I like the word journey. It does not imply following directions, rules or procedures. It seems to give me permission to wander, ponder and meander. It does not give me a schedule or timeline. It seems to give me permission to travel as fast or slow as I like. Sometimes I will come to a dead-end, a “Y” in the road or find a new treasure!
The permission to wander and ponder with the scriptures is an important ingredient in my seasons as I journey. Most of the time my “quick to-get-everything”-done pace doesn’t allow for reflection of my actions and words. More time than not, slowing down gives me and everyone around me a sense of peace and calm.
The world keeps us on a schedule of holidays, work days, family commitments and tasks. Somehow when I slow down on my journey, I seem to get more done. My holidays become more memorable. The work days become more enjoyable and I seem to accomplish a lot more without having to redo activities. And most importantly it ends up getting done with love and grace.
It’s the slowing down and listening that get in my way, so I thought. I feel like I don’t have time to slow down (yes, Martha meet Mary). I don’t have time to revisit, regroup or rethink. I must get it all done to make the holiday, job or task happen. Well, it generally all ends up happening one way or the other. The cookies are golden brown or burnt. The job is completed with or without a genuine smile. The task ends up right side up, upside down or sliding sideways under the door. But I’d prefer to be on the road with joy in my heart.
I like the permission to journey, the permission to go off the path and visit new worlds, concepts or revisit what is really important. When I journey the discoveries are so much more real and rewarding; spending time with family in a real conversation, doing my job so it is pleasing to everyone, most importantly me and taking on a task that has meaning and interest (not doing it to just get it done).
Yes, it is that “slowing thing” that gets in my way. But this year I really want to embrace the journey. Yes, that means I will need to go a little slower. Hopefully the load will become lighter, more memorable, more enjoyable and more Christ-like.
I wish everyone a more meaningful, peaceful, and joy-filled 2019. I hope you give yourself permission to meander on your journey.
Christmas brings hope. Hope brings light in the darkness. The greatest gift that we have received is the birth of the Christ child and in His birth we can find hope. Hope isn't something stagnent. It is regenerating and endless. So never let go of hope. What appears to be the end could be the beginning of a miracle!
Come help us celebrate the miracle of hope found in the baby Jesus!
Please consider joining us at the service that works best for your family.
Christmas Eve 4pm Young Family Service
Our children-friendly Christmas Eve service begins at 4:00pm. It offers an informal children's play, Christmas carols and scripture. It features our three children's choirs; AngeliX, Kids of Grace and Cherub. This service will end with the dimming of the sanctuary lights and the lighting of glow sticks by all attendees.
Christmas Eve 7pm, Candle Light Service
Our 7:00pm Traditional service offers Christmas hymns, scripture and sermon. It features our adult Chancel choir. This service will end with the darkening of the sanctuary and the lighting of candles by all attendees.
Christmas Eve 11pm Communion ServiceAt the 11:00pm Christmas Eve worship service you may receive communion. It also includes the traditional hymns sung by our Chancel Choir, scripture, and sermon. This service will end with the darkening of the sanctuary and the lighting of candles by all attendees.
Fall is a little different in Arizona (at least in the metro Phoenix area). We don't get to welcome the crunch or colors of the leaves. We don't get to welcome the cool, crisp air. We do get to welcome the joy of temperatures under 100 degrees, though! And we still symbolically welcome the harvest, too!
Our welcoming at North Scottsdale United Methodist church is ushered in with a fall festival we call Trunk or Treat. We welcome the entire community to share in this free festival.
We are hosting our 20th annual Trunk or Treat Festival from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, October 28th in the NSUMC church parking lot located at 11735 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85254.
This event provides an opportunity for the community families to enjoy a free, safe and friendly trick or treating experience. This year’s event will begin at 4:00 p.m. with carnival games, snow cones and bouncers. food trucks will be onsite selling dinner options. Halfway through the event the NSUMC Youth Group will lead children in a costume parade. The night will end with the awarding of trophies for exceptional costumes and decorated trunks, and the highly coveted “Trunk-or-Treating.”
The basic Trunk or Treating guidelines include:
It will be a sweet night of trick or treating planned for children.
NSUMC asks that attending families donate canned and dry goods for Vista del Camino Children’s After School Recreation Center in Scottsdale, AZ. We would love if your family could donate canned goods, dry goods, cereal, baby food, diapers and other nonperishable Thanksgiving meal items. All donations can be brought to our Trunk or Treat event (you may also bring items to your Sunday School classroom.). Thank you for TREATING those families to an awesome Thanksgiving!!!
Every congregation has them. They are some of the most loving, caring and nurturing people within our walls. They minster to all ages. They give unconditionally. Some are silver, some are gold but all are such a precious gift!
At North Scottsdale UMC, we are blessed with dozens of volunteers that teach. They teach Sunday School to our children and youth, adults and toddlers. They love on our nursery kiddos and they fill a very important need for discipleship. Their love for God and people is contagious and motivating.
