invigorate it, and nurture it?
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“We believe that healthy growing congregations have a balance of masculine and feminine spirit, reflecting our triune God. We envision female and male believers, lay and clergy, serving Christ as co-laborers and partners in Christ. This is a unity issue, not a gender issue. We must become ONE in Christ.”
“Women and men must stand side-by-side as co-laborers in Christ. The difficult challenges facing ministry to men must be enjoined by men and women in genuine partnership. We need each other, more than ever.”
~ from UMC Men’s Ministries Guidelines
“The alienation of many men from the femininity of Christian spirituality has created grounds for an enormous misunderstanding about men and religion that every pastoral caregiver must recognize and confront. The absence of so many men from so many churches, their lack of involvement, their diffidence and even hostility to Christian piety, has created a mostly unconscious assumption in our culture that men are not naturally religious. It is widely assumed that prayer and spirituality are basically female enterprises and that all but a few unusual men can relate to religion in only a peripheral way.
“A trip outside the bounds of American Christian culture, a journey into the temples, monasteries, and shrines of the world’s religions, would quickly shatter such a misandrist illusion”
“Our religion-alienated American men represent neither a wave of the future nor a rational advance over centuries of superstition. They are an anomaly, a quirk, an oddity in the community of all the men who ever lived, who ever wondered at the Unspeakable Mystery, sought alignment with the Eternal Tao, burned with affection for the Great Holy, or trembled before the Totally Other. And all of this ancient affinity for God – every bit of it – still lies buried deep in their unconscious, waiting to be called forth into a spiritual life that will make them a little less mad and a little more human. It waits there, this penchant for the Holy, drowned out by Muzak and numbed by the dreariness of shopping malls, paralyzed by stress and enervated by neglect, until something wakes it. Who will call religiosity fully to life in men, invigorate it, and nurture it in the face of the death-dealing boredom of modern secularity? That is the task of the church in its care of souls.”
~ from “The Crisis of Men and the Church” in Masculine Spirituality and the Bible, by Patrick M. Arnold
Dear Brothers in Christ:
We had a good turnout of men Saturday to put up the Christmon Tree and live wreaths. A big thanks to all came out and helped.
In a couple weeks, we will be preparing a delicious Christmas Dinner for the Prince George’s House men’s shelter. We will be roasting turkeys and preparing all the fixin’s for this dinner—all in the church kitchen. Save the date – Sunday, December 18. We will need groups of men to come in and help off-and-on during the day. I’ll send out a list of times and needs later this week.
CONNECTING IN CHRIST
- Daily Scripture Readings
Monday – Luke 1:5-25, 57-80
Tuesday – Matthew 4:1-6, 28:18-20
Wednesday – Matthew 3:1-12
Thursday – Isaiah 62
Friday – John 1:6-34
Saturday – Mark 1:1-8
- There are plenty of opportunities to connect with Christ this Christmas season.
Advent Simple Prayer – Wednesdays in December (except for December 21) – 7:00 p.m.
Children’s Christmas Program – December 11, 11:00 a.m. Worship Service
Blue Christmas – December 21, 7:30 p.m. Acknowledging that the holidays are not all joyous, this service provides a space to bring our struggles into sacred space and be met with a word of grace and hope.
6:30 p.m. – Family Service including children presenting characters of the nativity as the story told and carols are sung,
8:30 p.m. – Traditional Candlelight service with Communion. The Bell Choir will perform before the service.
11:00 p.m. – A simpler more intimate service including Communion and, carols, special music, and lots of candlelight.
Christmas Day – 10:00 a.m. A celebration of Christmas morning.
Watch Night Service – New Year’s Eve, 7:00-8:00 p.m. The Sanctuary is open for drop-in attendance with music, Scripture, hymns, and prayers folded into a simple service to allow personal reflection on the past year and anticipation toward to new year. Communion will be offered at 15-minute intervals beginning 7:15 p.m. You need not stay for the entire service.
New Year’s Celebration – 10:00 a.m. Join the rest of the congregation in celebrating the New Year in the Sanctuary.
With all these opportunities, you have no excuse for not coming to church at least once in the next month.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
- The Altar Guild needs your help. As we move into the Advent and Christmas season, your Altar Guild is challenged to create beautiful, meaningful worship spaces in the church. All members of the congregation are invited to join the Altar Guild on the following Saturdaymornings at 9:00 a.m.: December 3, December 17, and January 7. As in the past, these Saturdays will be used for decorating the Sanctuary for Christmas, including putting up a tall Christmas Tree as well as wreaths, and later taking everything down. Your help is needed as this work requires the strength and ingenuity of men of all ages.
