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Jesus loves you

and we want to get to know you. 

We Observed Worldwide Communion October 1 as "One Lord, One Church, One Banquet"  Our altar recognizes the  diversity of His Church. 

                           Photo by Cathy Buttolph

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                Merry Christmas!

                         2023   

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Happy Easter!
        2023
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Welcome

 

Welcome, and thank you for visiting Waltz Global Methodist Church online, or in gathered worship. We hope that our website highlights the worship, fellowship, and service opportunities available.

We became a Global Methodist Church on July 1, 2023, to insure our continued worship in a traditional style, with traditional hymns, and preaching from the Bible.

 

Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come in for a visit. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.  

Our Mission
 
Our mission is to be fully devoted to Jesus by opening our arms to those in search of the truth.  All are welcome.

  We show God’s love and concern for our fellow man at every opportunity. Through works of charity and opening our doors to listen and love, we feel that we are walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
Worship Services  

Our traditional Worship  Service is 9:30 AM.   If you haven't visited us yet, know that you will be a stranger for only about 2 minutes - after that you're family. All are welcome!
 
   Our services are livestreamed.  Your can also  worship with us on our Facebook page (Walttzgmc Church)
 
   We celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of each month.
 

Contact us:  7465 Egypt Rd
         Phone:  (330) 722-1015

Pastor Les is continuing his regular office time, on Wednesdays 9-12 AM,   You may call his cell phone to make an appointment if  you have a special need
(216)-536-0997  
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Altar Cross at our outdoor          Worship Service

    (Thanks for the photo, Eric)

Announcements

Feb 14           Wednesday              7:00 PM    Ash Wednesday Service

                                                                         Imposition of Ashes

 

Feb 21            Wednesday            10:00 AM    Prayer Shawl Ministry

                                                      10:00 PM    Trustees Meeting

Showcased Photos

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Baptism of Bella Garcia and Confirmation of Noah Garcia 
Nov 19, 2023.  Simon (Dad), Sarah (Mom) and Aunt Marie with Bella and  Noah. 

 

Pastor's Corner:  I will be publishing the weekly Sermon Notes here that correspond to the Sunday Sermon available on our Facebook page (Waltzumc Church)

 

For Feb 11

Sermon Notes: …And I Believe In Jesus.

Intro: This morning, we’ll be resuming our look at the Apostle’s Creed, recalling its structure as three articles, each with a brief statement of belief about a Person of our Triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Despite the articles being shown in a particular order, it’s not meant to show a hierarchy of power or importance. Our Triune God is God as One and yet God in Three distinct, yet equal Persons  The three articles aren’t lengthy, complete statements of faith, but rather landmarks to guide our thinking. But beneath those brief statements are deeper doctrines for greater understanding. Doctrines are beliefs held by a particular church, so from these basic understandings, there are a variety of differing beliefs and interpretations. We began last week with an abbreviated sentence from the Creed’s opening: I believe in God, to recognize God as One God, consisting of the Three Persons that acted together as Creator of the heavens and earth. From there, each of the three articles focused on a specific Person of the Trinity. We looked at the first article that addressed God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, but far exceeding any limits of the male assigned gender associated with Father. God is whoever God chooses to be with any and all of the associated paternal and maternal attributes.

I. The Second Person of the Trinity.

A.. While the second article addresses only the earthly life of Jesus and His post Resurrection being, this Second Person of the Trinity existed even before the creation of heaven and earth. In the Garden of Eden, we’re told God walked and talked with Adam and Eve, seemingly in human form like them, without identifying any specific Person, although the Second Person of the Trinity we know from His earthly life as Jesus, seems to be the One seen in human form throughout the  OT.

