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3 Reasons Why We Should Sing Loudly in Church

by Carrie Dedrick

I have been singing since the fifth grade. I’ve been in audition-only honors choirs, taken voice lessons, sang in musicals, and even toured Ireland and Scotland with my college chorale.

And I have a confession. Sometimes, I don’t sing in church.

There is just something about singing in church that feels different than singing with a school choir. Hymns are different than choir arrangements. The tune is usually simple enough for a congregation to figure it out without hours of rehearsals and the old-English lyrics are sometimes confusing.

What is a bulwark (“A Mighty Fortress is Our God)? What is a buckler (“For We Are Strangers No More”)? Why are we raising our Ebenezer (Come Thy Font of Every Blessing) and are we talking about Ebenezer Scrooge, from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”?

These are questions that I have asked myself while singing hymns After doing some research, I did find out that a bulwark is a wall, a buckler is a shield, and Ebenezer was a rock that Samuel raised in the air saying that God had helped the Israelites defeat the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:12). Still, it is easy to get stuck on the confusing words and whisper to the person next to you, “Hey, what is a bulwark, anyway?”

But if we fail to sing in church, we are missing out on a major component of worship.

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Parent’s Progress 4.16.15

Each week we provide a peek into the world of teenagers (and sometimes younger). Our goal is to help equip parents to connect with their teens. 

There is no doubt that technology is changing the culture and the way people living out their faith.  The real question is how is it changing our faith?

The barna group has some some excellent research on this topic.  They came up with this infographic called: Top 4 Ways Millennials Are Integrating Technology And Faith.  It’s definitely worth checking out.

Here are some observations that stand out to me:

WLFMC is Turning 80!

WLFMC 80 Website Banner
Winona Lake Free Methodist Church is celebrating 80 years of ministry on Sunday, April 26. All are welcome to join us. We are planning to look back over 80 years of ministry as well as celebrate what God is doing now at WLFMC. Many former pastors will be joining us and taking part in our morning worship service.
Come and join us. We will have many pictures in our gallery and posted around the church. Find yourself in the pictures. Find yourself walking down memory lane. Find yourself among friends.
You can share the event on Facebook. Make sure to invite your friends, because a party means cake.
Our schedule for the morning:
9:15     Coffee and Fellowship Time
10:45   Morning Worship Service
12 Noon   Carry-in lunch (meat and beverages are being provided) If you are coming from out of town, please don’t feel the need to bring something. All are welcome to join us.

Come celebrate 80 years of ministry with us as we remember what God has done, rejoice in what God is doing and reveal where God is taking us.

Never Give Up From Argentina

by Bishop David Roller

Go to the end of the world and turn left. That’s Ushuaia, Argentina. Down at the very tip of South America. It’s best known as the jumping-off point for Antarctica. On main street I retell a story that Jesus told; a story about a judge who was jerk. But even that jerk of a judge finally paid attention to a little old lady. Could he be listening to you?

Fifty Shades…Really?

by Bishop David Kendall

I haven’t seen the movie nor read the book.  I have talked with several who have and have read reviews of the movie–so I have a general[3] (2)

Still, I googled, “What is the meaning of the title “Fifty Shades of Grey?”  The answer was that the assumption is that there is no such thing as black and white, perhaps especially I suppose in sexual matters.  Rather, there are simply “shades of grey.”

Of course, scarcely anyone really lives as though there is nothing “white” or “black;” or let’s say no absolute Light or Darkness.  Let’s not start with sexual matters, however, though certainly we should not leave such an important area out.

But here are some instances of where I’m pretty sure there is Light and there is Darkness:

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Hands Free Praying

by Bishop Matt Thomas

In 44 states, it is illegal to text and drive.  Fourteen states ban holding a device.  You must, in other words, be able to drive hands free.  But, while on a recent road trip spanning five states, I noticed that many people ignore the law.  They just cannot avoid reading emails, texting or internet surfing on their hand held device.  The potential disaster of driving at 70 miles per hour without paying careful attention didn’t seem to dissuade people from catching up on communications.  I am meeting more and more people who are victims of accidents involving mobile device based distracted driving.  People just feel that they must stay connected.

