October 16, 2011
LET’S SING (AND LAUGH) !
This Sunday is Laity Sunday. In my sermon, I plan to preach on what the Great Reformer, Martin Luther, called the “priesthood of all believers.” Since we will be reflecting together on how each of us can be ministers, regardless of our job, profession or vocation, I thought I would share with you the following list of favorite hymns:
And for those who speed on the highway, a few hymns for you:
Which is your favorite hymn?
United Methodist Women
October 9, 2011
In the July 4, 2003, issue of The Wesleyan Christian Advocate, there was an article entitled “Risk-Takers” by Bishop Marion Edwards (then of North Carolina, now deceased). Here is an excerpt from this excellent article:
If we are going to learn to act as the church, then we need to stop settling for this “comfortable maintenance mentality” and go out and become risk-takers. I pray that our Lord will empower all of us to be risk-takers as we carry out ministry here at Washington Street.
October 2, 2011
WE CAN DO MORE TOGETHER
Today is World Communion Sunday. It is a Sunday (annually) when ALL CHRISTIANS join in celebrating The Lord’s Supper. It celebrates our solidarity with Christians all around the world–of all denominations in all places. Much can be done for the cause of Christ when all Christians join together. WE CAN DO MORE TOGETHER!
Thinking locally about our beloved Washington Street Church, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could send missionaries, programs, and resources all around the world? And wouldn’t it be great if we could influence the faith and lives of young people by supporting four fine colleges (Claflin, Columbia, Wofford and Spartanburg Methodist) as well as making that faith influence felt on state supported universities (such as USC, Clemson, Winthrop, etc.) through Wesley Foundations? And how blessed we would be if we could assist our elderly in retirement, assisted-living and nursing homes (like Wesley Commons, The Oaks, Methodist Manor of the Pee Dee)? And what if we could mold the lives of children and youth through experiences in Christian camping (such as those at Asbury Hills)? And what if we could reach across oceans and continents in Christian educational endeavors (such as at Africa University)? Wouldn’t it be nice if Washington Street had the financial and human resources to make this kind of impact on our world? And more?
Well, friends, WE DO!!! Oh, there is no way we could do all of this as a single church in Columbia, SC, but when we FULLY FUND OUR BUDGET IN 2011, that important section of “connectional giving” makes all this, and even more, possible! For we are joining with other United Methodist Churches for the cause of Christ, and those ministries listed above are just a few of the ministries we are able to do! (It reminds me of Jesus’ parable of The Loaves and Fishes).
Please give as generously as you can–over and above your pledge (or if you did not pledge, just GIVE generously)–in the last quarter of this year.
Remember: WE CAN DO MORE TOGETHER!
September 25, 2011
FALL IS IN THE AIR – TIME FOR “KETCH-UP”
I read some years ago in a church bulletin about the Momma Tomato and her children. Did you hear the story? They were walking down the road on their way to town one day, and one of the Tomato children kept falling further and further behind. No amount of coaxing from his mother seemed to do any good whatsoever. So finally, the exasperated Momma Tomato went back to where he was, stomped him with her foot, and exclaimed, “KETCH UP!”
Folks, the nip in the air reminds me that it is fall and we are beginning the last quarter of the year. How time flies! It also reminds me that it is “Ketch-Up” time here at Washington Street Church. Many of us have been out of town during the summer months, and as you can see from our weekly bulletin, our budget is running significantly behind. It’s time to “Ketch-Up!” And some of us may be able to do a little (or a lot) more than we had planned or pledged.
Through our budget (in our connectional giving), we support our colleges, retirement homes, camps, campus ministry at USC, missionaries, and many other worthwhile causes. We are not current with these contributions. I’ll say more about this on next week’s Bulletin front, so be watching.
You, the good people of Washington Street, absolutely amazed me in the fourth quarter last year with your caring and generosity. I know that times are tough economically, but that also means the need is even greater. I am confident that you will make this a matter of prayer and faithful giving over the next few months.
September 18, 2011
INTERGENERATIONAL AND FAMILY PROGRAMMING
As members of the body of Christ, we are called and encouraged to actively participate in the life of the Church. Here at Washington Street, we are blessed to have an intergenerational community in which infants in the nursery through older adults can be active in our church’s life. We have had many activities geared towards bringing our intergenerational community together. In the spring, we had the “Mary Poppins Sing a Long Movie Night.” There were over 40 people of all ages at this event and everyone really had a “supercalifragilistic” time. Last weekend, we celebrated Grandparents’ Day by having a Grandparents Tea Party. Grandchildren and their grandparents came together in Threatt Hall to celebrate their love for one another with fun, fellowship and food! We even had an old-fashioned candy shop for everyone to take home bottled coca-colas, bit-o-honey’s, cinnamon imperials, gumballs and candy necklaces!
There are several more events coming up here at Washington Street meant to bring us all together, no matter what your age! On Wednesday, September 21, we will have our “Noah Night” from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. Dinner will be served from 5:45 to 6:30, followed by games, crafts, and missions in which everyone can participate. Get your tickets today after church—you won’t want to miss this wonderful WSUMC community event.
On Friday, October 7, at 6:00 p.m., we will have another fantastic movie night. Everyone is invited to come together in Threatt Hall for a screening of the famous 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Bring a snack to share with everyone!
And, on Sunday October 23, we will have two wonderful events: Children’s Sabbath and the Fall Festival. During our worship services that morning, we will join with people around the world in the 20th annual observance of Children’s Sabbath. This event will “unite religious congregations in shared concern for our nation’s children,” especially in regards to the education achievement gap. Then, from 4:00 to 6:00 that evening, we will all join together for the Fall Festival. All ages are invited to participate in this event- be on the lookout for more information in the coming weeks.
A Stewardship reminder: when you contribute generously to the budget of WSUMC, a part of your gift supports the above programming!
and Peace to you all-
September 11, 2011
WHERE WERE YOU?
I had just moved to St. John’s Church in Anderson in June, 2001. I was still trying to “learn my way around”–my church, my office, my congregation, etc. Someone called our office on that clear September morning, informing us that there had been an “accident.” An airplane had crashed into a building at the World Trade Center and it was being telecast live on The Today Show. We scrambled to get a television set in our office and my Associate Pastor, Business Administrator, Secretaries, Youth Director, Music Director, Organist and Custodians, as well as a few church volunteers, huddled around that TV and watched the horrible events unfold (which we soon discovered was no accident).
We had a Senior Citizens’ luncheon planned for that day at noon, but we canceled it. People just wanted to draw near to family and to God! (There were over 700 people present in church the next Sunday). We hastily planned a district-wide service for that Sunday following the tragedy, hosted at St. John’s. We tried to “make sense” of it all.
For the past ten years, I have been trying to “make sense” of it. I’ll never forget where I was–nor will you–on that fateful day now referred to as simply “Nine-Eleven.” I came to the conclusion that it was PURE EVIL! Often times we picture evil as that which is primarily demonstrated by only Satanists, Terrorists, hardened criminals, or immoral reprobates. An insightful thought from the late physician and author Scott Peck helps to counteract this limited view. Dr. Peck noted that EVIL is simply LIVE spelled backwards. It is the opposite of God’s intentions and desires for our life. Such a perspective helps us to take greater inventory of the evil in our own lives, and reduces the judgment we may have been reserving for others.
NEVER SHALL I FORGET, BUT I WILL FORGIVE!
September 4, 2011
Our musical ensembles will resume rehearsals soon. Now would be a great time to join one of these groups or return to the fold if you have been taking a break. Being a part of a musical ensemble is a wonderful way to give of your time and talents to glorify God. In addition to leading worship, choir is also a place to make friends and become a part of a community of faith that nurtures and cares for its members.
Children’s and Youth Choirs practice from September - May each year on Sunday mornings from 9:00 - 9:45 a.m. They participate in worship and special services and cantatas. These practices will resume on Sunday, September 11.
Washington Street Jammers
If you are interested in any of these ensembles, please contact the group’s director and/or attend a rehearsal.
