Pastor B.J.’s Update

August 4, 2022

Hi everyone:

Brown Memorial UMC serves a free Sunday dinner every Sunday at 3:00. There about 15 churches and other groups (including Brown) that take part in a rotation. Each Church in the rotation purchases, cooks, delivers, and serves the meal on their Sunday.

This past Sunday it was Erwin First’s turn in the rotation. Dorcas, Joe, Rose, Bonnie, Evelyn, Mike (and whoever I may have missed) served nearly 150 meals this past Sunday (130 of them in the first 20 minutes!). I was very proud of the Erwin First team. Anytime a team from Erwin First shows up at Brown (or at any mission project) we show up with sleeves rolled up and ready work. THANK YOU!! For a great day.

Here are some things going on at Erwin First:

This Sunday we continue our Journey through Luke by looking at Luke 12:32-40 – The bottom line of this passage is Jesus teaching us to not worry, to not fear, and to keep working (sounds like the perfect message for our community)!

Here are the live links to this week’s worship:

RUMMAGE SALE 2022 HAS BEEN CANCELLED – due to a lack of sale items it was decided to cancel the Rummage Sale for this year. We are still collecting and will continue to collect in hopes of resuming the Rummage Sale in 2023. THANK YOU to everyone who has been working hard for this Mission fund raiser.

FYI, one of the reasons for the diminished items to sell is that most of the household items and furniture that we previously sold at the rummage sale is now donated through Restart. So, our mission impact is not diminished in any way it has just been “repurposed!”

Is Wednesday August 11
Is at University UMC (corner of E. Genesee and University Ave.)
Is going to be a lot of fun
Is from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Each church is providing part of the picnic.
We will gather at 6:00 and eat
We will have a brief worship service
We will have some “interactive” build new friendship games
Bring a lawn chair – tables provided but you’ll need a chair.
If you are coming, please let me know by Sunday (or just do the Erwin First thing and show up anyway {grin}).

COME HOME SUNDAY – Sunday, September 11 – It is time to reconnect as a community. Join us for a special 10:30 worship time and celebration. Some of our online community will be joining us in person for the first time.
We will continue to provide online worship as we move into the future but looking at a screen is not the same as seeing one another face to face.

HOLY LAND 2023 (February 14-24) with available extension to Jordan (Petra)
FINAL INFORMATION MEETING SEPTEMBER 8, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. VIA ZOOM only – I’ll post the Zoom link when it is available.
We are approaching 35 registered for our Holy Land journey in February of 2023. An extension to visit Petra and Jordan is also offered for an additional $1148.
Brochures are available in the church office or online at the below link:
People can register up to 90 days before departure (November 1). If you are still thinking of making this journey with us, please let Pastor BJ know asap.

UGANDA 2022 – I will be returning to Uganda October 3 through 21. The Buffalo team has returned having worked in Lusanja, Gomba, Mbale and other locations. They were mostly assisting in medical clinics with Dr. Ibanda Moses and working with our friend Davis Matovu.
My trip will be visiting our teaching centers and continuing to deepen and build our relationships and connections.
If you’d like to support this journey please send a check to Erwin First with “Uganda 2022” in the memo.

BROWN MEMORIAL – Kitchen Update Fund Raiser
Brown Memorial is working to bring their kitchen up to Onondaga County health code regulations. The “up to code” kitchen will allow Brown to cook and serve meals on the premises and will allow the church to fulfill a dream of opening a small catering business that will provide a few parttime jobs and an income stream for the church.
The cost of the project is $10,000. 500 letters were sent to every United Methodist Pastor and Lay Leader with 100 miles of Brown Memorial inviting them to participate in this important work.
If you would like to support this project, please send a check to Erwin First with BROWN PROJECT in the memo line.  Thank you.

In our Prayers
Every Wednesday at 7:00 a.m. a group of city pastors and lay persons gather in a ZOOM call for prayer. We pray for the city, for our churches, for each other, for the world and whatever else the Holy Spirit leads us to pray for. Everyone is welcome. Here is the link:

Please remember to pray for the people of the Ukraine, remember to pray for all who are dealing with natural disasters (floods, fires, drought, and other devastation). Pray for those who are sick. Pray for the elderly. Pray for your church! Pray for your leaders! Pray for peace and mercy in our world.

COMING SOON (or soon enough)
August 5-6 – Be the Change (with Beautiful Mess) at Brown Memorial
Outdoor concert Friday Night
Carnival and Fun Saturday from 1 to 3
September 11 – COME HOME SUNDAY
September 25 – Westcott Street Festival
October 3-21 – Pastor BJ in Uganda

Parting Thought
After a very difficult 2+ years, many of us are trying to re-find our balance. Things can get out of whack. The pendulum can swing wide and far. The “Covid years” have been that kind of “out of whacking” season for most of us. In my life, adding the deaths of Karen and my remaining parents and other life shifts has pushed us even further out of balance.

Living in Balance is a vital part of the faith journey. Jesus wants us “in the world” but not “of the world.” Jesus calls us to a life of deep devotion (prayer, mediation, fasting, study, worship, etc.) but he also calls us to a life of active engagement in mission and ministry. There is a rhythm, an ebb and flow, that is a normal part of the spiritual life.

How’s your balance? September 1 through 11, I am calling us to a time of prayer and fasting as we begin a new season together. The challenge is two-fold: 1) dig deeper in your relationship with God. What is the next logical step in your journey? What needs to be shored up for you to go deeper? What is God calling you to be? And 2) engage. What is your mission? What is your ministry? What is God calling you to do?

I’ll see you when the community gathers,
Pastor BJ, lead servant, fellow traveler, missionary

Online giving is now available through our website

1. Click on this link:

2. Simply follow the instructions.

NOTE: there is a 1% cost for payments from the donor’s bank account and a 2.9% fee added to credit or debit card transactions. The fee is deducted from the donation: (American Express transactions are 3.5% + $0.30).