Valentine’s Day Love Appears at PUMC (2/14/16)

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in God Moments, Knitting Ministries, UMW | 0 comments

The letters “PUMC” stands for “Pitman United Methodist Church”, but they mean so much more than a building, or a particular church, or an institution.  “PUMC” is simply a gathering of people who are motivated by the Holy Spirit to grow closer to God and to extend His love to others.  We are a people who see the Cross and react by reaching out our own arms.

In our church on this morning of the day we call Valentine’s Day, the Holy Spirit’s work of love was evident in many ways.  Here are but a few examples…

 

Hooks ‘n Needles / Scrappy Quilters

Two groups in our church actively use their skills in knitting, crocheting, and quilting to create items which are vehicles of God’s love to those who are going through times of special need.  The “Hooks ‘n Needles” ministry makes blankets and prayer shawls for babies and for those in the hospital.  The “Scrappy Quilters” make quilts for abused women.  These are just a few examples of the results of these talented people which are used to help others.  Check out the  “Thread and Yarn Ministries” page of this site to learn more.

But the love extended by these ministries doesn’t come only from the people who make the quilts and blankets; these ministers are acting in concert with the Holy Spirit, and also with the collective love of the entire church.

And so, on our altar rail on this special Sunday of Love, we prayed over these items.  We joined in the act of love that was being extended.

QuiltersDedication 2016-02-14 _20160214_122020QuiltersDedication 2016-02-14 _IMG_0575

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diapers

Nobody rose to the pulpit to speak about these, but tucked away under the alter rail another arm of God’s love was extended on this morning.  Diapers.  Baby wipes.  Common items, but things that are desperately needed by families with newborns.  Simple items,  but items that place a huge load on a family’s budget.QuiltersDedication 2016-02-14 diapers _IMG_0571

And so the United Methodist Women held a “diaper drive,” and placed some of the donated items on the altar rail.  During and after the services, prayers turned these simple items into vehicles of God’s love for needy families.

The diapers, wipes, and paper towels will be donated to the Camden Neighboorhood Center’s Daycare program.  This ministry operates 12 months a year for babies ages 6-36 months old.  It allows moms to work to provide for their families knowing their babies are safe.

By helping this program, we became conduits of God’s love to families living in Camden.

 

Hugs

Quietly amidst the pews, members gathered around one member and surrounded her with hugs and tears.  Death had suddenly struck a member of her family,  and the people of the church felt the pain of the family and entered into its mourning.  Words don’t suffice.  Even the skilfully crafted words in a Hallmark Valentines Day card can’t show love as much as a simple hug.

During the service we sang the familiar song, “Jesus Loves Me.”  We know that, not only because “the Bible tells me so,” but because His love constantly flows through the actions of His people.

 

Windshield Valentines

It was cold and windy; you didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the parking lot.  Just get into your car, start it up, start to get warm, and drive home.  But someone took the time to walk to each car and place a message in each windshield.

The message was simple:

God knows everything about you… and still loves you eternally.

Sometimes people who stuff papers under windshield wipers are motivated by dollars. They place messages that promote their business or their candidacy.  But on this special day, someone placed messages of Valantines Day love.  The message did not include the name of the messenger; it was anonymous.  The message didn’t promote a business or politician; it promoted our God and Creator.  These simple pieces of construction paper, coupled with the love and sacrifice of someone who walked through the cold parking lot during the service, demonstrated God’s Love.

Valentine2016- Windshield

 


 

These simple acts of love aren’t unique to Pitman United Methodist Church.  Acts of Gods Love aren’t limited to Valentines day.  On any day, the Holy Spirit motivates people to act in love.

On this day of Love we also celebrated holy communion.  We looked at ourselves and then looked at the awesome love that God offers thorough His grace.  It’s fitting that our tokens of love- blankets, quilts, and diapers- were placed beneath the Bread and Wine of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.

As the Apostle John wrote (1 John 4:10-11):   “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Pastor Jim said in his sermon that God’s Love must not only be Accepted, but it must also be Recycled.

Over and over, the Bible teaches us that God uses His people to be the hands in the world to bring action to His Love.  He blesses us so that we can be a blessing.  Here are just a few examples from the Gospel of Matthew…

God puts love into our hearts so that it can flow out through our mouths in speech, our arms in hugs, and our hands in action…

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

……

36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

 

Jesus Loves you… Are you loving Him Back???

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

 

 

 

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