Glimpses of Grace and Truth... Mary Pierce-Norton, from our UMC’s Board of Discipleship calls Holy Communion a sort of “Show-and-Tell Time," because Jesus took very ordinary elements - some unleavened bread and a cup of wine - and he filled them with great meaning. His use of a common loaf and a common cup made clear that Holy Communion is very much a communal act, that we not only gather in the same room but are joined together by the God who called us together.

So it is fitting that we remind each other that this table is Christ’s table and that all are welcome. Regardless of age or intellectual ability, from Oxford Scholars to Pre - Schoolers, regardless of social status or maturity of faith, from faithfulness of Mother Theresa to doubtful - ness of Thomas, all are welcome at Christ’s table. This sacramental meal brings us together. We at First UMC are also brought together by our mission and ministries that help us stay focused and make a bigger difference near and far.

Our Missions Team works hard every month for Communion Sunday, to teach us a bit about our congregation’s involvement in mission work. They’ve reminded us a few times about our 2017 missional priorities, which includes working to help children across the world and across the street. While our emphasis in June was to partner with our Annual Conference helping children in the Congo, our emphasis this month is helping kids in our neighborhoods and community.

As you probably know, we partner with several local organizations like New Life Union Mission, including their program called Weekend Food for Kids. This program reaches out through local schools to offer meals to children who would not otherwise have enough food over the weekend. Identifying children in need is accomplished best by those closest to our children, the teachers, faculty and staff of local schools. Once the children are identified, the program ensures the kids are provided nutritious, easy to prepare food which is sent home with them on Fridays during the school year.

In recent years, as many as 90 kids a week are involved in the program. All donations are used to purchase food that goes straight to the children. This is a truly effective way to touch kids in need in our own community. So when you come to the chancel this Sunday and are spiritually nourished by Holy Communion and prayer, consider leaving an offering that reaches out to those in need, knowing that gifts from God’s people carry a message: God cares and so do we. Look forward to seeing you Sunday as we serve Christ: Ed, Lea, your Missions Team and First UMC Family