As part of my duties as your Lay Leader I must represent you at a lot of meetings. Wednesday 17 June, I was at the Finance Committee meeting and the term “obligation” came up. I wondered what the concordance had to say. So I started reading (Thanks Rev. Remp). I found an interesting reference in Numbers 30 verse 2.
“When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.”
Then after some more thinking (I really was paying attention Ray) doesn’t the Reception into the Local Congregation say something that leads all of us to an obligation?
“As members of this Congregation, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your GIFTS, your service, and your witness?”

So if my thought process is correct, as a member of this congregation, I have an obligation to support the church with my prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.The Oath below is one that I recited several times over my career. Many of you also recited the same or a slightly different version.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
So we all get to say we have obligations in many different ways. We have obligations to our families, friends, towns, and our Nation as well as our church. I still like to think of the church as the people within to me that means I have an obligation to you.

So PEOPLE WITHIN, I ask you to think of the obligation you feel within this congregation. Ask God to help all of us to meet, and maybe exceed, our obligations with love for all in Christ’s name.

We are in the Lenten Season. On Wednesday evening (18 February) we celebrated Ash Wednesday. Thanks to Carrie and Carol for the special music that added so much to the service. The Pastor was in rare form losing half of his scripture reading amongst all of the papers on the pulpit. But he survived. This period, in the Christian year, is the 40 day period leading to the crucifixion. You might enjoy reading the Book of Matthew during this period.

I am looking for a couple of folks who would be willing to work with me to satisfy the requirements of paragraph 258.1. in the Book of Discipline (BOD). There are two sections to the paragraph. It is titled a committee on Nominations and Leadership Development. As I see it the Nominations committee is working a year, or more, in advance of the Charge Conference to train and develop church members who will serve admirably on the various committees. The portion I would like to work on is “leadership development.” Leadership development is an ongoing task because it is so very important to the future of our church. Call anytime 928.583.5107.

See you in church.


Traditionally, the Christian church has observed the seven weeks before Easter as a time of penitence and spiritual self-examination. Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, derives its name from the ancient practice of marking the foreheads of worshipers with ashes from the unused palm branches of the previous year. Ashes historically have had a dual significance. First, they are Old Testament symbols of sadness and humility. Job, in the midst of all his troubles, cried out to God from the ash heap. The second symbolic meaning of ashes is as a reminder of our mortality. Each of us faces the inevitability of physical death. Our bodies and material possessions eventually will turn to dust and ashes. This is a reminder that we dare not trust in things that crumble. But Lent does not leave us on the ash heap. It begins with Ash Wednesday, but ends with Easter. And Easter proclaims that, through Christ, God resurrects us from our dust and ashes, makes us new creatures and brings life out of death!