#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 3

 

 

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM  

DAY THREE

 

DAY OF EXPRESSION

  • God’s Word for Today    

John 1:1-18

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him, not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

  • Reflection

Every healing process needs us to let the emotions we are feeling to be expressed; to be expressed in a non-violent way, in a constructive way, without judgment on what we feel. Sadness, anger, and all other expressions of frustrations are not bad or good. They are just a vehicle of transformation. They show us there is something to move on from and to go to. They are indicators of change. Let’s embrace our feelings and use them as a power of transformation. How do we feel in our body? How do we feel in our heart? How do we feel in our head, the ideas, the thoughts we are having right now? How do we feel in our connection with our soul, with our highest purposes and ideals in life? Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Heart.

  • Prayer and contemplation

How have you experienced Christ’s “moving in” toward you?

How have you come to know Christ as you’ve “moved in” toward others?

Reflect on a time when you were surprised or changed by getting to know more of what life is like for someone else?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on the distances of all sorts that exist between you and some other person or group.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.                                      

Let’s end racism, once and for all.

One human family, in God.

Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 2

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM

DAY TWO

DAY OF EXPRESSION – HEART          

  • God’s Word for Today

John 4:11

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman    

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 

  • Reflection

We are all in the same situation as the Samaritan Woman. We are powerless and feel discouraged. Let’s take a moment to feel those emotions. They are the starting point of a change. They lead us to the next question of asking God: “Where can we get this eternal water?”

Every healing process needs us to let the emotions we are feeling to be expressed; to be expressed in a non-violent way, in a constructive way, without judgment on what we feel. Sadness, anger, and all other expressions of frustrations are not bad or good. They are just a vehicle of transformation. They show us there is something to move on from and to go to. They are indicators of change. Let’s embrace our feelings and use them as a power of transformation. How do we feel in our body? How do we feel in our heart? How do we feel in our head, the ideas, the thoughts we are having right now? How do we feel in our connection with our soul, with our highest purposes and ideals in life? Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Heart.

  • Prayer and contemplation

What does the pain and grief in me feel like?

In which situations of my life have I encountered the same type of feelings?

How can I express it out in a constructive way?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and go simply in a calm space and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on a particular overwhelming emotion that you feel.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.

Let’s end racism, once and for all. One human family, in God.

 

 

Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction

 

 

 

Tune in for ‘Story Time’ on Father’s Day with Evangeline Burgers

Hello, Beloved PUMC Families and Children!

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day and our first Summer Session Sunday School! I’ll be sending out information for Sunday School later this week, but here is a mid-week update!

I’ve recorded a read-aloud of one of my all-time favorite children’s books, The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson for our children: https://youtu.be/xc7GdToBYvs. Woodson’s message of empowering young people to resist injustices and break down barriers is such an important one!

Have a safe and healthy week! I hope all of our children are feeling blissful as the long-awaited summer break is finally upon us.

Love,

Evangeline Burgers

Director of Children’s Ministry

Princeton UMC

 

 

GNJ-CAPITAL:  Silence is NOT an Option – Prayer Vigil INVITATION! June 7, 2020, 4:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders of the Capital District,

This week, we have another destructive virus that has painfully reminded us that, for way too many years, it had inflicted undue pain and death on our Black siblings and other siblings of color. Racism requires our attention! Our hearts are breaking for the growing number of Black men and women killed by police, most recently, George Floyd, and, for the inequities against people of color that plague our nation. 

As Christ’s followers, and United Methodists, we believe that racism is a distorted value system that assumes that one race is innately superior to the others that translates into wrong mindsets, behaviors, policies, and systems.

SILENCE IS NOT AN OPTION; IT’S TIME FOR ACTION 

I invite all Capital clergy and laity to join our resident Bishop, Rev. Dr. John Schol, and I, this coming Sunday, June 7, 2020, at 4:00 PM for a special peaceful public witness of our faith and prayer vigil in solidarity with the African American community and other people of color. This public witness will be a statement of presence, prayer, and reflection in the community. We will practice responsible physical distancing measures and will model the highest standards of Christian love.

