Pastor's Corner
Gathering Up the Fragments

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Rock Springs
United
227 Church View Drive - Kingsport, Tn. 37664
Open Hearts...
Open Minds...
Open Doors...
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Methodist
Church
During the month of August, we will be focusing on the Gospel of John, Chapter 6, and Jesus I AM statements that appear in this chapter. Jesus fed the crowds, walked on water, said he was Bread, Living Bread, and the source of life. Crowds followed him, hanging on to his every word until the going got tough, and they fell away. How do we respond when Jesus says, I AM

August 5 11th Sunday after Pentecost
Holy Communion
Scripture John 6:1-21
Message More than Enough

This Sunday, we focus on the 1st part of John 6 the feeding of the multitude. Crowds were following him, in part because he was the best show in town. One of the most meaningful verses in this passage comes in verse 12 When they had plenty to eat, [Jesus] said to his disciples, Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted. In a country when we waste almost as much food as is eaten, there are people in our country are wanting for food, shelter, living wages, and more. Whats wrong with this picture? When Jesus is in charge, there is more than enough for everyone.

August 12 12th Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture John 6:24-35
Message Bread for Life

Jesus fed the crowds, and they wanted another meal, because in a poor land, food more than enough food was truly a miracle, and they wanted more. Jesus told them that what they really wanted was food for eternity, and that he was the authorized distributor. Jesus, Bread of Life, will satisfy a hungry and thirsty world. What does that mean for us today?

August 19 13th Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture John 6:35, 41-58
Message Bread from Heaven

Jesus fed the crowds, and promised no more hunger or thirst as people followed him. Sadly, no good deed goes unpunished, and even for Jesus, as we know. The Jewish leaders who were not happy about Jesus drawing attention away from them did what unhappy people do. They grumbled and they complained about Jesus, discrediting his past and questioning his authority and his ability to do what he said he would do. More than their ancestors in the wilderness ate manna and eventually died, Jesus promised that he was bread and that those who ate would live forever. How do we respond?

August 26 14th Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture John 6:56-69
Message Going Somewhere?

All month so far, weve been looking at Jesus claim to be Bread and Life for all eternity. But this is more than an idea or a permanent meal ticket. We have to respond to Jesus claim. If we say yes, then we will believe and act differently in this life. If we say, no, well.Once we hear the good news, we must respond. Many turned away because it was too hard. Jesus gave his closest followers the same option. How did they respond? How do you respond to this invitation to life?
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August 2018 Worship

Well, we are already beginning our second month of ministry together. Thank you all for your warm welcome for my family and for me. Please be gentle with me as I try to keep your names straight along with your families and your stories. Im learning names every week, but it takes time. One of the ways that well get to know one another is through a time of guided conversations which we are calling Listening Posts. See more information on the back of this newsletter. Please sign up for a time! Ive done this with other congregations, and the response is always the same folks are initially reluctant to sign up because they dont know whats going to happen, and always glad they did afterwards. Youll learn more about who I am and whats important to me. Ill learn more about you and whats important to you as a part of Rock Springs UMC, and I guarantee, youll learn something about each other, too.
 
During the month of August, we will be focusing on the 6th Chapter of Johns Gospel. I love this chapter it is so rich in imagery and filled with hope. In verse 12, after the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus tells his disciples to gather up the fragments, that nothing may be lost. What are fragments? They are leftovers, broken pieces, discarded trash, things of no value.
 
Look for fragments around you. We have a pear tree in front of our house. Every summer, about this time, we will find partially eaten pears on the ground. The squirrels and the deer feast on them, but never quite finish them. There are partially eaten pears under the tree. The animals have had their fill, and leave the rest to spoil. Fragments show up in other places. I have a stained-glass window in my breakfast room. Broken fragments of glass are carefully fitted together to make something new and exquisitely beautiful. In other places we find incredible mosaics that are painstakingly worked using shards of pottery and other broken materials. Quilts allow worn-out fabrics to take on new life with purpose, along with heirloom beauty that can be passed on from one generation to another. Im sure you can find other treasures made out of broken things, if you only pay attention.
 
Now, look around you with Jesus lenses over your eyes. Look for the fragments broken hearts, shattered lives, scraps of what might have been. People who are a little rough around the edges because of how life has unfolded for them. Grumpy, hurting people who lash out but in truth are really lonely. Broken people. Fragments of what they were or could have been. Now, notice that fragments are worthy in Jesus eyes of redeeming, and of making something useful and even beautiful out of that which was deemed of no value.
 
Jesus came for the least, the last, the lost, and the lonely. At any time in our lives, we may hit a rough patch or worse, everything may fall apart, and we find our shattered selves in one or more of these places. But take heart, Jesus believes that the fragments are worth something worth taking the time and effort to gather. Jesus makes everything beautiful in its time.
 
So as we worship together, we gather as ones who are imperfect people, with broken places, rough edges and all. We come because we understand that at the cross is where we can bring all of who we are, for healing grace. And we leave with the promise of Gods eternal life as the best news we have to share with others who are part of the gloriously beautifully imperfect world we get to live in together.
 
Jesus says, Gather up the fragments, that nothing may be lost.
 
Grace and peace,
Pastor Carole