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What’s the point of the Sabbath?

Dear Friends at Manchester UMC,
     I was the supervisor of United Methodist churches in the St. Louis area for eight years. In that capacity, I worshipped in a different church every Sunday. Without exception, every church I visited proclaimed that they were a friendly church. But as a visitor, the reality was quite different. Very often, no one welcomed me, and few actually talked to me. I seldom even got a nod or a smile. I was lucky to get a copy of the bulletin. After a while, I had to conclude that the church was friendly with the regular attenders, but visitors were pretty much on their own.
     What was going on with these churches?  Sabbath worship is the most important and most visible activity in the life of the church. Worship services are meant to be life-changing, molding hearts and souls. It was a continuing and perplexing experience. I am sad to report that after eight years, few churches changed much.
     What is supposed to happen on the Sabbath? What values are supposed to be communicated? What behaviors are on display? Observation of the Sabbath was of primary importance to the Jewish people. Keeping Sabbath was enshrined in the Ten Commandments. In our Scripture lesson for Sunday, Jesus has trouble with people regarding Sabbath observance. What is the point of it all? What should we expect from Sunday worship?  How are supposed to behave? To get ready for Sunday, read Mark 2:23-3:6.



Construction Update

The historic chapel elevator was disabled by a lightning strike on May 8th. The elevator was repaired on June 4 and is ready for use! A roofing company will be removing and replacing two sections of flat roof above the sanctuary roof over the next couple of weeks. These repairs

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