<![CDATA[First United Methodist Church - VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE WALL]]>Sun, 10 Sep 2017 08:39:44 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[GENERAL CONFERENCE, PORTLAND, OR]]>Fri, 13 May 2016 05:51:57 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/general-conference-portland-or

Here I am, at General Conference.  What's General Conference, you ask?  Well, when you figure it out, we'll both know.  But I'm here in Portland, OR with several thousand of my "best" friends.  General Conference is the law-making body of the United Methodist Church.  Delegates from all over the world gather in one place every 4 years.  It's during this time that the issues facing the 21st century church are sorted out, debated and supported or rejected, or tabled for further consideration.  Any Methodist Church, organization, or individual can propose legislation or can petition the Conference to change or modify or delete "something" from the Book of Discipline, or propose a change to the resolutions of the church.  (Resolutions are "whereas items" which "resolve" into things like "we resolve to be better Christians in our attitudes."  I'm using that only as an example, altho' that might be a good one.) The petitions (which range from abortions to xenophobia and everything in-between) and resolutions (ranging from bullying in schools to zoo animals) are fleshed out in committees and voted upon by the whole "body" - we use that particular word to designate us as the "Body of Christ" - whereas He is the Head of the church, we are His body.  To quote Bishop Warner Brown, (soon to be former President of the Council of Bishops) in his opening address to the body, he said,"Like the first disciples, some of us may have come to this meeting of Jesus' people we call 'General Conference' with some mixture of hope and uncertainty;" "we also bring our hopes and our apprehensions."  We know the work we do here won't be easy. But it's work which seeks to unify the Body of Christ, because as Bishop Warner said, "we make our most powerful witness when we are one in spirit, one in witness."  It is up to us to strive toward the things that bring peace to world and build up the Body of Christ.  That's General Conference.
But it's not all work, every minute.  I got some time to sightsee, and found the grave of Virgil Earp (brother of Wyatt).  I also met the great great great great granddaughter of Virgil, who just happened to be there at the same time I was.  If the work is done on Saturday, I hope to visit the Rose Garden and waterfront district.  Until then, remember that YOU may be the only Bible some people ever get to read.  Show them the true "body" of Christ through everything you do, everything you say and everyway you act.  Blessings,
Pastor Michele
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<![CDATA[Christ is Risen!  He is Risen, indeed!]]>Fri, 08 Apr 2016 19:47:53 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/christ-is-risen-he-is-risen-indeed  By Pastor Michele Kelley
Dear members and friends:
            Overheard at a New York City cabstand between two drivers:  “Resurrection Sunday, big deal! Even if I believed that some guy rose from the dead, what difference would that make to me?”  Interesting question – and not all that unlikely that you might hear it.  And if you did, how would you answer it? 
 
It seems possible that the Apostle Paul either heard a question like that, or was anticipating a question like that from the people of the church in Corinth, for he writes to them:  “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!”  (1 Corinthians 15:17) 
 
The resurrection IS a big deal.  This Easter more than 2 billion Christians all around the world celebrated the resurrection as THE central truth of the Christian faith.  If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, too many of us have taken on too much theological and moral baggage which would be better left for the trash man.
 
Most of us understand the necessity of the Messiah’s Resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins.  His triumph over death proved that His sacrifice was acceptable.  Perhaps less easily understood is the promise that we who believe in Him will be resurrected as He was. 
 
The promise of resurrection and the life to come is a very big deal.  It may seem elusive and mysterious to some of us, but remember that for the Jewish people, this concept is more certainly elusive. This is not only tragic but ironic, since resurrection from the dead (techiat ha-metim in Hebrew) is a decidedly Jewish concept which grew out of the Messianic hope of the Hebrew Scriptures.  “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.  Those who are wise shall shine like brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.”  (Daniel 12:2-3)
 
In Bible times, resurrection was hotly debated among the Jewish leadership.  Paul used this
conflict to his advantage when he stood trial before the Sanhedrin.  Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees.  He cried out in council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”  (Acts 23:6)
 
The Pharisees believed in a resurrection while the Sadducees did not, primarily, the latter argued, because it was not taught in the first five books of Moses.  That is exactly why Jesus quoted from Exodus 3 when addressing the Sadducees concerning the resurrection:  “But Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for to Him all are alive.” (Luke 20:37-38)
 
Paul knew very well the relevance of Jesus’ resurrection.  Paul taught that Jesus’ resurrection proved everything He had said about Himself to be true.  Every promise, every miracle, every claim He ever made was proven true when Jesus conquered death.
 
