It Is Finished

Jesus said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.  What in your life do you need to finish?  Is it your doubt that holds you back?  Is it the power of the past that still haunts you today?  Is it fear? Is it the brokenness of relationships or the inability to reconcile?  Jesus said, “It is finished.”  Let the the power of Good Friday lead you to Easter where what is finished can lead to the impossible is God’s gift to you.

Disaster relief plan for you and your family

Severe weather could happen at any time, anywhere.  Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example by sharing your knowledge & actions with friends and family are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and save your life and others. 

Know Your Risk-Tornadoes and storms-visit to get the latest weather threats.

Severe Weather (Tornadoes, Floods and T-Storms)

Take Action-Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a family communication plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place.  Here are some helpful links.

Call a Family Meeting and Make a Plan


Basic Disaster Supplies Kit



We can always learn from visitors

feinMy in-laws visited last week and came to church with me on Sunday. They were impressed with all the ways that CUMC is in mission to the community and my Mother-in-law was particularly interested in our Food Pantry bags. She thought that was a great way to encourage donations to our food pantry and took the idea home to her church in Ithaca, NY.

She also gave us a tip about something that has worked very well at their church. Continue reading “We can always learn from visitors”

In Just a Few Minutes

Just a few minutes can make all the difference. A few weeks ago the church staff began doing something for just a few minutes a day that is becoming very important. We wanted to wrap our ministry in prayer. We did not want to over script it, or make it a big event that would come and go. So we made a simple commitment. Every weekday, at 11:30 a.m. the staff, in the building at that moment, has committed to go to the sanctuary and pray for the ministry of the church. We scatter across the sanctuary and settle into a time of personal prayer. When each person has completed their prayer, they get up and go to their next task. It is simple and I have already found it to be some of the best time of my day. That simple act reminds us of our purpose. It is a way for us to stop for a few moments and pause to remember we serve a mighty God. It reminds us that nothing we are doing is more important than being at one with our Lord. Doing it at the same time in the same room, reminds us of what we have in common. Continue reading “In Just a Few Minutes”

Being a new grandmother comes with a new set of eyes. Recently there was a news story about a 16 month old boy that has been tugging at my heart. This little boy died in a home that hadn’t had utilities legally hooked up since 2012. His mother was at Michigan Works – a program which his mother was attending to help her find employment. She left her son in the care of an uncle and his girlfriend, with an apparently illegally hooked up space heater. The child died of hyperthermia in his stroller which had a blanket over it to keep the heat in. The autopsy reported the child had burn marks on his body. The uncle and girlfriend are in custody awaiting charges. (See Detroit Free Press, Jan 24, 2014,p 6A; WXYZ Action News 1/26/14)
So many things are going through my head right now – how many more children are at risk? What can I do? Continue reading

A Night for All Ages

You’re traveling down Waldron road in Clarkston after a long hard day at work, just another day in a busy Holiday season, when suddenly you look to your left, and what do you see but a gigantic camel under a large tent, with a bunch of shepherds and angels around a tiny baby in a manger. This is not just another day…….

Such was the sight this past Wednesday night at Clarkston United Methodist Church. Family Advent night was celebrated this year by displaying a live nativity. This included sheep, a sacred cow, a donkey, a llama and of course everyone’s favorite Gunther the camel. Then there were the true stars of the night, the angels, shepherds, Joseph, Mary and tiny baby Jesus. Although the animals remained the same age, the characters in the scene changed from the very young to the well-seasoned about every twenty minutes. Whole families were able to act out the nativity scene together to put on their halos, grasp their shepherd hooks and truly celebrate the birth of our Savior as a family in Christ. We had high school small groups, Wednesday night youth dinner groups, choir members, Joyful Jogger groups, random we love Jesus groups of all ages; all take part in the greatest story ever told. What a beautiful blessing!
Continue reading “A Night for All Ages”

How To Use A Parking Lot

Sunday, October 27, was not officially Halloween, but you would never have known it if you looked in the Clarkston UMC parking lot; Over 50 decorated trunks and somewhere around 350 people not only from our church but from our many surrounding communities came out to trunk or treat! What an awesome night. Mother Nature was kind to us this year and brought cool but clear weather. There were several returning families who I have enjoyed seeing each year, as well as, some newcomers who decorated their trucks for the first time. Guest were able to enjoy a hot dog, make a s’more, wrap each other up as mummies, decorate a pumpkins and most important enjoy each other’s company all in a short hours’ time.
Trunk or Treat, if you ask the young kids, might be about the candy or dressing up in your favorite costume. I cannot deny these things, especially when you are young, are high priorities. However, for me Trunk or Treat offers more than yummy candy, it offers our church the opportunity to welcome everyone in to a time of fellowship and community. In one simple, quick hour we are able to act out the importance of welcoming and acceptance that Jesus calls us to do to all we come in contact with. The benefits of Trunk or Treat extend further then that one hour. Participants are encouraged to donate their left over candy that will be packaged up by Angels in Training and delivered to the homeless people in Flint, when our church participates in the sleeping bags for the homeless on November 16. Each participate received a goody bag that had flyers that welcomed them back to our church for service, advent night, and Sunday school. Jesus calls us to be fisher of men. Trunk or Treat allows our church the opportunity to do just that, while looking kind of funny, dancing really silly and handing out some yummy candy. CUMC lets keep fishing and welcoming.

To God be the Glory!

Michele Ettinger

Family Ministry Coordinator