You may be interested in joining us for these opportunities being made available to the community:
Our current offering at UMC Herkimer is Healing and Joy On Our Journey to God, facilitated by Lisa Bobak. This group is a year-long program and meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month for approximately one hour. We will be exploring God's paths to self-healing and the betterment of the vulnerable in our community with insights gained through scripture and creative activities. It will be fun and the more participants we have, the better the outcomes will be.
An abbreviated transcript of this program will be available for those who are interested if you provide your contact information. Each month will be focused on a different topic.
Although currently on pause, during the fall and winter months, Worship Without Walls Extension/Bible Study is open to all every Wednesday evening at The Prospect Inn, Herkimer. Facilitation and discussion is rotated among those willing who attend. This is a casual atmosphere and a time for friendly, open discussions. Arrival at 6:30 pm for fellowship time and start at 7 pm. Come in the front door on Prospect Street and the meeting room is to the right inside the doors.
Kim Marlowe is interested in starting a Men's Bible Study based on Coach Tony Dungy. Contact us if you are interested. It sounds fascinating.
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts is offered by Lisa Bobak at First United Methodist Church in Herkimer and will be limited to 6 participants per class. This class will be rotated in throughout the year.
Please use the "Contact Us" Form on this website or give the perspective churches a call if interested.
Healing and Joy On Our Journey To God -
Winter is here! And with it Christmas, times of quiet and times of celebration, and the refreshment of our land and our souls. This winter we will focus on healing and joy, bringing them into the realm of justice.
For all of us, this last couple years have been different and unpredictable. Almost all of us, and everyone we know, have endured a period of unimaginable loss. That is loss in lives, loss of health, loss of jobs, loss of certainty, loss of intimacy and experience, and many more compounding losses that are unique to each of us, yet, shared throughout our community.
We are hungry for healing and in need of God's deep joy. So, this will be our theme throughout this next year: How do we find healing and joy for ourselves, and how do we help create a world with healing and joy for all, including the natural world? Each session will focus on finding healing and joy in a different part of our spiritual lives.
Sharing The Story of God
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
"But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the martketplaces and calling to one another, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon'; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will will you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Reflections on The Story: This month we will celebrate the extraordinary miracle of Christmas, and the incarnation of God into flesh in baby Jesus. That’s how most of us will think of him, as a baby who one day becomes a full-bearded and baptized teacher. We sometimes forget and have not really been told all that must have come in between. Jesus didn’t move from infant to savior overnight. He moved through all the same stages of life we do, with all the same risks and wonders. Most relevant for this scripture, once upon a time Jesus was a child.
Jesus was a child, who played with his friends and was made vulnerable by society. So when it came time to teach the Gospel, he often taught from the perspective of children and of their deep value. Here in Matthew, his best description of those who reject his world-upending, power-reversing Gospel is that they are like those who reject the call of children to join them in their experience, who do not play with them in joy and cry with them in mourning.
This is not only a condemnation of his generation, but of ours. Our society has chosen punishment over play and made a world unsafe for children’s games, and unhearing of their wails. It is very sad that the way we played in my neighborhood would be unheard of today. Can anyone share some examples of this?
Where children deserve time to play and flourish and make mistakes and grow in care, they too often instead receive a punitive response from their parents, educators, and caregivers that doesn’t honor their humanity. Herod lies in wait for them, as he did for Jesus so long ago, but there is no escape in the night for today’s children. We as a community must instead provide the pathways out of this destructive system.
The spirits of play and punishment live in all of us, and we must follow Jesus to the ground of play. You can do this by supporting local youth in our area. Let’s make this Christmas on where Jesus’ birth means liberation for all babies and children, and makes a way for freedom to be and play for every child.
Live The Story In This Moment: Let’s take an action step together – Next Saturday afternoon from 1 to 3pm, December 18th, we are holding a Christmas party for our community’s children from infants to age 12. If you can find a way to make time in your schedule, please come help us in this endeavor.
We have never attempted to do this before and have no idea how many kids will actually attend. We will be prepared for up to 100 children.
We want to bring that sense of the joy of Christmas to these kids, even if it only lasts a few hours. Our hope that it will make an impression upon their hearts that lasts a lifetime.
Take The Next Most Faithful Step: What we know as Christians about who Jesus is isn’t meant to be a static thing, only spoken of in worship service, but a dynamic breathing gift that inspires us in the rest of our lives. Plan on taking these actions during the rest of this month:
Develop a practice of attentiveness towards when you feel or act on the impulse to punish yourself or others, and when you feel or act on the impulse to play by yourself or with others. What do you notice? Which comes up more often? Are there patterns in when you feel punishing or playful? How would you like to address what you find spiritually?