You made it to this sacred cyberspace! We’re sure glad you found us here and we’d love to meet you in person! We gather together quite often as you’ll see in the news feed below. You’ll find that we are committed to reaching out to our community, Christ-centered education for all ages, caring for those who call QUMC home, and weekly gathering to give God thanks for the blessings of life!
Please consider joining us at any of the events listed below. Especially consider joining us in worshiping God on Sunday Mornings at either 8:30 or 10:30. If you are interested in celebrating the Lord’s Supper (Communion or Eucharist as some call it), we share that together every 8:30 service and on the first Sunday of every month at the 10:30 service. If you prefer worship with choral leadership, perhaps you’d like our 10:30 service!
We pray that you’ll sense the warm presence of hospitality and kindness when you enter for worship! Please contact us if you have any questions ahead of visiting us!
We pray that the Easter Sermon births within you a deepened sense of God’s blessings as you resign for re-employment!
Here’s the Transcript of the sermon as well:
Did you know that
“There is an unwritten tradition in Washington that cabinet secretaries all submit pro forma letters of resignation at the end of a first term for a re-elected president”
I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching over the past few months
and I’ve not even told Megan about this until now
and I wanted to wait until we had as many people here as possible
to announce that I too have a letter of resignation to offer this morning
and I hope by the end of this message to receive your letters of resignation as well
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this
about “calling it quits”
you know… I’m not alone
the disciples called it quits too
Peter was ready to go back to fishing
after Jesus dies
even after he rose from the dead
they effectively resigned
Jesus said you can’t pour new wine into old wineskins
and I’m feeling like an old wineskin recently
so like the disciples long ago
I have this temptation to resign
So why shouldn’t I?
Why shouldn’t you?
Why shouldn’t we all?
50 years is a pretty good run as a church
I think we should think about “resigning”
some of us have already
some of us may feel like we fit into the category that Wesley calls the “almost Christian”
and yet we think we can be followers of Christ on our own
when the hallmark of being a Methodist is knowing that it’s our deep connection to the community of faith that produces the fruit worthy of the name of Christ
but it’s not your fault
it’s the church’s fault
we’ve not given a good enough reason to stay connected
it’s not about programs
it’s not about worship styles
it’s not about charismatic pastors or leaders
it ought to be about being real
but I wonder if it’s too late
Like I said, 50 years is a pretty good run
3 years as a pastor at a particular church has long been the average in UMCs
I get it… some of us don’t have the energy to commit as much as we used to
some of us are burnt out in our jobs or at home
some of us are burnt from church experiences and can only muster coming here once or twice a year
I get it…
so should we resign?
throw in the towel?
You know even Jesus threw in the towel
you might say no…
but he did
I can prove it…
we read it…
he emptied himself Phil. 2
he threw in the heavenly towel
for a human towel
a basin and towel
that’s the kind of resignation I’m talking about
There is something called the new birth
Jesus talks with Nicodemus about this
We are born first of flesh and blood
and then there’s the new birth in the Spirit of God
and in order for us to receive that new birth
we have to resign from our previous birth
our previous DNA if you will
and take on the DNA of heaven
Now some may say
this happens once when we’re confirmed or when we are baptized
but I would tend to agree with Wesley that our understanding of the New Birth
may come to us in multiple experiences in our lives
Hence the reason I’m talking about resigning this morning
I don’t know about you, but I need a refresher in the reality of the resurrection
I need to feel afresh the new birth that Christ offers through the power of his resurrection
In other words
I need a surge of hope from God
I need to feel the power of the Holy Spirit again anew in my life
I need to lead you all more like a shepherd and less like a professor
and so that’s why I’m resigning
from my former ways
and believing with all my heart
that God is going to do something new with me
That’s what the resurrection is all about!
It’s about each one of us coming to the reality
that Jesus is more of a midwife than a monarch
in his living out the role of the messiah
Jesus comes to each one of us like a messianic midwife
gently yet firmly guiding us through the process of the new birth
Jesus resigned from heaven to become children of flesh and blood
so that he could accept our resignations of flesh and blood to become children of heaven
So here’s my letter of resignation
That’s also my hope for employment
and I hope it can be yours as well.
The Wesley Covenant prayer
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside by thee.
Exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
So I say to you this morning
Let’s give up
so that God can re-employ us again
there’s no better time than now
to experience the new birth that Christ offers
and we’re not talking about eternity with God
even though that’s a real part of the story
If there’s anything that our scriptures
If there’s anything that our hymns this morning
If there’s anything that the resurrection gives us… it’s this…
Life begins now
it’s time to be alive now
stop trying to do things on your own power
stop thinking that doing things the same way will lead to different results
It’s time to resign
and to accept that God has new jobs waiting for us today
we start today in heaven’s employ
Will you allow Christ’s resurrection to be your resurrection as well?
