Category Archives: Pastor’s Page

Tim’s Tidbits

I have to admit that this is my favorite time of the year.  I love the cooler temperatures, the bright autumn colors of red, orange, yellow, and purple as the leaves begin to change colors, mums and other fall blooming flowers, hayrides, the smell of a campfire to roast hotdogs and marshmallows and to huddle around on a cool evening. <!–split–>

There is also the excitement of the fall sports season with football, soccer, volleyball, and golf.  There is Homecoming and class reunions.

It is also a time to celebrate the life of the church and the many blessings we experience every day through our service to God.  We have many opportunities to witness and share the gospel of Jesus Christ through the various activities we participate in.

One way to celebrate is through our annual Stewardship campaign.  As God blesses us we want to give back to show our love for God and to enable others to come to know the God who loves us all; the God we love and worship, and to receive those same blessings.  Ways in which we  celebrate are through our giving, both monetarily as well as serving.

We read in scripture concerning tithing.  In Leviticus 27:32 we read that every tenth one of the flock and herd shall be holy to the Lord.  It belongs to God.  If every member of Bethel Wesley UMC gave a tithe of 10% imagine what we can do for the Lord.  The dollar amount may differ among the people, but the proportion is the same.

Also consider the ways in which you serve.  There may be an area of service that you have thought about but never acted on those thoughts.  You may have felt inadequate to serve.  Remember that God will use you as he wills, giving you the necessary gifts and tools to do the job.

Pastor Tim

Tim’s Tidbits

The past few weeks we have had several opportunities to consider our prayer life as we watched “War Room” and to be actively involved in prayer ministry during our prayer vigil for the school year. <!–split–>

I subscribe to a daily devotional wet site from Max Lucado. The following is from a recent posting that I found interesting concerning prayer and wanted to share it with you. Prayer is a great opportunity to foster relationships and to seek God’s will for our church.

Most of us struggle with prayer. We forget to pray. And when we do, our minds drift; our thoughts scatter like a covey of quail. Why is this? Prayer requires minimal effort. No location is prescribed. No particular clothing is required. Yet you’d think we were wrestling a greased pig.

Satan seeks to interrupt our prayers any way he can. Our battle with prayer isn’t entirely our fault. The Devil knows the stories; he knows what happens when we pray. He knows the Scripture, “Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places (2 Corinthians 10:4). Satan is not troubled when Max writes a book or prepares a sermon, but his knobby knees tremble when Max prays.

Satan keeps you and me from prayer. He tries to position himself between us and God. But he scampers like a spooked dog when we move forward in prayer. So let’s do it … let’s pray!

How about starting a prayer group today. Small groups such as prayer and study groups have been instrumental to the life and success of the UMC.

See you Sunday if not before.

Pastor Tim

Tim’s Tidbits

As I write this article this month, the news media is full of reports concerning violence across our country.  The latest is an ambush on policemen in Baton Rouge, LA.  There have been protest marches; violent acts of crime against police officers and other individuals; and we have to be asking ourselves, “When will it all stop?”  My answer for this is that it won’t stop until  Jesus returns. <!–split–>

Throughout history, even back to biblical days, there has been conflicts, battles, even wars.  Just look at how the Israelite nation conquered the Promised Land.  The only difference is they did it at God’s command.  And when they didn’t follow God’s lead they were always defeated.  They did have periods of peace, and today some countries may experience peace for a period of time, but there is always news of fighting somewhere in our world.

Recently in our worship services I presented some traffic signs that are appropriate for our spiritual journey as well as our physical journey down life’s highway.  Obeying these signs can bring peace to our lives.  In case you missed it the signs were:

STOP – stop sinning resulting in undue pain and hardship.

U-turn – turn to God for repentance and forgiveness.

YIELD – putting other people and their needs before your own.

ONE WAY – there is only one way for salvation and eternal life and that is Jesus.

Kris also talked with the children about signs and some ways we can see God at work in our lives.  When we allow God to work through us, we have peace.  Jill even got in on the act as she shared that we can be signs of peace, God’s peace, using the song lyric “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Jesus came as the Prince of Peace.  But because so many people rejected him there was conflict.  Do we lack peace because we have rejected Jesus?

