Ash Wednesday service for the community
12:30 and 7:00 p.m.
All people are welcome!
On Jan. 13, during service, Becky Eanet provided the following message…
When I thought about my witness for today, what came to mind was how God has blessed me when I give him the best of what He has given to me, trusting in His provision for all my needs. As an example, when I was laid off and unemployed, I continued to tithe on unemployment and God provided a new, good job in a very short period of time. But I am now convicted, because, if I am honest about my own stewardship, I must confess to having drifted away from responsible giving in recent months. Spending beyond my means, caught up in overspending on material possessions, and seeking security and contentment by surrounding myself with those possessions, I’ve become grudging in my giving to God and decreased the amount and frequency of my giving.
God tells us in Scripture what He expects us to give back to Him, both financially and otherwise. He promises that if we trust in Him and obey Him in tithing and in non-monetary stewardship of the resources He has given us, He will supply all our needs (as the expression goes, not our “greeds” but our needs). I have been praying and thinking about my giving for 2013, and I am committing here and now to true tithing, giving 10% of my income — making a deliberate decision to trust Him with my financial resources, knowing He will provide for me when I submit to Him in this.
The idea of God blessing us when we give back to Him what he has gifted us with applies to non-monetary gifts as well. We are to be good stewards of the abilities and talents He has given us, using them for His glory, giving of our time and service to others. When we use our gifts in furthering His work, in spreading the message of the gospel, not only does this bless others around us, but we ourselves are blessed. For me, much of my service is in the musical realm. (And by the way, if the existence of music isn’t evidence of God’s hand in creation, I don’t know what is!)
One of the first experiences I had of God’s blessing in my music ministry was during my participation in an interfaith Bible study where the leaders of the study sent out a call for pianists to play at the start of each weekly meeting and accompany the group as they sang some hymns. As soon as I heard about the need, I knew God was calling me to serve in this way, but I initially hesitated because I had not played piano much at all for many years and was uncertain about my ability to do the job. Long story short, I did decide to take on this role and soon found myself blessed in a number of unexpected ways. God provided! He got me back into practicing regularly as I prepared songs to play each week, helped me become familiar with many hymns I would not have known otherwise, allowed me to hear the joyful voices of over 300 women raised in songs of praise each week, and gave me a new way to express my love for Him through music.
Now, at RFUMC, I worship God through the ministry of our church choir. As I’ve often said, it’s my favorite way to worship, raising my personal praise and tribute to Him by making the most beautiful noise I can make — my best effort — for His glory, not for my own. I can set aside my ego – and the nervousness I otherwise feel in front of a group — and sing freely to and about Him. I am drawn closer to Him and my faith is strengthened in contemplating the meaning of the words of the songs. And I reminded again and again of His sovereignty in creating music for our pleasure and for His glory.
A few statistics from the Recycling Extravaganza, held May 5 at RFUMC, illustrate the event’s success. Recycled were:
A total of 600 cars drove up to drop off items to the event’s 48 volunteers, including 291 from River Forest.
The event was in partnership with groups from the River Forest community, including District 90 GREEN4GOOD, River Forest Parks Foundation, and River Forest Citizens Corp.
Judy Deogracias, on behalf of Green4Good, wrote the following letter to RFUMC:
Thank you for your support of the Recycling Extravaganza. We really appreciate your congregation’s support in this endeavor. It was a great day! Many community stakeholders came together for a common cause. Together our efforts diverted two semis full of electronics, a dumpster of scrap metal, and countless other items from landfills. It’s something to feel great about. I know the folks in the 600+ cars that came through that day were also very appreciative of your hosting the event. Thank you again. We could not have made this as successful if it had not been for all of you!
From October through May, RFUMC provides the dinner service for PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) to feed the homeless in our area at an overnight shelter. We serve 50+ people on the third Sunday of the month.
Volunteer opportunities include planning and shopping for the dinner groceries, cooking the day of the meal, and/or serving at the shelter. The actual service hours are 6 p.m. to about 9:30 p.m. For more information, email Cindy Belle or call the RFUMC office at 708 771-3668.
Generally held after service (around 11 a.m.) on the last Sunday of each month (September through April), our monthly brunch is a crowd-pleaser! Enjoy pancakes, eggs, hash browns, sausage, toast, and more! Hosted by different church families, the brunch is free, with a free-will offering as you wish.