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The UMC has decided to cancel all in-person worship services and church meetings until after April 15. Grace UMC's next in-person worship will occur on April 19. Also our next scheduled Administrative Council meeting will be at 11:45.
NO Food Pantry in April
In an abundance of caution in light of covid-19, Grace UMC will be postponing any activities or gatherings, except for Sunday service, until further notice. This includes Line dancing, Bible study, Prayer group, Men's Breakfast, Puzzle night, and Food Pantry.
The Administrative Council has elected a special committee to evaluate the state of affairs in our area on a weekly basis. We will keep you posted on rescheduled activities and any changes.
For those who would prefer staying at home rather than attending service in the sanctuary the service will be broadcasted live on our Facebook page. Please help us spread the word.
Please don't feel dismayed or afraid! These measures are only temporary, and we look forward to returning to normal as soon as possible!
As we take steps to protect ourselves and others physically from the spread of COVID-19, let us also reember to turn God for protection and healing. Also read Psalm 91! The coronavirus COVID-19 is what Psalm 91:6 calls a "pestilence that stalks in darkness." We know it's there, and we know it's deadly, but we can't see it.
Increase our faith and help us to trust in Your Faithfulness as our country and world deals with the coronavirus. May we be people of courage, people of generosity and people who share our faith in Jesus.
Be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation. In their loneliness, be their consolation; in their anxiety, be their Hope; in their darkness, be their Light.
We pray that You will give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick, and Your Wisdom to those searching for a cure. Strengthen them with Your Spirit that through their work, many will be restored.
We pray for our President and those guiding our nation at this time that they will work together and make wise decisions.
We give ourselves, and all for whom we pray to Your Protection.
In Jesus' Mighty Name.
By Hal Lindsey
I've never counted them, but I have read that phrases like "fear not" or "do not be afraid" occur over 300 times in the Bible. Clearly, God does not want us to be afraid. In fact, He commands us not to fear.
That's because, in many ways, fear and faith are opposites. And Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."
When we're tempted to fear, what does God say?
In Acts 20, Paul talked about his many afflictions and trials. Then, in verse 24, he put those difficulties into perspective. He said, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
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John Wesley's Words
The best thing of all is God is with us.
The Season of Lent
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday.
The English word "Lent" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, which means "lengthen" and refers to the lengthening days of spring.
Historically, Lent began as a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by converts and then became a time for penance by all Christians. The First Sunday describes Jesus' temptation by Satan; and the Sixth Sunday (Passion/Palm Sunday), Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his subsequent passion and death.
Holy Week is the final week of Lent, beginning with Passion/Palm Sunday and concluding with Holy Saturday. It is during these days that the readings focus primarily on the last days and suffering and death of Jesus.
The Great Three Days - sometimes called the Triduum or Pasch - from sunset Holy Thursday through sunset Easter Day are the climax of Lent (and of the whole Christian year) and a bridge into the Easter Season. These days proclaim the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ's passion, death, and resurrection.
There is a list posted in the Fellowship Hall of food pantry needs. Please donate to this wonderful community ministry.
Food Pantry Needs
Personal items: soap, deodorant, Tooth paste & brushes
Pasta - Spaghetti Noodles
Mashed potatoes - dehydrated
Spaghetti Sauce/ Pasta sauce
Crackers (Individual tubes in boxes)
Cans of soup or ramen noodles
- Chicken breast
- Spaghetti and meat balls or raviolis
- Green Beans, Corn - any kind, Peas
- Any other beans (Baked or pork and beans)
Breakfast cereal - any kind
If you do not wish to shop for the food Pantry, CASH donations are gratefully accepted, and the food pantry committee will do the shopping.
and Praise Reports
can be entered
at any time
Our Bible and Our Cell Phone
The United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a collection of associated congregations of Protestantism whose doctrine and beliefs are motivated by the spirit and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John Wesley's brother Charles Wesley were also significant early leaders in the movement. Early Methodists consisted of all levels of society, including the aristocracy, but the Methodist preachers brought the teachings to laborers and criminals who were likely left outside of organized religion at that time. In Britain, the Methodist Church had a considerable impact in the early decades of the developing working class.
The Methodist Church began as a reformation of the Church of England.