August 28, 2011
FALL WORK TOWARD 2012 BEGINS THIS WEEK–
It’s that time of year. Our annual Charge Conference has been set (October 16, 2011, 3:30 PM, presided over by our District Superintendent, Dr. Tim McClendon). As a side note, Dr. McClendon has been named the SC Episcopal Nominee–that is–the candidate of the South Carolina Delegation to 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences for Bishop. Congratulations, Tim! (Tim’s Charge Conference membership is here at Washington Street.)
Our Charge Conference date being set means that we are beginning to have the necessary meetings, celebrate our ministries and accomplishments in 2011 and to plan for our 2012 work together in ministry. Many of our committees and groups will be offering reports, budgets will be set, officers will be nominated, etc. The process begins this week as our Nominations and Leadership Development Committee meets in a two-night workshop setting to nominate officers, committees, ministry groups, etc. for the coming year(s). First, please be in prayer for this group and this process. Second, if you are contacted and asked to serve your church in one of our nominated positions, please prayerfully consider saying “YES.” If we truly believe and practice our motto at Washington Street, “The Congregation Ministers Here,” then it means that each of us must do our part in ministry in this special church that reaches out and touches so many lives.
One final thing. As we are in the “home stretch” of the 2011 church year, please be as generous as you possibly can financially. You can see from the weekly bulletin posts that we are running significantly behind (which is somewhat consistent with our pattern for the end of summer). But let us all begin to catch up on our giving and go above and beyond if at all possible, so that we will be able to fund the missions and ministries (programs, operations, connectional giving, etc.) that depend upon this generous church. Thank you for all you do!
August 21, 2011
HIGHLIGHTING OUR MINISTRIES: PACK-A-BACKPACK MISSIONS PROJECT
Thanks to Washington Street United Methodist Church, hungry children at Alcorn Middle School have received food during the past two school years. Alcorn serves approximately 380 students in grades six through eight, and a disproportionately high number of these students are eligible for free or discounted lunches during the school week. In other words, it is likely that many of these students go hungry during the weekends. The Pack-a-Backpack project's mission is to provide non-perishable food items to students who frequently have too little food in their homes. The students of Alcorn are in need, and Washington Street United Methodist Church has responded to their need through the Pack-a-Backpack project. Our church has a long history of meeting community needs: the Soup Cellar, Killingsworth, Seeds of Hope, and Bethlehem Center just to mention a few. Two years ago the Missions Ministry Group recommended the creation of a new ministry that would provide food to the students of Alcorn - food that could be taken home on the weekends when school lunches were not provided. This food helps the students and their families. The Missions Group thanks you for your generous support of this ministry, and ask you to continue to support Washington Street United Methodist Church (financially and in all other ways) so we can continue to make a difference in the lives of others.
August 14, 2011
NEW AND 'EXPANDED' STAFF AT WASHINGTON STREET
As I announced to you in worship last Sunday, our Staff-Parish Relations Committee is pleased to announce to you the following changes.
First, Mr. Louis Shirer has joined our staff as our new Church Organist. We are excited to have Louis with us and last Sunday you got a taste of his excellent musicianship and talent. I have taken the liberty of enclosing in this Bulletin a sheet that gives you some information about Louis.
Second, Ms. Taylor Driskill has had her role here at Washington Street expanded to full time and will include the duties formerly of our Youth Director, as well as the responsibilities she has had in the area of children’s and program ministries. Taylor is now our Director of Children’s, Youth and Program Ministries. On January 30, 2011, we listed information about Taylor on the cover of that Bulletin. We are also reprinting that information on the sheet included in the Bulletin.
Both Louis and Taylor assumed their new responsibilities on August 1, 2011.
August 7, 2011
ALDERSGATE SPECIAL NEEDS SUNDAY
“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” Isaiah 32:18
This Sunday (August 7) has been designated by the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church as “Aldersgate Special Needs Sunday.” Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry was founded to provide homes where adults with developmental disabilities can live in a Christian environment, assisted and supervised by a dedicated Christian staff. This has been a prayer of mine come true (obviously, due to the condition of my 34-year-old son, Andy).
There are currently over 2,000 people with special needs in South Carolina on a waiting list for housing. Many of these folks are living with aging parents who are struggling to care for their adult son or daughter with special needs.
Aldersgate currently has two homes, one in Columbia on the Epworth campus (for women) and one in Orangeburg on the Methodist Oaks campus (for men). This has been a year full of challenges and blessings. Both Dottie Webber (a Washington Street member) and I serve on the Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry Board of Trustees and I am currently the Vice Chair of the Board.
We have tremendous needs and much work to be done. It is especially challenging during these difficult economic times. Your support can help this needed ministry to continue to exist for adults with disabilities and their families. It is also important to note that Aldersgate does NOT receive funding from the United Methodist Church through apportionments. We count on YOUR faithfulness and generosity. Please give as generously as you can to this cause today (or anytime you wish and can). Simply mark your contribution “ALDERSGATE”.
I guarantee that your gift will make a positive difference in someone’s life. Thanks for your help and, especially, for your prayers!
July 31, 2011
CHECKING ON YOUR INVESTMENTS
Almost everyone I talk with these days has something negative to say about the economy, the stock market, and/or their investments. Many people have lost (at least on paper) in our current economic environment.
It reminds me of a story I read about a man who, in the 1920's, gave a great deal of his time, talent and treasure to his church. He loved his church and wanted to share his resources with it. Then in 1929 when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression set in, this man, along with many others, seemed to have lost everything. In fact, many panicked in the midst of the financial crisis.
Then one day this man was seen standing in front of the church, just staring–staring at the steeple that points toward Heaven, at the steps that helped people enter for worship, and at the education building where people came to learn about Jesus.
When someone asked him why he was doing that, he said that the country’s financial crisis had taught him a very valuable lesson–that what he had invested in the church could never be lost or wiped out, for it would last forever.
Let us be of a like mind. What you and I give to Washington Street Church will bring about things for us, our children and future generations that can never be lost or wiped out by an economic downturn.
As you can see from recent reports in the bulletin, we have a way to go in order to meet our financial obligations and commitments to mission and ministry in 2011. Let us be extremely generous in the remainder of this year, realizing that our gifts to our church are some of the BEST INVESTMENTS WE CAN MAKE!
July 24, 2011
WHAT A FRIEND!
Earl Cowden tells the story of a young woman named Linda, who was in a terrible car accident. When the paramedics came upon the scene, they found her in shock due to loss of blood from a severed right leg. She was pinned in the wreckage and it was some time before they could free her and treat her wounds. All the while she remained conscious and alert! They were amazed at her calmness in view of the serious injuries she had sustained.
Later, one of the paramedics said to a newsman covering the story, “I guess the only thing that saved her life was the singing.” Puzzled at the revelation, they asked him what she was singing. He replied:
Have you talked with God today?
July 17, 2011
HIGHLIGHTING OUR MINISTRIES: VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
Did you go to Vacation Bible School as a child? I’ll bet you did. It’s hard to find anyone who has never gone to Bible School. You either went to your own church or your grandmother’s church; maybe it was your neighbor’s church or the church down the street. Regardless of where you went, VBS is an inherent part of growing up in a Christian family. It’s a time for kids and grown-ups to gather for messy fun and sharing God’s love.
If you had observed the activities at Washington Street’s VBS this past week, there is no predicting what you might have seen: splattering paint, off key singing, awkward dancing, ridiculous games, gooey fingers and sticky faces. But you would have also seen lots of shared smiles, thoughtful reflection, and true Christian fellowship. You would have seen both the children and the adults discovering new ways in which God’s hand shapes our lives.
I am privileged to have been a part of VBS at Washington Street for the past seven years. Our program continues to grow and flourish just as the children who pass through continue to grow and flourish. But we can’t keep it up without the generous contributions of our congregation. We need your support to nurture the seeds God has planted. When you give generously, week after week, to our church budget, a part of your gift goes to our annual VBS.
VBS at Washington Street can be silly. It can also be exhausting, and it can definitely be HOT. But most of all, VBS at Washington Street can infiltrate a child’s heart and leave God’s impression there for years to come.
July 10, 2011
WHY DO YOU ATTEND (OR NOT ATTEND) CHURCH?