One Sunday a year we get to honor these gracious people at our "Teacher Dedication and Blessing Sunday." This year it will be Sunday, September 9th at our 10am service. We are so honored to offer a blessing on these selfless servants!
As countless teachers begin to prepare for a new school year ahead, grant them an abundance of Your wisdom. Prepare their hearts to welcome and love our loved ones, and may we make sure to show them love and respect in return. Give them grace as they help students who aren’t thriving, courage to say what needs to be said, tools and knowledge on how and when to speak love, and strength when they feel weak. When they feel unseen, remind them that no moment goes unnoticed. They are shaping the future in one million small - yet incredibly important - ways every day. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of learning they share with our children. Bless them, Lord, and may they see even just a glimpse of how their faithfulness will forever impact generations to come. Amen
As I was walking through a store the other day I was noticing all the different sizes, shapes and colors of the backpacks for this coming school year. I was also wondering how many students will be without a backpack and may not have the opportunity to get a new backpack this year.
Some backpacks are tiny for the preschoolers and some large with extra padding for the college students carrying computers. There are packs with Minnions on them, rainbow unicorns, polka dots, sports logos and fluorescent colors. There are camouflage packs and some that look like a carpet bagger from the post-civil war area in the south. There are some that are advertised to be feather light and others that even come with wheels.
The Bible even mentions bags and totes a number of times. From Moses blessing baskets, to David's shepherd's bag, to Judas carrying his money purse as the disciple's treasurer. Ezekiel, Paul and Jeremiah all had to deal with carrying stuff. From leftovers, to figs, to five smooth stones, clothing, to lunches. Totes and bags were around in the ancient world, although they looked a bit different.
At NSUMC we invite ALL students, teachers and administrators to bring their backpack to church on Sunday August 12th, 2018 so both they and their backpacks can be blessed at both our 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. worship service.
These backpacks will be the children’s constant companions as they go about their school days, and the pastors of NSUMC would like to offer a blessing on them. After the blessing, they will give each child a tag to put on their backpack to remind them that God is with them in their daily life and that their church family will be praying for them throughout the year. The 2018-2019 tag is the Good Shepherd.
Don't have any students at home? All are invited to be a blessing to other less fortunate children by purchasing a NEW backpack and bringing it to the church that Sunday. These new backpacks will be distributed to Vista del Camino Recreational Center in south Scottsdale.
“We pray for these cherished children, whom we have promised to love and nurture. Keep them safe, keep them excited, keep them ever seeking to learn more and to develop their gifts. Through their studies, may they gain the tools to grow in love, faith and service to others.”
You are invited to our 2018 summer day camp that is entitled “Rolling River Rampage.” This camp adventure will be held Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29, 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon at NSUMC. It is open to all children ages three through twelve. The requested donation is $45 per child for the entire week’s program.
At Rolling River Rampage children will discover that life is an adventure full of wonder and surprise, and that they can count on God to be with them on the entire journey. VBS Rolling River Rampage offers energizing music, interactive bible puppetry, super science experiments, creative crafts, hands-on mission work, delicious snacks, and active games that will help kids ride the rapids of amazing grace!! The adventure includes curriculum from Steve Spangler Science http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/.. There will also be a 14’ waterslide for the campers to enjoy on Friday!
Call the church office at 480-948-0529 to request a registration form or visit us on-line at http://www.nsumckids.info/vbs-day-camp--rolling-river-rampage.html and printout a registration form that will need to be returned to the church office (11735 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85254). Or just stop by Monday morning, June 25th with a completed registration form for each child.
North Scottsdale United Methodist Church celebrates the love of God through Christ by having two services on Sunday (8:30 am and 10:00 am) plus Sunday school classes for children and youth. Other children and youth activities include; children’s choir, youth band, volleyball, mission trips, small groups, festivals, carnivals and youth groups. N.S.U.M.C. also offers adult Bible studies, men and women’s groups, choirs, retreats, holiday events, turn-around trips, mission trips and more.
If you are interested in additional information about N.S.U.M.C. or any of these events, please call the church office at (480) 948-0529, check out their websites http://www.nsumc.com/ http://www.nsumckids.info/ https://www.facebook.com/NorthScottsdaleUMC , https://www.pinterest.com/nscottsdaleumc or visit them at 11735 North Scottsdale Road (just south of Cactus Road).
There are times when things sneak up on us even when we are expecting it. We know that New Year is January 1st, Christmas is December 25th but even though Easter is annual it is slightly different. It wanders yet it always offers a new beginning wherever it lands.
So why does Easter wander? Easter comes every year, but with Easter, Christians follow tradition and history all wrapped up in the many calendars. The Nicaean Council of bishops met to give this holy event a date. They suggested that Easter should fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the spring equinox. Calendars changed from solar, lunar, Julian, and Gregorian and Easter adjusted slightly. Many countries are left with positioning Easter according to the solar and lunar calendars and then counting backward on the calendar to determine the other holy dates of Lent.
