From Pastor Jeff
From Pastor Jeff
Greetings Church Family,
“Just the facts, ma’am”. Maybe you’ve heard that phrase before, and maybe you’ve even used that phrase before. Just in case you have no idea what I am talking about, this phrase—“Just the facts, ma’am,” is one of the catchphrases of Detective Sergeant Joe Friday from the TV series Dragnet. Or is it? This common catchphrase has been attributed to Joe Friday, however Friday never actually said the phrase in any episode. The phrase was actually featured in Stan Freberg’s works parodying Dragnet.
How often do we say phrases, and we think we know what they mean, but really have no idea. Or maybe we think we know where a phrase came from, but in all actuality we do not. Or maybe there are phrases that we use that are kind of, sort of, maybe a little, hold some truth. In terms of the phrase “Just the facts ma’am”—yes, the above is true Joe Friday never said the phrase, and it was featured in a parody. However, in the 2003 revival of Dragnet, which starred Ed O’Neill as Joe Friday—the phrase was spoken! “Just the facts ma’am” said by Ed O’Neill, not Jack Webb. There is often more to something when we begin to scratch the surface. Phaedrus (born 444 BC), an early philosopher, coined the phrase “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” This Sunday through August 19, we will be diving deeper in a new sermon series, which focuses on the book Half Truths by Adam Hamilton. Some of the phrases that we will focus on are:
“Everything Happens for a Reason”
“God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”
“God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle”
“Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”
Maybe you’ve said one of these phrases before. Maybe someone has said one of these phrases to you. Yes, you can find scriptures that support each of these sayings and yes, there is certainly some truth in each of them. But all of them can hurt people too and lead people to conclusions about God that can push people away from faith rather than drawing them towards God. My prayer during this sermon series is that we will all be able to dive deeper into these Half Truths, and come away with a greater understanding of God, and what the Bible really says in relation to these phrases.
Rev. Jeffery R. Harrison
an open invitation for all
an open invitation for all
First United Methodist Church hosts free monthly community dinners open to the public.
These events focus on reaching out to our local area, sharing the grace of God and building a more united church family.
Join us in the Fall when our Community Dinners return!
West Austintown First United Methodist Church offers a group bible study open to the community called Supper, Study & Service in which participants gather to share a meal and explore a book that helps us reflect on our role as Christians in our community.
This study culminates in a Service project in which the group gives back to the local community by way of creating Blessing Bags from donated items, making a meal, and serving it to those in need.
We have partnered with Our Community Kitchen to serve these meals to the less fortunate.
During 2017 Summer, West Austintown First United Methodist Church offered Supper & Study for a second time. The book covered was A Grace-full Life by Wes Olds & Jorge Acevedo which seeks to answer the questions: "In what ways is God an ever-present God?," "Why does God want to have a personal relationship with me?," "How can I fully experience and respond to God's grace?," "How can I die well '"surrounded by God's grace?"'.
Our group connected with Our Community Kitchen to serve a meal and deliver Blessing Bags.
If you would like to attend our next Supper, Study, & Service group, it will begin September 12th. You can find more information for these meetings and others on our church calendar.
During the 2017 Lenten season, West Austintown First United Methodist Church offered a Supper & Study in which members gathered together, reading and discussing Tom Berlin's book Restored which helps us to see our mess through the eyes of Christ to find redemption and restoration. This Supper & Study group finalized their study with a Community Outreach program. They connected with Our Community Kitchen in downtown Youngstown & were invited to serve soup & give Blessing Bags to our unhoused brothers & sisters. Our next Supper & Study will begin mid-July.