In the book, 100 Meditations for Advent and Christmas: Selected from The Upper Room, Lester L. Haws tells the story of his grandfather who was almost deaf. “To carry on a conversation with him, we had to shout,” explains Haws. But in spite of that he never missed a service of worship at church unless he was ill. One Sunday, a parishioner noticed that when this old gentleman read the responsive reading, he was a few words ahead of or behind the congregation. After the service, she asked him, “You don’t hear much of what goes on in worship, do you? Why do you attend church Sunday after Sunday?” “No,” he replied, “I don’t hear much of what is being said. But I believe I set an example for others. Those who attend can see that I am present. Just being in my pew is a witness to my Lord.”
Are you present in your pew on Sunday mornings? Do you attend church for the right reasons (or stay away for the wrong ones)?
Just being here on Sunday–even in these “lazier summer months”–is a witness to your Lord. I look forward to seeing each of you here this Sunday and on each Lord’s Day!
July 3, 2011
SC ANNUAL CONFERENCE MET JUNE 8-12
Ministers and lay members from all of the United Methodist Churches in South Carolina met June 8-12, 2011, in Florence, SC. Washington Street was well represented in all of the sessions by our lay members, Mike and Charlotte Broome and by Rick and Deborah Rowe. We heard reports, voted on directions in ministry for the coming years of our South Carolina Conference and celebrated accomplishments. One high point of the Conference was when our own Thelma C. Clark received the Herbert Hucks Award which recognized her outstanding service in historical preservation and interpretation by the Commission on Archives and History (of which she was a former member). Mrs. Clark was also a former president of the Conference Historical Society. Mrs. Clark was accompanied by her husband, Dr. Tom Clark. Our church at Washington Street was recognized as one of the churches that paid 100% of its connectional ministries (apportionments) in 2010. That, too, was a highlight. Delegates to the upcoming General and Jurisdictional Conferences were also elected, both lay and clergy.
I (personally) enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to spend time with Mike, Charlotte, Rick, Deborah, Thelma and Tom. These are people who love our United Methodist Church, particularly our local church here at Washington Street. Thanks to all of them for representing all of you so well.
But the greatest thrill was the last day of Conference–Pentecost Sunday–when the service of commissioning and ordaining ministers took place. One of the young men commissioned as a provisional elder was a boy in my youth group in the church I served in Irmo. It is always nice to believe that one has had a somewhat positive influence on another. But the closing part of that service was the “fixing of the appointments” by the Bishop. No big surprise, but I was delighted (and relieved) to be appointed to Washington Street. As we begin our second year together in ministry, it is an honor and a privilege to serve as the Pastor of (what I believe is) the church with the richest heritage in South Carolina Methodism and the best people in the world! And when Rev. Evelyn Middleton was again appointed as my colleague in ministry here, that was, indeed, “icing on the cake.”
June 26, 2011
THE OPEN DOOR
There was a wise man in one of my former churches who greeted everybody he saw on the sidewalk. He waved to every car he passed. He had a smile for everybody. If anyone remarked on his actions, he’d quote scripture: “If you greet only your brothers and sisters, what is there extraordinary about that? Even the heathen do as much.” (Matthew 5:47)
And most of us have heard this verse: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2) The ancient world loved and honored hospitality. The Jews had a saying: “There are six things, the fruit of which a person eats in the world by which his horn is raised in the world to come.” And the list begins, “Hospitality to the stranger and visiting the sick.” The Greeks gave Zeus the title Zeus Xenios, which means Zeus, the god of strangers. In the ancient world there was a rather wonderful system called “guest friendships.” Throughout the years families, even when they had lost touch with each other, had an arrangement that at any time, they would take each other into their homes.
This hospitality was even more necessary in the circle of the Christians. Slaves had no home of their own to which to go. Wandering preachers and prophets were always on the road. Christians had journeys to make. Christianity was, and still should be, the religion of the open door.
See you at
Washington Street, where the ministry of hospitality is shown.
June 19, 2011
I’M SEEING MY FATHER IN ME
Several years ago, I was correcting one of our children for some slight infraction of our “house rules.” After making a somewhat scolding speech, I used a phrase which came from somewhere deep inside of me–one I had heard said to me many times as a child. I immediately commented to my wife, Faye, “Oh, I sounded just like MY dad!”
There was a country song that was popular a few years ago which had in it this line, “I’m seeing my father in me...”
Yes, dads (and granddads), our children (and grandchildren) are becoming just like us! What kind of example are we setting–in terms of family?—in terms of faith?
I’ll see you in church this Sunday, FATHER’S DAY, as YOU set the right example!
June 12, 2011
Many of our neighbors in South Carolina live in homes needing repair and Jesus has called us to love our neighbors. Twelve people from Washington Street have answered the call to witness to their faith by hammering nails and repairing houses and building the Kingdom of God through participation in Salkehatchie Summer Service. The following people will be volunteering next week at the Penn Center Camp on Lady’s Island. Please keep them in your prayers.
be to God for their witness.
June 5, 2011
SEEDS OF HOPE CELEBRATES TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY
Today we are honoring farmers from 15 counties and volunteers from 18 cities and towns across South Carolina who have participated in Seeds of Hope Farmers’ Markets over the past twenty-five years.
The severe drought of 1986 and a WSUMC Missions Work Area study on the topic of “Hunger” raised awareness among our congregation of a farm crisis occurring in our state. Parched fields and hungry livestock prompted Greenville dairy farmer, Tom Trantham, to organize a “Hay Life” to bring tons of hay from the Midwest to South Carolina. In addition to the drought, however, farmers faced other problems: a lack of reliable markets and forced dependence on a “middle man” to sell farmers’ produce.
In the fall of 1986, the SC Conference of the United Methodist Church asked Linda Gadson, director of Rural Mission on Johns Island, to organize a meeting of about 50 small farmers from the Charleston County sea islands to receive token drought-relief checks. Members of WSUMC missions work area attended the meeting and interviewed farmers about their needs. It occurred to this group that farmers might be able to sell produce directly to consumers in the church parking lot. Several farmers from Johns Island agreed to try this “crazy” idea. By the end of the 1987 harvest season, Seeds of Hope was a clear success. In 1988 the SC Christian Action Council asked to assume sponsorship of Seeds of Hope and advertise it statewide.
Twenty-five years later, sixty other sites have sponsored Seeds of Hope markets. This program has blessed not only farmers but religious congregations, hospitals, senior citizens’ centers and other workplaces as well. Farmers, in turn, have blessed the hungry and homeless by donating surplus fresh fruits and vegetables to them.
The Seeds of Hope Farmers’ Market Project provides a striking example of a faith-based mission in which everybody wins!
Donna H. Bryan, director
May 29, 2011
WE ARE RICH AT WASHINGTON STREET
I gave a New Testament to my daughter, Angela, when she was three years old. As she did with so many things at that age, she immediately proceeded to misplace it. Several days later, upon finding the lost Testament, she came running in to exclaim: “Daddy, Daddy, I found my Bible. I’m rich! I’m rich!”
We are people of faith. We believe in the Bible. The founder of The Methodist Church, John Wesley, pointed out that our mission as a Church is to spread “scriptural holiness.”
Though we have our concerns from time to time about budgetary shortfalls here at Washington Street (and we are heading into the lean summer months, so please catch up on your giving and be as generous as you possibly can) and the overall economy has impacted all churches in a rather negative way, STILL, LET US NEVER FORGET that we have and practice the Word of God. We’re rich! We’re rich!
May 22, 2011
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR GRADUATES
Bess Brown, daughter of Paul and Susan Brown, will graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fibers Design. Bess is going to work for Young Life in Aiken.
Barrett E. Fisher, daughter of Ed and Sara Fisher, graduated from The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Master of Science in Health Services Administration. Barrett will be an administrator with The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.
Ben Higgins, son of Nancy Higgins, graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Master of Library and Information Science. Ben will remain at USC, where he plans to complete certification as a school library media specialist in December.
Jonathan Jackson, son of Grant and Licia Jackson, graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Master of Business Administration in International Business. Jonathan is going to work for Verizon Wireless in New Jersey.
Elizabeth May, daughter of Martha Brim and Ken May, graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor degree in Acting. Elizabeth is moving to New York to pursue acting.
