Worship

Confirmation by Dylan Hilburn

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My name is Dylan Hilburn and I ‘m going through Confirmation this year. To me, Confirmation is one of the biggest events in my life because I am confirming my belief in Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. I also get a name tag and get to join the church! 

As part of confirmation, every kid got a mentor. Mine was Mr. Pete. I’ve enjoyed spending time with him. He came to our house for dinner and we went to their club house for lunch. We’ve discussed many things that I’ve learned in confirmation. I like being able to talk about what I’m learning with him. I feel like me and Mr. Pete are going to be friends even after I’m confirmed. 

I have learned so much about the Methodist Church and the people that founded it. In Confirmation class, we have covered some pretty deep topics. Some of them were Salvation, Life after death, History of the church, our beliefs, and so much more. This was important to me because it helped me understand my faith on a deeper level. In a couple of weeks, I will make a big step in my journey with God by getting baptized and confirmed.

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A Symbol of Grace

“Let the little children come to me…for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” —Mark 10:14

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It is always such a joyful occasion when we proclaim God’s love for the children entrusted to our care at Argyle UMC through their baptism. When children are baptized, it is an opportunity to celebrate the beginning of their journey and the miraculous truth that God’s grace is at work in their lives from the very start. Recently, we were thrilled to celebrate the baptism of two children in our church, Sydney and Alexa Davis, sisters who were baptized together.  

Sydney and Alexa’s mom, Stefanie, said “we chose to have the girls baptized at AUMC as an outward showing of our family’s commitment to raising them in a God-centered manner.” For Sydney and Alexa, the journey begins in the nurturing community of this church, where they will both learn what it means that God loves them. Just as the Davis family and close friends surrounded the girls in this important moment, our church got to respond in love by committing to loving these girls and to offer them a home and support as they grow up. 

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Stefanie said “our hope is that our girls will grow up to truly know God’s love for them and to realize what a truly special place AUMC is. We pray that they will continue to embrace the wonderful people that make up their church family and become active members of the AUMC family in their own way as they grow in their spiritual walk…Sydney and Alexa being baptized together is a bond between the two them that we will never forget.”

The Davis Family’s story is such a beautiful example of how God’s love is at work in the lives of our children. Just as Stefanie said, this beautiful moment “symbolizes that God’s grace is at work in their lives before they are even fully aware of it.” 

You can always find upcoming opportunities at argyleumc.org/events or learn more about what we’re up to by liking us on Facebook at facebook.com/argyleumckids.

Worship Without Walls 2017

A big thank you to everyone who joined us for Worship Without Walls 2017! Here are some of the ways God moved in you to transform our community, one ife at a time:

  • 383 Servants Participated
  • 1,996 total Volunteer Hours for the WOW Weekend
  • 14 Opportunities to Serve
  • 21,384 Meals Packed for Rise Against Hunger
  • 20 Kits and 150 Bags for Pads for Purpose
  • 48 Memory Books for Children at Team UP Camp
  • 63 lives saved with Blood Donations 
  • 43 First-time Servants
  • 5 new families jumped in to serve and worship

It was an amazing weekend and we loved seeing God at work in you and in our community!

Our Senior Mission Trip to Guatemala

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This spring break I had the opportunity to go on my senior mission trip to Guatemala. Before I go any farther, I want to say that this was, by far, my favorite mission trip yet. This group consisted of six seniors—Ethan Williams, Brayden Ratcliff, Molly Sheridan, Allison McNeill, Jordan Allen, and myself (Brett Byer)—alongside five adults—Chris Schoolcraft, Carla Hilburn, Drew Tucker, Julie Sheridan, and Kelly Allen. We worked with Mission Guatemala, a Methodist-based nonprofit, to help serve the community of San Andrés.

Our first full day there, we went to the market in Chichicastenango. We were able to shop and buy souvenirs, but more importantly, we were able to see first-hand the culture that we were about to be serving. While at the market, we got to tour the city. We went to the Church of Santo Tomas, where we saw both a catholic priest and a Mayan priest worshiping next to each other at the same time. It was a beautiful moment. They both showed respect for the other and they both loved each other.

