Sermon #6

Sermon Series: Ten Keys to the Joyful Life
#6: The Sacredness of Life
Exodus 20:13 (NIV) and Matthew 5:21-22 (The Message)

By Pastor John Gill – May 26-27, 2018

The two brothers couldn’t have been more different from one another, and that, no doubt, was the beginning of it. The older brother was a farmer and struggled to make a living from the land. His little brother decided to go into sheep herding, which was NOT the family business. That, in and of itself, shouldn’t have caused a problem between them.
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New Bible Study

Pastor John’s next Bible Study will be an eight week study of the Book of Revelation starting May 7th thru July 2nd, called “Breaking the Code”.  There is a Monday morning group at 10:00 a.m. and and evening group at 6:00 p.m.  No book to buy, we will be reading through the Book of Revelation

A Sermon for Confirmation

“You’ve Got a Ticket to Ride”

Romans 12:1-2 (NRSV)

Rev. John Gill.  Preached May 20, 2018

If I were to ask you what the most important book of the Bible is, what would you say?  Probably Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John – and, of course, you would be right, because without the Gospels, we wouldn’t know the story of Christ.  But this morning, I’d like to suggest that there is another book equal in importance:  Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

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Church News

Summer is upon us!  Time to slow down a bit and reconnect with our families and our church family!   As your schedule shifts, remember that your church is still here.  Make involvement in the life of our church a priority this summer.  NOTE:  Beginning June 3, we will begin our Summer Worship Schedule:  Saturdays at 7:00 p.m.; Sundays one service at 10:00 a.m. (Sunday School will begin at 8:45 a.m.  Coffee fellowship begins at 8:30 a.m.)  We will return to our usual Sunday schedule the first Sunday of September.
This Sunday, Pentecost Sunday at our 11:00 a.m. worship service, six of our youth will be Confirmed in their faith and become professing members of our church: Christopher Alsobrook, Wyatt Clark, Jadyn Gillingham, Wyatt Gillingham, Samantha Popp, and Madilyn Wisdom. Five of the six have already been baptized, but one, Madilyn, will also be baptized on Sunday. They have completed a 13 week course with Pastor John and Terri Gill. Come and help us celebrate with our Confirmands!  There will be a church lunch in their honor following the service – join us!
This Sunday, May 20, following our 11:00 service, the entire congregation is invited to a lunch in honor of our Confirmands.  It will also be the kick off for our Summer, and so will include picnic type foods, such as hamburgers and sides that go with a cookout.  Plan to join us about noon this Sunday!
Only two more Wednesday night dinners left this season!  Our final dinner this spring will be on May 23rd.  Dinners will resume in September 12th.  We thank Erika Watson and her wonderful kitchen crew for such fabulous dinners!
Our church leaders voted some time ago that we should fix up the Taylor house that we have been purchasing so that it could be rented and begin drawing income to the church.  This project has been spearheaded by Skip Watson and Bill Haas (and their posse of guys) who have put in countless hours already.  Bill and Skip have worked virtually every day for weeks repairing and painting, etc.  We thank both of them for all they have done.  It is a huge job!  They could use your help so that we can complete this project.  If you have time to spare and/or skills to offer, call, email, or speak to Skip Watson ( or 321-604-5501).  The quicker we complete the upgrades, the quicker we can get a renter into the house!  Thanks for your much needed help!
Staff Parish Relations Meets This Evening, May 15
Our SPRC (personnel committee) will hold it’s monthly meeting this evening at 7 p.m.

Mullet Festival Committee Meets Thursday, May 17
The Mullet Festival Committee meets this Thursday at our church at 7:00 p.m.

Job Vacancies – The Hunters Are Becoming Snow Birds!
With Mike and Maryann Hunter purchasing a summer home in Tennessee, they will have to give up their positions at our church (they will still be here six months in the winters).  Keith Meck has agreed to be our Usher/Greeter Coordinator for the Traditional Service (and for the combined summer services).  We would like to also have an Usher/Greeter Coordinators for Saturday evening worship and the 8:30 service on Sundays.  If you would be willing to do this, let Pastor John know.  Maryanne has served as our Worship Committee Convener and has prepared Sunday morning communion on the first Sundays of the month (Robin Champaign takes care of Saturday evening).  If you would be interested in being the Worship/Communion Coordinator for Sunday mornings, let Pastor John know.  In addition to these roles, Mike has served as Lay Leader of our congregation.  Soon the Nominations Committee will be meeting to name a new Lay Leader.  Mike also has served as the Charter Organization Representative to the Troop 360 Scout Leadership Council.  Pastor John will fill that position going forward.  We will miss Mike and Maryanne, but are pleased that they will be still with us part of the year!