This is a very big deal indeed.  Because He lives, as Christians we can stand against the rising tide of secularism, political correctness and forced “tolerance” to proclaim with Peter and John, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)
 
I know that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  But until that glorious day, we have the privilege of declaring this timeless life-altering truth to all who will listen:  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!
That is a big deal. 
Serving faithfully, in His name,
Pastor Michele

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<![CDATA[Membership]]>Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:36:36 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/membership
Dear Members and Friends:

            With all the politicos yammering about “take a stand”, “stand for something”, “get involved”, “do something” – I thought now would be a good time to talk about our membership vows.

            Whether you are a member, or thinking about it, or just wondering about it, here’s something to think about:

            According to The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church[1] as members we make a covenant (a solemn agreement that is binding on all parties – in the Bible, it’s the promises that were made between God and His people) – to (a) renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of our sin; (b) to accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression; (c) to confess Jesus Christ as Savior, put their whole trust in His grace, and promise to serve Him as their Lord; (d) to remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world; (e) to be loyal to Christ through the United Methodist Church and to do all in their power to strengthen its ministries; (f) to faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness; [By the way, that’s Plan A, and there is no Plan B.] (g) to receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

            That’s a lot of words.  It simply means that we are verbalizing God’s call to discipleship.  John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, said “the world is our parish.” That’s Wesley-Speak for not building fences or barriers around our outreach.  What we do in God’s mission and witness does not stop at the church doors.

                While we are in ministry to the whole world, we are also in ministry to our local community – “think globally, act locally.”  (Remember that from the 70’s?) It’s that “Love your neighbor” thingie Jesus talked so much about (Matthew 22:39). These words, these vows, remind us that we are to practice both universal and local discipleship.

            We don’t take this promise before God lightly.  It’s a discipline, and not an easy one.  It’s easy to be lackadaisical about “words” – just a bunch of words.  But these words are shared in the context of God’s Grace; and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the impossible is possible – we are strengthened in our resolve to be faithful members.

            The vows hold legal standing in the church.  For legal reasons, we believe it to be important to know who is a member of the church and how that happens.

            Most of us practicing Methodists are not prone to reading The Book of Discipline. (Although I’ve known a few folks who were virtually “scholars” when it came to The Book of Discipline – my friend Dee’s dad, for one!) I believe your DVR operating instructions would be more entertaining – maybe even John Wesley’s sermons.  (I have an anthology of his sermons if anyone wants to attempt reading it.) 

            If you want to “stand for something”, stand for Jesus Christ.  Being a part of “something” like a church, gives a new meaning and direction to your life.  Nothing on the outside changes – the change is all on the inside, of you.  You’re part of the bigger picture.

            I guarantee you that the bricks will not fall down around you, the thunder and lightning will be confined to monsoon season, and no one will look at you strangely if you decide to become a member, explore being a member, or even just come to services and check us out. 

            The United Methodist Church has a long history of “standing for something.” You can stand for as much or as little as you are able.  God gives you His attention 24/7.  We give Him our attention only 1 hour a week.  The rest of the time we try to practice what we preach – we’re not perfect, but with God’s help and by God’s Grace, we ARE going on to perfection. 

            Blessings,

                                    Pastor Michele

 


[1] The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2012 (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2012, ¶217, p.153

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<![CDATA[Wisdom Tidbits]]>Sun, 14 Jun 2015 01:03:15 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/wisdom-tidbits View from the Top of the Wall                           By Pastor Michele Kelley

Walker Lamond is the author of Rules for My Unborn Son.  This was posted on Facebook and I present it here for your reading enjoyment. 

An Economics teacher gave his senior high schools students his personal list of wisest words…and they make SO MUCH SENSE.  My comments are in brackets [ ].

