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Wednesday
Nov152017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 11.15.2017

We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m
Sunday Spotlight 

Last Sunday, we started a new series on Spiritual Disciplines.  We focused on inward disciplines, and used prayer as our main example.  Our Scripture was Matthew 6:5-6, from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.  We talked about the acronym PART (Praise, Admit, Request, Thanks) as a way of prayer, and we also discussed the Eastern Orthodox tradition of the breath prayer, or the Jesus prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."  

A classic on the topic of spiritual disciplines is Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline.  In it, he writes, "It was liberating to me to understand that prayer involved a learning process.  I was set free to question, to experiment, even to fail, for I knew I was learning."  Other inward spiritual disciplines mentioned in Foster's book (and in Scripture) include meditation, fasting, and study, among others.  I hope you'll find some time this week to practice the discipline of prayer. As I said on Sunday, the discipline becomes its own reward.  

Next Sunday we turn to the communal spiritual disciplines-- the things that are between God, others, and us.  We often think of our faith as a personal and individual matter; but there are also aspects of it that are communal in nature.  Come hear more about how we can connect with God by connecting with each other.  9:45 a.m. Modern or 11 a.m. Traditional!  
Reminders 

We just got the awesome news that our missionary in Costa Rica, Wil Bailey, will be visiting Skycrest on Sunday, April 29.  He will be sharing about Costa Rica Mission Projects and our ongoing partnership with them.  If you are interested in the 2018 Costa Rica Mission trip (June 9-16) and didn't get to attend the preview meeting, be sure to email Caitlin Reynolds to let her know of your interest and she can give you all the details on cost, sign-ups, and more.  

New website coming soon!   Thanks to our friends at Vital North Creative, a new website is in the works.  Our previous website was not mobile-friendly (and 70% of website views now happen on phones or tablets), and it didn't support podcasting (which is a more user-friendly way to listen to sermons).  We were also in need of some updated photos, videos, and design changes, and Vital North has helped us get those with excellence!  The new site will still be located at www.skycrest.net and it should be available in the next few weeks!   

Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year.   We will hold one worship service that morning at 10:30 a.m., with music led by Brooke and the Modern band (it will be in the sanctuary).  No SkyKids or Groups that morning, but Nursery will be open.  Then we will hold one Christmas Eve service that night at 
6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary, with Christmas music led by Joe and our Traditional choir.  

These two services will be totally different, and trust me, you want to make it to both if you can.  Sunday morning will be the 4th Sunday of Advent. Sunday evening will be Christmas Eve.  Different theme, message, and music.  Hope that helps in your planning! 

Stay connected with us via our website and be sure to "like" us on Facebook

 

Wednesday
Nov082017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 11.08.2017

We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m
Sunday Spotlight 

Last Sunday, we ended our study of Deuteronomy with a look at the final chapters: the death of Moses.  This was appropriate for All Saints' Day, as we also remembered those in our congregation who died this past year.  In the final moments of Moses' life, he didn't want to win one more argument, or hurl one more criticism at the Israelites.  His final words were praise to God, and blessings for the Israelites.   

Next Sunday we'll start a new series of sermons that I'm really excited about.  So many of us rely on church for our weekly inspiration, and that's great-- church attendance is vitally important to a life of faith.  But do you ever struggle to connect with God on your own throughout your week?  Maybe you know that you 'should' be praying and reading the Bible, but it's hard to do.  Or maybe you've done it at times, but then it becomes boring or routine. 

Our faith calls the things we do to connect with God spiritual practices, or spiritual disciplines.  Some are personal, some are communal, and some are outward in service to the world. In our vast Christian tradition, there are LOTS more spiritual disciplines than you might even be aware of.  For the next 3 weeks, we'll be learning about how different types of Christians around the world practice spiritual disciplines to connect with God.  You might learn about some practices you've never heard of before, and you may find some new ways that will help you to connect with God throughout your week. 

Join us starting this Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m!  

