Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

“By Our Actions, We will Share Christ’s Love!”




A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about one of the neatest things I’d ever witnessed at a wedding that I was officiating. Unfortunately, every wedding doesn’t produce such an overwhelming fuzzy feeling:

I was “filling in” for a colleague who had double-booked himself – agreeing to do a wedding on the same weekend he had promised his family a vacation. When he called to ask if I would officiate in his place, I readily agreed.

It was a beautiful little country church that had recently renovated its sanctuary. The wedding was scheduled for early evening, as the sun was setting. The previous day we had rehearsed it all – as I told the wedding party, “Getting into the sanctuary and into place, and then walking out together is the toughest part. So that’s what we’re going to work on.” The bride and bridesmaids assembled in the back just outside the doors which opened into the center aisle. The groom and groomsmen were sequestered in another small area out of sight to the right front part of the sanctuary. Along with the bridal party were the parents of the bride and groom, a couple of grandparents, flower girls, and two kids who served as candle lighters (about age 10 or so.) We went through the movements associated with the ceremony: candle lighters enter and light the candelabra then exit, the grandparents and parents of the groom and bride are seated,  the flower girls make their way down the center aisle scattering flower petals, etc … Everything went smoothly … of course it always does in rehearsal, but the next day …

It didn’t take long for things to go wrong. The bride’s family had spent hours decorating the church “just so.” They rented two candelabra that resembled 5-foot high spirals, each with about 12 candles that coiled their way twice around. I gave the nod to the candle lighters … and they marched in diligently … and began to light the candelabra – one on each side of the center aisle. The first candle lit perfectly, they moved to the second, it too lit and began to flicker. The third candle caught fire … all was well … until the first candle on each candelabra went out. The little girl on the right saw hers stop burning, so she used her flame to coax it back to life. By this time the little boy on the left had moved up to the fourth and then the fifth … but wait! His first candle went out, also! He moved his flame back to it … just as the second candle went out on his candelabra. At about the same moment the third candle on the right candelabra went out … you get the picture. The two kids stood there fighting a hopeless battle … to no avail. Soon they were joined by two ushers using their cigarette lighters. Same result. Some lit then, after burning for a few moments they just went out … not all of them … but way more than half.

The congregation was tensing up … something was obviously going wrong. And that’s when things started to really deteriorate. The bride’s mother, who had been watching from the rear, just outside the sanctuary doors, began to rant and complain … LOUDLY … “I can’t believe this is happening.” She continued, “Those things were supposed to be just beautiful. Look at them! The @#$*(! candles won’t light.” The guests in the last four or five rows were turning around to look at the person who was being so rude and disruptive. She was just getting warmed up. “For what I paid for those things they should have sent somebody out here to set them up and light them. Well, I’m not going to pay for those pieces of #$%^&*. I’m going to call my credit card company and tell them it was stolen. They can sue my #$% if they want.”

The bride looked as though she wanted to drop through the floor. Finally, the woman’s husband walked over to her, looked her in the eye and said, “Enough. Just shut up. NOW!” She glared at him but, thankfully, she did in fact shut up.

The wedding was uneventful after that … the candelabra looked forlorn … but the bride was beautiful. And they both said, “I do” at the right time and left the church to start life joined in a partnership with God. After the service was over and guests had left for the reception, one of the ushers began to investigate what had gone wrong. In reality the candles were shiny metal tubes with a wax core insert that went down inside them. A spring under the insert was supposed to push it up so that regardless of how long it burned, it would always look like a tall, new candle. Unfortunately, whoever had put the wax core inserts in had gotten most of them slightly askew (jammed) which meant the springs couldn’t push the insert up as it burned. So after the wick burned down below the top of the metal tube, the flame went out … never to be rekindled!

Far too often our plans, hopes, even dreams fall victim to unforeseen situations that prevent them from being realized in exactly the way we wanted. What really matters is what we do when that happens. We can rant and rave and angrily call down the wrath of the gods on anyone and everyone … we can sulk and whine … or we can keep going with as much grace and goodwill as possible. Family, friends, and guests left the ceremony that night to celebrate with the happily married couple. One person was not happy … the bride’s mother. Her expression was something of a snarl. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. In years to come, everyone present would remember the beauty of the bride and how handsome the groom was. They would remember the smiles on their faces as they walked back down the aisle after entering into their lifetime contract with God. I don’t believe any of them would remember much about the candelabra … but they would recall how nasty and rude the bride’s mother had been. Her plans hadn’t gone smoothly, but she made things infinitely worse spewing her anger and frustration over the ceremony.

