Weekly Devotions April 27-May 1

Friday Lay Devotion with Kim Wu

A good word from Kim Wu today:

I’ve been thinking about what church will look like for us over the coming months, and have listened again to the sermon series in which the new vision for our church was cast. Although we cannot be sure how long this period of staying at home and social distancing will last, nor what our “new normal” will look like, living into our vision is not something we defer until we have it all figured out.

In discussing the transforming love of Christ, Pastor Will referred to the times and seasons when we become busy doing our own things and we go our own way, but he reminded us that thankfully there are “moments of awareness, when we can once again be open and available to the touch of the Master, the one who can bring forth a way when we’ve been struggling to find our own, who can bring healing out of brokenness, and can change our despair to hope.” I think we are in such a time, and God is using this as an opportunity to mold us a little bit more; as Will pointed out, “we are all works in progress.” So what work does God want to do in you, and how does He want to accomplish it?

In this season where we are keenly aware of how much has been taken from us, we have to shift our way of thinking and recognize what is being offered to us. In the stillness, God is inspiring and renewing, but we have to receive everything that God is gifting us to be fully open to His plans: God’s love, His presence with us, His kindness and joy, the truth of His Word which reveals who He is and who we are, and the church of believers as the body of Christ to support and encourage one another as we go out into the world to share Christ’s transforming love.

In these days of social distancing, connection through a small group (virtually for now) is also a gift that God offers us, and a primary means through which we grow in our love for Him and our obedience to Him. If you are already in a small group, I know you are finding creative ways to continue to learn, grow, and encourage each other. If you are not, now is the time to take a step in that direction. Next week, we are starting a new short-term Bible study: Max Lucado’s “Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World.” This study is helpful not only for those who are anxious and seeking peace during these difficult times, but also for those seeking connection with others as we work together to strengthen our faith in remembering to rejoice in the Lord always and abide in Him.

I also encourage you to consider inviting someone to join you in our new short-term Bible study, or form your own small group as you invite your neighbors, friends, and family to do this study with you. People are anxious about the times we are in, and are in such need of Jesus. As Pastor Will said in his vision-casting sermon on welcoming and inviting others, “Our vision, taken as a whole, is all about evangelism….The work belongs to all of us…as we take our gift of faith, and give it away.”

Thursday Devotion with Pastor Will

Tuesday Devotion with Pastor Ellen

Monday Lay Devotion with Dick Formica

Monday Lay Devotion with Dick Formica

'The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25: 40 (NIV)

CUMC is a mission church. For many years now, CUMC has established itself in the community and in Northern Virginia as a mission church. It is ingrained in who we are as a church and as a congregation. The notion of service permeates every CUMC ministry and is embraced by our members of all ages....from the United Methodist Women and the various circles, to United Methodist Men and the Old Men's Group, across the Sunday schools and small groups, to the youth and children's ministries. Families, couples, singles - all are involved in some aspect of our mission ministry.

Sharing Christ's transforming love has been captured in our church vision statement. Together, we Worship, Grow, and Serve.

We have long recognized the needs that exist in this community and we respond to meet those needs with an active and vibrant mission ministry. Never has that need been greater than it is today. In the midst of this corona virus crisis, there are so many more in need in our community than ever before.

Each of us are challenged by the threat of this pandemic and face difficulties of our own. Yet, despite that, CUMC continues to reach out to those in need throughout our community.

Every day you fill a shopping cart outside the main entrance of the church with food and essentials - some days more than one!

You continue to generously donate money to support our mission ministry food distribution activities.

Despite the challenges with shopping, sorting, and distributing food to our neighbors you are:
- providing food to students and their families at CentreRidge Elementary School through an expanded U Feed Others (UFO) program;
- sharing food and diapers to area families at Grace Ministries;
- providing to-go meals for both FACETS Hot Meals and to New Hope Fellowship;
- feeding the homeless at TOP;
- supporting the growing need at Western Fairfax Christian Ministries.

This is so much more than social service. It is the generosity of a church which chooses to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community. With each gift, we share our love of God and our love for our neighbor.

At a time when we could be focused inward...struggling to meet our own needs, we choose to love and serve God by loving and serving our neighbors. Just as Jesus implored us to do when he separated the sheep from the goats and told us that "whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me".

May we continue to be a welcoming congregation inviting all God's children to experience and share Christ's transforming love.

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