My Favorite Bike Ride

It was a perfect day.  The sun was shining; there was not a cloud in the sky.  We got on the ferry and enjoyed the breeze from the upper deck.  We got off the ferry and headed for the bike rental shop.

Our family hopped on our bikes to explore the island, a unique place where cars are banned.  Travel is permitted by horse carriages, walking, or biking.

That day on Mackinaw Island remains one of my favorite days.  We pedaled around the island, savoring  the joy of traveling together.

This Sunday we will explore what it means to keep in step with the Spirit.  God wants to walk alongside us as a cherished, loving companion as we journey through life.  The gifts that we receive from choosing to walk with the Spirit are priceless.  They are available to each person who chooses to travel with God.

God longs to be an intimate part of our lives, walking with you and me. Join us this Sunday and discover the joy of walking with God.

    

Peace,

    

Pastor Cathy Johns

Super Serve Saturday – No Super Powers Necessary

There’s something new coming February 1st! We are experimenting with ways families and different generations can come together to serve in meaningful ways so Super Serve Saturday has formed! You are invited to come to the very first one next Saturday, February 1st, focused on helping to alleviate hunger in Cincinnati. The day will start at 9:00 am in the Welcome Center and we will be done before lunch! Coffee, pastries, and fruit will be provided while we explain each of the projects and deploy the different groups.

Can’t make it next Saturday? Super Serve Saturday will be held the first Saturday of each month through May on March 7, April 4, and May 2.

Be sure to check out the Super Serve Saturday article in News and Happenings for all the details regarding the 5 different teams that will be serving in a variety of ways next Saturday. There is something for each age and ability – no super powers necessary – just a willing, humble, and flexible spirit and a heart for all!

There is no need to sign up, just show up and feel free to invite along others! If you have any questions before the event please contact me (ksmith@hpcumc.org).

Here are the 5 different teams you can choose from (more information in the other Super Serve Saturday article):

1.  Wesley Community Services

2.  New Life Furniture Bank

3.  The Center for Respite Care

4.  Shopping for Jesus

5.  Children 5 and under

See you next Saturday!

Pastor Kate

Over-the-Rhine Campus Re-Launch

The Warehouse, our second campus in Over-the-Rhine, under the leadership of Pastor Sherman Bradley and Pastor Sadell Bradley, resumed worship in OTR December 8.  This is a “soft launch” that paves the way to the public launch on Easter Sunday, April 12.

Pastors Sadell and Sherman share that the name The Warehouse was “a Holy Spirit download”.  They state: “A warehouse is a large building where raw materials or manufactured goods may be stored before their export for distribution.  According to Scripture, God is our Manufacturer, the Maker of Heaven and earth. (Psalm 95:6, 121:2)  God has created and formed us in God’s image and after God’s likeness. (Gen. 1:26)  We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for the good works God has prepared for us. (Ephesians 2:10).  The Warehouse will be a place where we will gather as our raw selves and be shaped by the Word of God, in the presence of God, along with a loving community.  We will be equipped and deployed for the LORD’S Kingdom purposes, with leaders going in and out spreading the Gospel in places where it has not been.  (Romans 15:20) . . .  The Warehouse is a multi-ethnic, inter-generational, multi-class community that will thrive in the heart of OTR, but have impact beyond the walls of 1310 Race Street and even beyond Cincinnati.”

The re-launch of a worshiping congregation in the Washington Park neighborhood of OTR is a God lead, spirit-filled, disciple making partnership with God in God’s acts of new creation; and YOU can be a vital part of the success of God’s transforming presence through The Warehouse!

Here’s how you can help:

1.  Pray – Pray for wisdom, and strength for Pastor’s Sadell and Sherman, the Leadership of The Warehouse, and the Leadership of HPCUMC.

2.  Attend Worship – I invite all of us to worship at The Warehouse at least once between now and April 1.  By doing so we each are able to share, from our experience, the beauty of The Warehouse’s mission and mission.  In addition, we seek folks who are able to committee to worshiping at The Warehouse once a month; weekly for the next 3 months; and weekly for the next 6 months.  The Warehouse worship time is 11:00 and typically is an hour and half worship service.

3.  Serve – Pastor’s Sadell and Sherman will form a “Launch Team” which will identify pre-launch opportunities, Easter Sunday Launch opportunities, and post-launch opportunities to serve.  When the opportunities arise, and the spirit leads, sign up to serve.

This is an exciting time in the life of HPCUMC/The Warehouse as together we strive to be a Multi-Ethnic, Inter-Generational, Multi-Class faith Community.  May what we do honor God!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

  

Pastor Article- Sadell Bradley

Dutch Clergyman Henri Nouwen stated that, “Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.” This is the only sure foundation upon which Christ followers stand, particularly through the vicissitudes of life on earth. Every day we are seeing wars and rumors of war, political upheaval, earthquakes and fires that are destroying countries and lives. People are anxious, depressed and even suicidal at younger and younger ages. King Solomon described the fleeting nature our time here, and the relative worthlessness of most of our pursuits in terms like ‘vanity and vexation of spirit,’ and ‘chasing after the wind.’

Apostles Paul and Peter categorized us as ‘strangers and pilgrims’ on the earth. We are traversing this world for a brief stay without even the wisdom or the power to pinpoint the exact moment of our arrival at birth, or our departure into eternity upon death. James said we are even prideful and presumptuous about the business plans we make for tomorrow and next year, when we don’t even know what will happen each day.

We have only been charged to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment: to represent our LORD as a citizen of Heaven while on this temporal terra firma. How would our lives change were we to really embrace this perspective on our identity? Might we be more engaged with laying up intangible treasures that cannot rust, wear out or be stolen? Would we be so consumed with the politics and issues of the world and of the church? Or would we be doing all that we can to offer the awesome privilege of knowing Jesus Christ to those who have not yet experienced the blessing of His love, grace and mercy?

Sadell Bradley

Symbols of Freedom

When you think about symbols of freedom, what do you see in your mind?

  • An eagle in flight
  • In West Africa: Fawohodie
  • The American Flag
  • The Buddha in a lotus position with his hand touching the ground
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • A photo of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

In Japan: wooden sword that was symbolic of a gladiator’s freedom

Symbols that we embrace reflect our values and help shape our thoughts and our hearts.  This Sunday begins a new sermon series on Galatians called Set Free. Christians possess powerful symbols that point us to the power and freedom found in the gospel of Jesus Christ:

The descending dove:  The Holy Spirit, which falls upon Christ’s followers, past, and present

The Bread and Cup:  the sacrament that reminds us of the love and sacrifice of Jesus

The Cross: celebrating the depth of God’s love for us as Christ gave His life to redeem us all

The Empty Tomb: celebrating Christ’s Resurrection and new life found in our Risen Lord

As we begin this journey through Galatians, I invite you to embrace the freedom that is ours through Christ:

“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

May God richly bless you with love, hope, joy, freedom, and peace in 2020!

Pastor Cathy