First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Saturday, May 08, 2021
Live and Share God's Love

Care

Welcoming All People

 

In response to God’s unconditional love for all people made known to us in Jesus Christ, we are called to be a welcoming and affirming community. What this means has been debated for a long, long time. Our belief is that God has, does, and will always welcome all people to be fully accepted and loved by God and Christ’s church. But what does the Bible say?

There is a well-read book, Making Sense of the Bible, by Adam Hamilton, a United Methodist pastor with a large church in Kansas City, Kansas. He has published over a dozen books on a variety of biblical subjects. He has a Bible-based way of explaining how biblical text and scientific text both can be relevant to understanding what was written then and its meaning for today.

About homosexuality there are texts in Genesis and Leviticus widely quoted as “proof” that homo- sexuality is wrong or an “abomination”. But the examples given are not acts of love, they are acts of controlling power over others for aggressive and selfish gratification, not acts of love. The word homosexuality does not exist in classical Greek. The words referring to the sexual acts described were more properly translated as sexual power or rape. For example, the men of Sodom wanted Lot to send out the messengers staying with him to satisfy their brutal sexual desires. The story of Sodom talks about Lot sheltering the male messengers who came to Sodom, refusing to give them over to the men and even offering his daughters in their place. It describes, but not condones, the patriarchal and hierarchical world in which the Bible was written. Does this encounter speak of a loving, consensual relationship? Of course not.

In the New Testament Jesus never addresses homosexual relationships. But we do not think we can take his silence on the issue as approval of only same-gender relationships. Jesus is God’s definitive Word by which all other words about God are judged, however He does not speak to this issue at all. Is it possible that the writings of Moses and Paul did not accurately capture God’s will concerning same-sex relationships?

In many places in the Bible many practices including sexual acts are referred to as an abomination. The Torah classifies many things as “clean” or “unclean, “normal” or “abnormal” or as an “abomination.” Even eating food we enjoy today such as pork or eating fish without scales was seen as unclean or abominable. But we do not see them in the same way today. In both the Old and New Testaments, power over others, such as slavery, is simply seen a part of the culture. In Exodus it describes when it is OK to beat a slave. New Testament authors command runaway slaves to return to their masters. Our point is that the world today is a whole lot different, and thankfully better in many ways, than the one in which the Bible’s authors lived. Many horrible things like slavery have been outlawed over the centuries by Christians who learned and applied the overall truth of the Bible that sets people free. We are all loved and equal in Christ.

When considering the texts in the Bible, think of a large sieve with three sets of holes to sort out biblical information. On top, the largest holes sort out the big chunks of historical context differences, such as the time in which the writers were living. The second, smaller holes sort out the linguistic differences, what words meant then and mean now. The third, smallest holes sort out some cultural differences between then and now and leave us with the final truth: God’s command that we love our neighbors as ourselves.

We are convinced that loving, committed and monogamist couples in both opposite and same-sex relation- ships fall into the Biblical Truth bowl that lies below the sieve. Who we love is less important than how well we love. Are we loving those who long to experience God’s love? Are we loving with servant hearts instead of exerting power and control? Our Welcoming Statement, approved by the Ministries Council, clearly states that we welcome into the full life of our church all who God sends us.

Gary Getzin, Margaret Getzin, Dick Rayborn, Wes Ebert, Jen Johnson, Bonnie Goertz

Random Thoughts

by Mike Zahn
May 2021
Faith, Family, Friends. . . and Foreigners
 
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:46-48

You’ve seen the sign—“Faith, Family, Friends.” It’s a very nice sentiment, but I’d like to add something to it—“Foreigners.” It’s relatively easy to love those who are like us. It’s not so simple to love those who are not: those who don’t look like us, speak like us, live like us.

The book of Ruth is a small story tucked away in the Bible between the likes of impressive superheroes like Moses and David. Ruth is a seemingly insignificant person who is most known for what she says to her mother-in-law Naomi—“Where you go, I will go.”

Ruth was not Jewish, but was a Moabite woman. She was a stranger in a strange land when she came to Israel with Naomi. Had she not caught the attention of Boaz, this foreigner may have lived and died in obscurity, as so many have in this world. Except her story is captured for all eternity in the Bible. Why? Well, Ruth and Boaz got married and had a son. His name was Obed. And who was Obed? Obed happened to be the father of Jesse, the father of David. And the ancestor of Jesus. God can create the awesome from the small, the familiar from the foreigner.

May we as individuals and as a church always be prayerfully on the lookout to be kind to foreigners, strangers, the marginalized, the hurting, and by so doing show hospitality to angels without realizing it!

NEW PRODUCTS-- Mission-Driven—in the UMW cabinet!

Coffees--Just in for Spring!

Organic LoveBuzz, med-dark roast whole bean ($8.00/12 oz) New!
Organic Mama Tierra light roast ground coffee from Oaxaca, Mexico ($10.00/16 oz bag) New!

We still offer 12 oz bags of ground decaf—$9.00 and regular Cafe Salvador—$8.00

Prefer Tea?

All varieties of our organic teas are $4.00/box. Try the English Breakfast for a little boost or Jasmine Green (New!). If you want a relaxing herbal cup, try Rooibos, Ginger or Peppermint (New!).

Chocolate treats for your Easter basket!

