POCKET CHANGE OFFERING As of May 22, 2016, $1,708.66 has been collected to provide safe, clean water for the children in Haiti. This amount of money will provide clean water to at least 30 families for a three year period. A special thanks to our Sharon children for collecting this offering in their tin buckets. This loving effort will provide THE BUCKET OF LIFE for the children in Haiti.
HELP STILL NEEDED for Sharon Day of Support for Family Promise at Sewickley United Methodist Church on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. We still need two evening activity hosts, two overnight hosts and one van driver. If you can help, please sign up in the narthex or contact 412-264-7400. This hands on mission opportunity is very rewarding to those who serve.
UNCOMMON GROUNDS CAFÉ If you have time on June 4, 2016, the café would appreciate your help on their Spring Cleaning day. All levels of cleaning, painting and redecorating expertise are needed. Just show up with your work clothes and join the work party.
From Espresso April 21, 2016 [a publication from the Uncommon Grounds Café]
“We are finding grace in the strangest places. What God has told me recently is that everyone has the ability to receive God’s love and everyone has the ability to give God’s love to others. We have seen people come to a place where they realize that the least of these has great value in God’s eyes. Who have you marginalized unintentionally? What steps can you take to move beyond where you are to a place of reaching the least, the last and the lost?”
God calls us all to do mission and the Mission and Stewardship Committee asks for your participation, ideas and prayers as we discern the mission priorities for Sharon Church.
Mission and Stewardship Committee, Grace Peters, Gladys Johnston, Pete McGuire, Mark Mizer and Wayne Schuliger
ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE – Part II.
Join Pastor Doug on June 12, after the Café Under the Portico, as he shares the second half of his story and pictures from his trip to Israel. Room 202. Walk where Jesus walked. See what Jesus saw. Experience a glimpse of God’s work in our world.
One Can Ministry
Summer is right around the corner, school will soon be out and those families who depend on the Food Pantry will be in greater need than ever. Food stamp redemption regulatory changes will also impact this need. How can we help? The answer is simple – bring a can or food item for each person in your family and place it in the Food Pantry barrel each week. As Matthew 25:40 says, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”
The Membership Committee has decided that this year is the best time to have a new church picture directory done so that it will be ready for our bicentennial year in 2017. Lifetouch will have photo sessions on August 5th and 6th and September 16th and 17th of 2016. Friday evening and Saturday appointments will be available. Everyone who has a photo session will receive a free 8 x 10 and a free directory. Other photos can be purchased if desired, but not required. If you attend church, but are not a member, we still want you in our directory. You are part of our church family. Another thing Lifetouch offers (to help us earn additional pages in our directory) to allow people who don’t come to our church, and don’t want to be in the directory, to still come to our church for a photo session and free 8 x 10. So think about any friends, neighbors or relatives who might want to take advantage of a free sitting fee and free 8 x 10, so you can let them know. More information will be coming in the next few months, as we will be meeting with Lifetouch again in June. Anyone interested in assisting with this project- helping develop activity pages, volunteering on the photo session days to sign people in – would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Jan Weber or the church office.
O Magnify the Lord with me! Let us praise His name together! – Psalm 34:3
David is credited with writing those words. David- the skilled musician who could play the lyre more beautifully than any other in Saul’s kingdom; the craftsman who built dozens of instruments to be used by the Levites in worship (and even invented a few instruments of his own); the prolific poet, the sweet psalmist of Israel. That David.
His playing could soothe the forces of darkness that clouded his master’s mind. One can easily imagine the similar calming power of his voice as he sang comforting compositions to his soldiers as they hid in caves from their enemies. Enormous crowds gathered at solemn assemblies to hear his voice. And nearly three thousand years later, his music still echoes through the ages: his lyrical prayers are sung every week in synagogues and churches around the world.
So why would one of the most famously talented musicians who ever lived want to share the spotlight?
Because David knew that the music wasn’t all about him. It was about God. His talents were a gift from God which he then gave back to God. And as profound as his talents were, they were not nearly adequate enough to give God His due in praise. To accomplish that, David needed the voices, and, more importantly, the faith of other worshippers. David needed the joy of other worshippers when he felt too defeated to praise. He needed the rest of God’s Beloved Family to share in the knowledge and fear and tenderness and strength and victory of God.
Corporate worship – praising God together – magnifies our love, disperses our gloom, and nurtures our faith. Together, we can raise louder refrains of joy, we can express deeper groans of despair, we can shout more pointed cries of injustice. And God can use each of us to speak His comfort to others who need it.
