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December 2016

Dear Christ Family,

Our theme for Advent is “Prepare”. Prepare means to make (something) ready for use or consideration. Sometimes as we are preparing for whatever it is, it may also mean that we have to spend some time waiting. I recently had to spend some time waiting…waiting to get an oil change done. I actually had gone to the tire and oil change department of a local store to see if an old spare “donut” tire from a precious vehicle would fit on my current vehicle. I found out the hard way that some base model cars don’t come with spare “donut” tires! So while there, I decided to get an oil change which the car needed. Anyway, after about 3 hours later (Okay to be fair, I did some shopping in the other departments in the store as well.) the car was ready. But still, the shopping was a part of the waiting process. I was trying to prepare my vehicle for the road, to get prepared for the journey, to get prepared to see my out-of-town family.

The preparation was tedious, rigorous, frustrating at times as well as moments that were filled with conversation with others and contemplative silent moments while waiting. My car was finally finished and was waiting for me right outside the door. I was fourth in line to check-out. A series of register mishaps took place with each person ahead of me. Ughhh! But joy came when finally it was my turn to check-out. I was finally able to go to my car and continue on with my plans. Praise God!!

During the next few weeks, we will be preparing for the arrival of the Christ child, baby Jesus.

Preparing for worship services, attending Christmas parties, concerts and family gatherings can end up being stressful and frustrating at times just like my experience of waiting and preparing my car for travel. The waiting in store lines and even the great anticipation of Christmas day can leave us with less patience, but let us remember the joy that we will celebrate and behold again on December 25th. I know that the joy of getting my car back can’t even remotely compare with the joy of celebrating the birth of Jesus but it did give me a great reminder of what it is like to prepare and wait. However, in the midst of our preparing and waiting this Advent season, let us remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!! Turn to Him and spend some time in His Word this month and in the new month to come and year of January 2017.

Also, please take some time to reach out to others in need, as well as, remembering our sick and shut-ins. May God bless you all and I pray that you will have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Safe and Blessed New Year!!!

Be Encouraged in Jesus!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson

GriefShare Starts November 7th

Oct 16 2016

Click here for more information on the GriefShare program: http://www.griefshare.org/

October 2016

Dear Christ Family,

Are you excited yet? Well if not, It's time to get excited! We are starting a new church year and God is truly moving by His Spirit and the best is yet to come! Do you believe it? I hope you do because we need to all be on one accord and get on the same page as to what God is able to do and wants to do here in and outside of this place. Philippians 2:2 from the Amplified Version of the Bible says: "Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention. "

We need to be on one accord so that we can focus on our mission, vision and goals. You will soon be given copies of what our mission, vision and goals are for the church. Our overall mission is to make disciples for Jesus Christ. The North Coast District of the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, of which we are included, is focusing on the theme of Evangelism. A 5-week online course focusing on the topic of "Evangelism for Non-Evangelists" will begin on Oct. 6. Please call the office or me for more information and to take part in this series.

A few of us recently, went to a workshop that was designed to give us suggestions and ideas on how to reach new people. We left there with several possible plans of action. You will hear about these plans in the coming weeks and months. We also are blessed with a coach who will be available to us mostly by Zoom telephone conferencing and emails for the next 12 months. Also, on behalf of the Committee on Lay Leadership we say thank you to all who said yes to serving Jesus through your leadership and participation on a committee. We also say thank you to those of you who have served and/or continue to serve in any aspect of the life of our congregation.

As the season changes from summer to fall, let us be reminded that change is a part of life. Change occurs in our church as well as our lives. We must remember just as God is in the midst of seasonal changes, so God is with us through changes in the church and in our personal lives. So the question is...Do you really trust God or do you just say that you trust God? Change can be difficult, painful and unwanted. Yet, sometimes change can be good and transforming for the better. Let's really trust God for the changes that we have to go through in order to support our current members/attendees and to reach new people for Jesus here at church. Let's also trust God to help us through the changes we have to encounter in our personal lives as well. "For nothing will be impossible with God." Luke 1:37

Be Encouraged in Jesus!

