The Post-Pandemic Church

Today I’d like to elaborate on a theme I introduced this past winter.  During the pandemic, many people and organizations went into cocoons, literal and figurative.  Many churches shut down completely, waiting for the pandemic to end so they could become caterpillars again.  But I’d love to see the church emerge as a butterfly.

It has been said of caterpillars that the struggle to emerge from the chrysalis gives them the strength to become something new.  The world has been changing around us.  We can never go back to the way things were.  Even the first new normal is outdated; we’re already on the third or fourth new normal.

Over the course of the last year, 52% of Americans volunteered for the first time, while nearly two-thirds worked on “bettering themselves.”  Online Bible searches surged, as did prayer.  The global desire for God has never been greater.  The church now has a golden opportunity for a worldwide revival, one last chance to get it right.

Quick Quiz!

What should the global church’s priority be as we emerge from the pandemic?
a) feeding people
b) letting people know they are loved by God
c) helping our communities
d) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
e) pointing out people’s sins

If you chose a, b, c, or d, I am very happy with you!  If you chose e, COME ON NOW, REALLY?

The prophet Micah writes, “What does the Lord require of you?  To seek justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with your God” (6:8).  Isaiah writes, “The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.  If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word; if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon” (58:6-10, abbreviated).  When Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” he responded, “Love God and love your neighbor” (Mark 12:30-31).  James writes, “What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world” (1:27).

It’s not like we have to reinvent the wheel.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were to say “church” and others would say, “Oh, that’s the place that helps people” or “that’s the place where I feel welcome and safe” or “that’s the place making a difference” or “thank God for churches!”

In other words, wouldn’t it be wonderful if people said the same thing about churches as they do about Jesus?

I pray for a post-pandemic church guided by simple truths: God is real, God is good, and God loves us.  I pray for a post-pandemic church in which everyone is welcomed.  I pray for a post-pandemic church in which we discuss our differences with love, while prioritizing our commonality.

The whole world is suffering right now.  We can add to the suffering, or we can try to alleviate it.  We can imitate Congress, saying “we’re only human,” or we can try to be something better ~ a butterfly instead of the same old caterpillar.

The most encouraging thing:  it won’t even be that hard to do.  All that is needed is to remember that we are saved by grace, given more than we deserve, and to respond with gratitude, praise and love.

What’s better than a Girl Scout cookie?

That’s easy.  It’s Lilly Bumpus, the 8-year-old cancer survivor who just broke the record for selling the most Girl Scout cookies in a single season (32,484).  When she thought she was done selling, she sold Samoa.  (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

First of all, WHAT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  This is the most fantastic story since Easter.  Second, have you ever heard the Scripture, “a little child shall lead them?”  Or Jesus’ instructions to “change and become like children?”  Because #wow.

I really want some Tagalongs right now so if anyone out there has some boxes, bring them over.  And maybe some Toast-Yays™, which are new this year, because I like to try new things and they look delicious.

Along with her mom, Lilly started a foundation that gave holiday care packages to hospitalized children around the world.  And she donated 5,200 cookie boxes to children’s hospitals, U.S. troops and the homeless.  That’s a lot of Thin Mints.

There are always causes that need support, and people who are willing to give, but it takes a leader to organize something on this scale.  The story makes me think of all the leaders in our church who come up with so many great projects, collecting stamps and bottle caps to food and hygiene kits, or writing hundreds of greeting cards year after year, or making thousands of dollars of soup, or volunteering at the soup kitchen and thrift shop.  It feels good to be part of something that is bigger than we are, and to make a difference in a hurting world.

We’ve all gone off our diets in the last year, but how many snack foods benefit good causes?  A cookie can be our new best friend AND someone else’s new best friend.  Cookies can help save lives!  Everybody wins.

