If you are someone who spends Springtime in your garden,
this is for you!
One of the greatest joys of gardening is seeing the little shoots that pop up through the leaves at this time of year. How such bright and beautiful things survive our harsh winters and manage to show up in all their glory every Spring is truly miraculous. Each year, however, some seem to multiply tenfold from one year to the next! If you find that you have any perennials in your yard that you will be dividing in the coming weeks, how about sharing your bounty with your church family?!
It’s good to thin out those who may have outgrown their settings and always fun to have new things to plant and enjoy. The idea is to bring a couple of plants to share and go home with a couple of new ones to install! Then each time you see the lovely blooms in your yard in the coming years, it will remind you of the church friend who blessed you with them.
First Church Perennial Plant Swap:
Saturday, May 8 10:00 am – 11:00 am
The Acts of FUMC Elmhurst: Stories of the Kingdom of God
In the style of the Acts of the Apostles, Pastor Joe is inviting you to submit stories of how you have proclaimed the Kingdom of God over the past year. He’s not looking for another Pentecost story or miracle story but stories of how in the midst of a pandemic you have proclaimed God’s love for the world.
Your story should include your name, what you did and how you and others experienced your proclamation. You may include a relevant picture or graphic. Please limit your text to 100-150 words. For examples, consider Acts 16:11-15; 4:32-35; 13:1-3.
Please send your submissions to Sharon Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2021. Your stories will be compiled and shared with the congregation and on the website.
Jesus called the Twelve together and he gave them power and authority over all demons and to heal sicknesses. He sent them out to proclaim God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. Luke 9:1-2
He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. Acts 10:42
March 19, 2021
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
My prayer for us this Easter is that like those first disciples, we will experience the Risen Christ in such a way that we will be renewed in our faith and strengthened for Christ’s continued mission in the world.
Peter recalled in Acts after the Resurrection, Jesus had commanded them to preach and testify to the people that Jesus is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. As the judge of the living and the dead, Jesus decided how we would live out this role.
Let me quickly recount three ways he did this in Luke’s gospel. First, Jesus does not condemn his disciples after their failure at the cross. Instead, the Risen Christ offers them peace. (Luke 24:36-49)
Second, in his earthly ministry, Jesus judges the human systems that exclude the poor, the disabled, the prisoner and the oppressed. (Luke 4:18-19) He blesses and liberates those brutalized by our human systems.
Third, in his most famous teaching, the parables of the Lost (Luke 15-1-32), Jesus tells of a “judge” that seeks out the lost to restore them and not to punish them. He tells of a “judge” that celebrates the recovery and restoration of the lost.
After failure, people need peace. After injustice, people need blessing and liberation. After losing their way, people need recovery. May we like the early church, boldly testify and proclaim this Jesus to a world not so unlike the world of Jesus.
The Reverend Joseph A. Johnson
Rev. Dr. Frederick Schmidt, noted author of The Dave Test: A Raw Look at Real Faith in Hard Times will be joining Pastor Joe for the final post-sermon discussion group on Wednesday, March 24, at 1:30 pm. His book has been the inspiration for our 2021 Sermon Series. First Church will be honored to have Rev. Dr. Schmidt as part of the discussion. Please contact us for the Zoom Link.
First Church is pleased to welcome Rev. Stricker to the pulpit on March 14 for the Lenten sermon series Real Faith in Hard Times
Deacon Stricker graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2009 and has been in full-time ministry since 2010, serving in Christian Education and administration in Evanston and Chicago in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church. In 2015, she was ordained a Deacon in full connection in the Northern Illinois Conference to ministries of word, service, compassion and justice. She is involved in Native American ministries in the Northern Illinois conference, serves on the conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and is the co-chair of the Northern Illinois Order of Deacons. As part of her ministry, Adrienne preaches throughout the conference, contributes to writing projects and curriculum throughout the United Methodist connection, and teaches about Native American theology. She lives in Addison with her husband, Jonathan.