A Summer Letter from Pastor Joe

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

UMC NEXT

United Methodist News Service story about “UMC Next” and the May 20-22 meeting of over 600 centrist and progressive leaders in the U.S. who began discussing “New Directions for the UMC.”

Four Commitments of UMC Next

We believe these commitments are essential to a hope-filled future for the global Methodist movement as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world:

  1. We long to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ, committed to a Wesleyan vision of Christianity, anchored in scripture and informed by tradition, experience and reason as we live a life of personal piety and social holiness.
  2. We commit to resist evil, injustice and oppression in all forms and toward all people and build a church which affirms the full participation of all ages, nations, races, classes, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities.
  3. We reject the Traditional Plan approved at General Conference 2019 as inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ and will resist its implementation.
  4. We will work to eliminate discriminatory language and the restrictions and penalties in the Discipline regarding LGBTQ persons.  We affirm the sacred worth of LGBTQ persons, celebrate their gifts, and commit to being in ministry together.

Raising White Kids Discussion

First Church revisits Jennifer Harvey’s book about bringing up children in a racially unjust America.

Join the Sunday Morning Series at 9:15 am to continue our conversation on racism.  Last summer, First Church sponsored a day-long symposium on racism using Raising White Kids as a guide and featuring Dr. Harvey as the guest speaker.   Join the discussion as we look at ways we can move towards race consciousness and anti-racism.  Meet in Aldersgate on Sunday mornings through May 19.   Ed Miner, Discussion Leader.

You Have a Place at our Table

Easter Sunday at First Church with Bells, Brass, & Choir

  • 9:00 am  Easter Brunch in Wesley Hall
  • 10:15 am Easter Egg Hunt on First Church Lawn
  • 10:30 am Easter Vigil & Bonfire on First Church Lawn
  • 10:45 am Processional to Sanctuary for Festival Easter Worship with Holy Communion ALLELUIA!   

ALL ARE WELCOME!

 

A Service for Good Friday

Good Friday Observance in a  combined worship service at First United Methodist in Elmhurst

April 19, 2019 7:00 pm

Join the congregants from our Cluster Churches to hear The Seven Last Words of Christ and the music of our combined choirs.  This will be a richly textured and imaged service with the music of Charles Gounod and John Stainer, the sketches of Jan Richardson, the sermon of Rev. Darneather Murph-Heath, and the prayers of the Church.

Ministry of the Salt Creek Cluster

United Methodist Church ~ Elgin District ~ Northern Illinois Conference.  Rev. Darneather Murph-Heath, District Superintendent

  • Calvary UMC in Villa Park ~ Rev. Julie Fleurinor- Moore, Pastor
  • Christ UMC in Elmhurst ~ Rev. James Fu, Pastor
  • Faith Evangelical UMC in Elmhurst ~ Rev. Uziel Hernandez, Pastor
  • First UMC in Bensonville ~ Rev. SoYoung Kim, Pastor
  • First UMC in Elmhurst ~ Rev. Joseph A. Johnson, Pastor
  • Good Samaritan UMC in Addison ~ Rev. Sang hun Han, Pastor
  • Wood Dale Community UMC in Wood Dale ~ Terry McDorman, Pastor