Faith UMC 2015 Mission and Vision Devotions – September 2015

September 2015

This Is What Anointing Looks Like

Scriptures, Reflections, & Prayers for Faith UMC’s Mission & Vision

His purpose was to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son.” – Ephesians 4:12-13 CEB

Has any one ever asked you to do something and your first reaction was to wonder why they would ever think you could do what they were asking you to do?

Me, teach Sunday School? Lead games for youth? Be a Confirmation mentor? Facilitate an adult group?

You might be able to relate to Moses. Like many of us, Moses gave God many excuses as to why he could not  respond to his calling.  As Moses gave God excuse after excuse, God’s response remained the same.  God promised to be with Moses and help Moses do all that God was asking him to do. Moses may have seemed like an unlikely leader, but God had anointed Moses for a special purpose. The same is true for us.

oil_11349cp (1)God doesn’t always call the equipped, but he always equips those he calls. This is a promise we can count on. This month’s scripture from Ephesians reminds us that God equips people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ. Some are called to be teachers, helpers, cooks, nursery caregivers, bus drivers, mentors, and greeters, but all are called. As we are called, God equips us to do what we’ve been called to do all for the purpose of building up the body of Christ until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of Christ. God wants us to become mature and realize the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

I hope you hunger for the fullness of Christ. I hope that the next time someone mentions that you would be a great Sunday School teacher, or Wednesday Night helper, Youth mentor, nursery caregiver, worship leader or adult group leader that your first response won’t be, “Oh not me. I could never do that.” But that you will first stop and pray and trust the nudge that God may be placing on  your heart, remembering that God promises to be with you and will equip and empower you and provide you with everything you need to respond to your calling. When you respond to God’s anointing, you will be blessed in ways beyond anything you could ever imagine. You will experience the fullness of Christ and God’s Kingdom will flourish.

Read more about Moses and God’s call in Exodus 3–4.

Prayer:  Dear God, Help me to hear and respond to your call, remembering that just as you equipped and empowered Moses, your anointing means that you also promise to be with me. Lead and guide me, Lord. Use me according to your will so that we will reach unity in the faith and experience the fullness of Christ. Amen.

Septembers Prayer Focus: Empowering God, bless and strengthen Faith’s Sunday School teachers, Small Group and Youth Ministry leaders.

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Faith UMC 2015 Mission and Vision Devotions – August 2015

August 2015

This Is What Anointing Looks Like

Scriptures, Reflections, & Prayers for Faith UMC’s Mission & Vision

“Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed one; God answers his anointed one from his heavenly sanctuary, answering with mighty acts of salvation achieved by his strong hand.” Psalm 20:6, CEB

Many years ago a brand new school was being built in our neighborhood. My family lived at the top of the hill and I could watch the school being built brick by brick. I was excited to attend this brand new school and the best part was I could now walk to school.

On the first day of school the neighborhood children happily gathered and streamed down the hill to the new school. When we got to the intersection to cross the street no provisions had been made to assist the children to safely get to the other side. Traffic did not stop for the walkers.

oil_11349cp (1)My Dad became the self  appointed  crossing guard. He did not have a shiny  vest ,  stop sign or a crossing gate but had loving concern, big hands and a yardstick. Everyday he walked down to the intersection held up his hand to stop the cars, extended that yardstick and helped the children safely cross the street.

I often encounter crossing guards in my travels, attired in their shiny vests protecting the children as they cross the road. I usually smile, wave and sometimes give them the thumbs up. I think of my Dad and how he protected me and helped me safely get to the other side. This is how our Heavenly Father travels with us. He sees the danger, fear, and uncertainties in our lives and protects us. God holds us and helps up to get through our perils and safely continue our journey toward Him.  God saves us by His strong mighty hand.

Prayer:  Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your steadfast presence and those people in our lives that journey with us on the road to the Kingdom. Help us to trust in you when we face crossroads in our lives. Help us to remember that you hear the prayers of your anointed children and and save us by your strong hand. Amen.

Cheryl Froelich, Faith Kitchen Coordinator

August’s Prayer Focus: Teaching Lord, we pray for the teachers, students and schools in our community.

August’s Prayer Focus: Teaching Lord, we pray for the teachers, students and schools in our community.

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The Butterfly Effect


Did you know that the soft gentle flap of a butterfly wing is eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet?

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? 

In 1963 a scientist named Edward Lorenz presented this hypothesis at a science convention. Not surprisingly, his colleagues laughed him out of the conference. After all, to propose that the gentle flutter of a butterfly wing could start a hurricane was crazy! 

 Imagine the surprise when more than 30 years later, Edward’s hypothesis was proven to be true. The butterfly effect was now a scientific law, The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions. Further, this principle has been proven to involve more than just butterfly wings. 

Do you believe that the little things you do to support and encourage the children, youth, and adults in our congregation and community can one day change the world?

