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We have been freed but at a cost...

Tomorrow in worship we will be continuing our sermon series on "The Cross: Now What?" and we will look at the paradox that we are freed to be slaves. The word slaves gives certain connotations because of the history of slavery in our nation and in many parts of the world. The meaning of slavery as the context it is written in the New Testament most often is a different form the word. One where a person received pay or their service paid off a debt and often at the end of 7 years they would be freed. That 7th year was called the year of Jubilee! As you can imagine there was great joy and jublilee from the person that was freed from their debt. We will be looking at what it means for us to be set free from sin but realize that Christ paid our debt. The debt that was paid we can never repay but Jesus does tell us that if we have receive the gift he gave us on the cross we should live and act as those that serve God. In effect because of the freedom over sin that Jesus bought for us with his own life we should CHOOSE to be slaves to God.


This Sunday we will also celebrate Mothering Day. We call it Mothering Day at Tom's Creek because we want to celebrate all woman who use their gift of nurturing and caring for others. That means we celebrate those that have given birth to a child and adopted children BUT also those who may never have had a child of their own but yet they have mothered and nurtured and cared for others. It also means we acknowledge that Mothers Day is upsetting for some. Those reasons that some do not experience joy on Mothers Day could be infertility and miscarriages, a recent death of their mom, a child that has gone astray, those that are feeling the loss of a child leaving home to go out into the world, those that feel they failed as a mom, etc. So while we want to make sure that we celebrate those that have cared for and mothered others we also want to acknowledge and support those who the day causes them sorrow. We will do both. And all who feel that they have mothered in any way will be able to take a cup with a flower in it. This year all the flowers are perennials so feel free to plant them somewhere for them to come back another year and then enjoy the cup as a constant reminder that we appreciate the ways that you mother others, whether your child or someone else.


Attached is the bulletin that you can view or print out for Sunday morning. Just a reminder that 8am is a traditional service with most of the songs being hymns and the 10:30am service is contemporary with newer praise songs. Below are some further details about ways to access our services this Sunday at 8am and 10:30am both in person and online. And near the bottom are different ways to financially support the ministries of our church.


When coming to worship in the sanctuary there are some things to be mindful of. You will need to wear a mask or face shield into the building. If you forget or do not have a mask or face shield, a mask will be provided to you to wear while you are in the building. There will be a sign-in station where you can get a bulletin and other items so keep walking when you come through the door until you get to the sign-in table. At the sign-in table there will also be a place to put prayer requests. If you put them in before the service they will be included in some form during our prayer time. We will not pass the plate during the service but your monetary offering can go in the wooden box that is next to the sign-in table and there is also another box near the altar rail. There are hand sanitizer stations throughout the church and they are there for you to use them. You are NOT required to have received a vaccination in order to attend worship. In the sanctuary we have not roped off pews so there is not a guarantee of being 6 feet apart. I will not be wearing a mask while on the altar and any singers we have on the altar will not be wearing mask. Currently, we will not be having a fellowship time downstairs in order to increase health safety BUT we will have Adult Sunday school following 8am worship.


If for any reason you are not able to come to the sanctuary to worship we are trying to provide other great ways to join us in worship. Please know that all services that are live-streamed remain up afterwards. That means that you can come back later and watch it if you miss it or your internet is having issues. In the event that we have a major internet issue or some other technical issue we will post a recording of the service later in the day. As of yet, we have not had to do that but it could happen and has happened and many other churches.


You can catch the Facebook Livestream at: https://www.facebook.com/tomscreekumc .


We will try start the Facebook Livestream at @ 7:50am and 10:20am and you will see messages on the screen and hear music playing. This is the best option if you want to interact with others online. Please know we are putting the date on a couple of slides in the announcement and the welcome slides so that you know you are live-streaming the correct service. Feel free to chat to each other before and during the service. You can put prayer requests in the chat. This is great way to be able to interact with others if you watch it live with others in your church family who are staying home but want to worship as part of an online community. It will continue to be there to watch later and feel free to share or create watch parties in order to share it with others.


You can catch this livestream on our Toms Creek UMC channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX6E7eCwH2ZGYspkSCF0CGw/featured. We will TRY to start the YouTube Livestream at 7:50 am and 10:20am and you will see announcements scroll and hear music playing. This format is best if you are watching on a television or large screen with lots of people gathered around. You can have it fill the whole screen and just watch it without any distractions. There is a way to chat on YouTube but it normally has a lot less people and is normally a lot less chatty than the our Facebook livestream. If you subscribe to our channel it will let you know when we go live in future weeks. Later in the day another shorter version of the service is posted but for this coming series I recommend taking in the entire worship experience.


You can go to our website here https://www.tomscreekumc.com/service-videos and by Monday morning there should be a version of our service. Sometimes the whole service is there instead of the shortened version depending on different factors. Sometimes it will be from the 8am service and sometimes it will be from the 10:30am service.


For just the 10:30am service you can use a phone to listen to our service by calling 857-799-9465 from any phone starting at 10:20 am. This will only have sound coming through and you will not be able to see anything that is occurring. If you would like we can we make a DVD of the service for you to watch just let the church office or Pastor Heath know.



OR

you can text 844-406-0358 with an amount as the text. It will set up to give over text and from then on you just put in the amount and your donation to the church will go right through

OR

you can go to our website and hit the donate button on our webpage, https://www.tomscreekumc.com

OR

you can mail your offering to:

Tom's Creek United Methodist Church

10926 Simmons Road

Emmitsburg, MD 21727


We have been freed by Jesus. Let us come and celebrate that great and glorious gift. Let us also commit to fulfilling our obligations because of the gift Jesus gave us. We serve a God that wants us to choose to be slaves to love and grace. We are free to try to ignore God but that cheapens the gift that God offered us on the cross. Those that truly appreciate the cost paid for our being freed from the shackles of death and sin will submit to the Master. Come journey with us!


Blessings,

PH




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