Volunteers Needed for Jurisdictional Conference

UMC WJC imageDid you know that the Western Jurisdictional Conference meets every four years, but only comes to our Conference once every 20 years and that the next times it will be here will be this coming July 13 and then not again until 2036?

What is the Western Jurisdictional Conference? It’s a gathering of our elected and appointed United Methodists from around the Western United States who meet every four years to provide leadership and especially to elect the next bishop in the West. If you have ever wondered how someone becomes a United Methodist bishop, this is your closest chance to witness the process! Could this be the year that one of our own clergy is elected bishop? Could this newly elected bishop one day be appointed to our conference? Come to Scottsdale, AZ, and experience it.

As the Desert Southwest Conference, it is our pleasure to not only host but to provide hospitality for the entire conference. Let’s show the West what extravagant hospitality really looks like!

Please click here to sign up as soon as possible.  www.bit.ly/WJ-Volunteers

The Western Jurisdiction Conference will be held July 13 to 16, 2016, at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton (5401 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, Arizona, 85250).

Aging out of Foster Care

fostrcareApproximately one out of every nine youth in foster care are aging out of the system. This represents hundreds of young adults throughout the communities in Arizona, Nevada, and California. These youth have very few resources and few support systems. While there are organizations that are helping, one area where there is no support is move-in costs like filling the pantry with groceries for the first time.

 

This year’s Annual Conference mission project is to fill these empty pantries with food.Churches are invited to buy $25 gift cards from their local grocery stores and to supply a favorite recipe with each gift card. Young adults aging out of the foster care system moving into their first homes will have their pantries filled with the UMC’s love and perhaps their first dinner will include that favorite recipe. We will work with foster care organizations to set up delivery in our local communities. An organization list for both local and regional drop off points will be published soon.

 

In the meantime, we know the generous spirit of our churches will begin as we collect recipes and gift cards.Pray for the young people that are aging out of foster care. Pray for the facilities that are supporting them in their journey to become self sufficient. Then give to help stock their pantries.

Recommended Summer Reading

In his sermon Sunday April 17, The Greatest Story Never Read, Pastor David recommended four books for summer reading. If you didn’t get them written down and can’t remember the titles, here they are…

  • Misquoting Jesus, the Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why  by Bart D. Ehrman
  • The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine

  • Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith by Marcus J. Borg

  • Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture by John Shelby Spong

Lay Servant Ministries-Leading Service as a Mission

layministriesDo you hear the call from God to serve your church in a position of service and leadership? Are you not sure you have the skills to do the best job? Do you wish there was some program that you could attend that would help you build the skills that would help you be a better Christian-based leader and servant? Then, the Lay Servant Ministries program may be for you.

Lay Servant Ministries (LSM) is a mission of the United Methodist Church. It is based on the principle that we are called to leadership and service. John Wesley was a strong proponent of using laity, members of the church, in key leader positions. But, to fill these roles, we need training, continued education and a support network.

LMS offers classes throughout the year that address the needs of new and long time leaders and servants through the course call “Basic–Lay Servant Ministries”. This course focuses on Leading, Communicating and Caring. After that course it taken, a large number of advanced courses are available that include a vast number of topics from how to lead prayer, how to teach Bible study, how to provide caregiving and how to enhance stewardship. The classes are offered in a weekend format, starting on Friday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To participate in “Basic”, an endorsement is required from your Pastor or Administrative Board.

The “Basic-Lay Servant Ministries” course is being offered in the Central East District on May 20-21, 2016 at Velda Rose UMC, Mesa and August 19-20, 2016 at Shepherd of the Pines UMC, Overgaard. To register, go to the Desert Southwest Conference website at http://desertsouthwestconference.org/lay-servant-ministries.

Cost is $30 per participant. Participants are responsible for purchasing and reading the text in advance of the class. For more information, contact Susan and John Bowers, Directors of Lay Servant Ministries, Central East District, at jandsbowers@yahoo.com.

Hear the call and answer!

Religious Literacy Series

CAUTION NO BRAINMany Americans believe:

  • Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife
  • The Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham
  • Wicca is a style of patio furniture

While the United States is one of the most religious places on earth, it’s also a nation of shocking religious illiteracy.

Only 10 percent of American teenagers can name all five major world religions and 15 percent cannot name any.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the Bible holds the answers to all or most of life’s basic questions, yet only half of American adults can name even one of the four gospels and most Americans cannot name the first book of the Bible.

