Blue Mound UMC November 2023
Blue Mound has much to be thankful for during the month of November.
Last month was Pastor Appreciation Month. I think I can speak for us all when I say how thankful I am for our Pastor. I thought I would give you all some behind the scenes information about what it’s like to work with Pastor Buster. When I walk in the door to our church, I peek in his office. He is normally at his desk waiting for me to see him, so he can tell me good morning with his signature big smile. I’m thankful to work with someone who is also happy to be at “work.” (I use quotes here because I view my position at Blue Mound as more of a privilege than a job.) Pastor Buster has such a servant’s heart (as many of you at Blue Mound do). He is always willing to help me with things that are not usually in a pastor’s job description. I am thankful for our pastor.
Our congregation is also on the list of things I am thankful for this November. Kay and Kenneth Dodd joined our church this month. We have had many opportunities to be together in fellowship this year. I am always taken aback when I see how loving our church family is. The way our congregation prays for each other and takes care of one another is so amazing to me. I am thankful for our congregation.
The children of our church are some of the sweetest, loving young Christians I have ever met. Listening to them share with us on Sunday morning is one of my favorite parts of the week. I’m always impressed by how much they remember from children’s time and their lessons with Miss Gayla. I am thankful for the children of our church.
If we counted the blessings of Blue Mound, they would not all fit on one page. How lucky we are to have so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
- Karan Muns
What Are the Sacraments? (Part Two)
The Greek word from which we get the word baptism means “to dip, plunge, or dunk.” Baptism began as a kind of ritual bath. In fact, it was from the Jewish practice of taking ritual baths – baths that were supposed to cleanse people spiritually, rather than just physically – that the practice of baptism emerged. But from the earliest days of the faith Christians have practiced baptism in a variety of ways. Some Christians believe that the only way in which a proper baptism can take place is by full immersion in water. Others believe that pouring or sprinkling water over the person being baptized is entirely acceptable. Among Wesleyans there are different ways of practicing baptism, and each of us learns these within our communities of faith. As a rule, though, baptism always involves water, it is carried out before a community of faith, and a minister normally performs the baptism. (And, yes, there are always exceptions.)
Regardless of how we practice baptism, though, there are some important concepts that we should understand as Wesleyans. Baptism is our initiation into the church. In baptism, we enter into a covenant – a binding, sacred agreement – with God. We enter into God’s household, adopted as God’s children. In turn, God gives us new life by the power and work of the Holy Spirit. Baptism means that we have entered into the Church catholic (universal), the community of all Christians who have ever lived, the household of God. It makes us part of something bigger than ourselves, that “great… cloud of witnesses” spoken of in Hebrews 12:1. As baptized people, we must order our lives in such a way as to be faithful to God, and we do so with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is not just a covenant but also a means of grace. It is a way in which we receive the power and work of the Holy Spirit. If our human nature has been corrupted by sin, in baptism the Holy Spirit goes to work on us from the inside out and begins to restore the image of God within us. Can the Spirit do this without baptism? Of course. Like us, God has a free will, and God is not bound by our rituals or prayers. But, we believe that baptism is a reliable way of bringing people into a closer relationship with God and invoking the Holy Spirit to be at work in the life of the baptized person.
Continued>> Next page
Pastor’s Corner What Are the Sacraments? (Part Two) Page 2 of 2
If we see baptism as an initiation into the Church, a covenant, and a means of grace, we can see why many Wesleyans baptize infants. Christian parents who believe in this practice wish for their children to be a part of the Church from their earliest days, to be in covenant with God, and to receive God’s healing grace. Of course, infants cannot decide for themselves if they wish to be baptized. Some Christians believe that baptism should come only after a person has made a conscious decision to follow Christ, so they do not baptize infants and young children. For those who do, however, the covenant is between the parents, the church, and God on behalf of the child. Since God is the primary agent in baptism, the child need not assent to entering the Church (being adopted into God’s household) or receiving God’s grace. These are loving gifts from God.
Whenever we baptize people, we baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit means that we enter into a covenant of faithfulness to the Holy Trinity. We belong to the Trinity, are part of God’s household, and the Trinity is the only God whom we will worship.
Next month we’ll continue looking at What Are the Sacraments? I pray that you may come to understand and believe more and more with each passing day, just how special and loved by God you are!
Peace be with you, Buster
02 Bonnie Mika
05 Brenda Minnis
07 Dustin Fleming
08 Chaunsey Digby
14 Miriam Klein
16 Shayne Wright Miller
21 Joe Ewing
22 Karan Muns
24 Stephanie Hutson
25 Jeannie Hardin
27 Gayland Fleming
28 Robert Hokamp
30 Billy Wright
17 James and Heather Cox
Jeremy and Sausley Kraft
21 Billy and Dana Wright
Thank You for Your Service
05 Holy Communion
Day Light Saving Ends
07 Election Day
11 Veteran’s Day
12 Second Sunday Lunch, Noon
23 Thanksgiving Day
25 Family Fellowship Night, 6:00 pm Fun, Games, and Food.
Please check your Sunday bulletin, email notices and website for other weekly activities.
Saturday, November 4th and Be Ready for Sunday! Please check your Sunday bulletin, email notices and website for other weekly activities.
BLUE MOUND UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
8421 N. Interstate 35, Denton, TX 76207-1537 (940) 382-0825
Midway between Denton and Sanger at Exit 473
Sunday School: 9:30 am, Sunday Worship: 10:45 am
Linda Boyer, Newsletter Editor
Need to contact Pastor Buster Noah?