Good morning!

We spent the month of July focusing on children with our KidTalk sermon series.  During this month we talked about what it means to be a child of God.  Dr. Graham Jones preached sharing his experience as the principal at Hillside and he told his own story.  Jesus said heaven is designed for children, so we spent a Sunday talking about heaven.  Our intern Rachel Hollingsworth described what it is like to be 21.  We recognized the gift of each generation.  Young people served as liturgists.  One young man played the prelude.  Vacation Bible school filled our halls with more than 50 children.  The MITSWITS Sunday school class served up ice cream outside on the lawn.  Our youth went off to Colorado on a mission trip.  Your baby pictures are hanging in the hallway.  The goal was to remember our identity as God’s children.  I‘d love to hear your feedback on what this series meant to you.  Feel free to email me with your thoughts.

Before we leave this series, I want to ask you to do one more thing.  I want you to be a champion for children.  How can you do that?

Honor the child you once were.  I don’t know what your childhood was like.  Every childhood has its joys and its struggles.  That experience formed you.  Whatever you experienced, at the core is you, the person God delightfully formed you to be.  Spend some time marveling at that. Honor that child. Let your heart play.  Receive God’s delight in you.

Encourage children, all children.  Children are these little sponges absorbing the world around them, always learning.  They are a bit like arrows—they will land where we point them.  Our job, as the big people in the world, is to point them in the direction of God’s goodness.  Listen to them and if you have forgotten how to listen, go see the Fred Rogers movie Won’t You Be My Neighbor and remember again how tender the hearts of children are.  Applaud and encourage when they are doing good things.   Pay special attention to teens, the ones we run into behind the counter at HyVee or at the ball park.  They too need encouragement.  Lots of people correct children.  Fewer people open themselves to look directly at children, listen, and encourage.  Be an encourager.

Advocate for children.  Every action we take—paying our taxes, our treatment of the environment, how we vote, impacts children.  As adults, we have a voice.  We have the power.  Children have neither.  Hunger, homelessness, violence, these are issues children face and they can do nothing about them.  These are issues created by adults who can do something.  Us.  Want to know more about what you can do?  Go to http://www.childrensdefense.org/  You will find lots of information and ideas there.

And pray, not simply with-eyes-closed, head-bowed, when-I-remember prayers. Pray with eyes wide open as to the needs of children.  Pray with a willingness to be personally changed. Make prayer for all children of God our passion.  God listens.

God bless the children.

Pastor Cindy

Pastor Cindy Hickman

West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa 50256
515-279-0826

We worship at 8:30 and 11 on Sunday and we would love to worship with you!

This week at WDMUMC:

The Visioning Team has completed their work!  Their proposal carries us deeper in our commitment as disciples.  It meets the needs of the church and it serves God’s people.  It is exciting and it was enthusiastically approved at a special church council meeting on Tuesday evening.  Before the plan can be enacted, it requires approval by the District Board on Location and Building and the approval of the membership of our church in a charge conference.  Now is the time to share what the visioning team has learned with our entire church family.  This Sunday you are invited to an informational meeting between services in the Wesley Center.  Many thanks to the visioning team for their good and faithful work!  We are setting off on an exciting path.

Sunday School and Wednesday Night Live Teachers needed!  Morganne, our director of Christian Ed is looking for teachers.  And she is making it easy for you by designing short-term assignments and easy to teach the curriculum.  Contact Morganne if you are willing to help.  She is great to work with! 

Count Down to the State Fair!  We can almost hear the cattle barn from here!  The State Fair will be here before we know it!  Want an insider’s view of the fair?  Work our State Fair Stand!  There are still a few open slots.  And we are always looking for subs—people to fill in if someone is not able to make it.  Check out our website, wdmumc.org to sign up or call the church if you would like to sub.