Pastor Darlene Robinson

September 2016

Well, I don't know about you but it seems like another summer has flown by EXTREMELY fast!  We have "sweated it out" over these past summer weeks since Christ UMC and Simpson UMC do not have air conditioning. So in some ways it is good that we will soon be moving into the fall season where the cooler weather will prevail.  So see you later summer until next year, Lord willing!  We say hello to September and look forward with great anticipation our return to ministries that have taken a break over the summer. 

I recently bought at a very deep, deep discounted price an electronic device called a TrackR Bravo.  The TrackR Bravo is a round device a little bigger and thicker than a quarter.  It is designed to help you find misplaced or lost items that are attached or connected to the TrackR Bravo.  For example, if you put it on your key chain you can locate misplaced or lost keys with an app that has been put on your phone.  You can find a misplaced or lost phone for the most part by pressing a little button on the TrackR Bravo on your key chain.  Once you press the button, your phone will ring and therefore the idea is that you will hear it ringing and consequently your phone will be found.

Overall, it works okay and I don't want to give it a bad report since I only really know how to work it a little bit.  However, there are a few downsides that I have found.  One is that the battery in the TrackR Bravo could die and since there is no power, you can't find your phone.  Another downside is that you can't find your phone or keys if they are misplaced, lost or stolen together (unless there is a way to track it on a computer and I haven't investigated that yet). Well, you know, God is like a TrackR Bravo but only much better and without the downsides.  He knows exactly where we are in life physically, mentally and spiritually.  He locates the lost and extends his love to the lost by "wooing" them as John Wesley so aptly put it, to come to Him.  He also uses all of us, as Christians, to help reach out to the lost and hurting.

We can reach out to the lost by sharing our testimonies and our faith by telling them about Jesus, as well as, doing the best we can to lend a helping hand.  Jesus is the best TrackR Bravo of all but He also needs us to be His hands and feet in this world.  Romans 10:14-17 from the Message bible reads like this, "But how can people call for help, if they don't know who to trust?  And how can they know who to trust, if they haven't heard of the One who can be trusted?  And how can they hear, if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?"

We have been called and sent for such a time as this.  As we move forward together let us remember our mandate in every aspect of everything we do here at the church and in our lives.  Our mandate is from Matthew 28:18-20, which says this, "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  So let's do our very best to go, make, help mature and baptize disciples for Jesus Christ!  We are sent into the world filled with the fire of God! 

Be Encouraged in Jesus!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson

September 2016

Well, I don't know about you but it seems like another summer has flown by EXTREMELY fast!  We have "sweated it out" over these past summer weeks since Christ UMC and Simpson UMC do not have air conditioning. So in some ways it is good that we will soon be moving into the fall season where the cooler weather will prevail.  So see you later summer until next year, Lord willing!  We say hello to September and look forward with great anticipation our return to ministries that have taken a break over the summer. 

I recently bought at a very deep, deep discounted price an electronic device called a TrackR Bravo.  The TrackR Bravo is a round device a little bigger and thicker than a quarter.  It is designed to help you find misplaced or lost items that are attached or connected to the TrackR Bravo.  For example, if you put it on your key chain you can locate misplaced or lost keys with an app that has been put on your phone.  You can find a misplaced or lost phone for the most part by pressing a little button on the TrackR Bravo on your key chain.  Once you press the button, your phone will ring and therefore the idea is that you will hear it ringing and consequently your phone will be found.

Overall, it works okay and I don't want to give it a bad report since I only really know how to work it a little bit.  However, there are a few downsides that I have found.  One is that the battery in the TrackR Bravo could die and since there is no power, you can't find your phone.  Another downside is that you can't find your phone or keys if they are misplaced, lost or stolen together (unless there is a way to track it on a computer and I haven't investigated that yet). Well, you know, God is like a TrackR Bravo but only much better and without the downsides.  He knows exactly where we are in life physically, mentally and spiritually.  He locates the lost and extends his love to the lost by "wooing" them as John Wesley so aptly put it, to come to Him.  He also uses all of us, as Christians, to help reach out to the lost and hurting.

