STEWARDSHIP SEASON

AND JESUS TOUCHED…

He Touched Them and Me & Made Us Whole.

Goals.  

▪ Everyone in the congregation is touched by Jesus and brought into a greater wholeness.

▪ This wholeness includes an increased closeness to one another.

▪ That each of us stewards our new personal and congregational wholeness.

▪ That we commit to extend holy hands individually and together to the untouchable, unhealable, and unlovable in 2021.

Stewardship Season Schedule

And Jesus Touched…

9/27.  …Away My Shame. 

Stewarding our reality and identity in Christ

10/4.  …Blessing Our Children. 

Stewarding our children in this increasingly challenged time.

Whiz Kids begins October 6.

Communion

10/11. …Away My Emotional Oppression. 

Stewarding our thoughts and emotions

10/18. …Away My Sickness and Disability.

Stewarding our health and body.

10/25. …Away My Possessiveness.

Stewarding our approach to people and stuff.

11/1. …Us and Made Us Whole

Consecration Sunday

Communion

“And Jesus Touched…” 

He Touched Me & Made Me Whole.

 Application.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus touch the Untouchable and brought healing into their lives.  In our present socially distanced, Covid-19 era, we need his personal and enliving touch.

We have and will continue to declare that God is faithful, have faith, be faithful. Also, we will regularly stand and proclaim, “God will get me through, and I will become more faithful because of God.”

On All Together Blessed Sunday, September 13, we shared how God has brought us through and how we have become perhaps a bit more faithful because of God in this time.  This will be an important pause and interlude as we prepare to face the fall and winter.  

If Covid continues more intensely in the fall and winter, I believe that our greatest ongoing need as a congregation will be cohesion and togetherness in Christ.  Minds and hearts become foggy and people drift when things not only linger but become more intense.

Our congregation is missing what our society is missing: handshakes, embraces, and touch in general.

As a result, the Stewardship season and Consecration Sunday theme is “And Jesus Touched.” Because of the age of our congregation, the song He Touched Me will be central.

How can there be real touch in the absence of physical touch? 

How has Jesus touched us? How is Jesus touching us? How may we touch one another in Jesus name? 

In the midst of social distancing, as the song goes, “He touched me and made me whole.”  Since we will continue to experience transition, we will be broken. Change breaks. 

▪Without the touch of Jesus, we naturally withdraw into our “hole”; our hurts, habits, and hang-ups intensify (relational, financial…). 

▪With the touch of Jesus, our present challenge can be God opportune.  Through Christ’s touch, we can overcome the hurts, habits, and hang-ups we previously hid, “managed,” and coddled before Covid-19.  We will become whole and more faithful because of God!

▪Also, although physically apart, when we encourage Jesus to touch us, He touches us together and makes us whole. We will focus more on our Core 4 grow together tasks:  

• #1. Sunday livestream or DVD,

• Facebook page and devotions, 

• calling at least one person in the congregation each week.

▪ giving tithe, offerings, and time faithfully

–and deepen (watching the live stream service –> interacting, calling –> praying with others, Facebook devotions –> commenting, etc.)

Scriptural Backstory.

Jesus extended His Holy hand and touched the untouchable, healed the unhealable, and loved the unlovable.

In contrast, the religious leaders withdrew from such people to protect and maintain their false sense of holiness.  They withdrew from the holy presence of the Lord Jesus into an unholy black hole out of which exploded the murder of the Son of God.

Jesus their unrecognized Christ allowed His holy body to be torn open to grant a direct relationship with God for those who did believe.  Finally, embracing His own with His forgiveness, identity, and inheritance, the newly risen Lord Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into His newly re-created disciples.  He, the Holy One of God, took they who were unholy and made them holy, whole people to extend holy hands to the untouchable, unhealable, and unlovable of all nations and make disciples.

How is your Community Church approaching the Corona virus situation?

How is your Community Church approaching the Corona virus situation?
1. Pastor Fritz will daily post on the Community United Methodist Church Riverside Facebook page through the end of March.

2. Pastor Fritz and the Board will keep updated through reliable sources, consult local officials, and make decisions accordingly.

3. Our Church will remain open on Sundays for our regular 10:30 a.m. worship service as long as we are legally allowed to gather. ▪With the possible exception of the East Dayton Senior Collaborative, Community Church will offer our full schedule until further notice. ▪Please go to our Lord, and discern your own level of comfort regarding your attendance at events, groups, and Sunday worship. If you are not sensing His lead, please stay home –Amen ▪Connect with our online worship, which is being established on our Facebook page: Community United Methodist Church Riverside.

4. In the event that we are required to close the facility, we will stay connected.▪ We will provide weekly worship and encouraging communication through various media.▪We will attempt to remain in regular contact with our most virus vulnerable people, especially those homebound.

5. We encourage each person in our church to determine her or his comfort level with hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, or if desired to abstain from any of these expressions. 

6.  Regular hand washing and sanitizing is encouraged. 

The greatest gift for your family, church, and world in 2020 is an increasingly faithful you.

  They will experience Christ through the ways God is changing you.

The New Year is upon us. How will you become more faithful in January and February?

Immediately you may think: Take more classes, get more involved, serve in new ways…

Yet, if you remain unchanged, handling yourself and others in the same old way, you cannot be much of a gift.  Doing more stuff in the church will just leave you whipped from the busy and bloated with spiritual information.  You will have nothing left to give.

A more faithful you is your greatest gift.  Picture yourself hanging with some of our newer people.  You stay after worship and get to know their names and lives.  You stay for lunch on Scout Sunday come, and sit with a Scout family. You go to a Celebrate Recovery dinner on a Thursday. 

When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;  therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Romans 9: 36-38 ESV

With humility and compassion, you go to these new people who God has brought into our church.  You listen–then, you invite, pray, and share.  You faithfully open up your heart and your L.I.P.S.

As you go and gift your attention upon our newer people, your Lord Jesus Christ ultimately gifts them through your L.I.P.S. 

L = Listen.

You listen closely to their words, pray, and sense what is going on in their hearts.

The gift of ears precedes any gift from the mouth. How well do you deeply listen to people? In January and February how will you improve your hearing and become a greater gift?

I = Invite.

You invite them to 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship.

During Sunday worship early in January, you will receive special business cards to empower your invitation.  Even now, praying ask: Lord Jesus, to whom shall I go and invite?

P = Pray

You pray:  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. Psalm 51:15. ESV

Fear, inhibition, and preoccupation with self will tempt you from faithful verbal gifting.  Ask our Lord to warm your heart, fill your mouth, and open up your lips.  He will!

S = Share.

You know how much God has done for you, so you realize that you have something to share: There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.  Proverbs 20:5 ESV

Because you know our Lord Jesus has done something in your life, a precious jewel they need to hear, you deeply share with your guests.

How has God changed your life? Can you be specific? Can you tell the story?  How did God change you in 2019?

Through your increasingly faithful L.I.P.S., the Lord Jesus will prepare them to receive the ultimate gift—Himself!

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 9: 8-9. ESV

Through our church family’s gift of our hearts and L.I.P.S., our Lord will offer Himself—and many will take Him to hear in 202; their lips wil raise Jesus as Lord!  Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.  Psalm 63:3 ESV