For my Christian brothers and sisters, I wish there were that kind of zeal for connection with our Lord.  I wish that connection through prayer would be nearly impossible to stop, whether driving, eating, walking or working.  Imagine the good that could be accomplished and the growth that would ensue if people were doggedly addicted to speaking with the author of life, the Savior of humanity, the Lord of the universe.

Good news.  Praying is hands free.  You can drive undistracted and become better focused all at once.  You can confess with eyes wide open.  You can thank God for everything you see in front of you.  You can intercede for people in great need while you are driving safely down the road.  I’ve done it.  In fact, I have been able to be more alert in doing it.  In fact, I have finished trips much more refreshed than when I began because of it.  Go ahead.  Stay connected while you drive.  But, keep the connection with the Lord or the living human being in the passenger’s seat.  It is safe, beneficial, truly relational rather than artificially so, and its life changing.

National Prayer Summit 2015 – Pray With Us!

The bishops are calling our people to gather together from across our nation to pray in preparation for General Conference 2015 and form an ongoing National Prayer Ministry.  As prayer leaders and coordinators gather at Greenville Free Methodist Church, you can join the conversation also.  Use #FMCPrayerSummit on social media to share stories of prayer in your life and in your church.  Also follow @fmchurchusa on Twitter for regular updates from the Summit and check out the FMCUSA Facebook page for daily recaps.

WLFMC Library Update

A recent publication has been added to your WLFMC library that is intriguing if you enjoy the “who-done-it” accounts and TV programs. Entitled Cold-Case Christianity, written by a cold-case homicide detective, J. Warner Wallace, it approaches the case for the validity of the Gospels by using the deductive tools marshaled by those who confront many kinds of “cold cases.” Some of the intriguing chapter headings include “Learn How to ‘Infer,’” “Separate  Artifacts from Evidence,” “Respect the ‘Chain of Evidence’” and similar approaches to building the integrity of the case under scrutiny. Dr. Rick Warren says, “Cold-Case Christianity is packed with insights to share with skeptics and will give you the confidence to share them.”
Sheila Walsh has had a fruitful and far-reaching ministry in Christian circles in music, writing books for adults and children, public speaking and other ministries. She recounts in her new book, Loved Back to Life, the challenges she faced as she sank into clinical depression culminating in a life-changing decision to check herself into a psychiatric hospital while serving as a co-host on The 700 Club TV production. As she spiraled into deep depression she dealt with those who would not accept the idea that a Christian could ever need more than faith and prayers to recover mental health, and the ongoing battle within her own mind about how she could survive this condition and continue to effectively serve the Lord she loves and has followed all of her life. This book provides an articulate account of dealing with the agonies of openly confronting a debilitating mental condition and how the many elements of healing come together to restore a person to effective, wholesome living while being an advocate for removing the stigma of mental illness.
A new trilogy, “The Adventures of Akeem” written for children, recounts the life adventures of Akeem, a young African boy and his pet leopard Trakee. Written by Tracee Newman, there are many exciting events portrayed in the adventures of Akeem and his interaction with a surprising variety of individuals who enter his life.

Tips for Better Communication with Your Teen

By Jim Burns

mother arguing with ​​teenage daughter

No one likes to be nagged. Yet many parents resort to nagging as a primary–though negative–way to communicate their feelings and desires with family members. Positive communication is vital for maintaining a healthy family. Successful families talk and listen. Good communication takes work, but if you employ some of the following tips, you’ll be on the road to improving your communication skills and the health of your family.

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Kiddie Korner


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Grace College was once again the host of the men’s and women’s NCCAA basketball tournament, held March 17-21.  Each team is required to take part in a service project in our community, and our preschool was one of the privileged schools to receive a team.  This year we had the Dallas Baptist University men’s team spend the morning with us.  They were kind enough to participate in all kinds of activities, from reading, coloring, playing with Legos and puzzles, to dancing and showing off some of their basketball skills.  They even sat in the audience and cheered while the children practiced for our Kiddie Kollege Sunday program.  We have never seen our little boys so in awe and sitting perfectly still!  We appreciate having this collaboration with Grace College which affords us the opportunity to   meet/interact with great athletes from all over the country.

by Jennifer Nier