WELCOME TO REHOBETH
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Contemplative Prayer / Study
Sunday Worship 8 am
Discipleship 9 am
WELCOME TO REHOBETH
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Contemplative Prayer / Study
Sunday Worship 8 am
Discipleship 9 am
At Rehobeth United Methodist Church Church celebrated a combined worship and fellowship dinner with Mt Olivet and Mt Pleasant United Methodist Churches on Sunday, Oct 29th. Rehobeth has a remnant congregation of 7, but determined to grow the church. This combined service helped our extended community to catch the spirit and celebrate the Grace of God bestowed on all of us.
Check out the photos of an old church transformed into a vital community last week-end. Woow! Something to build for; bank on it. Come join us in meaningful contemplative practices.
The Sunday worship service at 8 am is the heart of our community at 8 am; followed with a disciple fellowship hour at 9 am when we share in dialogue our spiritual development progress - ie., how we practice our discipleship and ID our growing edges each week.
All are welcomed.
It’s late for me rising this morning, but I feel surprisingly rested after ending an exhausting day yesterday – – I’ve edited, reprinted bulletins; sent email invitations; “columned” the Message, and finally turned in after midnight and after sending out one last email to all the volunteer helpers.
Saturday (Oct 28) began at full speed, getting the barbecue trailer up to the church, pulling out the tent, chairs, tables, and all the supply boxes down from the barn. By 10 AM helpers had already arrived. In less than three hours, thirteen of us put together a dining area and prepared the church for the big day — Oct 29th! —Rehobeth’s Day to host the charge! A Church of seven members to host fifty. And we did it with the help and support of our sister congregations (though we missed Bethel in our community).
We served barbecued chicken (delicious) BBQ’d with the help of Jeremy, David. Randy. Noemi Mena had a banquet of side dishes for everyone who helped – – baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, cookies, cornbread, wow Noemi! And we all sat (well most of us; some had to leave at 1 PM), and ate, conversed, and had a great dinner together.
We planned for 40 to 45 people for worship. That would be a wonderful surprise to fill our house of worship with members, a real housewarming for Rehobeth. Once upon a time this sanctuary was filled with Christians.
I feel like I'm behind the times in keeping up “to speed” with the planning and helping to supply needs of a congregation. Aging has been slowing me down, knocked me back a peg or two; and, Rae, too. She walks slower and staggered at times. She fell Saturday morning going in the church door amongst everyone. Jeremy and I helped her up. But she was a reminder that the majority of us in this group are the aging generation.
Jeremy and I had been working to replace the kitchen drain and planned to get the water heater on, but we froze that project as things began to happen quickly. Time flew quickly Saturday, it seemed I gained consciousness when I was soaking the BBQ grill down by the barnyard gate.
The best time. The best time was setting in the chancel of the church, when everyone had left and all was quiet . I could muse on the happenings and ponder the excitement of the day. The temperature had reached 81 in the late afternoon. This was truly a good day.
Sunday started off with the second ceiling light in the nave burning out. Jeremy replaced it. Interesting, I thought, that new lamps are installed for a new community meeting.
I didn't ’t know where to begin for the day. Of all days, today I especially needed to practice mindfulness, calm, and to empty myself of the distractions to be. Should I keep working or seek a "time out"? I sought time alone for devotion, quiet, and connection to receive spirit energy and soul insight for the day. And I was gifted:
Several women were wearing T-Shirts with the slogan “Love like Jesus“. Now that’s a witness!
Sunday was a partial fulfillment of a dream for me. To see this old church building filled with busy people, with diversity and distance, working together in this place, sprucing it up, making it a place of hospitality for worship and community. Sharing the fruit of life experiences and resources to share in this place of fellowship.
“Oh Lord, you direct me to a path that seems odd and peculiar. Like Moses, stumbling through life with many issues ones’ own, working for the hand of the woman he loved, herding sheep, perplexed in this wilderness, and suddenly seeing (your) light in a little bush. Hearing a voice, your voice, becoming curious, stopping to take note, and obeying your command for reverence. Then, an invitation given, an unbelievable one, wonderful, but challenging."
