Christ is risen! Alleluia!!
I want to start by saying Thank You to so many people who made our Season of Lent and Easter so very wonderful.

From Peg and Nancy and those who helped them set up the sanctuary; to Chuck, Carol, Bill, Carolyn, Bev and all those who helped them to bring about the blessings of Maundy Thursday, Holy Friday and Easter breakfast; to Ashley, Joe, and all the choir members who dedicated themselves to music that connects; and yes, to John and his team and Diana for making sight and sound such a vital part of worship each week ... we give thanks! And there are many others to thank and we do thank you all! Please look around and thank someone who has been particularly special to your experience of the grace of God during Lent and Easter this year. And finally, the flowers (I hope) are beginning to think about popping their heads out. “Come on, you can do it!” And this means that our seasonal brothers and sisters will be returning. Super!

Spring is the time when I feel a new start coming on.  In that light, I’m going to offer Disciple 1 – Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study. This is one fantastic  Bible study program! It really changed my outlook on Scripture and revealed a whole new understanding of God and our faith heritage.

Disciple 1 is a program in which participants read their Bibles daily, keep some notes, read some background information, and then meet weekly to watch a video and to share about what they’ve read, learned, and questioned … and to talk about how it all might apply to our lives and the world today.

I hope you’ll come to an orientation session. I’ll hand out the workbooks and go over what the program offers and how it runs. I hope you’ll then make a commitment to be part of the fun of coming to know God better.

Please consider a few things, as you decide whether or not to make the commitment to this study:
1. What sets Methodism apart from other faith traditions is our emphasis on Sanctifying Grace – which says that salvation is not about heaven after you die … but about coming to have the very heart and mind of Christ that we might live and love … and in that, realize the kingdom of God on earth!
2. The Bible is a library of books, letters, poems, songs, and sayings that are meant to help us to come to know God, especially in the person of Jesus of the Gospels. These books and letters and sayings seem to contradict each other. Yet, they are all there before us to find the God who says, “I will be for you; I will be the God you need.” Our responsibility is to work
through to see the forest for the trees!
3. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that if we’re not putting in energy to grow, we’re losing energy to death.
4. They will know you/us by our fruit.

So, join to struggle with the contradictions of the Bible, to grow in your understanding of God for today, and to show forth fruit - especially to be seen as someone willing to learn more and to more perfectly love.

Come put some energy into life – your life, the life of MUMC, and the life of the kingdom of God --- that there would be LIFE for all! So, a new start: Be gone ice! Let’s grow closer in the warmth of God for life!

Pastor Bob
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