 1. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them. [Cannonball!]
2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.
3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. [I tried snails…don’t like ‘em]
4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.
5. Always use “we” when referring to your home team or your government.
6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
7. DON’T underestimate free throws in a game of HORSE.
8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. [what did mom say…? “just because your friend does it, doesn’t mean you should…”]
9. Don’t dumb it down.
10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.
11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.
12. Never park in front of a bar. [especially if that bar is Hooters…]
13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.
14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first girl/boyfriend.
15. Hold your heroes to a high standard. …how about a “higher” standard?]
16. A suntan is earned, not bought.
17. Never lie to your doctor.
18. All guns are loaded.
19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.
20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.
21. Take a vacation from your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.
22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good it is.
23. A handshake beats an autograph.
24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out .[A personal pet-peeve.]
25. If you choose to go in drag, don’t sell yourself short.
26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.
27. Never get your haircut the day of a special event.
28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.
29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.
30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.
31. Eat lunch with the new kids.
32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.
33. It’s never too late for an apology.
34. Don’t pose with booze.
35. If you have right of way, TAKE IT.
36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.
37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.
38. Never push someone off a dock.
39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she is pregnant.
40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry, live up to it.
41. Don’t make a scene.
42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.
43. Know when to ignore the camera.
44. Never gloat.
45. Invest in great luggage.
46. Make time for your mom on your birthday, It’s her special day too.
47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.
48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.
49. Give credit. Take Blame.
50. Suck it up every now and again.
51. Never be the last one in the pool.
52. Don’t stare.[I can hear my mother’s voice…]
53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.
54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.
55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.
56. Admit it when you’re wrong.
57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.
58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.
59. Thank the bus driver. [I’m in favor of this one, BIG time!]
60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.
61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.
62. Know at least one good joke.
63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.
64. Know how to cook one good meal. [Mac ‘n’ cheese is a good one.]
65. Learn to drive a stick shift.
66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.
67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.
68. Dance with your mother/father.
69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.
70. Always thank the host.
71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.
72. Know the size of your boyfriend/girlfriend's clothes.
73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.
74. Be a good listener. Don’t just take your turn to talk.
75. Keep your word.
76. In college always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately. Come grade time it might come in handy.
77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for 9 months.
78. Be patient with airport security. They are just doing their job.
79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.
80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.
81. You are what you do. Not what you say.
82. Learn to change a tire.
83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.
84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.
85. Don’t litter. [And even if YOU didn’t throw it down, pick up someone else’s litter.]
86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.
87. You won’t always be the strongest or fastest. But you can be the toughest.
88. Never call someone before or after 9 AM and 9PM.[unless it’s an emergency…and lack of prior, proper, planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.  Just sayin’…]
89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.
90. Make the little things count.
91. Always wear a bra at work. [and maybe to church…?]
92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it. [See #91.]
93. You’re never too old to need your mom.
94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels on the first date commit to keeping them on and tone down how much your feet are killing you.
95. Know the words to your national anthem.
96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun than sitting on the bench alone.
97. Smile at strangers.
98. Make Goals. [BIG ones, outside the box…]
99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.
100. If you HAVE to fight, punch first and punch hard.


            And after all this - 100 wise bits of wisdom- Jesus gave us just 2 bits, 2000 years ago that, even today, resonate true:

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

(Matthew 22:36-40  New King James Version)

            Simple words for a complex time.  Easy to remember, hard to do.  Being a disciple of Jesus is hard work.  That’s why the “dark side” is so appealing to so many people.  There’s no work involved, it’s easy to “fit in” with the crowd, and accountability and responsibility aren’t required.

             “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15, NIV)  

            Grace and Peace…
                                   
Pastor Michele


 

