Building a Movement: Explorations in the World of Paul the Apostle
Sunday, October 10 – 10:00am
The story of the United Methodist Women (UMW) sadly begins in the context of male bigotry in the church back in the mid nineteenth century. When the male leaders of the Methodist church refused to send women as missionaries overseas, the women organized, and enabled the development of a mission agency that is second to none in its forward thinking, its mission design and its ability to impact the lives of women, children and men around the world.
And so, this Sunday, St. Mark’s celebrates UMW Sunday, as this community honors an extraordinary tradition of service and advocacy. The scripture is Paul’s best known writing -the famous Hymn to Lovein the first letter to the church in Corinth.
Paul understood that love of God, neighbor and self was at the core of the teaching of Jesus… and no matter how much debate went on about what faithful people should believe… it was all a waste of time and energy without love alive in the heart and soul of every follower of Jesus. Love was what fueled the movement…
1 Corinthians 13 Common English Bible
If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing.If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever.
Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant,it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints,it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. As for prophecies, they will be brought to an end. As for tongues, they will stop. As for knowledge, it will be brought to an end.We know in part and we prophesy in part;but when the perfect comes, what is partial will be brought to an end.When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things.Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known.
Now faith, hope, and love remain-these three things-and the greatest of these is love.
What is the most challenging part of love for you? Reading through Paul’s list of what love isn’t, do any of these pose a particular problem for you? And which of the positives is the hardest for you?
Can you begin to imagine what world focused in love would look like? What steps can you take to move the world in that direction? How might you take leadership in the movement to make this happen?
Peggy & Paul Blankenship
Jim & Johanna Brownell
Pat & Gordon Close
The family and friends of Steve Mitchell -Memorial service for Steve will be held 7:00 pm, Friday, October 19.