Blessings to my friends of First UMC of Chenango Bridge.  As many of you already know, worship and church sponsored small groups have been canceled effective immediately in compliance with CDC, NYS and UNYUMC Bishop’s recommendations and encouragement.  No groups will be meeting at the church. We are working on additional ways to stay connected electronically over the coming weeks.  Please monitor FB and our web-page for updates and spiritual support. The office is closed due to Gov. Cumo’s 100 work force mandate but we will be getting phone messages & email messages. Remember that during these troubled times God is still in control so “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. 

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Bob

Volunteer Help is Needed for Meals on Wheels that operates out of the church. Please scroll down to the Go section for contact information if you are able to help out.

Lent – A Time to Grow

Lent is that season when we stare directly at our own mortality. We make tiny sacrifices of our own to recall the incomparable sacrifice Christ made for us. It might all sound quite dreary, except on the other side of Lent is the enormous spiritual crescendo of Easter.

Jesus unmasked death and exposed it for what it really is – a 98-pound weakling dressed up in a Charles Atlas suit. I don’t doubt that at the end of that first Good Friday, the disciples thought, what a waste of a life. If they could only have seen what was coming. But to them the hour was too dark. Maybe your hour is too dark as you experience trials and tribulations but remember God is at his best when our life is at its worst. We learn much more from our trials than from periods of happiness. So get ready you may be in for a surprise.

The Lenten season is an opportunity to take an honest look at our life. When we look in the mirror do we see someone we can trust to do the right thing, a good person guided by a seemingly flawless moral compass? Do we struggle to think of a sin we recently committed? Do we feel that we are not just good but better than most? If we can say yes to any of these questions Jesus was talking to us when he “also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt.” (Luke 18:9)

Jesus’ intent is to bring us down from the place where we trust so much in our own goodness that we don’t need God. He comes preaching repentance, a reversal, where humble sinners look better than self-righteous egotists. Jesus has become our righteousness, emptying himself and giving us purpose in sacrifice and service.

Lord during this Lenten season, give us the humility to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow You. Amen

Grace & Peace,
Bob Clark

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