Happenings – September 4, 2019

By Rev. C. Nels Ledwell
“Saying NO to the Crowd”
Chuck Swindoll tells about a study of teenagers and peer pressure. The design of the study was simple. They brought groups of ten adolescents into a room for a test. Each group was instructed to raise their hands when the teacher pointed to the longest line on three separate charts.
What one person in the groups of ten did not know was that the other nine had been instructed ahead of time to vote not for the longest line, but for the second-longest line.
Do you get the picture? Regardless of the instructions they heard, once they were all together in the group, the nine were not to vote for the longest line, but rather vote for the next to the longest line. This left the tenth student being the only one who would be voting for the longest line.
Guess what happened. Time after time, this tenth student would glance around, frown in confusion at the way the others were voting, and slip his hand up with the group.
The instructions were repeated and the next card was raised. Each time, the self-conscious stooge would sit there saying a short line is longer than a long line, simply because he lacked the courage to challenge the group. This remarkable conformity occurred in about 75% of the cases, and was true of small children and high-school students as well.
It’s hard to say no to the crowd. And becoming an adult doesn’t make it much easier. You may know the story of the woman who was interviewed by reporters on her 102nd birthday. When asked, “What was the best thing about passing the century mark?” she answered, “No peer pressure!”
What will we do? The crowd of today’s world would like us to conform to the trends of the world around us. It moves us to buy in to the false doctrines of changing the messages of the Bible and own to removing Christian teachings from our schools and institutions. This is the crowd that tells us there is no god, that there are many genders, and our marriage vows are meaningless. This is the crowd that has ruined family values in favor of perversions that have led to mass shootings and suicides along with moral decay. Will you follow them? Or will you remember the teachings of Jesus Christ and move to help our nation return from her evil ways.
Come to Church and let’s get started.
Carol Tummons did a wonderful job of singing, “Come to the Table” on Sunday. If you missed it, click https://www.mccormickumc.org/music-ministry and you can listen! Thank you to Carol and all the talented folks who contributed their talents this summer.
The Choir will start singing on Sunday. They will begin rehearsals on Wednesday, September 4, at 7:15pm in the sanctuary. They would love to have you join them, even if you aren’t here every Sunday!
The Wesley Sunday School Class has started our new Adult Bible Studies Unit titled “GOD”. Who is the God we worship? Our lessons this quarter are designed to help us better know God, embrace our identity as those created in God’a image and rightly direct our worship impulse toward God alone. Everyone is welcome to join us.
We meet at 9:45 each Sunday morning in the classroom next to the choir room.
I read something in a novel recently … “Understanding wasn’t always the answer. Accepting was.” Now this wasn’t a particularly deep novel (I usually read mysteries) … but it occurred to me that this phrase was pretty insightful. One of the first questions we ask when we are faced with a tragic situation is often “Why?” Why did this have to happen?
Harold Kushner wrote a whole book about this topic entitled, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” He talks about how even the righteous do suffer, sometimes there is no reason and there are no exceptions for ‘nice’ people. In the conclusion of his book he wrote about not necessarily looking for an “answer” but rather looking for a “response.” In other words … it’s not about understanding but accepting. So how does Kushner define the response that leads to the acceptance? He says, “The response would be…to forgive the world for not being perfect, to forgive God for not making a better world, to reach out to the people around us, and to go on living despite it all.”
That underlined phrase in the last paragraph was the total summation for me. Kushner is a Jewish rabbi … but basically his book is, in my opinion, all about Galatians 6:3, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (KJV) Why bad things happen will not always be answered … but the key is not the ‘why’ but rather the ‘how.’ How will we respond?
So how do you “go on living despite it all?” For me this is where the “reach out to the people around [you]” thing comes into play. Not always easy … but possible here at McCormick United Methodist Church through our Stephen Ministry. We have people who have gone through training to learn how to listen and help you bear that burden, to figure out your ‘response’ to the ‘why.’ All you need to do is ‘reach out’ to us.
If you need someone to listen to you in a confidential, one-on-one relationship … …someone with whom you can share your feelings, and receive acceptance and Christian love … someone to help you find a response to the “why”… please consider being in a relationship with a Stephen Minister at MUMC. Start by calling one of our Stephen leaders thru the church office (864)852-2394.
The M&M’s are collecting school supplies for McCormick Schools. You will find a blue box in fellowship hall with copies of the supply list. Please help us fill the box.

Click the image above to view our event calendar.