Revelation Bible Study Continues
Join us for our study of the Book of Revelation!  We have more than 25 folks who meet on Mondays (10:00 a.m. and/or 6:30 p.m.).  We will take Memorial Day, May 28th, off.  This next Monday we will consider the fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation.

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Sermon #5

Ten Commandments Series: “10 Keys to the Joyful Life”
#5:  “God’s Code of Honor”

Exodus 20:12  and   Matthew 15:1-11 (NLT)

Pastor John Gill

Years ago in one of my churches, I preached a sermon series based on children’s stories and fairy tales, a series I called, “The Gospel According to ‘Once Upon a Time.’”  (Maybe I’ll do that here someday.)   It was a lot of fun to think about beloved stories from our childhood from a whole new perspective, to see what biblical truths they convey.  We all love fairy tales. Continue reading

A Call to keep a Holy Sabbath

A Call to Keep a Holy Sabbath – from Pastor John

Making Your Sunday a True Sabbath Day

Dear Mims UMC Sisters and Brothers,

The roots of the Christian faith are firmly anchored in the soil of Judaism (after all, Jesus was Jewish).  God commanded the Jews (and us) to observe the weekly Sabbath (“Shabbat”) with worship, rest, and joyful fellowship – things that are essential for our mental, spiritual, and physical well-being.  To make this focused time available to us, God commands that we stop our hectic life of work and production one day a week, just as He did after the six days of creation in the epic poem that opens the scriptures (Genesis 2:1-3; Deuteronomy 5:12-15).  If God can rest, so can we. 

And yet, humans (especially Americans) have believed that we must fill all our days with busyness and labor – to our detriment.  We are harried, exhausted, spiritually empty, and disconnected from our loved ones.  But if we were to follow God’s design and carve out 24 hours every week to focus on all that is most important in our lives, we would be much healthier and happier.

The Jewish Sabbath is from sundown Friday through sundown Saturday.  They observe many rules designed to protect the day from the tyranny of schedules and deadlines.  No work is done on Shabbat.  Sabbath in the Jewish faith was primarily focused on the home, not the synagogue.  Preparations for what is required for living on Saturday (such as meals) are completed before sundown on Friday.  Shabbat is thus a time of liberation from labor – a time to focus on adoration of God, worshiping with our faith community, physically resting and recreating, and enjoying quality time with our family and spouse (the Jewish rabbis even taught that couples should make love on the Sabbath!). 

The Christian Church also observes a type of Sabbath, although we have shifted our observance to Sunday, because it was on the first day of the week that our Lord was resurrected.  Throughout the history of the church, Christians have developed their own ways of observing Sabbath. 

Unfortunately, in the modern era, Christians have forgotten the joy of taking a day every week to stop from our hectic schedules and the demands of making money so we can focus totally on the joy of our faith and the blessing of our loved ones – a time of rest and refreshment (doesn’t that sound appealing???).

As your pastor, I would like the homes/families of our Mims UMC congregation to strive to recover at least a simplified Sabbath every Sunday.  It is not practical (nor necessary) for most of us to adopt the strict Jewish observance, but there are things we could do in our homes and with our families that can mark the day (Sunday) as a “Sabbath to the Lord.”  Enclosed in this packet are my suggestions about how we can make Sunday truly a day of spiritual renewal, family joy, and physical rest. 

I challenge you to at least try it.  I think you will be glad you did!

(Note:  This pattern is designed for a home where more than one person resides.  If you are single, adapt it as needed to make it meaningful for you.  It is also written for those who attend Sunday as the day of worship.  Those attending worship on Saturday could do this on Saturday, instead.)

A Pattern of Sabbath in the Home on The Lord’s Day

1.             As you rise, wash/bathe/shower as a reminder you have been baptized (if you have been).   Reclaim your vow to follow Christ.  Pray:  “Lord, as I enter the water to bathe, I remember my baptism.  Wash me by Your grace.  Fill me with Your Spirit.  Renew my soul.  I pray that I might live as Your child today, and honor You in all that I do.  Amen.”