This summer, the music directors invite everyone to join in a musical cloud of witnesses. We are not asking for the most talented, or the most energetic, or the most charismatic. We are asking for those who have faith they want to express through music to add to our songs of praise and thanksgiving. Be sure to check out – and to prayerfully consider – taking advantage of the opportunities we are offering during the summer months. Come, magnify the Lord with us! Let us praise His name together!
Pick up Choirs!
Do you have a long list of excuses why you do not participate in music ministry? Perhaps you teach Sunday School and can’t stay for the anthem. Perhaps you don’t have time or a ride on Wednesdays to attend a rehearsal. Perhaps you need to sit with your children or with your parents. Perhaps commitment scares you. Perhaps you are too young. Or too old. Maybe you don’t like the robes, or sitting in the balcony, or singing songs you have never heard before!
If any of those items sounds familiar, then you have just run out of excuses. This summer, we will offer opportunities to join a “pick up choir.” On these Sundays, anyone who wants to sing along can do so. No experience necessary. We will meet at 9:30 in the sanctuary – not in the loft – and sing through a well known and well loved hymn. No robes. No extra rehearsals. No age requirements (kids can join too). We will sing the song during the worship service that morning. Then, everyone is free to go back to their families in the pews. And free from committing to a choir season! Talk about instant and consequence-free gratification!
We will offer three “Pick up Choir” Sundays during the summer:
June 12 How Great Thou Art
July 10 In the Garden (aaaand he walks with me and he talks with me…)
August 14 Precious Lord, Take My Hand
We welcome anyone who wants to sing. This is for fun and for our Lord!
A Call for Musicians
Anyone who is interested in sharing instrumental talents, or who would like to participate as a vocal soloist or in a small ensemble, is encouraged to speak with Mark or Treva.
The Church of St. Peter is on the top of the hill, overlooking the harbor of Jaffa, Israel. It used to be a major harbor (see 2 Chronicles 2:16; Ezra 3:7; Jonah 1:3) but was overshadowed by Caesarea in the New Testament era. Jaffa (Joppa in the Bible) is where Peter was when God told him that that Gentiles were included in the good news of Jesus (see Acts 9:36 – 11:18). It is the place where we first learn that God’s grace is for all of us
The church, built in honor of Peter, has an interesting pulpit. It is an old-time pulpit with a wood sounding board above the preacher (used to help the sermon be heard before sound systems were invented). Above the sound board are branches with fruit growing on them. The message of the pulpit (even without a sermon) is that Christians are to bear fruit (see Galatians 5:22-23). People who hear the Word of God are supposed to be transformed by that Word and share the Word with others. What fruits are being produced in your life? In what ways are you sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ?
Jesus final words to his disciples were “Go and make disciples of all nations… (Matthew 28:19). “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This command extends to all who follow Jesus, to all who claim to be his disciples. This command is given to you and to me. This is the ministry of evangelism. In what ways are we being called to witness and make disciples? Let me offer a few thoughts on how we can all be part of this ministry.
First, by living our lives as a good example we witness to the work of Jesus in our lives. Being honest, caring for others, participating regularly in worship are a few of the things we can do to show that we are Christians. As one person said, “the only Bible some people will ever read is our lives.” Therefore live in a way that shows that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.
Second, we can tell other people how Jesus has made a difference in our lives, how he is working in us. A witness (see Acts 1:8) is not supposed make something up or to convince anyone what is right or wrong. The job of a witness is to report what s/he has seen or heard. How has Jesus worked in your life? How is he working today? Simply telling your story is part of bearing fruit and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Third, we can invite people to come and see / learn about Jesus. “Come and see” (John 1:46 – read the whole story of Philip and Nathanael). You don’t have to have all the answers or a perfect theology. Simply inviting your friends to church is an act of evangelism. If you have experienced Jesus’ love in your life, if you think Sharon Church is a good place to worship God, learn about Jesus and be part of a great community of faith, then invite your friends and co-workers. Most people who come to church will come because they have been invited.
Sharon Church is a wonderful place that has incredible potential to become a thriving church with many new people. We have uplifting worship, opportunities to grow in faith and serve other people, and a wonderful sense of fellowship. One thing we lack is a passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus. If Sharon church is going to become the place we want it to be, a place of life and faith, a place where the people of our community know that they can experience God’s love, we all need to develop a desire to be witnesses, telling others how God is working in our lives. We need to invite our friends, neighbors and co-workers to come to Sharon and meet Jesus.
Current and Past Good News articles and announcements.