Even the origin of the name of Easter helps us to select the perfect month. It is suggested that the Anglo-Saxon name for April is Estor-monath simply means “the month of opening” or “the month of beginnings.”
So as Easter wanders, so do the Easter people. We wander and wonder about how to be people of empathy and compassion. We attempt to show empathy and compassion to our self and family but we also know it is important to reach out to other people that are different from us. We wander and wonder about what “new beginning” we can learn from the teaching of Jesus that will help our life here and now. We wonder if our hearts and ears are open to His words. Being wanderers and wonderers, is a good thing. It keeps our mind open to new beginnings for our self and others.
It is great to have wandering and wondering seasons throughout our faith journey. It can lead us to being open to new beginnings!
Wishing you a Happy Easter of new beginnings!
Over the centuries many have traveled to Him. It is a season of travel. Some come to hear the stories of His goodness and mercy. Some come to honor Him. Some come to celebrate the birth of a new way, the Way. What is your reason to "travel" to this moment?
Is it a figurative or literal travel to this moment? Are you coming to celebrate:
- the glory of His birth
- the amazing stories shared by the prophets
- a story that still rings true today
Or are you traveling to find:
- hope in your life
- the birth of a new way
- meaning to the hussle and bussle of this world
The intent is not important. Searching on your life's journey to find the grace and peace that come from this little baby is important. Those are the most amazing gifts you will ever receive.
If you would like to hear more about this "little baby," please join our church family at one of our three Christmas Eve services, or anytime your in the neighborhood. His light is always on. Just watch for it on your travels.
Christmas Eve 4pm Young Family Service
Our children-friendly Christmas Eve service begins at 4:00pm. It offers an informal children's play, Christmas carols and scripture. It features our three children's choirs; AngeliX, Kids of Grace and Cherub.
Christmas Eve 7pm Candlelight Service
Our 7:00 pm Traditional service offers Christmas hymns, scripture and sermon. It features our adult Chancel choir. This service will end with the darkening of the sanctuary and the lighting of candles by all attendees.
Christmas Eve 11:00 pm Communion Service
At the 11:00pm Christmas Eve worship service you may receive communion. It also includes the traditional hymns sung by our Chancel Choir, scripture, and sermon. This service will end with the darkening of the sanctuary and the lighting of candles by all attendees.
Our church has a wonderful tradition of producing an annual Christmas Cantata. This year our Chancel Choir will perform Christmas Cantata: The Incarnation, on Sunday, Dec. 17th @ 10 am in the sanctuary. This performance will include brass, timpani, organ and choir that is befitting for the birth of Jesus. This event is free to the public.
As an alternative to the Cantata NSUMC is hosting a Mad Science Winter Experiment Experience. Cantata performance is best suited for children ages 12 and up. North Scottsdale United Methodist Church is offering a S.T.E.M. performance in our fellowship hall during the 10am service for children. We will not have children’s moments or the regular Sunday School that day, instead all children ages 3-18 are asked to join us in the fellowship hall (the large room just east of the sanctuary where the coffee and snacks are located). Please send your children over (or walk them if that is more comfortable for you). Two-year old’s may visit the nursery. You know your child and what works best for them. They are welcome at either experience.
This year's Winter Science show is Up, Up and Away! This spellbinding S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) special event introduces children to the principles of air and pressure. Hot air balloons, vortex generators and even a hovercraft will help children understand the power of air. The presentation will end with a take-home instant snow activity for each child. This event is also free to the public.
So happy that our campus can offer two very special opportunities for our community during the Advent season. All are invited to either performance!
In Arizona it's almost that time of year when we can open our windows to fresh, cool air. That's not an exciting event in most areas of the country, but in Arizona being able to open our windows and doors in chilly evening weather is a refreshing highlight. We really cannot count on consistent daytime temperatures of less than 100 degrees until Halloween!
We also do not wear sweaters, jackets or boots under costumes because of our climate. We do, however, celebrate Halloween and all it's festivities! At North Scottsdale United Methodist Church, Halloween had evolved into a great family tradition with lots of exciting games, yummy chili, sweet candy, outstanding food trucks, decorated trunks, awesome costumes and great socializing!
We like to celebrate this time of year with the community by inviting them to our TRUNK 0r TREAT. This is a 20 year tradition that our families and the community love! We celebrate on a Sunday evening prior to Halloween. This year that date is October 29th from 4:00pm until 6:00 pm.
The event will begin with carnival games, snow cones and bouncers. Food Trucks and other snacks will be available throughout the evening. Halfway through the event the NSUMC Youth Group will lead children in a costume parade. The night will end with the awarding of trophies for exceptional costumes and decorated trunks, and the highly coveted “Trunk-or-Treating.”
The basic Trunk or Treating guidelines include:
I am blessed to be the Co-Director of Christian Education for North Scottsdale United Methodist Church. It is an awesome family church.