Start new today
Start fresh today
Make a renewed commitment today
Let’s together as a church make a new commitment today
Jesus says you can’t pour new wine into old wineskins
New wine must be poured into new wineskins
and become new today
let’s renew our commitments
let’s let God reorganize our priorities
let’s let God renew our focus, our energy, our mission, our reason for waking up each day
Christ is alive
And Jesus Christ is looking to be alive in you today as well!
John Wesley gave us Methodists three general rules to follow. Typically, we break them down to three simple statements: do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God. Sometimes we miss what he meant when we simplify these rules too much. He had more to say about these rules. Mr. Wesley offers us six practices through which we can stay in love with God.
Yes, fasting is still a spiritual discipline worth practicing! Fasting means we refrain from eating for a set period of time. Perhaps you may just want to begin with just fasting a particular meal that you normally eat. The purpose of fasting is simply this: to glorify God. Fasting ought not to be about anything other than turning our focus toward God. Fasting reminds us that we are sustained by God.
5) Searching the Scriptures.
Consider starting by reading the same psalm every day for a week. There are great Bible apps available at no charge to make your reading convenient. Start this Monday with Psalm 1 and read it each day during the week. Then move to Psalm 2, etc. Does something different stand out for you each day? What have you learned about the love of God each day?
4) Family and private prayer.
We should pray with our family. We should reorient our meals so that our focus is giving thanks to God for food and those who made the meal. Consider praying the Lord’s prayer at the beginning and/or the end of the day together. How does praying together change our understanding of forgiving one another? What do we lean about the power of God through regular prayer?
3) The Supper of the Lord.
Every 8:30 Sunday worship service celebrates the Lord’s Supper. The first Sunday of the month we celebrate the Lord’s Supper at both worship services. Taking part in the Lord’s Supper re-members us, that is, reminds us that we are the Body of Christ. It reminds us that it was not us who loved God first, but it was God who first loved us!
2) The ministry of the Word, either read or expounded.
When we come together to worship God, our love for God can be shed abroad in our hearts when we hear God’s word spoken to us. As your pastor, I vow to you that the meditations offered each Sunday will take this phrase to heart: that God’s Word will minister–that is, tend, heal, and offer hope–to our spirits.
1) The public worship of God.
When we worship God together, we are encouraged and reminded of the Good News that God loves us so very much! When we worship together, we can practice loving one another through offering reconciliation to one another and sharing our joys and concerns. When we’re present with one another, we can care for one another. When we care for one another, we share God’s love for one another.
I encourage us to allow these practices to have a very high priority in our lives. When we prioritize centering our awareness around God’s love for us, we will truly find we love each other more deeply in return. In so doing, we will fulfill the desire of Jesus Christ who asked us to love one another.
I could give you a wealth of reasons why you should be in church. We all love to see a full house. We enjoy seeing one another. Every Sunday can be like a family reunion. We love to feel like we are growing in numbers as well as in faith. We offer a hymn sing at the beginning of both services during the Summer. You’ll always be welcomed with hospitality and will have an opportunity to be inspired for the week to come.
These can be great reasons to be faithful in our attendance. But I’d like to offer three other reasons for you to consider.
Reason 3: Practice Makes Perfect
I loved playing trumpet in school. I loved singing, too. But I did not like the amount of practice that was required from my teachers. You know what? Somehow they could tell whether I practiced or if I filled in the time sheet with made-up numbers. How did they know? Because I wasn’t any better at playing or singing the song from the previous lesson time! We have this wonderful opportunity to come together and receive a lesson (and I promise each Sunday the Holy Spirit will offer us a challenge!) that we can practice throughout the week. Moving on to perfection is what we call it! If we don’t come and get a new “lesson” then we have to ask ourselves how long we can keep playing the same lesson before we stop playing or singing the Song of Life altogether.
Reason 2: Life Doesn’t Stop
Life keeps moving every day. We have new experiences that change us. Our sisters and brothers in Christ have experiences that change them. We have the opportunity to bring all of these things with us into the sanctuary each week. Someone may have a story, situation or a request that the Holy Spirit is trying to intersect with your story, situation, or request. When we’re together, God can do marvelous things in our lives. In other words, your life will change because of your willingness to worship.
Reason 1: Stay in Love With God
Perhaps you’re like me–if I’m on my own, I have a hard time carving out an appropriate amount of time to sing the praise to the One who is worthy of praise. Worship, most importantly, is the time to say thank you to God for all of the blessings in our lives. Worshiping God together reminds us how important it is to be grateful to God-from whom all blessings flow! I know that the times when I’ve let my gratitude guide my intentions in worship, I’ve found the time to be much more meaningful. Christ’s creatively transformative presence can take up residence in our gratitude and we truly can be more deeply in tune with God’s will for not just our lives but within our community of faith as well.
As your pastor, I strongly encourage you all to come together regularly to worship God. Worshiping God together gives God more to work with in our life together as a church! Grace and peace abound, dearly beloved!