Save the Date!

dove-on-redA note from Pastor Chuck:

I want you to hold a date on your calendar, please. The date is for a birthday celebration, a very important one.

Please plan to be in worship Sunday, June 4. That is Pentecost Sunday, the day we celebrate the birth of Christ’s holy, global church of believers. (If you don’t know the story, see chapter 2 of Acts.)

Have you ever thought about how we might rank worship services by importance, based on what they represent? This is how I would start the list:

1) Easter Sunday. We celebrate the resurrection, the great event proving everything is changed through Jesus Christ. Lots of people show up for this service.

2) Good Friday. This somber service is when we remember the high price Jesus paid to make our salvation possible. Suffering and crucifixion are our key images on Good Friday.

3) Pentecost Sunday. We hear the story of how the Holy Spirit fell upon the praying, waiting believers who had seen the resurrected Christ. When the Spirit came, the era of the church, an era to exist until Christ’s final return, began. Pentecost marks the beginning of the era in which we live today; it defines for us how we experience God now. It is so important that it has its own color for decorating, the color red.

4) First Sunday of Christmas. Last year, Christmas Day was on a Sunday. Other years, we celebrate on the first Sunday after Dec. 25. We of course are marking the incarnation, the arrival of God living among us in flesh. Y’all sometimes show up in large numbers for this service, too.

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Pastor Chuck, wearin’ the rarely worn red

Making such a ranking is an arguable exercise, considering how each of these events is dependent on the others to be effective. The incarnation is pointless without the life and death that follows. The resurrection cannot happen without the death. And of course, with no resurrection, Christ could not have promised just before his ascension into Heaven the arrival of “another Advocate, who will never leave you.”

I hope you understand my point, though. Other than Easter, we’re not routinely honoring important worship services the way we should.

It’s not that I want people to attend for attendance’s sake. It is my prayer that all of us can immerse ourselves more in the cycle of storytelling and celebration the church offers. When we do so, our faith grows. We might even turn into “every Sunday” people and begin to develop spiritually in ways we never imagined.

Karate for Little Kids

serpents-doves-rpgLuminary’s Serpents and Doves karate program has added a new class for younger children.

The Li’l Kids class, designed for children ages 4 to 8, meets from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday nights. To begin, children simply need to wear loose, comfortable clothing suitable for exercise. Parents are encouraged to stay and watch the class.

“Like our class for older children and adults, we will try to maintain a Christian atmosphere and teach Christian principles,” said Chuck Griffin, Luminary’s pastor and head instructor for the program. The “Serpents and Doves” class name comes from Matthew 10:16. Jesus told his disciples as he sent them into the world:

See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

“We want to be equipping our students at every age to live as shrewd Christians in what can be a difficult world,” Pastor Griffin said.

All Serpents and Doves classes are $15 a month, or free for students active at Luminary UMC. Special arrangements can be made for families who might struggle with the expense.

“We never want money to interfere with a child’s ability to learn,” Griffin said.

The class for older children and adults meets from 7 to 8 p.m. on Mondays and 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. The Wednesday program is followed by a community dinner and youth and choir activities.

Luminary is located at 3401 River Road in Ten Mile.