A message from our Pastor – October 2022

Worship Time
10:00 AM
1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
Tel: 508-432-3734
harwichumc@gmail.com

A Message from Pastor Dianne

To the People of God at Harwich,

The fall is upon us and October will call us to don sweaters and contemplate evening fireside chats.  The earlier nightfall will encourage most of us to put on our slippers and give up forays abroad in the dark.  It is hard to imagine what life was like for Jesus in a world without electricity and running water.  A light in the darkness was truly appreciated and the proximity to a fire was a blessing.

As we contemplate the last days of the church calendar and the approach of Thanksgiving we are reminded to count our blessings and often encouraged to consider our response to God’s mission by designating our support of God’s work through the church for the upcoming year.

Here are the four types of giving according to the Bible:

1. Tithes
Tithes often get confused with offerings.  According to the Bible, tithes are 10% of your income (Leviticus 27:30), and it can’t count as an offering. Anything you give more than the required tithe is what counts as an offering.

Remember that the land and all its fruits were given by God. Thus we recognize Him as the provider of all things.  In our money based economy we convert our handiwork into exchange value as money.

The New Testament tells us that we should not neglect the weightier issues. Yes, it’s good to offer a portion of our income to God but we should not forget to offer justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Matthew 23:23).  We can’t practice one while neglecting the other.

2. The Seed or Offerings

Offerings, after tithes, are more of a free will gift. It’s up to you how much seed you want to give.  The more you give, the more you will receive (Luke 6:38). Think of it as the more seeds you sow, the more plants you can harvest.

3. The First Fruits

The first fruits are usually done once a year or for every new blessing that you receive (Deuteronomy 14:22).  Any new blessings that you receive count as a first fruit, so all these should be offered to God (Proverbs 3:9).  Giving your first fruits once a year will show how grateful you are for the blessings that you received from Him.  First Fruits come from the harvest.

4. Alms-giving

Unlike those three types of giving above which you should give to God, alms are for humankind. Your compassion and sympathy will lead you to help the less fortunate and the needy.  Although most people do alms-giving, the Bible, says that you should give alms in secret so you can protect the dignity of those who are in crisis.

So, I pray you might contemplate in the warmth of your home, the weightier things of this Year of Our Lord 2022…. The refugees, the homeless, the people impacted by hurricanes and other natural disasters, and thank God that you have triumphed over your challenges of the past and have hope that God still has things for you to do with the dawn of each new day.

In the Love of Christ,
Pastor Dianne

 

 

Worship Time

9:30 AM

Harwich UMC

1 Church Street East Harwich, MA 02645 Tel: 508-432-3734

All Rights Reserved Harwich UMC – Website Design by SolutionZ by Mac Marketing

A message from our Pastor – September 2022

Worship Time
10:00 AM
1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
Tel: 508-432-3734
harwichumc@gmail.com

A Message from Pastor Dianne

To the People of God at Harwich,

According to Google, searches for prayer were at an all-time high during the height of the pandemic. Six out of ten people in the US and around the world prayed for an end to the pandemic. People were desperate for a solution. But now that COVID is receding, churches have reopened, and we are resuming familiar ways, prayer searches are back to normal. Yet the need for a deep connection with God remains. [from an online Ministry Matters article]

While worship may never be conducted exactly the way it was prior to the pandemic shutdown, some practices are representative of our theology and are worth re-establishing while new practices become part of our “new normal.” 

On Sunday morning we had a “retiring offering” where the plate was not passed but left near the entrance to the sanctuary. Since we have learned that passing the plate does not pass COVID, we are once again collecting the offering during the service.

More challenging was the practice of communion.  Who should touch the elements and how ought they be distributed?  How can we best control social distancing?  In preparation for the communion, there is still kitchen protocol.  In the sanctuary, we have been receiving communion in both kinds [bread and grape juice] in the pews- like our congregational and Baptist brothers and sisters who emphasize the fellowship aspect of Jesus’ admonition: “do this in remembrance of me.” 

