Dear Skycrest Family,

I heard a story of two shoe salesmen who each went to go explore a new potential sales territory. One returned back saying, "Terrible news! No one there wears our shoes."

The other salesman returned back and said, "Great news! No one there wears our shoes."

Where the one saw an insurmountable obstacle, the other saw a wide-open opportunity to reach new people.

Folks often lament the change in our culture's religious landscape; it is no longer assumed that most everyone around us prays, attends church, or believes in the same God as we do.

I know this can be concerning. But perhaps we can choose to embrace it as an opportunity, a chance for God to use us to share the good news.

The sermon last Sunday was about building a new approach to evangelism based on gratitude and relationship. If you missed it, you can check it out online at www.skycrest.net/sermons I hope you'll join me in spending some time this week thinking about:

1) What are you grateful for about your Christian faith?

2) Do you have any relationships with non-Christians? If not, why not?

Up next Sunday, we have a very special combined worship service. While initially this was due to some renovations in the Fellowship Hall, I believe our combined service will actually serve a far greater purpose. We have not all worshiped together as one church (except Christmas Eve) in at least a couple of years. The energy and unity we will experience from gathering all ages, all services, all worship styles together in one place will be an inspiring picture of what the Kingdom of God will be like.

So don't miss this very special Sunday, September 15, at 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary.

Bus ministries will adjust their pickup times accordingly. Nursery will be available for ages 0-3, and of course kids are welcome in the service as well. We will not have SkyKids that day, however there WILL be a Kids' Moment during the service. Most adult Groups are not meeting that day (except Foundry class at 9:30 a.m.), so check with your Group leader or call us if you have any questions.

Finally, as I scheduled the date for this email, I noticed that I still cannot type 9-11 without thinking of that September day in 2001. I invite you to pause for a moment today to pray for our country, our leaders, and for peace to reign in our world.


Pastor Emily


Dear Skycrest Family,

I remember 25 years ago or so, it was popular for Christians to wear a pin with two question marks on it. The pin was meant to spark conversation about two questions: "If you died tonight, do you know for sure that you would go to heaven?" and "If you were standing at the gates of heaven and God asked, 'why should I let you in?' how would you answer?"

The pin-wearer would then dive into a presentation of the gospel using a memorized outline and end by inviting the person to pray to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

This program, called Evangelism Explosion, was taught by Dr. D. James Kennedy, and was, at its peak, used by over 20,000 churches worldwide. At the turn of the new millennium, though, Evangelism Explosion did a study and found that many people now considered their methods overly confrontational and ineffective. So they re-tooled their approach for a new culture and generation.

Jesus told his followers to "go into the world and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19).

But for many of us, when we think about doing that, we picture a confrontational approach that might alienate the very person we're trying to reach. So often we end up avoiding the topic completely.

Might there be other ways to share our faith that are loving, gracious, and effective in today's world?

This coming Sunday, September 8, we'll start a new series of sermons called "I Know I Should, But..." We'll be exploring those aspects of our Christian faith that we know God calls us to do, but they seem hard, impractical, or unrealistic in today's world. Evangelism will be our first topic, and I'm so looking forward to it!

Join us at 9:45 a.m. Modern or 11:00 a.m. Traditional

Don't forget that our Sunday Morning Groups start their new studies this coming Sunday:

9:00 a.m. Thirty Minutes In The Word (Library, David Janusik)

9:40 a.m. Foundry Class (Room 108, Ron Read)

11:00 a.m. Seekers Group (Library, Pat Siegling and Diane Meyers)

And finally, remember that the following Sunday, September 15, will be ONE COMBINED WORSHIP SERVICE at 10:30 a.m. as painting takes place in the Fellowship Hall throughout that week.


Pastor Emily

PS. As we pray for those affected by Hurricane Dorian, remember that umcor.org is always a great place to donate if you want to help!


Dear Skycrest Family,

I've been enjoying our journey through four of the smallest books of the Bible. So far, we've studied Haggai, Philemon, and Obadiah. You can find audio recordings of our sermons online at www.skycrest.net/sermons

In last Sunday's message on Obadiah, we learned how the prophet was condemning the nation of Edom for their sin of pride; and then the author turned his attention to pride in all nations, and all people. That got me reading blogs and articles online about pride and humility. I found this quote I thought you'd like:

So who is the most humble person? Three names come to mind.