With God’s help, in and through your words and actions, lives will be changed, a ripple effect will begin because of what you do today!

Your life and the little things you do has meaning and purpose.

Your Actions…Your Life…And what you do today…


This summer during Camp Read-a-Lot and Created By God, we shared the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31) Simple words, but actions that profoundly impact the world. Don’t underestimate how the little things you say or do make a difference. Don’t underestimate how God might use your actions to plant seeds of hope in someone’s heart that may change their life and even the world. 

I know this to be true because God used this butterfly effect to change my life. As a college freshman, the simple task of standing up in class and saying my name would induce panic, anxiety attacks and hyperventilation. I was extremely shy, no self-confidence, self esteem lower than low. Until one day, in a conversation with a campus minister, Rev. Tom Douce made a comment that changed my life. It was just a casual comment, in which he told me that he wouldn’t be surprised if one day he would pick up a magazine and read an article about something I had accomplished. 

You see, God used that comment to bring to my mind something my high school French teacher, Mrs. Christy Thorley, had said a few years earlier. She told me that she believed that one day I would do great things. At the time, I was too insecure to believe it. But after the conversation with Rev. Douce, I started to believe that maybe there was some truth in their words. God had planted their words deep in my soul. The Holy Spirit brought those words from the depth of my soul and into my heart and head at just the right time. Their words of encouragement profoundly impacted my life and eventually, many years later, led to my being able to respond to God’s call to ministry, despite how crazy it seemed that someone so shy could possibly be used by God in this way. 

What words of encouragement and hope is God calling you to speak into someone’s life today?

How might God use the little things you say and do to change someone’s life?

Your Actions…Your Life…And what you do today


And so when you feel the Holy Spirit flutter in your heart and mind, speak those words and respond with your actions, as you never know how God might use your words and actions to change someone’s life. Believe that what you say and do today matters and makes a difference in the lives of the children, youth, and adults in our families, congregation and community and ultimately for the Kingdom of God. This is the transformation that Jesus invites us to participate in. Believe it! Your actions can and do change the world!

Dear God, thank you for butterflies and scientists, teachers, friends and counselors who make a difference in the world. Help us to be an instrument of your life changing power in the world today. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Kathy Schmucker, Faith UMC’s Spiritual Formation Director


The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

 The Kid Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews

The Butterfly Effect

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Faith UMC 2015 Mission and Vision Devotions – July 2015

July 2015

This Is What Anointing Looks Like

Scriptures, Reflections, & Prayers for Faith UMC’s Mission & Vision

Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presences of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.” – 1 Samuel 16:13 NRV

 As a youth within this amazing church body, I couldn’t help but relate myself to this scripture. David, the youngest of all his brothers was called by God and anointed to do His will. Neither Samuel, nor any of David’s brothers assumed David was the one God was calling for.

As of about two years ago, I started to become very active within our church community. Beforehand, I felt since I was just a youth, I couldn’t make any significant impact in the church. My only involvement was attendance most Sunday mornings and some youth-based participation. Then, I began to feel God calling me to do more; to make a difference.

oil_11349cp (1)I spent time in prayer, asking God how He wanted to use me. It was through that spiritual connection with God that I answered my call- to anoint others after personally being anointed. I had the blessing to serve as a Leader for the Wednesday Night Faith Connection’s program where I worked with younger students who were just beginning their journey of faith.

Through this experience, I had the blessing to impact many young lives and show them that the youth play an important role in the foundation of our church body. God calls each of us for special purposes; it doesn’t matter our age, our race, our walk of faith, etc. God will anoint us and use us in ways we never even dreamed of.

The spirit of the Lord is now and forever upon us.

Prayer: Lord, Teach me to love unselfishly, teach me to share without counting costs. Teach me to adore You without restraint, giving my all and to follow Your will. Let me see You in every person I meet. Just let me see the beauty of life every day, appreciating the sunrise or a bit of the rain, knowing that in all these You are always there.

Before there was anything, you molded us and breathed life into us. You called us by name and anointed us with a purpose. Allow us to fulfill our purpose and to anoint our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It is in your name we prayer, Amen.

AJ Brokaw, Youth High School Graduate, Wednesday Night Faith Connections Leader

July’s Prayer Focus: O Lord, use us through Camp Read-a-Lot to anoint children and youth with your loving care.

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Faith UMC 2015 Mission & Vision Devotions – June 2015

June 2015

This is What Anointing Looks Like

Scriptures, Reflections, & Prayers for Faith UMC’s Mission & Vision

“They brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.”  Mark 6:13, The Message

oil_11349cp (1)This passage from the book of Mark describes what happened when Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs. Jesus instructed and empowered the disciples to proclaim that people needed to change their hearts and lives. As they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies and healing their spirits, the name of Jesus became well-known.

This summer our congregation is called and anointed to reach out to our community in Christ’s love through VBS, Camp Read-A-Lot, Created By God, Youth Mission Trip and Middle School Mission Week.

