In March the Children’s Ministry spent an afternoon at the ice rink. It was the first time skating for some of them. Below are some photos from the event.
As I sat down to write this article, I have to admit I am feeling somewhat stressed. Preparing for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and two services on Easter reminds me of my favorite Bible verse which is Psalm 46:10. That verse simply, yet powerfully, says, “Be still and know that I am God.” In other words, God has this. God is in control when we are not. There are many things which need to be done and the stress level begins to rise. It’s then we hear those words to simply be still. God is God and we are not.
In Luke 10 we read that Jesus entered a certain village that he often visited. There were two sisters there, one name Mary and one Martha. Mary was anxious to listen to Jesus’ teaching and about all the things that had happened. She wanted to catch up. Martha on the other hand was distracted by all that needed to be done to accommodate Jesus and those with him. For one thing, that group could eat a lot of food and it wasn’t going to cook itself. So, Martha went out and filed her complaint with Jesus saying, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Now, Jesus is never rude, but He is direct and to the point. So he replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part.” It’s not that Mary didn’t care. It’s certainly not that Jesus didn’t care, because he does. He cares for each of us, but sometimes reminds us to put first things first.
Certainly, there are things we all have to do. Yes, I still need to prepare for those services. You still have to take care of those things that demand your time and attention. There are things that demand our time. We have to fulfill our obligations. But remember the words of the Psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Thanks to the West Lincoln Kiwanis club for partnering with us by donating Easter Baskets with crayons, coloring book, bubble wands and more for the children who come with their family to our monthly free dinner.
Thanks to Walgreen’s at 70th and Pioneers for the generous gift of over three dozen portable heaters. These will be a true blessing to many families. It is spring now, but the evenings are cold, so if you know of someone who could use a small electric heater let Bev Hulsebusch or Pastor Ray know.
Join us as we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into the Holy City. Remember how the people went before him spreading palm branches on the road ahead of him as they hailed him King.
Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, service will be at 7:00 p.m. and will include Holy Comunion and foot washing for those who desire it. Remember how he washed the feet of his disciples and shared with them the cup and the loaf before he was betrayed.
Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Good Friday as we remember his suffering and betrayal. The church will be stripped of all colors, paraments and yet, the light of Christ still shines.
Several things occur to me as I write this article. First, in the liturgical year we are about to enter Holy Week. A time when we remember how Jesus was betrayed, how she suffered for us, how he was placed in a tomb for us. But then, I realize that because of those events, every week should be Holy Week for us and every day should be Easter. I certainly do not deserve His grace and mercy, but it’s not about what we deserve, but the love that God has for you and I. I deserve to be beaten, to suffer and die. But, you see, it’s not about what we deserve but the the forgiveness of God. Because of His mercy and His forgivness that we can face tomorrow.
As I watched the funeral of Billy Graham, I confess I had tears in my eyes and could feel God’s Spirit. Something one of his daughters said really hits home. She had been in a terrible marriage despite the warnings of her parents. When she left him and headed home, fearful of what they might think, she pulled up the drive and Billy was standing there and simply said, “Welcome home.” That’s what Easter is about. That’s what God says to us as we turn to Him. “WELCOME HOME.”
As I sit down to write this article, several things come to mind. First, I am incredibly blessed to serve Lakeview as your pastor. This church has shown a lot of heart for “the least of these.” You are always looking for new Outreach opportunities and that is exactly what a church is supposed to do.
It’s not just about what we do internally as a congregation, which is important, but as it says in the left column, “The Church Has Left the Building.” That’s what makes a strong congregation. By giving, we also receive.
As Luke writes, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Think about that. We have been blessed by already paying our Ministry Shares in full for 2018. We have grown substantially over the past three years. Our attendance is now 22nd out of 62 in the district. We are now 7th in profession of faith.
It’s not about numbers, but numbers are an indicator of our congregational health. We are ALIVE AND WELL. And even better, THE BEST IS YET TO COME. Christ has called us to never tire of loving each other and looking for new ways to share the good news.
Nestor Perez and Pastor Ray have been in conversation with our Blue River District Superintendent regarding a possible Hispanic ministry at Lakeview. There are some 81,000 Spanish speaking
persons in Lincoln and not one United Methodist congregation serving them. The Conference and, perhaps the Nebraska United Methodist Foundation have grants to help with start-up. This is an exciting opportunity for Lakeview.
The Outreach Team at Lakeview is expanding it’s ministry. We will be gathering personal items for both men and women. We do request travel sizes which are much easier to put in a purse or other bag.
Shampoo and crème rinse, bar or liquid soap, washcloth or handiwipes, deodorant, comb and/or brush, hand and/or body lotion, socks, gloves. Comb and/or brush, Toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, Kleenex (travel size), feminine products, diapers and baby wipes. Also gallon zip lock bags or used purses for women.
You may be asking yourself, what is the 100 Club? Simply it means we join we 47 other United Methodist Churches in the Blue River District that have paid one-hundred percent of their Mission Shares as of January 2. One of the essential ministries funded through our giving is the World Service Fund.
The World Service Fund is the essential core of our global outreach ministry, underwriting Christian mission around the world. By giving to World Service we empower United Methodist evangelistic efforts…stimulate Bible study and spiritual commitment…encourage church growth and discipleship…and help God’s children everywhere. In the coming months we will be highlighting other core ministries funded by our mission shares. Your giving changes lives.
As I write this article we are in the midst of some very cold weather. This past week wind chill readings have been as low and minus 20 degrees. As I sit at my desk and write this article it is a perfect 72 degrees in our home. My heart and my mind turn to those who do not have heat or adequate food for themselves and often for children. In Matthew 25, Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me. The people questioned Jesus and his reply was “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters you did it to me.’
I am thankful, grateful, and humbled (and yes, proud) of the way you have cared for those in need. This congregation, that is not large in numbers, compared to some other congregations in this town has a huge collective servant’s heart. You continue to look for new opportunities to serve God’s children. I believe Jesus would say, “Well done good and faithful servants.” I would say it’s an honor to be your pastor.