I’m sure many of us who no longer have our own father with us may have felt the “ole tug on the heart” on Fathers’ Day; however, I don’t think we could have asked for a better day! With clear skies in the morning and afternoon and then the blessing of evening rain, what more could we have asked for! As for our family, we were blessed to have one of our two sons and his family with us as well as our cousins, Vernon, Jr. and Kathy Fritze. Vernon, Jr. and Kathy attend services at Art UMC whenever they are in town. Vernon, Sr. and Myrtle Fritze were married at Art UMC and were long time Mason residents. We all got to see pictures of the latest addition to the Fritze family, precious little Ava Elise Fritze, Vernon, Jr. and Kathy’s granddaughter. Ava was born May 12th and her proud parents are Vernon, III (Jiggs) and Brandi Baumann Fritze. We all had a great time celebrating the lives of our fathers that have gone before us, the ones still with us and giving thanks to the greatest Father of all. Happy Birthday to Etta Marie Mutschink on the 22nd! Blessings to you Etta Marie! We have several Happy Anniversaries coming up! Congratulations to Keven and Tennile Kothmann on the 25th, John and Teresa Koock on the 26th, and Michael and Leslie Cope also on the 26th.
Prayer concerns include; Susie Jordan’s cousin Raylynn Kuhach, 46, who has cancer and is now in hospice care. Marge Boyd’s niece’s husband, Jim Peacock, has cancer and needs prayers. Please pray for these folks and their families during this time of uncertainty and sadness. Many joys were mentioned including Josh Calhoun’s securing a new job. Josh is our latest veteran returning home to civilian life after proudly serving our country. Congratulations Josh!Sweet Miss Cassidy told us that she is very grateful that her Grandmother has recovered from cancer. We are happy to also report that two of our members (names withheld by request) that recently had surgery are both recovering nicely. Word from Trinity-Castell is that Hannah is home and on the road to recovery……great news!
Last Sunday was the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost. The Gospel was Mark 4:26-34. Pastor Cliff gave a very enlightening and soul searching sermon. He set the stage by taking us back to Mark, Chapter 1, when Jesus called his first disciples and began his preaching and healing ministry. The focus then shifted toward controversy with the church people in town when Jesus forgave the sins of a paralytic (2:1-12), ate with tax collectors and sinners (2:18-22), defended his disciple for plucking grain on the Sabbath (2:23-28), and healed on the Sabbath (3:1-6). The church was mad! Jesus was not following the rules of God, as they understood them. They felt he loved the wrong people, the outsiders, and they did not like it! So in Chapter 4, Jesus gives four parables…….The Sower (4:1-20), the Lamp under a Bushel (4:21-25),The Growing Seed ((4:26-29), and the Mustard Seed (4:30-32). Three of the four parables involve seeds and the growth of plants, but each makes its own distinct point. Jesus specifically labels the third and fourth parables as “kingdom parables” (4:26-30) and hints that all four have to do with the kingdom of God on earth (4:10). Pastor Cliff asked these questions. Do we have expectations on how God should behave? Do we have rules? Yes, sure we do! He went on to state…………….And when folks don’t behave like we think they should, or follow our rules, we start new denominations. Sometimes we change churches, or we even protest by not giving to church, or not attending. To “be fruitful” as a group of Jesus’ followers in Mason County, he said we must not be split up or divided. We don’t all have to agree on everything, but did suggest that we do need to agree on something that Jesus calls us to do collectively. For example, he suggested that we could agree that Jesus has called us to feed the poor, get some land, build a food bank and soup kitchen that would glorify God! He said maybe we could agree that Young Life is a God appointed and blessed ministry to reach out to the children of this community. There is no a “Young Life Church”. Young Life is here to lead kids to Christ and encourage them to join an existing church. He stated that about 75% of the kids in Mason ISD don’t attend any church and pointed out in Mark chapter 4, that we are called to plant seeds. We are called to have faith that God and God alone will bring in the harvest in ways we cannot see or understand. He believes that Young Life is a seed sent by God to our community, for our children. He asked that we support Young Life with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our testimony. He said that if we haven’t met JW and Bonnie Harle yet, to give him a call and he will introduce you to them. They are truly a blessing to this community. In continuing, I’ve included further excerpt from his sermon: Too often, for me these days, it is all the “ain’t it awful” one can hear on the TV, radio and the internet. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is now. Did you know that in the last fifty years, global child-mortality rates have dropped by 90%? Did you know that global poverty has dropped more in the past 50 years than it did in the previous 500 Years? Certainly, there are still millions of people living in tough, back-breaking poverty, but by using a variety of quality-of-life measurements, access to goods, services, transportation, information, education, lifesaving medicines and procedures, durable shelter, more value of human rights, importance of democratic institutions has made for a much better situation. Incredibly better…….all brought about by God’s blessings. I didn’t see it coming, did you? That’s exactly what Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God. What about the poor people in Mason County? What about all the children that don’t know about Jesus in Mason County? The ONLY thing keeping the Kingdom of God from spreading like a wild mustard seed plant in Mason County———-is us. God is in control, but God “won’t” without us. God has invited us to be witnesses to that good news and to plant some seeds of hope. He has called us to believe that those seeds are going to grow and bear fruit. When, you ask? I don’t know. How will they grow? I don’t know. We don’t need to and won’t be able to –agree on everything, but I sure hope we don’t get distracted by the arguments. I pray all churches, organizations, foundations, clubs, and citizens of Mason County can unify of feeding the poor among us. We grown-ups need to unify on these issues so that more of our children might believe the Good News, by our actions and willingness to work together. Based on the way we live our faith, our children could see and benefit from a community that works for the good for all and for the glory of God. Praise God from whom all blessing flow.Well said Pastor Cliff………………..Peace to all