Ruth: A Story of Redemption

Dear Church Family,

During the announcements in online worship last weekend, Joe and Gillian Wolfe, our Live by Faith banner leaders, spoke about the importance of staying spiritually fit. Their words made me think of a section of Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Paul’s first letter to Timothy.

Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. 

1 Timothy 4:7b-9 (MSG)

I hope all of us are taking time to avoid spiritual flabbiness and keep fit, especially as we head out of summer and enter the busyness of the fall season. In addition to weekend worship, there are a number of ways our staff and leadership are helping us to keep fit (even as our building remains closed).

  • Morning Prayer every Monday-Friday at 8:30AM (EST) on our Facebook page (facebook.com/cofumc).
  • Live music with Julia Nicholas every Wednesday from 7-7:30PM on our Facebook page.
  • Devotions (written or video) every Monday-Friday generally around noontime on our Facebook page.
  • Meet Me in the Lobby (Zoom call for prayer and fellowship every Sunday from 9:30-10:25AM).
  • Daily written devotions on our Live by Faith Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/598060850780315).
  • Children and youth opportunities through Zoom and Facebook (contact us for more details).

Another new option that’s coming up is a study based on Pastor Adam Hamilton’s The Walk: Five Essential Practices of the Christian Life. Joe and Gillian spoke about this study in the announcements last weekend. However, since then, we’ve decided to revise (just a bit) how we are approaching it. Gillian will continue to lead a study (via GoToMeeting) on this book on Tuesday mornings. Then, similar to our 2020 studies on Philippians, Revelation, and James, I plan to lead a live study on Hamilton’s text every Thursday at 6:30PM from Facebook (beginning September 24). If you’ve been a part of any of the past studies I just mentioned, there’s no need to sign up for this one (since I already have you on my email list for the handout). However, if you haven’t been and would like to be involved, please drop me a note (cjones@communityoffaith.org). By the way, there’s no need to purchase the book in this new format (though you are certainly welcome to if that’s your preference). And there’s also going to be a chance for us to discuss our learnings on a special Facebook page!  

I hope all the above makes sense. If it doesn’t, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Joe and Gillian (livebyfaith@communityoffaith.org) or me for clarity!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two more things before closing out this note. First, a big THANK YOU to all of you who gave to our love offering for Trace Rudolph. I know these funds will help Trace out tremendously as he begins seminary this fall. Second, we are starting a brand-new series of messages this weekend based on the Old Testament book of Ruth. We’re calling the series “Ruth: A Story of Redemption.” Some variation of the word “redemption” shows up at least 23 times in Ruth. As we’re going to see, this story is all about redemption.

I look forward to “seeing” you online at some point this weekend for worship (and maybe for Meet Me in the Lobby,” too)! Until then, I hope you take care.  

Blessings,
Chris