However, it has been our Methodist tradition, to come forward to receive communion at the altar railing thereby emphasizing the hearts yearning to encounter the sacred by leaving our pews to approach God.  Sometimes this involved kneeling [unless that posture was replaced by standing due to physical challenges] and of course, God’s holy presence was always brought to anyone who could not safely navigate the aisle to the railing. Coming forward has been accomplished in a procession or in groups of persons similar to seatings at a table.  This September 4th let’s try approaching the communion table at which Jesus presides.  Think about it…..

After church, we fellowship around tables in the Fellowship Hall….

In the Love of Christ,
Pastor Dianne

 

 

Worship Time

9:30 AM

Harwich UMC

1 Church Street East Harwich, MA 02645 Tel: 508-432-3734

All Rights Reserved Harwich UMC – Website Design by SolutionZ by Mac Marketing

A message from our Pastor – August 2022

Worship Time
10:00 AM
1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
Tel: 508-432-3734
harwichumc@gmail.com

A Message from Pastor Dianne

A few days ago I was at a stop light behind a truck with the bumper decal:  “If it is tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?”

Well, for economic reasons, they are our guests here on Cape Cod!  That’s why we can’t.

The term “hospitality” refers to the relationship between a guest and a host. If you invite a friend or family member over to your home for dinner, for example, you’ll perform hospitality by accommodating the guest’s needs. Hospitality is understood to be the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.  It is the seasonal specialty in vacation locations!  As an industry, it may include information, transportation, food, and lodging.  Some businesses rely on hospitality to perform their operations and generate revenue.

Hospitality in the Biblical world was a social requirement – a recognition of vulnerability.  In the desert there was a scarcity of resources and survival was a real concern.  Further, tribal interactions might include conquest.  Hospitality between acquaintances and family comes naturally when the need arises to share scarce resources because we are known in the community.  Who would you share your surplus toilet paper with during the early Covid phenomenon?

However, strangers…. Like migrant workers, refugees, immigrants, and tourists… represent the “unknown.”  When lines are longer and traffic stalls, a mind like Christ’s, who suggested we walk the extra mile with our oppressors and give our extra coat away to the needy, would pass gun legislation to protect humans and animals alike rather than declare open season on either.

Enjoy the opportunity to extend hospitality in imitation of Christ.  The opportunity to build the Beloved Community and to break bread with people who have yet to hear the Good News of the life-giving Love of God for each of us. Enjoy the opportunity to extend the Inclusive Kingdom of God.

Pastor Dianne

Worship Time

9:30 AM

Harwich UMC

1 Church Street East Harwich, MA 02645 Tel: 508-432-3734

All Rights Reserved Harwich UMC – Website Design by SolutionZ by Mac Marketing

A message from our Pastor – May 2022

Worship Time
10:00 AM
1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
Tel: 508-432-3734
harwichumc@gmail.com

A Message from Pastor Dianne

To the People of God at Harwich,

So much to celebrate!

May is filled with anticipation for the summer to begin.  Flowers break forth and birds return and finally, Memorial Day here on Cape Cod marks the safe weather for planting.  May Day on the 1st, Cinco de Mayo on the 5th, Mother’s Day on the 8th and I celebrate my daughter’s birthday on the 15th.  Literature refers to the Merry, merry month of May…..

We celebrate the Easter season all month– Christ is Risen, He Is risen Indeed! and the scriptures record the post-resurrection appearances during our worship time together.

What will you celebrate this month?  Perhaps celebrating is not the word…

What will you remember: perhaps with joy, perhaps with sadness, perhaps with regret?  Christ came into the world to share a message of Peace.  His parting words were: Peace I leave with you… not as the world gives…but a peace that passes understanding… a Profound peace in the midst of LIFE.

Let us pray for peace in Ukraine.
Let us pray for peace with justice in our communities.
Let us pray for peace where there has been racial violence, gun violence, and sexual violence.
Let us pray for Peace in the halls of power and an openness to change.