Sept 8… Epworth Children’s Home Sunday
Sept 14… Lasagna Dinner
Sept 18… Charge Conference
Sept 21… UMW District Meeting at MUMC
Sept 28… Donnell Harris Concert 7pm Reception Following
Sept 29.. Fifth Sunday.. Service at 10am with lunch following
Oct 5… MUMC Craft Show and Cookie Factory
Oct 13…Stewardship Sunday
Oct 17.. Joint UMW and Men N Ministry Dinner Meeting 6pm
Oct 19…Rise Against Hunger
Oct 26 … Celebration of First Responders Dinner 6pm
Oct 27 … Birthday Party (Congregational Care)
Nov 17.. Stephen Minister Sunday
Dec 29.. Fifth Sunday.. Service at 10am with lunch following
The 24:7 Small Group will resume its meetings on Friday, September 6 at 10 a.m. at the church. After summer break, this group will begin its regular schedule meeting on the first and third Fridays of the month at 10 a.m. Seeking to have “hearts for God” as described in Jeremiah 24:7, the group will have a study book to read together (title of book to be announced next week) and continue its missional service at Bell Ridge mental health housing complex in the town of McCormick. Any ladies who would like to join us are invited to do so – we would love to have you! Contact Linda Kidd if you have any questions.
Men N Ministry dinner meetings will resume Tuesday, September 10 at 6PM. Guest speaker will be Jim Brady, retired curator of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Next Sunday is the annual Work Day offering for Epworth Children’s Home. This tradition dates back decades when Methodists were challenged to “Give a Day’s Pay” to the children at Epworth. While the emphasis has shifted a bit over the years, it is still important that we come together to provide spiritual, educational, emotional and physical support for the children at Epworth. As you consider what God is calling you to give to support our church’s ministry to children, remember Christ’s command to let the little children come to him. He embraces them, welcomes them, loves them and teaches them. Epworth is answering this call to let the little children come. Your generous contribution to our church’s ministry enables transformation to happen for the children who call Epworth home. Epworth does not receive apportionments from the United Methodist Conference. This offering is our opportunity to support this vital ministry. For more information about Epworth Children’s Home, visit them on the web at www.epworthchildrenshome.org
SEPT 14 5-7PM
The Mission Outreach Committee has planned a lasagna dinner for Saturday, September 14. The dinner will include appetizer, salad, rolls, lasagna, and a dessert. Tickets are $13 a ticket (2 for $25). The proceeds will support “Rise Against Hunger” and Mission Outreach projects.
See Bruce Motsinger, Linda Kidd, Barb Shelley or Chris Hogarth for tickets.  They are also available in the office.
If you cannot attend, but would like “take out”, please buy a ticket and indicate it’s take out, so we have enough containers.
The Congregational Care Team is meeting on Thursday, September 19 at 2pm. Everyone is welcome!
On the third Tuesday of each month, they meet at the church at 1pm and drive to Forest View Manor in McCormick. Several of our members live there, include Tillie Freeland. They usually do a craft, play Bingo, talk about God’s being there for us and then have a snack. They invite everyone to join them! Mark September 17 on your calendar and join them this month!
SAT. SEP. 21
MEETING: 10AM IN SANCTUARY Advocate Editor Jessica Brodie (left) and Assistant Editor Allison Trussell
All women of the church are invited to attend the Annual Meeting of Greenwood District United Methodist Women that will be hosted at McCormick United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 21. Registration with light refreshments begins at 9:15 a.m. in the church fellowship hall followed by Assembly in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Guest speaker will be Jessica Brodie, Editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate. The theme for this meeting is “Keeping Faith in the Midst of Change”. During the assembly, UMW units of the Greenwood District will be recognized for their participation in district-wide missions and other programs. The meeting will conclude at noon. This is a good opportunity for women of McCormick UMC to meet and greet other women in the Greenwood District – please put this date on your calendar and bring a friend if you’d like!
From Shannon Stewart…
There will be four half day Christian yoga workshops offered on the following Saturdays: September 7–Yoga postures to alleviate low back pain October 12–Biblical scriptures and the eight limbs of yoga November 2–Yoga postures to alleviate shoulder and neck pain December 7–Cultivating an attitude of gratitude
September’s workshop will focus on low back pain. The first hour will be a mat yoga class followed by a one hour discussion and workshop covering simple poses and techniques to manage low back pain. The day will end with a chair yoga class. You may attend the entire day or any of the three sessions you will to attend. Cost is sliding scale: $10- 15 per person. The day’s schedule is as follows:
Arrive by 9:00a. Doors locked at 9:10a Mat Class 9:15a-10:30a Arrive for workshop by 10:30a Break until 10:45a. Doors locked at 10:40a Low Back Pain workshop from 10:45a-11:45a Break until noon. Doors locked at 11:55a Chair Yoga from noon until 1pm.
If you are staying for the entire day, please bring a snacks to eat during the breaks or during the workshop time.
The response has been strong to the initial survey. Keep ‘em coming!
Few things..
1) There is room at the bottom for anything you want to add… perhaps do something not listed, or willing to help, but not sure where.. or want to continue on a particular committee or task. 2) There are paper copies on the table outside the sanctuary. When completed, please put in the communications box outside the office.
3) Stewardship Committee asks EACH of you fill out a survey, individually.. not as a family
4) Again, here is the link.. the survey is very short.. complete it now!
Be sure to mark your calendars.. it’s coming soon!
If you have plants you’d like to donate, please call or email Marge Radosevich. This would be a great time to start a few from your favorite plants at home!
We will need a few strong backs to set up tables, please contact Barb Shelley if you are available on Thursday, Oct 3 for about an hour in the evening.
Lindy Stahlman is chair this year, if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact her.
Bob Wieboldt
Madge Krotzer
Ken Moffett
Caren Larate
Paula LeMond
Abbie Caywood
Mary Parnell
Tillie Freeland
Ed Bowser
Byron Thompson
Archer Marx
Lisa Talbert
Sam Krotzer
Sue Wurtzbacher
John Yerdon
Arvid Perez
Betty Francavilla
Charlotte Tallent
Ellen Zimmerman
Emilee Groh
Bill Schott
August Luedecke
Linda Higgins
Wayne Smith
Linda Bowser
Mitch Mitchell
Sue Mitchell
Elaine Baggett
Fred Fuller
Brian Gore
Dan Higgins
Connie Robinson
Dan & Linda Higgins
Susan & Robert Crowley
Dick & Wendy Kvale
Jerry & Lyn Miller
Ronald & Shirley Garling
Ken & Shirley Moffett
Joe and Caren Larate
Don & Betty Francavilla