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Belmont United Methodist Church in Belmont Massachusetts

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The Churchlight - February 2008 - Part 2

Posted  February 10


eChurchlight, February 2008 – Part 2
Worship & Evangelism

Contents (click on a topic to select)

Boy Scout Sunday
Bishop Weaver
Reconciling Congregation Consideration


February 2008 Worship Services

February 3:10:00 a.m.   Communion   Transfiguration Sunday              Color: White
Lectionary Readings: Exodus 24:12-18, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9

February 6: 7:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday Service            Color: Purple
Lectionary Readings: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

February 10: 10:00 a.m. 1st Sunday in Lent      Scout Sunday
            Color: Purple
Lectionary Readings: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11

February 17: 10:00 a.m.  2nd Sunday in Lent                  Color: Purple 
Lectionary Readings: Genesis 12:1-4a, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, John 3:1-17

February 24: 10:00 a.m. Communion    3rd Sunday in Lent     Color: Purple
Bishop Weaver Preaching

Lectionary Readings: Exodus 17:1-7, Romans 5:1-11, John 4:5-42


Special Services in February

Ash Wednesday Service 7:30 p.m. Feb 6

Boy Scout Sunday, Feb 10
Boy Scout Sunday will be observed at the regular 10:00 a.m. service on February 10.

Attending the service will be members of the Scout units which meet at the Church:
Cub Scout Pack 384 – Cubmaster Brenton Newell
Boy Scout Troop 304 – Scoutmaster Jeanne Star
Venture Crew 304 (co-ed) – Crew Advisor Patrick Mahoney

We invite and encourage all current or former Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorers, and Venture Scouts – especially Eagle Scouts – to join with us.  Help celebrate 88 years of continuous service to youth of Boy Scout Troop 304.  The boys and leaders much appreciate the support that the Belmont United Methodist Church and its Clergy and Members have given us over these years.

To join with us assemble in the Church Gym between 9:30 and 9:45 to walk in with us at the beginning of the Service.  If you choose not to walk in with us, please join with us when we stand to recite the Scout Oath and Law.

Bishop Weaver to preach at BUMC on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Bishop Peter WeaverPeter David Weaver was born into the parsonage family of Adolph and Dorothy Weaver, January 15, 1945, in Greenville, PA.  He received the degrees of B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan College (1966), M.Div. from Drew University (1969), and Doctor of Theology from Boston University (1975).  He has also received honorary Doctorates from Lebanon College(1999) and Albright College (2000).
     Ordained a Deacon (1967) and Elder (1969) in the Western Pennsylvania Conference, Bishop Weaver served the Whitaker United Methodist Church from 1971-1977, developing outreach ministries to community youth and industrial workers.
     From 1977-1988, Bishop Weaver served as Senior Pastor of the historic Smithfield United Church (UCC and UMC) in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.  The congregation launched ministries with young adults, older adults, urban children and youth, corporate leaders, the homeless and poor, and the arts.  During this time, he was co-founder of the Bethlehem Haven Shelter for Homeless Women, based on Christian hospitality principles.
     In 1988, Bishop Weaver was appointed Senior Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh, where spiritual emphasis was given to ministries with the neighboring
universities, young adult singles, persons with AIDS, the poor, and the development of an inclusive church.  He helped start the interfaith “One Voice Against Racism” movement.
     While these congregations grew in service and numbers, the foundation of all ministry was spiritual growth through worship and small groups, leading to a relationship with Jesus Christ, and for hands-on ministry in the community and world.
     While serving congregations, Bishop Weaver also wrote for various publications and taught for Drew Theological Seminary and Pittsburgh Theological School.  For over ten years, he had weekly programs specifically produced for radio.
     His community involvement included “Leadership Pittsburgh,” the “Mayor’s Task Force On the Homeless,” and many boards, which included Goodwill Industries, YMCA, United Campus Ministries, and West Virginia Wesleyan College.
     Some of his many other church responsibilities included chairing the Mission Division of the General Council on Ministries of the United Methodist Church and serving as a delegate to four General Conferences.  In the Western Pennsylvania Conference, he chaired the “Together” Stewardship and Funding  Program and the committee that led to a new vision and strategic plan for the Conference.
     Elected in 1996, Bishop Weaver served the Philadelphia Area of the United Methodist Church (Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula Delaware Conferences) until 2004.  As the Conferences developed new strategic plans, missional partnerships among congregations were initiated, congregational revitalization process instituted, youth ministry was significantly expanded, a Bishop’s Community leaders forum was held in dozens of communities, programs addressing racism and cultivating unity grew, and creative approaches to evangelism were encouraged.  Over thirty new congregations, including Muticultural, Latino, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese ones were started.  Major new partnerships with Nigeria and Congo Conferences were established.  He, also, served on the Boards of Drew University, Albright College, and Wesley College along with being a part of the Leaders Forum of Philadelphia and a founding member of “Good Schools Pennsylvania,” which focused on public education reform.
     In 2004, Bishop Weaver was assigned to the New England Conference, which includes 550 congregations, in five states, committed to a vision of being “Transformed by the Holy Spirit . . . as we boldly proclaim Christ in the world.”  In support of this, the Conference has reorganized itself in a more flexible, collaborative way for resourcing congregations and empowering District ministries.  Over 15 million dollars has been committed in support of new congregations, the vitality of existing congregations, the four camping and retreat centers, care for retired clergy, and our international partnerships with West Angola and Nicaragua.  Along with a number of boards and committees, Bishop Weaver serves on the Board of Boston University.
     From 2004-2006, Bishop Weaver served as President of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church serving churches worldwide.  He continues to serve on the Executive Officers team.  During this time, a major reorganization and refocusing of the work of the Council occurred taking Bishop Weaver to many countries of the world to work with United Methodist, ecumenical, and political leaders.  He has particular interest in the “END POVERTY” movement and is a part of the National Council on Foreign Relations work to relate faith and foreign policy matters.  He has served on the denomination’s General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, and chaired the Northeast Jurisdiction Strategic Visioning/Planning process.
     Bishop Weaver is married to Linda Sells Weaver.  They have eight daughters and four grandchildren.  His hobbies include music (trombone), water sports, and woodworking.
     His “life verse” is “If anyone is in Christ there is a new creation. . .” 11 Cor.5:17