William May, son of Martha Brim and Ken May, graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago majoring in Art. William will remain in Chicago and pursue employment.
Charlotte Katherine Murphy, daughter of Gwen and Keith Murphy, graduated from The University of Georgia School of Law with a degree of Juris Doctorate. Charlotte has accepted a position as an attorney with Jones Day Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jonathan Sircy graduated from the University of South Carolina with a PhD in English Literature (Early Modern). Jonathan will be assistant professor of literature at Charleston Southern University.
Amanda Teague, daughter of Chip and Debbie Teague, will graduate from A.C. Flora High School, International Baccalaureate Program. Amanda will be attending Presbyterian College in the fall.
Britt Terry graduated in December 2010 from the University of South Carolina with a PhD in English Literature (Victorian). Britt is pursuing a career in post-secondary instruction and/or administration.
We apologize for any omissions. Our graduates/families were responsible for communicating this information to the church.
May 15, 2011
HIGHLIGHTING OUR MINISTRIES: THROUGH OUR WORSHIP
For years, people have been worshiping in the historic Washington Street United Methodist sanctuary and in our beautiful chapel. Some people come out of habit; others come because they understand the importance of our worship. Isaiah 6:1-8 offers us guidance in worship in several ways. The scripture points to worship as a time for God to speak and for us to listen. How do we discipline ourselves to listen to God during this hour? We should listen attentively to the music, to the prayers, to the sermon, to the still, small voice of God. More importantly, we should leave with the opportunity to respond to God’s word.
The worship experience at Washington Street continues to be a fulfilling part of our lives because of the contributions of many in our midst. We are blessed with the very capable leadership from our ministers and staff. But have you thought about the contributions that are provided by others in our congregation? We have a host of talented musicians that continue to inspire and awe us with their creativity and gifts. Then, there are unsung heroes who work as part of our altar guild to maintain our sanctuary and chapel and prepare for communion. Others train and schedule acolytes and crucifers, greet members and guests, serve as ushers, and coordinate details in special worship services during Lent, Advent and throughout the year. Finally, we have many volunteers who offer their time to mold our children during the worship hour.
In our worship we bring gifts to God: hymns, prayers, anthems, and the spoken word. When we contribute our financial gifts and offerings to the church budget, a portion of each gift supports and enables our worship. May we continue to be inspired by the worship opportunities afforded to us, and more importantly, may we leave in humble and joyous service!
May 8, 2011
WELCOME, 2011CONFIRMATION CLASS
As part of our celebration of Mother’s Day and The Festival of the Christian Home, this Sunday we will recognize and receive our 2011 Confirmation Class. These young people have worked hard in the past weeks to learn about Christianity, The United Methodist Church and Washington Street. They have been taught by the Senior Minister and it has been a GREAT GROUP. Today, we proudly recognize them and welcome them into Professing (Full) membership in this church:
Allyn Elizabeth Anderson
Katherine Anne Epting
Daniel Joseph Hanlin
Madison Laura Haynes
Laura Nell Hudgins *
Leslie Ann Leitner
Jenny Greenwood Watson
* also to receive The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
It has been a privilege to work with this fine group of young people. I have learned a lot from them, as I hope, they have from me.
May 1, 2011
CALLED TO CARE
On any given day at Epworth Children’s Home you will see children running around campus playing sports, riding bikes and throwing balls. What you might not see are the 70+ staff members and volunteers providing counseling, health care, homework assistance, help with tying shoes and even advice about boys. Every staff member understands their calling to be one of going above and beyond, because the children who call Epworth home are in great need of love and consistency.
At Epworth Children’s Home, CARE stands for Compassion, Acceptance, Respect and Encouragement. The children who call Epworth home are in great need of CARE. Next Sunday we will collect the Annual Epworth Children’s Home Mother’s Day Offering. Your contributions to this offering will go directly to provide care for the more than 75 children who call Epworth home. Epworth Children’s Home doesn’t simply provide room and board. They only receive 10% of their funding from the government, and they are not an apportioned item. They provide exceptional care to children because we make it possible through our offerings. Please prayerfully consider what God is calling you to give next Sunday, and come ready to share God’s love with the children he calls his own.
Next week is Mother’s day. We will buy flowers, call our mothers and maybe even take them out for lunch. The children at Epworth Children’s Home will not be celebrating Mother’s Day with their mothers. Instead they will be surrounded by loving staff and volunteers who walk with them daily to provide spiritual, educational, emotional and physical support. As you consider what God is calling you to give to support our church’s ministry to children, remember Christ’s command to let the little children come to him. He embraces them, welcomes them, loves them and teaches them. Epworth is answering the call to let the little children come. Your generous contribution to our church’s ministry enables the CARE to flow freely to every child who calls Epworth home. For more information about Epworth Children’s Home, visit them on the web at www.epworthchildrenshome.org.
April 24, 2011
April 17, 2011
HIGHLIGHTING OUR MINISTRIES
Every day is Earth Day, a day to praise God.
Birds singing at dawn. The sweet scent of wisteria. Pink blossoms set in spring greenery. Occasionally we recognize what Eden might have been. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it” – to be the Earth’s caretaker, to look after God’s property, or as we often say, to be the “steward.”
The word “stewardship” is more than a word about the checkbook; it is a word connoting “responsibility,” a key Jesus-follower’s word.
In terms of your checkbook, a tiny bit of your gifts, our apportionments, go to the General Board of Church and Society which works hard to focus worldwide United Methodists on our responsibilities. Among many things its Economic and Environmental Justice director, John Hill, shares is • 1 billion people lack safe, clean water; • by 2025, 64 percent will live in water-stressed situations; • we are destroying 34 million acres of forestland a year; mountaintops (thus future assets) are being removed where the “marginalized” live.
In terms of our Earth-responsibility, your WS Green Team suggests ways you and this church at large can tend God’s Earth in many ways, including saving energy, and thus money for missions. It invites you to join in this endeavor at our next quarterly meeting, May 2, and to check out the team’s bulletin board in the hallway.
– Washington Street UMC Green Team
April 10, 2011
FEASTING AND FASTING
Each Lent, my wife and I discuss, debate, consider (yes, sometimes even argue) about what each of us will “give up” for Lent. Desserts seem to be a common favorite, but I never can bring myself to do that (totally) throughout Lent. But I recently came across some good “life instructions” for this holy season. They are reprinted here by permission:
Perhaps this kind of Lenten observance may be better for the soul than just eliminating desserts, chocolate, or potato chips. What do you think?
April 3, 2011
Several years ago, in Reader’s Digest, there appeared an interesting little tidbit written by Linda Ann Loschiavo. She was making the point that her grandfather always seems to have the knack for saying the right thing at the right time. One Thanksgiving, this grandfather was explaining to his grandson the curious custom in this country of breaking the turkey wishbone. Eager to have his wish come true, little Phillip was bitterly disappointed when he saw that he held the small end of the bone, while his grandfather held the larger part.
“That’s all right, my boy,” said the smiling grandfather. “My wish was that you would get yours.” What a tremendously loving sacrifice!
As we continue on our Lenten journey, let us yet again be reminded that Jesus sacrificed his life so that we might have eternal life! He gave us his life to win yours and mine. What a tremendously loving sacrifice!
March 27, 2011
Dunkirk is one of those loaded names like Waterloo and Pearl Harbor. The name of the place became the name of the event.>
Dunkirk was a major battle, utterly lost. The best remnants of England’s fighting forces were driven back to the sea. Then, out of disaster came the miracle: From across the channel came boats manned by fishermen and clerks, gardeners and executives. Here were ordinary people who wore no uniform and dreamed of no glory. It was not the kind of battle that flies flags and blows bugles, but it was the kind of battle hat wins lost wars–this labor, pain and danger undertaken by free men in order that their brothers might be saved from the adversary who had overwhelmed them. Dunkirk was the place where hopes arose out of defeat
As we continue our journey through this season of Lent and end up on Easter, we would do well to keep this analogy in mind. Easter is all about hope out of defeat – resurrection out of a cross.
