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Tahlequah First United Methodist Church

10:00 a.m. Celebration Worship | 6:30 p.m. Open Door Worship

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August Reflection from Pastor Matt

August Reflection from Pastor Matt

Take a deep breath, let in Good Air, let out all of your anxiety, let in Good Air, let out all of your anxiety. This was one of the exercises we did with the kids during their main gathering sessions at Freedom School. One of my favorite hymns is Leave It There, the refrain has this line: “Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.” How often do you take what is burdening you to the Lord and leave it there? This simple breath prayer of taking in Good air, and letting your anxiety out is freeing and life giving. I would encourage you to try it. Now here are somethings I would like for you to know.

DIRT Church Name Change: To better align with our Churches mission of being a Church with Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors to make disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world. We are aligning our evening worship (DIRT Church) to better fit our mission. We are changing the name to Open Door Worship. The music will be more modern then what we do on Sunday mornings, but we will be staying with what the church is preaching on Sunday mornings so if you miss church in the morning you can come and join us Sunday night. Communion will also be served at this service every week. September 9 th is our start date at 6:30 p.m. in the Activity Building. Please help us grow this worship service which is open to all.

Wednesday Night Bible Sunday: Starting September 5th at 6:00 p.m. I will be leading a Pastor’s Study Group. Our first study will be Forgiveness By Adam Hamilton. Book cost is $11.00 and can be picked up in the Church office. There will be a signup sheet in the Narthex on Sunday Mornings.

Men’s Group Wednesday Mornings at 6:30 a.m. at Jimmy’s Egg will resume on September 5th. Come and join us for some eggs, fellowship and study in the word.

Uniting Methodist Conference: Below I have a little bit of info on a conference I attended in the middle of July to help keep the United Methodist Church United.

Back To School Blessings: Thank you for your response in helping in this event. The Church and the Community have responded in great fashion and I can’t wait to see all of those kids get their back packs.

The Special General Conference for 2019 in St. Louis Mo. The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church. You can read a lot more about the Commission on the Way forward here: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/commission-on-away-forward

Our Bishop Jimmy Nunn released this statement on July 23rd..

The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions on the constitutionality of the work submitted by the Commission on a Way Forward to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. As part of the process, The Book of Discipline ¶ 2608.1 requires that requests for declaratory decision, including relevant documents such as legislative petitions, be posted on the Judicial Council website thirty (30) days prior to the filing date of briefs. The Judicial Council has published its October 2018 docket and it includes the COB of Bishops’ request for declaratory decision. Here is the link to the COB case, which includes the full report of the Commission. http://cdnfiles.umc.org/Website_Properties/who-we-are/judicial-council/judicial-council-dockets/docket-10-2018-1.pdf This material has not yet been released by the Commission on General Conference and is not available in languages other than English. Please remember that only action of the General Conference can make changes to The Book of Discipline. As we serve together, we are still guided by the provisions of the 2016 Discipline. May God’s grace lead us in all we do. –Jimmy Nunn

In July I attended a meeting of a group called Uniting Methodist. This was a gathering of Methodist whom vary on the theological spectrum and came together to talk about which plan is the best to keep us United. You can find all the great videos at https://llumc.org/umlive After much prayer and discernment I feel it is best if the United Methodist Church adopt the One Church Plan.

A Committee member on the Commission on the Way Forward David Nuckols released the chart below that helps understand the One Church Plan and what changes would be made if the other plans we adopted. Nuckols keynote in the videos is a good one to watch to understand what is at stake. All the videos are great to watch. I found the Uniting Methodist conference an uplifting and life-giving time.

Can we covet to… 1st we pray for Unity in the Church. 2nd Please read the Commission’s report which can be found on the link above, it is a big document if you want a hard copy come to the Church office and we will have one to Check out. 3rd UMC.org will be keep us all up to date on what is occurring in regard to this special called General Conference. You will find all sorts of blog posts and other news information out there but umc.org will be were the official statements can be found. 4th If you have questions please feel free to contact me. I will have a time at a later date where we can do this as a community of faith. I am waiting on more info, praying, and discerning how best to do this. A side note. It will be our 2016 General Conference delegates who will be voting and representing the Oklahoma Annual Conference. Please hold these people in your prayers.


UPDATED INFO ( Aug. 21st 2018)

Dear Oklahoma United Methodist Family,

As many of you know, we will soon be facing an important time in the life of our United Methodist Church. On February 22-24, 2019, a special called General Conference will be held in St. Louis, Mo. with the purpose of discerning the direction our church will go regarding the Human Sexuality questions we have debated over many years. We encourage every United Methodist in Oklahoma to be in prayer concerning this conference. We also have available a weekly devotion (written by Oklahoma leaders) that can supplement your prayer time. Use the following links to subscribe to that resource. Here’s the link to sign up for the weekly devotions: https://okumc-reg.brtapp.com/28WeeksActsDevotions​ and the link to the archived devotions: http://okumc-email.brtapp.com/archivearea/329​.
We would also like to invite you to attend a presentation about the plans that are scheduled to be presented at the called General Conference. This discussion and presentation will have members of the Oklahoma delegation present as well as Bishop Nunn. This important gathering will be held on Friday, Oct. 5 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at St Luke’s UMC Christian Life Center (CLC) in Oklahoma City. There will be no charge to attend, however if you plan on attending we need you to register so that we have adequate seating and handouts for all. Please use the following link to register your attendance for this meeting:
https://okumc-reg.brtapp.com/OklahomaDiscussionon2019Genera….