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

See you Sunday if not before —   Pastor Tim

TIM’S TIDBITS

The summer season is in full swing. School is out and graduations have sent many young adults into a new chapter of their life. Little league baseball/softball diamonds as well as outdoor volleyball courts are a flurry of activity. Swimming pools are once again a big splash. The BBQ grill is getting fired up. Summer vacations and visits to relatives are on the horizon. A lot of time is being spent on leisurely activity.  <!–split–>

Hopefully leisurely doesn’t describe your spiritual life when it comes to your summer calendar. Just because it is summer doesn’t mean we have time off. We are called to Christian service 24/7/365.

Our relationship with God is a working relationship. It is not something that we can actively participate in today and take a day or two off. It is daily.

In Revelation 2:2,5b, John writes where Jesus is telling the church of Ephesus, “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance…do the works you did at first.” God sees and knows all. We are not able to hide anything from God. Although we may try, we just can’t. God knows our works; knowing our thoughts, words, and actions; knowing the motives and reasons.

When we seek the ways of the world instead of the will of God we tend to get off course as to where God is leading. And we need to be brought back, remembering what we first did and why we did it. God is to be our top priority, even during the summer when we have a tendency to be slackers.

We also read in James 2:26 that “Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.” Keeping the works going in the summer, as well as the rest of the year, will only strengthen and enhance our relationship with God; deepening our faith. Nothing will please God more than to have a strong and healthy relationship with each one of us.

So as you are sitting on your patio or porch, resting under a shade tree, or just relaxing for the day, take a moment to spend some time with God. You will be glad you did.

See you Sunday if not before.

Pastor Tim

Tim’s Tidbits

It is hard to believe the spring season is here, March Madness is winding down, and Easter was this past Sunday. It seems like just last week we were celebrating Christmas. But time marches on and so do we. <!–split–>

The Easter celebration is a big part of the Christian’s life. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, we would not be the recipients of such wonderful gifts known as salvation and eternal life. For it is only through the resurrection that we experience new life: a new life in Christ.

We know the entire Easter story, but imagine if you had been one of the disciples living the story. Would you have reacted as the disciples did? Would you have believed Jesus if he proclaimed that he was about to be handed over to the officials, die, and come back in 3 days? They didn’t quite understand, and I would venture a guess that if any of us were in the same position, we would act the same way.

We live today as Easter people, living in the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is a living and loving Lord. We experience the evil forces trying to destroy our faith, trying to rid the world of Christianity, trying to denounce the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In John’s gospel we read that Jesus is the true light coming into the world shining in the darkness. But people have tried to extinguish the light of Christ through hatred and fear, material stuff, manipulation, betrayal, rejection, seeking someone other than Jesus.

As we studied in our Lenten study on the Lord’s prayer, we live in a world created by God, living by God’s principles, receiving the food we need for our physical bodies as well as our spiritual bodies, seeking God’s forgiveness for past sins and protection from future evils. And we give him praise for all this.

In essence, we are not extinguishing the light but keeping it shining. Let us go into the world letting Jesus’ light shine in our life to light the way for someone else.

See you Sunday, if not before –   Pastor Tim

Welcome!

We want to welcome our new parsonage family to Bethel Wesley. The Rev. Tim Gossett (with his wife Myra) arrived in Moline on July 1st to begin serving as our pastor. According to Tim’s bio, his white  hair makes him look older than he is, as he is only 59 years young. The Gossett’s have been married 37 years and have 2 grown children – Adam (29) and Melissa (27). They also have 3 grandchildren – Cameron (8), Lucy (5), and Lucas (2). Tim has one brother who lives near Elgin.  His two sisters and his parents are deceased. <!–split–>

Tim is a second career minister. In his first life, he graduated from SIUC with a BS in accounting and worked as a financial accountant for 20 years. For his second life, he attended Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and graduated Course of Study from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston.

He has been active in the United Methodist Church his entire life. He has held various offices within the church leadership, sang in the chancel choir, and played in the handbell choir. He was called to ministry while attending a Certified Lay Speaker program and as he states – the rest is history!

Tim’s hobbies include cooking and crocheting. Myra holds a CNA certificate and is planning to continue that work in the QCA. She has one sister, one brother, and her father still living.

