Dear Cedar Grove UMC family,
In the book of Psalms, we find both the worship book and hymnal of the Hebrew people. We associate many of the psalms with praises, but many more are laments. Actually, you can find a passage in Psalms that will express and correlate with any emotion you are feeling – anger, sadness, joy, excitement, confusion, etc. That is why the book of Psalms is such a great source to enhance our prayer life.
Our hope lies in knowing that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot extinguish that light. Praise God! From cover to cover, the Bible bears witness to God’s faithfulness that stretches out over the eons of time. Salvation that brings about our freedom to be all that God has created us to be produces a faith that tells us we are never alone. We can live with the assurance of God’s guiding presence in all of life’s events.
This Sunday we’ll continue our sermon series, Lessons in Prayer, in which we’re going to examine the prayer life of some of the towering figures in the Bible. From cries of anguish to songs of praise, the men and women of the Bible prayed with candor and passion. They struggled, they questioned, they confessed and they worshiped, but above all, they discovered an intimate relationship with God through prayer. By examining their prayer lives, we’ll seek answers to questions such as: Is there a “right” way to pray? What if my prayers seem routine and empty? How do I know God hears me?
Sunday’s sermon, “The Psalms of David,” will call to our attention King David, focusing on his life of prayer and the psalms he wrote. We’ll look at the lessons learned from his prayer life for our own spiritual lives today. David, though the greatest Old Testament king, was far from perfect. He also faced years of adversity before coming to the throne, and years of disappointment later in his life. In the good times he praised God. And in the bad times, “David found strength in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).
This is a sermon that I have really been looking forward to sharing with you. As I’ve studied David’s life this week, I have been inspired to go deeper in my faith. I am hopeful that the same happens to you as you hear this sermon, and that together we might become what God intends us to be. As you join us for worship at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, I pray that you, like David, will find “strength in the Lord your God.”
On Sunday, following the worship service, the All God’s Children group will meet for lunch and discussion of the study, Not a Fan. (Please note that this gathering was rescheduled from last week.) In the Gospels, whenever someone asks Jesus about what it means to be one of His followers, Jesus most often responds with another question along the lines of, “What do you think it means?” Not a Fan will challenge us to consider what it really means to call ourselves Christians. Anyone interested is encouraged to join us for this life-changing study!
Tuesday Bible Study continues at 7 p.m. Tuesday as we study the New Testament book of Hebrews. Anyone interested is encouraged to join us!
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 Lay Leadership Committee will meet after worship this Sunday. (I anticipate this meeting to be brief, and that further discussions will happen via phone call and e-mail during the week so that we can be mindful of everyone’s Sunday schedule.)
- The Administrative Council will meet at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2
Our Annual Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Cedar Grove Ruritan Building. More information will be forthcoming on ways you can help, but for now be sure to mark the date on your calendars. We are looking forward to another great Harvest Festival and can’t wait to see you there! The UMW will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Betty Compton’s home to make plans for the Harvest Festival.
The UMW Cookbook has been printed, and it is beautiful! Paying tribute to cookbooks of the past and including more recent recipe submissions, this cookbook remarkably honors our heritage and celebrates our future together. The cookbook costs $15, and proceeds will help augment the UMW’s mission efforts. See Betty Compton or other UMW members to pick up a copy, or several copies – they will make great Christmas gifts!
We will celebrate All Saints Sunday and remember those who have outrun us to the Father’s throne during the worship service on Sunday, Nov. 2. We will also have a special insert in that Sunday’s bulletin remembering those we have lost over the last year. This Sunday and next Sunday, we will have forms available in the bulletins and in the narthex to provide information necessary for the special Nov. 2 bulletin insert. Please take a few moments to let us know of those whom you would like to remember by completing the form and putting it on the desk in the office. Please submit all completed forms by Wednesday, Oct. 29. You may also email the necessary information to the church at
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.
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. Please let me know as soon as possible if you’re interested in going, and we’ll have volunteer sign-up sheets available soon.
Our year-long effort to support Operation Christmas Child continues as we work to meet our goal of 100 shoeboxes. We will have a shoebox packing party in early November. Each month, we are collecting items that can be included in the shoeboxes.
- During October, we are collecting tubes of toothpaste – please remember to keep them in their original boxes or packaging. We also need more boys’ and girls’ socks, crayons, soap, washcloths and other small items that will fit in a shoebox so that we can reach our goal of 100 shoeboxes.
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 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
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.
You can follow the many happenings and ministries of CGUMC online in a number of ways:
To reach the office staff by email: for the church,
; for Pastor Karl,
; for JoAnne Starks personally,
Thanks so much for all the greetings, well-wishes and gifts for Pastor Appreciation Sunday last week. Please know how much each of you is cherished by my family and me. CGUMC, as always, I am blessed, honored and proud to serve as your pastor!
I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday!