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7-3-21 FUMC Updates

Happy July 4th! I hope you’re enjoying this mid-summer reminder of how truly BLESSED we are to live in America! I am happy to be back from my 2-week vacation and I can tell you that with Covid vaccination rates increasing people ARE traveling again, hotel occupancies ARE increasing, and restaurants ARE getting busy again!  What a difference a year makes!

I love the July 4th holiday because it reminds me of how proud I truly AM to be an American! I realize there is a small fraction of people who disagree, but oh how I wish they could understand that our country is great because GOD is our foundation … not a President, not a Supreme Court and not a Congress! Men and women are not perfect, so our country is not perfect, but our country was founded on Godly principles and so to me … July 4th IS a religious holiday!

I read a great story from TIME Magazine about John F. Kennedy that puts this into perspective …

“On July 4, 1946, Kennedy — then 29 years old, the Democratic nominee for a Massachusetts Congressional seat, and still a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve — was the featured speaker at the City of Boston’s Independence Day celebration. He spoke at Faneuil Hall, the red-brick building where long ago the colonists had gathered to protest taxes imposed by King George III and his Parliament.

Kennedy began by talking not about taxes, or about the British, or about the consent of the governed, but about religion. ‘The informing spirit of the American character has always been a deep religious sense. Throughout the years, down to the present, a devotion to fundamental religious principles has characterized American thought and action,’ he said.

For anyone wondering what this had to do with Independence Day, Kennedy made the connection explicit. ‘Our government was founded on the essential religious idea of integrity of the individual. It was this religious sense which inspired the authors of the Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.’”

Kennedy wasn’t the only politician who saw GOD in our foundational principles…

The Declaration of Independence issued from Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, included four separate references to God. In addition to the “endowed by their Creator” line mentioned by JFK in his July 4 speech, there is an opening acknowledgment to “the laws of nature’s God,” an appeal to “the Supreme Judge of the World,” and a closing expression of “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”  George Washington, announcing the Declaration of Independence to the troops in a General Order dated July 9, wrote, “The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavor to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country….knowing that now the peace and safety of his Country depends (under God) solely on the success of our arms.”

I pray that the theology of our country’s founding will NOT be forgotten! Sure, the Declaration’s concept of God-given rights certainly is not without its flaws but without a belief in God that should be the foundation of a strong moral fiber, what do we have?

So, amid all the barbecues and fireworks this July 4, take just a moment and reflect on our Creator. As Kennedy realized, the American Revolution, which resulted in the free we live in today, started with God, and with the Founders’ belief in rights that are His gift to us!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 7th, 6 pm, FELLOWSHIP MEAL… I look forward to seeing you at our first Wednesday Fellowship meal in the Family Life Center … I’d love to meet your friends so bring a guest!

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT, Friday, July 9 … thanks to all of you who are MINISTRY SAFE trained and ready to roll!  The sign-ups for the next 2 events are ready now so just CLICK HERE and pick the spots you want! Parents:  let us know your kids will be coming … if you came last month, there’s no need to register again, but if your kids are coming for the 1st time or you have friends that want to save time and register online, CLICK HERE. And yes, everyone can register at the door!

REMINDER NO CHILDREN’S CHURCH on JULY 11th … we will have communion on July 11th so as always, there will not be children’s church.

IMPROVEMENTS AT THE CHURCH:  the Trustees are working on the sidewalk in front of the sanctuary to renovate two parking spaces to help people getting from their vehicle to the front doors. While there have been some weather delays, we’re looking forward to the improvements being complete.

Hope to see you Wednesday night!
Pastor Debbie