is to be Christ centered, teaching and learning community, dedicated to reaching out to all in a spirit of caring and sharing, a community where growth in Christ inspires us to be joyful sharing people.
Where is God in times like this? Where is our church at times like this?
Well, let’s begin with some recent excerpts for our United Methodist communications regarding Saturday’s mass shooting by 18-year-old Payton Gendron, which resulted in 13 people shot, 10 of whom were killed.
“The Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church stands a few blocks from the grocery store where the gunman opened fire. For the members of the largely Black congregation in Buffalo, what is labeled a white supremacist attack hits close to home.
One member lost an inspiring teacher. Another lost her beloved uncle. The church’s pastor, the Rev. George Nicholas, is close to the family of Aaron Salter, the retired police officer who died trying to stop the gunman.
On Sunday, they and an interracial crowd of worshippers came to Lincoln Memorial to mourn, to begin to heal and to discuss what following Jesus requires. “See for us Black folks, we are familiar with suffering,” Nicholas told those gathered. “This ain’t news to us. We’ve been here before and we’re just desperately waiting for God’s people to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us not just for a moment, not just for a vigil, not just for prayer time. I’m talking about standing with us.”
Bishop Mark J. Webb, who leads the Upper New York Conference that includes Buffalo, released a statement saying: “As the Church of Jesus Christ, we condemn hatred, injustice and sin in all its forms. Violence against another, whether with a gun or with another weapon, is sin and we must stand against it.”
Investigators say the 18-year-old laid out in a 180-page manifesto why he wanted to kill, including his belief in a racist conspiracy theory that white people are being replaced by Blacks and Jewish people. He then recorded himself driving to the Tops Friendly Market and carrying out the attack, shooting 11 Black people and two white.
United Methodist leaders across the denomination condemned the attack and called for prayer. The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, called the shooting an act of “domestic terror,” noting that the shooter reportedly used assault weapons and wore military tactical gear.
“As United Methodists, we take seriously Christ’s words ‘to love our neighbor as we love ourselves,’” she said, quoting Mark 12:31. “We affirm that hate and racial terrorism has no place in our society. As Christians and Americans, we need to unite and rid the influence of white supremacy, white nationalism and racism — hate ideologies that severely veer from biblical teachings and The United Methodist Church’s Social Principles.”
The agency is pushing the U.S. Congress to address gun violence and urging The United Methodist Church to continue its work of addressing systemic racism and racial violence.
“We name the simple truth today: White supremacist ideology is a poison to our country and anathema to the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Harriett Jane Olson, top executive of United Women in Faith.
The Rev. Giovanni Arroyo, top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, also expressed horror and grief at the attack. The agency offers resources to work toward racial justice.
“All our church and community leaders must act to undo the work of racism that’s deeply rooted in our society,” he said. “We must take responsibility for this ongoing work. Every anti-racist action and conversation is a step in the right direction.”
Nicholas, the pastor of the Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church, challenged the visitors to his church’s Sunday service, to speak up when someone in their social circles says something racist. “If you say nothing, you are complicit,” he told those gathered.
He spoke in front of an altar rail lined with 10 yellow roses — each representing a life cut short in the Buffalo attack. “We need to be working on a daily basis to really build what Martin Luther King talked about as ‘the beloved community,’” Nicholas said. “But it takes real work. It takes introspective work. It takes painful work. And sometimes it takes sacrificial work and it takes holding ourselves accountable as a denomination for a racist past and some of our current racist practices.”
So, where is our church in times like these? Our church is there personally grieving the death of loved ones. And our church is there grieving beside those who grieve. Our church is there fighting to end violence and systemic racism. And our church is there doing the painful, sacrificial work of looking within at our own internalized racism in order to cast it out. Friends, let us never to fight the good fight. Let us recommit ourselves to the ending of the evil of racism in all the forms it presents itself.
And where is our God in times like these? God is there in the middle of the suffering. God is there confronting evil and bearing the agony that is evil’s intent. But it’s more than that. God is not only there in empathy. God is also there in his defiant love and life, that invites us to join in his purposes; to defeat evil and injustice and to bring new, whole and holy resurrection life. to. us. all.
Yours in the journey,
MASKS OPTIONAL: The wearing of masks at Crete United Methodist Church is optional.
While masks are not required, those who feel more comfortable masked are encouraged to do so. We also ask that if you have not been vaccinated or if you are feeling a bit under the weather, that you personally chose to wear a mask while in the church buildings as a good faith effort on your part.
CRETE UMC WOMEN'S CLUB: Our next meeting will be held on this Saturday, May 21st, at 10:00 a.m., in the Church Library. This group provides friendship, support, and fellowship. In June, meeting Saturday June 18th at 10:00 a.m.
ENDURING STRINGS RECITAL TEA will be held Saturday, May 21st, beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Crete United Methodist Church. All are welcome to attend.
CRETE LIONS CAR BINGO: May 21, at 2:00 p.m., Crete UMC’s Parking Lot. A fundraiser to help Crete Historical Society. Come and join a few hours of Bingo Fun right from your car. Bingo numbers are called to your car radio. There will be six chances for you to win. It’s $20 total for 6 Bingo cards- one per game. Next Car Bingo will be June 18th, 2022
CRETE WOMEN'S CLUB - 31 Annual Garden Walk- June 22 and 21, preview night June 21
Art and Craft Fair in the Crete UMC's parking lot from 9a to 4:00p (Free to the Public)
Tickets for the Garden Walk, $20.00 each, go on sale June 1st.
Because we care about you, we will be utilizing best safety practices. Masks are required (one will be provided for you if needed). Plastic gloves and hand sanitizer will be available for your use. Social distancing will be maintained at all times and the number of shoppers and the duration in the store will be limited.
All items are from donations, workers are volunteers, and all profits go to the Crete Methodist Church's Outreach Programs.
Located at Main and North Street, Crete, IL
open Saturdays 9-3p
SUPPORT UKRAINE: GIVE NOW:
Anyone wishing to provide humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people in the wake of the Russian invasion of their country may contribute to Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund will provide direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.
The link below connects you directly to NIC's Website
Bishop Appeal 2022- Ukraine Assistance
Remember to login in first before donating. This way your donation can be added as part of your tax contribuition for your tithe for Crete UMC. After signing in, click the 3 lines on the left of the top corner of your screen, choose Home and then search for CUMC in the "find a church" search bar. This will get you in the right place to have your contribution recorded by CUMC for tax purposes. Thank you.
Weekly on Wednesday mornings
from 9:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m.,
The Crete Food Pantry is giving curbside to Crete Township Residents who are in need a free bag of groceries
1367 Wood Street
Crete, IL 60417
"Even as phase four is taking place, we are bombarded with ”virus” news. Life does go on and many people face unemployment and hard times. The Crete Pantry is continuing to serve any one who comes for food on Wednesday mornings. This is straining the budget of the Pantry.
If you are able to help financially at this time, your gift will be put to immediate use. Any monetary gift is tax deductible and can be sent to The Crete Pantry, 1367 Wood Street, Crete, Illinois 60417.
Any gift goes directly to help those in our area-helping our neighbors." -- Donna Allen
At Crete United Methodist Churchwe realize that there will be times in our lives where problems and circumstances seem overwhelming. It is at these times when we may want to isolate ourselves and hide.
We want you to know that you are not alone!
There are many who share your struggles. Crete UMC's Spiritual Themes in Recovery (S.T.I.R) helps those who are struggling with the addictions of Alcohol. S.T.I.R. is designed to provide an opportunity for you to share and interact with others and find encouragement and support that you may need.