My how fast 2019 has come and gone, It seems like only a few months ago we began the year. We really enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Eve Candlelight Service with around 60 being present for the Service, Communion and Fellowship. So now we are off to a good start with a Sermon Series: "Seeing God More Clearly in 2020!" We are into our third Sunday of this series. We have had a lot of members and guests absent lately due to the flu bug and various illnesses. I hope you have been passed over for this virus, because it has really hit so many people really hard and there has been several deaths because of the flu. Some of you may have been reading the news about the United Methodist splitting. It may happen, I don't think anyone knows for sure what will happen at the General Conference in May, so let us take it easy and see what actually happens. There are numerous resolutions having been submitted for consideration and there is no telling which one will pass or if any will pass. What ever does happen let us keep Love in our hearts, minds and words!! As this new year progresses, let us search for and share our Love with others, so that they can see that we truly are followers of Jesus the Christ. Put a guard on your lips and actions so that you stand out in the crowd as a true representative of Jesus. We are always being watched by someone and we want to be a Light and Beacon to someone that is lost and help them to find Jesus! God Bless You in your journey and enjoy this wonderful Gift of Life from our Maker, God! Your Brother In Christ, Pastor Ken
We have entered Advent Season and we are refreshing our memories of the reason for the season! We are reminded to prepare ourselves for the Coming of Jesus. The Christian church’s liturgical calendar begins with the season of Advent. Faith communities intentionally adorn their worship spaces with a Hanging of the Greens ceremony, a precursor to Christmastide. The ceremony is held directly before the first Sunday of Advent, and it emphasizes symbols of everlasting life (circular evergreen wreath), the light of Christ (Advent candles), Chrismon symbols hung on the evergreen tree that “direct our attention to the nature and ultimate work of Christ and primary Advent themes.” These symbols can include the crow, descending dove, fish, Celtic cross, Jerusalem cross, shepherd's crook, orb, crown, fish, star, anchor, chalice, shell—all made in the colors of white and gold (purity/perfection, majesty/glory), and clear lights. The Hanging of the Greens ceremony also creates a sacred space that builds or strengthens an ethos of koinonia, a community intentionally setting forth on a divine journey with God and with one another. We light the candles of Peace, Hope, Joy and Trust as our circle is complete. And we light the light of Love as the sign of Christ’s presence among us, no matter how dark it may seem. “A child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).Where in your community do you see signs that Christ is changing the world? Where would you like to see more signs of change? What will you do today to share God with others? There is a song that I really love listening to, it is sung by Rhonda Vincent and the Rage entitled "If You Don't Love Your Neighbor --- Then You Don't Love God!" If you say that you love God, and don't love your neighbor, then you are a liar and you don't know God! In the Lord's Prayer that we recite very often we say that "Forgive our (Sins) (Debts) or (Trespasses) as we forgive those that have (Sinned) (Debtors) or (Trespassed) against us!" We are saying that if we harbor any hate, or ill will then we ourselves will not be forgiven! Especially during this season and continue throughout the year to practice Forgiving Others because it is for our own good that we do so! Not a single one of us on this earth can say that we don't need to "Repent!" Repent means to change our ways; of thinking and acting, to grow closer to God! Put LOVE in your heart and Put LOVE in your LIFE and you will be Wise, Happy, and drawn closer to GOD!
Gracious God, we seek you everywhere with expectant eyes that invite us to see all the people that you are calling us to love today. We praise you, O God, for the King of Kings! Amen. Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
The Dublin Ministerial Alliance met this week and set the date and time for the "Community Thanksgiving Service". It will be at the First Baptist Church, 220 E. Blackjack St., Dublin, TX at 6:00 O'clock PM on November 24th the Sunday before Thanksgiving! There will be Refreshments following the Service in the Fellowship Hall! We look forward to seeing all of you and we invite you to bring your friends and family. Update: We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Service with most of the churches in and around Dublin participating. We collected over $715 to be divided between Dublin GoodFellows and Transformation Pathways (used to be the Christian Womens Job Corp).
This year has really flown by. It seems like only a couple of months ago that we were celebrating Easter and now we are entering the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. The First United Methodist Church and Laurel St. United Methodist Church of Dublin were recognized by the West District at Charge Conference at Hico FUMC for our growth in attendance and Professions of Faith of new members into our family. We are gearing up for Advent and Christmas Season. We will decorate the church around December 1 and if you would like an advent Devotional Guide, let me know and I will be glad to give you one. As a follower of Jesus Christ, we continue to be Loving, Caring and Welcoming to anyone who wants to grow their relations with Jesus and God! As the song says, “If you don’t love your neighbor, then you don’t know God!” God Bless you all and we would ask that you consider this church to grow your relationship with God and each other and we will welcome you with open arms. Thanks for reading and May God Bless You with His Presence; Love; Peace; and Healing, Your Brother in Christ, Pastor Ken.
