Nice Surprises

Followers of Jesus are called to serve. There are really no If’s, And’s or But’s about it. Jesus came into this world not to be served, but to serve. He used the gifts God gave him to preach, teach, heal, and build the kingdom. If we are to follow him, then we, too, will use our talents and abilities to serve. But how we serve varies from person to person. Some people are called to serve by devoting their lives to church leadership as clergy, while others are called to serve in a volunteer capacity. Likewise, there are different ways to serve. Service can be done by sending needed supplies to a hurting community…or by surprising someone in your house with an act of kindness.

For the last several months, I have been increasingly concerned that people in our culture are becoming less engaged in service. In fairness, some of the usual ways people serve have been unavailable due to the changes brought by COVID-19; however, it seems to me there are still many opportunities for people to serve, as long as we are proactive in looking for them. In a world hurting with sickness and division, it is a nice surprise to find chances to put a smile on someone else’s face.

This July, we are going to discover the surprising ways God calls us to serve: we will read Bible stories about the people Jesus invited to follow him in the book of Matthew; we will reflect on the unique gifts and abilities people have that can be used to serve our neighbors; and, we will encourage each other to reclaim and re-engage with Christ’s call for ALL of us to serve. So join us for worship while we lift up Nice Surprises.

One Month to Serve

Bible Readings
Week 1 Judges 6:11-18 The Call of Gideon
Week 2 Matthew 4:18-22 The Call of the First Disciples
Week 3 Matthew 9:9-13 The Call of Matthew
Week 4 Matthew 19:16-22 The Call of the Rich Young Man


Jesus came not to be served, but to serve.

Hero Photo Challenge: Hero shirts, selfies at serve events, your own nice surprises

The Best of Ohio

I was recently intrigued by the cover of an old National Geographic magazine titled “Best of the World.” The magazine is from December of 2019, and is devoted to highlighting the best places to visit in 2020, from far-flung locales to homy villages.

Of course, back in December, there was no pandemic. Reports were just starting to come out of China about the outbreak of a new virus while the world watched…or casually brushed them aside.

What a difference a few months can make! I was struck by how we all used to have the quaint idea that 2020 was going to be much like any other year. When this edition of National Geographic came out, I was making my usual travel plans along with everyone else. Today, every single plan I made has been cancelled, changed or kept with an asterisk for a future determination.

Yet, I couldn’t help but pick up the magazine. As I read article after article, I thought about how important travel and leisure are to our souls. And, instead of feeling sad about all the places I won’t get to go to this year, I started to think about the places still within my reach. With that in mind, this June we are going to celebrate God’s world by exploring places not too far from home that will refresh your mind and spirit. But I need your help! Throughout the month, we will be collecting pictures and stories from your visits to your favorite places in our state – so share your ideas, and help us make our own travel articles highlighting The Best of Ohio!

Bible Readings
○ Week 1 Psalm 150:1-6 Backyard (Rest/Sabbath)
○ Week 2 Psalm 33:1-12 Local Landmarks (Reconnect)
○ Week 3 Psalm 24:1-10 Historic Hike (Renew)
○ Week 4 Psalm 8:1-9 Best of Ohio (Scrapbook)

Best of Ohio Photo Challenge

Best of Ohio Photo Challenge Card

Join the challenge by texting
@bingoohio to 81010

Then text us photos of you at these places to include in our Best of Ohio Photo Album!

You may ignore the “quick question” from Remind. Trouble with 81010? Try texting @bingoohio to (657) 205-1047.

Map out your travel plans with this suggested list of photo locations in central Ohio from the challenge card.
**UPDATE** Hayden Falls has been temporarily closed. New card and map list updated to reflect this change. 6/15/2020

Travel and Leisure
Center Your Life in the Beauty of God’s World…

Celebrate the glory of God’s creation.


Under normal circumstances, the month of May comes with flowers, sunshine and the promise of brighter days.

But this year the Coronavirus has cast a shadow over Spring. Streets are quiet. Sanctuaries are empty. Parks are closed. People are staying in their homes.

In the last few weeks, we have all learned the things we can do to try to physically survive the pandemic. Yet, even aside from the virus itself, a lot of people are finding it hard to stay healthy in our new reality. People are failing to get exercise; people are feeling the effects of isolation; people are having a little trouble sharing space with their housemates; and, people are struggling with their faith.

This Spring, at Maize Manor United Methodist Church, we are going to center worship on how to make sure your faith can survive a pandemic. But I need your help: for the next few weeks, we are going to share ideas with each other for how to spiritually thrive even in the midst of these strange days. So I want to invite you to join us this May and help us make THE Pandemic FAITH SURVIVAL Guide.

Center Your Life around Worship…

Invitation to help make the Pandemic Faith Survival Guide

Bible Readings

  • Week 1 Acts 3:1-10 Faith Health
  • Week 2 Acts 16:11-15 Family Health
  • Week 3 Acts 16:25-34 Mental Health
  • Week 4 Acts 17:22-31 Physical Health
  • Week 5 Acts 2:1-13 Holistic Health


Worship God at home, church and in all that you do.