BEYOND THE GREEN DOORS
The newsletter of the
Peterborough United Methodist Church
43 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Sun Worship Service 10a
Sun Adult Bible Study 11:30a
Mon Confidential Meeting 6-8p
Tue Office Hours 9-12
Wed Office Hours 9-12
Wed Choir Rehearsal 11a
Wed Life Groups 6:30p
Thu Office Hours 9-12
Aug 6 Church/Ad Council meeting 6:30p
Aug 7 VBS Kickoff 5-8p
Aug 11 Free Community Breakfast 8a
Aug 12-16 VBS/Summer Spirit Camp
Aug 16 Open Mic Night 7p
Aug 18 Sizzlin Sunday 10a
Aug 25 Free Community Breakfast 8a
Aug 27 Newsletter submissions due
Aug 27 Book Group 1p
Aug 27 Missions meeting 6:30p
CHURCH FAMILY CELEBRATIONS
O God, You are the source of all blessing, all good. You are the center of our lives, the brightness of our days, and the calm of our nights. We give thanks for Your love and peace, and for all Your gifts. We ask that You continue to bless us, that we may live always to acclaim Your goodness, and to give You glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
FUNDRAISING FOR ARUN – BONUS LEVEL!
This year when fundraising for Arun we had a little left over, which we elected to send to help another program. They have sent us photos of the work they did with your generous donations.
The screens and windows had disintegrated at the Raichur Girls Hostel in India. The girls were vulnerable to malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya.
The doors and windowsills are now painted and new mosquito screens installed to protect the 65 girls at Raichur Methodist Girls Hostel.
FALL LIFE GROUP ORIENTATION CLASS
In September, the nine-week Life Group Orientation Class will again be offered, using the short text, A Spiritual Formation Workbook by James Bryan Smith as a guide. If you missed this class the first time around, now is your chance to take it!
Life Groups are for anyone who wants to grow spiritually. Successful performance at a moment of crisis is the result of character which has been developed over time. The goal of a Life Group is to develop this character through the practice of spiritual disciplines. This practice in turn leads participants to experience more fully the abundant life of which Jesus spoke when he said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). It doesn’t matter where you are in your faith journey; there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t benefit from being part of a Life Group. My own spiritual life has been significantly deepened by the practice of spiritual disciplines inspired by this book.
Still have questions about the class? You may want to ask someone who has already taken it for more information about the experience. They are: Reverend Card, Richard Clason, Priscilla Crowe, Daryl Hazel, Karen Keenan, Kelly Keenan, Jim Poplin, Christine Robidoux, Michael Robidoux, Andy Wallenstein, and myself. Everyone who has taken the class has found it to be a valuable experience.
SUPPER CHURCH WORSHIP SERVICE
Our first Supper Church service last Thursday night was a great success with over forty people in attendance. We are grateful to all those who participated and made the evening possible. It was an exciting service filled with lively music and delicious food. We used hymns, scripture, and a short message to lead the congregation into a discussion over the meal. The night provided an excellent platform to grow in our faith as well as deepen our connections with one another. Thank you again to all who took part in this
*Many thanks to Diane Temper for taking some great photos at the Sizzlin Sunday service!
PRACTICING THE PRESENCE OF GOD
1 Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us to “pray without ceasing,” but what exactly does this mean, and how do we learn to do it?
Nicholas Herman, born in 1610 in France, made his own personal discoveries on this subject. In midlife, after being crippled in the Thirty Years War, he entered a monastery in Paris where he became the cook and took the name Brother Lawrence. Here he discovered and then followed a pure and uncomplicated way to walk continually in God’s presence. He developed the unique gift of being able to pray incessantly with God throughout the entire day and regardless of whatever else he was doing. For some forty years, he lived and walked with God at his side.
After his death, fifteen short letters which he had written on this subject to a variety of longtime friends were discovered. Together with summaries of several conversations with him, these letters were published as The Practice of the Presence of God. In these letters, Brother Lawrence simply and beautifully explains how to continually walk with God, stating that we should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s Presence by continually conversing with Him. He wrote, “I worshipped Him the oftenest I could, keeping my mind in His holy presence and recalling it as often as I found it wandered from Him. I made this my business, not only at the appointed times of prayer but all the time; every hour, every minute, even in the height of my work, I drove from my mind everything that interrupted my thoughts of God.”
For those who are interested in reading more of Brother Lawrence’s ideas, The Practice of the Presence of God is available in its entirety on the internet or for purchase through amazon.com.
Like Brother Lawrence, I, too, understand praying without ceasing to mean maintaining an awareness of God throughout the day, and carrying on a continual dialogue with my invisible Life Partner.
As I have tried different spiritual disciplines through my participation in a Life Group this summer, I have found two of these practices to increase my awareness of God through my day and I recommend them to anyone wanting to be more connected to God in their lives.
The first discipline was to take an inventory of my life, listing all of the activities that make up my days. I then rated how well I bring the presence of God into each activity. Finally, I listed ideas for new ways that I could either bring an awareness of God into these pursuits or show forth His presence through them. For example, when I go to sleep I can consider how I will be refreshed in order to be able to serve God well; when I prepare a meal, I can be grateful that we always have had enough to eat, and appreciative of the variety of foods available in the stores.
The second discipline along these lines which I practiced was to bless each room of our house. As I walked through our home, I asked God to bless all of the activities that take place in each room. Now when I enter a room, I think of it as a place where God dwells. I connect the uses of the room to the presence of God and I am reminded to invite him into the things I do there.
Visual reminders are still another way to keep God in mind through the day. Pastor April Yamasaki, in her book Sacred Pauses, suggests creating “everyday icons,” symbols in our everyday lives which point to something more. selecting items which remind you of God in some way, perhaps suggesting one of His attributes. For her, a special china coffee cup sits on her desk, but is not used for coffee. Instead, as a symbol of refreshment, it reminds her to pause and be restored by God. Following her suggestion, I chose a rock which I use as a bookend to be an everyday icon; whenever I see it, it reminds me of God’s solid dependability.
Every time I consciously connect an ordinary event or place to God in one of these ways, I create a mental link. Thereafter, when I participate in that activity or enter that space or view that item, I am reminded of God. I encourage you to try practicing the presence of God in your own life using one of these methods!
BEYOND THE GREEN DOORS
Everyone is invited to contribute to the newsletter! Send in your thank yous, birthdays, photos, events, testimonials, prayer submissions…
Please submit all materials for the next newsletter (September) to our editors by the LAST TUESDAY, August 27. This is the newsletter that will be released September 1 and cover until Sunday September 29. Send to Melissa French at 924-4294 or email info@PeterboroughUMC.org, with the subject “Newsletter submission.” Thanks!
PETERBOROUGH UMC COMMUNICATIONS
In addition to “Beyond the Green Doors,” Peterborough UMC offers the following ways you can keep in touch.
We are at the church. Come visit us, Sunday at 10 am!
We are on the web: http://www.PeterboroughUMC.org
We are on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peterboroughunitedmethodist/
This newsletter was compiled by Melissa French. Any concerns with content can be addressed with Reverend Card.