We live in a time in history when things seem to change very quickly. Technological changes, medical breakthroughs, and communication is so different today, we are able to see and speak to people anywhere in the world in an instance—If you aren’t sure how to do that, just ask a child and they will show you. We have become global residents as we can travel to any part of the globe today in relatively little time and with minimal risk. That is something very new in history. Yes, much is changing.

And the church is not immune to this change. Are we keeping up, keeping things fresh and new? As church attendance and participation continues to dwindle we search for answers and it is always tempting to look back on the past and yearn for something that was—We might look back to the practices of the past and wonder if perhaps we need to model ourselves on what seemed to work well back then. That is one way we can read the Book of Acts: as a looking back to how it is supposed to be—But it is important to realize that Luke, who wrote this account under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is not trying to give us a picture of the good old days.

Acts is not trying to say, “Remember what the church used to be and do?” This is the Word of the God for the body of Christ for all times and all places. So, it is easy to think that if we want to continue to thrive as a church, or to grow or be impactful, that all we have to do is do what the Christians did in Acts. In other words, “Here is the formula for a successful church!”

This account in Acts is not there for us to simply mimic, copy, or imitate. Instead, Acts points to what God does in this world, both back then and today. This is about the impact of the work of Jesus in this world through His Body—God’s people. It is an—Opportunity to ask, “What happens when the Spirit of the risen Christ is truly at work within the hearts of God’s people? It is an opportunity for us to increase the presence of God’s people in our missions and ministries—By increasing the presence of the Living God within their hearts.

Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as Rev. Fred Mast offers a message entitled “There’s No Time Like the Presence”. Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 a.m. featuring meaningful times of prayer, joyous music, and life messages that will help move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Our worship is upbeat and lively, and Holy Spirit filled! Immediately following worship, you are encouraged and invited to stay and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time anywhere featuring delicious snacks and great coffee and always friendship.

We offer several weekly book and bible studies: A NEW ADULT STUDY (Three Simple Rules-A Wesleyan Way of Living) happens TUESDAY’S at two locations—10:30am at the Church (110 Indian Cliffs Rd.) & 2pm at “The Gathering Place” (1835 W. State Rte. 89A) in West Sedona. The entire community is welcome and invited—Please Call the church office for more details (928)282-1780. Wednesday’s our Men’s Bible Study at 9am; and Thursday’s our Women’s Bible Study at 9:45am.

So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona UMC—Visit our website at us on www.sedonaumc.org 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. All are welcome at Sedona UMC—Come and grow with us!