Our special guest and speaker will be Rev. Gil Caldwell, a United Methodist, and renowned Civil Rights Activist. Other guest speakers include Bishop John R. Schol, Willingboro Mayor Hon. Tiffany Worthy, Charlene Walker from Faith in NJ, Rev. Geralda Aldajuste, Rev. Vanessa Wilson, Rev. Rupert Hall & Rev. Laura Steele.

JOIN US.

If you feel comfortable, bring a poster that expresses the Christian values of Peace with Justice, and invite a friend. We welcome children and youth. The new generations need more than ever, positive spaces to express their hopes and aspiration for a better society and world. 

In consideration for others – we request that all persons participating from United Methodist congregations wear a face mask.

 We’re together on the journey.

Paz, Héctor

Rev. Héctor A. Burgos | Capital District Superintendent

O: 732.359.1085 | C: 609.661.1768 | E: hburgos@gnjumc.org

 

THIS WEEK: RECOMMENDED READING & WATCHING

Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints, Daneen Akers

Evangeline Burgers recommends this book, written for children but with wisdom for all ages. It has stories of real-life faith heroes, many who are still doing important work among us. You can hear the author read chapters on this YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2vGRRW0G6WzjJMwa6nivyWKWIkj9QgUD 

 

Spiritual Practices to Calm Your Anxious Brain, Charles Stone

In this video, Dr. Stone outlines how the spiritual practice of mindfulness can invigorate the Christian life in a time of such uncertainty and fear, more especially helping you through the COVID crisis. https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-e5wJuloT8/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

 

 

 

“Family Activities from PUMC Children’s Ministry” Evangeline Burgers

The birds are singing, the sun is shining, it is a glorious time! I hope you are all well and having a wonderful week together at home.

I’ve recorded another read aloud video for our children: What Mary Jo Shared, by Janice May Udry. It is the story of a girl who has a hard time finding a story to share, but when she does it brings her new life! This is a great one for those of us (young or old!) who always feel like, “I don’t know what to share!” I hope you can check it out with your family on our PUMC Flipgrid: https://flipgrid.com/45caa357 and respond with your own stories.

I was inspired by Pastor Jenny’s inclusion in her sermon last Sunday of the importance of changemakers telling their story to make a difference for our world. I picked up this book earlier this year called, Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints, by Daneen Akers. It is a book full of stories of real-life faith heroes, many who are still doing important work among us. The price tag is, unfortunately, a bit high, but the author is reading aloud a new story each week on her YouTube channel. I highly recommend this resource for you and your kids!

Family Story Activity: 

That’s Not How the Story Ends (from 52 Uncommon Family Adventures)

Take turns sharing your favorite stories from books, movies, and TV shows. Briefly explain how the story actually ends and then take turns offering your own ending – one that’s happier, stranger, or more interesting. Your ending may turn a minor character into a heroine or turn a tragic death into nothing more than a close call. The aim is to inspire creativity. Then, talk about some real-life alternate endings you’ve experienced – that is, when you thought a situation would turn out one way but were surprised when it turned out another way. Try to keep the stories positive, with endings that turned out better than expected. Your goal is to help kids understand that dread, fear, and worry are sometimes misplaced emotions. If we can’t see how something good ultimately can come from something that seems bad, we’re not looking at it from the right perspective. We’re not taking into account how
God can change the ending.

 

 

 

Happy National Day of Prayer! Evangeline Burgers

To honor this National Day of Prayer, here are some great resources:

For our younger ones (and young at heart!),  ‘Friends With God: Discover How to Pray by Jeff White and David Harrington, contains prayer activities and stories from friends in the Bible. Consider taking a walk around the house with your child, looking at photos of family and friends. Use these photos as an opportunity for prayer. You might say, “God bless Grandpa.” or “I pray for peace for my friends from school.”

