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Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.- 2 Timothy 4:2
Dear Friends, September 2016
Grace and peace. Our big RALLY SUNDAY is September 11 when we will resume our 9am and 10:30am Crossroads services. We will have a giant BBQ Picnic on the front lawn of the church after the 10:30am service. You are invited to bring a dessert to share. There will be hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken, beans, cole slaw, etc. ALL WELCOME.
It is amazing to me that I arrived in Westborough 10 years ago. Time flies when you are having fun! A lot has happened over these 10 years - including our children growing older. Shaw and Ethan will enter their senior year at Westborough High School! Where has the time gone? The Psalmist writes- ‘teach us to number our days, O Lord, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’ How important it is to have Jesus be your constant in the midst of the change in our lives. One of my mentors- a brother in Christ- and long time member of First UMC was called home to Heaven- Dick Stone. Dick was someone who rejoiced in the faith and loved to share the love of Jesus. Just thinking about Dick Stone makes us smile and be inspired because Dick embodied the love of Jesus. So many have shared that when Dick was with you he always made you feel special. He gave you his undivided and grace-filled attention. We will miss Dick but he inspires us to live each day to the fullest by focusing on Jesus. One thing Dick and Barbara did in the beginning of their marriage 52 years ago was to go to church and be part of a faith community. Through the decades they were married and the raising of three daughters- through all the years- Jesus was their focus. Dick knew he was going to Heaven because he had given his life to Jesus.
The Gospel- the Good News of a Risen Lord- is what we RALLY around each Sunday. And when you accept Jesus as your savior and follow him your life is filled with joy and purpose. Dick was one of the happiest and purpose-filled people I have ever known. He served in the church since 1968- when the church building first opened. All through the years he rejoiced in facing the challenges of life through faith in Jesus. I spoke with Dick and prayed with him the day before he died. He said “I love you pastor John” and I told him “I love you too- brother in Christ.”
Dick and Barbara loved to share their love of God with others. Just 2 weeks before Dick died they spoke to a man who was working at a supermarket in PA returning the shopping carts. In the parking lot they talked about having faith in Jesus and the joy and peace it brings. They invited this man to come to church. To the very end of Dick’s physical life he was reaching out in love. Our Lay Leader Mike Sams- and his family- were neighbors to Dick and Barbara. Dick and Barbara shared about their church and invited the Sams to visit. The Sams now call First UMC their church home because of the Stone’s gracious invitation.
I say all this because you are invited RALLY around the Gospel on Sunday September 11. You can make the commitment to being part of something wonderful just like Dick and Barbara Stone did 52 years ago. As we see the bad news every day in the media we realize there is much work to be done to bring people together in peace. We need to celebrate that with God all things are possible. Teach us to number our days O Lord. Because we do not have time to waste.
In Christian Love,
Sunday Worship Schedule