If you're a snowbird just returning to town, or have been away from church for a while, this is a great time to jump back in.  I hope to see you there this Sunday.  
Reminders 

In all of the busy-ness of the 11 a.m. service last Sunday, heading right into Charge Conference and then the Soaring Sounds concert, many of you have mentioned that you didn't get a brown bag for RCS Food Bank.  If you didn't get one last Sunday, we'll have them out next Sunday!  If you did get a bag, fill it up with non-perishable goods return it on Sunday to either service!  

Chili Cookoff is coming!  Sunday, November 26 at 12:00 p.m.  Modern service folks will decorate the Fellowship Hall from 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  We will all eat together at noon, and then decorate the Sanctuary after lunch!  To enter a pot of chili in the cookoff, simply bring it with you to the Fellowship Hall kitchen that morning.  We have several outlets to keep crock pots warm. You can also bring cornbread or another side or dessert to share instead.  


Stay connected with us via our website and be sure to "like" us on Facebook

 

Wednesday
Nov012017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 11.02.2017

We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m

Sunday Spotlight 

Last Sunday, we continued with "Famous Last Words," a series of sermons on the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. 

We read from Deuteronomy 4 and 5, in which Moses talks to the Israelites about the importance of keeping God's commandments.  He felt this was an essential reminder for them, as they were on the verge of entering the Promised Land.  Moses knew that when we have choices and freedom, we also have temptations.  He encouraged the Israelites to follow God's laws, because it is a wise way to live and because it would proclaim their faith to others, without them needing to say a word. 

The same is true for us today-- we are saved by grace through Jesus, and yet it is still important to know and follow the ways God sets out for us-- because God's ways are wise ways to live. 

If you were interested in learning more about the 10 Commandments that were mentioned yesterday, I'd recommend to you J. Ellsworth Kalas' book Ten Commandments From The Backside

Next Sunday, we'll wrap up our journey through Deuteronomy with a look at Moses' final reflections before his death-- his regrets, his realizations, and his last words of blessing to the Israelites before they crossed the Jordan river. 
Reminders 
A huge thanks to our dinner crew, who served 75+ guests once again last Saturday!  Great job, everyone.  Another great way you can help to support hunger relief in our community is by grabbing a grocery bag next Sunday for RCS Food Bank.  Simply bring it back the following Sunday filled with non-perishable goods, and we will take your donation to RCS Food Bank!  We're printing instructions on the bags so that you can also invite your friends or neighbors to join in our food drive.  

If you missed the Costa Rica Mission Trip preview meeting but are interested in attending the trip (June 9-16, 2017) at a cost of $400 per person, email Caitlin Reynolds at caitlinreynolds85@gmail.com  She can email you the presentation from Sunday and keep you on the list for future trip updates.  Sign-ups for the trip will be in early January and deposits are non-refundable, so now is the time to be thinking about whether you'd like to join this year's team. 

Next Sunday, November 5 at 12:00 p.m. is our annual Charge Conference, the official business meeting of the church, in which we elect leadership positions for the coming year, vote on some financial matters, approve candidates for ordained ministry, and more. 

Next Sunday afternoon 2:00 p.m., the Soaring Sounds Vocal Ensemble will present a patriotic concert in honor of Veterans Day called "The American Experience."  Soaring Sounds is the professional group directed by our Traditional Choir Director, Joe Scarbrough.   They invite you to journey through the history of our country with music, spoken word, and historical video footage. From our earliest founding days, through the Civil Rights Movement, into the Space Age, and all the way to today, this concert will be inspiring and educational for audiences of all ages!   This concert is free, although we welcome donations at the door! 

Stay connected with us via our website and be sure to "like" us on Facebook

 

Wednesday
Oct252017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 10.25.2017

We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m
Sunday Spotlight 

Last Sunday, we started a 3-week series of sermons on the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy.  The name Deuteronomy means "second law," and it is essentially a re-telling of other parts of the Torah.  In Deuteronomy, Moses is preaching the Israelites' history and their laws to them, helping them to understand what their covenant with God means as they are about to enter the Promised Land.