Jesus went to at least one wedding we know of. It was in the town of Cana. During the reception Mary, his mother, noticed they were running out of wine. She asked Jesus to step in and rectify the situation. At first he protested, but when she insisted, he relented and famously “turned water into wine.” I’ve found myself wondering whose wedding it was. If it was one of Jesus’ sisters, Mary was the mother of the bride. Imagining that was the case, her willingness to look for a creative solution and make the best of a tough situation was the key to salvaging the moment. Not only that, but Jesus may have learned a lesson from her that compassion for others in a time of need takes precedence over anything else. We’ll never know for sure, but we can all make certain that when irritation, frustration, and anger well up in us that we hold our tongue and look for the beauty in the situation and the world around us.

Pastor Dave

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 Methodist Worship
Time: Dec 6, 2020 09:45 am
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 889 1130 9581
Passcode: 120620

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ELKS MEMORIAL BOXES – The Glenwood Springs Elks lodge would like to help those in need in our community with boxes of food.  We call them Memorial Boxes because 35 years ago, on Dec. 16th, we lost some of our community members in the Rocky Mountain Natural Gas explosion.  We do this to honor their memories. We are planning on 100 boxes this year to be delivered mid-December and would like to help at least 5 people from your organization.  We prepare the boxes very early and this year due to COVID guidelines we will NOT be able to deliver so you will need to have someone pick them up on Saturday Dec. 12th by 9:00am.  The boxes include a frozen turkey, flour, sugar, various non-perishable items and so much more.  Boy Scouts and Our Members also contribute items and money to help.

If you would like a box or know of someone who could use one, please contact the Church office by Tues, Dec. 8.

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN’S MEETING will be held via Zoom on Thurs, Dec. 10 at 9:30 am.  Join us for a fun and inspirational program and to say hello to each other.  All are welcome!  Your formal Zoom invitation will be in an upcoming newsletter.

YES, VIRGINIA, THERE WILL BE A CHRISTMAS PAGEANT! –  We are happy to report that a virtual Christmas pageant is in the works–complete with kids, costumes, and animals!  It will be presented during the worship service on December 20.  Ginny Bultman from the Basalt Methodist Church is organizing the event; if you would like to help, please call her at 970 379-7447 or email at Ginnyb81615@gmail.com.  It should be memorable and fun!

ENCOURAGEMENT THROUGHOUT ADVENT – This Advent season, you can receive a daily email with a link to a brief devotion created by one of our laity or clergy, connecting us across the Mountain Sky Conference. Our advent devotions team (big thanks to Betty Nguyen, Akilah Bixler, Isaac Dunn, Amanda Daniell, and Patrick Lewis) has curated creative offerings from a rich diversity of perspectives, languages, and expressions, and in a variety of formats (videos, spoken word, translated in many languages, etc.).
These devotions will also be included on the Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads as a Workshop. Once you have joined the network (see article below), you can join the “MSC Advent Devotions” workshop to interact with others as you engage with each daily devotion. 
Register for the daily email here
SEND YOUR VEA* STUDENTS A CHRISTMAS CARD by early December (if you haven’t already). Your students will be so happy to receive them. Nicaragua is
once again receiving mail, so please send your cards to:

Regan Downs
Attn.: your student’s name
Apdo. EC-38
Managua, Nicaragua
Central America
*Individuals who sponsor a specific student enrolled in the Veracruz English Academy (as well as the school itself!) is one of the missions of GWS FUMC.  Interested?  Contact Roxann Ingersoll or the church office.

WANT TO VISIT THE PAST?  Here’s an easy way to find our most recent video postings, including classes. 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 – Closed
TUESDAY – 10 – 3*
THURSDAY – 10 – 3*
FRIDAY – Closed

* Please call the office (945-6232) before coming and leave a message if need be