Busy: Reconnecting with an Unhurried God
Lent 2018
The season of Lent has often been a time when we think about ‘giving something up,’ a hold-over from Lent’s penitential flavor in the medieval church. But, this year, what if we thought less about ‘giving up’ and more about ‘making room?’ In this Lent series we will find out what it really costs to be so BUSY as we explore what it looks like to reconnect to an unhurried God.
Ash Wednesday: February 14
  • Worship at 3:30 & 7:00 pm
  • On Valentine’s day, we gather to connect with the heart of God.
  • Our Lenten worship series begins with the beautiful words from Matthew 11—Come to me all who are weary…
Lent 1: February 18—The Right Tempo
  • We live in a busy world. Our days and weeks can seem so full. God invites us to find a tempo of living that makes room for rest, relationship…for God. In the silence, let us open our hearts and souls to our Creator. Let us pay attention to our breathing and remember that it is the very breath of God.
  • Worship is at 10:00 am & 5:00 pm, with Holy Communion at both services.
  • Scripture Readings: Psalm 25:1-10 & Mark 1:9-15
Lent 2: February 25—Tuning In
  • One Service Only at 10:00 am, followed by soup luncheon and matinee performance of Cool in the Furnace.
  • We live in a busy world. The idea of being still seems impossible, and in reality, not that terribly desirable. Today’s gospel reading takes place while Jesus and his disciples are traveling on the road to Caesarea Philippi. In Mark’s fast-paced gospel, Jesus and his followers are busy: feeding 4000 people, arguing and debating with religious leaders, healing people. There is no room for stillness, contemplation, deep listening, silence. And so, when Jesus speaks a hard truth, Peter can’t hear him, and instead tries to correct his Lord, Teacher, and Master. We live in a busy world, but we must make time for stillness as well. Let us be still and listen for the whisper of the Spirit.
  • Scripture Readings: Romans 4:13-17, Psalm 19, Mark 8:31-38
Lent 3: March 4—Preparing a Table
  • The 23rd Psalm is a great comfort to us as we imagine green pastures and still waters. Yet, this Psalm also speaks of dark valleys and calls us to prepare a table in the presence of our enemies. Our unhurried God is present with us in the good times and in the difficult times. God invites us to be radically present to each other in the same way. Have we been too busy to be present?
  • Worship at 10:00 am & 5:00 pm, with Holy Communion at both services
  • Scripture Readings: Psalm 23 & John 2:13-22
Lent 4: March 11—Living Light
  • On the fourth Sunday of Lent, you are invited to live lighter. You are invited to lay down the burdens you have been carrying: stresses and pressures, responsibilities and worries, obligations and expectations. I know that some of them must be picked up again before you leave that Sunday’s service. But for that moment of worship, you may lay them down.
  • Worship at 10:00 am & 5:00 pm
  • Scriptures: Ephesians 2:1-10, Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22, & John 3:14-21
Lent 5: March 18—Give It a Rest
  • The commandment to keep the Sabbath might not seem as important as the ones about not killing, not stealing, or not lying. Sabbath keeping often gives way to full schedules…or exhausted lives. But what, and who, suffers in our society when we don’t make time for Sabbath?
  • Worship at 10:00 am & 5:00 pm
  • Scriptures: Jeremiah 31:31-33, Psalm 119:9-16, John 12:20-33
Palm & Passion Sunday: March 25—A Service of Palms, Poetry, & Song
  • Through scripture and poetry, we will journey the events of Holy Week as we prepare for the Resurrection light of Easter morning.
  • Worship at 10:00 am & 5:00 pm.
Holy Week Services:
  • Maundy Thursday: March 29 @ 7:00 pm—A Service of Word, Footwashing, Communion, & the Stripping of the Sanctuary.
  • Good Friday: March 30 @ 12:10 pm—An Ecumenical Service of Scripture, Poetry, & Music
  • Good Friday: March 30 @ 7:00 pm—The Stations of the Cross
~ A digital walk on our large screen of the Stations of the Cross, detailing Jesus’ journey
    to the cross.
Resurrection Services—April 1, 2018
  • “Sunrise” Service at 8:30 am in the Sanctuary
  • Resurrection Service at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary
  • No evening worship or classes
Spiritual & Devotional Resources for our Lenten Journey
  • Devotional Booklets:
~ Finding Peace in Lent: Reflections on St. Francis Peace Prayer
~ A Wondrous Love: Henri J.M. Nouwen & C. S. Lewis
  • For Children/Families:
~ Free Email Devotions from Sparkhouse—The Promise of Easter! Sparkhouse produces the curriculum we use for our children’s educational ministries. This year they are offering a free email devotional for families. To sign up to receive the weekly emails, go to this link: https://info.1517.media/acton/media/33371/the-promise-of-easter?sid=TV2:s0NeCqtgN
~ Stations of the Cross coloring pages—Let coloring be a devotional practice. Beautiful, contemporary, detailed, and appropriate for all ages. Ask the church office for copies.
  • For Small Groups: Darkwood Brew’s video and discussion series: Busy-Reconnecting to an Unhurried God. Gather a few friends or a small group for a six week series based on our worship series. Each week contains a 20-ish minute video with guided discussion at indicated pauses in the video. Busy is based on the great commandment—To love God with all that we are and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, putting emphasis on self-love, i.e. self-care. As we make room for Jesus this Lent, let Darkwood Brew help you enjoy the benefits of prayer, reflection, worship and recreation in addition to work. All videos are on a flash drive and available through the church office with a printed guide.

Our Academic Year Schedule 

10:00 am Morning Ministry:

Our morining worship gathers in the sanctuary at 10:00 am. Music is led alternating between our beautiful organ and the Steinway piano. Our sanctuary choir provides a variety of musical offerings as well. The format of the service is traditional, but with varying liturgy and worship elements.  Our children begin with us in worship. Following the sermon they travel down to our education wing for Sunday school with our adult teachers. 

Following worship we join together in a coffee/tea fellowship in the Fellowship Hall, quick journey from the sanctuary. The teachers will bring our children up to the fellowship time around 11:15 to meet their parents/guardians. A nutritional snack is provided for them, along with the fellowship foods.

5:00 pm The Gathering Evening Ministry:

The Gathering is a relatively new ministry here at First UMC Oneonta. Worship begins at 5:00 pm in the sanctuary with our awesome band, Crossfire. Lyrics and other details are projected on a big screen and the worship lighting is lower creating an intimate feel in our large space. Following worship is a community meal and educational ministries. See our Gathering page and Education pages.

Holy Communion

We serve Holy Communion normally on the first Sundays of each month and on holy days, such as Christmas, Easter, and           Pentecost. Our Communion bread is gluten free, homemade, and tasty. We are happy to accomodate other allergies, food intolerances, or needs. Simply speak to the pastor or lay leaders. 

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