Apple Seed Ponderings – February 2023

Pastor Erik’s sermon on Feb. 19 interpreted the high mountaintop experience of the Transfigured Jesus, God’s Glorious Self, with his selected disciples. Awed and frightened by the vision, Peter, James, and John fell on their faces at the sight and sound of the voice coming from the brighter-than-sunlight cloud, saying “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” They felt Jesus’ tender touch and his words of comfort, “Get up and do not be afraid,” and when they looked up, there remained Jesus with them. They were not alone, and we know they would never be. And, neither will we. Oh, and I hope you didn’t miss the Pastor’s caring touch and offer of “Free Hugs”!

On February 5, Hector Johnson joined the CUMC staff as Church accompanist. He and his wife, Betty, and their four lovely daughters are participating in our weekly worship. I know you join my delight at having Liz and Glen Steinbach as our newest members, too. Welcome them all, won’t you?

Pastor Erik introduced at the January Church Council his desire to try a Town Hall method of communicating and exploring important information and topics of churchwide interest and/or impact. The first one will be Tuesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. It’s to catch us up on changes and implications for The United Methodist Church at the General Church level and potentially at the local church level also. You won’t want to miss hearing the best information and understanding that Pastor Erik Charlie Moore, an alternate delegate to the 2019 General Conference, and I can provide.

On Communion Sunday, March 5, worship will be jointly celebrated with Wilson Memorial UMC at 9:30 a.m. It will be a time to show and say how much the relationship we share means. As sisters and brothers in Christ, sharing a meal at the Lord’s table together is especially meaningful. 

Planning for the 50th Anniversary is underway with a full weekend of possibilities being discussed for all. Hold the dates of November 3-5, and begin sharing them with old friends and members who you’d want to see at the table!

Still speaking of tables, we had a 5th Sunday, Messy Church on January 29 that helped start our year with a prayer discipline that involves our 5-fingers as reminders who to pray for.  Everyone had a good time over breakfast. Thanks to all who helped and who came!

Valentine’s cookies were a new venture and fundraising activity this year. Sara Blight, Chief Baker and Buckeye-maker, led the way for youth, CDC afterschool students, home bakers, packers and sellers of cookies to make $800 for children, youth and music camp activities. Good job all!

Coffee Fellowship has been revitalized with Jim Cole as the coordinator. There will be coffee, light snacks, and time to be together after worship on the second and fourth Sundays of the month. Thanks to Sassafras and Church Council for hosting the first two of these.

By the time you read this, some of us may still be wearing crosses on our foreheads from Ash Wednesday services as we enter into the 40 days of Lent with penitence and preparation for the triumphal entry to Jerusalem, then the final days and passion of Jesus, his death, and resurrection. Yet, during this sober time, every Sunday continues to be a celebration of resurrection, with Resurrection Sunday (Easter) on April 9.

You are blessed to be a blessing, and I am grateful to serve with you,

Barb Julian, Lay Leader