On our first workday, before any work was done, we attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the new teachers’ office facility we were going to be working on all week. They had us as their guests of honor, and to be honest, it was a little strange. All we were going to do was come and sweat a little and then leave for another team to take over. But they didn’t see it that way. We were the first group that was going to work on this new facility. This was something that they had been wanting for a long time, and for it to finally be happening, they were so happy. After the ceremony, we began working. It was at that point when we realized just how hard the week was going to be. This was far from our normal “light construction and painting” that we are used to. This was busting up rocks and digging trenches. But over the course of the week, we began to bond with the workers that we worked with. They invited us to join them in their mid-day tradition of drinking Coke and eating bread. I’m not a big coke drinker, but that bread was so good. With the little Spanish that we knew, we tried to communicate with them. And it worked pretty well. I had a 10-minute conversation one day with one of the workers, in Spanish, about…sports. I don’t think my Spanish was great, but I was able to get my point across and have a meaningful conversation. Another day, just after lunch and just before we went back to work, we were playing a card game. I asked one of the workers if he wanted to play. He said yes. So I sat out that round and taught him the game and helped him, but I’m going to be honest, he didn’t need the help. He ended up winning the game. It was the moments like these that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. Even though I don’t speak a lot of Spanish, I was able to communicate, and for those times when I couldn’t, we had fun and played games.

Back at the Mission Guatemala hotel, another team was staying there. They were from Columbus, Ohio. We ate breakfast and dinner at the hotel with them, but we segregated to our own tables. After about 2 days of doing that, I had the idea of mixing with them to get to know them and bond with them. So one morning at breakfast, we just sat all over the place, and when they walked in, they did not hesitate to go and fill in the gaps. They were excited to get to know us. This continued throughout the rest of the week. We were able to bond and form great relationships with them just by changing how we ate. Julie and Molly went on morning runs throughout the week, and they even got Molly—from the Columbus group—to go run with them. It was really amazing to see how God was growing our relationship with them.

Every night, we would have worship and devo. This was definitely my favorite part of the day. We sat in the living room of the girls apartment and just worshiped. Everyone, singing at the top of their lungs and just truly worshiping God. Every night. We felt the Holy Spirit at work in that space, filing us with so many emotions. We had great devotions. There wasn’t a night that we didn’t have to break out the toilet paper to be used as tissues. That space was full of so much love, not just for God, but for each other. That’s what I’m going to miss the most.

One night, we got to witness a Mayan ritual and see how they worship. We got to join in and worship our own God while also performing the Mayan ritual of burning candles. This was followed by dance. I’m not big on dancing, but it was really fun to just skip around in a circle.

This was an amazing mission trip. We got to be apart, a small part, but an important part of something so great. We formed bonds that we never could have imagined would have been formed. We saw God move in great and mighty ways. We got to see a different culture and see how they worship. We got to drink some amazing coffee. And we got to be the hands and feet of God in San Andrés, Guatemala. 

A Christmas Prayer

He came that beautiful night in the form of a babe;

He lives today in the hearts that obey.

He knows your name and every little thought;

He loves you in a way that cannot be bought.

This gift of grace and love that lingers

Came wrapped in cloth with tiny fingers.

His presence that night brought far away men—

What a story it is and a way to begin!

It doesn’t stop there; it goes on, you see,

For Christ came and died just for you and me.

May your eyes be open to see the wondrous love

Of the Savior who was sent from heaven above.

May your ears be in tune to the beautiful sound

Of the voice of the Savior whose love abounds.

May your hearts receive hope that your Healer is here;

He has never left you and His presence is near.

May you know you are loved beyond any measure,

For Christ came that night because you are His treasure.

Good news and great joy, as the angels proclaimed,

The birth of the Christ child, in a manger he laid.

My hope and my prayer for you on this day—

May you see God’s love in a whole new way.

