The mission of the Stanwood United Methodist Church is to love and honor God by committing our lives to Jesus Christ and inviting others to this commitment.

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Highlights for Week of August 31, 2014

Special Reminders: The church office will be closed Monday, Sept. 1 in observance of Labor Day

For Sunday, August 31, 2014:

Sermon Title: Authentic Love
Scripture: Romans 12:9-21
Worship Focus: Authentic love is expressed by those who have been “transformed” by God. Authentic love, genuine love, cannot possibly separate itself from expression in human relationships. Indeed, a Christian community is defined by the practice of authentic love. Christ’s gift of authentic love is the Magna Carta of the human soul and the primacy of the Christian life.
Rally Day!
September 7 is Rally Day and Back to School Blessing Sunday. All educators and students are encouraged to attend for a special appreciation of their hard work ahead.

Chancel and Handbell Choirs Resume
Chancel Choir is reconvening after a summer break. Nancy High is the director. If you are interested in singing in the choir, please meet in the sanctuary on Wednesday, September 3 at 7:15PM for their first rehearsal.
Handbell Choir will begin rehearsals starting Wednesday, September 10 at 6PM. Lynne Grabill is the director. She encourages anyone interested in playing the bells to attend the first rehearsal which will also take place in the sanctuary.

Tuesday Afternoon Bible Study
Two great courses are lined up for this class. Very different from one another.
“Embracing an Alternative Orthodoxy” will begin September 2 for the five Tuesdays of September. A Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr, will talk with filmed dialogue following. Topics include Atonement Theology, Eco-Spirituality, The Christ Who Existed Before Christianity, Living like Jesus and Mysticism over Moralism. Discussion will be lively!
Beginning the last Tuesday in October, will be a new curriculum title “Covenant.” The purpose of the study is to engage participants in conversations about the Biblical concept of the unique and special covenant between God and God’s fruitful people by studying the Bible together and applying the Bible to their personal story. Three eight-week modules, each dealing with a different aspect of what covenant means: Creating, Living and Trusting. Daily study and a weekly class session. Covers nearly all the books of the Bible. A good study for both those with limited experience with in-depth Bible study and those with extensive experience.
Classes are Tuesdays at 1:00 in the Blue Room. Open enrollment but good to let Barbara Dadd Shaffer know you are coming so enough books are ordered. 425-210-1399 or barbdadd@aol.com
United Methodist Women
The Puget Sound UMW District annual meeting and luncheon will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Snohomish UMC. There will be registration, refreshments, and book browsing at 9:30AM. The program will be from 10AM to 3PM. There will be an $8.00 charge for lunch, which must be sent in with your registration. The registration deadline is September 12th.
Please let Irene Bergstrom know at 387-7798 or fibergstrom@wavecable.com, if you are interested in attending this event. Once we have a count, we will coordinate transportation.
Lazy Daze
September 9-11
It’s not too late to get your registration in for the Lazy F retreat near Ellensburg for older adults. John Shaffer will be dean this year. Spiritual nourishment, fellowship, personal time, crafts, nature walks, etc., and let’s not forget the great food! Applications in the office.

New ConneXion Groups Start in September
Last year we launched a small group ministry called “ConneXion Groups.” Our goal is to help connect every parishioner in a small group where we can be known and know others, as well as grow in our spiritual lives together by study, service and fellowship. We are forming new ConneXion groups to start the week of September 8th and are beginning registration now. As we did last year, they will end in November near Thanksgiving (for a total of 12 weeks), and start again in February 2015.
If you are new to SUMC you might be wondering what exactly is the purpose of a ConneXion group. They are planned to offer food, fellowship, fun, and faith. There are basically three major goals: helping people know one another better, learning and growing spiritually, and working together on a short service project chosen by each group.
Each session will include sharing food appropriate to the time of day, and will last 1-1/2 to 2 hours. The groups will meet in various locations including the church and homes. You will be given choices based on the best day, time, and location for you. Each group will decide on a study, most of which will include a short video curriculum, and lots of discussion.
Some possible topics could include life issues (such as handling stress, family crisis), social justice, biblical topics, spiritual formation, peace-making, etc. There will be no cost to participants and no homework. What we will ask of participants is a commitment to attend all of the sessions or as many as possible.

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