So if you’re at home thinking a) I have nothing to do, and b) Someone should really do something about _______ (fill in the blank), maybe God is calling you like he did Samuel in the Temple, or the young prophet Isaiah:

I heard the Lord say, “Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?”  I answered, “I will go! Send me!”
~ Isaiah 6:8, Good News Bible

Sunday Worship Service ~ April 11, 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Good morning, everyone!  We continue to meet online and in person, and are glad for all of our worshipers, whether home, away or at church!  Tammy’s new Sunday School lesson can be found on our Sunday School page.  Every day we add a new post right here on the website that automatically pops up on Facebook and Twitter as well.  If you missed any of this week’s posts, just scroll down to see them!

Wednesday Bible study meets at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Our Thrift Shop is open on Saturdays from 10-2 and always in need of volunteers ~ simply contact Tracy S. or the church office.  

CALL TO WORSHIP: Robert Bridges, from “Awake”

Awake, the land is scattered with light, and see:
UNACCOMPANIED SLEEP
IS FLYING FROM FIELD AND TREE:
And blossoming boughs of April in laughter shake,
AWAKE, O HEART, TO BE LOVED, AWAKE, AWAKE!

UNISON PRAYER (Anonymous, Hawai’i, 19th century):

ABOVE, ABOVE ~ ALL BIRDS IN AIR
BELOW, BELOW ~ ALL EARTH’S FLOWERS
INLAND, INLAND ~ ALL FOREST TREES
SEAWARD, SEAWARD ~ ALL OCEAN FISH
SING OUT AND SAY AGAIN THE REFRAIN:
BEHOLD THIS LOVELY WORLD.  AMEN.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE:  1 Corinthians 15:57

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father,
Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those
Who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory forever.
Amen.

OPENING SONG:  “In the Garden” played by Tanae

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
(Note: Add your own prayers at the beginning or end)

Lord Jesus, as we continue to walk into Easter season, give us the joy of those who walked to Emmaus as they learned they were in your presence.  Help us not only to believe in Easter, but to feel it in our hearts.  As you told your disciples to expect the Holy Spirit, help us to give our lives to the Spirit as well, that we may be blessed.

Give us the patience to wait not only for our own vaccinations, but for others to be vaccinated.  Remind us that the crisis is ongoing, but that you have been with us through it all and will continue to be at our side.  Help us not to take our blessings for granted, but lead us to gratitude as we praise your goodness and grace.

We pray for the healing of Melanie’s sister Marilyn from a blood clot in her neck; for Nat I. as he adjusts to a brand new hip; and for Pete M. as he recovers from a hand injury.  We are grateful that Pete did not need surgery.  May your Holy Spirit encourage and heal them completely.

Be with those who are battling cancer, especially Liz S., and Janet C.’s relative Rolene.  Bless Liz as she continues to recover from surgery at Momentum.  We thank you that the tumor has shrunk to less than 1cm, that the cancer is not in the lymph nodes and that no more chemo may be necessary.  Be with Tracy S.’s brother Paul as he begins treatments.  Thank you for declaring Barbara G. cancer-free!

We pray for others in our church family who are going through times of need:  for Ursula, Amy, Pat, Jim, Sue, Janet, Joan, Lois, Dannie, Kathleen, Lily, Ken, Bunny, Harriet, Diane, Laurie & Steve, Paul, and Ruth; for all members of our extended family who are suffering; for this nation and for the world.

We come to you now in silent prayer …

Lord, as you know what is written in our hearts,
Attend now to our spirits, we pray in your name, Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSON: John 20:24-29, Good News Bible

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”

OFFERING

Please use this time to make out a check to the church (Sayville United Methodist Church, 164 Greene Avenue, Sayville NY 11782).  Thank you to all who have been contributing during this time, and helping the church to pay its bills!  As you write, please enjoy Tanae’s version of “Crown Him With Many Crowns!”

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for being patient with us; for understanding that we are human, and often have doubts.  Thank you for reassuring us with your presence, over and over, and for continuing to fill this world with miracles, that we might believe.  Amen.

