a Newsletter from Grace United Methodist Church, Arlington, TX. This newsletter comes to let you know about happenings at Grace, and to invite you to reflect on your walk with God as you strive to follow Jesus’ summary of the commandments: to love God, one another, and oneself.
Be ready to imagine the impossible!
You just never know what God will do when you are in the wilderness! A few months ago, Grace was blessed to take several of our youth to Mission U at a weekend camp in Glen Rose. After about an hour and a half ride, we arrived at “camp”, cabins, no TVs, lots of trails and trees!
Welcome to Mission U; organized by United Methodist Women; a place where people of all ages, gather to study a Spiritual Growth, Geographic or Social Issue.
“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge”. Prov. 23:12 (NIV)
The social issue study for the youth was, “The Church and People with Disabilities”. All day on a Saturday and a Sunday, the youth were engaged in this very important topic. I’m sure there may have been a number of other places they could have been, but they chose camp. And for some of the youth, this was their first experience at camp.
In the wilderness; well, it wasn’t that bad. There was time for fun in between classes and Mission U was a great place for the youth to bond, thus creating a stronger unit. Our Mission Statement is for everyone at Grace. We are called to provide opportunities to make disciples through our words and actions in cooperation with God’s grace.
I am excited to share in this edition of Grace Notes – The OZ Blog, written by two of the youth who attended Mission U.
Blessings and Peace
Grace to you,
Although we have almost completed the series, “Protecting What’s Important,” I want to encourage you to practice what you have learned. I remember hearing the old adage “practice make perfect” and thought it was a great idea. That was until an elementary coach said that “perfect practice makes perfect”. What a concept! The more we practice being doers of the Word, the more “perfect” we will get at doing the Word. Let’s perfectly practice protecting what’s important.
The latest installment of the series deals with protecting what comes out of our mouths.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit”. Another reminder comes from Proverbs 13:3a which says, “People who watch their mouths guard their lives,”
Why is this important? Well, it’s always good to remind ourselves that we have an enemy that is seeking to destroy God’s children, “The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” (John 10:10)
This thief uses all sorts of tricks and schemes to attempt to deprive us of this full life. According to Peter he is even, “…on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
I commend to you the following steps that can assist us in watching our mouths. I promise you will hear this again (smile).
1. I must choose to control what comes out of my mouth (Prov. 21:23)
2. I must depend on the Spirit of God for control (2 Tim 1:7)
3. I must be aware that my words, can hurt, hinder, and in some cases destroy people. (gossip) Prov. 11:13, 12:18, 15:1, 26:20
4. I must be aware that my words can hurt, hinder, and destroy things in my life. (James 3:1-10)
We continue to love and pray for your growth in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Pastor Bates and Ron
 All Scriptural references are taken from the Common English Bible.
Growing in Grace
The OZ Blog
“Living with Disability”
O: In today’s society we have encounters with different kinds of people. Sometimes, some of these people tend not to be normal either in their physical appearance or their behaviors. These kinds of people are known to be disabled. As a result of their disability, they are treated differently from those who are normal and in a worst case scenario they are disregarded in our society. However, it shouldn’t be this way, similar to every one of us, they are also human and therefore, they deserve to be treated equally.
Z: Therefore, when describing people based on their disability, we make use of Person First Language. Person First Language puts the emphasis on the person not on the disability (Disabilities and our responses, Beth Miller, Lesson 3, pg. 30). Basically, the disabled individual is categorized to be normal but when describing them, adjectives are used. Here are some examples below:
O: Instead of saying, “The blind man. You would say, “The man who is visually impaired”. Instead of saying, “She is handicapped”, you say, “She has a physical disability”. Instead of saying, “A down syndrome child”, you would say, “A child with down syndrome”. Instead of saying “A special ed student or a dumb person”, you would say, “A student with a learning need or a person who can’t speak”.
Z: In conclusion, we should treat others equally. We should not make others feel bad for just being people with different abilities. But, we should make people with different abilities feel good about themselves and feel welcomed.
The OZ Blog writers:
Obinni Emeh & Zion Bamundaga
Eating Right to Boost Your Memory (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
The following are foods to help boost memory and brain function. These foods also help with better cognitive function, memory and level of alertness:
Eat plenty of vegetables, especially broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy greens.
Eat plenty of berries and cherries. These are good for a snack, in cereal or smoothies.
Get adequate omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, Bluefin tuna, sardines (fatty fish)
Snack on a handful of walnuts. These can also be added to oatmeal or a salad.
Submitted by Evelyn Coles
Mission, Missions, Opportunities
Mission or Missions? Often those of us who are inside the church are confused when pastors and scholars of mission use the words “mission” and “missions” interchangeably…[Theologian Lesslie] Newbigin’s distinction between “mission” and “missions” can be a working definition for our understanding: “Mission is the entire task for which the Church is sent into the world. By ‘missions’ I mean those specific activities undertaken by human decisions to bring the Gospel to places or situations where it is not heard, to create a Christian presence in a place or situations where there is no such presence or no effective presence.”
Mission, in short, is the goal and the purpose of God for us. Missions are the human objectives by which we respond to God’s love for us. God’s mission outlives individual and denominational missions. It does not end. (Excerpted from Glory E. Dharmaraj, Concepts of Mission (New York: Women’s Division, GBGM, 2005).
Submitted by Pam Pinkerton
On behalf of the Outreach Committee,
I would like to thank everyone for showing extravagant generosity and radical hospitality during our Angel Tree efforts in 2013. Many families were blessed by your love and spirit of giving - they EXPERIENCED GRACE!
Christmas is just around the corner and we are planning our efforts for this year. Please note the following from Prison Fellowship, regarding Angel Tree:
"It Starts with a Gift and Leads to Lives Transformed through Jesus Christ"
When mom or dad is in prison, their children are often the silent sufferers. You can let them know they are not forgotten. Give them a gift on behalf of their incarcerated parent and in the name of Jesus."
Angel tags will be distributed 12/7/2014 - 12/14/2014 and pre-wrapped gifts are to be delivered no later than Tuesday, 12/16/2014. Our "Birthday Party for Jesus" is scheduled for 12/20/2014. (watch for bulletin inserts and posters throughout the church).
Volunteers are needed to wrap and bag gifts and also to help at the party. Please see Rev. Penny Stemley for more details and to volunteer.
Rev. LilliAnn "Penny" Stemley, M.A.C.S.
Director of Communications, Grace UMC, Arlington