Category Archives: United Methodist Church

September 11: A Day for Prayer and Peace – UMC.org

September 11: A Day for Prayer and Peace – UMC.org.

This is an except from a statement by Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, President of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church and Bishop Neil l. Lyons Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops.

“September 11 should be a day of prayer for rebuilding and restoring relationships, and for reaching out to find ways to work and live together in this world. It is not a day for burning the holy book of another faith tradition. Tragically one person has garnered headlines for advocating such a thing. There is nothing of Jesus in such an action. In fact, as we recall, there was a time when the disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven on the perceived enemies for refusing to receive Jesus. No, Jesus said; in fact he “rebuked” those who advocated such a means. (Luke 9:51-55). Such an action is not the way of Jesus, nor the way of peace and love.”

Click on the above link to read the entire statement at the UMC.org website.

Transformation Worship

Tomorrow is the first Sunday for the Transformation Worship Experience at First United Methodist Church of Cedar falls, Iowa.  Worship begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by fellowship and the opportunity to attend Bible study as part of the FUMC Sunday School program.

As part of our worship we will be sharing together in the sacrament of Holy Communion, we will sing praises together, read from the scriptures, and celebrate God’s transforming grace in our lives!

If you are in the Cedar Falls area please come be our guest for the inaugural Sunday of this new worship experience.

Transformation, Sanctification, Perfection

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Spiritual transformation is the goal of the Christian life.  The motto of the United Methodist Church is “Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.”  Why transformation?  Because transformation because doesn’t just want to forgive us of our sins, God doesn’t just want to redeem us, God wants to sanctify us and transform us.

In other words God wants us to change, grow, mature, be more like Him and His Son Jesus Christ every day.  He wants us to progress and move forward.  He doesn’t want things to stay the same for us leaving us in our old barren and empty lives.  He was to transform our life of sin and loss into a life of love, grace, peace, and joy.

Sometimes some Christians will say words like “I was saved on…..” and then give you a day in which they what they perceive as a their first experience with Christ.  Now the truth is that the day you became a professing Christian is not at all the day you had your first experience with God.

Before you even knew that God was there, before you could respond to God love, before you can move towards God he loved you and offered you his love through his Prevenient Grace.  But then when you first experience the Justifying Grace of God that doesn’t end the story.  No!  the first time reconciled with God through Christ was only the beginning!!

Now God’s Sanctifying Grace has been working, is working, and will work to make you more like Jesus every day, to transform you life, and yes to seek to lead you on to perfection (that is the full measure of Christian maturity God wants for you.)   Perfection, in a Wesleyan sense doesn’t mean you are perfect but that Christ is working perfectly in you.

When I attended my first Annual Conference of the Iowa UMC I heard the Bishop talk about “perfecting a motion.”  It wasn’t terminology I was familiar with.  But it was clear what it meant.  That the product the conference was seeking to create could be made better, fuller, more whole, and more worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The rough draft (you and me) needs to be made whole.

It isn’t enough for a Christian to declare “I was saved on…”  That’s talking about the past.  The truth is that God has redeemed us, is redeeming us, will redeem us and will work on us to make us the people he created us to be.

I want to be forgiven.  But I don’t just want to be forgiven.  I want to be transformed!!

Transformation Worship Experience

Last night the Contemporary Worship Design Team at First United Methodist Church chose a name for our new contemporary worship experience which will begin September 5th at 8:30 a.m. The worship time will be called “Transformation.” The name Transformation was chosen because it reminds us of the transforming power of Jesus Christ to bring us His redemptive love and grace, to give us the grace to grow as Christians and to transform our lives into the kind of people God wants us to be.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

When we begin Transformation it will be a new worship gathering, in a new location in the church, at a new time, with a new order or worship and a new and fresh opportunity for us to worship together.

I am very excited with the work that the Transformation Worship Design Team is doing and will be doing in the coming weeks as we prayerfully work to make this a gathering that will glorify God, help our church to worship the living Christ, and allow us to invite new friends into our church fellowship!

Let’s Be Transformed!
Tim Bonney

Getting Settled In

Tomorrow will mark one month since my family and I drove up from Johnston, Iowa to spend the night here in Cedar Falls before our moving truck showed up on June 25th to move us into the First United Methodist Church parsonage.

It has been an exciting month.  I’ve had opportunities to preach, share my testimony, and share at the Lord’s table both in Sunday worship and in Wednesday night Ignition.  I’ve had a lot of fun getting acquainted with the wonderful church staff and church members of First Church.  And I have been pleased to see that First Cedar Falls is a church on the move, looking to grow and change for the future.

It has also been a good month meeting some of my new United Methodist colleagues both here in the Northeast District and from the Iowa Annual Conference center.

My family and I are starting to feel settled into our knew home.  We are seeing less boxes around the house.  We are starting to find our way around the community.  And we are beginning to adjust to our new a new place of ministry and service.

Sometimes change can be scary.  But I believe it is best to view change as an adventure.  And oh what an adventure it always is serving Christ in ministry!