We read Deuteronomy 3:21-28, in which Moses is lamenting the fact that he will not get to enter the Promised Land, and yet God commands him to go encourage Joshua, who will lead the Israelites in his place.  That had to be hard to do!  We talked on Sunday about the different generations present in our church and in our world, and how essential it is that we understand each other, share leadership, and work together toward our common goals. 

If you were interested in what you heard on Sunday about generational differences and want to find out more, check out Haydn Shaw's book Generational IQ: Christianity Isn't Dying, Millennials Aren't the Problem, and the Future is Bright.  Several of our church leaders heard Shaw speak at the Leadership Institute in Kansas City last fall, and while I don't agree with everything he has to say, his information on the gifts, challenges, and motivations of each generation are very helpful. 

Next Sunday, we'll take a look at the middle section of Deuteronomy, in which Moses is preaching the law.  He's trying to impress upon his listeners why being faithful to the law is important, and how the world gets to see who God is by how we live our faith.  If you want to read a little something ahead of time, check out Deuteronomy 4:1-8.  Join us, 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m!  

Next Sunday, October 29, our friends at Vital North Creative will also be on-site, doing some videography and photography for our new and improved website.  They will not be interviewing individuals, but instead shooting overall footage that will capture what Skycrest is like.  So, please be there this Sunday if you can; he wants to film as full a Sunday as possible!   Don't worry about being on camera or what to wear; just be yourself-- you'll probably be in the footage somewhere, but not a close-up or an interview or anything!  (We do have legal photo releases posted in our Children's areas, but if you have a legal issue with being filmed or photographed, please let me know.) 
Reminders 
Great Job to our Girl Scouts, Youth, and other volunteers on last Sunday afternoon's Trunk or Treat.  We had about 70 kids attend, not counting the many kids who volunteered at the event! It was a fun time for our church, neighborhood, and preschool to all come together. 
 
Our 2018 mission trip to Costa Rica will be June 9-16. Come hear more at our preview meeting on October 29!  Join us at 12:00 p.m. in the Skycrest Fellowship Hall to hear more details on the trip, cost, and how to get signed up.  Lunch provided!

Sunday Morning Safety:  It appears that we had a theft issue on Sunday morning.  My wallet was taken from my purse in the church office, cash removed, and the wallet itself left behind on our property.  Other attendees noticed someone in an empty room who wasn't seen in church services or Sunday School that morning.  Honestly, I should've had my office locked and I plan to do so in the future, but it seems as good a time as any to make some safety reminders. 

If you are a Sunday morning volunteer and you tend to leave your purse, phone, computer, or other valuables around, please be thinking about how to keep them secure.  If you need a space to lock things up, let us know in the church office and we'll be happy to help. 

If you have children, make sure they are with an adult while at church.  Sign them in and out of nursery or SkyKids each week.  

If you are an usher, greeter, or just happen to be out in the halls on Sunday mornings, please be aware of traffic flow.  People should be going to services, Sunday School, nursery, or restrooms.  If you see someone unfamiliar wandering around, you can offer to walk them to their destination.  If you see something you're concerned about, feel free to mention it to a staff member. 

Thanks for your help in keeping everyone and their belongings safe!  


Stay connected with us via our website and be sure to "like" us on Facebook

 

Wednesday
Oct182017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 10.18.2017

We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m
Sunday Spotlight 

I hope you enjoyed our guest preacher last Sunday; pastor Doug Walker from the Tampa Bay Center for Community Transformation.  He spoke to us about Philippians 4:8: "Whatever things are true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things."  

