“Transformed by Grace”


This will be that back page of the 12 November 2017 (23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Year A) for Fishkill United Methodist Church.  Services begin at 10 am and you are always welcome.

On these pages and on my blog (see “The Changing of the Seasons”), I have written about that day when I truly came to understand what it means to receive God’s grace.  It is a day that, perhaps more than any other day, transformed my life.

For John Wesley, grace in all its forms was and is a gift from God and a sign of His active presence in our lives.  There is nothing we can do to earn this grace because it is freely given by God to us.  What we can do is seek a better understanding of what grace is, what grace does, and what we can do as a result.

The concept of grace in Methodism is defined by three words: prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying.  Prevenient grace is the grace that allows us to seek and find God, know the difference between good and evil and to seek good.  Justifying grace is the grace that restores our relationship with God.  Through Christ, our sins are forgiven and our relationship with God restored.

Sanctifying grace is not a one-time event in our lives.  It is what helps us grow and mature, to live as Jesus lived.  It allows us to seek perfection in our love of God and for others and removing our desire to sin.

Because of what God has done for us, we offer our lives back to God through a life of service.  We are active in the world through mission and service because our Love of God is tied to our love of our neighbor and our commitment to seek justice and renewal in this world.        ~~Tony Mitchell

Notes on grace from “Our Wesleyan Heritage”

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Mid-Week Stewardship Thought


Here are some interesting thoughts on the nature of stewardship.

A Grace-Filled Life

Being a Biblical Steward

Do you know the difference between being an institutional steward and a Biblical steward?  The institutional steward looks at his church as an institute with a budget and needs to be met and a place where he can be served.  Then he tries to “give his share” and “do his part” while complaining if his needs are not met.  The Biblical steward, on the other hand, looks at the gifts God has given him. He gives according to the blessings he has received, not to fulfill an obligation.  He seeks to discover the gifts God has given him and uses them in whatever way he can in service to fellow believers and others. Usually the steward who is busy using his gifts finds that his own needs are met in the process of helping others.

God has chosen us to be His own.  He has made…

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“Follow Me”


This will be on the back page of the 5 November 2017 (22nd Sunday after Pentecost, Year A) bulletin for Fishkill United Methodist Church.  We will be celebrating All Saints Day this Sunday.


All Saints’ Day is not normally associated with Methodism (see Who Are Your Saints?).  But when you consider that tradition and experience are as important to our faith as Scripture and reason, it makes sense that we think about those who walked this journey before us.

Our saints are the ones who showed us the way through their work and their efforts; their lives exemplified their faith.

The Israelites only entered the Promised Land when the faith leaders took the Ark of the Covenant before them into the River Jordan, stopping the flow of the river and allowing the people to cross.

The religious and political leaders of Jesus’ time put on a great show but were never willing to go beyond the show.  They found it very easy to set the rules and tell others what to do but were unwilling to do it themselves.  Jesus’ leadership model was unlike anything they had ever seen; it was about taking on tasks rather than telling others how to do them.  Our saints were the ones who took on the tasks so that our journey with Christ was possible.

Do I tell people how to come to Christ or do I, through my life, my words, my deeds, and actions, show Christ so others can find Him?

On this day, we remember those who through their words, actions, thoughts, and deeds earned the title “good and faithful servant.”  In the coming years, will we be the saints remembered? ~~Tony Mitchell