March 20, 2011
HIGHLIGHTING OUR MINISTRIES: YOUTH
How many times have you seen the youth of Washington Street standing in the halls collecting money for the Souper Bowl of Caring? Selling Christmas trees? Selling pine straw? Helping with the Fall Festival or other church activities? Did you know that the youth put on an Easter Sunrise Service every year? How many of you have been to this service? Did you know that our youth visit members who can’t come to church on Sunday and are involved in different missions throughout the church? Our youth are good, hard-working, energetic people who often work behind the scenes of some of the events and services that you enjoy at Washington Street. They are at an age when they begin to put in to practice what they’ve learned in Sunday School about Christian sharing and caring for others. When you support our church financially and various youth projects, you support continued educational programs and spiritual growth opportunities. Salkehatchie Summer Service, Revolution, and local retreats are great examples! What better way for them to learn humble service while sharing the love of Christ with our brothers and sisters in this state? Our church family, our schools, and our communities are stronger because we have people who care about what our young members are involved in. When you support our youth, you support the future (and present) of Methodism and society!
Submitted by Eleanore Vaughan
March 13, 2011
Lent ~ Easter 2011
Continuing Wednesday Midday Services
Lunch at noon and 1:00 p.m., Threatt Hall ($4 donation to Soup Cellar)
Lenten Bible Study
Walk-Through Holy Week
Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Maundy Thursday Communion Service
Easter Worship Services
March 6, 2011
As you know by now, I really do like “lists,” particularly if they are somewhat humorous. Some years ago, I came upon a list that I jotted down. The following list is just as I copied it.
THINGS YOU NEVER HEAR IN CHURCH
1. Hey! It’s my turn to sit in the front pew.
2. I was so enthralled, I never noticed your sermon went 25 minutes over time.
3. Personally, I find witnessing much more enjoyable than golf.
4. I’ve decided to give our church the $500 a month I used to send to TV evangelists.
5. I volunteer to be the permanent teacher for the junior high Sunday School class.
6. Forget the denominational minimum salary. Let’s pay our pastor so he can live like we do.
7. I love it when we sing hymns I’ve never heard before!
8. Since we’re all here, let’s start the service early.
9. Pastor, we’d like to send you to this Bible seminar in the Bahamas.
10. Nothing inspires me and strengthens my commitment like our annual stewardship campaign!
February 27, 2011
Several years ago, I came across an amusing (yet true) article. Its author is unknown to me, but its wisdom seems quite good. Let me share it with you.
I QUIT SPORTS
Football in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in the spring and summer! I’ve been an avid sports fan all my life. But I’ve had it! I quit this sports business once and for all. You can’t get me near one of those places again! Why?
Every time I went, they asked for money...
Sound at all familiar? Why do YOU attend (or NOT attend) Church? Think about it!!!
February 20, 2011
I plan to use this column, from time to time, to “highlight” or “showcase” some of the wonderful ministries that take place at Washington Street. A few weeks ago, our Lay Leader, Mary Lide, helped us highlight children’s ministries here at Washington Street.
Today’s article by Robert Bowers “highlights” the influence of our tremendous music ministry here at Washington Street. Read, enjoy and let us be thankful!
If you ask anyone what brought them to worship at Washington Street, there is a common thread in most answers – Soup Cellar, Social Justice and Music! Honestly what brought me to Washington Street was a life-long connection to Mike Alexander; but one of the things that has kept me here has been the outstanding music program. After visiting many houses of worship in Columbia looking for a church home it only took one Sunday for us to realize that there was something special at Washington Street. After a warm greeting from Bill Brumbach, Wendy Clark and Francis Rogers we were transported to a place of peace by the choir and the glorious sounds of the Skinner pipe organ and Steinway piano. This music ministered to our souls. This ministry extends beyond our church walls as we invite the community to worship with us every Christmas with our performance of Handel’s Messiah. John Wesley realized the importance of music in worship and would definitely be proud of the music that is made at Washington Street and the lives that it touches. As with other areas of ministry there is a cost associated with the making of outstanding music. God has blessed us with beautiful voices and talented musicians. Let’s continue to generously support our wonderful ministry of music and encourage others to come find out what is special at Washington Street.
February 13, 2011
13 IS “SCOUTING MINISTRIES SUNDAY”
While many churches observe the first Sunday in February as Boy Scout Sunday, the second Sunday of February date of Boy Scout Sunday was arranged with the national Boy Scout office by the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church, since many United Methodist churches observe Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month. The term “Scouting Ministries Sunday” was introduced to emphasize scouting as a ministry to children and youth. Churches may celebrate Scouting Ministries Sunday on the second Sunday of February or March, but the February date is preferred by the Scouting Ministries office because that way it never conflicts with Lent.
We are asking ANYONE WHO IS INVOLVED IN A SCOUTING PROGRAM (e.g., Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Explorers, Campfire Girls, etc.–both members and leaders) to wear their uniforms to church this Sunday to be recognized for this important area of ministry which the United Methodist Church has supported and encouraged for many years. We are ESPECIALLY EXCITED about our new Girl Scout Troop here at Washington Street.
See you Sunday!
February 6, 2011
Back on January 9, ALL of our committees, boards, ministry groups, etc. met in joining session with the Church Council for a Training/Overview/Organizational meeting. Those attending said that it was “just what we needed” as we began planning our work for 2011 and beyond at Washington Street. Thanks to all who attended and participated. I feel that we accomplished a great deal.
Even with the success of that planning session, I realize that does not mean that there won’t be problems or “bumps in the road” as Washington Street continues to be in mission and ministry. These are to be expected and no church is perfect (as is no Pastor!). So many times as I have visited with prospective individuals or families in churches I have served, I get the impression that they are looking for the “perfect church.” I always mumble (under my breath, of course), “Then you’d better keep looking.” That brings to mind a poem I came across some years ago that I would like to share with you:
that I shall never see
The last two lines of that little poem compose my prayer and my promise to you in 2011 and beyond. Will you join your church leadership and me in this prayer and promise?
January 30, 2011
WELCOME, TAYLOR DRISKILL!
We are pleased to welcome Taylor Driskill as our new Director of Children’s and Church Program Ministries. Taylor received her BA in Music and Theater from Rhodes College, where she was the mezzo soprano soloist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s production of “Durufle Requiem.” She then spent two years as a professional in musical theater in Atlanta, where she starred in numerous musicals, including “Godspell,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and “The Secret Garden.” While she was working toward her MDiv at Emory University, Taylor served as Assistant Director of Children’s Ministries at Dunwoody UMC (GA), with 800 children. For the past two summers, she was the Worship Design Coordinator at Lake Junaluska.
Taylor’s interests are children’s ministry, worship, liturgy, church music, musical theater, piano, voice, dramatic arts, visual arts, and travel. We are blessed to have such a talented, committed, warm-hearted person join our staff. Please give her a Washington Street welcome!
The plaque on the church wall stating “The Congregation Ministers Here.” includes ministry to and by children. Children are a gift from God and as a congregation we are entrusted with teaching them about God. While teaching these children, the adults are also learning from the children.
Formal teaching opportunities occurring weekly include Sunday School, Children’s Church, and choir. Special events such as A Walk Through Holy Week for 3rd and 4th graders bring the Bible alive. Vacation Bible School is for children 3 years old through sixth grade and is also an outreach by including the older classes of the Child Development Center. VBS has always been a fun way to learn about God and the Bible and to spend more time with church friends. The Sharing God’s Love Valentine’s Party for preschoolers and their families teaches children to think of others, as well as the UMW mission based circle, Mary’s Maidens, for first – sixth grade girls.
Family events include the annual Easter Egg Hunt and the Advent Festival. These are special times in the life of the church family.
How do the children minister to the adults of the Washington Street Family? They make us smile during Children’s Moments in the worship service. They share God’s love by giving us a hug; making cards to be sent to people on the prayer list; decorating cookies for Soup Cellar clients.
It takes time, energy, and patience to minister to God’s children at Washington Street. It takes commitment from parents and volunteers and it takes only one smile or hug to make it all worthwhile. There is a renewed energy at Washington Street. Look for more opportunities for children and adults, like the new Girl Scout Troop, to minister to each other in the coming months.
And remember, it is through your continued generous giving to our church budget each week that important and vital ministries, such as Children’s Ministries, are able to happen.