This isn't a "Pollyanna" verse about looking on the bright side, or only thinking about the positive.  Through Doug's own story of drug addiction, arrest, and recovery, he showed us how important critical self-reflection is.  We must think about WHATEVER is true about ourselves, not only the good things that are true, in order to grow.  And this is not just for us as individuals; we must also reflect critically on what is true in our community and our world as well.  Whether it is poverty, education, discrimination, or any type of suffering, we must seek the truth and have hard conversations rather than avoid them if we hope to join God in the transformation of the world. 

The other reason I invited Doug to speak on Sunday is that I believe it is important for us to hear from diverse voices.  You have been hearing from me regularly on Sunday mornings for 4 years now-- and I hope that will continue for many more years to come!   But my way of approaching the Scriptures and the Christian faith is just one way, and the God we serve is infinite.  So from time to time, I like to take the opportunity to bring in people with experiences and perspectives different from my own.  

So I hope you enjoyed that from Doug, and I'll be thrilled to be back preaching for you again this coming Sunday as we start a 3-week series on the book of Deuteronomy, looking at the final speeches of Moses before the Israelites entered the Promised Land. 
Reminders 


Mini-Work Day this Saturday8:30 a.m. to finish up the mulch and the parking lot lines!  Bring a shovel, paintbrush, or small roller, and come help if you can. 

Handicapped Parking: As a quick way to free up two additional handicapped or special needs parking spots, we have started moving the church busses on Sunday mornings.  If you need close-up parking (whether or not you have an actual handicap sticker) and the two spots marked "church bus parking" in the Fellowship Hall lot will work for you, please take them!  

Our attendance this Sunday was back over 200 again (which is great!), so please continue to remember our parking procedures.  Those who can walk a distance (especially volunteers who are there for both services), please park at LaRocca Injury or across Drew St. at Rational Steps.  If you park in the sanctuary grass lot, please park in as orderly a fashion as possible.  If you need a handicap spot and can't find one, you may use First Time Guest parking.

Monthly Dinner for the Hungry will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 28th, in Fellowship Hall.  Volunteer shifts are 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to come and eat, or come and volunteer!
 
Our 2018 mission trip to Costa Rica will be June 9-16. Come hear more at our preview meeting on October 29!  Join us at 12:00 p.m. in the Skycrest Fellowship Hall to hear more details on the trip, cost, and how to get signed up.  Lunch provided!

Charge Conference, our annual business meeting of the church, will be Sunday, November 5th at 12:00pm in the sanctuary right after church.  This is when we officially elect our 2018 leaders, approve the pastor's salary, approve candidates for ordained ministry from our church, etc.  

Stay connected with us via our website and be sure to "like" us on Facebook

 

Wednesday
Oct112017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 10.11.2017

We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m
Sunday Spotlight 

Last Sunday we finished up our sermon series on the Apostles' Creed with a look at the ending of the creed, which says, "I believe... in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting."  If you missed the message or want to pass it along to someone, you can find it at www.skycrest.net/sermons   

One of the resources I mentioned in the sermon was St. Ignatius Daily Examen prayer.  If you're interested, check it out here.  

G.K. Chesterton wrote that "the doctrines of the church are like walls, but they are the walls of a playground."  I think this statement fits the Apostles' Creed well; it defines what we believe as Christians, but in a way that gives us bounds in which to explore our faith with joyful curiosity.  

Now that we've spent the last 6 weeks talking about the creed, I encourage you to read over it again and consider what you confidently believe, what you still have doubts or questions about, and what you'd like to explore more. 

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.  The third day he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.  

Next Sunday, we have a guest preacher. I invited the Rev. Doug Walker from the Tampa Bay Center for Community Transformation to come and preach for us-- not because I'm going to be gone, but because he is a great speaker with a powerful story.   After a journey that included drug addiction and jail, he went to seminary, and returned to do ministry right here in Clearwater, working on community development and racial justice issues in the North Greenwood area, one of the "five pockets of poverty" identified by our county.  I am on the Board of Directors for his organization and am looking forward to working with his team to improve our community.  

