The word on the street in first-century Palestine was that Jesus was a friend of sinners. This phrase “friend of sinners” is mentioned twice in the Gospels (Matthew 11:19 & Luke 7:34). The naysayers of the day, the religious aristocracy, criticized the “Son of Man” as a “glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”

They called him this because it was true—He was a friend of sinners. Jesus himself said that he didn’t come for the spiritually healthy, but for the sick. “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32).

Just like when Jesus would gather the little children around, those that others viewed as a nuisance, he welcomed sinners, something that others wouldn’t dare think of (Matthew 19:14 & Luke 7:37-39). He looked at them with love and he had compassion on them. And most amazing of all, he wielded his authority to speak those wondrous words, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48).

We are called to pattern our lives after Jesus’s example. He has, after all, sent us into the world in the same Spirit of his own mission (John 20:21-22). If Jesus was a friend of sinners, we should be too it seems—somehow, someway. Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as we continue our Lenten Journey and the Rev. Fred Mast continues a Sermon Series focused on the life of Jesus with a message entitled “Lovin’ the Unlovable”.

Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 am featuring meaningful and uplifting 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 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.

On Saturday morning March 7th the men of the Verde Valley are invited to gather for a delicious SUMC Men’s Breakfast at 8:15 a.m. at The Golden Goose Restaurant in West Sedona. This month our guest speaker will be Harry Brockwell, “Hiker Extraordinaire” who will share stories of some of his most exciting adventures. A great way to make new friends—Bring a canned food item for the Food Bank—All men are welcomed, encouraged and invited to attend.

You’re invited to come!!!—LENTEN STUDY (Jesus-The God Who Knows Your Name) Tuesday’s through April 7th 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.

We offer several weekly book and bible studies: 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 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!