Is It Time to Become a Reconciling Congregation?


The United Methodist Book of Discipline, the policy manual for the world-wide United Methodist church, states that all people are persons of sacred worth, but that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.  Because of this belief, persons who are avowed, practicing homosexuals are not ordained in the United Methodist system.  While the Book of Discipline clearly advocates protecting everyone's human rights, it specifically states that no United Methodist monies should go toward supporting homosexual causes.  Because of this stance and these statements, many people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered have not felt comfortable in the United Methodist Church; if they are in a UMC, they have not always felt they can be honest about who they are.
     At the same time, there are churches within the United Methodist system that believe the church's stance on homosexuality needs to change.  These congregations have voted to become Reconciling Congregations; to say, essentially, that in their congregation, everyone is welcome to be who they are; that they are invited into full participation in the life and work of the church, without limit, including the limit of sexual orientation.
     The process of becoming a Reconciling Congregation within the United Methodist Church is pretty straightforward--you think about it, talk about it, pray about it; you develop a Reconciling Statement that is printed in your materials, much like our current Mission Statement; and you register your congregation and its statement with the Reconciling Ministries Network.
     Clearly, this is an issue around which there are a variety of opinions and strongly held beliefs.  Eleven years ago, we undertook a good deal of study about the issue, but we never developed a statement or took a vote on whether to become a Reconciling Congregation.  Now, it simply seems to many of us like this is who we are--we are welcoming, we are open, we are affirming--and we should make it clear that we are.  However, this is something we all need to decide together.  The Evangelism Team has talked about it; the Missions Committee has talked about it, and brought a possible Reconciling Statement and adapted Mission Statement to the Administrative Council in January.  Those statements are printed here.  Please read the statements, talk about them, pray about them--and about whether we are ready as a church to become a Reconciling Congregation.  There are books and a DVD in the office if you would like to learn more about this issue.  There are studies we can undertake together.  We will talk as a community about this at the March Administrative Council meeting--if we are ready, we can vote then, or decide what our next steps should be.  As always, if you have questions or concerns, please speak with me, or with Larry.

Possible Reconciling Congregation Statement:

The members and staff of Belmont United Methodist Church work together in hope for the peaceable kingdom.  We believe that all people are children of God, and are therefore individuals of sacred worth.  We welcome everyone into full participation in the life and work of our congregation, embracing persons of every age, gender, sexual orientation, racial and cultural identity, economic reality, marital and family status, and physical and mental ability.  Taking seriously the message of Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors, we commit ourselves to be an open and affirming Reconciling Congregation.

Possible adapted BUMC Mission Statement:

Belmont United Methodist Church is a family of Christian believers who—in worship, fellowship and service—embrace all who seek the Lord.  We welcome all who wish to join us in the life and work of the church, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, culture, status or ability.  We serve as disciples of Christ, bringing Jesus’ message of love, hope and reconciliation to a troubled world.  We are committed to weekly worship, individual and community prayer, Christian education for all ages, responsible stewardship, loving friendship, hospitality to all, mutual support in times of need, mission outreach through direct service, and Christian witness.



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Belmont United Methodist Church is a Certified Welcoming Congregation


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