February 6, 2019
Rev. William C. Bills
I would like to call your attention to three events of note that I hope you will give some attention to in the coming days and weeks.
I am pleased to share that Rabbi Amy Bigman will be our guest preacher on Sunday, February 17 at the 11:00 worship service. Rabbi Bigman grew up in the Detroit suburbs and graduated, with distinction, from the University of Michigan in 1987 and was ordained a rabbi by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1992. Rabbi Bigman became the rabbi of Congregation Shaarey Zedek of East Lansing in July 2007. Rabbi Bigman was the founder of the East Lansing Area Clergy Association in 2010 (now the Interfaith Clergy Association of Greater Lansing) and served as its coordinator for three years. She received her honorary Doctor of Divinity in recognition of her 25 years of service to the Jewish and general communities from her alma mater, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in March 2017. Rabbi Bigman is very active in our area in many ways. Rabbi Bigman offered the invocation at the inauguration of Governor Witmer. While she does speak at many community events, it is rare for Amy to preach at a worship service outside of a synagogue so this is a special privilege for our congregation.
We have hired a worship leader for our new contemporary worship service (The Reach Service). Parker Garman is a music composition major at MSU. He began playing the guitar at the age of four. Parker was the worship band leader at Brighton, First United Methodist Church, from 2015 to 2017. In 2017 and 2018 Parker was the worship band leader at First Presbyterian Church of Brighton. The launch date for the Reach service has been set for Sunday, March 31.
Finally, please remember that The United Methodist Church will hold a special General Conference later this month (February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri). The purpose will be to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The Commission was authorized to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and to explore options to strengthen church unity. This conference may have far reaching implications for our denomination and our local congregation. I am including a link to the official General Conference website so that you can keep up with the proceedings. You are also welcome to attend the Sunday morning Forum each week at 9:30 as this is our current topic for study and discussion. For more information surf over to: http://www.umc.org/topics/general-conference-2019-special-session