If you are not able to be present, we plan to live stream this important discussion in the life of our denomination. A link to the live stream will be provided on the conference website and sent by email to you as we get closer to the date.

We want to thank you for your prayers, concerns and continued commitment to our beloved church. As challenging as this discussion may be to some, it also offers us hope for a future that will best reflect our ongoing commitment to making disciples for the transformation of the world. We look forward to seeing many of you on the 5th.

Rev. Linda Harker, Chair Oklahoma Delegation

Rev. Joseph Harris, Assistant to Bishop Nunn

Dr. Don Kim, Oklahoma Delegation


Thank you Church for being you, we are making great strides in being a church with Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open doors as we make disciples of Jesus Christ. Come and join us as we grow together.

Peace be with you,

Pastor Matt Franks

matt.franks@tahlequaumc.org

Week Eight Gospel of Mark Readings

Week Eight Gospel of Mark Readings

Take some time in your day to Read the daily reading slowly and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Reflect on what you heard, read or experienced when reading the word of God in with a journal or some other ways that you can express what you experienced as you read the scriptures. Respond in prayer, going to God with everything that is on your heart and just pray and take what you read and reflected upon and apply it to your life. Please share this with friends and family and invite them to Church on Sunday. You can even put together your own study group with the weekly readings.

Week Eight

July 16-22nd The End…

Monday Mark 15:1-15

Tuesday Mark 15:16-40

Wednesday Mark 15:42-16:8

Thursday Mark 16:9-20

Friday

175th Celebration

175th Celebration

We want you to be part of a big celebration to recognize 175 years of Methodism in the Tahlequah area. The festivities will culminate in a potluck dinner Sunday, December 2, at 6 p.m. in the Activities Building. We’ll be designing t-shirts for the occasion and collecting your photos and stories. We want your own history of our church captured in photos of church activities.

Please bring your photos to the office in an envelope labeled with your name and each photo clearly identified on the back with your name and date of the event, if possible. We will carefully scan these photos and return them to you. You can also email your photos to Pastor Matt (matt.franks@tahlequahumc,org).

What attracted you to our church and what made you stay? We’re looking for your stories of love for our church. You may have a brief story of a church member who encouraged you on your Methodist journey or want to share how the church has made a difference in your life. To record your favorite memories, go on the church website (tahlequahumc.org) and click on the link, “175th Celebration.” We will compile a booklet of these historical treasures.

Want to join in the planning for this event? The next meeting is Thursday, August 9, at 11 a.m. in the parlor. Your input is welcome!

 

tfumc history

Back To School Blessings at TFUMC Aug. 12th 5:30

We are going to make sure Kids in the Tahlequah Public Elementary School System get basic School Supplies.

We will host a Back to School Night on Aug. 12th at 5:30 p.m.

We are shooting for Back To School Supplies for 200 kids in the K-5th grades enrolled in the Tahlequah Elementary Public Schools. We are going to provide Hotdogs, Chips and Drinks and have a good old time handing out school supplies.

Families needing supplies will need to register with the Church office by coming in or by calling at (918)456-6141 last day to register is August. 6th. They must be attending Tahlequah Public Schools and not receiving JOM Supplies.

What can maximize our effort is money. You can give online at http://bit.ly/2Njibi7 We will also need people to volunteer on the night of and getting things in order on the 12th.  If you wish to be apart of this opportunity contact the Church office at 918-456-6141 or email Pastor Matt at matt.franks@tahlequahumc.org

Week Seven Gospel of Mark Readings

Week Seven Gospel of Mark Readings

Take some time in your day to Read the daily reading slowly and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Reflect on what you heard, read or experienced when reading the word of God in with a journal or some other ways that you can express what you experienced as you read the scriptures. Respond in prayer, going to God with everything that is on your heart and just pray and take what you read and reflected upon and apply it to your life. Please share this with friends and family and invite them to Church on Sunday. You can even put together your own study group with the weekly readings.

Week Seven July 9th-15th

Holy Week Chaos

Monday Mark 13:1-27

Tuesday Mark 13:28-37

Wednesday Mark 14:1-31

Thursday Mark 14:32-52

Friday Mark 14:53-72

Week Six Gospel of Mark Readings

Week Six Gospel of Mark Readings

Take some time in your day to Read the daily reading slowly and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Reflect on what you heard, read or experienced when reading the word of God in with a journal or some other ways that you can express what you experienced as you read the scriptures. Respond in prayer, going to God with everything that is on your heart and just pray and take what you read and reflected upon and apply it to your life. Please share this with friends and family and invite them to Church on Sunday. You can even put together your own study group with the weekly readings.

