How Easter is done at Point Pleasant
By Linda Floyd
Here are details of how Point Pleasant is celebrating Easter this year.
Our creative energies are being combined with the creative folks at Elk Grove UMC to do a shared Good Friday worship service at EGUMC and finishing off the shared worship with the Sunrise service at PPUMC’s Ministry Center, in the Great Room.
The Good Friday service will feature a “Reader’s Theater and music from both churches along with visuals. This service is at Elk Grove UMC on Friday, April 3 at 8pm in the Sanctuary.
The 6pm Evening Celebration is moved to 6am every Easter Sunday. This year’s Sunrise Service brings a new collaboration with Elk Grove UMC. Worshipers will gather in the Ministry Center’s Great Room this year to witness an Easter morning message, hear scripture and sing a few songs before celebrating Holy Communion, which will be held on the lawn in front of the Ministry Center, facing the east and the dawning of the new day. This service takes less than an hour. Due to its unique location, this experience is both reflective and breath-taking (watching the sun rise over the Sierras in the east).
At the end of the
Sunrise Service, everyone hustles into the comfort and warmth of the Fellowship Hall for a hearty pancake breakfast put on by our Youth Fellowship. This breakfast includes hot coffee and juice, fruit, ham and of course, pancakes. A donation basket will be out to help cover the cost of the food. This is one of the youth group’s few fundraisers. If you didn’t get up in time for the Sunrise Service but you want your pancake breakfast, be in the Fellowship Hall around 7am. The meal is done and cleaning begins before 8am so everyone can head over to the 9am Morning Celebration.
This year’s Morning Celebration will feature the praise band as they bring us uplifting, high spirited Easter-Resurrection music. During the service, there will be scripture read, Holy Communion and a special Easter Message. This service is in the Great Room.
Easter Sunday is the only time that fellowship after the Morning Celebration is held in the Fellowship Hall, not the Ministry Center lobby. At the conclusion of the worship service, everyone heads down the hill to the Fellowship Hall where snacks, coffee and juice await. This is also the once a year
“dual fellowship time” with the 11am Traditional Worship congregation invited to show up a half hour before their service to fellowship with the 9am worshipers. (There is no fellowship time after the 11am worship service.)
During this fellowship time, the church’s children get together for an Egg Hunt in the yard behind the Fellowship Hall. The eggs are hidden by our teens after the Pancake Breakfast cleanup. The Egg Hunt begins around 10:30am, giving families enough time to get to the hall from the Ministry Center.
Going out in age groups, these kids are alternately cute, toddling to pick up one egg, while mom or dad scoop up a few more for their baskets; or quick and zany as the older kids run circles around each other, looking for the hidden treasures. And there are always a few adults looking on, who point out the hard to find eggs. Children are encouraged to bring an Easter basket for the egg hunt which is sponsored by the Sunday school teachers. The Egg Hunt is for all children, not just the Sunday school students.
By the time the kids have grabbed up all the Easter Eggs, the 11am Traditional Easter Service is ready to start. The Chancel Choir enthusiastically presents energetic Resurrection music praising God’s glory throughout the worship service. Scripture, a meaningful Easter Message and Holy Communion fill out the 11am Traditional service.
Be sure to check out the Easter Cross of Flowers that will be in the Ministry Center at 9am and near the Sanctuary at the 11am service. This large cross is woven with greenery and assorted fresh flowers, a work of art, lovingly constructed by members of the Chancel Guild. You’re invited to have your picture taken in front of the flower cross after each service.
Come, take part in any or all of the day’s worship opportunities.
Women, looking for a SPA Weekend?
By Leanna Schulz
God calls us to "come apart", to leave the ordinary and enter the extraordinary...to step into a sacred space of soothing colors, fragrant scents, rippling fountains and enter the SPA, the place of Spiritual Pampering and Awakening.
Once at the SPA, you’ll experience rest...connection... music...prayer...laughter...renewal...scripture....contemplation…art.
A journey to wholeness doesn't happen in one weekend, but we will begin by taking steps that bring us focus, relaxation, insight, an opportunity for healing at the feet of God, nurture for our souls through prayer and worship and pampering for our bodies.
We will do Spiritual Personal Assessments that will help us look at our personal need for resting in God's presence, deep cleansing, body image perspective, spiritual cardiotherapy, and internal make-overs. There will be time for solitude, for gathering, for taking walks, for looking at the stars, for creating, for reconnecting and renewal.
All women are welcome to join us at one of two opportunities for SPA. The SPA will be featured locally on April 17-19 (from Friday evening to Sunday 1 pm) at PPUMC. The cost is $80 and will include meals, and materials for thoughtful study and creative expression. Childcare is available for this retreat, but reservations must be made in advance.
The SPA will also be offered at an away location, in a bed and breakfast type facility at Silver Spur Retreat Center in Sonora on April 24-27 (Friday dinner through Monday noon). The tuition for this retreat is $215 and includes 3 nights stay, 8 meals, and materials for thoughtful study and creative expression in the scenic mountain location.
There will be opportunities to have a 30 or 60 minute massage at this away retreat for an additional cost. Reservations for the massage are required with registration. There is a maximum of 20 women for the Sonora SPA.