We can reach out to the lost by sharing our testimonies and our faith by telling them about Jesus, as well as, doing the best we can to lend a helping hand.  Jesus is the best TrackR Bravo of all but He also needs us to be His hands and feet in this world.  Romans 10:14-17 from the Message bible reads like this, "But how can people call for help, if they don't know who to trust?  And how can they know who to trust, if they haven't heard of the One who can be trusted?  And how can they hear, if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?"

We have been called and sent for such a time as this.  As we move forward together let us remember our mandate in every aspect of everything we do here at the church and in our lives.  Our mandate is from Matthew 28:18-20, which says this, "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  So let's do our very best to go, make, help mature and baptize disciples for Jesus Christ!  We are sent into the world filled with the fire of God! 

Be Encouraged in Jesus!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson

June 2017

Dear Christ UMC Familiy,

My last letter to you. Wow! I really can't believe that our time together as pastor and congregations will be coming to an end so soon. I really had thought that I would be here longer than just 4 years. Well, once again, welcome to the United Methodist Church pastoral appointment system. It has some good and not so good qualities about it. Anyway, there are so many thoughts running through my mind in terms of all the things I should say and want to say and what I need to say but may forget to say. I had plans for so many other things that we can do in terms of ministry together and making and maturing disciples for Jesus Christ.

Many of you know that we had plans in the works, etc... and things that we needed to complete. Oh well, enough of that. What is done is done and it just is what it is. However, our "just is what it is" is covered in the sovereignty of God, He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version) "'For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" These plans for a future and a hope that He has is for all of us. This includes you, me, your new pastor, Rev. Dianne Covault and the church where she is currently serving, as well as, the church that I will be going to and also their pastor that I will be following and the new churches that he will be serving!

I guess I will just end with saying thank you! First of all thanks be unto God for His awesome blessings bestowed upon Christ and Simpson United Methodist Churches! Thanks be unto God for allowing me the awesome honor and privilege of being allowed to serve as your pastor. Thanks to all of you for your help, assistance, patience, grace, love, gifts, support, forgiveness for any mistakes that I made knowingly or unknowingly and so much more throughout these past four years with me and my family. Thanks for your unending service to the Lord. So thank you, all of you for whatever you have done to move the ministry forward and build up the Kingdom of God!

I leave with you a few thoughts. One is from John Wesley and his thoughts on Methodism. He stated the following: “Thoughts Upon Methodism” : "I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out."

The other thought comes from the Breakthrough Prayer Initiative series that I am concluding our time together with on Sunday mornings. The series is based up the book, “Flood Gate: Holy Momentum For a Fearless Church” By Sue Nilson Kibbey and forwarded by our own Bishop Gregory Palmer. The Breakthrough Prayer is used to open the flood gates of powerful, spirit-driven movement by training and leading the congregation to pray together via a simple style that requests God to open up new possibilities.

"This ignites unprecedented and miraculous impact. Breakthrough prayer is asking God to do new works. New miracles we cannot do ourselves, without limits. It does not replace any other forms of prayer. It is additive. And yes, there are results. Sue Kibbey basically states that she has "…celebrated as incredible creativity and prayer passion have risen up. Enthusiasm and faith have surged forward. Hearts have been changed, willingness to dream again renewed!”

I implore you, please don't become a dead sect like John Wesley wrote above. Please don't give up in believing in new miracles and about what God can or cannot do. I implore you to stay open and/or move toward staying open in Holy Spirit Power! Please be willing to dream again and keep your faith renewed as to what God can do with your own life, as well as, the life of the church! Remember our mandate from Matthew 28: 19-20, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Please don't forget about our sick and shut-ins! Love you! I will miss you greatly and you will always be in my prayers!

Be Encouraged in Jesus!

Forgive, Live, Love, Laugh and Prayer! Pastor Darlene and family Dasan, David, Little Dennis and Mother Emma Robinson

November 2014

I know that I keep saying that this year is flying by and I will say it again! It is already November!! I am still waiting to enjoy my summer. LOL!!! Oh well…..anyway, this is truly a time to give thanks. Thanks to God for allowing many of us to see this time of the year once again. We have so much to be thankful for even if we haven’t had the best year so far. This is a time to count our blessings. We have had a very full year of ministry, activity and great blessings from the Lord. We look forward to more of what God has in store for us during the remainder of this year and well into the future. So Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Please enjoy this poem:

Lord, We Are Grateful
Lord, we are grateful for all You've given;
shelter and clothing, good food and health. All these are gifts we rarely do treasure.
We are most wealthy, thanks to Yourself.

