E-Note From the Pastor / Sept. 19, 2014

Dear Cedar Grove UMC family,

The Christian life is like a boat that has faith and works as its oars. If a boat has only one oar, it goes around in circles or doesn’t go at all. The epistle of James teaches us that salvation depends on the word received and obeyed. Faith that lacks works is not faith. The practical fruits of Christian life indicate whether faith is strong or weak.

James gives the illustration of a person who is without clothes and daily food, asks for support, and the response to the request is friendly but without action. “What is the good of that,” James asks. Faith without works is dead.

Faith alone does not address the needs of those around us who are in need. Works must flow naturally from faith in concrete action on behalf of those who are living in poverty and hunger. True Christians are known by their fruits. The boat of the Christian life can go forward in peace if both oars – faith and works – function in tandem!

In the 10:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, we’ll continue in our series of sermons on A Wesleyan Revival. In my sermon “Perfected in Love,” we’ll look at what John Wesley called the defining characteristic of a Methodist. Wesley called people to a deeply personal faith in Christ, to accept God’s love of them, and to reciprocate God’s love. Salvation is not the end of faith, but its beginning and foundation. Growing in Christ, moving to sanctification, involves loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. I encourage you to be in worship this Sunday as we continue in our quest for revival of our own faith. See you on at 10:30 a.m. Sunday!

Tuesday Bible Study will resume at 7 p.m. this Tuesday as we begin a study on the New Testament book of Hebrews. Anyone interested is encouraged to join us!

The United Methodist Women will meet in the Fellowship Hall at the church at 7 p.m. Wednesday with my wife Christine as host. Please mark your calendars for this important meeting!

Please mark your calendars for our Charge Conference which is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23 at Orange UMC in Chapel Hill. To prepare for Charge Conference, the following meetings will be scheduled in the coming weeks:

  • The Staff/Parish Relations Committee will meet after worship on Sunday, Sept. 28
  • The Finance Committee will meet at the church at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1
  • The Lay Leadership Committee will meet after worship on Sunday, Oct. 19
  • The Administrative Council will meet, probably in early November, date and time TBA

On Sunday, Oct. 5, we will have a pulpit exchange with Eno/Fairfield Presbyterian churches. I will preach at those churches on “What Every Good Presbyterian Can Learn from a Methodist.” In our worship service that day, the Rev. Chris Grill will preach on “What Every Good Methodist Can Learn from a Presbyterian.” Chris and I have made preliminary plans for this day, and it’s going to be a lot of fun! Following the conclusion of the services, we will all join together for a covered dish luncheon in the CGUMC Fellowship Hall. Please plan to be with us!

For the fifth consecutive year, we are taking a mission team to the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center in Charlotte. This year, we have been allocated 10 spots from 2-6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12 and 20 spots from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, when I hope many of our Community Youth Group members will be able to join us. More information will be forthcoming and volunteer registration forms will be available soon, but go ahead and mark your calendars and let me know if you’re interested in going.

Speaking of Operation Christmas Child, our year-long effort to support this ministry continues as we work to meet our goal of 100 shoeboxes. Each month, we are collecting items that can be included in the shoeboxes.

  • During September, we are collecting children’s socks for both boys and girls.

We have a blue collection box near the basket where we collect our OCIM food offerings each Sunday. Just drop your Operation Christmas Child donations in the blue box after you’ve put your canned fruit or nonperishable items in the OCIM basket! Your gifts will show the love of Christ and the power of the gospel to a child or a family whose life you will indelibly touch, even though you may never meet them.

In the church office, we now have a blue notebook that is our “Have It/Need It” Notebook. The idea is that if you have something, an item or a helping hand, that you think someone else could use, write it in the “Have It” section. In the “Need It” section, perhaps you need some help around the house or the yard. If you think of something when you’re away from the church, just email the church office at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and we’ll write it in for you. We’ll also post things that are written in the notebook on our website, and I’ll include them in my eNotes. This is just another way that we can “let our love be genuine” and care for and support one another.

  • John and Joan Black are looking for two used bicycles for their grandsons, ages 13 and 11. If you can help, please contact John and Joan or the church office. Thanks!

We collect canned fruit and other non-perishable items to support the food pantry at OCIM throughout the year. Please remember to bring your OCIM offerings each week as a way of reaching out to brothers and sisters around us.

You can follow the many happenings and ministries of CGUMC online in a number of ways:

I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday as we consider it one of the most important characteristics of a Methodist, one that points directly to your life purpose!



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