Flowing From The Heart Of Pastor Flo

Brothers and Sisters, as I sit here and think of you, I know I must write this letter with love in my heart:

As you are aware, my status with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference as an ordained Elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church unites me with other United Methodist pastors in a covenant community whose calling first and foremost is to serve God and Christ in the world. <!–split–>

The covenant also calls us to serve Christ and the world where we are sent. United Methodist pastors are always prepared to itinerate as the Holy Spirit, working through our Bishop and Cabinet of our Annual Conference, directs that we should.

The purpose of this letter is to share with you in writing that Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton has appointed me to serve as the Senior Pastor of Greenville First United Methodist Church in the Mississippi River District, beginning July 1, 2015. I will be moving to Greenville IL where I will continue the ministry of Christ in a new setting and with a new congregation of United Methodists. I am, of course, still processing my own emotions about this move; emotions which range from excitement as I anticipate this new adventure, to the fear and trembling one feels in the face of a new challenge, to the enormous pain and grief that always comes when we must leave the people we’ve come to love and know and the place we’ve all come to call home.

The changes ahead will naturally include a new Pastor appointment to Bethel Wesley; l  assure you it will be a smooth transition.

In the midst of chaos and change, one thing remains the same: Jesus Christ! Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is at the helm of this ship we call the church. He is able to lead us safely through storms into calmer seas and to get us where we need to go. Let us lean into him for our direction and care in this time of change.

I love you all!

Your servant, Flo

Flowing With Pastor Flo – May 2015

Well, church family, we have come through the Seasons of Advent (All Saints, Thanksgiving), Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, (Holy Week; Ash Wednesday, Lenten Services, Good Friday) and Easter! Whew! Seems like a lot but they were times of enrichment and growing  closer in and to Christ.  After May 24, which is Pentecost, we will be in Ordinary time and we will start all over again.  The Christian Church year focuses on the life and ministry of Jesus. The sequence of festivals from Advent to Resurrection Sunday (He is alive  indeed, Hallelujah!)  becomes an annual spiritual  journey for worshippers as they kneel at the manger, listen on a hillside, walk the streets of Jerusalem, hear the roar of the mob, stand beneath the cross, and witness the resurrection! The rest of the church year provides opportunity for us to reflect on the meaning of the coming of Jesus and his commission to his people to be a light to the world.  Let us not forget all we have done together this Christian year.  I hope I have helped each of you to learn a little more about the Christ we serve. <!–split–>

I am now in the back of the boat taking some much needed rest for the mind, body and spirit.  I’m not literally in the back of the boat but figuratively, meaning I am resting in the arms of our Lord.  When my vacation time is over, I hope and pray to be renewed and                  refreshed.

Let me leave you with an article I read in the Alive Now and it ministered to my soul, I pray it will do the same for you.

God, your people are broken, bodies shattered by  accident, grappling with illness, slowed by injury. God, your people are broken, spirits burdened with care, aching from loss, shadowed by grief. God, your people are broken, bowed with fatigue yet longing to help and needing to touch. God, your people are broken, and you call us together to be your body – a body broken.

God, your people are broken, and we find in each other agents of healing and voices of hope. God, your people are broken, hearts stretched wide to hold the stories of lives that are shared. God, your people are broken, given as gift one to another, learning together what it means to be whole.

Loving you all, your sister in Christ,

Pastor Flo

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 19th – A Day of Service

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope:   The Essential Writings and Speeches  <!–split–>

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope:  The Essential Writings and Speeches

 

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

 

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

 

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

Flowing With Pastor Flo – January 2015

Before Jesus was born in the Bethlehem manger, many people had prayed for the  Messiah to come. One such man was Simeon, to whom the Holy Spirit revealed he would not see death before looking upon the Messiah. <!–split–>  In fact, he was allowed to hold the infant in his arms and pronounce a blessing upon him. What a joy!  He is no longer the Bethlehem Babe, but the risen Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me. As Christmas has come and gone for 2014, let us honor Him lest we become slack in our efforts to proclaim His truths. Sadly, some Americans don’t know Him as Savior. To them He is only a baby, a myth, a face on a canvas, or some type of Santa Claus. But we know and worship Him as Lord. This is why we must tell others who He really is so they too can experience the true joy of Christmas. Today He reigns supreme as the risen Christ and our soon coming King. Let’s put Jesus first during this Christmas season! After all…Jesus is the ONLY reason for the season!

The Best Gift of all,

Pastor Flo