“The tongue has the power of life and death…”
There are various adages, clichés, and proverbs within the English language that are almost universally known. But in my humble opinion, there is no expression more misguided than the phrase…
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Now I don’t know what your experience has been with this cliché rhythm, but growing up, many well-meaning adults shared this phrase with my peers and me whenever the topic of bullying came up. And in retrospect, I can appreciate the intent of what these adults were trying to do, which was to encourage resiliency in the face of mistreatment.
But regardless of intent, I can’t stand this cliché phrase that we continue to tell our children. And that’s because words aren’t empty of powerless, as this rhythm seems to suggest. Instead, it seems evident that words have incredible power and that what we say to people can significantly impact them. Just consider how kind and loving words can draw us closer to one another and how hurtful or thoughtless words can wound people and damage our relationships.
You know this insight that our words have power isn’t just a modern psychological insight. Instead, the ancient authors of scripture recognized this very same truth. For this reason, both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament are filled with practical guidance for how God wants us to speak and communicate so that our words might be life-giving to others.
So saints, here are three questions that I invite you to mull over this week and prayerfully consider:
What are ways that we can use our words to bless others?
What are examples of ways that we harm each other with our words?
As you consider how you talk to others, what might be ways God wants you to communicate differently with others?
This Sunday, September 12th, we have our annual church picnic on our side lawn after service. Since this event is outdoors, masks will not be required. As part of COVID-19 precautions, we will NOT have potluck food items. All food and drink will be purchased and served by teams wearing masks and gloves. There will be crafts/activities for children attending. Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Supporting Refugees & Caring for Those Affected by Hurricanes
Our annual conference has shared this information with our churches on how we can assist those affected by the events in Afghanistan and Hurricane Ida.
“UMCOR continues to connect our church in mission by being there for people across the world, from Louisiana to Afghanistan to Haiti. Congregations are encouraged to receive offerings to donate toward their relief efforts. Locally, as New Jersey prepares for the arrival of 10,000 refugees, NJVOAD is identifying what is most needed for resettlement. For Haiti and Afghanistan, donate through UMCOR International Disaster Response with Advance #982450.
UMCOR is also partnering with Church World Service to assist with refugee resettlement. Those interested in supporting this partnership can make gifts with Advance #3022144.
To see a list of items needed through GNJ’s Operation, Welcome Neighbor, click here.
For those impacted by Hurricane Ida, donate using Advance #901670.
To support pro bono legal representation for immigrants and refugees through Justice for Our Neighbors, click here.
Resuming Music Ministries
The Choir and Bell Choir rehearsals will be on Wednesdays in the choir room, with Bell Choir at 4:30-5:30 and Choir at 5:45-7:00. Feeling unsure about joining? Feel free to sit in on a rehearsal any time before deciding. All are welcome – no experience required!
Sunday School Starting Back Up
This Sunday, Our church is restarting our in-person Sunday School program. If you would like to register your child in our Sunday School program, please fill out a registration form and turn it in. If you need a form, you can email Gretchen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Drive for Flemington Food Pantry
From August 29th to September 26th, our church is holding a Food Drive to collect food for the Flemington Area Food Pantry. There is a list in the back of the church that states what items the Food Pantry is looking for. The drop-off box is also in the back of the sanctuary.
COVID-19: Updated Church Policy
Due to the surge of Delta variant COVID-19 cases, and the new CDC, State, and Denominational recommendations, our church now requires that all persons wear face masks regardless of vaccination status when indoors. You can find a hard copy of health & safety policies on the table at the back of the sanctuary.
Sharing Prayer Requests
If you have a prayer request, you can fill out a prayer card in the back of the sanctuary or email our Office Manager, Gretchen, at email@example.com. We will be sure to add it to the list on the back of our bulletin. You can also email Gretchen to take off any prayer requests that are no longer relevant or needed.
You will find every newsletter, worship service, devotional, and additional material posted to our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/FlemingtonUnitedMethodist/
Even if you don’t use Facebook, you can access everything we have there. If you do have a Facebook account, “like” to follow our page and be notified when new things are posted or when videos are about to go live so you don’t miss anything.