Each and every one of us longs to live a life of meaning… A life where our actions reflect the very things we value most… A life where we are living from the truest part of ourselves… The work of shaping a good and beautiful life is slow, intentional, and disciplined work. At Hilliard UMC, we will spend 2018 exploring Jesus’ invitation to his followers to be his disciples and build this good and beautiful life of meaning. And how do we do this with a sense of joy, delight, and playfulness, knowing that God’s grace enfolds us and that it is okay to fall down and get back up as we learn?
Part 3: PRACTICING SURRENDER
Many people have experienced the life and vitality that comes in the final moments of life. What can we learn from those who are dying about what it looks like to live fully? Starting with the death and resurrection of Jesus and the deep reminder that the pathway of descent into death and suffering is also the pathway to new life, we will explore the five lessons of hospice and how a new way of thinking about death can transform our lives well before we reach that stage.
APRIL 8 – FORGIVE ME
One of the hardest lessons in life to come to terms with all that is not right with our own lives and with the world. To learn to accept ourselves in all of our brokenness is a lifelong journey, and many do not arrive at that ability to forgive their own faults until very late in life. But Paul assures us that we can let go of our fixation on these broken parts of ourselves because there is no condemnation. In accepting and acknowledging our faults, we find freedom and new life in the Spirit.
APRIL 15 – FULLY ALIVE
Dialogue with Don Boerner
Christ said that he came that we might have life and have it abundantly. And yet, so often, many of us find that the challenges and struggles of life keep us from fully LIVING each day. Pastor April will talk with Don Boerner about his current struggle with cancer and the many life lessons he has learned about the practices of surrender and acceptance, and how they often surprisingly lead to experiences of abundance and life, especially in the seasons of greatest difficulty.
APRIL 22 – I FORGIVE YOU
The discovery that there is no condemnation for us compels us to allow this free flow of love to flow toward others. Many people in their last stages of life experience the freedom to forgive and let go of all of the hurts they have harbored for many years. In surrendering the resentment they have carried for years, they find life. What would it look like for us to set our mind on the Spirit and release the gift of forgiveness to those who have hurt us?
APRIL 29 – THANK YOU
Something about knowing that your days on earth are numbered creates a deep appreciation for the life that we have been given. What would it look like as children of the living God to practice this kind of gratitude more fully and to live each day knowing the depth of our belovedness? How do we release that generosity into the world in all that we do?
MAY 6 – GOODBYE
Pastor Karen Muntzing
The hardest thing to do is to let go. When we can really let go, we can really be free.
MAY 13 – I LOVE YOU
The ultimate freedom is in the full embrace and discovery that in fact, we are loved no matter what. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ. Not even death. How can we live in that sure knowledge and surrender more fully to that love each day?
MAY 20 – PENTECOST / CONFIRMATION SUNDAY / SENIOR SUNDAY
At each stage in our life, God invites us to surrender and trust more fully for that right next step. As our confirmands take their next steps and our seniors take theirs, what is your next step?