Despite this lack of basic knowledge, politicians and pundits continue to root public policy arguments in religious rhetoric whose meanings are missed—or misinterpreted—by the vast majority of Americans.

Join us as Pastor David explores the themes of Stephen Prothero’s best-selling book, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–And Doesn’t. Not a day goes by that both local and global stories involving obvious religious elements are misunderstood by the media and a majority of Americans. “We have a major civic problem on our hands,” says Prothero.  Pastor David’s Religious Literacy series will help you identify the basics that every American needs to know to help us all be more responsible in confronting the challenges facing us in our every day lives.

Religious Literacy Series 2016

  • April 3rd     Religious Literacy #1: At Your Own Risk  Proverbs 1:5
  • April 10th    Religious Literacy #2: A Nation of Illiterates  Proverbs 1.7
  • April 17th     Religious Literacy #3: The Greatest Story Never Read  Proverbs 16:22
  • April 24th    Religious Literacy #4: Religion Matters  Ecclesiastes 7:12
  • May 1st          ALL CHURCH CAMP
  • May 8th        Religious Literacy #5: What We Once Knew  Job 28:28
  • May 15th       Religious Literacy #6: How We Forgot  Hosea 4:6-7
  • May 22nd      Religious Literacy #7: Now What?!  James 3:13-18

Religious Literacy cover This series is based on the writings of best-selling author and Boston University Religion Professor, Stephen Prothero:

protheroStephen Prothero is the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and chair of the religion department at Boston University. His work has been featured on the cover of Time magazine, Oprah, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, National Public Radio, and other top national media outlets. He writes and reviews for The New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and other publications. He holds degrees in American Religion from Harvard and Yale.

 

 

 

Registration Online for All-Church Camp

Some more information is available now about The Fountains 2016 All-Church Camp at Mingus Mountain.

The option for online registration is now available HERE.  You may register your self/family online, providing all the information we need to ensure a place for you at this fun-filled weekend at Mingus Mountain.

tutor teaching student to use computerIt is a two-step process. First, you go to the event registration page (new on our website), click on Fountains in the Mountains and complete the registration form online. Payment is not tied to the registration form at this point. So, Second, you need to do one of three things to make your payment:

  1. Send a check to the church for your registration/event fee; or
  2. Deliver a check or cash to the church office; or
  3. Pay by credit card online or in person at the church office or on Sunday morning at the Information Table. If you want to pay by credit card online, CLICK HERE, click on the DONATE button in the right-hand column and enter the amount of your registration/event fee in the All-Church Camp line; just follow the instructions to complete online payment. We will be able to connect your registration with your payment.

If you have questions about the weekend, be sure to call the church office and ask for Mary Celeste or DeDe at 480-837-7627. If you have questions about online registration or online payment, please call or email Sharon 480-251-2026 or sharelrod43@gmail.com.

Mingus Mountain All Church Camp

Fountains in the Mountains: April 29th - May 1st

mingusmtn

Register NOW for this amazing weekend together at camp: TWO nights in the retreat cabins and FIVE delicious meals prepared by the Mingus Staff.

Activities include archery, zip-line, hikes, walks, games, talent show, communion at The Point and wonderful fellowship with others from The Fountains.

Cost: $85 adults (12 years and older), $65 (children 4-11) and itty bitties ($20 infant – 3). The family cap is $300, with a registration fee of $10.

Registration and flyers are available at the church office or at the information table.

Register by credit card at the information table on Sunday morning or CLICK ON THIS LINK to go to the Online Store to register (scroll to the bottom of the screen to find the camp registration option).

Chili Cook-Off Sunday March 20

chilicookoff

  Chili Cook-Off

Chili Cook-Off

The Fountains United Methodist Church

Sunday, March 20 5-7 pm

Enter your favorite pot of chili for a chance to win prizes!!

Chili tasting and voting is $10 per person.

The community is invited to join us for chili making and tasting!

Contact Mark Culbertson markculbertson@yahoo.com or the Fountains church office 837-7627

Proceeds will go to help the youth on their mission trip this summer to San Diego.

Seasonal Family Brunch with Robin Sewell!

Robin SewellThursday, March 10th at 9am

Robin Sewell, award-winning journalist and host of Arizona Highways: The Television Series  will be our “tour guide” at this year’s Annual Seasonal Family Brunch.

