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Greetings and a very warm welcome to you from the people of Tice United Methodist Church. We strive to be a place where you can bring both your heart and your mind to search for a deeper experience of God that leads us to faith lived out in the world.
We hope that you will find a place of worship that reminds you that a new way of the heart is always available, that change for the better is always an option in our lives, and that love of God and neighbor are the greatest commandments.
Our mission is to be a diverse people becoming the active and visible presence of Christ in our community and throughout the world. We will do this by being a people centered in Christ who accept and embrace diversity, who live out their faith in their everyday, ordinary lives, worshipping, growing, and leading together.
If we can be of any help to you, please let us know. We would love for you to become a part of our community of faith. We would love for you to learn more about the ways you’re gifted and can contribute and participate in serving. We would love to pray for you and grow with you. Come and join us, and come as you are. You are welcome here.
Pastor Esther is a native of Puerto Rico living in Florida since childhood. Her call to ministry is founded and propelled by her experience of God’s grace. “It’s all about grace” she often says. She is passionate about worship, missions, reaching the marginalized of society and those who have left church due to bad experiences. She loves reading, movies, her dog and cat, and a good cup of cafe con leche.
Founded : 1945
Pastor : Esther Rodriguez
Mission : A diverse people becoming the active and visible presence of Christ in our community and throughout the world.
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m sitting at my desk. Directly in front of me is the magnificent wood art piece of the Last Supper of which there is one in the sanctuary. Around me are other things I have hung up on the walls to remind me of great truths I have discovered, and words to encourage me in them. My coffee cup is now empty and I have been praying about what to say this morning as the newsfeed is filled with news of terror from the Manchester attack.
I’m thinking about Manchester. I’m thinking about those I’ll see tomorrow in line at the Food Pantry. I’m thinking of our Fresh Expression kids many of whose futures depend a lot on the fact that they live in this community. I’m thinking about our recent graduates and the things I so want to tell them. I’m thinking about this church and our mission.
I love theology and I love the Bible. I’m sure I could come up with some thoughts on suffering and evil or about our call to mission, but as I’m sitting here this morning writing — the news blasting loudly in our minds, the practical worries looming, and summer-filled calendar — the word that keeps popping in my head is: love. Love God. Love yourself. Love the people around you. Love the environment. Love this community. Love your enemies.
The thought that fills my head is that if we do nothing else in this life, we are called to share love — the greatest of which, and from which all else springs, is the love of God. A love that we’re to experience and then to share. No matter what terrorists say, what the government says, what your calendar says, what your emotions say, what your neighbor says — love is our calling.
Love is not something silly and weak, meant only for some. Love is so powerful, Dr. Martin Luther King tells us, that it’s “the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” Dr. King also said that: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Love, of course is not simply a feeling — as anybody who’s loved anyone for any significant period of time can tell you. Love is lived out. Love risks. Love fights for good things for the beloved. Love is complex, wide, long, and deep. So, I invite us to think more deeply about love and our call to it — especially since the word is used for so many things. (The love of Chinese food or of movies is not the kind of love I’m talking about!) I leave you to pray and reflect on a scripture that is often used in weddings but whose depth should not be lost and meaning not confined to that of a married couple. Let 1 Corinthians 13 be our prayer.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant.
When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us,
knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Grace and peace—
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