The Metropolitan Messenger
September 2012, Volume 14, Issue 8
As the summer is quickly winding down and we are faced with those “Back to School Sales,” I found myself thinking back to my first day of school. It was early in the 1960’s; my family was living over on the east-side (near Shoemaker and Montclair). The school was only a block or two from our house and on a bright, sunny, fall day, my Dad walked me to my first day of Kindergarten.
I can still recall him walking with me and holding my hand until we arrived at the door to the classroom. As we got to the door, he stopped, gave my hand one final squeeze and then let go. After he did that, he told me to “be good” and that he would see me after school. Somewhat reluctantly, I walked into that classroom, got through the day and sure enough, my Dad was waiting for me on the sidewalk in front of the school building when the day was over! The next day was a repeat of the first day, but I found my fear and reluctance lessened until it was gone and I would run to school (probably to see my friends more then to engage in the learning experience, but that is another tale!!).
What’s the point to this? In this faith journey that we call “life,” we continue to walk and encounter events and situations that challenge us, scare us or intimidate us. But just as my Dad’s comforting presence and reassurance helped me as I started school, our Father in Heaven offers His comfort and presence as we face life. As we live out our witness and as we serve Him in this world, remember what we find at the conclusion of Matthew’s Gospel – Jesus is preparing to ascend into heaven, but he tells His disciples (including you and I) that we will be His witnesses throughout the whole earth and that he “will be with us always, to the end of the age.” This passage calls us to be His witnesses and to find that comforting presence in all that we undertake for the furthering of His Kingdom.
My prayer for Metropolitan United Methodist Church is that each of us will experience our Father’s comforting presence as we continue to share Christ throughout the world.
DISCIPLESHIP AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION
Change, is not something we keep in our pockets, but is the constant flow of transitions, seasons, life experiences, and mobility that seem to make us or break us. Many people thrive with change and it becomes the momentum for creativity, while others detest change and life becomes a daily grind of hardship and resistance. As the old adage says, “change is constant or inevitable.” How we adapt determines character and perspective. So where do you fit in the continuum of change?
Personally, I have found change to be a means for discovering more about myself and learning to trust God in situations and circumstance for which I have no control. It isn’t always easy adapting to change, especially when your world seems to be so topsy-turvy at times, but God is always constant, always the same, and always faithful. We must hold on to those attributes of God because if we don’t, the changes of life can overwhelm us and cause us to become immobilized for ministry. What changes have happened in your life this year? How has God met you and spoken peace and grace in those changes? How will you redirect your focus and perspective due to the changes that have come to your life? As we approach a new season for fall, changes are coming. Perhaps this is the season that you will discover that change will make you more like Jesus and break you of self-will. Who knows what change might do?
Huge Thanks: How could we have ever done Metro Kidz’ Day Camp without you, our volunteers and helpers? We are so appreciative of your time, donations, prayer, and support for our summer program. God provided in so many ways and a special thanks to the Trustees for fixing the gym. The kids loved being in there every day and we were blessed by hearing happy voices playing ball (though some had a difficult time getting used to the noise)! To all our Metro family and volunteers, thank you and God bless you.
Spiritual Gifts Discovery - Do you know your spiritual gift/s and are you sharing them in the Church? Each Christian is given at least one spiritual gift that God uses to edify and encourage the Body of Christ. Join us for a four (4) week discovery of spiritual gifts and how they function in the Church. Rev. Dr. McGee will do a sermon series during September worship and Rev. Miles will do a follow-up study after worship at 12:45pm. All are invited to come, whether you are a “seasoned” Christian or a new believer, let’s discover together how God, the Holy Spirit directs the Church. New members are especially asked to make this a priority.
Study begins: September 9 and will meet in Wesley Sunday School room on the 2nd floor. Please sign up in the East Hall for book orders. Classes will be September 9, 23,
October 7, 14.
Wednesday Pastor’s Bible Study at 4:00pm - Beginning September 12, the mid-week Pastor’s Bible study will begin. We will be studying Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. If you have not been involved in study and can meet at this time, please join us for sharing God’s Word together. Please sign-up in the East Hall for a study book. All are welcome.
Sunday Morning Study at 10 a.m. - Beginning October 7, we will be offering a study on “Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help” by Robert T. Lupton. The study will be led by Rev. Mary LaVerne Jackson and Ms. Dale Thomas. Learn through Lupton’s experience in serving the urban community how “the disturbing truth about charity: all too often has become toxic, devastating to the people it’s meant to help” (excerpt from book). If you want to share in this study, please sign up in the East Hall to order books. If you have questions, contact Rev. Jackson or Ms. Dale Thomas.