 

For our older kids and families, here’s a great family prayer activity from  Faithful Families by Traci Smith.

Smartphone Prayers:

1. For this practice, one family member will act as the leader, and others will be participants. Rotate who serves as the leader, to give everyone a chance to participate in the prayer.

2. The leader will call everyone together and explain ‘Smartphone Prayer.’  Say, “This prayer moves through five different activities on our smartphones. Each is one minute long. I will tell you what to do for each activity and then start my timer. When the timer rings, look up at me and listen for the next mission.”

3. Go through the five missions as follows, making sure the leader sets his/her timer after each instruction and calls everyone back together before presenting the next mission:

Minute One: Go to your text messages and take a look at the last five people in the recent messages, whether they are people you text regularly or people you don’t know at all. Take this minute to pray for each of the five people listed there.

– Minute Two: Go to a news app or website and take a minute to scroll through the headlines. Pray for what jumps out at you as a prayer need this day.

– Minute Three: Go to the notepad and spend this minute typing out whatever comes to mind: praise, gratitude, confession, or requests to God.

– Minute Four: Go to your favorite social media site and spend this minute praying for the people who come up on your feed during this minute.

– Minute Five: Go to your photos. Take this moment to scroll through the most recent twenty or so photos. What prayers come to mind? Lift them up to God now.

4. Follow up: After the five-minute prayer is over, take a couple of minutes to talk about the activity together using one or more of the following questions:

Was there anything surprising or unusual that you heard from God when you were using your cell phone to pray today? What was the most important prayer that came through today? How can we incorporate this attitude of prayer as we use our smartphones throughout the week? In your opinion, does technology draw us closer to God or farther away? Talk a little about your opinion.

 

“Smartphone Tips and Tricks: How to Connect with Family, Friends – and God”

Our cell phone can be a discipleship tool!  

Join Robin Birkel, Chair of PUMC Communications Committee for 

“Smartphone Tips & Tricks: How to connect with family, friends – and God” 

Sunday, July 14  from 11:30 to 12: 30

Sunday, August 11  from  11:30 to 12: 30

Location:  Friendship Hall, PUMC

PUMC Members and visitors are welcome to attend this workshop. The goal is to encourage low-tech members to access available social media as well as recruit/train more experienced people for video and social media tasks.

Princeton United Methodist Church Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

➡️    Learn tips to get the most out of our smartphone

➡️    Learn how to stay connected to PUMC on facebook

➡️    Learn how to follow a blog post

➡️    Learn how to access our sermon podcasts

➡️    Understand our church’s website

➡️    Learn how to take compelling photos and videos with our smartphone

➡️    Ask our experts questions.

Learning THESE will make our life SO much easier. 

Honoring Larry Apperson with Chuck Inman Award – Saturday, April 13, 2019

On April 13 the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) will present the Chuck Inman Memorial Award to Larry Apperson. The annual award honors an individual who has made a significant impact on feeding hungry people in Mercer County. Larry will be recognized for his long-standing service at TASK and for helping set up the very active satellite at Princeton UMC.

TASK serves those who are hungry in the Trenton area and offers programs to promote self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its patrons. As one of 16 satellites operated by TASK, Princeton Cornerstone Community Kitchen serves 100 meals each week. On April 6, 2019, Cornerstone recorded its 30,000th meal served since beginning in June 2012.

“We are proud of the help and commitment of our partners such as at Princeton United Methodist Church,” says Charlie Orth of TASK. “It’s leaders like Larry that make change happen.”