  1. Moses. After all, the Bible describes him as humble. “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3).

  2. Jesus. The Son of God is our perfect example of how we are to live with humility (Phil. 2:5-11).

  3. _______________________. Actually I don’t know the third person’s name. Maybe it’s you. But it is someone who loves Jesus wholeheartedly and serves so humbly and quietly that no one even notices.

Up next Sunday, we'll look at our final book of the Bible in the Small But Mighty series: Titus. Titus is a New Testament letter written by the Apostle Paul to a church leader, Titus, stationed on the island of Crete. We'll see what Paul had to say to Titus, and what God might have to say to us today.

I'm looking forward to worshiping with you at 9:45 a.m. (Modern) or 11:00 a.m. (Traditional).

Don't forget our Outreach Dinner this Saturday evening. The dinner is FREE for anyone who'd like a free meal, at 4:30 p.m. on the last Saturday of every month. We usually serve 100 or more guests, which means we can use lots of help! Come by the church Fellowship Hall kitchen at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., or 3:00 p.m., or come by about 5:45 p.m. to help with cleanup. A huge thanks to the volunteers who serve in this ministry-- it has made a huge impact on our community!

See you this weekend!



Dear Skycrest Family,

My oldest son Liam is in the cast of a musical; he is playing "Milky White" (the cow) in NYNE's production of Into the Woods last weekend and this coming weekend. He doesn't have any singing or speaking parts, but he is quite an entertaining cow and I'm super proud of him!

Hanging around his rehearsals and performances these last couple weeks are perhaps what inspired me to take a more theatrical approach to last Sunday's sermon on Philemon. If you weren't here, we imagined ourselves as 1st century church members of Philemon's church, receiving Paul's letter for the first time. If you missed the sermon, it's available online at www.skycrest.net/sermons

As we experienced the letter to Philemon, I was struck by how many times I imagined the crowd questioning, disagreeing, or debating what Paul meant and how it lines up with other words of Paul or Jesus. And yet we get concerned in modern times if we have questions, doubts, or different interpretations of what Scripture says or means. Paul's letter to Philemon reminded me that bringing good questions to our Bible reading can be a helpful part of our faith journey. It also reminded me that Philemon's task is not over; the job of freeing the oppressed and welcoming those considered less-than continues with us today.

I mentioned on Sunday that Rachel Held Evans' book Inspired gave me the idea for putting ourselves in the shoes of the original recipients of the letter. If you missed Summer Book Group but would like to check out inspired, here's a link to order it or I believe a couple copies are still in our church Library.

Up next Sunday, August 25, another Small But Mighty book of the Bible: Obadiah. If you've ever wondered whether bad things happen for a reason, or whether we really get what we deserve, you'll want to be there this Sunday, since Obadiah raises that very question! Hope to see you at church at either 9:45 a.m. Modern or 11:00 a.m. Traditional.

Also coming next Sunday, August 25, GroupConnect. Maybe you've heard about the various Groups opportunities throughout our church-- UMW groups, Bible studies, Sunday school groups, activity groups like running, Men's Group breakfasts-- but you haven't known quite where to plug in or how to choose. GroupConnect is for you! Stop by the Library in between services (10:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m.) or after Traditional (12:00 p.m.-12:15 p.m.) and chat with various group leaders, get your questions answered, and when you leave you'll have a chance to write down your info if there's a Group you'd like to join.

Final thing: You've probably seen the announcements for additional bus drivers to join the rotation, picking folks up for the 11:00 a.m. Traditional service. In the past few weeks, we have lost not one but two bus drivers from our team, due to circumstances beyond their control (including significant health concerns.) This leaves us two drivers, both of whom volunteer in several other Sunday morning roles as well. If you have a passion for helping make church accessible for all... If you have a valid driver's license (no special license needed).... If you are free to serve once or twice a month from about 10:15 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m.... please get in touch with Jo at office@skycrest.net We will train you and give you all the details you need. Thank you for considering this opportunity for ministry!