- Holiday Food Baskets – St. Matthew’s will support families at the Bowie Food Pantry with holiday food baskets. Especially needed ale gifts will be displayed on tables for their clients to “shop” for their children. Check the baskets in the narthex for cards with items needed. Bring the unwrapped gift back to no later than next Sunday. Donations are due December 11.
- Warm Nights is coming soon and we need your help. And once again we will be the first church to welcome guests for Warm Nights II. With Christmas starting on a Sunday, we will be bringing in our guests on Saturday, December 24 so they can enjoy the holiday. With the increase in homelessness we need to help as many as possible. The volunteer sign up book is in the kiosk area of the Narthex. We need overnight volunteers as well as people to donate food as well as serve food.
- Make a difference in someone’s life. If you know someone in need of a church family, let Pastor Daniel know. He would be happy to talk with them. Contact him at 301-262-1408.
- Join the Usher Team: Be the one who helps others have a meaningful experience with God by providing a warm, friendly atmosphere for growth, comfort, and meditation during worship. Join the team. See any usher about signing up.
- Parent’s Night Out, Saturday, December 10, 4:00-7:00 p.m. Children will begin in the Sanctuary to help decorate the Christmas tree, move to Fellowship Hall for dinner and a few games and end the evening upstairs with a movie. Children participating in the Christmas Program are invited to stay after rehearsal. All others may be dropped off at 4:00 p.m.
- Church-wide Christmas Potluck following the Children’s Christmas Program next Sunday, December 11, at 11:00 a.m. Worship Service. Bring a dish to share. Ham and drinks will be provided. Come share a meal as a church family as we celebrate the hard work of the children and youth participating in the Christmas Program. All are welcome!
- Choirmaster’s Open House, Sunday, December 18, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Isaac and Jeff, with the permission of the three greyhounds, invite you to their home at 6505 Alexis Drive, for a bit of food and fellowship. Come celebrate the Christmas Season, Isaac’s birthday and anything else you’d like to be festive about. Do you really need and excuse to party????
- Help a Church Member: If you know of any church member who has not attended worship services lately, or who may be sick and in need of prayers, please contact the church office at (301) 262-1408. You can make a difference in a person’s life by letting us know about anyone’s absence. Their absence could be caused by illness.
- Despite the weather and/or the season, the Men’s Wednesday Morning Breakfast is always in session and open to all. If you ever have a Wednesday morning off, please join us at Rip’s at 9:00 a.m. for breakfast and good fellowship. AND, we also make a difference in many ways. CHURCH CAN BE ANYWHERE – Even Rip’s on Wednesdays.
Monday – Saturday 6:30 a.m. Prayer Call-dial 712-775-7031 and enter access code 111-576-270#.
Monday 9:15 a.m. Acts of the Apostles: Into the World – Room 222
9:30 a.m. Merry Methodists (M&Ms) – Room 223
7:00 p.m. Gloria Ringers – Room 124
7:00 p.m. Acts of the Apostles: Into the World – Room 222
Tuesday 9:45 a.m. Bible Study – Room 126
11:00 a.m. Angel Gang – Room 126
7:00 p.m. Board of Trustees – Room 125
7:00 p.m. Membership Team – Room 126
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. Men’s Breakfast Group – Rip’s
10:30 a.m. Bible Study for Health – Room 125
6:00 p.m. Christmas Stocking Set-Up – Fellowship Hall
7:00 p.m. Simple Prayer Service – Sanctuary
Thursday 9:00 a.m. Christmas Stocking Stuffing – Fellowship Hall
9:15 a.m. Christian Believer – Room 126
7:00 p.m. Chancel Choir – Room 124
8:30 p.m. SpiritMove – Room 124
Saturday 9:00 a.m. Altar Guild Work Day – Sanctuary
10:00 a.m. Theatre Troup Tryouts – Room 124
2:30 p.m. Christmas Program Rehearsal – Sanctuary
4:00 p.m. Parent’s Night Out – Sanctuary
Sunday 8:30 a.m. Worship Service – Sanctuary
9:30 a.m. Fellowship Hour – Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m. Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Worship Service with Children’s Program- Sanctuary
12:15 p.m. Church-Wide Christmas Potluck
12/18/2016 UMM provides Christmas Dinner for Prince George’s House.
1/21/2017 7:00 p.m. Movie Night for Adults – Amazing Grace – Fellowship Hall
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United Methodist Men
St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church
14900 Annapolis Road
Bowie, MD 20715