BENEDICTION

 And now, Lord Jesus, we ask for the strength to face whatever may come our way this week, knowing that we do not face our challenges alone.  Remind us of your promise never to leave us or forsake us.  Awaken our senses to your amazing grace.  Amen.

Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Thank you to Tanae and Lee for helping with today’s online service!
And thank you for worshiping with us!  We wish you God’s blessing of peace.

Street Sweepers

I awoke this morning to a sound I hadn’t heard for over a year ~ that of a street sweeper.  Was it 3 a.m.?  4 a.m.?  It was early.  The sound was comforting, because I knew what was taking place.  When I walked outside, there would be no trash on the street, no dirt, no grime, and maybe a light polish, as after a brief shower.

Street sweepers once patrolled on foot, with brooms.  Then they exchanged their brooms for water hoses.  Finally, street sweeper trucks were invented.  While there’s no longer a need to clean horse poop from the streets (except after parades), the need is similar; street sweepers rid the roads of pollutants that might otherwise enter the local lakes, bay and drinking supply.  And in my area, in addition to the ubiquitous discarded face masks, there are signs of the local fauna: Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts cups, Wendy’s wrappers and the like.

When I hear the street sweepers, I think of how God is hard at work, even when we sleep.  God “neither slumbers nor sleeps” (Psalm 121:4).  Because God is on watch, we can relax.  The author of Proverbs writes, “You will not be afraid when you go to bed, and you will sleep soundly through the night” (3:24).  (That is, unless a street sweeper comes by!)

But God isn’t just watching over us; God is rejuvenating us, washing away our sins, cleansing our souls.  And I think God likes to do this; God enjoys the thought that we might wake up refreshed, with less anxiety and fear, seeing that He has been active all night, creating a fresh new morning.

Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day!

What Holiday Are You In?

What a beautiful day it was today!  (I’m writing this late Thursday afternoon.)  I went for a nice long walk around the neighborhood, had some conversations with people I know in driveways and on the street, found some beach glass at the water and enjoyed the sight of the sun glittering on the waves.

I was thinking about how much better things are now than they were at this time last year.  A year ago, I took walks for emotional survival, because nothing else was open (even Starbucks!) and it wouldn’t have been safe to go anywhere anyway.  I had gotten into the habit of food shopping once a week on Sunday mornings, because the service had already been filmed and as a pastor, I had no idea what another Sunday morning could be like.  Other people were walking too; we scurried to the other side of the road when we saw each other, and waved.  The playgrounds were marked off with police tape.  But it didn’t make a difference, because the children were kept inside.

So today I gave thanks because of how far we’ve come.  Slow progress is still progress, and we’re well on our way.

But I also noticed a strange thing on my walk.  There were plenty of Easter decorations around, but one house had a dead tree covered in toilet paper, as if it were still Halloween.  And two houses were still decorated for Christmas: one with ornaments, and another with a giant porch Santa.  I wanted to ring their doorbells and give them an update on what happened to that baby, but I wasn’t sure if they could handle the growing up, dying and rising again all at one time.

This past week, I’ve been inviting people to leave winter behind and appreciate the spring, and to leave Good Friday behind and walk with confidence into Easter.  I never imagined that some people would still be stuck on Halloween and Christmas!  We tend to retreat to comfort zones when stressed, but Easter is a pretty happy occasion, as is spring, and both are worth celebrating.

This was a sobering reminder that we are not all on the same page.  Many of our local churches are still closed, and have been so since December ~ or in some cases, last March.  Many people are still unvaccinated and living in fear of COVID.  Many have not left their houses or seen loved ones.  To everyone in this category, I offer this thought: that it’s healthier to look at how far we’ve come than how far we still have to go.  The end is in sight, although we’ve learned to add a few months to any estimate of when that may be.  We are heading in the right direction, continuing to make slow, steady progress.

In the meantime, let’s remember that God has given us a beautiful planet, and that being outside has medical, emotional and spiritual benefits.  At the very least, a walk, a drive to the shore, or time on the porch can make it feel a little less like Halloween and a little more like Easter.  And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Jesus’ Checklist

“So Jesus, what are you going to do, now that you’re back from the dead?”

