Category Archives: Pastor’s Page

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

 

Flowing With Pastor Flo – December 2014

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” You know those lyrics from the secular Christmas song, right?  Primarily, those words refer to December.  However, for me, it also  includes the month of November…the month that starts it all.  Let me tell you why.   First, November contains “Thanksgiving,” and, naturally, December “Christmas.”  These two holidays are extra special to me for several   reasons.  From a purely human side, I absolutely love eating dressing/stuffing with cranberries.  More specifically, my daughter in-law Kay’s dressing/stuffing (whatever you call it).

Christmas from the human side … I really enjoy the lights, the music and the food!  But it’s not just about food.    Thanksgiving and Christmas mean something else to me…FAMILY.  I look forward to being together with family and the holidays have a way of drawing families together to make some very cherished times together.

But my friends, there’s more … As Christians, Thanksgiving helps us re-focus on all that we have and on all that God has done, and is doing for us.  It helps us, the Church people, get back on track in obedience to “in everything give thanks”  (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  Then, Christmas re-aligns us about what a miracle is; what servant humility looks like; and what the greatest gift of all is (John 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8; John 3:16).

My point is this…don‘t miss it! November and December are not only “wonderful,” but they are also usually extremely full; November (Thanksgiving, Advent) and December (Christmas!)  Let me say that Advent is the season four weeks before Christmas in which we prepare for the coming of Christ.  This year we begin Advent on Sunday, November 30th. Advent is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus and its name comes from the Latin word  adventus, which means “coming.”  The season also celebrates Christ’s anticipated coming again in the fullness of time to rule triumphantly over life in heaven and earth, as well as the  coming of Christ as the infant Savior whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.

With that in mind, As we give “thanks” and look towards a “blessed Christmas Season,” let’s remember to keep Jesus at the forefront of all we do and say and let’s pledge to be faithful to our Lord, Jesus Christ, as we serve Him and this, His Church.  I encourage you not to “rush” through activities, gatherings, etc.  Stop, slow down, and soak in the special times.  Don’t miss them!

With a servant’s heart,  Pastor Flo

Flowing with Pastor Flo – October 2014

Summer is gone, the days are flying by and now we are already in the fall season. The leaves will soon be changing colors to beautiful orange, brown and gold.  And then they will fall and the time will change – “fall back and spring ahead!”  It will become darker outside earlier.  The children are getting acclimated to school and making new friendships as well as keeping up with existing ones. It is so nice to hear the  laughter and yes, sometimes the cries, from the     children whose parents are in the ESL or GED   classrooms. <!–split–>

As I sit here at my desk and try to decide what I am going to write about for this month’s newsletter I find my mind meditating on “Followers of Jesus Christ.”  Followers of  Jesus today want their faith in Jesus Christ to make a difference… within themselves and within their community.   There is an inward mission and an outward mission. The inward must precede the outward mission or the outward mission will have no spiritual power to make a difference. The outward mission must follow the inward mission or the inward mission is suspect.

We first must know Christ and then make Christ known.  Each of us is called to be on mission daily, inward and outwardly.  I leave you with this, “Are we doing what we have been called to do…”

Matthew 4:19  And he saideth unto them “follow me and I will make you fishers of people.”

 Serving Christ,

Pastor Flo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowing with Pastor Flo – September 2014

It is September, school is in and parents are filled with joy!  As I sit and meditate what to write to you, God says tell them: The Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church is a very special church to me. But we are not like an island in the sea. We are connected to ALL in God’s great kingdom.  God is aware of our need more surely than we are. God is faithful and will supply our need. There is no lack in God’s willingness or ability to bless Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church.<!–split–>

 We are called to a season of reflection and prayer. The mission of “Inviting and Welcoming so everyone experiences and shares the amazing love of God though Jesus Christ”   remains in full focus. Our desire to make an impact on Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church and surrounding communities       continues on.

 Pray for your church. Serve your church. Read your Bible. Be in unity and be a part of what God is doing!   For God says, “I am about to do a brand new thing…” (Isaiah 43:19) NLT! 

