top of page

I hope you will join us in person or online for this Sunday’s worship service. Teresa will be sharing the message and her texts will be Romans 12: 1-8 and Matthew 16:13-20. I am sure we will gain new insight as she interprets Jesus’ questioning of the disciples: “But who do you say that I am?”

This Week’s Psalm

Psalm 138

1I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;

2I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

3On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

4All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.

5They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.

6For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.

7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

8The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

The psalmist does not disclose the peril he has faced, but offers the confident assurance that he has received deliverance at God’s doing. He does not say what God did—but he knows that God did it and he responds with thanksgiving and praise. The psalmist notes that those in high places should not disregard God for God holds the lowly close to God and perceives the powerful “far away.”

Notes from the Café:

The New Community Cafe is going strong! We average six guests a day, and every one of them eats a meal on site and also takes food and supplies with them when they leave. This week we helped another person experiencing homelessness get connected with a case manager, which is an essential step to accessing services in a streamlined manner. We have also assisted with some basic first aid needs, which is a valuable service here in this mountain town with limited medical access. Thanks to those who have made donations - ask Chris or Teresa if you have any questions about our needs.

Something else which is very special is the relationships we are developing. The more we learn our guests’ names and their stories, the more we share our concern and love. Every time you volunteer or stop into the cafe and say hello, our reputation as a place of safety and caring grows. Please speak to Chris Allen-Rowe if you are able to volunteer on a weekly, monthly, or on call basis. It may not seem like you are doing much, but you are making a difference in the lives of people who have very significant needs. Last week, we made a cake and sang happy birthday to one of our friends who couldn’t remember the last time someone had done that.

Sunday’s Prayer Requests

We are very late getting out the prayer requests this week and the fault is entirely mine. Here are the prayer requests from our Sunday worship service.

Jo Ellen asks for prayers that Brian get home safely from Kentucky; all the people who lost loved ones and property in Maui; healing for Brian’s grandmother and father; Bob and Pat in assisted living; healing from pain and allergies for Bobby and Jo Ellen; peace for Chris’s friends in his death; prayers for Ginger’s family.

Chris asks for prayers for our unhoused friends that they be safe and get the help they need.

Kathy asks for prayers for all folks in the disaster zones.

Richard asks for prayers that his new friend David that he not have any more seizures.

Prayers for Sandy as she struggles with recovering from shingles.

Thrift Store Update

Thrift Store Sales continue to increase and it seems to be related to our ability to restock the tables and fill the empty spots on the shelves during the days we are open. We have also noticed that the lines at the cash register seem to be both longer and more frequent. If you are free on Wednesday or Saturday and would like to help the cash register person bag and box merchandise or help dust off and move “stuff” from the carts to the tables and shelves your help would be much appreciated. Just “drop in” when you have a little free time and we would love to have your help.

A little bit of history:

In 1739 John Wesley ran into George Whitefield, a “field preacher” in Bristol England and witnessed him preaching to large crowds in an open field. Wesley recorded in his journal that “I could scarce reconcile myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which he set me an example on Sunday, having been all my life so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin if it had not been done in a church.” Shortly thereafter Wesley also began to preach wherever people gathered and quickly drew large crowds.

Many of you have asked about a service for Ginger Straughn. It was her wish that no service be held. With her family’s permission, we will celebrate her birthday after our morning worship service on Sunday, November 5.

As always, thanks for all you do to make our church an important part of the community and a life changing ministry.

With love and appreciation,

Pastor Jim

I hope you will join us in person or online for this Sunday’s worship service. Our scriptures will be Romans 10: 5-15 and Matthew 14:22-33. Our gospel lesson is the familiar story of Jesus “walking on the water.”

This Week’s Psalm

Psalm 85: 8-13

8Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.

9Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

10Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.

11Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.

12The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.

13Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.

Psalm 85 is a prayer for help from a hurting community. After 7 verses of distress, verse 8 begins the confident response that God will surely respond favorably to rescue and restore the community to wellness. Over time, the community has learned that they can trust God to respond.

This Week in the Café

The cafe is going great. We’ve come to notice many of our friends could really use a bike to help them get around town to appointments, jobs, and other resources so we’ve begun collecting used bikes from the community that only need minor repairs. We’re replacing tires and inner tubes as needed and placing them in the hands of those who need them most. Our town has really responded to the call and we expect to have at least 10 bicycles by this time next week.

