Twenty years ago, Joseph Johnson was ordained an elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist by Bishop C. Joseph Sprague. His journey to the ministry did not follow a traditional path, but Pastor Joe could not ignore God’s call. After graduating from high school in rural Indiana, where he was baptized and confirmed in the United Methodist Church, he attended both Indiana and Purdue Universities. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue, but felt called to explore ordained ministry. He enrolled at The Iliff School of Theology, but left and returned to engineering.
Realizing that God was not ready to give up on him, Pastor Joe returned to Iliff and completed his studies there. Since his graduation from seminary, Pastor Joe has served churches in Dixon, Chicago, and now Elmhurst. When he’s not in the pulpit, Pastor Joe loves to play the flute, search the wilderness for birds of many feathers, cook soup and can vegetables, and even has been known to sew the stoles that he wears on Sundays.
Congratulations to Pastor Joe on his twentieth anniversary in ordained ministry. Blessings to you, Pastor Joe!
There will be a celebration in Wesley Hall directly after Worship on Sunday, June 9.
Note: Gifts to mark this occasion may be made to FUMC, designated for the UMC’s General Board of Higher Education & Ministry.
All First Church women are invited to attend the 4th Annual Retreat held in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Held in the home of Darlene Van Meir, the retreat offers relaxation and fellowship in a beautiful lakeside setting. Providing focus for reading, meditation, and discussion, a booklet of selected poems by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Mary Oliver will be available beforehand. Oliver’s writings reflect her perceptive and much-treasured observations of the natural world.
Outdoor activities such as kayaking, short hikes, swimming, and paddle-boarding will also be part of the weekend.
Limited spots are available. Make your reservation today. Participants will be asked to contribute to the preparation of one meal. Car-pooling is available (for Friday afternoon & Saturday morning arrivals.)
Questions? Contact: Ruth Zervas email@example.com; Sandy Bodie firstname.lastname@example.org; Darlene Van Meir email@example.com
PLEASE JOIN US ON JUNE 6
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Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising & Celebrate the Beginning of the Gay Rights Liberation Movement
When: 7:30-8:30 pm, Thursday Evening, June 6
Where: Wilder Park — East steps of Wilder Mansion
Who: ALL ARE WELCOME!
Featuring: Jim Bennett, Director, Illinois Department of Human Rights; Cathy Richardson, Rock Goddess; Rev. Joseph A. Johnson, Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Elmhurst; Reflections from the Community; Music & singing to lift our spirits and unite us in solidarity.
Pray for kings and everyone who is in authority so that we can live a quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:2 (CEB)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Grace and Peace to you in the name of our Lord.
This morning I found myself praying for impeachment as I prayed for the world, its people, and its leaders. Let me be clear. This was not a prayer for the US Congress to impeach the President. It was a prayer for the wisdom of God for the people of the United States and for elected leadership — all the elected leadership.
Paul in his letter to Timothy instructed him to pray for those in authority so that the people may live quiet and peaceful lives in complete godliness and dignity. Authority in the Scriptures is accountable to God. Authority and power are never an end in themselves. They always serve the higher purpose, as Paul says, so the people can live a “quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity.”
Many of Paul’s letters addressed the issue of division in the church. We don’t know what he thought about the political divisions of his day. My hunch is that he liked them no better. His opposition to division was grounded in his commitment to a quiet and peaceful life for all the people.
This is an uncertain time in our nation. Yet I believe that the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective in what they can achieve. At the very least, it will make the church (you and me) a community in which people’s dignity is unquestioned.
Whether the US Congress moves forward with impeachment or not, the church must be the place where the values of peace, dignity and godliness are upheld for all people. Will you join me in praying for our leaders that they may uphold peace, dignity and godliness for all people?
Christ’s Servant ~
The Reverend Joseph A. Johnson