The Methodist Churches in the West District of the Central Texas Conference are heavy in the work of preparing for our annual Charge Conference for each church. This year we will come together at Hico First United Methodist Church and have a joint Charge Conference. This lays plans for growth in the coming year. First United Methodist Church of Dublin has had many successes in our current year, from resurfacing our parking lot and driveway to air conditioning improvements. The “Community Table” where the church offers a free meal to anyone on the last Wednesday of each month and deliver meals to those that are shut in or unable to go to the church has steadily grown in the number of people being served. Last month, September, we fed over 300 meals. This is excellent in promoting good relationships with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. It also provides us with the opportunity to let our friends and neighbors know that we care. The food pantry also has seen an increase in numbers seeking assistance as well as the number of “Grace Place” pledge letters. This informs us that we have many people in our midst that are struggling to make it through the month. It also gives us the opportunity to show people that we care about them as individuals and to show them the Love of Jesus Christ. We have been given Commands that we are to “Love the Lord our God with all our Heart, Mind, Strength and Soul!” and The Second is like unto it, “Love your neighbor as yourself!” He also gave us another Command to “Go and make Disciples of all Nations (peoples)!” If you do not regularly go to Church, I ask you to reconsider that and get back into the habit of going to Church regularly for your own good as well as for others. By going to church we build relationship with each other and with God! If you don’t have a church home, I invite you to come to Dublin First United Methodist Church located at 630 Highland Ave., Dublin, TX and give us an opportunity to share the Love of Jesus Christ with you and your family. Our Service begins at 11am each Sunday morning. God Bless us ALL and I am looking forward to meeting you! Thanks for reading, Pastor Ken
August is almost over and we have enjoyed our vacations and School is about to start if it has not already started and it has in some areas. It is time to get back to the business at hand working to enlighten the world of their need to repent and change their ways so they can be about the business of Jesus Christ! This Sunday August 25th we will be studying Luke 13:10-14 where Jesus encountered a woman who had been crippled by a spirit for 18 years and Jesus healed her. Now this was on a Sabbath, the legalist said it was not lawful to work on a Sabbath. Sometimes a person gets angry about something. Many times it is unimportant. This story is really about two people "bent out of shape" the crippled woman and the legalistic leader of the synagogue! When Jesus set her free from her "crippling spirit" she rejoiced and praised God! However the Legalist cried, "There are six days for work, so come and heal on those days, not on the Sabbath" Jesus answered by saying, "You hypocrite! Don't you untie your donkey on the Sabbath and lead them to get a drink? Even so, it was necessary for me to heal this woman who had been suffering for over eighteen years." You see Jesus was always more concerned with helping people than he was about keeping rules. Rules are good, but people are more important. We should remember that the next time we start to get all bent out of shape when someone bends the rules a little bit to help someone who is in need. Dear Jesus, Help us to remember that you taught us that helping people is more important than keeping rules, You shared your Love, Grace, Presence and Healing with us and set the example for us to follow, so help us to share that Love, Grace and Healing with ALL our Brothers and Sisters. We pray this in Jesus' Holy Name, Amen!.
Summer is upon us, we have been blessed with a wonderful Spring with plenty of rain and a bountiful hay crop. Like we have not experienced in several years, Praise God! Judy and I took some of our vacation time in June and enjoyed our travels to and from Fort Washington, Maryland and also our visit with our Son and family. We went to Mount Vernon where we enjoyed the tour of George Washington's home and see how they lived back then. Their life style was considered eloquent but in our today's world it was very primitive. We have become quite spoiled with air conditioning, running hot and cold water, toilets, tv, radio, recordings, vehicles that are comfortable and air conditioned, etc.. We should thank God every day for all that He has blessed us with. Especially Family and Friends. I see people almost every day that remind me to be thankful as they are thankful in whatever circumstance that we are in. I am reminded that we live both on the mountain top experiences as well as down in the valley where we apply those experiences and work with each other in every season of life. The Church is in the period that we call ordinary time. Our vestments are Green! August will be the end of this years Lectionary planning Year "C". When we use the Lectionary for planning our services, we cover the Bible in three years. In September, 2019 we will return to Year "A" and start over in covering the Bible. God Loves us so much that he gave His only begotten Son to die to ransom and give us life and even more abundantly. He gives us a Command that we are to Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to Love our neighbors as ourselves. Who is our neighbor? Be honest and you will see that it is everyone!! Show kindness, Gentleness, and a helping hand to everyone! We are to help each other through life. He also gave us a Command to "make disciples of all nations!" (everyone) Baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! This command applies to each and every one of us, especially as we mature in our Faith and Love of God and our neighbors! His Peace and Grace to each of you and thank you for reading. Pastor Ken
