This week at Sedona United Methodist Church we celebrate the festival of the Baptism of Our Lord—Each year the Holy Gospel reading brings us this account of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan at the start of his earthly ministry. This year we hear the account from Mark’s gospel. “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’”

If not for Jesus embarking on this course that would ultimately lead him to the cross, there would be nothing in the water. No forgiveness, no salvation, no washing clean and new creations. We would remain stuck in our sins. Oh, we might have moments of regret and desperation and make our way down to the river and have a dramatic experience, but unless this particular man Jesus gets in the water first and then makes his way to the cross, there would be nothing in the water to make a real difference. And—It all depends on who this Jesus is.

Christ’s baptism tells us that he is indeed the very Son of God come in the flesh, come to do the will of his Father, who voices his approval of his beloved Son. The baptism of our Lord tells us that this Jesus is the very Messiah, the promised deliverer, the Christ, the one anointed with the Holy Spirit to carry out this messianic mission. Join us this week at Sedona UMC as the Rev. Fred Mast delivers a sermon entitled “There’s Something in the Water” celebrating the beginning of our Lord’s ministry—a ministry that would change all of creation for all eternity. Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 am featuring joyful music, special times of prayer and passionate life changing messages designed to move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ and others. Immediately following worship you are invited to stay and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time you will find anywhere featuring delicious snacks and great coffee and always welcoming friendship.

ALL ARE WELCOME and invited to our Family Movie Night (TONIGHT!) Friday, January 12th beginning at 6PM. Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs (and all the fixins’) are on the menu along with “baked” potato salad, delicious desserts and of course popcorn, nachos, beverages and lots of great movie snacks so come hungry! Our featured film is “The Case for Christ”— The gripping true story of award-winning investigative journalist Lee Strobel who applies his journalistic and legal skills to attempt to disprove his wife Leslie’s newfound Christian faith. This is a FREE event open to the entire community, so invite, pick up, and bring your friends and join in the fun.

DEADLINE is this Monday January 15th to get tickets for the “Women’s Heart to Heart Conference” to be held February 9-10 at Sedona UMC. This conference is a rare opportunity to reconnect with our Lord as we FIND OUR VOICE AND GOD’S HEALING HEART IN THE PSALMS. We have a gifted and renowned teaching team leading this event with guest performances by James Garcia, Robert Gilbert, Desert Streams Dance, and local artist Jo Gilbert compliment the event. Information and tickets are available by contacting the church office (928)282-1780 or on line at Registration deadline is January 15th.

We offer a number of book and bible studies—Contact us about our Neighborhood Studies—So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona UMC. Visit our website at and “Like” us on Facebook. We would love to pray for you! Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. Come and grow with us!