You don't want to miss his message this Sunday at 9:45 a.m or 11 a.m.  
Reminders 

Rummage Sale is this Saturday, October 14.  Bring in your donations anytime this week (our office is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m.) or come join the volunteer efforts in moving and sorting rummage.  

Trunk or TreatSunday, October 22nd 2 p.m.-5 p.m.  Sign up to decorate your car trunk and pass out candy!  Or plan to attend with your family and friends!   

Costa Rica Preview MeetingSunday, October 29, 12:00 p.m.  If you are interested in our 2018 summer mission trip to Costa Rica, join us for lunch and all the details!  


Stay connected with us via our website and be sure to "like" us on Facebook

 

Wednesday
Oct042017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 10.04.2017

We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m
Sunday Spotlight 

Last Sunday we continued our conversation about the Apostles' Creed, focusing on the phrase, "the forgiveness of sins."  Notice how the phrase can be taken to mean God's forgiveness of our sins, and our forgiveness of one another's sins.  

Scripture repeatedly makes connections between those two types of forgiveness; the parable we read on Sunday from Matthew 18:21-35 is one great example. 

I wish we would've had more time to delve into the topic of forgiving one another, especially in difficult situations.  But if you're looking for more on the topic, here are a couple of links to books or other resources: 

Forgive and Forget (Lewis Swedes)
Forgiveness (Rev. Adam Hamilton, 2010 sermon series on forgiveness) 

Next Sunday, we turn to the final phase of the creed, "the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting." 

Then, on Sunday, October 15, we will welcome Rev. Doug Walker of the Tampa Bay Center for Community Transformation as a guest preacher.  Doug is an ordained United Methodist elder working on issues of racial justice and community change right here in the North Greenwood area of Clearwater.  I am new on the Board of Directors of his organization and I have heard great things about his preaching from area UMC pastors.  

Don't miss either of these awesome Sundays-- 9:45 a.m. Modern or 11 a.m. Traditional. 
Reminders 

Rummage Sale Saturday, October 14.  Bring in smaller donations anytime, or large furniture donations the week of the sale.  Proceeds benefit wonderful missions and ministries locally and worldwide.  

Trunk or TreatSunday, October 22nd 2 p.m.-5 p.m.  Sign up to decorate your car trunk and pass out candy!  Or plan to attend with your family and friends!   

Costa Rica Preview MeetingSunday, October 29, 12:00 p.m.  If you are interested in our 2018 summer mission trip to Costa Rica, join us for lunch and all the details! 

Stay connected with us via our website and be sure to "like" us on Facebook

 

Wednesday
Sep272017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 09.27.2017

We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m
Sunday Spotlight 

Last Sunday we continued our conversation about the Apostles' Creed, focusing on the phrase, "the holy, catholic church, the communion of saints."  We talked about the meaning behind each of those words, and we read from Ephesians 2:11-22   

If you missed the message or want to share it with someone, you can always find audio recordings of the sermons at www.skycrest.net/sermons 

Next Sunday, we will continue in our study of the Apostles' Creed, focusing on the line: "the forgiveness of sins."  

Several of us from Skycrest attended a regional gathering on Sunday night hosted by our Bishop, Ken Carter.  He addressed questions submitted by audience members, including many about the potential for schism in The United Methodist Church over the issue of LGBTQ inclusion.  The UMC has appointed a special commission called A Way Forward to study this issue, and bring their proposal to a special session of General Conference in 2019.  Here is a link to Bishop Carter's remarks.  And here is the link to all the information about A Way Forward.  So far, we do not know exactly how this will affect us as a local church, but as more information becomes available, I will keep you all informed.  
Thanks!!
A huge thanks to everyone who worked so tirelessly at the Work Day last Saturday, and to Doris Campbell for organizing it:  Phil and Allison Jester, Keith Crawford, Bob Mullis, Barb McQuain, Sally Knapp, Shirley Cobb, Erin Frey, Mat Hotho, Doris Campbell, Gil and Carol Sterling, and there may be others I'm forgetting!  
Reminders 
Our Monthly Dinner for the Hungry is coming up this Saturday, September 30, at 4:30 p.m.!  Show up at 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. to volunteer!  If you'd like to help distribute flyers ahead of time, stop by our office any weekday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.  

