Pastor’s Note

Pastor’s Note

Each week Lead Pastor Andy Bryan shares what’s on his heart. His messages both inform and inspire. Subscribe and stay ‘in the know’ about all things Manchester UMC!

Century 3 Possibilities - It starts with the mission. God has a mission, and so there is a church. The church exists to accomplish God’s mission. There are a lot of ways that the church expresses the mission, but…
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Love One Another - It is one of the most direct verses in the Bible. It cuts immediately to the core and leaves little room for questions.“Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their siblings, are liars; for…
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Century 3 Strategic Visioning - It was 1826 when this congregation was formally organized. Methodists had been meeting in the area prior to that, but as far as being “official,” that’s when Manchester Methodist Episcopal Church was chartered. That means that…
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Birthdays - I’m writing this on my birthday. Not just any birthday. Today, I turn 50.  I’m not really a big birthday guy; I tend to think of them as just another day. I’m not a huge partier,…
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Walking with Jesus - One of the most common metaphors for the Christian life is a “walk.” We hear it a lot, “how is your walk with Christ?” One of the important truths in this metaphor is the idea…
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Embody - The series title for our Easter Season worship services is “Becoming Human - Embodying Easter.” The series will center on the idea of being truly and fully human.The Nicene Creed (c. 325 CE) claims that…
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Palm Sunday Weirdness - Palm Sunday of 2020 was weird. We were just a few weeks into “Pandemic Mode” for our ministry, we were learning that it was likely going to be quite a bit longer than anticipated, the…
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Witness - The fifth and final promise that we make in our membership vows is a promise to “faithfully participate in the ministries of the church by our witness.”The word “witness” wasn’t always there. Prior to 2008,…
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Service - It feels rather audacious to preach a sermon about “service” at Manchester UMC, if I’m honest. I mean, “service” is kinda our thing around here, you know what I’m saying? It blows me away when…
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Gifts - We promise to “faithfully participate in the ministries of the church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness.” Methodists have heard these words over and over again, at every baptism,…
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Presence - “...to faithfully participate in the ministries of the church with our … presence…” To be present with and as the church is one of the baptismal vows made in the United Methodist Church, and one of…
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Lent 2021 The Fast I Choose The Fast I Choose - This week, we enter the season of Lent. Together as a community of faith, we will focus on the promises of our baptism in a worship series called “The Fast I Choose: Living with Intentionality.”  A…
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Feb 14 2021 sermon Transfiguration of the Church - This week, there is a moment in between. It is just one week, but it is noteworthy. This moment comes in between our “Unbudged in Their Tracks” series and the season of Lent. And the…
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Believe in Thy Butter - “The Butter Battle Book” was one of the last books published by Dr. Seuss. In 1984, when the book hit the bookshelves, the world was living through what was known as “The Cold War.” The…
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Caught in the Snide - This week’s Dr. Seuss story is one of the strangest. And when you consider how strange Dr. Seuss stories can be, that’s really saying something! I don’t know, maybe you feel differently, but a story…
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Stars Upon Thars - Now, the Star-Belly SneetchesHad bellies with stars.The Plain-Belly SneetchesHad none upon thars. So begins the Dr. Seuss story “The Sneetches,” written in 1961, just as the civil rights movement in the United States was coming into…
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Unbudged in Their Tracks - Dr. Seuss once said, “I don’t write for children, I write for people. Once a writer starts talking down to kids, he’s lost. Kids can pick up on that kind of thing.”  I wholeheartedly concur! I…
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church-window Re-Alignment - The prayer that follows the moment of baptism says, “The Holy Spirit work within you, that being born through water and the Spirit, you may be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.” One of the…
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Our Longing Hearts - Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;Dear desire of…
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A Wilderness of Being - In her dystopian novel “Future Home of the Living God,” author Louise Erdrich’s protagonist, Cedar Hawk Songmaker, is writing letters to her unborn child during her pregnancy. In these letters, Cedar explores various interpretations of…
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The Light - The physical attributes of light fascinate me. Light diffuses the farther away it travels from the source. The speed of light is a fundamental constant in nature. Light can be bent. Light can be reflected.…
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Prepare the Way - One of the words of Advent is “prepare.” Typically, during Advent we are preparing for gatherings, concerts, parties, special events, and trips to see loved ones. Typically, during Advent our preparations have some very specific interactions…
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At the Threshold At the Threshold - It is amazing how the development of language in and of itself can teach us so much. For example...The English word “Advent” is the term for the four-week season prior to Christmas Day. It comes…
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Safer At Home Order - It is a beautiful sunshiny day today, Monday, and the sky is brilliant blue. I hope each of you had at least a few moments to be outside and breathe deeply. The best of all…
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Advent Candle 2020 “Just One” - “Just One” by Andy Bryan One small act of goodness, one small gesture of grace, one small compassionate word offered in a time of struggle, one smile of understanding, a hand on a shoulder, a random text message just to say hi,one…
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Among You - Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look,…
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Thy Kingdom Come - We are heading into a brand-new worship series this Sunday, and it is going to be a worship service to remember!  It is “All Saints Sunday”, and we will remember and honor the saints of the…
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Entirely Sanctified - This week we are wrapping up a month-long series called “Turning the World Upside Down.” And we will do so by wrapping up the letter we have been studying all month, Paul’s first letter to…
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The Ethos of Manchester UMC - As we enter week three of our all-church study and visioning process, the energy around the church is really high! I love hearing reports about small group conversations, getting emails from people sharing ideas they…
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Why We Do What We Do - Manchester UMC’s “Turning the World Upside Down” series has only just begun, and it is already amazing! Sunday’s sermon included an interactive moment in which those who were worshiping responded to a question that I asked.…
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Manchester UMC Chapel Turning the World Upside Down - “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there…
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The River - This week we will wrap up our “Season of Creation” series with a message focusing on water. Specifically, “The River.”  It is amazing how often a river plays a role in Scripture, either an actual river…
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The Air and The Spirit - How cool is it that right here in the middle of our worship series “Season of Creation,” we are given a beautiful week of weather! Sunny, low to mid-eighties, down into the low sixties at…
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Green Thumbs - In the diverse array of gifts that God has given to human beings, there are those who can just look at a plant and it will burst forth with life and fruit and health. Their…
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eNews Sign-Up - Stay in the know on all things related to Manchester UMC! Sign up for weekly editions of eNews, distributed via email on Fridays. You'll also receive Pastor's Note, the weekly blog from Lead Pastor Andy…
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