Weekly E-Letter - For the Week of May 29th, 2022
Listed above: Youth Events this summer!
Hello FUMCA Friends and Families, Coming into the holiday weekend this week, I’m reminded that I live at a very different pace than I once did. This weekend is the official start of summer for so many people and, for some, it has the beginning of 110 days of absolute insanity at the beach. When I moved to Florida, I learned there were actually two tourist seasons; a winter season and then the Memorial Day to Labor Day season. But, essentially for me, Memorial Day was the marking of the beginning of a season of hot days, broken AC units, and angry guests when it rained on the weekend. The idea that Memorial Day had a deeper meaning than summer, beach, and sunscreen, was lost on me due to the fact that I was otherwise occupied with my work. I didn’t spend the weekend remembering those who gave their lives to the service of our country. I wasn’t involved in weekend events outside of my work. Along with most of the country, I would argue, I had lost the meaning and purpose of taking the time to recognize the ultimate sacrifice. Honestly, it wasn’t until working in churches and serving with Veterans that I learned the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. All of this is a bit revealing about how our culture treats these holidays. Though much of my family has served in the military, I also didn’t have anyone who didn’t return from war in my family. I would say that those who have experienced this kind of loss will treat this weekend with a much different tone than the celebratory parties and backyard grilling. To those who have had to receive that phone call, letter, or knock on the door, I apologize for my severe lack of understanding and respecting the purpose of this weekend. Memorial Day, at its heart, I think, is meant to help us understand the deepest form of sacrifice. To give one’s life to the service of another. We preach this over and over in our pulpits around the world. We rarely are tasked with living that example. Our military members make the promise to offer their entire selves to the work of protecting our freedoms up to and including the cost of their own lives. This weekend, I pray that all of us will take a few extra moments to teach our children and families about the sacrifice that has been made both by our service members and by Christ. I pray we will learn the fullness of offering our entire lives to the cause of which we so deeply believe in. I also hope that we will look to Christ as the premier example of this and focus on how God is calling each and every one of us into a life like this. Sunday we will take a few short moments to thank God for the sacrifice of our loved ones, pray for the survivors and seek God’s peace above all else. We will also look at Matthew 25:31-46 to discern how God has called is, through the life of Jesus, to much more than a proclamation of faith but one that is lived out in the ways we have cared for “the least of these.” I look forward to seeing you Sunday, online or in person! Grace & Peace, Pastor Augie Announcements: SPR Announcement: Pastor Augie’s last Sunday will be June 12th. Your Staff Parish Relations Committee and church leaders would like to join you in showing our appreciation for Pastor Augie and his family’s time here with us at Alachua. There are cards and a basket available in the office or in the sanctuary during service to offer words of encouragement and thanks. Gifts for the Pastor should be addressed directly to him or his family. There will be a reception with the Allen Family after service on June 12th in the fellowship hall to bid them farewell and give them a BIG HUG! Youth News: We are currently hiring for a Youth Director, the link to the job description can be found on our staff page on the website. Youth will have a number of great events hosted by our volunteers this summer. Be sure to see the insert in the bulletin and follow us on Instagram @fumcalachuayouthgroup Santa Fe Senior Celebrations: Senior Sunday is June 5th! We’ll be celebrating Turner Hilton, Conner Lewis, Jackson Bryan, and Jake Hayes! These students have been a great part of our youth ministry and we wish them well as they celebrate their hard work and pray for God’s guidance on their years to come. FL UMC Children’s Home: Sunday is our 5th Sunday special offering for the FL Methodist Children’s Home. There will be envelopes for a special offering to go directly to the Children’s Home that supports some of the most at-risk children in our state. Thank you for your loving support of this ministry! Membership Directory: In order to better serve our new Pastor, Mason, we are looking to update our Membership information. If your address, phone, or email address has changed, please contact Brandy Wilson at email@example.com Also, if your membership status is changing or transferring, please notify Brandy and the office so that we have an accurate record.