Little Utica United Methodist Church
Sunday, January 19, 2020

Laity

From the Lay Leader’s Desk: 
 

A Brief Recap of our Amazing Year

 

(1) The Upper Room Prayer Line, which we hosted the first Thursday of every month, ended in June. The leaders of the Upper Room Prayer Center decided that a call-in line was no longer needed. People with prayer needs have to now post them on the Upper Room Prayer Website, “Prayer Wall.” I don’t agree with this decision, but there was nothing I could do to change their minds.

 

(2) Two Lay Servant classes were taught this year. The Basic Class in February and the Advanced Class in September. After teaching two classes per year since 2007, I will hope there is a person at our church who will agree to fill that void.

 

(3) Two informational meetings for Holy Land and religious travel were held at our church. They have been fruitful. I have another couple joining my group. We will go to the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany, September 2020. This very special play has been performed in the village of Oberammergau for the past 380 years.  It is only performed every 10 years. E.O. offers the best Christian travel destinations. It’s not too late to register.  If you are interested, please let me know.

 

(4) The UMW is working so very hard on their primary mission. Their weekly New-to-You and Schoolhouse Sale does better and better every week.

 

(5) The E.J. Thomas Cluster UMM is still working hard on our commitment to our local veterans through the Cpl. Kyle R. Schneider Foundation. Please check out the UMW and UMM articles for more details.

 

(6) We have been trying new and different ways to celebrate our faith. A wonderful Sunday service/brunch was held at Flamingo Bowling in Liverpool. Pastor Judy delivered a great sermon then we broke for a delicious buffet breakfast followed by open bowling. The young and young at heart had such fun. Our Bishop has asked us to get outside our church walls and do church differently. That’s just what we did. I am looking forward to doing it again next spring.

 

(7) Pastor Judy announced that she was retiring as of June 30, 2019. What sad news it was; but we all understood. In keeping with our practice of doing Sunday Morning Worship differently, a service/picnic was organized.  Paul and Donna opened up their home on the Seneca River for our Sunday Service. A big tent was set up and Pastor Judy delivered her last sermon on the shores of the river. It was so fitting that one of the songs sung that morning was, ”Shall We Gather at the River.” Following the service, our chef Paul fired up the grills and soon you could smell the aroma of hotdogs, burgers, sausage and peppers, fresh brewed coffee and ice tea. After dinner Paul said, “All aboard!” and off we went for a cruise on the Seneca River. Well he didn’t have to ask the kids twice. They donned their life vests and off we went. Paul let all the kids navigate his boat up and down the river, they loved it! Soon it was time to come back to shore and have cake and watch Judy open her gifts… what a fun day!

 

(8) Well Pastor Judy’s retirement only lasted twelve weeks. She is back with us until a new pastor is appointed to our church in January. We are thrilled to have her back. We know it’s just to fill in, but that’s a win for our church!

 

(9) The big event of our year was having Bishop Mark Webb lead a service of Holy Communion and a celebration of our missions. We have been working with Bishop Webb’s office to find a Sunday he could come and worship with us. There was not a Sunday free and we were very disappointed. But not letting “No” be the answer, we asked if he would come on a Saturday. He said yes, so on Saturday October 19, Little Utica welcomed the very first Bishop in our 187th year history to our church. Bishop Webb was amazing; he reached out to everyone in attendance; all 60 of us. His sermon was one of the best I have ever heard. Dinner followed the service. The women of our church out did themselves. Our church was decorated, tables were set beautifully and the food was in abundance.

 

(10) Our last big event of the year was our annual “Hanging of the Greens” service. This year it was held on Sunday November 24th at 10AM. We decorated our church and a dinner followed.

 
I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and the best Holiday Season ever! This past year all of you have worked so hard to make our church shine and shine it did! Thank you.
 
Blessings,
 
Donald Day ~ Lay Leader