How can that be?
One goes into the wilderness herding sheep and comes out of the darkness propelled into a new way of living. A new way of being. A new focus in life.
Living life by being open to the spirit of God in whatever I am herding. In the herd, in the work, the formation of the spirit continues and catches us exactly where we are, and when we are ready. Well,
Boom! Just like that boom!
Spirit catches us when we are ready. Boom!
And seeing the sign – a burning bush?
-- a new lamp lightening our church?
-- voice out of the wilderness?
It lights up without consuming itself. We stop and suddenly the mystery makes us a mystic! How can this be? And hearing the directive the word comes to us.
We want to stay at this place.
I wonder how long Moses stayed at that site. cherishing the voice, the word, the light, the Aha!
The great Aha! That for which the mystic in all of us yearn. Moses receives spiritual direction for the rest of his life.
In the wilderness, alone, in the dark places, often in suffering and pain; there appears a lamp, burning, that will not go out. We stop, look, listen, and the foundations of our being are changed forever.
– if we are open to God‘s Word, Spirit
– if we are open to life
– if we are open to change– if we are in a receiving mode, ie, present enough to be in the “now moment.”
– To witness a small, burning bush, that doesn’t consume itself, and respond to the holy. The bush burns within us.
I look with in (insight);
the Light invades me, speaks to me,
I listen, am quiet,
A voice sounds,
I hear the command of reverence,
I know I am on holy ground,
I get a mission,
and a commission – a certification
All of Moses earlier life experience including the herding of sheep, becomes transferable training toward herding people. Herding the disenfranchised, the slaves, and moving them through their wilderness from dependence in the powerful land of Egypt, into the inter dependence of a free people, living in the Promised land of their own.
The Moses story is a powerful story of formation.
“Oh Lord, only you can commission your shepherds of sheep. Today we are challenged again with disobedience. Attempts to trick us into leaving your community are constant and unceasing. The hounds of hell are barking and nipping at our heels; confusion has become the norm of our culture. We are tired, anxious, weary, cautious, divided, and we petition you for stronger assurances of your presence in our midst. “Lead us not into temptation, O Lord, but deliver us from evil. Indeed, Oh, Lord, indeed, lead from evil.”
Interruptions interfere sometimes with our meditation. It is amazing how quickly distractions can create “train wrecks” of our meditation, spiritual, and necessary alone times.
Protect that alone time, it’s there, where the mystic in us awakens us to the inner light.
We have willingly bought into the sanctuary of our houses of worship and into the serenity of our inner life, electronics and technologies that tend to distract us from hearing and meditating upon God’s attempt to remain the light in our life. We need to reevaluate how we use and misuse technology.
Pastor Kang’s message on living life with compassionate hearts was key and reinforced the experiences we shared on this weekend, just prior to All Saints Day.
Enjoy his message. Enjoy the photos … and remember "Love Like Jesus."
Sermon Series <Living in the Presence> (6)
“A Compassionate Heart”
Luke 10:25-37 / October 29, 2023
Rev Sean Kang, Pastor
Recently, there is a colleague pastor who went on a trip to Israel. On the last day of his trip, he visited the Western Wall of the Jerusalem Temple, known as the "Wailing Wall." It happened to be the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, and many people had gathered there. He squeezed through the crowd and pressed his forehead against the cold stones to pray. He said his prayer was close to a question directed towards God. He offered a solemn and heavy prayer, questioning why the sacred place had not yet seen peace, why hatred and violence in the name of God persisted, over thousands of years.
After completing his entire trip and returning home, he learned that just moments after leaving Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, thousands of rockets from Hamas had rained down on the very places he had visited a few days earlier. Instead of relief, he felt a sense of despair about humanity, and for three days, he struggled with high fever and vomiting, unable to eat anything. Even after his physical recovery, he remained emotionally shaken by the powerlessness to do anything in the face of such a great tragedy.
