News and views of the First United Methodist Church in Cross Plains, Texas

Monday, June 19, 2006


If noone else is going to post to the blog, you may be subject to my sermonizing, and I am not a qualified preacher. For example, our SS devotional this morning is from 1 Peter 4 and verse 8 says "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins" and since VBS starts tonight Peter admonishes us "If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ."

Remember that Christ told us our first duty is to love God and that we show our love by loving others. Dr. Chaffin preached a whole series of sermons on love using the book of 1John as I remember. One thing I do remember is him telling us that you don't have to like someone to love them. If you aren't coming to church I invite you to return in order to show your love for God and while you are there show some love for those that you are forgiving because they transgressed against you in something they said or did. You will feel a lot better the rest of the week.

Pray for our building committees as they work on the hard issues they have.


Sunday, June 04, 2006


We had a perfect Disciples Sunday School class today. How do I know that? Because in the Bible, 7 is the perfect number and we had 7. (If we had 21 we would have been pluperfect! Or maybe 28 - that would have been everyone.) This quarter we are studying unity in the church, based on Paul's chewing out of the Corinthians for not working together. While discussing how we can work together in our congregation, Patsy Harelik noted that the choir looks at the congregation during church and she never sees anyone smiling. So this morning I sat next to the Thrashers and told Blanche to smile. She said she didn't have anything to smile about, but then in the sermon Jim told us his favorite joke and when we left Blanche had a big smile on her face. So I guess the solution is for Jim to tell more jokes and for all of us to appreciate each other and smile more.

This week is Annual Conference. We need to pray for our lay member, Carol Bennett and our clergy members, Jim Senkel and Wallace Bennett ( and I guess we count Bill Reed as another clergy member). Under the rules of the AC there must be as many lay members as clergy, but when I insisted on more members from our church, I was told that they allocate the extra lay members to the large churches because they have more members. Of course I objected but was overruled. In an email to Carol I asked her to amend the pastor's pension fund motion to eliminate the cap that stated large salary churches only paid their percentage up to the average salary. I argued that Methodists suggesting taxes for the government always tax the rich and not the poor and that here they should have the rich churches pay either the entire amount or at least the same percentage that us small churches pay. The removal of the cap would reduce the percent we would all have to pay. But since the membership is overbalanced with lay and clergy from the large churches, her amendment will probably fail. Just something for you to watch in the daily reports from the Annual Conference.