Skycrest101 this Sunday, October 1, between services, for anyone new to our church who wants to find out more.

Stay connected with us via our website and be sure to "like" us on Facebook

 

Tuesday
Sep192017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 09.18.2017

We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m
Goodbye, Irma!  

First off, I was so glad to be back together with you on Sunday after the hurricane.  A few thoughts as we seek to get back to normal this week: 

Everyone has been commenting on the exhaustion that seems to be affecting us all during this time of recovery. Even though we were fortunate that the storm didn't hit us as directly or as fiercely as initially expected, we've still gone through a lot these past couple of weeks.  Fear of the unknown.  Manual labor to shutter our houses, un-shutter our houses, clear debris, clean out refrigerators and more.  Stress as stores were empty of much-needed supplies.  Children thrown off their routines with 7 days out of school.  Extra costs incurred for hurricane food, supplies, and repairs.  A week's loss of income for many hourly workers.  Projects and goals delayed during a busy time of year.  Sleeping and living in un-airconditioned houses, or being nomads at shelters or other people's homes.  More anxiety, as we have more hurricane season still to come.  A sense of guilt that we should be feeling more grateful or less whiny because other people have it so much worse than we do.  

If you are experiencing any of these emotions, know that your feelings are valid, and you aren't alone.  Be patient with yourself in the coming days.  

Many of the little things we've had to "recover" from this week are stressful because they've disrupted the TIME and SPACE aspects of our lives.  Our sense of time has been thrown off by days off of work, school, or routines.  Our sense of space has been affected by debris, broken items, power-less homes, and evacuations.  None of these things are life-threatening or devastating, but they are important.  Time and space are how we order our lives.   

In fact, our Christian tradition teaches us to set aside sacred times and spaces in our lives in which to connect with God.  A daily time of prayer.  A quiet place to sit and read your Bible.  A weekly small group.  Sunday morning worship time.  Church.  Sanctuary.  

As we continue to recover this week, be sure to hold on to those sacred times and spaces in your own life.  Make them the cornerstones as you rebuild.  Also include time for rest, self-care, and family.  It can seem counter-intuitive to do so when we are extra busy cleaning up yards, catching up on work, or feeling tired.  But reclaiming sacred times and spaces in your day and your week will help you recover from all the ways your time and space were impacted by the storm.  Who knows, maybe you can even rebuilt a better life than before.  
Sunday Spotlight

Last Sunday, we jumped back into our sermon series on the Apostles' Creed, focusing on the section of the creed about Jesus.  Notice how half of the creed's claims about Jesus focus on his divinity (God's only Son our Lord, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, ascended into heaven) and the other half highlight Jesus' humanity (crucified, dead, buried, descended to the dead.)  

We talked on Sunday about how Jesus is fully human and fully God, and why that makes a difference for us.  If you missed it, you can get the audio of the sermon here.  The Scripture was from John 1:1-14; if you're looking for some inspiration this week, give it a read. 

Next Sunday, September 24, we will look at the part of the creed that talks about "the holy catholic church, the communion of saints..."    Don't miss it!  9:45 a.m. Modern or 11 a.m.Traditional.
Reminders 

Church Work Day - this Saturday, September 23, 8:30 a.m.  We will have plenty of jobs, outdoor and indoor, for all abilities!   

Conversation with Bishop Carter of the Florida Conference of the UMC - Sunday evening,September 24, 6:30 p.m. at Hyde Park UMC in Tampa.  (Meet at Skycrest at 5:45 p.m. to carpool). http://www.flumc.org/bishopconversation 

Skycrest T-Shirts continue to be sold on Sundays and during the week at the church office.  Get yours for $20, promote our awesome church, and support Costa Rica Mission Trips! 

