Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.
Romans 12:2-5 (NRSV)
A not-so-long time ago, in the galaxy in which we currently reside, there were only a few Star Wars movies. In fact, though hard to believe after the recent deluge of new feature-length installments, TV shows, games, and the rest, there was once simply a trilogy… once just a single movie we could call Star Wars. Now, of course, we may know that the first movie is, confusingly, Episode IV. Its true title is A New Hope.
It’s fitting that this multi-act space opera/tragedy/however you would categorize it began with hope. It wasn’t the bleakness of the Resistance’s situation in the face of an awe-inspiring, planet-destroying Empire that first drew us in. It was the hope represented in Luke, Leia, Han, and the rest of the crew who improbably brought peace and joy to a previously hopeless space.
I think about hope a lot as a pastor and as someone who talks with people who are, sometimes, a little hopeless. As people who seek to follow in the way of Jesus, we read gospels that remind us that there is no one who is beyond hope or unnecessary to the calling we share. Perhaps this is why indicators of rising hopelessness, particularly addiction and suicide, are so staggering to acknowledge.
What are we to do? In scary and confusing times, it’s important to hold onto the true Hope of the world. We do this not because we alone own Jesus and speak for God, but rather because it is all too easy when hope fades to let go of the Light that restores hope itself. There is a place for everyone at the table of grace. Paul worked to reconcile the divided community in Rome. We have a charge to reconcile our divided world, making space for healing and justice each day. This is where our hope, new and old, is found.
Grace and Peace,
Help Family Promise Care for Homeless Families in Our Area
People have asked what we can do to support Family Promise today. They shared they are in need of the following items:
$25 Shop-Rite or Walmart gift cards
If you can share some of these items, please bring them to the sanctuary on Sunday and store them under the back table. Walter Maze and others can transport those items to Family Promise’s office.
After Storm Check-up
With fast-moving Tropical Storm Isaias behind us, it’s good to check in with one another to see how we weathered the storm. In the immediate aftermath, many had lost power and, for those who live outside the Borough, that often carries with it the loss of water. Don’t be shy! There are people here who love you, care about you, pray for you, and want to help. We are putting together an unofficial team of people who can drop off water, food, supplies… chop up fallen trees…generally do some of the immediate work needed after a storm to get you back up and running. If you’d like to help or if you’d like to be checked on, please reply to this message.
Nominations Season is Here
Each year we invite new people to lead different aspects of the church’s ministries. If you are eager or interested in giving your time please contact Pastor Ben. If you are asked, consider it an invitation to something good and worthwhile and say “yes!” This is a particularly exciting year to answer the call as we are moving from separate boards to a Leadership Council to free up time and energy for mission. More news and information to follow, but your gifts are needed at this table now.
Zoom Coffee Hour Returns This Week
Grab a hot cup of your favorite morning beverage and join in some digital conversation this Sunday:
Worship with Flemington UMC on Facebook
Each Sunday at 10:30am, reach for your phone, tablet, computer, or other internet-connected device for a time of music, prayer, scripture, and preaching. Watching live gives the opportunity to comment in real-time with prayer requests, updates on your life, and more, but if you view the service later you can still comment and share prayer requests and experiences from your life with your church.
If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can simply visit the church’s Facebook page:
The videos are all accessible there without the need to create an account or login. If you have technical questions, please reach out.