January 16, 2011
This Sunday United Methodists are observing Human Relations Day. An extra “second-mile” contribution (over and above our regular giving), the Sunday before the birthday observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth. Your gift will make a world of difference. Just memo your extra gift “Human Relations Day.”
January 9, 2011
MIRACLE ON WASHINGTON STREET
As part of our annual Christmas observance, our family again sat down to watch the holiday classic movie, “Miracle on 34th Street.” It is one of those annual rituals for us this time of year.
But we have our own “Miracle” (yes, right here on Washington Street) to report! A couple of months ago, I began informing you that we were significantly behind in our budget and in danger of not being able to pay our apportionments and other commitments of mission and ministry. Through the generosity of you, the good people of Washington Street, a “miracle” happened. We began to catch up and the closing weeks of December were incredible! ALL OBLIGATIONS FOR 2010 PLUS all of our MISSIONAL COMMITMENTS have been paid! Part of the “miracle” is that all of this happened in a time when the economy is difficult and uncertain.
Yet the miracle continues in that so many agencies that were counting on us have been supported, once again, by our beloved Washington Street Church. But, after all, this church has been experiencing miracles for over two centuries!
Yes, this Christmas there was a miracle on Washington Street – but it didn’t stop there. It literally reached around the world (through our gifts to missions and apportionments, which are missional). I say again, THANK YOU for being the wonderful and generous people that you are and for continuing the proud heritage and ministry of this dear old church. It is a PRIVILEGE TO BE YOUR PASTOR!
I look forward to the “miracles” that I know God has in store for us here in 2011! Happy New Year!
January 2, 2011
HOW’S THE WEATHER?
Living in Columbia is exciting! On one December day, one may be walking around in shirt sleeves with highs in the 60's. Who would have dreamed that we would have the snow we did last Sunday? I do hope that you made it through safely and with minimal inconvenience. Of course, the weather prohibited many from attending church on Sunday, December 26. Although I seldom cancel services, I do tell people to “let safety be their guide.”
All that is to remind you of this: Even though most of our people could not be here last Sunday, the needs of the church continued, and to some extent, even increased! (The heat was on, the bulletins were printed, the sermon was written, the musicians had rehearsed, the buildings were cleaned, etc.). So, PLEASE, let us make up the contributions we missed by not being here. (Some of you already have. Thanks!). Let’s give as generously as we can (if possible, by December 31), doubling up whenever we miss a Sunday–due to weather or for any other reason. After all, God has been good to us at Washington Street, so we really cannot afford to complain about the weather. And perhaps, this was God’s gift to our children and grandchildren. They seemed to love it!
Thanking you in advance for your continued support of Christ’s church and ministry here at Washington Street, and with warmest personal regard, I remain,
P.S. Next time, pray for snow and ice on a Monday or Tuesday!
December 26, 2010
WITH DEEPEST GRATITUDE
How does one find an appropriate way to say “thank you” to such special people as our new church family here at Washington Street? Though words are inadequate, we wish to thank you for the many calls, visits, cards, gifts, food, and many other acts of kindness extended to us during the holidays, and, indeed, since our arrival here last June. We are thankful, above all, for the love that motivated each expression of kindness. Our prayer is that 2011 will be a blessed year for you, your family, and Christ’s dear Church here at Washington Street!
December 19, 2010
"THE SPIRIT AND SEASON OF GIVING"
One of the first verses many of us learned as children was John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God loved us so much that He gave–He gave his Son!
In the last couple of weeks of this year, we still have a great financial need at Washington Street Church. Our recent offerings have been good, even sacrificial. Thank you, one and all, for what you have done. However, we still need to give generously in order to meet all of our commitments and obligations that we have made in this community and in the world for 2010. Our usual expenses for December (which are usually quite heavy) will be due PLUS $39,615 is needed to pay obligations and commitments over and above these usual expenses.
Please consider giving an additional generous gift before the end of the year so that we can fulfill our obligations. We will be receiving an offering at the Christmas Eve service on Friday, December 24, at 5:00 P.M. to assist with this budget deficit.
God loved us so much that HE GAVE HIS SON. Let us show him our love by GIVING IN ORDER TO MINISTER TO OTHERS IN THE NAME OF HIS SON!
December 12, 2010
CELEBRATING THE MINISTRY AND SERVICE OF MRS. ARLETTA RALEY
This Sunday our Sanctuary Choir will present The Celebration in Music of the Birth of Christ (their annual Christmas program) and we look forward to this with great anticipation! Both services (9:00 AM and 11:00 AM) will be held in the sanctuary and our choir will share their presentation at both services! We will also celebrate the ministry and service of Mrs. Arletta Raley, who will retire as our Director of Music at the end of the year. Arletta has served faithfully for 37 ½ years in this position. She is, indeed, a most gifted person in music and a true woman of faith!
There will be a reception honoring Arletta following the 11:00 service. I do hope everyone will attend and extend best wishes to her and Alex, and to thank her for her many years of service (and patience).
We would also like to invite every member of the Washington Street Church family to participate in a “love offering of appreciation” we are collecting (which will be given to Arletta upon her retirement at the end of the year). Please make your check payable to Washington Street UMC clearly marked “Arletta Raley Love Offering.” Please have your monetary gift for Arletta into the church not later than December 27th. Thank you.
December 5, 2010
NEW DIRECTOR OF MUSIC MINISTRIES NAMED
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee of Washington Street United Methodist Church is pleased to announce that Mrs. Angela Wyndham Powers will become the Director of Music Ministries at Washington Street on January 1, 2011. Replacing Mrs. Arletta Raley (who has held this position for the past 37 ½ years), Mrs. Powers explains that she aspires to continue and build upon the tradition of excellence in sacred music that Washington Street has so long enjoyed.
Currently, Angela is the music teacher at Forest Lake Elementary School and was named Richland School District Two Teacher of the Year in 2000. She achieved National Board Teacher Certification in 2006.
Angela is married to Davis Powers and they have one son, Layton, who is a senior at Presbyterian College. They are members of Eastminster Presbyterian Church, where Angela has served in various roles. Most recently, she has been the Assistant to the Director of Music and the Director of the Junior Choir and the Celebration Choir. She is also a member of the Chancel Choir. Previously, she served as Director of Music at Kathwood Baptist Church and Eason Memorial Baptist Church.
A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Angela has lived in the Columbia area since the 1980's. She received a Bachelor of Music and a Masters in Music Education degrees from the University of South Carolina. At USC, she studied conducting with Arpad Darazs and voice with Gene Ferguson. She also served as Drum Major for the band, a member and soloist with Concert Choir and the Opera Workshop. Angela also has a love for the theater and has appeared in local productions at Workshop Theater and with USC Opera and Columbia Lyric Opera.
It is a great pleasure to welcome Angela Powers to Washington Street and to this position as Director of Music Ministries.
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee
November 28, 2010
SIGNS OF THE SEASON
The Advent Wreath is a circle of evergreen representing the eternal life that Christ brings. On each of the four Sundays, a candle will be lighted. As the light of the wreath grows in intensity week by week, we are reminded that Christ came as the light into a dark world of sin and death. As we prepare for the celebration of his birth on Christmas, let us be reflective.
The Chrismon Tree is an evergreen, symbolizing eternal life. The decorations are called “Chrismons” (a combination of the words “Christ” and “monograms”). In 1957, the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Danville, Virginia, started and copyrighted the idea of making and hanging these symbols of Christ and the Church on a fir tree for Advent and Christmas. Chrismons are rightly called the language of our faith. For three centuries, the early Christians found it dangerous to profess and practice the faith. They, therefore, used secret signs and symbols to communicate with each other. Many of the monograms on our tree started out as just such symbols.
Special Thanks to those in our Church who have helped decorate our church premises for this season. The co-operation and love shared in the process was part of the blessing. Now, let us all worship in these beautiful surroundings and be thankful.
November 21, 2010
BEING THANKFUL IN HARD TIMES
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 25, we all can list things, I am sure, for which we are thankful. I read the story of a gentleman who was fresh out of ideas for a gift for his mother-in-law’s birthday so he bought her a large plot in an expensive cemetery. On her next birthday, he bought her nothing. She was quick to comment, loud and long, on his thoughtlessness. The gentleman said only one thing: “Well, you haven’t used the gift I gave you last year.”