Thanksgiving Reflection 2018: Princeton Community Thanksgiving Service

Rev. Jenny Smith Walz

Rev. Jenny Smith Walz gave her Thanksgiving Reflection for 2018 at the Princeton Community Thanksgiving Service held on November 22, 2018. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We know that practicing gratitude is beneficial to our health and well-being. Well documented:

● Better physical health

● Better mental health

● Less anger, more empathy

● Better sleep

● Better self-esteem

● Better emotional and mental resilience (deal with stress and recover from trauma)

● Better and more relationships

I believe there’s far more to gratitude than even this. Something beyond benefits to our own individual minds, hearts, and bodies. Something that moves us corporately, communally, into a different realm, a different way of being and of being together. Something that is even world changing. 

I think of images of gratitude from my tradition. They are full of song and dance. Running and joy. Eating and sharing. Freedom and transformation. 

● I see Miriam and all of the Hebrew women dancing and singing with timbrels on the other side of sea after leaving Egypt and Pharaoh and slavery behind.

● I hear the song of Moses after the sea closes behind him, both horse and driver having been hurled into the sea, in awe over this exodus God has accomplished.

● I see the unnamed Samaritan woman at the well leaving her water jar behind, running to the others in her village telling them how she has met one who has seen and knows her and LOVES her with compassion and hope and healing she’s never before known.

● I see Peter jumping out of a boat on the sea of Galilee after the risen Christ has appeared to him and the other disciples. After a miserable night of fishing, catching nothing, the risen Christ provides an abundant catch and then invites them to eat with him on the shore. Peter doesn’t wait for the boat to reach shore, he jumps off and swims, eager to greet his teacher.

● I see the early Christian community sharing all they have, eating together, caring for one another because God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them, adjusting their whole structure and practice to care for the widows when it came to be known they weren’t getting enough to eat. 

See, when gratitude is at work it changes not just our minds and hearts and bodies. It changes our whole society, our whole communal life together. When we practice gratitude, we are also living in the freedom and joy and abundant life of God’s realm. 

 

There are things that compete, however, for that same place in our hearts where gratitude dwells. One of the key competitors for the attention of our hearts is something none of us are immune to: consumerism. If your mailbox and inbox are anything like mine, those retailers we have relationships with have been gearing us up for the holiday shopping season for several weeks now. Today, I opened a Thanksgiving message from a Christian mom-blogger, and inside, to my dismay, were tips on saving even more money on Black Friday and throughout the season, and in a way that actually earned her MORE money. 

Friends we are so immersed in consumer culture, we hardly even know how deep in it we are. We have financial stake in it ourselves as our companies work to end the year as far ahead as possible, as we hope for the big bonuses. We have been shaped such that wish lists for Christmas are normal. And our wants are fed like starving dogs. And the messages all around tell us that we are lacking, our children need more, our households are incomplete, and our lives would be better, easier, free-er, more comfortable, more satiated if only we bought, had, acquired more, more, more. We are sure that we are not enough, and buying more will help solve this spiritual trouble. And not only this, but we are serving our country by spending, by growing the economy. 

But this, friends, runs counter to the heart of each of our faiths, each of our deeper spiritual wisdom and knowledge. God did not make us consumers. God made us receivers and givers. God made us dependent on God and one another, despite all of our behavior to the contrary. 

It’s gratitude, however, that deep gratitude that causes us to dance and sing. That causes us to run and jump out of boats. That causes us to eat and share and be generous and compassionate with one another. This kind of gratitude, it is powerful stuff. When practiced whole-heartedly, consistently, persistently, this kind of gratitude shatters the whole illusion that our consumer culture holds before our eyes and our appetites. And behind it reveals true freedom and joy – freedom from fear, from scarcity, from captivity, from envy, and greed, from avarice and illusion.

May we each discover this kind of gratitude today and the source of it as well. 

Morris West encourages us as well. He says, “At a certain age our lives simplify and we need have only three phrases left in our spiritual vocabulary: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

May we sing songs of doxology and praise. May we dance with joy and abundance. May we run toward the source of life and the giver of every good gift. May we share generously with one another and in doing so proclaim “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” to the God who gives us all we ever needed.

May it be so today and in all the days to come. 

Amen.