As you watched scenes of people who believe in Yahweh and Allah hating each other in the name of their respective gods, driving innocent people to death on the other side of the world through live news and media broadcasts, what did you feel? It must have been deeply saddening and challenging. How can we stop this long-standing conflict and tragedy? Scholars analyze the history of the protracted conflict between these two nations and their religious backgrounds, and politicians discuss diplomatic solutions, but I seek answers from Jesus Christ once again.
Today's text is the story of the Good Samaritan. Who is the Samaritan today? It's the modern-day Palestinian. Therefore, we can call the title of today's text the "Story of the Good Palestinian." In fact, emotionally, Christians feel closer to Israel than to Palestine because Israel consists of people who believe in the God of the Old Testament, while Palestinians are seen as people with a completely different faith. So, calling today's text the "Story of the Good Palestinian" may make some people uncomfortable.
However, when Jesus told this story to the people of his time, the situation was the same. The people listening to the story were all Jews, and the one who initiated the story was a teacher of the law. By portraying the priests and Levites, who were considered devout Jews, as hypocrites, and presenting the Samaritan with a different faith as good and compassionate believers, Jesus was delivering a message that was radical, strange, and uncomfortable to the Jews of his time. What was Jesus trying to convey through this challenging story?
The story of the Good Samaritan begins with a question from the teacher of the law: "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Instead of directly answering, Jesus asked how it was written in the law. The teacher of the law promptly responded with the well-known commandment, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself." When Jesus affirmed his answer, the teacher of the law posed another question, "And who is my neighbor?"
Hidden within this question of the teacher of the law was a critical attitude towards Jesus. Originally, the book of Leviticus included not only orphans, widows, and marginalized individuals as neighbors to be loved as oneself but also foreigners. However, in the 1st century, Judaism had narrowly and exclusively interpreted the Levitical regulations, modifying "love your neighbor as yourself" to apply only to fellow Jews who shared the same faith and blood. The teacher of the law questioned, "who is my neighbor?" based on this modified Jewish interpretation, with the intention of criticizing Jesus for embracing non-Jews who did not qualify as neighbors within this narrow definition.
In response, Jesus intentionally recounted the parable of the Good Samaritan to challenge the rigid and exclusionary legalism prevalent among the Jews of that time. However, Jesus did not stop at criticizing legalism; he conveyed a more profound message. Embedded within this story is a remarkable spiritual message that Jews and Samaritans did not harbor mutual hatred. What could that message be? To find the answer, we need to pose one question: Why did the Samaritan assist the robbery victim? What motivated him?
No matter how closely we examine the text, it's challenging to find a clear reason for why the Samaritan helped the victim. However, in verse 33, there is a phrase that could serve as a clue. It is the expression "When he saw him, he took pity on him." In this context, the word "compassion"is a more accurate translation than "pity," as used in the King James Version. Jesus explained that the Samaritan showed mercy to the victim because of the "compassion" in his heart. "Compassion" is the key to today's scripture.
Compassion is a compound word of "com + patio," which means sharing space, sharing joy and sorrow, and participating in life together. Compassion is different from pity. Pity involves a separation between the one who helps and the one receiving help, with the superior looking down on the inferior. But "compassion" signifies being in the same level, sharing the same space. It involves sharing the joy and sorrow of the other person from the same space. I believe that "compassion" is a precious aspect of human spirituality. Compassion has immense power to heal people and the world.
While serving the English-speaking congregation, the most challenging aspect for me is praying in English. Sermons are prepared in advance, so I can manage reasonably, and general conversations, while somewhat awkward due to my limitation, usually lead to effective communication as the other person understands what I'm saying. However, praying in English is an entirely different territory and has always been a struggle for me. Frankly, I mostly prepare and memorize my prayers in advance or read from a written script. But when I have to pray suddenly without prior preparation, I feel extremely flustered.
One day, I had an urgent matter to attend to at the home of a congregant who lived alone. She had been in excruciating pain while staying at home, waiting for a medical appointment. As I visited her and talked, I felt a deep empathy for her and a strong desire to pray for her earnestly. However, due to the urgency of the visit, I hadn't prepared a prayer. So, I honestly asked her if it would be acceptable for me to pray in Korean. She agreed, and I took her hands, offering a heartfelt prayer in Korean.
