christ, our high priest.

Almighty and ever-present God, we confess our sins to you. We are truly sorry for our wrongdoings and shortcomings, for sins of commission and sins of omission.     Forgive us, we pray, in Christ’s name.

Empower us to serve you fully, to share the resources we have with those who have less, to weep with those who weep, and to laugh with those who laugh. Help us to be good stewards over the earth you have placed in our care; help us to unite in love and concern for one another, not just in our local community, but with brothers and sisters in all the    world.

As we draw near to your holy table we thank you, Lord, for providing the Bread of Life for us.  As we partake, impart on us your grace and mercy, unite us with Christ, our Lord, and with one another.  May your kingdom be established in all the earth. Amen.

Whoever Is Not Against Us Is For Us

Mark 9:38-50

Its beyond me to explain why so much of Christianity is so far off what Jesus of Nazareth actually taught. And he wasn’t even vague or unclear in any way. This passage is a prime example: here Jesus is clearly teaching the disciples a lesson in tolerance. He couldn’t have been more clear when he said: Whoever is not against us is for us.

And yet, much of conservative Christianity, and perhaps this is also true for other religions, are doing the exact opposite of what Jesus was teaching. They draw a line in the sand defining them and us in very strict and judgmental ways. They are turning Jesus statement around, saying: if youre not for me, you are against me. I wonder if the disciples would agree with her when she says, unless you come to my church, or a church that is very similar to my church, and unless you believe the way I do (by which they usually mean the 5 fundamentals of Christianity), you cant be a true believer.

Even if you go to your church regularly, even if you are a pastor of such a church, even if you are doing good things in the world, even if you sing the same songs, etc.

Note how Jesus counters the disciples Us vs. Them language. The disciples said: we stopped him cause he was not one of us.

There it is, the us vs. them concept that is the cause for racism, sexism, heterosexism, unhealthy nationalism and racial ethnic supremacy attitudes. If we could only stop that language, if we could only stop seeing the world in terms of us vs. them, we would actually have a chance to get along.

Where does this concept even come from? How can it be explained? One psychologist explains it like this:

People who do not have a positive sense of self, or if they have low or damaged self esteem, or if they feel insecure, then the feeling of belonging to a group that they feel is superior or secure would be helpful to their sense of self esteem. They become intolerant and insensitive to the other groups.

Perhaps, those Christians who see the world in terms of us vs. them language, dont really feel secure in their spiritual identity. Perhaps they derive their sense of purpose and identity form a specific faith group that teaches some sort of superiority over and against other groups. Which becomes a problem unless that faith is following Jesus Christ?

This also fits perfectly with the words of the Dalai Lama who said: compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.

Back to our text, when the disciples bring up the other believer, the one who operated outside of their circle, Jesus said: whoever is not against us, is for us. In the Greek its even clearer: the word for for is hyper which also carries the connotation of above us and on behalf of us, or with us

So, Jesus could actually be interpreted to have said: whoever is not against us is one of us.

Thats a fascinating concept in which the only way people find themselves outside of Gods kingdom is if they exclude themselves. We are not supposed to be exclusive or to exclude anybody, we are supposed to include everybody!

But even if you find this interpretation too far-fetched, at the very least, Jesus was asking his disciples to tolerate those who are not part of our inner circle of faith. We are supposed to accept them and not stop them. There simply is no place in Gods kingdom for the them vs. us language, there is no place for hate speech, there is no place for intolerance.

If we could only understand this teaching and put it into practice. World peace would be this much closer. So, let it begin with us. We can live Jesus principle of tolerance. And my prediction is that as we do, we will have more friends, a wider network of people from all walks, and we will be able to open ourselves up to a richer wisdom and spiritual life. Especially a life that others say I want to be like them. Amen.

Call to Worship & Opening Prayer – September 30, 2018

Call to Worship

L: If it had not been God who was on our side, the troubles of our world would have swallowed us whole.

P: If it had not been God who was on our side,

the sorrows of our times would have swept us away.

L: Are any among us suffering?

P: Come and pray.

L: Are any among us cheerful?

P: Come sing songs of praise.

L: Are any among us sick?

P: Come and ask for healing.

L: Our help is in our God, the One who made heaven and earth. Call upon God, creator and rescuer.

P: God is on our side. AMEN!

 

Opening Prayer

Eternal God, you create us and you rescue us. Be here with us now. Help us know how much we need you. Teach us that no other power can support us like your power. As you share your power with us, teach us to be Christ to the world, proclaiming your reign for all people. As you lavish your love upon us, help us receive that love and offer it to the world, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Announcements – September 30, 2018

  • September 30: Kickoff picnic for Shining Light in the Darkness @ Kish Park
  • Oct 1 (1:30pm): Dementia support group @ Valley View
  • October 6 (8:30am): Grove Memorial UMC Sunday school breakfast at the Burnham OIP
  • October 7: Fuel Fund Sunday to defray winter fuel costs.
  • October 20 (7am): Potato Drop @ Church Hill UMC
  • October 28: IHS Doughnut/Bagel order due
  • November 3 (10am): HUB gathering @ Watts UMC in Belleville
  • November 7: IHS Ham Loaf/BBQ Orders Due
  • November 15: IHS Ham Loaf/BBQ Pick Up
  • November 18: IHS Class Homecoming Meal @ Grove
  • November 18: Charge Conference @ Trinity (3pm)

 

Candy Donations: are being accepted for the outreach for trick-or-treat.   See Jayne P. for details.

Choir Practice: Wed 5:30pm @ Grove Memorial

Bible Study: Wed 6:30pm @ Grove Memorial, Tue 7pm @ Lake Park

Meals on Wheels: If you can help on Tuesdays or Thursdays, please contact Pastor Randy.

Donations for HUB: (by Oct 28) See Nancy B. with your monetary donations so we can supply toothbrushes.

Thank you to our September, helpers!

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard: September donations are now being accepted.

Call to Worship and Prayer of Confession

Call to Worship

L: Who is wise and understanding among us?

P: Those who seek wisdom and understanding each and every day. Those who delight in God

and meditate on God’s law.

L: Come, learn more about the wisdom from above, a wisdom that yields a harvest of righteousness.

P: O God, your wisdom is more precious than jewels! We draw near to you.

 

Prayer of Confession (James 3)

O God, we live our lives as best we can—dealing with difficult relationships and situations, putting failures and disappointments behind us, and moving into each new day with as much energy, goodwill, and optimism as we can muster.

But here, right now, we seldom have the right answers, we seldom seek your higher wisdom in our lives, we just move ahead.

Forgive us for not asking for your insight.

Fill us with your wisdom, that we may live lives of goodness and peace. Amen.

Announcements – September 23, 2018

 

  • September 26 (6:30pm): Grove UMC Ad Council Meeting
  • September 30: Kickoff picnic for Shining Light in the Darkness @ Kish Park
  • October 6 (8:30am): Grove Memorial UMC Sunday school breakfast at the Burnham OIP
  • October 7: Fuel Fund Sunday
  • October 20 (7am): Potato Drop @ Church Hill UMC in Reedsville
  • November 3 (10am): HUB gathering @ Watts UMC in Belleville
  • November 18: Charge Conference – location TBD

Choir Practice: Wed 5:30pm @ Grove Memorial

Bible Study: Wed 6:30pm @ Grove Memorial, Tue 7pm @ Lake Park

Meals on Wheels: If you can help on Tuesdays or Thursdays, please contact Pastor Randy.

Donations for HUB: See Nancy B. with your monetary donations.

Thank you to our September, helpers!

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard: September donations are now being accepted.