E- News of the First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo
Lent 2021: Holy Vessels
As we embrace this season of Lent, we enter a “season of recovery” for our physical, communal, mental, intellectual and environmental health. Our Scriptures will be the healing narratives of Jesus that embody the divine solidarity with human suffering and remind us that are faith journey calls us to make something beautiful from that which seems broken. We are Holy Vessels for God, with the work of the Holy Spirit we can be prepared for every good work. Let us prepare ourselves during Lent to receive the new life found in the promise of Easter resurrection.
Ash Wednesday Events
Drive Up Distribution of Ashes February 17 from 12pm-6pm at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo under the church portico You are invited to come to the church from noon to 6pm to receive a smudging of ashes in the spirit of repentance and prayer. A Pastor will come to your car window and smudge your forehead with ashes as a symbol of both grief and repentance. Please wear a mask and remain in your car as you drive under the portico.
Ash Wednesday Interactive Worship
February 17 at 7pm on Zoom
Ash Wednesday: Shattered Ash Wednesday is a time of naming brokenness. As we enter the season of Lent, we commit to enter also into a season of healing and recovery that requires the naming of what has been shattered as a first step. We take “the yoke” of responsibility as disciples of Jesus to be the Body of Christ–a body of those who need healing and offer healing in the world. The promise of Jesus is that he is with us in our weariness and burdens.
"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11: 28-30
CLICK HERE to join the service on Wednesday, February 17 at 7pm
Meeting ID: 858 4767 8635 Passcode: godslove
CLICK HERE to download the bulletin. All music is included in the bulletin, but will not always be on screen, so we recommend printing the bulletin in advance as you're able.
Home Worship: Sundays at 10am
CLICK HERE to access our Live Streaming service,10am Sunday mornings. CLICK HERE to access our worship service on YouTube. You can also watch previously recorded services at this link. Watching on YouTube allows you to make comments and connect to others that are worshiping online as the Spirit leads you.
First Sunday of Lent, February 21: "We are Treasure" When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” - Matthew 8: 1
When pain comes and brokenness enters our lives, Jesus reaches out to touch and remind us of the Treasure that we all are–worthy of new life in the midst of hopelessness. In a year when pandemic has wreaked havoc on our world, we begin by affirming our journey to physical health.
Second Sunday of Lent, February 28: "Interconnected Community & Safety" When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him 6 and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” - Matthew 8:5
We affirm our commitment to be the Body of Christ that knows we cannot be personally healed until we see the interconnected community as part of the process of healing. Jesus has the power to re-vision the family of God in which false boundaries are overcome. This week we focus on the power and healing found in creating and connecting with community.
Third Sunday of Lent, March 7: "Truth Telling for Healing" As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” And their eyes were opened. - Matthew 9: 27-29b
This week we acknowledge the power of truth-telling as a healing property. There are stories that have shaped our lives, leaving us without the ability to see who we truly are in the eyes of God and leaving us without the ability to speak the depth of our stories of struggle. We focus on the importance of recovery of mental health, reclaiming our sense of who we are and being able to proclaim new redemptive stories of divine worth.
Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 14: "The Beauty of Mosaic" Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” - Matthew 9: 22a
We need a touch of inspiration to awaken us from our sleep, as we hear in one of this week’s healing stories. We also awaken to our agency to seek out the Divine Healer, reaching out to touch the power we know can restore our intellect and imagination. This week we seek to care for our intellectual health.
Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 21: "Restoration" And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” - Matthew 8: 26-27
As we consider the health of humanity, we cannot ignore the need to heal the very planet that sustains us. We live in increasing chaos of a beleaguered environment and the hoarding of resources. We want to be “saved” by something or someone else, but we discover this week that we are in the boat with the One who shows us our power to turn it around, to calm the storm.
Passion Palm Sunday, March 28
Easter Sunday, April 4
Books are now available for our upcoming all church book study! You can purchase Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life by Henri J.M. Nouwen at Kazoo Books for approximately $13.50 each (including tax).
We'll discuss Reaching Out during our Sunday Morning Class for Lent. The class begins on Sunday, February 21 and runs through Sunday, March 28 at 11am on Zoom. Thank you to Pastor Dan Duncan and Deacon Cara Weiler for leading this class!
Together we will join Nouwen in the exploration of the question “What does it mean to live a life in the Spirit of Jesus Christ?” In conversation and discussion we will dive into the individuality and intersectionality of relationship with ourselves, relationship with others and relationship with God as Nouwen walks us through three movements: “from loneliness to solitude, from hostility to hospitality and, from illusion to prayer.” Join us in conversation as we seek to grow deeper in faith and deeper into relationship with one another and God.
CLICK HERE to join this conversation on Sunday mornings at 11am.
Meeting ID: 814 7426 2215 Passcode: godslove
Kazoo Books is open Monday through Saturday from 9am-6pm and closed Sundays. Parking is available along the storefront or behind the building. Curbside pickup is also available. Learn more at kazoobooks.com.
We are a Reconciling Congregation, welcoming all
with open hearts, open minds, and open doors.
First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo invites all persons to join us on our journey of faith. Jesus Christ calls us to be an inclusive church that exemplifies the kingdom of God. We strive to move toward reconciling relationships with all, affirming those who are marginalized for any reason, including sexual orientation or gender identity.