Picture a cup of cool water in your mind and imagine how it feels for your thirst to be quenched by the water.

Refreshed. Renewed. Replenished. Re-energized.

“I assure you that everybody who gives even a cup of cold water to these little ones because they are my disciples will certainly be rewarded.”  Matthew 10:40, 42

water_7530cnAs a cup of cool water refreshes our bodies, the love of Christ refreshes and renews our lives. This is the heart of what we will be sharing at Faith UMC in and through our summer ministries. We will share a cup of cool water that comes in the form of games, music, literacy and reading, Bible  adventures, science experiments, self-esteem and sexuality discussions, service and mission projects. We will make the name of Jesus known as we reach out in love to the kids and families whom God sends to us this summer. We will be anointed, spiritually strengthened, refreshed, and nourished as we experience spiritual renewal and healing in and through our summer ministries and missions.

Look for Jesus’ anointing and spiritual healing in the ways you share a cup of cool water this summer.

Prayer: Gracious and loving God, thank you for the privilege of sharing your love and grace with others. Equip and empower us to bring wellness and anointing to others so that your name will be made know. Amen. 

Kathy Schmucker, Spiritual Formation Director

June’s Prayer Focus: Loving God, strengthen and  bless Vacation Bible School and the  Youth Mission Trip.

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Faith UMC 2015 Mission & Vision Devotions

May 2015

This is What Anointing Looks Like

Scriptures, Reflections, & Prayers for Faith UMC’s Mission & Vision

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” Hebrews 1:9

God anointed his only begotten Son with the oil of gladness. He filled him with joy. Pentecost is May 24th this year. The day Christ fulfilled the promise of God to send an advocate to be with his disciples. (John 14:26) (Acts 1:8)

oil_11349cp (1)To be filled with the Holy Spirit; Emmanuel (God with us) (Matthew 1:23). The truth of this promise is the most awe inspiring, humbling, joyous reality there is, it boggles the mind. The power of the Holy Spirit working amongst the children of God was most strongly revealed to me on my first Emmaus retreat. It was the beginning for me. The beginning of true love. The power that I felt amongst the followers of Christ as they turned the event over to the guidance of the Holy Spirit was life changing.

Jesus Christ alive in us; all the gifts that God gave his only begotten Son, shared with us, brought to life in us. Every single one of us is a walking miracle, proof of the resurrection, limited only by fear or low expectations. We give into sin because we are human but because of Jesus we are forgiven. If we lay down the burden of our sins every night, if we pray for the Spirit to shine his light on our dark places and destroy our shadows we can rest quietly and wake up whole and full of God’s Spirit. Each day is a gift of love, of grace. If we cling to this promise we become stronger in the Spirit and we grow towards fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

We are the church, the living body of Christ. We are anointed with the oil of gladness.

Prayer: Sweet Jesus awaken is us the the fruit of your Spirit so that we may attract others to the joy of being cleansed by your grace, loved by you just as we are so that we can grow to be just as you are, transformed by your Holy Spirit within us. Amen

Lorrie Goss, Spiritual Formation Team Co-Leader

May’s Prayer Focus: Anointing God, may gladness come to our families bringing laughter and new life.

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This is What Anointing Looks Like ~ April 2015 ~ Scriptures, Reflections, and Prayers for Faith UMC’s 2015 Mission and Vision

April 2015

This is What Anointing Looks Like

Scriptures, Reflections, & Prayers for Faith UMC’s Mission & Vision

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me……. Isaiah 61: 1

What does it mean: that the Lord has anointed me? Does it mean that I have been especially chosen? Does it mean that I have been especially blessed? Does it mean that God has something special that He wants me to do?

oil_11349cp (1)I believe that it means all of the above and that it is not just ME. He means ALL of us. We are all special in God’s sight and we all have a very special job to do.

I would like to share a special story from last Easter. Our oldest daughter, Shannon, was running her fourth Boston Marathon. She had crossed the finish line the year before about two hours before the bombing (a blessing in itself). In 2014 the race was actually on Easter weekend and we were attending church at The Old South Church located at the finish line. Each of the runners in attendance was presented with a hand knitted scarf. People from all over the world had knitted the scarves to wrap love around the runners and to encourage them to not be afraid. They had been anointed by God to do that knitting. It was something special that God wanted them to do.

I know that the knitters were blessed because Shannon was able to contact the lady who made her scarf and they have become very close friends.

God anoints us ALL. God anoints us all in very different ways. It could be in knitting a scarf, it could be in reading a story to a child, it could be in fixing dinner for a friend who is ill. The point is that WE are blessed when we are anointed and what could be better than to have the Spirit of the Lord upon us?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for all of the ways that You bless us. Please help us to bless others in any way we can.

Sharon McConnell, Faith UMC Sunday School Teacher

April’s prayer focus: Risen Lord, anoint us and our community each day to know your love and grace in new and deeper ways.

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