February 15, 2018
“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.” (Matthew 25:14-15)
Members and Friends!
We are in the season of Lent, the season of self-examination. Some of you may be practicing the traditional habit of giving something up for the season as a reminder of Jesus’ giving of himself. Some of you may be twisting that practice a bit by taking something up like more time in prayer, daily Bible reading, a commitment to worship every Sunday, etc. However you decide to mark this season, I hope you find it to be an experience of growing closer to God and neighbor even in the midst of the chaos and pain we hear in the news nearly every day.
I want to make you aware of another opportunity for growth this Lenten season. The Finance Committee has had conversation and agreed to move forward with a “Parable of the Talents” emphasis this spring. Found in Matthew 25, Jesus offers this parable as an expression of using our gifts to grow that which we receive from God. As such on March 11th we will be giving money and asking those who receive it to find ways to multiply it. The Church Council approved using $1,000 from the Endowment Fund as seed money to be given out during worship on that Sunday. You will then have 90 days to multiply what you’ve been given. Baking pies or bread and selling them. Making wood items for friends or neighbors. Buying a snow shovel and shoveling walks in the neighborhood, gas for the lawnmower and earning money for mowing. You get the idea. The results will be received on June 10th during both services. Please give prayerful thought as to how you will participate and grow the gifts God gives to you.
A few additional items to share:
- INTRODUCING SHERYL BELLOR as our new Coordinator of Children and Family Ministries. We are pleased to announce that Sheryl will begin her duties on Monday, February 19th as our new children and family ministries coordinator. Sheryl has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from Saginaw Valley State University and Associate Degrees in Pre-Elementary Education and in Paraprofessional Studies. She has also earned a Certificate in Child Development from Delta College. She has been both an assistant and a co-teacher in the Bay City School system planning and implementing lesson plans for small and large groups of children. A positive, passionate person, Sheryl is ready to serve at Auburn UMC in order to grow our ministry. Please find a way to personally welcome Sheryl to the Auburn UMC community and lend your support as she leads us in the ministry to and with children and families.
- Flooring is continuing to be laid in the lower level. The nursery and music room are completed and drying. The youth room and the entry area will be the next to receive finishing touches. If you have a chance, check it out. It’s a much needed improvement.
- A reminder for parents and students interested in confirmation that an updated calendar has been sent. Please return the registration material by the date requested to aid in our planning.
- If you haven’t registered for the mission trip to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center, there’s still time. Please connect with Becky Jenkins if you’d like to participate. It will be a great experience I promise you!
- Sunday, February 18th, the first Sunday of Lent, we begin a new worship series: John: The Gospel of Light and Life. We’ll spend the next 6 weeks hearing from this most unusual book of faith. I invite you to challenge yourself to read through the Gospel of John during Lent as one thing you will do this Lent to grow in your spiritual journey.
With gratitude for God’s grace and for you!
Rev. Duane M. Harris