Stop Drinking for Lent

Clean water is a necessity for life and yet, there are many in third world countries without the luxury that we take for granted from any one of the facets in our homes.  This year for Lent, the Outreach Team is asking each of us to give up drinking beverages when dining out and instead donate the money we save to help build a well for a village in Liberia.

You might even feel called to drink water in lieu of beverages all the time, not only while out to eat. If we give all the money we spend just on beverages, imagine the difference it could make in the life of a community. We may even find we send more than we realize on beverages: juices, coffee, canned or bottled drinks, the convenience store stops, the drive-thru, wine or spirited drinks…and the list could go on. Together, we can help transform the world!

ALL the money raised from our sacrifices will be sent to General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC to a project, Water for Life, to help build 40 wells in 40 villages that do not have access to safe water. Bring the money you have saved to church each Sunday during Lent and deposit in the large water bottle in the sanctuary.

Remember, you can break your fast on Sundays during Lent and enjoy as many drinks as you would like!


reflections from an insider

Written by Tangela Linn

Impact Day was a first for our church and to be honest I was nervous. I was honestly nervous that our congregation would not grab onto the idea, as we have struggled with outreach efforts in the past. To begin with, it was a Saturday morning from 9AM to 12PM. That eliminated the ability to sleep in or the ability to forage yard sales depending on which end of the spectrum you preferred.

Deciding ways to impact your community is surprisingly difficult. It forces you to reach outside of yourself and say “Who lives in my area?” and “What does this area REALLY need?” We decided to reach out in three forms. One group of ladies went to a local nursing home and painted fingernails for a group of ladies there. Another group worked to beautify two of our local parks by picking up litter and cleaning their shelters. The last group, which I was a member of, was to hand out water to park goers.

The morning of October 1st was cold. Because of this, my group didn’t give out much water, but we did have an opportunity to fellowship with the runners we found at the park. I had a great conversation with a lady, who wouldn’t take my cold water, but did ask me what we were doing and responded by telling me about her adventures at Nazareth Community Church.

Impact Day taught me a multitude of things. The first, and most important, was a reminder to never doubt the work God is doing. God came into the hearts of our members, causing them to get involved, and allowing us to reach out in an amazing way. The other thing that I learned was that you don’t have to do anything spectacular and over the top to help someone. God’s message of salvation is free and it you don’t have to spend a lot of money to spread it. A bottle of water to a runner is relatively inexpensive compared to the message you are sending. To offer three hours of your morning to clean a park or to paint the fingernails of a lady who may not receive visitors on a regular basis, is completely free, and offers Christ’s message in an unspeakable way.  We are reminded that being a Christian is about more than the words of our mouths. Without the synonymous actions to accompany those words, our words are meaningless.

I am so thankful to my church family for stepping up and reaching out. Outreach ministry is an area very close to my heart, and sadly one that is often forgotten. Now that we are tuned into the needs of our area I ask you, what can you do today to spread God’s message? What can you do every day to show God’s love? I’m trying to figure it out for myself. Will you learn with me?

God Bless, Tangela

ordinary moments

Life gives us no guarantees except death (and maybe taxes). Most people do not think about death on a daily basis, or live as if it is the last.  We rush about, filling our schedules with “life.”  God is even shoe-horned into calendar like any other appointment or event.  In our rush to “live,” overlooking the ordinary moments on our way to the bigger, more important moments is easy.

While visiting various church members today, I was reminded of just how sacred the ordinary moments of our lives are.  Sitting on a shady front porch, napping in the middle of the day, singing “Brown-eyed Girl” energetically while driving, dividing plants to share, taking a deep breath that smells of changing seasons, a subtle smile or a wave goodbye are ordinary moments that we might overlook as places of sacredness.  When I slow down long enough to take a deep breath, I realize that God is right there in the midst of the ordinary.  Apparently, I forgot to let God know that God was scheduled for Sunday morning?

I don’t know why I’m surprised since Jesus said, “I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day, until the end of the age.” That means ordinary moments, the mundane, the boring and the lazy are just as sacred as the “big” moments.

Where was God in your ordinary today?  Did you recognize the sacredness?

Peace be with you, Angela

What does “Shiloh” mean, anyway?

Welcome to the new site for updates, highlights and thoughts for the journey from and for the faith community at Shiloh United Methodist Church (Granite Quarry NC). As the new pastor here, I am still getting acclimated to life in a small town and most days, still trying to find something that seems to have mysteriously disappeared in the move.

In getting acclimated, many have shared stories with me about the church’s past and have allowed me to ask lots of questions about Shiloh’s vision, mission, and purpose. You know, those annoying, yet hopefully helpful, probing questions that help hear where God is calling us.

One question that I have asked several people, and, surprisingly, no one has been able to answer correctly, “What does “Shiloh” mean, anyway?  Besides being a city of some sort mentioned in the Old Testament, why would someone have named a church, “Shiloh”?  Names hold power and definition, so what does “Shiloh” mean for us at Shiloh UMC?

And so maybe, this is a starting point for our journey together.

Looking forward to the journey,