Our UM Women set provided a wonderful luncheon for those who came to hear Dr. Aubyn Marath, founder and president of Cardiostart International, speak on Sunday, November 11. Dr. Marath is a very interesting speaker and Cardiostart is a nonprofit that helps to bring cardiac care and teaching into underserved areas of the world. We hope you will enjoy his informational talk from LOUMC.

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Faith Walking

Ruth 1: 1-21

Questions for Reflection

1. Why is Ruth such an important character in Judeo-Christian history?

2. Talk about Naomi’s bitterness toward God and her own renaming of herself from Naomi to Mara?

3. Talk about Ruth’s ‘hesed’, what accounts for it?

4. What does faith walking look like for you?

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Life Interrupted

John 11: 32-44, Revelation 21: 1-6a

All Saints’ Day

This day revives in us memories of loved ones who are no more.
What happiness we shared when they walked among us.
What joy, when loving and being loved, we lived our lives together.
Their memory is a blessing forever.

Weeks or months have passed, and still we feel near to them.
Our hearts yearn for them.
Though the bitter grief has softened, a duller pain abides.
For the place where they once stood, is now empty.
The links of life are broken, but the links of love and longing can’t break.
Their souls are bound up on ours forever.

We see them now with memory’s eye,
Their faults forgiven, their virtues grown larger.
So does goodness live, and weakness fade from sight.
We remember them with gratitude and bless their names.
Their memory is a blessing forever.

And we remember the members, who but yesterday were part of us,
Of our congregation and community.
To all who cared for us and labored for all people, we pay tribute.
May we prove worthy of carrying on the tradition of faith,
Their souls are bound up in ours forever.

We give God thanks that they now live and reign with Him.
As a great cloud of witnesses, they surround us with blessings.
They are alive for evermore.

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Mark 12: 41-44; 1 Timothy 6: 17-19

Questions for Reflection

1. Reflect on the following observation about the widow’s giving to the Temple treasury (Mark 12: 41-44) Jesus had a different way of counting the offering that day. He counted it
* Based not on its size, but on the impact it had on the giver
* Based not on the difference it made in the Temple but in the life of the giver
* Based not on how much people gave, but what they had left over afterward
* Based not on other offerings but on the capacity of the giver

2. Talk about the joy you have found in giving. What most compels you to give?

3. What is the difference between charity and stewardship? Where do you find yourself on the spectrum?

4. Reflect on Harnish’s observation of 3 types of givers: “tossers, tryers and tithers.” In my experience, Christians have varying views on tithing. In all honesty, what do you believe about tithing as a faithful witness? Respond to the following texts: Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first of all your crops ~Proverbs 3:9
When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess…you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground from the land…and you shall put in a basket and go the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. ~Deuteronomy 26: 1-2

5. Where do you most need wisdom these days (financial and otherwise)?

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Matthew 25: 14-30 (The Parable of the Talents or the Prudent Steward)
Matthew 6: 19-21 (Your Treasure and Your Heart)

Testimonial by John Milner

Questions for Reflection

  1. From whom and when did you learn the wisdom of saving money?  How has that wisdom/prudence informed/directed your life?
  1. Consider what author James Harnish refers to Baby Boomer grandparent wisdom to ‘use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.”  Is this Wesleyan prudence or ‘penny-pinching?’   What is the difference between hoarding and saving?
  2. Respond to the following quote from Save Give:
    For many of us, what keeps us from saving is not the high cost of living, but the cost of high living.”  Do you live the 10-10-80 plan?  Why or why not?
  3. Consider habit two of Stephen Covey Seven Habits of Highly Effective PeopleBegin with the End in Mind.  How might this principle double as spiritual compass for “all things money?”
  4. What is your ‘take-away’ from John Milner’s sharing? 

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Luke 16: 1-13

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Imagine how John Wesley’s congregation must have received his sermon, The Use of Money, based on this parable from Luke. How might you teach this parable to children or youth?  When have you been this ‘cunning’ with your money?   With what result?
  2. Talk about the balance between life and work. What will it take for you/me to rest?  What is behind overwork?
  1. For what reasons do we work?   How much money do we need?
  1. Explore Wesley’s instructions about ‘earning all you can’ with integrity.
  1. What is your take-away from Laura Mears’ sharing?

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Matthew 7:1-5

Questions for Reflection:

1. Where do you presently (or where did you in the past) experience the most judgement? With what effect?

2. What is your personal experience of the Church and judgment? Talk about the Church’s ‘roles in pronouncing judgement(s). Where does Scripture enter in?

3. Talk about the feelings today’s text (s) elicits in you.

4. Is Scripture more a proposition of judgment or grace for you? For those with whom you associate? How should the Church respond?

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