Vandalia United Methodist Church


From the Pastor

Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will give birth to a son and he shall be called 'Immanuel' or 'God is with us'."

I am pretty good with names. Most of the time I will have the first name of newcomers committed to memory within a couple of weeks. To which my wife replies, "but he cannot remember to buy even three things at the grocery store!". I don't have a trick, or a process to remember names, that would be cool; I just seem to remember names. I have experienced the joy, even pride, when someone of importance remembered my name. I once worked, briefly, for the Governor of Illinois, Jim Thompson, and he called me by name. I thought that astounding until I realized I was wearing a nametag that day. I am old enough to remember the kid's television program "Romper Room", during which Miss Vicky would look into her magic mirror and see the boys and girls of television land watching her. She would call out names and often my own, "I see Tom watching this morning". I delighted that she almost never called out the name of my kid sister, "Laura"!

I will do my level best to learn your names, and your stories. I have strived in every pastoral calling to make this a priority, because I believe it would be a priority for me. If I get your name wrong, gently correct me; I will learn. What truly astounds me, though, is the promise that God knows our name and our stories without our ever having to remind Him. God does not need a trick, mind reference or magic mirror to know the names of His children. God simply knows. We matter to Him. We are claimed by Him.

One of the guiding principles of the church is that we live as though God has called each of us by name to live together. Let us live into this promise as we learn each other's names ("Tom", by the way; or "Pastor Tom" if you like using a title...not "Rev. Goodell" as that was my dad's title!).

                                           Sermon Series for July

July 5, Remember! Who I am and who we are.
           Sermon text is 2 Timothy 1:3-7

July 12, Essentials for the Christian Faith: From what do I need to be saved?                   Sermon text is Romans 5:1-11

July 19, Essentials for the Christian Faith: Atonement  
              Sermon text is Romans 5:18-19

July 26, Essentials for the Christian Faith: What is my response?
              Sermon text is Romans 5:20-21 





9:30 AM Worship Service
10:40 AM Sunday School

First United Methodist Church of Vandalia :: 618.283.3684