Pastor's Corner
                        It's About Love...

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October 2018 Worship

October is here. Already, you may say. Bout time, say others. The days are shorter,
the nights are longer and a bit cooler. Even without a frost, the leaves are starting to
change and fall, crunching underfoot. Ive completed the Listening Posts, and very
much enjoyed getting to know some of you better. Im still compiling the results, but one thing that stands out is that you value your church as family. Many of you have
generations of family that make up the history of Rock Springs UMC.

Its a busy time of the year. Im impressed with how much gets done by a few people. I find Rock Springs UMC to be a warm and caring group of people, who look after one
another. I was told when I came for my introduction that this is a church that likes to
eat. From what I have seen so far, thats very true. And its good, too!

Charge Conference is just around the corner (October 28). The Committee on
Nominations and Leadership Development is hard at work selecting leaders for the
coming year. Im digging in and getting to know how things work at Rock Springs. Im
learning a lot. Something else that is clear from the responses of those who attended
the Listening Posts is that you value your leadership, but also feel that there is a general lack of understanding as to what is expected from the different teams and committees. Based on that information, as the committee is doing its work to get leaders, Ive given them descriptions of what is expected from those who do the work of the Trustees, Finance, Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations, and Nominations and Leadership Development. We keep this in front of us as we prayerfully discuss who might be good to be asked to fill a certain role.
As Ive said before, if you are contacted about taking a position, know that it has been given careful consideration. I ask that you prayerfully consider whether or not you can fill this role, and do it with joy. I honor a carefully considered, No, not at this time over a hastily and ill-considered yes. Life changes for all of us, often in very unexpected ways. It is my practice to yearly ask those people who do say yes, even when it is intended to be a three-year commitment, to give them have an opportunity to reconsider whether they wish to or are able to continue the duties of that particular committee.

As Im writing this, Im also mindful of the political climate around us. We are deeply
divided as a nation, and politicians are playing on our fears. Even though this is not the year for a presidential election, the mid-terms will put in place elected leadership for the coming years. What candidates have to say on critical issues is important. What they will in fact do if elected is also important. I read the headlines. Protests, counterprotests, shootings, bombings, earthquakes, floods, wars and rumors of wars. It doesnt sound very good, does it? We can respond positively, though.
As Christians, we have something to say in the face of fear: God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, I love God, and hate their brothers or sisters are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. (1 John 4:16b-21 NRSV) Perfect love Gods love, casts out fear. Perfect love, that love we can have for one another comes from Gods love for us. Love, not fear is to be our go-to response. It may not be automatic, and it may take some practice. When we hear of another shooting or listen to another debate intended to further divide and polarize us, we need to stop, and respond with love. Love on the ground, love in action is what will turn things around.

So, in the final weeks before the election, remember. Love is what defines us as
Christians how we treat one another, especially those who might have a different
political bent. They arent necessarily wrong, they just see things from another
perspective. And remember, vote. Get informed, and then vote your conscience, for
the good of all.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Carole
October 7 20th Sunday after Pentecost
World Communion Sunday
Scripture Mark 8:27-38
Message Jesus for the World
October 14 21st Sunday after Pentecost
Plan to stay for covered dish luncheon afterwards.

Rev. Regina Shelton will be bringing the message.
            Scripture Luke 15:11-24
A special offering for the ministries of Shades of Grace will be taken at the end of the service.
Please join us
as we celebrate
October 21 22 Sunday after Pentecost
YOUTH Sunday our youth will be leading worship this Sunday. Come and be energized and blessed.

October 28 23rd Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture Mark 10:46-52
Message Showing Mercy
October 21st is
(423) 349.7531
Rock Springs
227 Church View Drive - Kingsport, Tn. 37664