May 12, we recognize and honor all our Mothers, whether biological or step or mothers in the Spiritual sense. I would like to share an article written by Dr. Rev. Teresa Angle-Young about this coming Sunday. Mother’s Day can be difficult for women who are unable to have children or who have lost children to death or estrangement, or for those who feel they must constantly explain or defend the reasons they have chosen not to have children. Mother’s Day also can be difficult for those who have been hurt by their mothers. But Mother’s Day celebrations and remembrances do not have to be limited to the women who gave birth to us. This coming Sunday, many of us will celebrate the women in our lives who have loved, nurtured, taught, mentored, challenged and befriended us, no matter what their relationship is to us. Some of them are our biological mothers. Some are our adopted mothers. Some are women who are unrelated to us, but show us kindness, listen to our troubles, cheer us on, teach us, lead us, correct us and heal us. We celebrate the women in our lives who do not necessarily perform memorable acts, but rather offer small acts of gentle or tough love, shown over time — women who are not perfect, who don’t always do the right thing or make the right choices, but who offer us the best they can wherever they are on their journey. Sometimes, we forget the grace and joy in the familiar, even in the people around us who we see every day. We hold onto an image of who and what they are that might be obscured by the past or blurred by the expectations we have of a “perfect family.” We look for grandiose gestures or unique expressions and fail to see that love comes in the ordinary — in a meal shared, in a look or a touch, in the everyday tasks of parenthood and friendship. We fail to celebrate their love for us in these small, everyday gestures and words. I offer two thoughts this Mother’s Day. First, to the young people among us: Celebrate your mother and the other significant women in your life, even in their imperfection, even though they sometimes frustrate you. Celebrate that through years of taking care of you day after day, in ways big and small, they show you love in the best way they know. And, to the mothers: Whether you get a diamond necklace or a homemade paper card on Mother’s Day — or even if you get no gift at all — celebrate every smile, every tear, every meal that you have shared with your child. Celebrate every time you worked late to provide shelter and food, every fever tended, every sacrifice made, whether your child celebrates you or not. In these small loving acts, done year upon year, you have shown love in the best way you could. Whether your child celebrates you in a big way or a quiet way, know that your love has been reflected in each and every gesture, in each cheese sandwich, in every bit of advice, and in a million other ways. We honor all the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, friends, mentors, bosses, leaders, teachers and encouragers who offer us the love and support we need. We celebrate our imperfect mothers. We celebrate small acts of kindness and love. Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere, and to all the women who make us strong. The Rev. Dr. Teresa Angle-Young is a mother, daughter and friend who does her best in those roles and as the Director of Seeker Advertising & Communication for United Methodist Communications. Love is the most powerful thing in the world, let us do our best to Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and Love our neighbor as our self. Also let us exercise Charity, Kindness, Smiles, and Forgiveness to one another for they will know we are Christians by our Love!! Thank you for Reading, God Bless you! Pastor Ken
Palm Sunday is next Sunday April 14th and this begins Holy Week of Easter! Thursday April 18th is Maundy Thursday and we will have come and go prayer time where between the hours of 5pm and 7pm you may drop by the Church and either pray or be prayed over. Then Friday April 19th is what is called GOOD FRIDAY! We will have a worship service with Communion beginning at 7PM. Come we are remembering Jesus' Passion and Death on a Cross. Again, ALL are welcome to come and worship with us on this solemn occasion. Then Sunday April 21 at 7AM the Dublin Ministerial Alliance will host the Community Sunrise Service and Rev. Weldon Branham will deliver the message with Rev. Gerald Freeman, Congregational Methodist Church; Rev. Ronnie Horton, Church of the Lost and Found; Rev. Rude Cortez, Primaria Iglesias Bautista Church; Rev. Jimmy Holleman, Double N Cowboy Church; Rev. Mike Hannah, Green's Creek United Methodist Church; Rev. Greg Judy, Community Baptist Church, Rev. Weldon Branham, First Baptist Church; and Rev. Kenneth Lunsford, First United and Laurel St. United Methodist Churches participating. The collection will be given to the Dublin Salvation Army; Dublin Goodfellows; and Dublin Christian Womens Job Corp. There will be a pancake Breakfast following the Service which will be in the Atrium Garden and First United Methodist Church, located at 630 Highland Ave., Dublin, TX. If the weather is bad we will worship in the Sanctuary. After the Sunrise Service and Breakfast, I will be at Laurel St. UMC located at FM219 and Laurel St. in Dublin at 9:30AM and then at First United Methodist Church located at 630 Highland Ave., Dublin for our Regular Service at 11AM. COME AND WORSHIP WITH US! ALL ARE WELCOME! Thanks for Reading and God Bless you!