B. For example, God appears several times in human form to Abraham. At one meeting, Abraham suddenly sees a visitor walking toward him, and runs to him, bowing,  and addressing Him as Lord, which many theologians feel is consistent with His being the Second Person of the Trinity we later know as Jesus. God later appears to Jacob in human form as a stranger. The Stranger wrestles with Jacob before renaming him Israel, which in Hebrew meant ‘he struggles with God’. Jacob renames  the place Peniel, meaning ‘face of God’, because he said he had seen God face to face, and yet his life was spared.”. This encounter would also have been consistent with the Stranger being the Second Person of the Trinity in human form.

II. Jonah 3:1 – 4:4

A.  God even shows His desire to love and be involved with His Creation on a wider scale, as we saw in our reading from Jonah. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire, which we know as Iraq. The Assyrians were a pagan people, powerful and violent, a hated enemy of Israel that God was about to destroy unless they repented. Even today, we see Iraq as such an enemy with nuclear weapon potential. But in His love and

mercy, even for this hostile land, God called the Israelite Jonah to offer saving repentance to Nineveh.

B. Jonah’s response was to run in the other direction. We later see that it wasn’t from just fear of the Ninevites, but fear that the Lord would forgive Israel’s enemy, and Jonah wanted no part of that. But God persisted, and after being thrown overboard in the storm God caused, Jonah survives three days in the giant fish. Our reading begins with Jonah being called again to go to Nineveh with the message of repentance. Nineveh is a large city of 120,000. Scholars theorize that three days in the belly of the fish would have covered Jonah in digestive acids, adversely affecting Jonah’s skin/hair. Since the god of the Assyrians was half-god, half man, seeing Jonah’s appearance and learning he’d survived his ordeal in such a fish, Jonah’s warning of God’s destruction in 40 days was taken very seriously. In fact, the king tore off his royal robes, putting on sackcloth and declared a national fast of repentance.

C. God relented of His death sentence, and despite having been a pagan, violent, wicked enemy of Israel, Nineveh was spared. God was more than the God of Israel, but the God of all Creation, merciful to those who called out in repentance. But Jonah was angry, feeling it was wrong that God spared Nineveh  Jonah’s initial objection to being sent was that God would relent and spare Israel’s enemy, knowing God to be a gracious, compassionate God, slow to anger, and abounding in love. How differently God and man look at things. The perfect God seeing sinful Creation with compassion, yet the sinful Creation seeing the perfect God’s compassion with anger.

D. But God knows us, His Creation, better than we know ourselves. God revealed Himself through Jesus, so we could know God more. Speaking through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 55:9, God declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

E. God sees us, knows us, desires relationship with us. Throughout  the OT, God spoke to His creation through Israel,  speaking to them through prophets and Scripture, at times even appearing in human form. But God wanted more than that. A way for the world to know God’s love, or as He told the exiles in Babylon through the prophet Jeremiah, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  But we wouldn’t have been able to find God, unless He revealed Himself to us.

F. By these initial, personal encounters, in human form, God is seen as unwilling to be distant, not content with the broken relationship with His beloved Creation, but rather to be present and interact with His creation. God desires, and has planned since humankind first sinned, thereby separating us from God, to restore the perfect relationship between Creator and Creation. However, no matter how strongly God desires to restore that relationship, sinful humankind cannot be in the Presence of the perfect, holy God, just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Just as God, in human form, could interact with Abraham and Jacob, God chose to reveal Himself to Creation by becoming the Created. The substance of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary as flesh and blood, vulnerable to death by Crucifixion to overcome death in the Resurrection. The perfect substance of God, becoming perfectly human. The Creator becoming the Creation as the perfect substitute for humankind, which would now able to be seen as righteous in God’s sight through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus.

G. Some mistakenly believe Jesus came for God to understand human life. That’s the type of thinking Jonah was guilty of. He was angry God hadn’t conformed to his way of thinking. That Nineveh’s sins shouldn’t be forgiven. Yet, God asks “Is it right for you to be angry?  Later, as Jonah sulks, overlooking the repentant Nineveh, God causes a vine to grow very quickly overnight, so that it would mercifully shade Jonah from the following day’s hot sun. But then, God causes a worm to kill the vine so that it quickly withers, leaving Jonah exposed to the hot sun/scorching east wind, making him feel so faint/angry he’d rather die than live. God asks “Is it right to be angry about the plant? You’ve been concerned about this plant, though you didn’t tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people?”  We see the major difference between God’s thoughts and the human thoughts of Jonah.

H. Jesus often exposed that type of thinking during His ministry, revealing God’s thoughts and ways to us, rather than God learning our way of thinking through Jesus. Jesus taught and demonstrated God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, assuring us of God’s love for the world so that He gave His only begotten, not created, Son that whosoever believes Him shall have everlasting life.

III. Matthew 25:31-45

A. Jesus further reveals God’s ways, as well as the consequences of human ways, in the familiar verses of Matthew 25. When Jesus returns to His heavenly throne as the Righteous Judge, He separates the righteous ones, those loved by God, seen as the sheep, and the unrighteous ones, seen as the goats,. The sheep are consistent with the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, loving and caring for the beloved sheep of His pasture. The sheep then are the ones who have done His will, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, offering refuge for the stranger, clothing for the naked, and visiting the sick and the prisoners. Jesus not only commends them for their good works, but makes it personal. Whatever you did for the least of these, my brothers and sisters, You did to me.

B. But for those who had not done such deeds of mercy and compassion, He tells to get away from Him, because they hadn’t shown Him hospitality, love, and compassion. But they’re clueless about their failures and ask when they hadn’t fed, visited, welcomed, or clothed Him. When you didn’t do these things for the least of these my brethren, you didn’t do it to me. Jesus again makes it personal: what we do, or don’t do for, or to others, is the same as not doing for, or to Him.

C. And this ties back to Jonah as well. Jonah’s anger and unwillingness to extend mercy to the Ninevites would be the same as if he were doing that to God. Jonah would have expected mercy for Israel, but begrudged God’s mercy to Nineveh. God’s message of mercy and repentance was lost on Jonah, the messenger.

D. But now let’s ask ourselves, who are our Ninevites?  Who are we reluctant to bring the Word of God to, feeling perhaps that some are more worthy than others to hear the Word?  Who do we withhold mercy from, maybe not even willing to admit our failure to love others, and are therefore withholding our love to Jesus? 

E. Those may seem like strange questions for us as Christians, and being Black History Month, it’s an appropriate time to examine recognition of Black Americans’ contributions to American history. Contributions even withheld from history books. Even shameful slavery had  major, however unwilling, contributions to American economy on the southern plantations as well as in northern factories. We may see the injustices, but do we turn away like Jonah, withholding the well deserved recognition for such contributions? Men like Dr King, who even beyond his civil rights leadership, taught from Jesus’ own example, nonviolent means of overcoming wrongs. Indifference does not overcome injustice. 

F. I was made aware of my own indifference awhile ago when I was pulled over by a Spencer policeman. I didn’t realize my truck registration had expired, but when I saw a black cop coming toward me, I suddenly understood the Black fear of police injustice, as I tensely grabbed the wheel, became very polite, afraid of risking unjust violence at the hands of a hostile officer. Even though the officer was friendly and professional, I will never forget the lesson of seeing things from the other point of view. It made me question my own indifference to others crying out for justice and mercy. Which ‘Ninevites’ have I been unwilling to treat as if they were Jesus -  immigrants, the homeless, those in poverty areas?  Does Jesus see me as a sheep, or a goat?  As a Jonah?

G. When we state ‘we believe in Jesus Christ’  we’re not just stating we believe He existed, born of Mary, was crucified, died and buried before He rose again. When we say we believe in Jesus, we believe He came, revealing God to us, opening our lives to the meanings of those revelations to transform our lives, making us accountable for how we respond to our own Ninevites, those we might have previously felt unworthy to receive our love and mercy. When we treat others according to Jesus’ revealed teachings, as if we are doing it to, and for Him, we find relationship with the God who desires that relationship. To God be the glory for all He has revealed to us as the Son of God, as One with the Father and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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