First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent November 29 Trim – YouTube

Church Update

Dear Members and Friends of Prospect Street United Methodist Church,

As the COVID numbers in the Marion-area and in Ohio continue to rise, families from our church are becoming increasingly affected, and our local resources – especially Marion General Hospital – are under great strain, it has become regrettably necessary to pause our in-person activities until further notice beginning this Sunday, November 22.  This course of action joins us with the other United Methodist congregations in Marion County.  Our Bishop and district leadership are encouraging and supportive of the congregations in our conference to take this action.  In addition, OhioHealth leadership is also cautioning us about the increasing strain on Marion and Columbus’s hospital resources.  Some of our school systems are also no longer able to keep the balance, and some need to return to remote learning.  Some schools in our area are now fully remote until at least after Thanksgiving.

Not only will our actions continue to protect the most vulnerable in our congregation, but it will also show that we are committed to helping protect our local hospital, schools, businesses, and the entire community.  We will be living out our call to love and protect our neighbors as we love and protect ourselves.

We continue prayers for God’s healing for those recovering or currently dealing with this virus, and for all of those who find themselves on the front lines of this pandemic.  The tiredness and frustration that we are feeling are immeasurable to the stress, heartache, and exhaustion that they face daily.

In the meantime, we will continue to find ways to stay connected, to honor and glorify God, and remain thankful for all that God is given to us.  I so look forward to when we can safely gather in-person again.

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Ty

Afterthoughts 11/19/2020

Christ the King

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. [Matthew 25:31]

This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday. It is the last Sunday of the liturgical year, with the following Sunday beginning Advent and thus a new liturgical year.  The Christian faith teaches that Jesus fulfills several offices, traditionally identified as Prophet, Priest, and King.

Though this certainly has personal implications, to celebrate Christ the King, we are not just stating a personal opinion.  The Church declares, proclaims, announces Christ is King, the Lord of all creation.  He is the crucified, risen, and ascended Lord who is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.  His kingdom will never end.

To proclaim Jesus as King means that Jesus shows us what a king properly is.  We remember that Jesus says his kingdom is not of this world.  After this most recent election, all of us are probably relieved by this reality.  The kingdom of God is not simply an amalgamation of the best Republicans and Democrats can offer, or all of humanity’s ideals maximized to their fullest potential.  The kingdom of Jesus is not of this world.  It is wholly different.  The way it is a kingdom is different from the way kingdoms are kingdoms on this earth. 

To be loyal subjects to this king, then, we need God’s help to adopt Christ’s value system and worldview.  We need the grace of the Holy Spirit to heal us and renew us so that we live loyally and faithfully within this kingdom.  In short, we need converted.  As Jesus tells the inquiring Nicodemus: “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” (John 3:3)

May God show us the areas of our lives that still need to come under the reality of Christ being the King.
May we repent – make a change of heart and mind – to bring these areas under the reign of Christ.
And may our lives serve as an announcement that:
God also highly exalted him
    and gave him the name
    that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
    that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Pastor Ty