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<![CDATA[Luke 19:25-37]]>Sat, 11 Oct 2014 16:09:02 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/luke-1925-37             The Scripture known as the story of the Good Samaritan is so familiar we may miss hearing the Word of God in a way that will have an impact on us here and now.
            Imagine for a moment the kind of road your mother warned you about – deserted, poorly-lit, dangerous; imagine a parking garage, late at night, dead battery in both the car and your cell phone; imagine dusk falling on a lonely, dirt road in the middle of nowhere and you are low on gasoline…imagine…
            For whatever reason, one poor soul ventured down the Jericho road alone,  without any other companions.
            The well-known Jerusalem to Jericho route was a commonly traveled road, but with so many twists and turns it was a treasure-trove of hiding places. Just 17 miles long (with a 3200-foot drop into the Jericho valley) most people traveled with companions for safety’s sake.
            We know nothing of the man; he was just “someone” who by bad luck was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  A band of thieves attacked him and stripped him – of money, clothes, dignity, and even hope. He was left to die at the side of the road on a well-worn dirt path. Who cared?
            Jesus cared.  He cared enough to make it into a simple story about that “Love Thy Neighbor” thing.
            “Who is my neighbor?” questioned a young person well versed in religious law.  He was trying to trick Jesus into saying  something controversial whose answer would lead to a conflict with the law and the Temple authorities.
            It started with a simple question on how to gain eternal life.  “That’s easy” said the young man.  “The law says to love God with all your heart, all your strength, and with all your
mind; and your neighbor a yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
            “Who is my neighbor?”.  The question raised up issues of law as well as social rules concerning authority, social position, relationships, and responsibilities. It was an ethical question, and in response to the challenge Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.
            Everyone Jesus named – the Priest and the Levite - had their own reasons for ignoring the injured man. Too busy, too tired, too old to be bothered; too dirty, too much trouble, too…whatever.
            But the Samaritan – unclean and impure BY THE LAW - reached out to care for this stranger in need.  This Samaritan, who by his very birth, was anathema to the Jews, took it upon himself to help a stranger, a Jew who, if he knew it was a Samaritan who helped him, would have spit on his rescuer.
            The Samaritan understood the covenant of God and acted on behalf of God in a way the priest and Levite failed to do.  He performed an act of charity and piety that even the victim’s own people denied him – they just “passed him by.” His actions showed him to be “neighbor” despite the cultural and religious boundaries.
            The traveler who goes alone moves among us and makes us question our motives and lack of motivation for those times when we just “passed him by.”  More people than ever before in this nation’s history are in the midst of poverty.  The homeless on our streets, living in cars (or caves), and filling the few shelters that exist, are often employed and have families with school-age children.  These are the travelers who are isolated and wander our roads without help, without a place to belong.
             The story of the Good Samaritan transforms “neighbor” from something we are – an identity, a name, a state of being – to something we do – and action, a task, a way of living.
            The encounter between the unnamed, uncared-for stranger and the Samaritan takes place while they both are traveling.  The journey from place to place is transformed into a pilgrimage, and that which is holy and sacred is revealed only in following the road – accompanied by a neighbor.
            Grace and Peace,

Pastor Michele



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<![CDATA[Matthew 28:16-20]]>Sat, 14 Jun 2014 17:54:06 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/matthew-2816-20New King James Version (NKJV)The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Why is this so hard for us? Seems a simple enough task.  Go tell Jesus' story; go tell your story; oh, that's right.  The hard part is the "GO".  That means I have to get up off my dead behind, shut off the television, put down my phone, IPOD, IPAD, Kindle, and the other personal media devices, and interact (face-to-face) with - O! the horror of it all! - other people!   But that's what Jesus wants us to do.  Be a representative of Him, right here, right now.     But that's another problem, isn't it?  To be a representative of Him, I have to be like Him.  I have to love other people (it's that "love your neighbor as yourself" thing); it's that "do unto others" thing; it's that accountability and responsibility thing.  What if...what if for just one day, the whole world practiced that "stuff?"  Would that change your life?  What if...what if for just one day, you practiced that "stuff?"   Would that change your life?  Start small - say "hi" to that neighbor who's always grumping about your music; now, how hard was that?  Say...take a moment out of your busy life to be kind to a stray dog, a stray person, a stray tourist.  Show them that being a disciple of Jesus Christ isn't just a fancy catch phrase.  GO...out and be a disciple, then you can make disciples.



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<![CDATA[CHARITY EVENT]]>Thu, 08 May 2014 21:07:36 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/charity-event The Friends United for Hope Foundation is sponsoring a charity concert on Thursday, May 8th following a 7pm buffet supper at the Turquoise Valley Golf Course. Performing will be Carlos Morales, a winner of the Texas Outstanding Soloist Award who is considered to be one of the best guitar players in South Texas, and Jesus Willie Morales, a prizewinner at the Janice K. Hodges Contemporary Piano Competition and a performer in the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra.  The Friends United for Hope Foundation assists with the social and educational development of underprivileged children in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. The Foundation works with children during the school year and in camps during the summer, and this concert is an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child by helping them receive a quality education and develop crucial life skills.

Please call 520-432-3091 for further information.

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<![CDATA[...the rest of the story (with a nod to Paul Harvey)]]>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:24:05 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/the-rest-of-the-story-with-a-nod-to-paul-harvey     If all you saw last week (Palm Sunday) was the parade, you're gonna miss "the rest of the story."  That's the best part - the rest of the story.  The parade was only the beginning.  How can I say that - after all, Jesus still ended up dead 5 days later.  But there's more to the story than that.  On that fateful Friday, when Jesus died, the temple curtain was "rent in two" signifying that no longer would someone else have to mediate or negotiate for your relationship with God; no longer would you have to live in sin and darkness; no longer would you have to sacrifice your life for your sins.  On that fateful Friday, that was done for you.  One person, the Lamb of God, took all the sins of the world upon Himself.  But that not the end of the story.  There's more...