Words not spoken by Jesus:  “I’m going to Disneyland!”  Although Jesus probably didn’t have a papyrus planner and definitely didn’t have a calendar app, he did have a checklist:

___ catch up with Thomas
___ eat some broiled fish
___ make breakfast for the disciples (bring bread & start fire; disciples will bring fish)
___ forgive Peter
___ offer quick refresher of teachings
___ give disciples The Great Commission
___ Reassure disciples
___ Send Holy Spirit
___ Fly back up to Dad
___ Return briefly to zap Saul

This was a pretty busy schedule, but Jesus was up for the challenge.  Coming back from the dead gives one a lot of extra energy!  He’d already traveled downstairs to “preach to the imprisoned spirits,” giving everyone who died before he came to Earth the chance to believe; and Easter Sunday was a really busy day.  We’re not exactly sure what Jesus was doing over the Easter period, because he kept popping in and out, suddenly appearing behind locked doors, on beaches and roads, sometimes obvious, other times in disguise.  But we do know that he seemed to be in a really good mood, except for that last story about Saul, and even that turned out okay.

Perhaps the thing that stands out the most is the incredible faith Jesus demonstrated in humanity.  He blessed the people who deserted him, gave a position of authority to one who denied him, sought out a disciple who was apparently out of town on Easter, and finally trusted his greatest enemy (Saul) with his greatest commission.  First he died on the cross who people who didn’t deserve it; then he came back to show that there were no hard feelings; then he said, I’m putting you in charge.

He saw the worst in people, but believed in their best; and his trust was rewarded.  Most of us are not like this.  We don’t give people a lot of chances.  We un-like, un-follow and dismiss.  We say that “people just ain’t no good.”  But what if we actively looked for the good in everyone?  (If that sentence sounds familiar, it’s because we sang it in church last month.)  Might others be moved more by kindness than condemnation, by grace rather than by grudges?  Might the very act of believing in people help make them people worth believing in?  Jesus staked all of Christianity on this premise, and humanity came through.  Let’s keep this good thing going.

Easter II: The Sequel

There are four Gospels telling the story of Jesus: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Mark’s Gospel was written first, followed by the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, who each used Mark as a source along with another unidentified source commonly known as Q.  (The material found in both Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark, is attributed to this author).  Then John, the last living disciple, wrote his own version, adding lots of new material, which is why his Gospel seems so fresh ~ especially if one has just read the other three in a row!

As an avid reader and book lover, I love the way John ends his Gospel:  “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25, New International Version).  But did you know that one of the four Gospel writers also penned a sequel?

You now have a one-in-four shot if you’d like to guess the author!

The answer is Luke, and his sequel is The Book of Acts, or simply Acts.  The opening words:  “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen” (Acts 1:1-2, New International Version).  Theophilus may be a king, but since “Theo” means “God” (as in “theology”) and “philia” means “love” (as in “Philadelphia,” the city of brotherly love), “Theophilus” may also mean “person who loves God.”

The book begins with a flashback to Luke 24.  If this were a TV show, it would start, “previously on Luke.”  And then there is a business meeting, a thrilling development for United Methodists, who love business meetings; the word “Methodist” is related to “methodical,” and was once meant in a derogatory sense.  At this meeting they vote on a new person to take Judas’ place.  For comic book fans, this is like picking a new person for the Avengers or the Justice League after one of them has fallen.

By Chapter Two, it’s on to Pentecost, but we’re not going to go there yet because Pentecost is not until … (do you remember the answer from yesterday?  I’ll give you a minute to guess).

May 23, that’s right, very good!  Exactly 7 weeks after Easter, although it’s supposed to be 40 days after Easter instead of 49, which like Lent was affected by Catholics not counting Sundays and then moving the day to the nearest Sunday after that because people are less likely to go to church on any other day of the week.  Yes, I know it’s complicated, just like Easter being on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring.  Stay with me here as I get to the point, which you’ve been praying would happen for a couple paragraphs now.