She must have been perplexed by the language she couldn't understand. But surprisingly, after the prayer, her face was covered in tears. How could this be? Did she somehow understand Korean? It was highly unlikely. Her tears were evidence of the miracle that occurs when compassion within me meets compassion within her. Compassion transcends language barriers, cultural boundaries, racial distinctions, and all kinds of divides in this world. Compassion is the most God-like quality residing in the hearts of all human beings, and it possesses the miraculous power to heal individuals, relationships, and the world.
Before performing the miracle of feeding the multitude, Jesus looked at the crowd and had compassion for them. And a miracle happened. Jesus had compassion for the woman caught in adultery, the tax collector, and the Samaritan woman, becoming their friend. And miracles occurred, transforming their lives entirely. Every time Jesus had compassion for the paralyzed, the lame, the blind, they were miraculously healed. The ultimate miracle was when Jesus had compassion for all of humanity's sin and suffered on the cross, shaking the world. The secret behind Jesus's miracles was the "compassion" within him. Please remember, compassion exists within us too. When we have compassion for others, a miracle will happen!
You're likely familiar with the doctrine of the "Incarnation," in which God took on human flesh and came into this world. Why did God become human? The Bible tells us, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son." God loves us and deeply empathizes with our sins and suffering, coming into our space to share our joys and sorrows. God became human because of compassion for us. So, compassion is the heart of God who willingly incarnated and the heart of Jesus who sacrificed himself to the point of death. Please remember, this compassionate heart resides within us as well.
In any situation, embracing compassion, which is God's heart, can lead to the resolution of all conflicts, disputes, and grievances, bringing about reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace. This applies not only to tangled human relationships but also to relationships between nations locked in long-standing animosity and conflict. Hold a compassionate heart towards someone, and all problems can be resolved. Embrace a compassionate heart towards someone, and witness what unfolds! Miracles will happen.
I believe that "compassion" is a game-changer in all relationships of conflict, a miracle, and magic in our lives. I hope that through the compassionate heart within us, miracles of reconciliation, forgiveness, restoration, and reconnection occur in all severed relationships, whether it's between Israel and Palestine, Russia and Ukraine, or any situation where hatred and animosity divide. I pray that each of you may possess the heart of God, the heart of Jesus Christ, that compassionate heart.
In the name of the Father, of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit!
R-Church is a “Meeting House of Prayer.” May you experience hospitality here and a reverence for peace, grace, forgiveness.
- We invite you to register in the foyer and include your email.
- We seek two volunteers each Sunday to read the scripture.
- Prayer concerns may be entered in R-Church Prayer Book.
Rehobeth UMC hosted the Combined Charge Worship and Fellowship Dinner with sister congregations of the Charge: Mt Olivet UMC, Mt Pleasant UMC, and Bethel UMC.
May this time of Life Together build a stronger richer community for all of us. May our liturgy (our work) enhance community; and may our community enhance our discipleship practice. Follow “the Sermon” and "the Prayer."
45 folks attended these services. The singing was enthusiastic, the scriptures reminded us of our mission, the message spoken from the heart of the pastor encouraged us to relate to all others with hearts of compassion.
The dinner was excellent. Our combined parishes have excellent chefs. The BBQ'd chicken was out standing, and mother nature provided us with a beautiful Saturday to prepare and set up, and Sunday was a pleasant day with scattered light rain and concluding with a gentle, relaxing breeze. Fellowship was a "10".
The Rehobeth "remnant" thanks our sister congregants for their support and growing love.
We welcome Jeannie and Pastor Kang home from vacation.
A Grateful THANK YOU to all who helped set-up on Saturday and for everyone who donated side dishes or deserts.
All Saints Day – November 1st
Dist. Conf Reports are due November 2
Our Ann. Charge Conference, Leesburg UMC, Nov. 12th, 2pm.
Rehobeth and 28 congregations meet for a combined Conference.
