Weekly Greeting: May 20

Good afternoon parish,

Morris Abel Beer once wrote of a church in the heart: “Who builds a church within the heart and takes it everywhere is holier by far than one whose church is but a one-day house of prayer.” As we consider ‘The Great Return’ Jesus promised by sending the Holy Spirit following his ascension, we awaken to the presence of the risen Christ within. We don’t take hold of Easter; Easter takes hold of us. And when Easter spills from us into the rest of the week, every day is alive with God!

As we gather (in person and virtually) for Heritage Sunday, we remember John Wesley’s Aldersgate spiritual awakening and ignite the flame of our own renewal. We hold within our hearts, the healing of the nations… With this email greeting, I have attached a Worship Guide for Sunday services, a Missions Opportunities update, and a copy of last week’s message. Also this Sunday, Joel Irish will introduce our new (May-July) mission program: Volunteers in Mission (VIM), ‘Witnessing to Christ through service here in the heart of Maine.’

If you haven’t heard, votes were taken last Sunday at respective church conferences, which open the door for UMC of Auburn and Calvary UMC, Lewiston to become an ‘enlarged parish’ for the next appointment year (July 2022 through June 2023). We will be learning, serving, and worshipping together as we discern God’s intention for Methodist witness in the Lewiston-Auburn greater area. Praise God!

Sunday afternoon, I will join area colleagues for the installation service welcoming Rev. Deborah Duval as the new pastor for High Street Congregational. She has already demonstrated a missional passion for the work of the High Street Food Cupboard. For those who may wish to attend, a graveside service for Donald Fyfe will be held at 1:30 pm, Thursday, at Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Other dates to be aware of:

   5/29 – Vesper Worship Services (7 pm) begin at Empire Grove Chapel

   6/5 – Children’s Sunday/Pentecost

   6/5 – Grace Libby Celebration of Life, 11:30 am, UMCA

   6/8 – United Women of Faith Tea and Service of Self-Denial, 2 pm, UMCA

   6/9-11 – New England Annual Conference

   6/17 – Celebration of Karen Munson’s Service as MW District Superintendent, 6 pm, UMCA

   6/18 – Men’s Fellowship Breakfast, 7:30 am, UMCA

   6/26 – Celebration of Judy Kuhn as she retires from 50+ years of ministry as church organist, UMCA

   6/28-30 – Vacation Bible School

God’s joy and grace,

Pastor Steve Bascom, UMC of Auburn