This Week at Ross

April 18, 2024

Dear RCUMC Members and Friends,

The fourth Sunday of the Easter season is traditionally observed as Good Shepherd Sunday, inviting us to reflect on Jesus role ordained by God as the shepherd who knows us and loves us so much that he would lay down his life for ours. In the Gospel lesson, John 10:11-18, Jesus refers to himself over and over in this sacrificial role, willing to ignore his own needs in order to meet the needs of the sheep. Chris Jordan will present the message. 

From Pastor Chris: Greetings, Church Family: Maggie and I are thankful for all your prayers and expressions of love on the passing of her mom. It seems like each day a card or call arrives, bringing us comfort and encouragement. This very thing was also a blessing to us when my mother passed last June.

We managed to reschedule our time away and we are resting and recharging. I think we actually had a full nights sleep for the first time in more than a year–while her mom’s condition was declining and her dementia was making the hours between midnight and 6:00 a.m. especially difficult. We took turns trying to comfort her and help her get back to sleep. I know many of you have experienced similar circumstances. Our prayers go out to all who are navigating the care of family members in the face of various medical issues.

I will be serving as the spiritual director for the Men’s Walk to Emmaus #38 at Monroe UMC from May 2 through May 5, leading the clergy assistants and providing pastoral support for the participants. The Walk to Emmaus is named for the story in Luke 24:13-35, which provides the central image for the three-day experience and follow up. Luke relates the events of the first Easter afternoon when the risen Christ appeared to two of the disciples who were walking together along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Just like individual Christians (and congregations) today who are blinded by preoccupation with their own immediate difficulties, these disciples’ sadness and hopelessness seemed to prevent them from recognizing God’s redemptive purpose in recent events. And yet the risen Christ “came near and went with them,” opening their eyes to his presence and igniting the fire of God’s love in their hearts.

As they walked with Jesus to Emmaus, he explained the meaning of all the scriptures concerning himself. And when they arrived, Jesus “took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them,” and their eyes were opened. They recognized him as Jesus, the risen Lord, and they remembered how their hearts had burned within them as they talked with him on the road. Within the hour, the two disciples left Emmaus and returned immediately to their friends in Jerusalem. As they told the stories about their encounters with the risen Lord, Jesus visited them again, offering a fresh awareness of his living presence.

The story of Jesus’ resurrection does not conclude, though, with the disciples’ personal spiritual experiences. Jesus ascended to the Father and the disciples became the body of the risen Christ through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were sent forth by the Spirit to bear witness to the good news of God in Jesus Christ. They learned to walk in the spirit of Jesus, to proclaim the gospel to a disbelieving world, and to persevere in grace through spiritual companionship with one another.

The Walk to Emmaus offers today’s disciples a parallel opportunity to rediscover Christ’s presence in their lives, to gain fresh understanding of God’s transforming grace, and to form friendships that foster faith and support spiritual maturity. While the walk provides a pathway to the mountaintop of God’s love, it also supports pilgrims’ return to the world in the power of the Spirit to share the love they have received with a hurtful and hurting world. ”From What Is Emmaus? ®The Upper Room.

For more information about the walk, please call me or email. All men are invited to join us for this journey! Blessings, —Pastor Chris

The RCUMC Men’s Group will meet on Saturday, April 27 at 9:00 a.m. All are welcome. Please contact Roger for more information.

The Spring Banquet, sponsored by the Women’s Group to celebrate Mother’s Day, returns this year on Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. and reservations are underway. Forms have been emailed to members and friends and will also be in the Sunday bulletins for the next three weeks. All are welcome, so plan to bring along friends, family members, neighbors, and children to enjoy an evening of food, raffles (including gift baskets and two Huffy children’s scooters), and music. A chicken dinner will be catered by Dale Norris Grilling and the Darrtown Singers, headed by friend of the congregation Chris Jordan, will provide lively entertainment. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 10 and under. To make your reservation, hand your completed form (including payment) to Jan or Judy, drop it off in the church office, or mail it to the church in time for receipt before May 5.

Our Facebook group, Ross Community UM Church, is the happening place to get and share the latest breaking news in between or not included in the This Week at Ross emails. Find it by typing the name of the group into the search box on Facebook and send a request to join. Thanks to moderator Phil Brown!    
Rev. Ryan Dunn, a Minister of Online Engagement for United Methodist Communications in Nashville, offers an inspiring article about the power of silence to clear the mind and deepen one’s spiritual journey. To read or listen, visit Embrace silence, hear God (umc.org).

May God’s light surround you, God’s love enfold you, God’s power protect you, and God’s presence watch over you. 

Emily Adams
Administrative Assistant

NEXT UPDATE 04-25-2024