The point is that Christmas and Easter are very different holy days.  After Christmas and New Year’s, we put away our toys and decorations and feel a sense of letdown as we wait for the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.  After the Epiphany (Three Wise Men) and dedication in the Temple, even Jesus disappears from the story until he is 12, then he disappears again until he’s in his mid-20s.

But after Easter, the Gospel becomes a never-ending story.  (Yes, I know that’s also the name of a movie and a half-decent theme song by Limahl).  There’s no break in the action.  40 days of appearances are followed by the appearance of the Holy Spirit and the birth and growth of the church.  Jesus promises his disciples that he will be with them “until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20), and he prays for all who will believe in him because of what they say (John 17:20).  That means us!

Easter is an open door, like a tomb with the stone rolled away.  Easter is winter turning into spring.  Easter propels us further into the story.  Whenever another person meets Jesus, the closing words of John ring true again.  Easter is still happening, still unfolding all around us.  It’s too big to be contained in one book, or four, which is why a sequel had to be written, and why, in our own words and actions, we continue to tell the original story while adding more stories of our own.

Some may use pen or pencil, others typewriters or keyboards.  Some, recalling the way stories originally spread, simply use words.  Some use paint or music or clay.  There is no end to the type of tools that can be used, just as there is no limit to the type of spiritual gifts that God can give.  Luke may have written the first sequel, but because God writes his story on our hearts, each of us is a living sequel as well.  And in this way, the Gospel continues to expand, far beyond the bindings of any book.

How will you tell your story?

Easter Season

Easter Season lasts all the way to Pentecost, which is celebrated this year on May 23.  The season is a mirror image of Lent: 40 days of appearances by the risen Christ before His ascension.  40 days of praise.  40 days of joy.

The season moves around on the Christian calendar, as Easter can land anywhere from March 20 to April 25.  But it always coincides with spring, and is celebrated on the first Sunday after spring’s first full moon.  The flowers on the altar are a reminder not only of Jesus’ resurrection, but of the resurrection of nature and color and scent.

“Do not be afraid,” Jesus tells his disciples again and again.  On Easter, the fear is taken away.  They no longer have the death of Jesus hanging over their heads; and now they imagine their own deaths differently as well: as doorways to eternal life.  The message of the resurrection is that things will work out in the end for those who follow Jesus and trust in his teachings.  Love God.  Love your neighbor.  Feed my sheep.

Many of us are feeling a little more Easter-y than usual this year since we didn’t have the chance to celebrate last year the way we wished.  We didn’t have church services. Many of us didn’t see our relatives or enjoy an Easter dinner.  We were stuck in a never-ending Lent, or in Narnia terms, a “perpetual winter.”  This year, even for those still waiting on a vaccination, things are different.  We can see happiness on the horizon, even if we haven’t quite reached it yet.  We’ve gotten used to the new normal, but are hoping for another new normal, one that isn’t like the old normal or the first new normal, but may be something better: a period of years in which we appreciate all we have even more: our friends, our families, our faith.

As for me, I’m appreciating Easter this year more as a season than as a day.  My Lent grew darker as it progressed, but turned to bright light in the middle of Holy Week.  I had thought that Easter season would be a series of goodbyes, and now it is once again a series of hellos.  A season of grief has turned into a season of joy.

I praise God, who makes such miracles happen.  “He turns graves into gardens; he turns mourning to dancing.”  Happy Easter season, everyone!

Easter Sunday Service ~ April 4, 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Good morning, everyone!  We continue to meet online and in person, and are glad for all of our worshipers, whether home, away or at church!  Tammy’s new Sunday School lesson can be found on our Sunday School page.  Every day we add a new post right here on the website that automatically pops up on Facebook and Twitter as well.  If you missed any of this week’s posts, just scroll down to see them!

Wednesday Bible study meets at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Our Thrift Shop is open on Saturdays from 10-2 and always in need of volunteers ~ simply contact Tracy S. or the church office.  