2.            Gather as a family at the breakfast table for a brief ritual:  Mother lights a Sabbath candle, marking the beginning of Sabbath, saying “Blessed are You, our God, King of the universe.  You have sanctified us with Your Holy Spirit and commanded us to observe and enjoy this day of Sabbath rest.  We light this Sabbath candle to remind us that You are the Light of our lives.  May Your Light shine in us this Lord’s Day.”  (or brief prayer of your choosing) 

3.            Father (or other family member) reads a brief scripture for the day. 

4.            As the spiritual leader of the home, the Father offers a blessing on his wife and each of the children (and others living in the home).  If there is no father in the home, the mother blesses her children.  If all children are grown and/or you are single or widowed, adapt this prayer as appropriate:  “Heavenly Father, I thank You for the gift of my family, for whom I now pray and upon whom I now ask You to shower Your blessings.  By Your grace, may I always be ready to spend my life for them.  Bless my wife (name) whom You have given to me as my partner in life, sharing in Your wondrous work of creation. May I see her as my equal and treat her with the love of Christ for his Church.  May Your Holy Spirit guide and help her to find Your peace and Your grace.  Bless our/my children (names) with Your life and presence. May the example of Your Son be the foundation upon which their lives are built, that the Gospel may always be their hope and support.  I ask You, Father, to protect and bless my family. Watch over them so that in the strength of Your love this family may enjoy prosperity, possess the gift of Your peace and, as the Church alive in this home, always bear witness to Your glory in the world.  Amen.”  (extinguish the candle)

5.            Go to worship together, sit together as a family. 

6.            Join in a family meal at lunch (or supper) – no electronic devices or TV, instead, family sharing.  Invite extended family or friends living alone to join you for lunch.  Consider eating at home rather than at a restaurant so that you are not causing those serving you to work.  Consider using the dining room and nice dishes to make it a special family meal.  You may wish to prepare the meal the day before, as the Jewish faithful do.  Perhaps discuss the sermon or Sunday school lesson, and focus your conversation in ways that nurture and affirm one another in love.

7.            Engage in an afternoon activity devoted to fun with the whole family and/or with friends – an intentional time of sharing Your lives, enjoying one another, and expressing love.  Play games, go to the park, beach, or other place the family enjoys (no shopping), or spend quality time with your spouse.  Visit friends.  Or you may just want to take a nap!

8.            At supper or before bed, gather together and re-light the Sabbath candle.  Each person shares briefly about their day (what was a blessing to you?), and have each person share about what they are concerned about for the coming week. 

9.            Mother offers this evening prayer (and prayer for anything family members are concerned about in the week to come).  “We thank You for the joy of spending time with You and with one another on this Sabbath day.   We have tried to honor You on this day, but we confess that we may have failed to honor Your Sabbath as we should have.  Forgive us for the things we did today that did not honor You. Thank You for loving us so much. We need Your help every day.  We thank You for the strength and help You give us, and for the assurance that, even when we fail You, You still love us.  Now, bless our family and our home, and keep us safe through the night.  May we rest in peace so that we can rise refreshed to live for You tomorrow and through the coming week.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.”

10.       All say the Lord’s Prayer together.

11.       Plan what you as family want to do the following Sabbath to make it special.

12.       Put out the candle to mark the end the Sabbath.

I hope you find this helpful to you!

Pastor John


Sermon #4

Ten Commandments Sermon Series:  “10 Keys to the Joyful Life”
#4:  Productive Idleness

Ex. 20:8-11 and Ex. 16:4-5,11-30  (shorten version 16:4-5,17-23a,27-30) (NLT)

By Pastor John Gill

One day, the preacher came and had dinner at Bobby’s house.  The minister leaned over and said to Bobby, “You never go fishing on Sunday, do you, son?”  “Oh, no sir!”  “That’s a good boy, Bobby.  Now – can you tell me WHY you don’t go fishing on Sunday?”  “Yes, sir,” said Bobby.  “’Cause Pa says he doesn’t want to be bothered with me!”