May your merriment be profound.  A celebration of Life.  For Christ Is Risen.
His 21st-century post-resurrection appearances among us are to be anticipated with Joy. 

Peace in the name of the Risen Lord,
Pastor Dianne

 

 

Worship Time

9:30 AM

Harwich UMC

1 Church Street East Harwich, MA 02645 Tel: 508-432-3734

All Rights Reserved Harwich UMC – Website Design by SolutionZ by Mac Marketing

A message from our Pastor – April 2022

Worship Time
10:00 AM
1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
Tel: 508-432-3734
harwichumc@gmail.com

A Message from Pastor Dianne

As we bid farewell to March we also complete the Lenten season on APRIL 9th.  Our “Good Enough” theme called us to consider the reality that:

We live in a culture bent on definitions of a good life as continuous upward mobility–climbing ladders of prosperity with increasingly fabulous experiences that we can post to ever-more-likable social media accounts. We may comb the shelves of the self-help section in search of just the right formula to gain success. Perhaps we even gravitate towards spiritual leaders who promise great rewards if we only do “the right thing.” But life happens, right? Most times we are not moving upward but trying to repair the rung we’ve just slipped from.  So what if we stopped climbing and started fertilizing, watering, and blooming right where we find ourselves? This has been a Lent of affirming a faith in which we are blessed, regardless, and where we can lean into embracing our “good enough” lives.

The task of redefining life as Good Enough is challenged each day.  To live with a sense of “peace that passes understanding” and that “nothing can separate us from the love of God” is to be assured of our salvation.

Not there yet?  Good news, our theme continues thru Holy Week and culminates in Easter – Our High Holy Day!  In fact it is the work of the religious life.  More than that…. We are called to infect the community in which we live with this Good News like “leaven in the loaf”.

I look forward to hearing your inner and outer journey toward affirming that you are God’s precious handiwork and therefore, by grace, “Good Enough.”

In the love of the Lord,

Pastor Dianne

 

Worship Time

9:30 AM

Harwich UMC

1 Church Street East Harwich, MA 02645 Tel: 508-432-3734

All Rights Reserved Harwich UMC – Website Design by SolutionZ by Mac Marketing

A message from our Pastor – February 2022

Worship Time
10:00 AM
1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
Tel: 508-432-3734
harwichumc@gmail.com

A Message from Pastor Dianne

To the People of God at Harwich  UMC,

We are in the liturgical season of EPIPHANY for the entire month of February. Some years there are only a few weeks between 12th Night and Lent, and this year we have a rather significantly long season of Epiphany which began January 6th and will continue to March 1st.  The last days of Epiphany are celebrated with observances of great extravagance in some parts of the country including the observance of Mardi Gras! Fat Tuesday is the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday,

You know what an epiphany is:  a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way…..

The Epiphany of God is revealed in the Christ child and the announcement to the entire world by the Star and the Magi acknowledging him.  Jesus is revealed to the people at the Jordan River when he is baptized and the voice of God declares him God’s Son. Jesus takes on the prophetic mission statement of liberation from Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth [see Luke 4:14-21] revealing himself as the Messiah.  In this cold time of year we are encouraged to warm the places where we live with God’s Good News that All are welcome, All are precious.  All creation was Beloved by its Creator God and deserves Respect and Inclusion in the Abundance of lifeEpiphany is God’s celebration of Life in Community!

I pray for you the fullness of God’s Epiphany during the coming month: a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way…..

 

Peace in the Love of the Lord,
Pastor Dianne

 

PS I thank you for the generous Christmas gift to our family.  Both Gerry and JP will celebrate birthdays this month and we all look for opportunities to grow in faith as well as age!

 

Worship Time

9:30 AM

Harwich UMC

1 Church Street East Harwich, MA 02645 Tel: 508-432-3734

All Rights Reserved Harwich UMC – Website Design by SolutionZ by Mac Marketing