– FIRST DAY OF FALL – Weds, Sept 23




Carol and I are right in the middle of “birthday season.” Our three kids were all born in either August or September. Five of our six grandchildren were born between the middle of July and the middle of October. Birthdays and anniversaries are annual observations of something special. As my mind retraced some birthday memories, I realized a previously unrecognized ‘truth’ about observing special days and dates.

The earliest birthday memory I have is when I was about 8 or 9 years old. My folks had planned a birthday party and invited a number of kid friends. Beginning a day or two before the party, parents started calling saying that their child couldn’t attend. The day of the party, we were down to four guests who were expected, one friend from the neighborhood and the three children of family friends. A couple of hours before the party, my neighborhood friend backed out. That left only the final three loyal friends. (Our families were quite close.) About a half hour before the party, the doorbell rang. My mom answered it and was handed some presents along with the news … two of the three kids were sick and none of them would be coming to the party.

Did you ever have a party and nobody came? Yes! But what made this weird was that even though none of the guests could come I still got presents. I remember how discouraging it was to have had a party planned and not have anybody come. Opening the presents was a momentary diversion, but there was no particular enjoyment in the moment or in the longer-term use of the gifts.

What I missed wasn’t material (in the form of gifts) but relational – in the absence of affirming and valuing relationships. When you have a birthday party you realize that the folks who are present care about you and are willing to affirm that. Friendships are deepened and common memories created. The circle of caring people is reinforced and perhaps added to. That’s what I missed at that birthday party.

Now, before anybody gets teary eyed and feels sorry for poor Pastor Dave, let me say that the birthdays that followed were special in a different way. They were observed (only among my immediate family) as a special day including birthday presents and a birthday cake. Also, the “birthday” person got to choose what was to be fixed for dinner! (I always picked lasagna … my Italian food favorite!) It was neat knowing that everyone was enjoying a special meal that I had selected! The celebration itself wasn’t huge and fancy with lots of people on hand, but the truly important thing – the affirming love and support of people who cared about me – was present in large quantities. That previously unrecognized truth I alluded to earlier was that the great things in life aren’t about material possessions but rather the relationships and mutual love and care that we develop during life’s course.

The most important thing about birthdays and anniversaries isn’t receiving gifts. It isn’t even remembering the event which has prompted the annual celebration! It is the loving and caring relationships that have been and are still being formed! The same is true here at our Roaring Fork Valley UM churches. One of the most painful aspects of the pandemic is the isolation it requires to navigate through it. When our enforced isolation is ended, the relief is amazing. Once again gathering in a holy space brings a sense of enjoyment which is almost tangible. Our enjoyment has its roots in a greater connection between people who are together experiencing God’s presence in a powerful and restorative way. The relationships we enjoy with God are growing stronger and richer – and our connections to each other are growing and becoming better, as well. All this through the power of Jesus Christ!

We move forward into autumn with a renewed understanding of the sweetness of life, and the pain of separation – especially for those who have lost loved ones and who are feeling that separation most keenly. Let’s remain in prayer for the front-line caregivers – especially those in the medical fields – who are fighting through exhaustion to try to bring an end to the scourge of COVID. Let’s remain grateful for the people around us and remember to invite Christ into the middle of everything we undertake. Jesus said that when two or more are gathered together that he is present in their (our!) midst.

          As we move into the final few months of 2021, let’s celebrate the good things in our lives. Let’s also remember that 2022 will bring its own share of difficulties and problems. Even as we prepare ourselves for the cold months and a new year full of hope and mystery … we must never forget that we’ve made it through a tough time TOGETHER and that includes our faith in Jesus Christ. As long as we hold onto that faith and our love and respect for each other, nothing can hold us back!
See you in church.
Pastor Dave

YOUTH AND FAMILY “OUTDOOR FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT” – Spend your evening with friends and family under the autumn sky on the FUMC patio as you enjoy the hysterical film, “Mitchells vs The Machines” (rated PG) this Fri, Sept 24 at 7 pm.  Come early to hear what’s new at the UMC’s of the Roaring Fork Valley…including your favorite Youth & Family events.  

Don’t forget to bring a comfortable camp chair and a warm blanket (and/or a friend!)  No RSVP required but bring a ticket for free popcorn!


“For the first time ever, the greatest story ever told is being presented as a multi-season tv show.”

Come join Michael Ingersoll in the church parlor this Sunday, Sept 26, 8:45 – 9:45 a.m.  He will lead the class in viewing and discussing this DVD series, “The Chosen”. The series digs deeper into the backstories and context of the people and events of the gospels. You will be introduced to people such as Simon Peter, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, Matthew, and of course, Jesus. Bring your coffee/tea and come join us.

CONFIRMATION CLASSES CONTINUE this week on Sun, Sept. 26 in Bethel from 8-45-9:45 am.  The Question for the Day will be, “Did the Methodist church really start because of some holier-than-thou teenagers?”

BRING YOUR MASK AND A BIBLE PLEASE.  Children can attend live or via Zoom.

Topic: Confirmation Gathering # 2
Time: Sep 26, 2021 08:45 am
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 812 3255 9300
Passcode: 092621

WORSHIP INVITATION – Roaring Fork Methodists are inviting you to Worship via Zoom.  Please click on the link in the invitation below to join us.

Topic: Roaring Fork Worship
Time: Sep 26, 2021 09:45 am
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 874 5653 5192
Passcode: 092621
SEPTEMBER 26 REMINDERS – GREETERS: Lin and Joan Silvertooth
                                                     USHERS:  Roger and Molly Hoey

IS IT TIME TO MASK UP? – FUMC always follows Garco Health Department guidelines (which mirror those from the Colorado Department of Health).  Garco Public Health pointed me to their OFFICIAL webpage:  https://www.garfield-county.com/public-health/novel-coronavirus/  Click on “News and Updates” (the upper left big box).

If you’d like to see specific the changes, go to State of Colorado Department of Health Public Health Order Updates and Executive Orders at  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oOxIDHETrAFmu5GWzh73IhuT9vMSb_26/view.  

WANT TO VISIT THE PAST?  We plan to continue Zooming each week’s worship service and will post it on YouTube.  Just click on the link below and you’ll be taken to a page which features a “menu” of video delights! What could be better than “bingeing” on the Good News!! 
WEBSITE ADDRESS – http:/glenwoodumc.com


MONDAY – 10:30 – 3
TUESDAY – 10:30 – 3
THURSDAY – 10:30 – 3
FRIDAY – Closed