Equipping U –Church Ministries Training Conference, Saturday, October 27, at Ward Church in Northville. All teachers and leaders are invited to attend this conference to enhance your Biblical knowledge, teaching skills, and Equipping U for ministry in the 21st century. There will be a worship arts session by Dr. Charlotte Sledge, Developing Youth in your Church by Rev. Matthew Parker of the Institute for Black Family Development, Teacher Education courses and techniques, and over 30 sessions of training for clergy and laity. This is a great opportunity for us as Christian Educators and teams to go together and enhance our growth as Disciples. Please contact Rev. Miles for more information and to register or go online to www.iceaOnline.org or email at info@iceaOnline.org. Early bird registration by September 14 is $35. We can also register as a church team. Scholarshipsare available.
Lay Speaking Ministry Training - If you are interested in attending the Lay Speaker Training, please contact Rev. McGee or Rev. Miles. Applications must be filled out and approved by Rev. McGee and the Administrative Council. Classes begin September 9. Brochures are on the kiosk in the main hall.
Angel Tree Christmas - Christmas is just around the corner: Across the nation churches are gearing up for another Angel Tree Christmas season and so are we! We are excited and so thankful to share in this partnership to reach children of prisoners and their families with hope, gifts of love and the Gospel message. We are in need of a coordinator who will do the record keeping and preparation needed to begin the process by November. Angel Tree provides all the information necessary and you communicate with the congregation. If this “gift” of service would excite you to help, please contact Rev. Miles. Thank you!
Blessings for your fall changes,
Rev. Cathee Miles –Minister of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation
Metropolitan Community Garden- Metropolitan UMC is a member of the Garden Resource Program Collaborative. As a member we receive resources including seed, transplants, and we are part of “a growing network of gardeners and advocates working to promote and encourage urban agriculture within a thriving local food system in the city.” Metro’s garden is located on the corner of John R and Marston. The gardeners meet on Wednesdays at 9:00am. The gardeners are anticipating a baby leaf salad lunch in early September. Please consider how you might assist in our garden initiative.
Hands4Detroit- Metropolitan Church will host a district wide event on Saturday, October 6, 2012. The Renaissance District will have a district wide food drive the week leading up to October 6th. On that day people from across the district will gather at the church to load up Semi-trucks with food to distribute to local food banks (i.e. Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest). A service of dedication and the Detroit Annual Conference will follow the event. Many volunteers are needed to load the truck, serve as greeters, and monitor the parking lots. You will hear more soon. There is a list of suggested items to donate and placed in Hands4Detroit collection boxes at the end of this newsletter.
The Storehouse of Hope- SOH is a collaborative emergency food pantry in the North End. Recently the pantry was awarded $17,000 by the Whole Foods Market. On June 28, 2012, five Markets in southeast Michigan donated 5% of their total sales for that one day to SOH. The purpose of the grant will be used to purchase produce from local area growers and given to the SOH to households in the North End.
Short-term adult study class begins October 14. We will be studying the book “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself”. This study will move from deeply Biblical truths to contemporary application. We will identify three guiding principles for ministry to the poor:
This study will provide a Biblically based framework concerning the root causes of poverty and its alleviation. A path forward is found, not through providing resources to the poor but instead by walking with them in humble relationship. We will be meeting in Kresge auditorium at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings for eight weeks. We invite everyone interested to attend this class. The class will be led by Rev. Mary LaVerne Jackson, Rev. Karl Zeigler, Carmen Zeigler and Dale Thomas.
Haiti Trip Fundraising
Our Mission Team from Metropolitan will go to Jeremie, Haiti, February 28 – March 8, 2013. Funds are needed for the following projects:
1. Cement in the courtyard at the Good Samaritan Senior Home. This Methodist home supports the lives of the elderly by providing shelter, food, medical services and care. We will be selling bags of cement ($5.00- $50.00) to help finance this project.
2. Gommiers Resource Room – Furnishing a Resource Room for the Gommiers School will raise the educational standard and better prepare the students for future schooling. We will have a variety of materials available that you can purchase for the school in Haiti.
3. The Jesus Storybook Bible – These books are being printed in Haitian/Creole and will be given to Sunday School teachers in the Jeremie/Leon District to help make disciples for Jesus Christ. These books cost $20.00.
4. Haitian vanilla and Haitian almond will be available - $5.00/bottle.
We will have a Haiti table set up during the months of September, October, and November. You can stop and see what is available and join us as we support the church and school in Jeremie, Haiti.
Join our Mission Outreach Team - Are you interested in Community Outreach through the church? Do you have ideas? Then you are invited to the Mission/Outreach team meeting on Sunday, September 9, at 12:30p.m. We will meet in the Union conference room.
Rev Mary LaVerne Jackson
Come join the choir! The Metro choirs will start up again in September, with the first rehearsal of the Chancel Choir on Thursday, September 13 at 7 pm in the Choir room. New members are always welcome! Feel free to contact Marilyn Biery, minister of music, with any questions at extension 336. The Women's Ensemble will resume rehearsals on Thursday, September 20. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!