 

Praising God,

Pastor Flo

 

Flowing with Pastor Flo – August 2014

 

I was reading a Christian magazine the other day and would like to share the following portion:

 

“In every step, in every stride, I will let the Savior be my guide! His word, His love, I will embrace and let His wisdom set the pace. We must feed on the bread of life ourselves before we can serve it to others. When the Bible speaks, discussion is useless; when the Bible is silent, discussion ends.<!–split–>

Therefore, study the Bible to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. Life is full of misleading, wrong voices, wrong directions and human wills. If that is the case, then we need to be extremely careful to what kind of voice we hear. We must also make sure that we follow correctly and strictly God’s command to our lives.”

 

Friends, as you all know the last half of June and so far, the month of July has been full of uncertainties for me, but by holding to God’s unchanging Hand it is all working out.  Life and future are precious therefore handle them with prayers.  Thank you all for your concern and most of all your prayers!

 

Remain blessed of the Lord.

Pastor Flo

 

 

 

CHARGE CONFERENCE

Just a note, please mark your calendar:

The Charge Conference will be held November 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm at the East Moline Christ Church.  More details to follow later.  Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowing with Pastor Flo – July 2014

2014  Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference

 

The Illinois Great Rivers 2014 Conference met June 4-7, 2014 at the Peoria Civic Center.  The Rev. John Wesley, founder of Methodism instituted the means of grace and Holy or Christian conferencing was one of the means of grace set forth. <!–split–>

 

The purpose of the annual conference is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by equipping its local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church.  The annual conference consists of clergy and lay members.  Clergy membership consists of deacons and elders in full connection, provisional members, associates members, affiliate members and local pastors under full-time and part-time appointment to a pastoral charge.

 

According to the UM Book of Discipline, the lay membership of the annual conference consists of professing members elected by the charge, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, home missioners, the conference president of United Methodist Women, the conference president of United Methodist Men, the conference lay leader, district lay leaders, the conference scouting coordinator, the president of the conference young adult organization, the conference youth organization, the chair of the annual conference college student organization, one young person between the ages of 18 and 30 from each district and one young person between the ages of 12 and 17 from each district.

The annual conference is the basic unit of the connectional system and refers both to a yearly meeting of its members as well as the organizational structure that equips local congregations to do its ministries and provide a connection beyond the local church.

 

On Tuesday Rev. Flo and Rev. Julie taught a Sexual Ethics class to a group of new incoming pastors.

 

Grace, Peace (and Joy)

Pastor Flo

 

Flowing with Pastor Flo – June 2014

Can you believe the month of June is here! School is almost out, June 1 is Ascension Sunday, June 8 is Pentecost, June 15 is Father’s Day and Trinity Sunday, and June 21 is the first day of summer. Wow! Now let’s turn our focus first on Pentecost Sunday – the joyous celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit to comfort and empower the church for her mission. <!–split–> Pentecost (from the Greek pentecoste, meaning “fiftieth”) begins the 6th season of the Christian year, the Season after Pentecost. It commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all people 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The event of Pentecost is the fulfillment of our Lord’s promise to bestow the Holy Spirit on all of His people. Pentecost is also the birthday of the New Testament Church. Friends, the Liturgical calendar tells us in June, we celebrate Father’s Day, June 15th.

As a Father, you probably always knew that your role in parenting was important. Most fathers do. Still, it has not been as clearly defined as a mother’s side of parenting. In my years of experience I have observed that fathers parent differently from mothers. They play more with their children. Their actions are more physical and less intimate with more of a reliance on humor and excitement.

I have been told that a father’s more playful interactive style is important in teaching a child self-control.

And these interactions appear to be central to the child’s ability to maintain strong, fulfilling social relationships in later years. I believe (if a father is present) that a father should be involved from the very beginning and create times and activities in which the father cares for the baby entirely alone. Tell how you (the father) feel. If you are fearful, frustrated, or jealous of the time your wife spends with the baby, discuss these feelings with your wife. Tune in to your children. Don’t rely on their mother to read what a child wants or needs. Accept your partner’s parenting style. It may be different from yours, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Have patience. Children might not immediately respond to dad who suddenly wants to be more involved – but give it a try!

Happy Father’s Day to all Dads!

— Grace, Peace (and Joy), Pastor Flo