Pick your favorite organic, Fair Trade chocolate bars for $3.00 ea. in these flavors:
Dark Chocolate Lemon Ginger
Dark Chocolate Orange
Dark Chocolate Mint Crunch (New!)
Panama Extra Dark
Dark Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt (New!)
Milk Chocolate
Chocolate with Coconut Milk (vegan, soy and gluten-free) (New!)
 
Your purchase helps our UMW mission projects, UMCOR, and supports farmer-owned coffee cooperatives in Central America and Mexico, as well as small tea farms in India, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

Thank you for shopping BY CAUSE!
 

Random Thoughts

by Mike Zahn
April 2021   

Death and Dying

I got the call around 7:00 pm:

 

PHARMACIST: “This is the pharmacy – when do you think you'll get to XYZ facility tonight?”

 

ME: “Probably around 9:00.”

 

PHARMACIST: “Well, okay, they'll have to wait until then, I guess. I'll let them know.”

 

ME: “What's up?”

 

PHARMACIST: “They have a resident in hospice who is in a lot of pain and they're out of morphine for the dose scheduled for 7:30. Just get there as soon as you can.”

 

ME: “okay, I'll see what I can do.”

 

I was going north on HWY. 51 out of Wausau to my next med delivery and this facility was south of Wausau. It would screw up my schedule, but I knew what to do. At the next exit I turned around and headed south. I got there at 7:26.

 

While we're here in this life, we do the best we can to comfort the dying. It would be nice if we all lived to a ripe old age and passed away painlessly in our sleep, but it doesn't always work that way. So we weep for the suffering before, and then weep for the grieving after. Jesus wept.

 

On Good Friday we weep in mourning. But on Easter we celebrate resurrection and life!

 

 

If you want to learn more about staying safe on-line here are a few links to some good information....
 
 

 A few more tips on keeping your computer safe.
 
Always update your operating system (Windows 10 or Apple OSX) and keep it updated by installing the Security Updates that Microsoft or Apple sends you. Both Microsoft and Apple have gotten very good at protecting your PC or Mac if you keep them updated. That means when you get a software update notifications from them you should install them, especially those that are titled Security Updates.
 
Consider installing some Anti-Virus software if you have not already. If you have Charter/Spectrum as your internet provider they offer  FREE Security Suite Anti-virus software to their customers. Other options are McAfee or Norton Lifelock, both involve monthly fees.
 
If your PC seems to be running slower than it used to you may have been infected with Malware or Adware. There's some excellent free software that can be used to scan your hard drive a find it and quarantine/remove it.
Here's the link: www.malwarebytes.com
 


Prayer Corner

Prayer Corner

We grieve this month with the loss of:

Robert Marquardt, father of Dean Marquardt, died March 20th.

Wayne Schmalfus, father of Debbie Martin, died April 1st.

Stephanie Yonke, relative of Roger Mittenzwei, died April 2nd.

Duane LaCrosse, a long-time member of our congregation, died on April 9th.
 

Celebrate our Graduates on Sunday, May 16 at 10 AM

Our church is proud of our high school graduates!
We’ll be honoring all who graduated in both 2020 and 2021 now that we can worship together again.
Completing degrees in the past two school years has been especially challenging, and we celebrate your success!

We are aware of these members receiving their degrees, but if you have graduating grandchildren or know of any graduates we’ve accidently missed, please call the church office.

2020 College:
Joshua Dvorak, UW Madison

2021 High School Graduates:
Gianina Chang-Wausau East
Jaden Love-Wausau West
Courtney Rohland*-Marathon City

2021 College:
Danielle Del Conte, Marquette University

*Courtney Rohland is awarded the Pivet Scholarship. She will be attending UW Stevens Point in Wausau.
 

June 9 & 10, 2021 Low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinic at Wausau First United Methodist Church

You must register your pet(s) at thefixisin.org

All prices include free rabies vaccination, nail trim and ear cleaning, as requested. Take home pain medications are included free for dogs.

• Female Dog (2-45 pounds) $200
• Male Dog (2-45 pounds) $150
• Companion Cat (male or female) $55
               Outdoor/Feral/Barn/Community Cat: $40 (w/ear tip)


Due to the restrictions for the COVID -19 outbreak, we will not meet for the month of April. We will resume our fellowship as soon as the restrictions are lifted. Hope to see you soon!


How We've Been Gathering for the Last  Months...


First Church’s Wednesday Evening Youth & Youth Leaders
 
 
Image goes here.

Memory Cafe... Special Delivery!

Our masked parking lot gang includes clockwise: Maggie, Nancy T (heading to the chiropractor tomorrow), Little Billy, Patti, Mary Ann & Carmen... I mean Carole :) 

 

 


If you would like to order SCRIP and know what you want, please contact Martie at the office, finance@fumcwausau.org.



Please Consider Helping

 
Since this coronavirus emergency began, First  Church has been sending weekly connections messages via email and USPS mail to say that  “We’re here for you” and to remind us that church is we are and what we do rather than a building.

Being good stewards of our resources, we had not  budgeted postage costs for communications during  a pandemic. If you are able to contribute toward  these costs, please consider doing so.
 

 
 
The Sunshine Gals loved taking their warmth to the residents at The Gardens and Mount View Care Center the past years. We have spread our sunshine with music, sharing readings and our thoughts, adding laughter and smiles, conversing with memories, and showing our care through our handshakes. We have become good friends with the common cause of spreading love.

If you would like to join us and take part in this ministry of our church, we would truly welcome you!!! Please call me if you have questions at 715.359.7756.

Arlene Trull