New Security System

We are happy with the system—and service-- Turner Security has provided in sanctuary building the last several months. We have now asked them to install a system in the large building that will cover the office, classroom, fellowship hall and thrift store spaces. They will have it up and working in the next couple of days. If you have a key to any of these spaces and use your key to access the building, please give us a call and ask us for the new security code.

A little bit of History

In the United Methodist tradition, bishops are not "ordained" as bishops, but are clergy elected and consecrated to the office of bishop. Bishops give general oversight to the worldly and spiritual interests of the church. Bishops also have the responsibility to see that the rules and regulations developed by General Conference are carried out. In each annual conference, United Methodist bishops serve for four year terms, and may serve up to three terms before either retirement or appointment to a new annual conference

A Prayer from the Saints

O Lord,

open my eyes that I might see the needs of others;

open my ears that I might hear their cries;

open my heart so that they need not be without succor;

let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong,

nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich.

Show me where love and hope and faith are needed,

and use me to bring them to those places.

And so open my eyes and my ears

that I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for thee. Amen.

Alan Patton, South Africa, 20th century

As always, thanks so much for all you do with your prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. You are making a difference in the lives of many families and individuals in this community.

Pastor Jim

0 views0 comments

I hope you will join us in person or online for our Sunday Worship Service. Our gospel text this week is Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. It is another one of the 7 parables in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel and we are again fortunate that Jesus explains the parable to the disciples. Our second reading is from Romans 8:12-25.

This Week’s Psalm

Psalm 88:11-17

11Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

12I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

13For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them.

15But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

16Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl.

17Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put M shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Over and over again the writer of this Psalm petitions God in very personal ways while referring to himself as “your servant.” He expects the Lord to answer and is confident that the reply will be positive. He understands and believes that there is an inherent kindness in God’s works—"But you, O Lord, are merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

Midweek Prayer Requests

Sandy Edmondson asks for prayers for her son Greg who is having a heart procedure on Monday. She also asks prayers for her sister Sharon and brother in law Richard as Richard begins his hospice care.

Please add Dawn Horder to your prayer list. Dawn fell at work on Monday and tore a muscle. She will be laid up for a while and then probably has some physical therapy in her future.

Kathy asks for prayers that she will be successful in finding a place to live.

News From the Cafe

This week at the New Community Cafe we are celebrating Ben Hensley - our first homeless friend to find housing. By supporting Ben in connecting with his social workers, he was able to get a new copy of his state ID and Social Security card, both of which had been lost over the course of his last 7 years of homelessness. We have also provided Ben with food and clothing over the last several months, along with a cool place to rest, access to Wi-Fi, and electricity to charge his devices. This Thursday, Ben moved to Madera to live in an apartment with some roommates while waiting for a few weeks to be placed in his own single bedroom home with his emotional support dog Pandora.

The help wasn’t all one sided though. Ben did a significant amount for us during the same period of time. Without any request or requirement from us, Ben served dozens of hours in service. He sorted, hung, and stocked clothing, moved furniture, and organized tools in the thrift store. He delivered Wednesday meals. He staffed the cafe with Chris regularly and encouraged many of his friends and acquaintances to visit and use our services. Ben helped clean the cafe at closing time. He made sure everyone had food and water - even all of the dogs that came in with their unhoused owners.

We will miss seeing Ben around the New Community Cafe, and he promises to stay in touch. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered and helped make the cafe a safe and welcoming place for dozens of Oakhurst residents like Ben. (Chris can always use help in the café and would love to answer any questions you have.)

A little bit of history

In 1735 John Wesley boarded a ship with 80 English colonists and 26 Moravian christians headed for Georgia. He was searching for a deeper faith and an opportunity to preach the gospel in the colonies. The Georgia colony was only 2 years old and Wesley planned to minister to a small English settlement and serve as a missionary to the neighboring native tribes.

One night a violent storm came up while the Moravians were having their evening hymn sing. As water poured over the decks and the mainsail broke, John couldn’t help notice that as the English passengers were screaming in panic, the Moravians simply continued on with their hymn singing. Wesley confessed to himself that there was a much deeper faith to which he still unfamiliar. He noted in his diary that he was journeying to the new world to save souls but wasn’t sure he knew how to save himself.

A Prayer from the Saints:

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours, Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ’s compassion to the world Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.”

--Teresa of Avila

As always, thanks for all you do.

With love and appreciation,

Pastor Jim

0 views0 comments
bottom of page