The “Shema” and “When I Pray for You”

The passage in Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, known as the Shema, is a core principal for both Jews and Christians. Notice how it aligns with the children’s book  “When I Pray For You” by Matthew Paul Turner, which Pastor Jenny read on September 20, 2020. It begins

From the moment I saw you,
I started to pray.
Big prayers and small ones
I have sent God’s way.

Here is the Shema passage in the New Revised Standard Version

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a]

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul, and with all your might.

And here is the admonition to teach it to the children.

Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.

In a different translation,  from The Message***

Attention, Israel!

God, our God! God the one and only!

Love God, your God, with your whole heart:

love him with all that’s in you,

love him with all you’ve got!

6-9 Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.  

These comments came from Beth P. and Kay H.

Thank you Pastor Jenny for a beautiful children’s book that speaks to our prayers for our loved ones.

As a mother and grandmother thanks for sharing that lovely book with us

For a glimpse into the book, here is a video.

 

 

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The World of Energy: Claudio Da Silva’s Personal Journey

United Methodist Men sponsor “A Personal Journey into The World of Energy” on  Sunday, 

At  12 Noon on Sunday, September 20, the United Methodist Men presents a Zoom talk featuring our own Claudio Da Silva who will talk about the foundations of the New Age movement and its similarities and the divergences with the ways of Christ under the title: “My 10 Year Journey Into the World of Energy.”  Everyone is invited.

Everyone is invited to the Zoom presentation. Here is the direct link  to the zoom presentation, accessible with the passcode “pumc.” https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82322385081?pwd=b0V2R0NHT2VxS2RlQnZ5emFXY1VJUT09

Or go to the church calendar and find the link with complete information. 

Claudio will share with us his experience of the New Age teachings regarding energy, the concept of God in us, the veneration of nature and the subjectivity of truth. How are these aspects similar or in opposition with the message of Christ?

Next month, on Tuesday evenings, Claudio will lead a small group experience, “Meditation and Holy Healing.”

Born in Switzerland, living part of his life in Angola, Claudio explored monastic practices in India and other places, including making a 900 mile pilgrimage alone in complete silence. Through these experiences, he felt a liberation through melting with God’s Grace. Through his experiences of different religions and spiritual approaches he became aligned with God’s Truth which brought him deeper into the message of Christ.  Claudio now lives in Princeton with his wife and two daughters. He works as a life coach and health practitioner.

For information about “Meditation and Holy Healing,” email skitch@PrincetonUMC.org.

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Hymn: “This Child”

Tom Shelton, music director of children’s and youth choirs at PUMC, wrote the hymn “This Child” and composed its music.

The lyrics of this Christmas song makes it suitable for release during the Coronavirus pandemic. Says Tom: “The verses represent what many of us have felt during this period of isolation. We have to keep our faith and believe in This Child.”

Here are the lyrics of the chorus:

“Where do I run, where can I hide,

When the world comes crashing down. 

Where can I turn, who do I call,

When there’s no one else around. 

I turn to you; I call on my faith,

And the promise delivered that night –

This Child.”

Shelton played and sang “This Child” during worship on Sunday, September 13, 2020, as the children’s and youth choirs resumed their activities this week, meeting virtually (mostly). 

To follow our worship service on FaceBook and sing with us, click here

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Children’s Book: “God’s Dream”

At Children’s Time, during worship on Sunday, September 6, 2020, Pastor Jenny read aloud the children’s picture book, “God’s Dream.” Author Archbishop Desmond Tutu lives in South Africa. Coauthor Douglas Carlton Abrams lives in California. Illustrator LeUyen Phamborn in Vietnam, now lives in California. 

“God’s Dream,” a beautifully written story with delightful illustrations, featuring an international cast of children, speaks to the heart. The children play together, hold each other’s hands, but sometimes get angry with each other. Then, they reach out and say they are sorry and forgive each other. Desmond Tutu, Douglas Abrams, and LeUyen Pham,  different in many ways, remind everyone that human beings have many differences: we are different races, speak other languages, have different natures and behaviors, diverse religious practices, and various thoughts. Yet, we are all God’s children. 

God dreams that we will all learn to love each other, care for each other, and live in peace together, like any family, even though we look different and talk differently. Children don’t have to be friends with everyone; they don’t even have to like them, but they HAVE to be kind to everyone. They must also have hope and dreams, even in their most difficult times. It is a book for children of all faiths.

So, what now?

Says Pastor Jenny: “God is always trying to invite us, to tell us how to love the other person when they hurt us, even when we wrong them. How do we fix it? How does God fix it? Jesus and Paul in the Book of Romans tell us we have to keep learning to love, which is not always easy. But we keep trying and never quit. I wonder if you can dream with God, a little bit about how you can love that other person, even if they are the ones who hurt you, and you feel like you couldn’t love them back. Let’s pray about that together. I hope you’ll keep praying about it beyond today as well.”

To follow the worship service and listen to Pastor Jenny read, click here.

Click here to watch a reading of the entire book on YouTube video by Summer Book Club.

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Confirmation Rescheduled

THE CONFIRMATION CEREMONY set for Thursday, September 10, has been postponed, because of rain. It will be FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 AT 6 PM. It will be livestreamed and archived on the church website.

