Stephenville First United Methodist Church hosted members of the West District of the Central Texas Conference on Monday, 9-15. It was a training and information program on preventing child abuse in our churches. Pastor Ken Lunsford, Judy Lunsford, Juanita Duncan and Laura Leatherwood represented Dublin First United Methodist. The event was well attended by representatives of churches in our West District. The training was given by Greg Love who has worked with many organizations including the United States Olympics to prevent or recognize child abuse.
Stormy Armstrong served as our Worship Leader on Sunday, 9-7. Stormy assisted Pastor Ken with administering Communion which is served on the first Sunday of the month.
Lee and Morgan Leatherwood were visitors on the 7th and Lee operated the Power Point for the congregation. We appreciate his help so much.
Laura Leatherwood presented the children’s lesson. Laura brought pencils to show the children, but they were unusual pencils. First she showed a pencil with erasers on both ends, the children laughed at that. Next she had a pencil that was sharp on both ends and finally Laura had one with one eraser and one sharp end.
Laura said we all make mistakes, but we can’t get anything done with all erasers and we can’t correct our mistakes with only the lead ends. We need a balanced life with both. Laura said Jesus will always help us with our mistakes; Jesus can erase the mistakes we make in life when we ask for forgiveness.
Our congregation extends sympathy to the family, friends, and co-workers of Linda Sparks.
Rev. Ken Lunsford’s sermon on 9-7 was about ‘How to Hug”, the scripture that inspired it was Romans 13:8-14.
Loving and hugging are not necessarily the same thing, but a hug can be an expression of love. And love is at the heart of the Gospel. St. Paul writes that love is the fulfillment of the law. He says the commandments are summed up in one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Paul was echoing the words of Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” said our Savior. “This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Love is not the negation of the law. Law lived within the protective confines of self-giving love produces a life of grace and beauty.
Judy Lunsford was the Worship Leader on 9-14. Judy read a card from Nancy Wooldridge thanking our church for the flowers sent to her and the members for their prayers and cards. Nancy had surgery to her knee and is feeling much better.
The congregation sang “Happy Birthday” to our September birthdays which are; David Cleveland, Norma Sharp and Kaitlyn Gordon. We also wished James and Leta Sage a happy anniversary on 9-28.
Pastor Ken titled his sermon “Forgive! How Many Times?” His message was from Matthew 18:21-35. In this section of the Bible Peter asks Jesus how many time he should forgive his brother. Peter asks seven times? But Jesus replies seventy times seven.
Scribal law read to forgive a man three transgresses, but not the fourth time. Jesus seems to be saying that forgiveness should be an unlimited resource in our lives.
As Jesus hung on the cross He forgave those who crucified him, those who were taunting him. Imagine Jesus forgiving everyone who has ever betrayed him including you and me. He taught unlimited forgiveness and He practiced unlimited forgiveness.
Accept the grace that is offered to you today. And then, in the name of the One who has forgiven you a debt which you cannot possibly repay, extend grace to others!