Week Six July 2nd-July 8th

The Holy Week Begins

Monday Mark 11:1-19

Tuesday Mark 11:20-33

Wednesday Mark 12:1-17

Thursday Mark 12:18-34

Friday Mark 12:35-44

Week Five Gospel of Mark Readings

Week Five Gospel of Mark Readings

Take some time in your day to Read the daily reading slowly and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Reflect on what you heard, read or experienced when reading the word of God in with a journal or some other ways that you can express what you experienced as you read the scriptures. Respond in prayer, going to God with everything that is on your heart and just pray and take what you read and reflected upon and apply it to your life. Please share this with friends and family and invite them to Church on Sunday. You can even put together your own study group with the weekly readings.

Week Five June 25th-July 1st

Jesus Orients His Life Toward The Cross

Monday Mark 9:1-29

Tuesday Mark 9:30-50

Wednesday Mark 10:1-16

Thursday Mark 10:17-31

Friday Mark 10:32-52

Week Four Gospel of Mark Readings

Week Four Gospel of Mark Readings

Take some time in your day to Read the daily reading slowly and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Reflect on what you heard, read or experienced when reading the word of God in with a journal or some other ways that you can express what you experienced as you read the scriptures. Respond in prayer, going to God with everything that is on your heart and just pray and take what you read and reflected upon and apply it to your life. Please share this with friends and family and invite them to Church on Sunday. You can even put together your own study group with the weekly readings.

Week Four June 18th-24th

Jesus Lives By Example

Monday Mark 7:1-23

Tuesday Mark 7:24-37

Wednesday Mark 8:1-13

Thursday Mark 8:14-26

Friday Mark 8:27-38

Pastor Shana’s June Newsletter Article

“22 Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. 23 The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. 24 The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor 25 so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other.” ~1 Corinthians 12:22-25 Common English Bible (CEB)

Paul argues that every member of the body is necessary. There are no exceptions. Those body parts that are deemed weaker, less honorable, or less presentable are all very important. Paul rejected the Corinthians criteria for evaluating which gifts were most honorable. The only purpose of the gifts was to build up the body of Christ; the true measure for the greatness of any gift would be its usefulness to the body of Christ.

By now you’re reading this thinking Shana what does this have to do with our church? Every church has people who are out in the forefront and love the public spotlight. But what is really essential to the ongoing life of the church is the people behind the scenes—those who serve faithfully and quietly (and often are the ones who make the leaders look good).

We tend to forget that many of the strengths we so admire in one person are often incompatible with the strengths we admire in another. The grace of a figure skater is useless to a Sumo wrestler. The hard-working research and study of my favorite theologian doesn’t leave much time for the world traveling compassion of my favorite missionary.

If you are interested in finding out what your strengths and gifts are, come talk to me. I would love to be in conversation with you about where you are being called to serve in the life of our church.

 

Peace & Love Always,

Shana

Pastor Matt’s June Newsletter Article

This Summer we are looking at the Gospel of Mark in Worship. I love this Gospel I find it challenging and life giving every time I read it. Here is one of my favorite scriptures from Mark 8:34-35.

“34 After calling the crowd together with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 35  All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them.” ~Mark 8:34-35 (CEB)

How can we take up the cross and follow Jesus? How can we say no to ourselves? It’s as simples as Do No Harm, Do Good and Stay in love with God. These are the General Rules of The United Methodist Church. With one change. The last rule is written as “By attending upon all the ordinances of God.” (pg. 79 of the 2018 UMC Book of Discipline) Ruben Job in his book the Three Simple Rules calls the last rule, Staying In Love with God. Job’s book Three Simple Rules has made a huge impact how I live my life as a follower of Jesus Christ. A disciple of Jesus Christ follows these three simple rules. If you want to pick up a copy of this book. I have a free copy in my office drop by and I will give you a copy at no cost.

Here are somethings around the Church that I want you to be aware of.

This fall we are going to do another all Church Study starting on September 9th on Adam Hamilton’s book called Forgiveness. We have some copies in the office that can be purchased for $15.00 if you want us to order some for your Sunday School class please let the office know how many we can order for you. We will do this a lot like we did when we did the Moses Study.

Are you interested in being a part of our Sunday Evening Service? If so, please contact me so we can put together a new design team to help reboot our Sunday evening service.

If you are interested in leading a small group or a short-term study, please talk to Pastor Shana. We are going to have a training for Sunday School teachers and Small Group leaders July 29th after worship. We know that in order to help people grow in their faith we need to have places for this to occur and we want to help those established groups to figure out what could they do better.

Are you interested in serving in Worship? We could always use Ushers, Greeters, Computer people, sound people and many other areas for you to serve in worship. If this is where God is calling you to serve speak to me.

Thank you. I have had a fun year serving as your Pastor. We are doing great things living into our mission of being a Church of Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors as we make Disciples of Jesus Christ who transform the world. I am excited to come back for year two as your Lead Pastor. Let’s make this year even better than last year.

Peace Be with you,

Pastor Matt Franks

matt.franks@tahlequahumc.org

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