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Church News

Even though we are transitioning this month into our summer routine, there is still a lot going on at your church.  I hope you will make worship and participation in everything our church offers you and your family a priority during these summer months.  Here are some things you will want to know about:
Sermon Series:  We are continuing our sermon series on The Ten Commandments: Ten Keys to the Joyful Life.  This weekend we will consider the fourth commandment:  God’s requirement that we take a Sabbath rest each week. Read Exodus 20:8-11 and Exodus 16:4-5,11-30.  Join us Saturday or Sunday.
Sermon Manuscripts and Bulletins Now on Our Website:  We want to thank Cathy DeRusha for her service in keeping our web and social media presence up and running.  She has passed the baton over to Joanne Englebeck who now is maintaining our church website.  We are trying to upgrade the information on our website (  Now when you go to our website you can access the manuscript of my sermons for reading, downloading, or printing.  Click on the Sermons/Text link at the top of the homepage.  The sermon titles in blue text can be clicked on to bring up that sermon.  Also, the bulletins each week will be available so you can access the announcements and prayer list.  These Mailchimp emails will also be available on the website. Please help us pass the word that these are now available on the website.
Summer Worship Schedule:  Since our winter friends have returned to the North and so many of our members are on the road during the Summer, we will shift to one Sunday morning combined service again this Summer.  Beginning the first Sunday of June (June 3rd), we will hold worship at 10 a.m. with Sunday School beginning at 8:45 a.m.  The Saturday service will continue as usual.  Please make every effort to be in worship during these quieter Summer months.
Beginning Monday, May 7th, Pastor John will begin teaching an eight week study of The Book of Revelation.  Two sessions are offered: 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.  (We will skip Memorial Day, May 28th.)  There is no book to purchase.  All are welcome as we acquaint ourselves with this intriguing book of the Bible.
Ordering Extra Copies:  Our new photo directory is about to go to press, but before it does, we want to give you a chance to order extra copies.  IF YOU SAT FOR A PHOTO, YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE ONE COPY OF THE DIRECTORY AT NO CHARGE.  However, if you did NOT sit for a photo and would like a copy of the directory, they can be pre-ordered for $5 per copy (you may pay for your pre-ordered copy after they arrive).  It may also be that those who will receive one copy automatically may wish to order an extra copy or two.  NO DIRCTORIES WILL BE FOR SALE AFTER THEY COME IN, SO PRE-ORDER YOURS TODAY!  A clip board will be sent around the congregation at our services this weekend for you to place your order.
Mims UMC’s Turn this Saturday:  The churches of Titusville join forces to put on a “community breakfast” every Saturday at First UMC Titusville for anyone who is hungry.  Our congregation provides the volunteers one Saturday every quarter.  This Saturday, May 5th is our turn.  We need folks to come to First UMC at 6:30 a.m. this Saturday.  Julie Harrison is our coordinator for this.  If you have questions or to let her know you are planning to help, call 321-704-9499.
Our Church Providing Breakfast for Mims Elementary Teachers/Staff, May 7th:  May 7-11 is “Teacher Appreciation Week,” and so our congregation is providing a continental breakfast for the 90 or so teachers, administrators, and staff at our neighborhood school on Monday, May 7th.  Erika Watson is coordinating this, and so if you would like to help our church reach out in this way, please let her know.  Mims UMC and Mims Elementary are partnering together in a number of ways for the betterment of our community and children.  They give their support in coordinating with our Good News Club; our church campus is listed on their emergency plan should they need to evacuate the school buildings for some reason; and Pastor John serves on the School Advisory Council of the School.  We thank Erika and her crew for helping us show how much we appreciate all that our educators do!
A Fresh Expression of Church, Right on Our Doorstep:  Several of us have been praying about the possibility of launching a ministry to reach out with the Good News to all those who use the bike path that runs adjacent to our property.  It seems that God is moving in this, as Pastor John has just been approached by a pastor in our community who also shares this vision, and may be a great resource to help us design just such a ministry!  If this idea seems exciting to you, please let Pastor John know.  If we can get enough people sharing the same vision, God will bless it!  Respond to this email or give Pastor John a call at 321-794-0010.
Crossover Ceremony for our Cub Scouts – and We Are Invited!  Our Cub Pack is inviting the members of our church to attend the “Crossover Ceremony” where Scout advance from one level to the next.  We are also invited to the dinner that follows.  This was erroneously announced by our office to be on May 5th, but it actually is on May 12th.  Festivities begin at 4 p.m. in our Fellowship Hall.  Please contact Michele Worthington (321-362-3073) with questions or to let them know you will be attending so they have enough food.
J.W. Marr:  We want to update you on the results of your prayers for little J.W. Marr, the new son of Billy Marr and grandson of Beau and Darla Marr.  You may recall he was born prematurely and had a condition that caused him to have to be taken to Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando.  The wonderful news is that they performed a procedure on him and he is greatly improved.  As of this writing, he is still at Nemours, but is much better.  We hope and pray he can be home soon.  Keep praying!