Everybody Panic!!!

Hundreds of gas stations have already run out of gas!  There are long lines at the pump!  You might not get any gas unless you GO RIGHT NOW!  GO!  GO!  GO!  Don’t even finish reading this post!

Okay, now we only have the reasonable people left, because the crazy people did what I said.  They may have missed the update that this is not even a gas shortage; it’s five days in which a pipeline shut down and made gas harder to come by.  It also represents a comeback for panic buying.  We have to stock up on toilet paper, or we’ll have to use telephone books!  We need to save our coins, because soon they’ll all be gone!  I just bought a case of Grape-Nuts on eBay!

Remember when people started stockpiling Coke only to find that it returned as Classic Coke?  Or Twinkies, only to learn that Hostess would be bought by another company?   Or Wendy’s beef shortage last summer, which temporarily turned their own commercial (“Where’s the beef?”) back on them?

I think it would be fun to create fake panic scenarios.  They’re running out of kittens!  If you’ve ever wanted one, you MUST ACT NOW!

Perhaps it’s better to remember what Mick Jagger says: “You can’t always get what you want.”  There’s always something that’s out of stock, or overpriced.  Most things come back.  Demand is cyclical.  Today’s treasure is tomorrow’s trash.

The bigger question is, “What do we value?”  Once we decide what we value, we might put more time and effort into preotecting it.  For example, if we like a local store, we might shop there instead of Amazon.  If we like the existence of churches, we might attend one.  If we like our relationships, we might spend more time working on them.  If we like a certain species, we might work to keep it from being endangered.  If we like our planet, we might try better to preserve it for future generations.

When we think hope is in short supply, it’s time to spread hope.  When we think love is in short supply, it’s time to spread love.  When we think peace is in short supply, it’s time to spread peace.  When we think kindness is in short supply, it’s time to spread kindness.  We can replenish the supply so others don’t panic.

And let’s remember that God has an infinite supply of everything we need.  We may run out of gas, or Grape Nuts, or toilet paper, or Twinkies, but we’ll never run out of grace.

The Play-In Tournament

A quick explanation for those who don’t follow basketball: this year, the NBA is experimenting with a new playoff system.  Some teams are automatically in, some teams are automatically out, and the teams in the middle will have to earn it.

This reminds me of something … wait … wait … buffering … oh yeah, Purgatory!  That’s the place you go if you’re Catholic and you’re not good enough for Heaven but you’re not bad enough for the southern place (Florida?).  In Purgatory, a person simply has to work off their sins for some undisclosed amount of time (which in the early years could be lessened if people gave money to the church to reduce their sentence, which was The Best Fundraiser Ever since no one ever told anyone how much time they had left ~ but then Martin Luther had to come along and spoil it for everybody, but I digress, which is why this is all in parentheses).

So are you in, are you out, or are you unsure?  If you’re in, that’s great, if you’re out, that’s not so great, and if you’re United Methodist there is no middle place (sorry!) so you won’t be able to work off your sins if you have any.

This makes all of life a play-in tournament.  No pressure!

Now switching sports, here’s a couple curve balls.  1) We can’t earn our way into heaven ~ it’s all grace.  2) Good works are still worth something.

Today’s Scripture

My friends, what good is it for one of you to say that you have faith if your actions do not prove it?  Can that faith save you?  Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don’t have enough to eat.  What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!”—if you don’t give them the necessities of life?  So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead.  But someone will say, “One person has faith, another has actions.” My answer is, “Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions.”  You see, then, that it is by our actions that we are put right with God, and not by our faith alone. ~ James 2:14-18, 24, Good News Bible

And now one more curve ball:  3) While faith without works is dead, works without faith, but with a compassionate heart, might not be dead.  According to Matthew 25 (The Parable of the Sheep and Goats), it might be all that is required.  We just don’t know.  We do know that God is good, God is love, God is merciful, and God is just.  After that, it gets really complicated.  So let’s make it easy.

1) Have faith.
2) Do good works!
3) Make sure that you are not doing good works in order to get to heaven or to avoid Florida.

Following these three simple rules (which are not as good as John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules, but are similar) will give us the best chance of succeeding in the play-in tournament of life.  As the playoffs approach, let’s do our best to help each other to get to heaven, and in so doing, by God’s grace, we may end up there ourselves.

A Global Perspective

Read any news lately?  We’re doing better than you might think.

Here in the United States, we have conflicts with each other, but no one is dropping bombs on us from the skies.

We complain about traffic and potholes, but we are allowed to travel throughout the country, and we do not have to watch out for landmines.

