Monthly Archives: March 2014

United Methodist Women Garden

The United Methodist Women Gardening Circle starts back Monday, March 10th at 6:30 p.m.
Join us as we enjoy God’s landscape around our church – planting, sharing, praying, and weeding. God put humans in his garden to “till it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15) We are simply carrying on the tradition.
Remembering that we “reap what we sow,” we hope to see you in the garden on Monday. “Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower.”Pink_Primrose

United Methodist Women’s Mission Study

United Methodist Women from all over were invited to attend a Mission Study at Camp Aldersgate in Little Rock. Four of Primrose’s United Methodist Women attended and had a wonderful time. Reverend Pam Estes (Lakeside, Pine Bluff) lead a discussion on “The Call: Living Sacramentally, Walking Justly.”
Groups participated by asking questions of one another on things such as up-bringing and favorite scripture verses to give us insight into our Christian faith-walk. A gifted speaker, Reverend Estes asked the hard questions, but kept our attention while gently urging us to self examination.
One of the questions we wrestled with was: “Do you expect to be a means of grace?”  Even at Wal-Mart? the hairdresser? Did you know that how you live makes a difference in more lives than just your own?
Reverend Estes spoke about the work of the UMW and the times that people get tired, weary, or worn down completing the same tasks time and again, but reminded us to pull our strength from God because there is no such thing as retirement from the UMW.
If we try to follow the model of Jesus we will lead a life others can see like a beacon. The model Jesus set for us really is easy; healing (did you know listening is a form of healing?), hospitality (at more than just church), and hope (give it, get it, be it). This is a life we all can live out one day at a time.
As we move towards the Lenten season, she challenged us to give up more than just food. Try  taking up a way to break the bonds of oppression, perhaps ones you’ve even set for yourself. This mission study was a wonderful blessing and inspiration.

Ash Wednesday for Methodists?

We are commanded to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

When did United Methodists start the “imposition of ashes” on Ash Wednesday?
Whil many think of actions such as the imposition of ashes, signing with the cross, foot washing, and the use of incense as some things that only Roman Catholics or high church Episcopalians do, there has been a move among Protestant churches, including United Methodists to recover these more multi-sensory ways of worship. This is in keeping with a growing recognition that people have multiple ways of learning and praying. worship that is oriented to the intellect or to the emotions, both interior, leaves out those who engage in prayer through vision, smell, touch, movement, etc. We are increasingly aware that people are formed in faith when practices become embedded in memory, nerves, muscles and bone through sensory engagement.
United Methodists have had resources for worship that include the imposition of ashes since 1979 when Ashes and Fire was published as Supplemental Worship Resources 8. This practice became part of our official worship resources in 1992 when General Conference adopted The United Methodist Book of worship (UMBOW).  It is, of course, option, and no congregation or individual is required to participate in Ash Wednesday worship or the imposition of ashes.

From the Pastor

The season of Lent is a time of preparation; we prepare ourselves for Easter when we once again renew our Baptismal Covenant (or for some folks, we are baptized for the first time).

This year, I encourage everyone to read Matthew chapters 5-7; the Sermon on the Mount. As you read Jesus’ sermon every day, pray for Holy Spirit to keep his promise and “guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).

The season of Lent (and our Christian faith) is about change; hence the theology of repentance. We all have room to change and become more like Christ in all that we do and all that we say.

Are you ready to follow Holy Spirit as he is “doing a new thing” among us? (Isaiah 43:19).Sermon_on_the_Mount

40 Days of Lament for Lent

From our Conference Leaders:

Welcome to the Season of Lent. For most of us this is an unsettling season of personal sacrifice and self-examination. Few of us approach Lent with joy; however, for many of us Lent offers precious days for honesty and truth telling within the Body of Christ. Walter Brueggeman writes that the life of faith is a life of orientation, disorientation, and reorientation. If this is true, then Lent is our season to admit our disorientation and claim a new reorientation by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The process for this movement of the Spirit in our lives requires lament. Lament for our own sin. Lament for the suffering we endure. Lament for the world. Lament for all that is not right, oriented, and true, in spite of the grace of God. Without lament, our losses, shortcomings, and disappointments feel like punishment. However, through honest lament, we can discover a new way as we admit our disorientation and experience God’s reorienting grace.

Such honesty is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to admit when we are lost, afraid, ashamed, angry, and vengeful. Yet the scriptures, especially the Psalms, attest to the power of such honesty before God. When the faithful lament, we are always led to affirmation that God is with us and God alone can lead us to new life. Ultimately it is this new life, this reorientation that we seek when we enter Lent, knowing that it is through the cross that resurrection is possible.

Thank you for joining us in this Lenten journey of Lament. May God show us the way forward.

It All Started With Lent

In 2010 I weighed 315 pounds.  I was on blood pressure medicine and was headed straight for a diagnosis of Diabetes.  And when the Lenten season started in 2011, I decided to give up something that I often sacrificed that time of year – sweets.  But this time I would make a point to pray with every urge, every craving, every sugary thought, and I would ask God to take the temptation from me.

After the first few weeks I noticed how much easier it was to not feel deprived and how grateful I was to God for helping me, so I would pray to thank Him.  Before Easter that year I ended up joining a gym, changing ALL of my eating habits, and within the first year I had lost almost 100 pounds. Even though I haven’t reached my goal yet, I have kept it off for almost 3 years.  But the key to my progress wasn’t me, it was God and me.  My desires for chocolate renewed my relationship with Him and made it easier to actually give things to Him without me constantly pulling it back.  He placed people, events, situations … in my path to help me succeed and instead of laughing it off; I picked up whatever opportunities he gave me and went with it.

Lent is meaningful to me because in those 40 days you have the opportunity to gain something more promising and profound than anything on earth.  Weight may not be your issue and you may be in perfect health, but there is something in your life that can be improved by nurturing your relationship with God.  Maybe it’s acceptance for things you cannot change, or the desire to forgive someone after years of separation, it could simply be happiness in your life that you haven’t thanked Him for yet.  Anything you are struggling with, He can help you, He knows you and how you operate and if there is a lull in your communication with Him it can always be resolved with you starting up the next conversation.  Now I always think long and hard about what I can sacrifice so that through the sacrifice I gain momentum in my relationship with God.  Of course, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and there will be service at Primrose (beginning at 6:30) to prepare our hearts and minds for the season, so I encourage you to think about what in your life is the trigger that can bring you to your knees.