Perhaps you are not thankful for a cemetery plot, but I am sure there are many things for which you are thankful. I am thankful for your continued sacrifice and giving in hard times. I am pleased to report that our people are stepping out on faith and supporting the mission of the church. This past Sunday was Consecration Sunday and our Finance Manager, Joan Sammons reports that, initially, a total of 148 Estimate of Giving Cards were turned in who committed a total of $455,169.40 toward the 2011 Church budget. This is truly amazing! But we still need the support of every member and friend of Washington Street Church to be in ministry for Christ in this community and around the world! Please turn in your Estimate of Giving card if you have not done so already. Extra cards are available from the ushers or from the Church Office.
I am thankful for each of you, for your commitment to your church and for the way this church reaches out to so many in need. Along with my dear family, I am most thankful for our wonderful church family.
Happy Thanksgiving ! ! !
November 14, 2010
A LETTER FROM GOD
A few years ago, I ran across this article which I would like to share with you. Don’t forget that Consecration (Stewardship) Sunday is November 14. We will have the opportunity to fill out our 2011 “Estimate of Giving” and dedicate it on the Altar during worship.
November 7, 2010
ALL SAINTS SUNDAY
This Sunday is All Saints Sunday. It is a time to remember the lives of those who have gone before us and to give thanks to God for Life Eternal. Listed below are those of our congregation who have departed the earthly life during the past year. They are now a part of the Church Triumphant and we thank God for their lives and the contributions they made to family, church and community.
During our worship these names will be read and the bell will toll. The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at the 9:00 service.
October 31, 2010
MULTIPLIED FOR MINISTRY:
This week I want to highlight another one of our connectional (apportioned) ministries that benefits when we fully support and fund our church budget here at Washington Street. This is Methodist Homes Residents’ Assistance. We have had several persons through the years who have benefitted from our homes at Greenwood, Orangeburg, or Florence. Currently, Francis Rogers is a resident at the Oaks (the UM home in Orangeburg) and former pastor, C.J. Lupo and member Vera Lupo are residents at Wesley Commons (the UM home in Greenwood). So, you see, when we support our “apportionments” (as I have been pointing out over the last several weeks) we are supporting our own people as well.
Please be generous these last two months of this year and enable us to fully fund our church budget so that connectional items such as Methodist Homes Resident’ Assistance can be fully funded and available for this important ministry. Let us be cheerful in our giving and generosity. Thank you.
you must give as you have made up your mind,
October 24, 2010
MULTIPLIED FOR MINISTRY:
Yet another one of our connectional (apportioned) ministries that benefits when we fully support and fund our church budget here at Washington Street is Campus Ministry. This crucial item goes to support many of the full-time campus ministers at USC, Clemson, South Carolina State, Winthrop and colleges in Charleston. It also helps to fund part-time ministers at Francis Marion and Lander. I have known many people (some now in ordained ministry) who have benefitted and heard God’s call to ministry while involved in the Wesley Foundation. Our own Rev. Tom Wall, who is a member of the Washington Street Church family, is the Director and Campus Minister of the Wesley Foundation at USC. Our District Superintendent’s (Dr. Tim McClendon) daughter (Rev. Narcie Jeter) is the Director and Campus Minister of the Wesley Foundation at Winthrop. These tough economic times have resulted in the Campus Ministry’s program funds being frozen (by the SC Annual Conference) for the remainder of 2010. This is significant and unfortunate.
Please continue to give as liberally and generously as you can to our church in these closing months of 2010 so that none of our vital connectional (apportioned) ministries, including Campus Ministry, will have to suffer. These are trying, testing times, but may we remain faithful knowing that we cannot “out give God.”
the testing of this ministry you glorify God
October 17, 2010
Children’s Sabbaths stop us in our tracks and demand attention. We are reminded of the needs of millions of children in our country. We are called to be a persistent, faithful voice for children who have no voice.
“As global financial markets ebb and flow, one thing remains constant—the need to care for children. In light of the current fiscal crisis, United Methodists have an opportunity to affirm their commitment to what really matters. And it’s not the state of one’s stock portfolio; what matters is the state of the world’s children.” - Mary Beth Coudal
“When we look at fiscal matters without asking what is best for children, we take our eye off the ball. When we ask what is best for children, we’re talking about what’s best for the future and for generations to come. We want to take every opportunity so that we can live out all of our call to love and protect all of our children.” - Matt Rosen
To address the systems that cause poverty among children, we join members of the ecumenical family by observing Children’s Sabbath. Today is an opportunity to learn about, pray for, advocate with, and act on behalf of children.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.”
October 10, 2010
BEING AN EVANGELIST
The Texas Department of Public Safety recently learned a valuable lesson about asking. The state formerly had the nation’s lowest percentage of registered organ and tissue donors. On January 1, 2010, a new state law went into effect that requires clerks to ask all applicants for a driver’s license or ID card if they would like to register as an organ donor. Participation has more than doubled (from 2% to 5%) simply because people are being asked. Imagine what would happen if Christians, like those clerks, were required to ask every person encountered if they want to have a transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Many would still say no, but the number who favorably respond might literally double.
Think and pray about it!
October 3, 2010
BRITT TERRY AS DIRECTOR OF YOUTH DISCIPLESHIP
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee is pleased to announce that Britt Terry has joined our church staff as the Director of Youth Discipleship. Britt received her B.A. degree from Winthrop University, as well as an M.A. degree from Winthrop. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at The University of South Carolina. We are pleased to have Britt ministering to our youth and their families.
September 26, 2010
CHARLOTTE BROOME APPRECIATION DAY
Today we are honoring Charlotte Broome, who has served faithfully for eight years as our Assistant to the Director of Music. Charlotte will retire from this position at the end of the year to spend more time with her dear husband, Mike, who recently retired. While Charlotte will still be actively involved in Washington Street Church, as will Mike, I regret but respect her desire to give up this day-to-day responsibility in our music ministry, which she has performed so admirably over these years.
Join us as we honor Charlotte and celebrate her time in this position at our “Cookies and Punch” Reception immediately following the 11:00 service in the Christ Chapel Courtyard area.
And to Charlotte, I say in the words of Jesus, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21).
September 19, 2010
UNITED METHODIST MEN
Something new and exciting is beginning at WSUMC. I hope that all men of Washington Street will attend the United Methodist Men reorganization celebration and kickoff. The event will be held Thursday, September 23, in Threatt Hall. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. and a steak dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Although the fellowship, fun, and food are priceless, we would ask that you bring just $10 to offset the cost of the food. In addition to learning more about United Methodist Men, we will begin looking at ways we can give back to the church that gives us so much. Please contact Pierce McNair at 787-3600 if you can attend.
Let’s make this a priority in our lives and in our church.
September 12, 2010
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
For many of us when we think about the folks who CARE about us we think of family and friends: our parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, husbands, wives. We think about special events where people are gathered: birthdays, graduations, weddings. For so many of us being CARED for is something that simply happens; we rarely pause to even think about it.
Ben arrived at Epworth at the young age of seven. He had already learned that the adults in his life were in the practice of leaving, so he decided straight on that the adults at Epworth would be no different. He didn’t even bother to get to know them or the other children on campus, that is, until his birthday. Ben had never celebrated his birthday, and honestly had trouble remembering the date. Ben’s cottage partners from a local United Methodist Church - along with the staff of Epworth appeared with a cake, candles and presents. “Happy Birthday to BE-EN,” rang loud and clear.
Ben stood very still. He was afraid to believe this act of CARE was meant for him. But as he was Encouraged to blow out his candles and take the first piece of cake, Ben’s eyes lit up. Ms. Cobbs, an Epworth staff member, remembers Ben pulling on her arm and whispering in her ear, “this is my first birthday. Today, I’m eight.”
At Epworth Children’s Home, CARE stands for Compassion, Acceptance, Respect and Encouragement. The children who call Epworth home are in great need of CARE. This Sunday we will collect our annual Epworth Children’s Home “Work Day Offering.” As you prayerfully consider the gift God is calling you to make to the children who call Epworth home - I invite you to also consider that together our offerings, in Epworth’s hands, allows them to achieve CARE for every child God sends them so that Compassion, Acceptance, Respect and Encouragement are achieved for children like Ben. Please give generously.
