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Worship Preview 10.23.22

This Weekend:Sunday at 10:30am “Fish Stories: However…” Scriptures:Nehemiah 10:32-39andMatthew 17:24 - 18:5with Rev. Christopher Eshelman preaching.

Our stewardship theme has been “Reconnect to Faith” and we’ve focused on Psalm 50:14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High.”Last week we considered the biggest fish story of all - Jonah. We considered the vows he makes, especially during the prayer in Chapter 2, and how God provided for him. We looked at how he responds, good and bad, and how this story, like all of Scripture is really about us and our relationship with God and with one another, here and now. We are called to follow Christ. To help us do so, we remembered our baptism and the ways we are connected through the symbolism of water. We celebrated as two people officially joined First UMC and we all renewed our membership vows.

This week, we will continue to look at some “fish stories” from the Bible as we think about the vows – promises – that we have made and how we live out those commitments. Our texts for this week may be unfamiliar, as neither one is in the “lectionary” cycle that many churches use to plan worship. Our Old Testament reading is part of the origin story of what is known, by Jesus’ time, as the “temple tax.” The people make vows… “We also lay on ourselves the obligation…” and they talk about first fruits and roles and giving to support their shared faith and practices. It is very much a “stewardship campaign.” In our Gospel reading, Jesus’ disciples are challenged about whether he pays this temple tax. Peter insists he does… and then has a conversation with Jesus. Jesus insists that “the children” are not obligated to do so – “However...”Let us listen to and ponder what Jesus says and does next – how Peter responds, and how we respond in our time.

No matter where you are on your journey of faith, you are invited to join in worship and celebration at 10:30am at 301 S. National, coming just as you are with your questions, doubts and hopes - and to experience the transformative, healing love and grace of Christ - which makes us whole. Seewww.firstumcfsks.org/newvisitorsfor more information on what to expect.

This Week:Wednesday, October 26, 5:30pmFeeding Families in His Name– this weekly free meal is available to everyone without obligation. 301 S. National. We are thankful for all the volunteers from other area churches and community groups that make this meal possible each week.

Community Office Hours:This coming week Pastor Christopher plans to be at Moe’s Bread from 9:30-10:30am Monday and Hedgehog, Ink! bookstore 2:30-3:30pm on Thursday. Come say hello! Appointments are available other times, call the church at (620) 223-1950 to schedule.

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