Kim Thomas

For the angel said to them, “Don’t’ be afraid, for look I proclaim to you the good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David”. Luke 2:10-11

The Sweetest Moment

This Sunday, we experienced a sweet and powerful moment at our 9:30 service as one of our kids accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior! Below is the story from his mom, Christy:

Ok, so when it comes to my boys, tears can easily well in my eyes from certain unexpected acts! Today as our church service was coming to an end, we began our Tithe and Offering part of the service. During this time, the prayer altar is opened for anyone who wants to go pray.
Before I knew what was happening, Walker, my 7-year-old, headed to the altar. He was up there for a while speaking and praying with one of the amazing women in our church.
When church was over, she approached me to let me know that my son accepted Christ into his heart while he was up there. He told her he wanted to be a light to others with Jesus living is his heart!
Y'all....I could barely hold it together. My heart melted and my eyes instantly filled with tears! What a way to end this amazing Thanksgiving weekend and begin the season of Advent! Praising God for his love, presence and how He moves in my life and the lives of my children!!! Jesus lives in all of us and there is no doubt in my mind, Walker will proudly wear the light of Jesus to love others!
God is SOOOO Good, ALL THE TIME!!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

The Painting Journey

I didn't realize it when I signed up for it, but this painting experience was a Lenten Journey for me. I don't even know what I was thinking when I signed up--I had never painted anything before, I'm a graduate student, I work full-time, I'm balancing a lot of different roles--there were so many reasons why I shouldn't have. But I felt drawn to this project, so I dreamt up this painting. 

For those of you who don't know, I'm the Director of Communications here, which means that one of the hats that I wear is graphic design. I'm getting more and more comfortable creating things digitally, so talking it through with our Director of Worship Arts and my dear friend, DeDe Jones, I created a digital collage of images of what this could end up looking like. 

This digital version was square one. From here, we began to plan the logistics of how this would come to fruition. Only once we were in Home Depot buying 2 X 8 panels of insulation foam did I realize how big this painting was going to be. We honestly hadn't thought it through. You should have seen DeDe and I standing in the Home Depot parking lot, brows furrowed, deciding who would sit in the bed of the truck and hold them all the way to my apartment and who would drive with the hazards on at 20 mph on the highway. (I ended up in the wayback hugging these huge panels all the way home.)

We unloaded them all, painted them white, and then I was left to looking at these huge, blank panels that would soon become art. 

Faith is really not my strength. It's hard for me. Hebrews 11:1 says that "faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see." Even though this was 100% out of my comfort zone, I could somehow see it all before I started, and looking back, I'm realizing that this was a faith journey for me. Through art, God called me outside the lines of my comfortable places (the things I know I'm good at) and drew me into an intimate place with Him where I had to act on faith that things would turn out alright. And they did! Each week, I painted a panel, and I got to watch it come together with all of you, not seeing it truly complete until Easter weekend. I am so grateful to work with a team who gave me this opportunity and saw how God would work in me before I could. I am so grateful for this staff, our congregation, and my friends and family who prayed over this journey. God truly transformed my life through this painting, and I hope that you were able to see Him through this journey, too.

The Kilgore's first Holy Week at Argyle UMC

This year, the Pastoral Staff lead us through Lent to our first Holy Week at Argyle UMC.

The thought-provoking art panels helped us visualize how one man's life, then death, changed the serenity and the monotony of the lives of those in Jesus' time as it does our lives when we relive the scriptures of the week Jesus died. 

The symbolism of cleansing  our hands, our selves of sin, then receiving the bread and cup as the disciples did from Christ, put His love in real perspective on Maundy Thursday.

The dark sanctuary, the sound of the nails being pounded into the cross, the emotional music on Good Friday reminded us of that day when we all participated in His death. 

Chris' Good Friday message gave us hope and hope came alive on Easter Sunday through beautiful songs, joyous music, floral offerings and throngs of our fellow brothers and sisters at our new church home.

Our first Holy Week with our new Church Family will live in our hearts forever. 
God is good all the time, all the time, God is good.

-Ellen Kilgore