Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Appointment

I am currently serving as Interim Pastor at Shiloh UMC, through the end of June.

The first of July is when all new appointments take place for United Methodist pastors. That will be when I start my new appointment as pastor for Shiloh UMC. It seems that once again, my time of service to Timberlake UMC is limited to one year. While we leave Timberlake UMC and Timberlake UMC East with a degree of sadnees, we move to our next new adventure with expectation of what is in store.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day Sunday 2012 at Shiloh UMC

 On Memorial Day Sunday, the congregation of Shiloh UMC concluded their morning service by going into the cemetery to place American flags on the graves of the veterans buried there.
 We found 26 veterans buried in the Shiloh UMC cemetery. There are veterans spanning from the Civil War through the Korean War. We have confirmed two veterans that fought for the Confederacy.
 One member of Shiloh commented that he had attended church there for 60 years and this was the first time that they had recognized the veterans in this way.
 We don't have complete records; branch of service, rank, conflict, dates, etc; on all the veterans. There are probably other veterans that we haven't realized as of yet. But this was our start.
 Our plan is to do this every May for Memorial Day and again every November for Veterans Day. That way the flags will be replaced every 6 months. The old flags will taken to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion for proper disposal.
 We concluded our morning service gathered in the shade of the big oak tree in the cemtery. We talked about the importance of what we had just done and how we need to teach this to future generations, so that they will remember.

I know that there are some that feel that we should not combine the spiritual and the secular. That the church is not the place to recognize National days like Memorial Day. For me, this is a Holy day and it is our intention to continue to remember those who stood in the gap made the sacrifice that we might gather and worship in freedom.

Pentecost Sunday at Shiloh UMC

 Have you ever wondered what the flames or tongues of fire looked like on the disciples heads that first Pentecost? Well, I have. I mean, there are puppy tongues, human tongues, cow tongues, and so on. I placed a battery operated tea light on my head to show what most people think it was like. A small, cute, cozy little flame, nothing too extreme. Then I asked Codey Toms to join me.
I had asked Codey if he would dye his mohawk like a flame and he agreed. He went to a lot of trouble to do this for me. It took him at least two attempts to make it work. He ran late getting to church and into the choir because of proplems with it Sunday morning, but he got it perfect. That is how I imagine the tongues of fire on that first Pentecost appeared to those disciples in that upper room. 
 The question to the congregation was "What does your flame look like? Is it comfortable and unassuming or is it extreme and in your face? Do people look at you because of the flame of Holy Spirit passion that you demonstrate in your life?"

Mother's Day at Shiloh UMC 2012

This was out first Mother's Day at Shiloh UMC.
We actually had enough young people for a improvised Children's Message, even if one of them was over 6 ft tall. I first asked them about special things that their mothers did for them. Most of those answers revolved around illness. Then I asked what they were going to do special for their mothers. These responses were a bit more varied, "I'm going to give her a card I made", "I'll smile at her", and my fav, "I'm going to leave her alone all day".
We had plants for the "Youngest Mother", "Youngest Grandmother", and "Newest Mother". Kate's mother, Kackie Allen, won the "Youngest Grandmother" and Kate won "Newest Mother". Kate's sister, Jane, almost won "Youngest Mother", got beat out by a year.

We then recognized all the ladies attending as "Godly Women" and had a special gift for them. We realized all time ago that everyone serves a mothering role to someone, at some time and so often it doesn't get recognized. They teach, mentor, comfort, and so many other acts of mothering, its a shame to leave anyone out.
I did ask them not to eat the Hershey bars during service.

Kackie, Leah, Eli, Jeremiah Luther, Kate, Jeremiah, Jane, and Thomas
Joanne and me with Eli, Jeremiah Luther, Leah, Kate and Jeremiah.
Joanne holding Jeremiah, Kate holding Leah, Kackie and Eli.

Arrival of Jeremiah Luther Johnson

12 April 2012, Katie headed to Virginia Baptist Hospital to deliver Jeremiah Luther Johnson. He arrived weighing in at 7 pounds 15 1/2 ounces and was 21 inches from head to toe. He had a head full of hair and his grandfather, me, is trying not to be jealous.

Jeremiah, Joanne, and Katie's mom, Kackie stayed with her during labor.

Jeremiah Luther is our 6th grandchild, not that we're counting.
Jeremiah Luther Johnson
Jeremiah meets Grumpy

Jeremiah with his Marmee
Jeremiah meets his Great-Grandmother

Jeremiah with Great-Aunt Karen

Leah snuggles with her little brother

Bailey taking pictures of Jeremiah with Great-Grammy
Making faces with Aunt Karen

Great-Uncle Aaron carries Jeremiah out of the restaurant
Marmee and Jeremiah
Uncle Aaron and Jeremiah