Stay connected with us via our website and be sure to "like" us on Facebook
 

 

Tuesday
Sep052017

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 09.05.2017

Skycrest Mid-Week Message 9.5.17
We want to stay in touch with you!  Our weekly email will re-cap last Sunday's sermon, preview the topic for next Sunday, and keep you informed about upcoming events.   

This week's Mid-Week Message is abbreviated in order to give you important updates about Hurricane Irma and some upcoming renovations to our property.  

Join us next Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11 a.m
Sunday Spotlight

Last Sunday we began a new series of sermons on the Apostles' Creed, starting with the first line: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth."  As this series continues, it will be a great opportunity for those who want to learn about the Christian faith for the first time, or go deeper in their understanding.  Our Scripture was Psalm 146, and if you're looking for some inspiration this week, give it a read.  

If you missed the sermon and want to listen online, head on over to www.skycrest.net/sermons 

Next Sunday, September 10, our focus will turn to the next lines of the creed having to do with Jesus, his humanity and divinity, the virgin birth, his suffering, death, and resurrection.  I look forward to this message and I hope you'll be there! 

September 10 is also the day to return your completed flood buckets or hygiene kits for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.  Click here for instructions (but feel free to skip the ones about packaging, shipping, and shipping costs.  Get your bucket or kit to church and we will do the rest.) 
Hurricane Irma Updates 

As you all know by now, we are looking at the week ahead and bracing for the possible impact of Hurricane Irma.  It is still too early to know the exact path the storm will take, but it is wise to be getting prepared now, both at church and at home.  

For church weekday activities, we follow the lead of Pinellas County Schools.  If school is closed, the church office and activities are closed.  

For Sunday's church services on September 10, we will make a decision by Friday afternoon on the status of Sunday services.  If in doubt, we will err on the side of caution rather than put any of our attendees, volunteers, or staff at risk.  No matter whether we are having church or not, please use your own best judgment when deciding whether to attend.  

We are also working now to prepare the church in case of hurricane damage.  Our preparations will include taping windows, sandbagging flood-prone areas, and moving outdoor equipment inside.  If we have a need for volunteers to help, our custodian Gil Sterling will be taking the lead and he will put the word out for help when the time comes. 

Please be preparing now for the possibility of this storm affecting your home, too.  ABC news published this list of hurricane preparedness supplies.  If you need help preparing, or your home needs storm shutters put up, patio furniture moved indoors, etc. and you are not able to do that, please call the church and we will do our best to connect you with Skycrest members who have volunteered to help.  We will not be in the office on Saturday, so please call by Thursday or Friday if you need help. 

If you are in a position to help members of the Skycrest family to prepare their homes for the storm, please let us know and we will do our best to connect you with church members in need. 
Upcoming Renovations at Skycrest

Two Sundays ago, we experienced a flood here at church likely caused by very old pipes in our Education Building plumbing system (restrooms behind Fellowship Hall).  In light of real emergencies being faced by so many people right now, this is frustrating but not devastating, and we are grateful that we are well-equipped to handle it.   
Thankfully, we caught the situation right away because our choir was in the building for a rehearsal.  Even though it was cleaned up in a matter of hours, the moisture had a chance to seep into carpets, floors, tiles, and walls.  We have been working with our property insurance company and a restoration company on the cleanup and it is going well.  

Because the water contained bacteria (which the restoration company was able to test for) we are following their recommendations for what needs to removed and renovated.  We wouldn't want anyone to get sick from any future mold or bacteria on our property.  
For now, the best thing you can do for Skycrest is to "pardon our dust" in the coming weeks in the Education Building.  You will also need to use the restrooms further down the hall near the church library until we can get our main restrooms back up and running.  Finally, between insurance money and a healthy capital improvements fund, the best way you can support Skycrest financially in this manner is to continue to give regularly toward our general operating budget, as so many of you already do!  

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