Church members and friends – and family of the confirmands — are  welcome to come in person to celebrate and worship together as Ben, Elli, Rosy, Camille, and Ana confirm their baptismal covenant and take the next step in their faith journey. 

Here’s what you need to know:
Masks must be worn
Socially distancing must be maintained (household units can stay together)
Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on
There will not be restrooms available
We are planning to live-stream the service as well

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Romans 13: 8-14 and Matthew 18: 15-20     

The scripture reading for Sunday, September 6, 2020, is from Romans 13: 8-14 and Matthew 18: 15-20. 

“If Another Sins Against You” is the title of Pastor Jenny Smith Walz’s sermon. 

“. . . and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  ~Romans 13:9b

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”  ~Romans 13:8

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’”       ~Matthew 18:20

To follow our worship service on FaceBook, hear the scripture, and listen to Pastor Jenny’s sermon, click here.

To watch interesting videos on YouTube of both scripture passages, click here and here.

On this September Communion Sunday, our Communion Offering this week goes to the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank. Please give this month as you are able for those whose need is so great. 

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HYMNS: “God Made From One Blood,” “Panis angelicus,” and “When God Restored Our Common Life”

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Thomas H. Troeger is the author of “God Made From One Blood.”  To watch a YouTube video of this hymn, click here

“Panis angelicus” (Latin for “Bread of Angels” or “Angelic Bread”) is the penultimate strophe of the hymn “Sacris solemniis” written by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the feast of Corpus Christi. Most famously, in 1872 César Franck set this strophe for tenor voice, harp, cello, and organ, and incorporated it into his Messe à trois voix. {Wiki}. To watch a YouTube video of this hymn, click here

“When God Restored Our Common Life” was written by Ruth C. DuckTo watch a YouTube video of this hymn, click here

To follow our worship service on FaceBook and sing with us, click here

 

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Children’s Book: “Someday is Now”

Pastor Jenny read aloud the children’s picture book “Someday is Now,” written by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Illustrated by Jade Johnson, at Children’s Time, on Sunday, August 30, 2020,

“Someday is Now,” a book on social justice in America, is about Clara Luper, a ‘superhero’ of the Civil Rights movement. It tells how Clara and her students led sit-ins in 1958, at the Katz lunch counters in Oklahoma City, to end racial segregation. The unjust laws at the time did not allow African Americans to eat at lunch counters inside the drugstore. They were forced to take their food outside. And so Clara and these children changed the laws!

Clara challenges young people to do what is right and stand up against something they know is wrong, even at a high cost, but without resorting to violence.

Pastor Jenny states, “Jesus taught us we are to follow him into hard places in this life and that we are to overcome evil with good all the time. In this story, we see real people who overcame evil with good. But it was hard!”

The lesson to be learned from this story is that young people must be prepared to make small sacrifices for justice and make changes in the world. Like speaking out and standing strong.

So, what now?

Says Pastor Jenny: “Carry this story with you into today, into the rest of the week, into the rest of our lives as you follow Jesus as well.”

To follow the worship service and listen to Pastor Jenny read, click here.

 

 

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Romans 12:9-21 and
 Matthew 16:21-28

The scripture for Sunday, August 30, 2020, is from Romans 12:9-21 and
 Matthew 16:21-28.          

“Take Up Your Cross” is the title of Pastor Jenny Smith Walz’s sermon. 

“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.”  ~Romans 12:9-13

“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’”  ~Matthew 16:24

To watch interesting videos on YouTube of both scripture passages, click here and here.

To follow our worship service, hear the scripture, and listen to Pastor Jenny’s sermon click here.

 

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 Matthew 16:21-28

“Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho” and “Saranam, Saranam” 8/23/2020

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Joshua Fit De Battle of Jericho” OR “Joshua Fought The Battle of Jericho“) is a well-known African American spiritual based on the story of Joshua in the Bible. The song tells how Joshua captured the city of Jericho when he ordered the Israelites to blow trumpets until the walls fell down. 

It is believed that slaves composed this song in the first half of the 19th century. It gave African-American slaves a strong sense of hope that their freedom would soon come – “And the walls came tumblin’ down.”

Later recordings of the song include those by Paul Robeson (1925), Mahalia Jackson (1958), Clara Ward, Laurie London, Hugh Laurie (2011), and Elvis Presley (1960) among many others.

Click here to enjoy the YouTube version of  “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.” 

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“Saranam, Saranam” is a traditional Asian hymn for all Christians, translated by Daniel Thambyrajah Niles (1908-1970), a native of Sri Lanka. Niles encouraged the use of indigenous musical idioms for Western congregational songs.

“Saranam” a Tamil word for “refuge,” means to surrender oneself fully to the one, true God.  This prayerful song for refuge is rooted in texts like Psalm 61:1-2, “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Jesus, Savior, Lord, lo, to thee I fly:

Saranam, Saranam, Saranam;

Thou the Rock, my refuge that’s higher than I;

Saranam, Saranam, Saranam.

Click here to enjoy the American Folk Ensemble version of Pakistani/Indian Christian Hymn “Saranam, Saranam.”

To follow our worship service and sing with us, click here

 

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