Please prayerfully consider joining us and bringing a friend. I can promise you that it will be time well spent. Sign-ups will close on April 1. Contacts for questions are Leanna Schulz at 684-2242 or Cindy Capel at 685-1731.
PPUMC Helps Change the World
With International Weekend
By Linda Floyd
Joining up with thousands of Change the World projects performed by United Methodists throughout the world on May 16 to 17, 2015, this year’s PPUMC Change the World Project will benefit two communities that help make up our family here.
On Saturday we will sponsor a Dia del Nino Carnival in the Fellowship Hall and back yard. On Sunday, our Cambodian family members will put on a Cambodian food fundraiser for a mission trip this summer to help bring relief to Cambodia.
May 16 - Bring your children to Día del Niño (Children's Day) at Point Pleasant UMC. This year we’re celebrating Día del Niño on Saturday, May 16th. This multi-cultural event will highlight activities that are typical of Día del Niño in Mexico.
Point Pleasant UMC is a rural church with a rich history of mission works in the community and the world. We invite our Spanish, English and Khmer speaking families and friends to a day of games, arts and crafts, food and beverages, storytelling and music. There will be activities for all ages, and it's all free.
Activities start off at 10am on the lawn behind Fellowship Hall and inside the Hall. There will be carnival booths with prizes and food for children and adults, and the ever-popular Pinatas. Throughout the day there will be hot dogs and nachos, popcorn and soft drinks provided at no charge by members of PPUMC.
This year, the children will learn how to make homemade corn tortillas. There will also be a penny drive to buy pencils and other school items for School Kits that our church will be “building” this summer, to be sent to the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
We are calling it “Pennies for Pencils,” encouraging children to save pennies to help buy pencils for other children in other countries by teaming up with UMCOR. This is a perfect match since Día del Niño was created to empower children through education.
Interested in helping out? Teens and adults are needed to help with setting up tables for the game booths; food prep and servers; and taking shifts running the game booths. Each game booth shift is only an hour. The food prep includes cooking hot dogs, making popcorn and serving up nachos. Donations of food items are needed. Contact the church office or see Elsa Eliason if you can help.
May 17 – Our Cambodian brothers and sisters are holding an Eggroll Fundraiser to purchase hygiene and first aid supplies for villagers in Cambodia this summer. It’s easier to travel with cash and purchase necessities for the villages they visit than traveling with suitcases of supplies.
The idea of an Eggroll Fundraiser was born when these missionaries found that the only way to get their suitcases of supplies across a Cambodian lake was to float them across in large plastic bags last summer. It worked, but this year we hope it’s easier to get supplies to those who need them so badly.
Sharing God’s Love at Popeye’s
By Linda Floyd
My husband, Antonio, was recently down south, visiting his parents in beautiful, downtown Burbank. If you get that reference, you’re probably not a 20-something. Anyway, Antonio stopped at a Popeye’s restaurant to pick up dinner for his folks. As he left the restaurant, he saw a man who appeared to have all his belongings beside him.
As Antonio drew closer, he noticed large scars and blemishes on the man’s face and arms, and the man seemed lonely. He went up to him and said, “Could I give you some money? Could you use some help?”
The fellow, seemed surprised that someone would walk up and speak to him. He looked at Antonio and replied, “No, I’m okay, thanks anyway.”
Antonio started walking away but a different man came up to him. This man was younger but didn’t look any better off than the first fellow.
This man said, “I could use a dollar.” Antonio pulled out his wallet and looked at the young man, saying, “How about two dollars, is that okay with you?” The young man nodded, then thanked Antonio as he handed the two bills over.
My husband turned toward his car once again and the younger man said, “Excuse me sir, could I ask you a question?”
When Antonio turned back, the young man had tears in his eyes, and had trouble making eye contact. The man quietly asked, “Do you think God loves me?”
Antonio looked him in the eye, smiled and said, “Yes, I know God loves you.”
“But I dropped out of school, and I’m afraid God doesn’t love me. Do you think God can love me even though I did that?” he persisted.
Antonio replied, “God’s love is unconditional, God will always love you.”
The young man whispered, “Thank you, God bless you, thank you…” as he turned away.
When Antonio came home from his trip about a week later, we were eating dinner when he said, “This weird thing happened while I was at Popeyes.”
That’s when he told me the preceding story. When he reached the part where the young man had just taken the money, his own eyes misted and he had trouble speaking. When he reached the part where the young man asked him if God could love him, Antonio started quietly sobbing. After a minute he said, “Wow, that was weird. I was fine when the guy asked me that. Why did I just do that?”
We talked for a while about holy moments and the privilege we’re given when God uses our words and actions to pour His love out on others. “I guess it just really hit home for me, how low he must have been feeling to have to ask a stranger that question” Antonio explained.
Have you had any time in your life when you thought God couldn’t possibly love you? I have. Antonio has. Those were very dark days with seemingly endless nights. I felt unloveable, and unworthy of God’s love, yet I prayed to God for strength and comfort. Seems strange now, but then I thought I needed to fix myself to earn God’s love.
Thank you God, for your grace and mercy. You’ve made me whole again. All I had to do was accept your love, and see myself as You see me. Thank you Lord, for that blessing. Amen.