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We’re starting a new series in October called "Error Messages." Whenever something wrong happens on your phone or your computer, a lot of times you get an error message that pops up. It tells you that something is wrong. It tells you that something is broken; that something isn’t working and functioning like it should. We don’t always understand what they’re telling us, but at least we have a pretty clear idea that there is something wrong that needs to be fixed.

In our lives, though, it’s not always that obvious. When something goes wrong in our lives, sometimes there’s a big red flag or something to warn us about what’s happening, but a lot of the time the signs that might be trying to tell us that go unnoticed or perhaps even ignored. So, for the next several weeks together, I want to take a look at what some of those warning signs are, these error messages of our emotions and our souls, the error messages that might be hiding in our emotional and spiritual lives and learn God's plan for effectively deterring, detecting, and defeating them.

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Our theme for this series is New Places for New People. Effectively creating new places for new people is at the heart of our mission as a church. What are the new places we can create inside and outside the church to develop relationships with new people? How does Scripture guide us in that process? How is God seeking to do a new thing in our midst? The Good News of Jesus Christ is meant to be shared. Our focus in this series is to seek how God is leading us as disciples to be makers of connection with others.


Over the next four weeks, as we go through this study on Luke’s Gospel, we are going to be looking at four stories that help us better understand what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ who is transforming the world. The four stories we will consider in this series are:

• The Parable of the Good Samaritan

• The Visit with Mary and Martha

• The Teaching on Prayer

• The Power of Possessions

So come on out and join us as we seek out the ways we can all live up to the calling we have to be disciples. It’s not just something for the long term Christian and it’s not just something for someone checking out the faith for the first time. It’s for all of us, no matter where we are on the journey, no matter what doubts we may have, and no matter if we’ve decided to believe or not. These are four ways that we can all come closer together, in community, and work for the benefit of the people around us.

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What is the book of Revelation about, really? This is a question that a lot of folks ask. When you read through it, it appears to be this book filled with frightening imagery, confusing symbols, and violent prophesies. Many of us have been taught that Revelation is all about the future; that Revelation is a book that is telling what will eventually happen at the end of time. The end result is that most of us avoid it entirely. Or, if we do try to read it, we get through it and don’t understand most of what we read. What if I were to tell you that the Revelation of John is not some scary book about war and the Antichrist and plagues happening on all people left here after the rapture (which the rapture isn’t even in the Bible, it’s a made up thing inserted by theologians to explain away other things) and is instead a book written to a people who were in a time of dire trouble, threat of violence, and horrible fear. What if I were to tell you that Revelation is not a book telling us what is going to happen in the future, but is instead a book that seeks to tell us that even when the world has thrown its worst at us, God is still God, good will still win over evil, and the Divine will always be working to make sure the worst of things is never the last of things? I’d like to invite you to join us over the next several weeks as we break down the book of Revelation and see what it is, and isn’t, about. I think you might be surprised. It might move from becoming the book you knew nothing about and avoided to one of your most favorite promises in the Bible. We’d love for you to be our guest.

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This week at Fredericktown United Methodist, we are starting a new series called "Jesus Said What Now?" It's easy for us to get behind and champion the teachings of Jesus that we like. Loving our neighbor we're OK with. Loving our enemies? That one we're not so sure about. You want us to help the poor, Jesus? OK, we're good on that one. Wait... you want us to forgive others? And not just once but over and over again? Let me think about that one. Through this series, we're going to be digging into the teachings of Jesus that we really wish he hadn't said. What do they mean and do they mean what we have always thought they meant? We would love for you to be our guest as we explore them together!

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We'll be starting off a brand new message series on Easter Sunday called "Love Is..." which takes a look at exactly what Easter is all about. Have you had a hard time reconciling the message of Easter with the idea of a God that demanded Jesus die on the cross? Has that image of a "monster God" stuck with you and made you not able or not willing to believe or embrace Easter or the faith? Join us for worship at Fredericktown UMC this Easter and hear the true message of Easter that the followers of Christ believed in the beginning before religion messed things up. The answer you find, might just open things up for you in a new way.

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We've started a brand new message series called "Lent - 40 Days of Renewal" where we will be taking a look at a lot of the myths we have about Lent seeing it as a way for us to be renewed. Here's a preview: you don't have to give up coffee or chocolate. In fact, we will have both coffee and chocolate available in the church, just like we always do.

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We're starting a brand new message series at Fredericktown UMC this week! It's called Dislike and uses a lot of the ideas and imagery of social media, and the pressures that it puts on us, to take a look at how we connect with each other in the world today. I hope to encourage people to focus less on what they are getting off social media and the echo chambers that we get ourselves trapped in and focus in more on connecting with people in real, tangible, in person ways. I believe that when we do that, we will find that a lot of what we have thought or "disliked" about other people and about ourselves will fade away and we will begin to see people more like God does; less like a profile to be skimmed and make assumptions about, and more like a person to be known for who they truly are.

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A lot of the time, I think we have this idea in mind of the Bible being filled will all these perfect people doing perfect things, especially in regards to Jesus' family line and what not. And all the blessings they received were because they did everything right and that earned them the outcome they were seeking. That couldn't be further from the truth. The Bible is filled with flawed, broken, imperfect people that mess up, fail, and make mistakes like the rest of us. And, just like the rest of us, they were still seen by God as beloved children, worthy of love and grace and hope and a way to start again. In this series, we'll be taking a look at all the ways we can "start again" in this new year though the stories of folks in the Bible and the ways they experienced God in the midst of their messy lives.

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Over the years, we’ve added a lot to the Christmas story. Have we maybe added so much on top of it to make it calmer and more relaxing that we’ve lost the real meaning underneath it all? Join us for our new series “The Heart of Christmas” as we look to open all the wrappings we’ve put on this gift to find Christmas’ heart inside.