Rehobeth Admin Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone (540) 270 7873
Pastor, Rev. Sean Hyunsik Kang email@example.com
Thanks to Jere, Rv Sean, David C, Jim and Rae, David T, and Deb S for help and support in planting Korean Maple Trees alongside Rickard and Rehobeth Church Road the last two Saturday mornings.
Come join us as we build Christian Community on High Ridge.
God is good all the time.
All the time God is good.
Father of Everything,
Your presence fills all of Creation.
Again today, your kingdom has come.
Again today, I join my will to your will to make earth as heaven.
Again today, you’ll give us the bread we need for your daily work,
And you’ll show mercy to us just as much as we show mercy to others.
Again today, as we face times of testing, you’ll be with us in our trials.
Todd Wynward, Rewilding the Way, p63
Scroll down to DOWNLOADS and select the service.
Our website rehobethchurch.org
Worship and Centered Prayer services are co-hosted on Zoom by Jim and Jeremy Nenninger.
Rev. Kang creates content and Gospel Messages.
Thank you for joining and participating with us for Worship.
MINUTES Council MAY 26 , 2022 (docx)Download
2022 Apportionments 1st Quarter (pdf)Download
MESSAGE MAY 1st The Further Journey - Rv Kang (docx)Download
MESSAGE MAY 8th Toward Reconciliation & Forgiveness - Kang (docx)Download
MESSAGE MAY 15 Go Up to Bethel - Rv Kang (docx)Download
MESSAGE MAY 22 The Ultimate Wrestling - Rv Kang (docx)Download
MESSAGE MAY 29 There Is Something More in It - Rv Kang (docx)Download
Remembering All Who Have Been Affected By Gun Violence (docx)Download
Rev. Sean Kang graduated from the Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul and became an ordained minister from the Eastern Conference of the Korean Methodist Church. He served as an Associate Pastor in a Methodist Church in Seoul, then moved to Canada in 2000, where he studied Spiritual Theology and Spiritual Direction at the University of Toronto. While studying there, he began a new church for college students and young adults and served there for five years.
Rev. Kang accepted an invitation by the Korean United Methodist Church of Greater Washington and moved to Virginia in 2006; where he served as an Associate Pastor for seven years. In the spring of 2013, he started a new church in Ashburn, Virginia, and spent six years as it's Leading Pastor. Rev. Kang is very interested in Contemplative Spirituality and Spiritual Formation. In this context, his pastoral focus is geared toward spiritual sermons, spiritual exercises, and prayer practices.
We look forward to Rev. Kang's ministry with us ... as our journey continues.
Rehobeth United Methodist, 14085 Rehobeth Church Road, Lovettsville Join us on Zoom for worship and fellowship.
We have turned the corner after losing so many -- time to grow
Join us as we explore our spirituality and do things together.
Sign up for the District E-Newsletter
“A Gallop Through United Methodist History”
See how much you remember ...
United Methodist Jubilee Year – 50 Years as United Methodist’s
Watch how we are connected ...
Welcome! For the past 225 years Rehobeth United Methodist Church has been a place where people could come to learn, be in community and grow as people of God. Even as the world has changed and we have changed, we are still committed to being a community that reaches out to our neighbors and our world so that all can know the love of God. We hope you will join us and make yourself at home here as we sincerely welcome you to Rehobeth United Methodist Church (R-Church).
Rehobeth UMC is located at 14085 Rehobeth Church Road, Lovettsville VA 20180. The pastor is the Rev. Sean Hyunsik Kang. The Pastor's email is firstname.lastname@example.org; and cell phone: 703-336-3679. Our website is www.rehobethchurch.org Sunday worship is at 9 am with a dialogue fellowship meeting after worship to discuss spiritual issues with which we cope and grow. The Dialogue is open to everyone.
On Rt. 7 go to the exit for Rt. 287; at the underpass, turn left and go north 6.2 mi on Rt. 287 (Berlin Turnpike) toward Purcellville and Lovettsville. Turn right onto Rickard Road and go 0.4 mi east. Take the 1st right onto Rehobeth Church Road; the turn is 0.2 mi on the left.