CALL TO WORSHIP

He is risen!
HE IS RISEN INDEED!
Christ the Lord is risen today!
ALLELULIA!

UNISON PRAYER (Elevation Worship):

YOU TURN MOURNING TO DANCING.
YOU GIVE BEAUTY FOR ASHES.
YOU TURN SHAME INTO GLORY.
YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN.
YOU TURN GRAVES INTO GARDENS.
YOU TURN BONES INTO ARMIES.
YOU TURN SEAS INTO HIGHWAYS.
YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN.
THERE’S NOTHING BETTER THAN YOU.
NOTHING IS BETTER THAN YOU.  AMEN.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE:  Matthew 28:20, New Living Translation

Hear now these words of Jesus:  “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father,
Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those
Who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory forever.
Amen.

OPENING SONG:  “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
(Note: Add your own prayers at the beginning or end)

Lord Jesus, on this very day you were raised from the dead, transforming your disciples from people of despair into people of hope.  Transform us as well, Lord.  As we walk through our own valleys, as we battle our own demons, as we wrestle with our own doubts, remind us that we are Easter people.  Pull us out of the graves of fear and anxiety, and lift us to new life, in this world and in the world to come.

We pray for the healing of Melanie’s sister Marilyn from a blood clot in her neck.  We pray that the blood thinners ease the problem and that she will not need surgery.

Be with those who are battling cancer, especially Liz S., Barbara G. and Janet C.’s relative Rolene.  Bless Liz as she continues to recover from surgery.  Be with Tracy S.’s brother Paul as he begins treatments.  May their strength and spirits remain high throughout the process, and may your healing grace rest upon them.

We pray for others in our church family who are going through times of need:  for Ursula, Amy, Pat, Jim, Sue, Janet, Joan, Lois, Dannie, Kathleen, Lily, Ken, Bunny, Harriet, Diane, Laurie & Steve, Paul, and Ruth; for all members of our extended family who are suffering; for this nation and for the world.

We come to you now in silent prayer …

Lord, as you know what is written in our hearts,
Attend now to our spirits, we pray in your name, Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSON: Matthew 28:1-10, New Living Translation

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it.  His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.  The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.  And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

OFFERING

Please use this time to make out a check to the church (Sayville United Methodist Church, 164 Greene Avenue, Sayville NY 11782).  Thank you to all who have been contributing during this time, and helping the church to pay its bills!  As you write, please enjoy this video of “Alleluia in Church!”

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for making miracles happen, and for coming back to show us that you are alive!  Thank you for letting us know that there is always reason to hope, even in our darkest hours.  We praise you and lift your name on high.  Amen.

BENEDICTION

 As we go forth, may we do so as Easter people: filled with joy and wonder, bursting at the seams with excitement.  We know that our Savior lives.  Alleluia!

Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Thank you to Tanae and Lee for helping with today’s online service!
And thank you for worshiping with us!  We wish you God’s blessing of peace.

Welcome to the Sayville United Methodist Church!

IMG_3614The Sayville United Methodist Church is a community of faith that celebrates the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our church welcomes people of all ages and stages of faith.  We offer many Bible studies as well as programs for youth, senior citizens and everyone in between. We are located at 164 Greene Avenue in Sayville, NY, at the intersection of Greene Avenue and Montauk Highway, across from Dunkin Donuts.  Parking is available in the lot across the street on the Greene Avenue side.  The church also has a small lot reserved for our seniors and others who may need assistance.

Main Street entrance.To the left is our annual Clamfest, part of Sayville’s Summerfest. On this day, we get together to raise funds for local and global outreach. To the right is the Main Street view.

You are invited to join us Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. (9:30 from July 1 through Labor Day Weekend).   Our average attendance is 100.  Be sure to pick up a visitor’s packet while you’re here!  Feel free to call us at (631) 589-0624 or email us at umcsayville@optonline.net with any further questions!  May God bless you this day!