Lord, we are grateful for those who love us;
those we call family, those who are friends. Loved, we can face the pressures life sends us. Through those we cherish, Your love descends.
Lord, we are grateful for Your creation;
trees in fall splendor, dark stormy skies. Nature reminds us of Your strong power.
Majestic beauty dazzles ours eyes.

Lord, we are grateful for Your rich mercy,
fresh as the morning, new every day. Sin is forgiven. Guilt has been buried.
Gone is the debt we never could pay.
 

Lord, we are grateful that we can worship,
often and freely here in this place. Harvest our praises, hear our thanksgiving
as we reflect on Your awesome grace. Copyright 2003 by Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos

Have a blessed and great November in the Lord!!!

Be Encouraged In Jesus!!

April 2014

I recently read an article by Max Lucado entitled, “Lent and the Joy of Sacrifice.” In this article he talks some about his visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. He also mentions the death of his father who passed away in his late sixties. Max asks this question, “…for isn’t Lent all about life and death, sacrifice and renewal?" I believe so. He then ends the article with these words which I think are quite helpful and a great reminder about the season of Lent and Easter. He says, “We face our fears, we grow in our struggle, adversity deepens our faith. There is always something wonderful and surprising around the corner on earth and beyond. That is the sacrificial truth of Lent, the music that builds to the miracle of the Resurrection.” It is my hope and prayer that you would remember these words, especially, as you are challenged by life circumstances. Our ultimate hope is found in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross and the Resurrection.

Part of the message of Easter is all about Jesus and His death upon the cross. However, it doesn't end there. He also rose again from the dead with all power in His hands. He also has given us an opportunity to spend life in heaven with Him in eternity. All we need to do is to accept him or receive him into our hearts as our personal savior. If you have not done so before, then this is something that you need to do NOW!!! Jesus is waiting.

Remember that our mandate as Christians and as a church is to fulfill the Great Commission which leads others to eternal life. “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Mt. 28:18-20). I hope that you all have a blessed Easter but most importantly a blessed eternity.

I hope to see you at some if not all of our Holy Week and Easter services. Please pass the word out about our Children’s Easter Party on Saturday, April 12 and the Sunday School special activities/events for children on the following Sunday, April 13 which is also Palm Sunday (we will need children to parade the sanctuary waving the palms during one of the songs during morning worship). Be encouraged in Christ!! Happy Easter to all!!!!

Much Love and In His Service,
Pastor Darlene Robinson

March 2014

March 2014

Come on Spring!! Hurry up!!! Wow! I am ready for Spring! So…….think Spring! Think Spring! Think Spring! This winter has certainly taken a toll on all of us. So do not be surprised if you are feeling a bit depressed.

 

Lack of sunshine may cause some of us to enter “depressionville”. A lack of “SONshine” in your spiritual life will also cause the same thing, even worse. So take heart! Let the Lord shine through you, in you and all around you. Read your bible, study and continue to pray often. Spring will be here soon!

 

Wednesday, March 5th is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the start of our church season of Lent. Lent is a time to prepare our hearts and minds to receive the Easter message. Lent is a time of year to step back from our busy lives so that we may be more thoughtfully focused on what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We do so in imitation of Jesus who also, from time to time, withdrew to quiet places where he could be alone with God. We pray that you may find a place like this yourselves during this Lenten season.

 

In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count). Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to

set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection. (Wikipedia)

 

It is our hope that during these 40 days we will all fill this time with reflection, repentance, sacrifice, prayer, study and praise. Isaiah 1:18a says, “Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord…”. Let us all set aside time in our busy schedules to set things right with the Lord. God loves us and wants to forgive us and to heal us. Also remember this as we move into the season of Lent: God is moving by His Spirit and the best is yet to come!!!

 

Be Encouraged In Jesus!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson