November 18, 2020 update:
Due to the rise in COVID-19 positivity rates in Iowa and following direction from the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church, in-person worship services and church activities will not be held until after January 10, 2021.
During this time, Pastor Craig will continue livestreaming a worship service at 9:00am on Sunday mornings on our Facebook page.
MC Wesley Facebook page
Past sermons can be accessed through the Weekly Sermons page or directly through our YouTube Channel page. Please contact the church if you have problems accessing either.
Click here to go to MCGraceandWesleyUMC YouTube Channel
“My Peace I Leave With You” – Jesus
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
In Jesus’ farewell address to his disciples, right before he is arrested, he knows his closest friends are about to face challenging and frightening times. They are about to experience the apparent downfall and demise of their beloved leader: his arrest, his trial, his torture, his death. Jesus knows they will, in the not too distant future, face terrifying trials and persecution of their own.
In preparation for this tremendously challenging time for his disciples, Jesus says, “My peace I give to you…do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” Jesus knows his disciples cannot survive based upon their own strength of will or on any kind of earthly assurance and strength. They need the Divine peace only he can provide, and he is more than willing to bestow it upon them.
We are in the midst of a challenging and rather scary time. Just over a week ago, everything changed in what seemed like the drop of a hat. I would imagine many of us are experiencing anxiety and fear, to say the least. I believe Jesus invites each of us to hear his assuring voice: My peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
No matter what happens, rest assured, our Sovereign Lord has us in his hands. Because Christ overcame the world, we can be at peace, even in the most trying of times, knowing that he has prepared a place for us. Christ offers each of us his everlasting peace in this moment. Let us embrace that peace and let us allow Him to make our hearts not afraid.
Rest assured, Grace and Wesley are here as well. Although we have had to cancel all in-person church activities for the time being, we are still churches of Christ. I implore each of you to continue praying diligently and studying God’s word. During this time of quarantine, here are some of the ways we will still be available to one another:
- Although worship services are cancelled, Pastor Craig will be livestreaming a condensed worship service at 9:30am on Sunday mornings. Rather than switch back and forth, I will stream this on the Wesley Facebook page. If you do not know how this works, please feel free to contact me.
For those who do not have access to Facebook or cannot tune in at 9:30, Pastor Craig will also record the sermon and post it on the Grace and Wesley Facebook pages and on both church webpages.
For those who do not have internet access, Pastor Craig will make printed copies of the sermons/CDs available. Please leave a message with the office or on Pastor Craig’s phone if you would like one of these delivered to you.
- The office will be closed for the most part; however, Patty will be checking messages and emails and will be in the office on a limited basis. We should still be able to get back to you within a couple of days unless things change yet again. Pastor Craig will be keeping regular office hours; however, we strongly encourage you to call rather than just stop by. We are, after all, trying to help flatten the curve. You can also contact Pastor Craig via his cell phone.
- We want to help those members who are in need of supplies but do not feel safe leaving their homes. We do have people who are willing to help members who need help with grocery delivery, etc. Please contact us if you are needing help in this regard and we will connect you with those who have volunteered to help with this.
- Finally, I want to encourage you to continue, as you are able, making your financial contributions to Grace and Wesley. This will be a challenging time for both churches financially since many give on Sunday mornings. Please consider enrolling in our automatic payment option or by mailing your check to Wesley.
May God bless each and every one of you as we endure through this challenging time. Christ is with us and freely offers his peace to us this very day. Let our hearts not be troubled, nor let them be afraid.
Pastor Craig Luttrell