     There's always the quiet after the storm - that was the Saturday.  A time for the disciples to step back, to reflect, to talk about their feelings - yes, even those feelings of fear and anxiety, and trepidation.  It was okay to question "What next?  What now?  What do we do, now?" 

     And then along came Mary - wonderful, faithful, hurt, Mary.  She wanted to do something for Jesus, her teacher, her friend.  She went to the tomb, and it was empty.  How could that possibly be?  She saw Him die, with her own eyes!  She helped the hurried burial.  She was there!  And yet...and yet...He was gone.  She saw a gardener - or who she thought was a gardener.  She asked, "Where have you taken him?"  And He said: "Mary", and all of heaven was in that one word.  She recognized Jesus in that one word and responded, "Rabboni", and all of earth was in that sound.  And there it began, the greatest story ever told.  He lives!  And that's the "rest of the story."

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<![CDATA[CHURCH HAPPENINGS]]>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:58:05 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/church-happeningsFRIDAY, April 18, 2014:  Friday Night Bread and Soup Supper; all are invited …tell everyone, bring a friend, enjoy food and fellowship.  Volunteers are always needed and welcome.  Can you please help?  Soup, beans, bread, tortillas, sandwiches, hot dogs, desserts…bring a crockpot and share with others; BRING YOURSELF AND SHARE IN THE FELLOWSHIP.  There's always plenty of food, plenty of fellowship and interesting conversation. Last Friday we served 32 meals – hot dogs, chili, baked mac ‘n’ cheese, Malcolm’s chicken, Joyce’s wonderful organic soup, tortilla soup, chocolate crème cake, cookies, tea… a real feast.  Please help spread the word (take some flyers!) that Friday evening is meal time at First United Methodist Church.  Many thanks to all who cook, wash dishes or donate their time, money, and effort,  “There will always be poor people in the land.  Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”  (Deut. 15:11)
   NEXT SUNDAY, April 20, 2014: Easter Service, 10 a.m. A trip through time:  From Thursday to Sunday.
Fellowship following worship. 
   HOPE AND BEYOND EMERGENCY FOOD PANTRY is open at the discretion of the Trustees.  Please call Isaiah, Joyce or Michele if you or someone you know is in need.  Once again, God has stocked our shelves and the food pantry is open. We gratefully acknowledge the generous donations to the food pantry.
    PLEASE EXCUSE OUR MESS. God is busy making all things new again.  If you haven’t seen the gorgeous wood flooring in the fellowship hall, please take a moment and admire it.  Who knew that beauty hid under 100 years of paint?  Should we also refinish the sanctuary floor?  Who knows what hides under that paint?  God knows. 


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<![CDATA[     BREAD AND SOUP SUPPERS]]>Mon, 11 Nov 2013 21:17:23 GMThttp://firstumcbisbeeaz.org/view-from-the-top-of-the-wall/-bread-and-soup-suppers    The winter months are upon us.  How did that happen so fast?  I was in Wal-Mart the other day.  A sign on the front window reminded me that it was only 47 days to Christmas.  How did that happen so fast?  Friday, November 15th is the start of our 2nd winter providing hot soup and fresh bread to the hungry folks of Bisbee.  Oh, and it's a free meal.  How do we do that?  I really don't know, but God does.  It just happens.  We don't have any cooking facilities at the church, so people bring crockpots full of soup, chili, mac-n-cheese, loaves of bread.  It reminds me a lot of Jesus feeding the 5000.  Somehow enough food always shows up to feed those who come to eat.  Amazing.  If you want a hot meal, good fellowship and sometimes even a sing-a-long (when people bring their instruments), come to the church, Friday night, anytime between 4:30 and 6pm, for a great time.
    And on another note: our medical mission team is planning a musical benefit for the missions which the church sponsers and supports - the Hope and Beyond Emergency Food Pantry, the Friday night suppers, and the Medical Mission to Mexico. It's scheduled for December 1, 2013, and is shaping up to be the musical highlight of the year.  There is also a plan in the works for a Battle of the Bands, and a Christmas show.  
    And in case you missed church yesterday, you missed the greatest worship service ever!  This old church was a-rockin' and a-rollin'.  The neighbors must have wondered whatever happened to that nice, quiet, middle-of-the-road Methodist Church on the hill.  Many thanks to the musicians who rocked the roof - Jim and Jeannie Cogswell, and Gisele Millers. 
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