The cost is $12 and includes brunch from Phil’s Filling Station, presentation, AND great fellowship with fellow seasonal visitors. But don’t fret — you don’t have to be a seasonal visitor to attend. Everyone is welcome to come meet Robin and enjoy this fun morning.

Robin has been a news anchor and reporter in the Phoenix television market and has traveled all over the country covering major news events and interviewing politicians, entertainers, and newsmakers.  As the host of Arizona Highways TV, Robin has been all across our state discovering its hidden treasures and getting to know its people, history and unique character.

Robin has Native American roots from both Oklahoma and Arizona, roots that give her a special perspective on the land and history of our great state. Her grandmother came here in the early 1940’s to start a teacher placement agency and an antique business in Phoenix. Her grandfather wrote poetry published for three decades in Arizona Highways magazine.

Be sure to sign up at the information table or call the church office 480-837-7627 to let us know you’re coming (so Phil can have enough food to feed ya!).

Here’s a sample of one of Robin’s features on Arizona Highways that features Jason Fleck’s sister, Sharon Fox!

Dr. Robin Meyers Workshop

RobinBeing the Progressive Christian Voice in Your Community

With Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers

Come discover what the pastor of one of the fastest growing UCCs in the country knows about setting oneself apart as a progressive Christian in a predominantly conservative community!

Saturday, March 5th from 10am to 3pm at The Fountains, a United Methodist Church, 15300 N Fountain Hills Blvd. in Fountain Hills. Registration (which includes a soup and salad lunch) is $40 per person (or $100 for three people from the same church). Register online at www.robinmeyersinaz.eventbrite.com. $50 at the door.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Workshop Schedule:

10:00—12 noon

Re-Divining the Divine: Quantum Physics and the Future of God

Can we get over the theistic and patriarchal images of the God we grew up with, the judgmental lawgiver who has to be petitioned, bargained with, or even appeased? What if God doesn’t want to be “worshipped” because God is not personal? What if God is not a supernatural parent, made in the image of humans and pulling the strings of human destiny?

Quantum physics is revealing the mysterious interconnectedness of all things, affirming what Paul Tillich and others have hinted at in calling God the “Ground of Being” or “Being Itself.” If you yearn for a reunion of science and religion and are intrigued by the practice of mysticism, then maybe it’s time to graduate from the fear of God to the wisdom of a “Luminous Web.”

Dr. Meyers will explore:

  • Why science and religion have so often ended up in divorce court.
  • Why Quantum Entanglement is the most profound theological idea since Eden.
  • Why “sin” is grounded in the illusion of separation, and why God is not out to get you, but to be what connects you.

Noon – 1pm LUNCH / Booktable / Conversation

1:00—3:00 pm

THE UNDERGROUND CHURCH: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus

Suppressing its subversive and radical roots in favor of a non-threatening and prophetically toothless place in American society, the mainline church has been hopelessly compromised. As rumors of the death of the church abound, perhaps its time to acknowledge that we are dying not because we are too radical, but because we are not radical enough. Going to church means many things to many people, but few consider it to be a dangerous or subversive activity. Maybe it’s time to change that.

Discover the consequences of (and alternatives to):

  • Believing that “success” in church is purchased at the cost of intellectual honesty
  • Why so many young people choose to find virtual community online as a substitute for authentic human relationships.
  • Why making following Jesus too easy and discipleship too comfortable effectively guarantees our own irrelevance.

These workshops are intended to inspire both the bold and the timid, lay and clergy alike. Join us for motivation, practical ideas, and networking with other progressive Christians from around the Southwest!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

Robin_Meyers_preachingDr. Robin Meyers is the senior minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC Church of Oklahoma City, where he has served for 30 years. He is also the Distinguished Professor of Social Justice in the philosophy department at Oklahoma City University.

He is the best-selling author of seven books, including bestseller SAVING JESUS FROM THE CHURCH: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus (Harper One, 2009), WHY THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT IS WRONG: A Minister’s Manifesto for Taking Back your Faith, your Flag, and your Future (Jossey/Bass, 2006), and THE UNDERGROUND CHURCH: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus (Jossey Bass, 2012). Dr. Meyers is a fellow of the Westar Institute (home of the Jesus Seminar), a national and international speaker and workshop leader, a frequent guest preacher at church conferences, and an award-winning commentator for National Public Radio.

 

Robin Meyers Poster lorez