8-13-17 Audio

AnnouncementsOrder of Worship

Dear SDUMC Church Family,

I hope this finds you having a blessed Friday. I also want to thank my two friends, Rev. Melanie and Dr. Faith for sharing their gifts with you last Sunday. We had a good time renewing friendships with family and friends in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but it’s always great to be back home. I look forward to connecting with all of you in worship on Sunday!

As we were moving between planes, cottages, hotels, concert halls and stadiums we had a lot of opportunities to be with various groups of people. At one of the hotels the front desk worker was making some conversation and asked, “What brings you to this part of the city?” She started listing off many activities, and I shared that we were there to be close to a church (yes, this is a true story…not just a pastoral tall-tale). She then asked (probably without thinking), “Why?” As you can imagine it opened up a few moments for a grace-filled sermon (don’t worry I kept it short). It also opened a door for an opportunity for an invitation.

One of the reasons I shared with her was that church was where I found a community of people who care about each other and share Hope in the midst of all that is going on in our world and lives. Jesus shares in Matthew 15:12, “…that you love one another as I have loved you.”

We have a great opportunity each Sunday to reach out to a friend, family member or maybe someone we meet in a coffee shop to share this hope. On August 27th we’ll have a very special opportunity to invite friends to come to our 3rd Annual Open Door Sunday. Join me for a moment and pray that God would place someone in your path to invite as we never know how an invitation may change someone’s life.

I look forward to seeing you at 8, 9 or 10:30 this Sunday. We’ll also have a special presentation from the youth about their experiences at camp and the summer mission trip.

Grace and Peace, John

PS Thank you for your help with Operation Backpack! This will be our last Sunday to collect before we bless the backpack’s on August 20th and share them with the children of our greater community…one more way to share Hope!

Posted on August 11, 2017

8-06-17 Audio

AnnouncementsOrder of Worship

             Refrigerators dot the sidewalks in the busy Argentine town, replete with the usual shops, stores and restaurants. Regardless of the time of day or the amount of foot traffic, hardly a soul notices the hungry man approach a refrigerator and help himself to the food inside.

             Thousands of miles away, in a large metropolitan city in the United States, multiple trash cans line the streets instead of refrigerators. Pedestrians dart across the avenue, oblivious to the cacophony of honking horns, errant bicycles and screeching brakes. The sidewalks are jammed with commuters, skipping children and shoppers — as well as strolling tourists taking in the sights. Even in the chaotic city, the hungry man stands out as he sorts through the trash, looking for something edible for his daily meal.

            “I was sick of seeing how food got thrown away and then shortly afterwards, people were foraging for it…why not give it to them with some dignity?” These words of Luis Pondal, a restaurant owner in the northern city of Tucuman, Argentina, were the impetus for him to launch a movement of ‘social fridges,’ whereby leftover food could be placed in a refrigerator accessible to the hungry. His fridge found its way to the sidewalk in February of 2016 and now there are at least fifty others around the country.
            Start with one refrigerator, one idea, and see what happens: Transformation happens first in the life of the giver and then in the lives of those who are recipients of the gift. In the hands of Jesus, a small gift of food feeds thousands. What gift can you offer? Can your gift make hope not just a word, but a real possibility for better things to come?
            I look forward to sharing stories of gift-giving transformed by Jesus as we worship together this Sunday at either 9:00 or 10:30 am, and share in Jesus’ gift of love as we feast together at the communion table. Communion will be celebrated as usual at the 8:00 am service in the chapel.
See you in church!
Rev. Melanie
Posted on August 4, 2017

7-23-17 Audio

AnnouncementsOrder of Worship

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

Order of WorshipAnnouncements

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

Order of WorshipAnnouncements

“…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