7.6.20 Monday Morning Devotion & Update

Over and over again, through his living example, teachings, and parables, Jesus teaches us to love one another. When Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is, he tells his disciples that they “shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”… and “’love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37,39). As Jesus was preparing to leave his disciples on the last night of his life on earth, some of Jesus’ final words to his disciples were these from John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
 
Love one another.

Sometimes, we know, love can be hard. I remember as a child, choosing the most frustrating ways to show my love. I loved my older sister, so I would follow her around everywhere she went. I wanted her toys to be my toys, her clothes to be my clothes, and her friends to be my friends. At the time, I couldn’t understand why she would get so frustrated with me. Looking back, of course, we know that imitation isn’t actually always the best form of flattery… or at least it sure doesn’t feel like it!
 
Sometimes, though, we get it right.
 
Friends of First Church: I want to say thank you for the times I have already seen that this week. I hope you already know what I have learned this week: we have prayer teams and leaders and staff and volunteers who care deeply about this church and each of you. This week especially, it has been an amazing gift to be able to witness you loving and caring not just for one another, but for the whole of the Watertown community by planning acts of service and love that move beyond our doors or building.
 
Selfishly, I also want to say thank you for the ways you have loved me. The notes, cards, gifts, smiles, waves and drive-thru parade were all amazing gifts of love poured out over me as you welcome me to this amazing community. You sure have loved this (new) neighbor well these past seven days: and I thank you!
 
You know what makes me more excited than how great this week has been, though? That we’re only getting started! Let’s keep it up, shall we? As we seek to love the community around us, I’m inspired to spend some extra energy paying it forward this week — and I hope you’ll join me. Let’s each go out of our way to extend an extra act of grace and love to some one who isn’t expecting it… just because we can… and more importantly, because Jesus has commanded us to.
 
I can’t wait to hear all the stories of Jesus love being spread this week — and in the weeks, months, and years to come!
 
Pastor Jen


THIS WEEK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 
NEW ANNOUNCEMENT
“On A Journey” is our July sermon series led by Pastor Jen Tyler.  We hope you will join us for worship either in person or online.

Worship Opportunities
We will continue to hold in-person worship service on Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 10am. We will continue streaming ONLINE worship services on Saturday night at 5pm and Sunday morning at 10am. To participate in any of the ONLINE worship services, please go to the Church Facebook Page at: www.facebook.com/watertownfirstumc or the Church Website at: www.watertownfirst.church/watch.
  
Church Building: The church will be available for scheduled small group gatherings and appointments. For now the church will be closed during unscheduled times. Appointments/gatherings can be scheduled by calling the church office at 605-886-4427 or emailing the Church Office at: office@watertownfirst.church.
 
Church Office and Pastors Continue to be Available: Our office manager is in the office to answer phone calls during normal office hours Monday-Thursday and a pastor is available in case of a pastoral emergency 24-7.
NOTE: Pastors are still unable to visit in person at Prairie Lakes Hospital. We can visit via phone. Please contact the church office if you or a loved one is hospitalized.

Church Finances: We’ve had a number of questions about how COVID-19 will affect the financial health of the church. The church’s financial health will be dependent on its members and friends making an intentional effort to continue to give. There are several methods available for giving. You can mail your tithe and offerings to the church at: First United Methodist Church, PO Box 1416, Watertown, SD 57201 or give online at: www.watertownfirst.church/giving-back.