Ash Wednesday begins Lenten Season a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. Ash Wednesday emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality. The service focuses on both themes, helping us realize that both have been triumphed through the death and resurrection of Jesu Christ. Genesis 3:19 NRSV reminds us that "you are dust and to dust you shall return". Through out scripture, ashes are part of rituals when people seek forgiveness and mourn their sin ( see Numbers 19:9,17; Hebrews 9:13; Jonah 3:6; Matthew 11:21; and Luke 10:13, among others. In earlier centuries, ashes were used to mark those who had been separated from the church because of serious sins and were seeking to be re-admitted to the fellowship of the church. In effect, they were redoing the process of final preparation for church membership along with those doing it for the first time. They sprinkled with ashes and given rough garments to wear as a sign of sorrow for their sins and their commitment to seek renewal in Christian life through this season. In many churches the ashes are made by burning the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday. Ashes are place on the forehead or back side of the hand, usually in the sign of a cross, in a ritual known as the Imposition of Ashes. It is an outward sign of our sorrow and repentance for sins. Many during the Lenten season Abstain or Fast. Giving up something for Lent is a common practice for many Christians. Often we give up a favorite food or try to kick a bad habit, but don't confine yourself to food or habits How about abstaining from gossip or complaining. What about defensive attitudes, fear, or anxiety? You probably won't be perfect at this, but being mindful of times when these attitudes begin to take hold of your day can lead you to prayer. Instead of setting a special time to pray, how about saying short prayers all day long. Pray for your day, Pray for the drivers of the vehicles and mass transit passengers, Medical personnel, Police, Garbage collectors, Mail Carriers/Clerks and all Government workers. Offer one sentence prayers for your co-workers and so on. Be mindful of our Creator who longs to be in relationship with you! Some find meaning in stillness and quiet time, try practicing by lighting a candle and pausing before the presence of God. Listen to the birds...….the voice of God! Give to your church; United Methodist Committee on Relief or other Charitable organizations. Serve others, lending a helping hand to someone that can't do something for themselves without expectation of reward. Find ways to bless others with that which God has Blessed and entrusted to you! If you don't have a church home, come and try us out. We would love to see you and aid you in your journey of life; growing in your relationship with your neighbors and with God! Thank you for Reading, your brother in Christ, Pastor Ken
We begin a new Calendar Year and our Church year began with Advent. We have had some wonderful and exciting Happenings in our Church and Church family last year. The "Community Table" has continued to grow in numbers that we serve each month to around 280 to 290 each time. The numbers coming to the church to eat has continued to grow in numbers as well as the take-outs to those that are unable to get out and come to the church. We enjoy a lot of laughter and fellowship and we enjoy getting in touch each month with those that are unable to get out for what ever reason. The Outreach committee has really been working hard to help as many as we can including the Food Pantry which has continued to grow with those that we serve and the quantity of food we have been able to give. We also assist with the Stephenville "Grace Place" benevolence. Ray LaBaume and James Sage delivered 842 Dozen cookies from Dublin FUMC to Abilene Dyes AFB for delivery to the troops for the "Cookies for the Troops for Christmas!" The cookies came from First United Methodist Churches of Dublin; Comanche; Stephenville; DeLeon; Hamilton and Morgan Mill. Also from Laurel St. United Methodist Church and Oakdale United Methodist Church. Thank You to Everyone Involved from baking to delivery!! We are mourning the loss of Barbara Stevens, she was a very active member of the church. And the Nurture and or Outreach Committees have been busy nurturing and reaching out to families that are grieving a loss. There has been several families that have been served by them this year. Our Candlelight Service was excellent with the children reading the Scriptures telling the Story of Jesus' birth and the singing was outstanding as well! We had quite a number of guests this year even though several other churches in town also had a Candlelight Service. Thank you to all that came and Worshipped with us! We enjoyed fellowship and refreshments after the service was over, it was great! I will try to write more later, but for now, Thank you for reading. May God Bless you with a Happy and Prosperous New Year! Pastor Ken
As we begin a New Year it should remind us that God gives us the opportunity to start new and fresh in our relationship with Him and with each other! He wipes our slate clean and we get to start over and prayerfully do better in serving Him as well as each other. When any part of the body of Christ suffers then the whole body suffers and we need to minister to that part of the body for healing. What that tells us is that if you or I are hurting in anyway then we should pray and minister to relieve that hurt. When we look around us, we see so many people hurting, and suffering. Offer a kind word, pray for them, and Love them like Jesus Loves You!