Faith UMC of Orland Park
"For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost."
- Luke 19:10
There’s a beautiful story I received this week about being a radically hospitable church. It’s about a young man named Tim. Tim is a college student with wild hair and piercings. His wardrobe consisted of a t-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. Tim was brilliant, profound, and very bright. He became a Christian at a weekend revival that he was invited to by friends from home.
On Sunday morning, Tim woke up and looked for a church to attend. He found one online – it was a church just a block away from campus. Well, Tim knew he was running late, but he really wanted to connect with God and other Christians so he grabbed his morning coffee and ran to church.
When he arrived, the worship service had already started. The sanctuary was packed and filled with well-dressed people. Tim moved through the sanctuary looking for a place to sit. Nobody moved nor helped him find a seat. So, he simply sat down in the center aisle.
Nobody knew what to do or how to respond to the presence of this wild-looking college student who was sitting in their center aisle. Suddenly, the matriarch of the church got up from her seat and started to move towards Tim. She was in her eighties, had silver-grey hair, and was wearing a long beautiful dress. She was a godly and dignified woman. She walked with the help of a cane.
While the worship service continued, all eyes followed the path of the church matriarch who slowly made her way towards Tim.
What would she say? What would she do?
When she reached Tim, she didn’t say a word. She simply dropped her cane on the floor, lowered herself down, and sat next to Tim so he wouldn’t feel alone.
When it came time for the sermon, the preacher began with these words, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you’ve just seen, you will never forget.”
Friends, my heart resonated with this story because we recently made a change in our building policy. We no longer allow beverages into our sanctuary. As we adjust to this new policy, let's be gracious and patient with each other - to those just returning to church after a summer hiatus and especially to our first time guests & visitors. In everything we say and do, let's be clear on our mission - which is to bring people to Jesus Christ.
Holy God, thank you for loving us unconditionally. Thank you for sending others into our lives who faithfully reflected your love to us. Help us to go and do likewise. May we serve as the faithful reflections of your grace this day. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
- Pastor Caleb
Faith News & Notes
Thunderbolt Baseball Game - We had over 60+ folks from Faith enjoy a wet but fun-filled night at the Thunderbolt Baseball game. Thanks to the Fellowship Committee for organizing this outing! Monthly Food Drive - Thank you to everyone who came to church with cans of soup last weekend. Your gifts will be shared with our neighbors in need through Together We Cope (togetherwecope.com). Church Renovation - We gathered for worship in our newly renovated sanctuary last Sunday! Thank you to everyone for your work and patience these last few weeks. Special thanks to our Trustees, AV team, and Worship teams!
Movie Night - Join us tonight (Aug 21) for the fourth installment in our "Movies in the Park-ing Lot" series. Location: church parking lot. Time: dusk (previews begin at 8 PM). This week's movie, "How to Train Your Dragon 2" will begin at 8:15 PM. Note: this is a free event. Bring your lawn chair, snacks, friends, and family. Laser Tag - All youth and teen VBS volunteers are invited to an end of the summer youth event at Chaser Laser Tag on Saturday, Aug 22 @ 11 AM. (11545 184th Pl. Orland Park). Contact: Pastor Caitlyn (firstname.lastname@example.org). Faith Fantasy Football - With the start of the NFL season drawing near, we're hosting our 4th annual Fantasy Football League. Sign up sheet is outside Room 4. Draft night is this Sunday, Aug 23 @ 6 PM. Location: church. Contacts: Kevin Palmer (email@example.com) and Bruce Person (firstname.lastname@example.org). Singspiration - The Summer Singspiration Benefit Concert is coming up. When: next Sunday, August 30 (3 PM). Where: church. Who: community chorus. We will receive a love offering to benefit the work of "My Joyful Heart" (www.myjoyfulheart.org). Small Groups - Small groups are a great way to deepen relationships and grow in faith. Our fall small groups will begin on the week of Sunday September 6 and meet for six weeks. We will go through the teaching series "God Is Closer Than You Think." A limited supply of books ($10) and small group guides ($8) are available at the Connection Center. All small group participants are asked to purchase a small group guide. Contacts: Mary Kough (email@example.com) or Jill Damrow (firstname.lastname@example.org). Needed - Sunday School teachers for our 2014-15 Sunday School. Sunday School starts on the 20th of September! Contact: Kim Clifton (email@example.com)