After being off for the months of June, July and August all handbell ensembles will be back in action beginning September 12, with the Bell Quartet and Epworth Choir Rehearsal at 5:45 and 6:30 p.m. respectively. Youth Bells will begin on Sunday, September 23, at 11:30 a.m. All rehearsals are in room 209 of the educational wing. Epworth Bells will be playing for Homecoming Sunday, September 16. Their anthem for worship is "Declare the Maker's Praise."
Plans are being made to schedule another handbell class for persons who are interested in learning to ring handbells without being a member of one of the present ensembles. Handbell ringing techniques and learning to read music will be part of the curriculum. Those interested in attending should contact Dick Eccles. The class will meet on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. More details will be announced dependent on the number of people who indicate an interest.
We are encouraging anyone who is interested in becoming a ringer in one of our handbell choirs to consider joining. Persons with a musical background would be helpful so that only ringing techniques would need to be learned and assimilation to the group would be quicker. If no musical training, i.e. playing an instrument or vocal understanding and background in music theory, it is suggested that you attend the handbell class.
Please work with your clergy liaisons and submit your 2013 operating budget requests no later than September 30, 2012 to Karen Thompson, Finance Committee Chair.
STAFF PARISH RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Minister of Music - Effective July 30th, 2012, the Staff Parish Relations Committee is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Marilyn Perkins Biery to the permanent part time position of Minister of Music at Metropolitan United Methodist Church. Since February, Marilyn has been our Interim Organist and Choir Director. We have been blessed to experience the enhanced beauty and diversity of the musical expression in our Worship Service.
By way of her own work, some compositions done in collaboration with her husband James Biery, also a church musician, Marilyn shares her creativity both in text and music. Through the years Dr. Biery has had considerable experience in high profile churches and Cathedral settings, thus enabling her to work well with a variety of professional and volunteer singers as well as office and administrative staff. Marilyn is inspired by the diversity of Metropolitan. She is eager to be a part of a congregation committed to the positive future of Detroit.
Administrative Assistant - With the departure of Elizabeth Mitchell, the Staff Parish Relations Committee is pleased to announce the arrival of a new staff member. Effective July 18th, 2012, Curtis Hatchell has been hired as our part time Administrative Assistant. Many of you already know Curtis as a faithful and devoted Metropolitan member and volunteer. Curtis brings the same dedication along with skill and competency to his new position. Mr. Hatchell’s primary responsibilities will include Front Desk Reception and designing, printing and distributing the Sunday Bulletin and monthly Messenger. Curtis has a particular skill in Web Management, very significant for Metropolitan’s communication with the Detroit community.
If you have not done so already, please introduce yourself and welcome Marilyn and Curtis to their new positions at Metropolitan.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Come and see what the Metropolitan United Methodist Women are about!!!!! We are warm and friendly and want to connect with all women of the church. We combine mission work and fellowship. It’s a great time to be an active member of Metropolitan’s United Methodist Women (MUMW).
Renaissance District - Annual Meeting - Saturday, October 13, 2012 at Scott Memorial United Methodist Church, 15361 Plymouth Rd, Detroit, MI 48227, 9:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m., Registration forms are on the Board in the East hallway This is the meeting known as the In-gathering. District officers will be elected and local units such as ours will announce mission projects at this meeting.
What’s our unit’s project? Gifts to the NSO Bell Building. The NSO building will provide permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless people, but the units need furnishings and cleaning supplies. You can help. The MUMW is collecting items to furnish these units through Target’s gift registry. It works just like the bridal and baby registries we all know and love. Go to either a Target Store or online (Target.com), go to TargetLists and look under NSO and you will find Metropolitan United. Most items are under $10. Of course, cash will always work. Make checks payable to NSO and give to Mary Rayford Floyd or Jeanette Harris. We need these by September 15 at the latest.
If you have questions, please see Mary Rayford Floyd. This is a great way to make new friends and find out more about the United Methodist Women.
Go to http://www.gbgm-umc.org/detcumw/drd.html#District for more on District and Statewide activities.
November 17 - Mission Work Project at Metropolitan
Kids Against Hunger® - On Saturday, November 23, we will be packing food kits for Kids Against Hunger, rather than working at World Medical Relief. Partnering with the Kwanis #1 Club of Detroit, we will be assembling food kits which will be donated to local food pantries and sent overseas to hunger relief agencies. This is the second time Kids Against Hunger has been at Metropolitan Church. Mark your calendar to help make food kits for hungry people.
2013 Scull Calendars
Like the Scull Calendars to manage your dates? See or call Jeanette Harris at (248) 752-7147. We ordered a few extra. This is not a fundraiser. The calendars will be sold at cost.