Monday Devotional
May 16, 2022
Dear Friend,

I thought at some point, the wisdom described in the book of Ecclesiastes would arrive. In the first chapter of that book, the poet declares, “there is nothing new under the sun.” I thought that meant that the daily experiences would all begin to look familiar. Events would take on a sense of déjà vu. Cumulative experiences would lead us to know how to choose wisely when these moments arose. Either we would choose the wise paths we walked before or we would remember the wrong choices and try something different. Despite these expectations, each new day seems to bring the fresh quality of unexpectedness. We didn’t see that coming.

Last week was such a time. Folks within the congregation began to test positive for COVID. Folks called or texted to let us know. On Thursday morning I was included in that list. I continue to hear from others who tested positive. Thanks to the efficacy of vaccinations and boosters, the impact was serious, but not life-threatening. I am grateful for that. I hope that a Sunday at home and time to care for our bodies will provide the much needed healing we need as a community of faith. While this was new territory for us to walk, the familiar part was the importance of caring for one another. We have done that well once again.

I found this blessing from Kate Bowler to be helpful to me this week and so I offer it to you as well.

The feeder is empty again

and no one is claiming that the birds are greedy

for taking what they pleased.

Look at how the fat, pink flowers

are weighing the end of each branch,

sucking nutrients into each velvet petal.

How selfish.

Nature hungers, takes and needs.

God, why can’t I?

Blessed are we, learning to take what we need.

Sleeping past our alarms.

Reaching for another helping.

Staying a little longer when the evening is unwinding.

Blessed are we, ignoring the rising anxiety

that our needs are somehow silly

because we’ve survived this long

without the pleasures of this wanting.

God, let these needs be the good sign

of the greening of my life.

Upcoming Activities

The Annual Hosta Sale for Missions will happen on Saturday May 21st at the home of Leighton and Sheila Turner (13131 N. 200 West, Edinburgh). Come by between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to get hostas for your garden and support the mission work of First UMC.

Do you enjoy the taste of baklava? Who doesn’t? Next Sunday, May 22nd, Tom Bailey will be teaching how to make this delightful dessert. The class will happen from 3-5 p.m. in the church kitchen and is limited to 12 participants. To register or for more information, you can contact Cindy Witwer at

First UMC is hosting a Fridays @ First Concert featuring Mezzo Soprano Deepa Johnny and pianist Lucas Nogara on Friday May 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. They call the presentation, “An Evening of Art Song” featuring various musical styles from around the world. Come and experience the world’s cultures and music from the comfort of First UMC.

The next blood drive at the church will be held on Friday June 3rd. You can register online by visiting the American Red Cross website. Spaces tend to fill up quickly, so it is best to register soon.