We are having a difficult time with COVID, but we are no longer at peak levels.

Women do not make as much as men, but they do not have to wear burkas.

Our schools are not perfect, but we have schools, and every child is invited.

We may suffer from food insecurity, but there are no vast areas of starvation, and our water is drinkable.

Race relations are strained, but no races are at actual war with each other.

Our politicians argue every day, and we argue about politics, but we have the right to dissent, because we do not live in a dictatorship.

We want more for our children, but they are not in daily danger of being kidnapped or sold ~ nor do we consider doing so to make money (I hope).

We don’t always respect our local law enforcement, but in many countries, law enforcement is done by the military, arbitrarily and without trial.

Speaking of which, there are places where protesters ~ and sometimes just random people ~ are shot on sight, imprisoned without trial, or “disappeared,” and everybody is used to it because it’s just life.

There are also nations where Christianity is against the law.

Is it wrong to feel better about one’s life because other people have it worse?  I’m not sure.  I think it’s wrong to have the same amount of discontent over relatively minor issues (also known as first world problems) as people in countries devastated by war, famine, disease, and/or crime.  But if we feel any guilt over the realization that in comparison to much of the world, we are very, very, very blessed, then perhaps it can lead us to give more, to volunteer more, to read more and to vote more: to find ways in which we might share our blessings with others.  In many ways, the United States is still healing in 2021 from the traumas of 2020 ~ but even our worst days are still better than the best days in other places.  May this realization keep us humble, and grateful, and generous.

Sunday Worship Service ~ Mother’s Day, May 9, 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 studies meet at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Men’s Bible Study meets Thursdays at 7 at the Bayport UMC.  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 (From Psalm 27)

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
THE LORD IS THE STRONGHOLD OF MY LIFE;
OF WHOM SHALL I BE AFRAID?
Though a host camp against me, my heart shall not fail;
THOUGH WAR RISE AGAINST ME,
YET I WILL BE CONFIDENT.
Wait for the LORD; sing and make melody;
WAIT FOR THE LORD; BE STRONG,
AND LET YOUR HEART TAKE COURAGE.

UNISON PRAYER

THANK YOU FOR OUR MOTHERS, OUR GRANDMOTHERS, AND EVERY GENERATION OF WOMEN IN OUR LIVES: THOSE WHO GAVE US LIFE, THOSE WHO HELPED US TO GROW, AND THOSE WHO LOVE US STILL.  MOST ESPECIALLY, WE THANK YOU FOR THOSE WHO SHARED THEIR FAITH WITH US AND WHO CONTINUE TO INSPIRE US TODAY.  THANK YOU, LORD!  AMEN.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE: Hebrews 4:16, Good News Bible

Let us have confidence and approach God’s throne, where we will receive mercy and find peace to help us just when we need it.

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:   Sara Bareilles, “Brave”

This is one of the happiest videos you’ll ever see ~ it’s about having the courage to be who you are, a lesson we hear from our moms!

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

Lord Jesus, we thank you for our mothers and for all women who have treated us with a mother’s tender care.  We thank you for the generations before us who have shaped our faith, and the people who are encouraging us yet today.  May all mothers feel your blessing today.

We pray for an end to the global pandemic.  We are thankful for the progress that is being made in our nation, but we are worried about other nations, especially India and Brazil.  Send doctors, nurses, scientists and vaccines to all who need your divine intervention, and give us reason to praise.

We thank you that Rose is home and ask for complete healing from her heart condition.  Be with Karen G. as she recovers from surgery, and bless her with your loving kindness.

Be with those who are battling cancer, especially Liz S., Tracy S.’s brother Paul, Brie’s boyfriend’s father and Janet C.’s relative Rolene.  Be with Liz during her recovery at Momentum and with Paul and Rolene during their treatments.  Lift their spirits and heal their bodies.

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 LESSONS

Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9, Good News Bible)

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
~ Psalm 139:13-16, NIV

I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6, Good News Bible)

SUNDAY MEDITATION (Video followed by similar print version):

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 playing “The Gift of Love.”

OFFERTORY PRAYER

 Thank you God, for caring for us like a mother hen watching over her chicks.  Lead us to care for each other in your name.  We return to you what you have already given to us; help us to use these gifts to honor your kingdom.  Amen.

BENEDICTION

As we go forth, may we do so with the confidence that comes from knowing the Lord and walking in the Lord’s paths, and may we encourage each other all the more, carrying on the work that God has already begun in us.  Amen.

 Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Thank you to Kaitlyn and Tanae 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!