The Methodist movement started with a collection of men, including John Wesley and his younger brother Charles, as an act of reform within the Church of England in the 18th century. The Wesley brothers originated the "Holy Club" at the University of Oxford, where John was an associate and later an instructor at Lincoln College. The group met weekly and methodically set about living a holy life. They preferred to receive Communion every week, abstain from most forms of amusement and luxury and commonly visit the sick and the poor. The fellowship was stigmatized as "Methodist" by their fellow classmates because of the way they used "rule" and "method" to determine their religious convictions. John, who was the leader of the club, took the attempted mockery and turned it into a title of honor.
Wesley did not intend to split from the Church of England.
Initially, the Methodists simply sought reform within the Church of England. As Methodist congregations multiplied, and elements of a distinct theology were adopted, the rift between John Wesley and the Church of England steadily expanded.
In 1784, Wesley responded to the lack of priests in the colonies due to the American Revolutionary War by anointing preachers with authority to administer the sacraments. This was a significant reason for Methodism's eventual split from the Church of England after Wesley's death. This separation created a distinct group of church denominations. With regard to the occurrence of Methodism within Christianity, John Wesley once noted that "what God had achieved in the development of Methodism was no mere human endeavor but the work of God. As such it would be preserved by God so long as history remained."
Wesley taught four key points fundamental to the Methodist Church.
1) A person is free not only to reject salvation but also to accept it by an act of free will.
2) All people who are obedient to the gospel according to the measure of knowledge given them will be saved.
3) The Holy Spirit assures a Christian of their salvation directly, through an inner "experience" (assurance of salvation).
4) Christians in this life are capable of Christian perfection and are commanded by God to pursue it.
Wesley wrote one of the bestselling medical texts of all-time.
Wesley was deeply convicted that God is concerned about our earthly life as well as our heavenly one. To that end, he wrote a medical text for the everyday person titled Primitive Physick
. The book discussed the contemporary knowledge about home health remedies and went through 32 editions, making it one of the most widely read books in England. Many of Wesley's suggestions for healthy living remain commonly confirmed. The most significant portion of his philosophy was his conviction on continual observation to support hypotheses.
John Wesley's Concept of God's Grace
The Bible teaches us that everything we have from God is given because of God's great love for us. United Methodists recognize God's grace at work throughout our spiritual journeys.
John Wesley wrote and preached about the role of God's grace to prepare us, redeem us, and continually shape us into the people we were created to be. He taught that our entire spiritual lives are an act of God's grace. He names at least three periods in our spiritual development and the ways God's grace is at work during those times - prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace.
Prevenient grace: God at work before we know it
When we consider the circumstances that led to us coming to faith in Jesus Christ, we begin to see the hand of God at work in our lives long before we were aware of the Spirit's presence. Those who showed us the healing, forgiveness, and restoration available by faith in Jesus Christ came to us by God's prevenient grace. The word prevenient comes from a Latin root word that means to precede. Prevenient grace then is simply the grace that comes before.
Justifying grace: God making things right
The grace with which we are most familiar is what Wesley called justifying grace. The Bible tells us, "All have sinned and fall short of God's glory" (Romans 3:23). Try as we might, we cannot be good enough. We need God to make things right between us, to justify us.
Sanctifying: Growing in grace
The word sanctify means "to make holy." God's sanctifying grace shapes us more and more into the likeness of Christ. As the Holy Spirit fills our lives with love for God and our neighbor, we begin to live differently. Sanctifying grace signifies to us that we haven't arrived. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:2, "be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what Gods will is - what is good and pleasing and mature."
The Wesleyan Quadrilateral
Building on the Anglican theological tradition, John Wesley added a fourth emphasis, experience. The resulting four components or "sides" of the quadrilateral are (1) Scripture, (2) tradition, (3) reason, and (4) experience. For United Methodists, Scripture is considered the primary source and standard for Christian doctrine. Tradition is experience and the witness of development and growth of the faith through the past centuries. Experience is the individual's understanding and appropriating of the faith in the light of his or her own life. Through reason the individual Christian brings to bear on the Christian faith discerning and cogent thought. These four elements taken together bring the individual Christian to a mature and fulfilling understanding of the Christian faith and the required response of worship and service.
Grace United Methodist Church
7450 Three Notch Road
Mobile, AL 36619
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