September 5, 2010
ARE YOU CONTAGIOUS?
Two things have happened recently which, on the surface, seem unrelated. However, in my mind they are very much related.
First, I heard a report on the radio regarding the results of a study of ministers who have left church work for work in the “secular” world. The overwhelming reason cited was that people in the secular world were kinder, more forgiving and could be gotten along with easier. OUCH! That is quite an indictment of the Church, is it not? I have experienced in my years in ministry that some people in the Church have nothing to say unless it is negative–never a kind word or compliment–only criticism, complaints, loaded questions, gripes, etc. Nothing is ever good enough for these folks! (Thankfully, my experience is that this is a small minority in every church, but a consistent one.) These people are pessimistic about their faith and their Church.
Second, I have had the privilege of working with our Youth Council and attending last Sunday’s “reception” in the newly renovated Youth Room. I have tried to mingle with some of our youth since I have been appointed to Washington Street. Though few in number at the present time, I have found the youth I have met in this Church to be very attentive, well-behaved and respectful of their Pastor and other leaders. They genuinely care about each other and about their Church. How refreshing! I did not hear a single gripe, complaint or criticism. This has been a truly “spiritual” experience for me. Sometimes I worry about the Church of Jesus Christ, and then I am reassured by people like our youth. Perhaps some of us who are more “mature in the faith” (?) could learn a lesson from our youth. These young folks are optimistic about their faith and their Church.
These two things are intricately related in my mind because I know that both pessimism and optimism are contagious. Is anyone catching either from you at Washington Street? Think and PRAY about it.
August 29, 2010
CONVERSATIONAL PRAYER WITH CHRIST
I read a story about a man who was seriously ill. His pastor went to visit him in the hospital. As the pastor entered the room, he noticed an empty chair pulled close beside the man’s bed. The pastor asked him if someone else had been to visit. He explained to his pastor, “Years ago a friend told me that prayer was as simple as talking to a good friend. So every day I pull up a chair, invite Jesus to sit, and we have a good talk.”
Several days later, this man’s daughter appeared at the pastor’s study to inform him that her father had just died. She explained that just before he died, he seemed so content, so she left him alone in his hospital room for a couple of hours. She continued, “When I returned to his room, I found him dead. But I noticed a strange thing. His head was resting, not on the pillow, but on an empty chair that was beside his bed.”
Have you had your conversation with our Lord, Jesus, today? Have you rested your head on him? The Scripture teaches us, “Come unto me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
August 22, 2010
In light of the difficulties that we find ourselves these days as a country and as a society (war, unemployment, a struggling economy, etc.), I thought it might be time to take a moment out for a bit of levity. I recently came upon the following list of favorite hymns:
And for those who speed on the highway, a few hymns for you:
Which is your favorite hymn?
August 15, 2010
Fred Somebody, Thomas Everybody, Pete Anybody and Joe Nobody were neighbors but they were not like you and me. They were odd people and most difficult to understand; the way they lived was a shame. All four belonged to the same church, but you could not have enjoyed worshiping with them. EVERYBODY went fishing on Sunday or stayed at home to visit with friends. ANYBODY wanted to worship but was afraid SOMEBODY wouldn’t speak to him so NOBODY went to church. Really, NOBODY was the only decent one of the four. NOBODY did the visitation. NOBODY worked on the church building. Once they needed a Sunday School teacher. EVERYBODY thought ANYBODY would do it; and SOMEBODY thought EVERYBODY would teach. Guess who finally did it? That’s right–NOBODY!
you fit it? Find your place in ministry in this
August 8, 2010
A NEW WIND
Several years ago, Faye, Andy and I found ourselves in an unfamiliar part of Anderson (there were several of those for us) and we decided to eat dinner at a restaurant we passed by. When we went up to the door, there was a sign which read, “NO personal checks!” Just inside the establishment, there was another sign which read, “We DO NOT accept credit cards.” After serving our plates at the buffet line, we found a table. All of the tables had tablecloths with glass on top to protect the cloths. Between the cloth and the glass on each table was a piece of paper which read, “DO NOT move tables!” I thought to myself, “There surely are many things in this restaurant one CANNOT do. It’s a wonder they have customers.” The food was all right, but we decided never to return to that business again because, upon leaving and paying our bill, I asked the cashier for a receipt. She looked a bit agitated, so I said, “Just the tape coming from the register will be fine.” She growled back at me, “You CAN’T have that one,” and then proceeded to scratch some numbers hurriedly on a pad and threw it at me. That restaurant is no longer in business. Wonder why not?
It occurs to me that churches can sometimes become like that, too. Sometimes we get so focused on what we CANNOT do that we fail to see what we CAN DO! Washington Street is a blessed and gifted church. There is MUCH we CAN do!
Growing up, I remember hearing a song frequently on the radio that contained these words:
to: Accentuate the positive,
There’s a new wind blowing at Washington Street Church. Could it be, just perhaps, the wind of the Holy Spirit?
August 1, 2010
SOME SAFETY TIPS
A few years ago, I came across the following tips in the Melvin Village (NH) Community Church Newsletter. I thought I might pass them on to you:
1. Do not ride in an automobile or get in the way of one - 20% of all fatal accidents are caused by them.
2. Do not stay at home - 17% of all accidents happen at home.
3. Do not walk on the street - 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians.
4. Do not travel by air, rail or water - they cause 16% of all accidents.
5. However, only .001% of all fatal accidents occur at CHURCH.
It seems obvious to me. The safest place to be is at worship this Sunday and every Sunday. See you at Washington Street!
July 25, 2010
CAN WE TALK?
I am beginning to put a few names and faces together at Washington Street. Likewise, as different groups and committees are meeting, I am learning much about our church. I feel so blessed to be your Pastor at this exciting time in our church’s life. I laughingly tell people that when God “called me to preach” (in my late teens), he failed to mention a word about written reports, meetings, committees, councils, boards, task forces, etc. All that to say this: I am first and foremost a preacher and pastor. That’s where my heart is. So, please don’t count on my receiving information about pastoral needs second or third hand. Let me know your needs (sickness, hospitalization, joys, sorrows, etc.).
I want to be responsive and do the best for you I can as your Pastor. Just keep in touch and let me know – we’ll talk!
July 18, 2010
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
I recall one of the episodes (which seem to be in perpetual reruns) of “Gomer Pyle, USMC” where Gomer seems especially appreciative of one of the exercises through which Sgt. Carter has put him. With delight on his face, all he could say was, “Thank you, Sgt. Carter...Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
My family and I have these same words for you and the way you have welcomed and adopted us into the Washington Street family. We are so grateful for the many calls, visits, notes, food and many other acts of kindness extended to us over the last couple of weeks. And the reception last Sunday following the 11:00 worship service was absolutely lovely. You are good and generous people.
Washington Street has such a rich heritage and a bright future. Faye, Andy and I are delighted to be a small part of this great church. So, with complete sincerity and much love, we say again, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
July 11, 2010
Faye, Andy and I celebrate our appointment to Washington Street United Methodist Church. It is a church that I have admired for many, many years. Some of my “heroes in ministry” have served in this holy place.
We all realize whenever a change in pastoral appointment occurs, there is grief. You grieve for Paul and Jan Harmon, with whom you have shared your lives for the past five years. I certainly understand that. He was an excellent pastor. I appreciate all the advanced preparations Paul and Evelyn Middleton have made for this transition. Likewise, we grieve over the people at St. John’s in Anderson where we have been in ministry for the past nine years. The grief process takes time. So, as we go through this season of grief and of getting to know and love one another, please be patient with me as I will be with you.
July 4, 2010
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there.
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forests, and it was not there.
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there.
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public school system and her institutions of learning, and it was not there.
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic congress and her matchless constitution, and it was not there.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever cease to be good, America will cease to be great.
--Alexis de Tocqueville, 1833
We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world for us to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice. Let us never forget from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan and all the wars in between, that sacrifice was made for our freedom. America is strong because it was founded on Christian values and principles. “In God we trust” is our national motto. May it ever be so. God bless America.
United Methodist Women