Sponge Theology

A Good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45

Suppose you have five sponges lying on your kitchen counter. Each member of your family has been cleaning different areas of your home, but the sponges all look the same. You are curious about what was cleaned but you can’t tell just by looking at the sponges since they all look the same. So what do you do?

You squeeze each sponge to see what happens. As you squeeze the first sponge, brown cola comes pouring out. Someone must have cleaned the kitchen with that sponge. Upon squeezing the second sponge, you see blue tub and tile cleaner oozing out of the sponge which leads you to believe someone used that particular sponge to clean the bathroom. In the third sponge, you find motor oil and conclude that this sponge was used to clean the garage. The fourth sponge produces a puff of baby powder when it is squeezed. The baby’s nursery was obviously cleaned with that sponge. Finally, the last sponge is dripping with floor wax which tells you someone used that particular sponge to clean the floor. As you lay the last sponge down, you look again at their similarity. They all look the same — until they are squeezed.

We are a lot like sponges when it comes to our faith in God. We look and act as if God is Lord of our lives. We say all the right things to all the right people and do right things in order to prove we are righteous. But what is really inside? What do our hearts really look like?

When a crisis comes and the pressures of life squeeze us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, what comes out? Do we respond to that difficult person in anger or with patience and love? Does revenge spill out in ugly words to that person who has hurt us more times than we can count or do we take a breath and remember that God loves them and that hurt people tend to hurt people? Does the pain of unresolved sin flood our hearts and minds as guilt spills out of our heart with a vengeance?

Just like the sponge, we can only squeeze out what is put in. Fill your heart with the things of God. Stay in the Word each day. Spend time with faith builders who will encourage you in your faith. Seek God and His plan for your life. Pray about everything so that when life puts the squeeze on you – and it will – the very nature of God will come pouring out. 

Grace & Peace, Pastor Bob

Stepping In Faith – Come & Walk with us!

Where Otsiningo Park. Starting Wednesday, May 12th; 5:30 PM. “Every Wednesday, weather permitting. Bring a face mask or one can be provided. Sponsored by The United Methodist Church of Chenango Bridge.

Meeting Place—North Entrance of the Park, take Howell Drive to Parking Lot. Bottled water & fruit will be available on a first come first served basis.

Led by: Michelle Stoll & Kathy Smith, for questions call 648-4339 (Church Office)

“Bring a friend, Make a friend” – Just do it!

Finance information:

We are once again meeting for Worship but the church is strongly recommending that you still mail your donations into the church due to the Covid19 virus restrictions there will be no offertory during worship but we will dedicate your gifts to God. If you bring your offering into church with you, the usher will direct you to the offering basket.
   * Monday’s of every week we will collect, record and deposit any pledges, Donations and Loose Funds.                 Please mail to the church at: 1st UMC of Chenango Bridge, PO Box 501, Chenango Bridge, 13745.
    * Bank Accounts and Expenses will be reviewed weekly to ensure Bills are paid in a timely manner.
    * Any financial questions should be directed to David Lewis at 607.727.0250.
    * Search for any potential financial opportunities that will provide additional income to meet the continue          operation expenses through this unknown period.

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Small Groups

Pastor’s Study & Prayer Group (Online Only): Sunday mornings 11:30 AM. Everyone is welcome to join. Contact Pastor Bob at (910) 260-0551 or 648-4326 or for password or more details to join the group. Everyone is welcome!

Love and Truth: Studies in 1-2 John; Starting on Sunday, April 11, Dan Fuller will be hosting a study and discussion on the epistles of 1-2 John. The group will meet from 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM. Those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and are comfortable meeting in-person will gather in room B6-Christian Fellowship Class of the education wing. Others can join in by Zoom. Please email Dan at or contact the church office, (607) 648-4339 to register. All are welcome to attend, and each week is independent of the next, so please join when you are able!

Ladies Monday Night Book Study: Monday evenings 6:30-8:00 pm. (Online Only) Please contact Karen MacKenzie at 845-729-0857 or for details if you would like to join the group via Zoom (online). Please Note: This group has ended for summer. They may meet occasionally throughout the summer, contact Karen MacKenzie at the number above for more information. They will resume meeting in the fall.

Upper Room, devotionals available, contact the church office, 648-4339 & we will mail you one. The Upper Room Devotional online: If you do not pay for long distance you can call 1.615.212.2013 or a free call 1.877.600.7218

Other online devotionals: Our Daily Bread link: Girl Friends in God link:

Note: If you need further information, please contact the church office at or 607-648-4339.

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As we move forward in this Covid-19 environment, we should try and remember our blessings.  ​”And don’t forget to do good and share with those in need.” — Hebrews 13:16   

MAY MISSION: KNITTING FOR THE LORD. This mission group has donated blankets, shawls and hats and mittens to many.  Please keep this group in your prayers. 

AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE on June 10, 1-6 PM.  See you then and tell a friend., donor code CHENANGOUMC.  

We were able to send 8 hygiene kits to Syracuse for April’s Mission.  Thank you to all who brought in supplies!

Our 4th Sunday non-perishable food donations have been going to CHOW on a monthly basisApril’s food was 35 pounds donated!  Thank you.  

Blessings – Wes and Karen MacKenzie, Missions Leaders: 845-729-0857

We are continuing to support the Whitney Avenue Rescue Mission by delivering Pizza (socially distanced) on the 4th Wednesday of the month to the residents. If you are interested in supporting this Mission, please contact Donna James for further details.      Continue reading

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