THE Pandemic FAITH SURVIVAL Guide

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

#CENTERyourLIFE

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

Refrigerator Prayers

In my house, we post all manner of things on the kitchen refrigerator. From pictures to word games to grocery lists, you can find just about anything on there…if you look hard enough!

Most of the items on our refrigerator are reminders of happy things or mundane things; but refrigerators are also a good place to put prayers. Just like we need reminders for everyday things, sometimes we need reminders of everyday prayers – and there is no place more handy and accessible for daily life than the refrigerator!

This April, we are going to explore some of my favorite prayers – prayers that remind me of God’s presence in challenging times, prayers that remind me of the good news of the gospel, prayers that remind me of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – these are prayers that I like to keep near me at all times, so I can find them whenever I need them. They are also prayers that Jesus might have found helpful, if he had posted them on his refrigerator during his ministry here. As we celebrate the resurrection this Easter, let’s also create ways to remind us of our new life in Christ in the midst of our everyday lives, while we offer up Refrigerator Prayers.

Center Your Life around Prayer…

Bible Readings
Week 1 Matthew 27:11-54 The Passion of Christ
Week 2 John 20:1-18 The Resurrection of Jesus
Week 3 John 20:19-31 Doubting Thomas
Week 4 Luke 24:13-35 The Walk to Emmaus

Each week I will send out a prayer by email in the Maize News (be sure to subscribe), and on Facebook (find me at www.facebook.com/ryan.grace.3344), so everyone can print, write, or make a crafty design of the prayer to post on their refrigerators!

#PRAYwithoutCEASING
Pray in times of temptation, sorrow, and joy.

The Faces of Jesus

There is a famous painting that always comes to my mind when I imagine the face of Jesus. In the painting, Jesus has long, flowing hair falling over his shoulders. His white robe is simple and elegant. And he is gazing up to the heavens, with a serene look on his face.

For some reason, the serene gaze from that painting is how I usually picture Jesus. But, in reality, Jesus made more than one face. Throughout the gospels, he exhibits the full range of human emotions. Sometimes he is serene. At other times, he is compassionate. Occasionally, he is stern. Often, he is excitable. And, every now and then, he is anguished. When the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us in Christ, there were many faces that he made.

This March, we are going to start our yearly journey of walking with Jesus to the cross. We will follow his ministry from its beginning in the wilderness to the agony of the crucifixion. We will watch Christ’s face change from story to story, as he perseveres, saves, forgives, fulfills, and sets people free from sin and death. All the while, we will reflect on what it means to model our lives after Christ, while we meditate on The Faces of Jesus.

One Month to Love

Center Your Life around the Law of Love…

Bible Readings

Week 1 Matthew 4:1-11 Endurance
Week 2 John 3:1-17 Reunion
Week 3 John 4:5-42 Forgiveness
Week 4 John 9:1-41 Fulfillment
Week 5 John 11-1-45 Liberation

#WIDENtheCIRCLE

Learn to love God, your neighbors and yourself.