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Dear SDUMC Family,

We continue to journey with Matthew this week through Chapter 13. Jesus continues to share a number of parables about planting and gardening. These parables guide and educate us in the graceful way of sharing the Good News to a world in need of Hope.

As I read through Matthew 13 for the last few days, the word that continues to speak to me is listen (or hear). Jesus said in Matthew 13:9, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Steven Covey shares, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

As I watched the Golden State Warriors win the NBA Championship this year, it seemed as if the team was working together and really listening to each other and the coaches. Steph Curry, one of the best basketball players in the NBA, espouses this attitude. One of his coaches said, “He’s the most educable player I’ve ever known—both in terms of his willingness to listen and in his ability to absorb and execute.”

I hope you’ll join me in taking some time to listen this weekend. Listen to a friend or family member as they talk to you, sit back and listen to what nature is saying, listen to the laughter of the children in your neighborhood, sit back and listen to the organ prelude on Sunday morning, listen to the way our voices come together during the singing of hymns, listen to the words you share during prayer time and spend a few moments of solitude listening to God speaking to you.

I look forward to being with you in worship at 8 AM, 9 AM or 10:30 AM on Sunday morning and sharing and listening together.

Have a blessed weekend!

Grace and Peace, John

Posted on July 21, 2017

7-16-17 Audio

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Dear SDUMC Family,

I am thrilled to be joining you this week as the new Associate Minister at San Dieguito United Methodist Church. I cannot thank you enough for the out pouting of love and support over the past few weeks…actually over the past six years. When I first started as the Youth Director of SDUMC, I was a novice at ministry, I had yet to receive seminary training and I had no gray hairs. Time has a funny way of changing things. Throughout these years SDUMC has accompanied me along this journey of answering my call to ordained ministry. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to continue in ministry at SDUMC as my first appointment.

Many of you have asked me or have been wondering what the differences between ordained elders and ordained deacons. The United Methodist Book of Discipline states that, “elders are called to Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service” whereas “deacons are called to Word, Service, Compassion and Justice.” It is common that deacons are described as bridges; connecting the church to the secular world, and the secular world to the church. It is my desire to be a church who is leading in welcome, acceptance, hospitality, grace, justice and love. I know, firsthand, the unmatched potential here at SDUMC to be a church of good soil.

This week, as we continue along on the road with Matthew, we will look at one of Jesus’s best-known parables, the Parable of the Sower. I hope you will join us this Sunday in worship at 8am, 9am or 10:30am. We also hope you will join us for an afternoon of fun at Sand Castle Sunday.

Peace and Love,

Posted on July 14, 2017

7-9-17 Audio

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“…Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace…” – Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message Translation)

Dear SDUMC Family,

I hope that in the midst of the holiday week you were able to find a little time to slow down and rest. As much as we all say that we need “a break” we often find ourselves, even during these times, trying to “catch up”. So often we find ourselves trying to “catch up” on our self-made plans, and we miss the messages, miracles, and beauty that God is providing moment after moment.

Recently, I was a reading an article that described when we open ourselves to Sabbath moments throughout our day we will spiritually “catch up” on God’s plan. The article shared some powerful words from Mother Theresa.

“We need to find God and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grow in silence; see the stars, the moon, the sun, how they move in silence. Is not our mission to give God to the poor in the slums? Not a dead God, but a living, loving God. The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

I hope you’ll join me this Sunday as we continue our series, “On The Road With Matthew,” and witness the way in which Jesus calls us to unplug from life in Chapter 11.

Have a blessed weekend, and I pray that you find some time to be silent and find some rest.

See you Sunday at 8 AM (In The Chapel With Communion) or 9 AM & 10:30 AM (In The Sanctuary).

Grace and Peace, John

Posted on July 7, 2017

7-2-17 Audio

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Dear SDUMC Family,

Here is a “holy” riddle from the week…

Question – What do the following have in common?

1 Giant Rubix Cube, 500 Gummy Bears, 3,000 Pieces of Watermelon, 400 Hours of Playing on the Playground, 50 Robots, 30 Volunteers, 700 Cups of Cold Water, 2,000 Pieces of Macaroni to Decorate Crafts, 1,000’s of Musical Notes Floating Around the Sanctuary, 1 Balloon Rescued from the Top of the Sanctuary, 30 Hours of the Gospel Shared in Exciting Ways and 1,000 Dollars Raised for Missions!

Answer – VBS 2017!

Of course, there are so many numbers but as you can see they all add up to a great week of VBS. I can’t thank you enough as a congregation for donating, opening the campus, volunteering and praying for a great week of hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ. It has been a wonderful week with over 100 children, youth and adults connecting songs, dramas, snacks, play, and crafts to learn more about God’s love (I’m sure the volunteers will sleep well tomorrow). I can assure you that hope abounds in our community as I watch the children so eager to learn about God and help others!

I hope you’ll join us Sunday as we share the excitement at 9 AM and 10:30 AM in worship. Amazingly enough, our series, “On The Road With Matthew,” will lead us to Jesus’ call for Hospitality. We’ll also come together as a church family and community and share together in Communion.

This would be a great week to bring a friend and share with them a Sunday filled with Hope and Joy! I look forward to worshiping with you at 8 AM (In The Chapel) and 9 & 10:30 AM (In The Sanctuary – With the Children)!

Grace, Peace and Thanks,


PS Don’t forget this Sunday is also – Share The Table Sunday. One more way we can bring a can or two of food to help our community experience God’s hope in this world!

Posted on June 30, 2017

6-25-17 Audio

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Dear SDUMC Family,

I hope that you are having a blessed summer and can find some Sabbath time through this season to find renewal for the journey ahead. During those times of rest and renewal try to find some time to sit back and remember the calling on your life. Last Saturday I had one of those experiences as I found my seat for the Commissioning and Ordination Service. Many of us were awaiting the excitement to see Chelsea commissioned as a Deacon.

Before the service started, I remembered a time about ten years ago (or maybe a few more…time really does fly when you’re having fun) when the Bishop and others laid their hands on me for commissioning. I also thought about the two churches I was serving in the small towns of Pennsylvania. It helped me to remember the excitement of experiencing God’s call for my life after trying to do things on my own.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing texts from Matthew in which Jesus begins to send the disciples out to heal, teach and spread the Good News. As we journey through Matthew, I hope that you can open yourself to the Gospel Message and remember your calling and listen for God’s continued call on your life.

This Sunday we will also come together and celebrate Chelsea’s commissioning during worship (we’ll also have some time to celebrate between services). I look forward to worshiping with you on this exciting Sunday as we celebrate Chelsea’s call and listen for what God is saying to each of us.

See you at 8, 9 or 10:30 this Sunday!

Grace and Peace, John

Posted on June 23, 2017