Lynn Jacobs, 31, says she is teaching tricks to Precious Noel, her 18-month old Chiweenie — a cross between a Chihuahua and dachshund — and enjoys spending time with her and Miss Aallee, her 16-year old Chihuahua. A Supply, N.C. resident, Jacobs adds, “I love to sing,” and uses that talent in the choir at Seaside United Methodist Church in Sunset Beach, N.C. She also looks forward to attending the gatherings of Special Friends of Seaside at the church. This ministry began in October 2016 and is designed specifically for those 18-40 who have a disability and can manage their own personal needs. Parents are encouraged to attend as well. Jacobs was born with spina bifida (see side bar) and uses a wheelchair for mobility.
An Adam Hamilton Bible Study led by Duke Divinity School intern Matthew Nelson
Retrace the life of Moses from his modest birth and rescue as a baby to the courts of Pharaoh, from herding flocks in Midian to leading his people out of Egypt.
Join Adam Hamilton as he travels from Egypt to Mt. Sinai, the Nile, the Red Sea and the wilderness exploring the sites of Moses’ life. Using historical information, archaeological data, and biblical text, Hamilton guides us in the footsteps of this reluctant prophet who grew in his relationship with God and by the end of life had successfully fulfilled the role he was given.
Turn your own reluctance into boldness as you examine the significant challenges facing Moses and how God shaped his character and life in powerful ways.
This Summer you have the opportunity to travel through the story of Moses in a brand new Adam Hamilton book study, “Moses: In the Footsteps of a Reluctant Prophet.” Our Duke Summer Intern, Matt Nelson, will lead this six-week study beginning on Thursday, June 22nd from 6:30-8:00 in the Choir Room. This class is open to all so please sign up in the Gallery to ensure your spot in the class!
For a growing number of grandparents, their golden years are looking a little different than they might have imagined. That’s because about 2.7 million grandparents in the United States are acting as the primary caregivers to their grandchildren.
The number of children living in grandparent-maintained households has doubled over the past four decades, according to Coresident Grandparents and Their Grandchildren: 2012, a report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The reasons vary. Parents may be unable to care for their kids due to alcohol or drug addiction, incarceration, economic struggles or other issues. Grandparents often step in as caregivers to keep kids out of foster care.
However, parenting later in life can be a challenge — physically, financially and emotionally.
“Grandparents are getting the grandchildren at about retirement time,” said Diana Strickland, who coordinates a grandparent support group at Seaside United Methodist Church in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. “Generally, they’re in their 60s when they first get them,” she said, adding that by the time the children leave the house, grandparents are often in their 80s.
“And that gets more and more difficult, because then your health issues are involved. You’re responsible for a teenager. It’s stressful enough when you’re a young parent, but when you’re an older parent, it gets a little harder,” she said.
According to the census report, about 39 percent of grandparent caregivers have cared for their grandchildren for five years or more.
Parenting at retirement age is a major life adjustment, and those thrust into the role need all the support they can get. Many require help with custody issues and other legal matters, while some need financial assistance and parenting advice.
Dave Panowitz, a longtime member of Bel Air United Methodist Church in Bel Air, Maryland, is the chairperson for Raising Our Children’s Kids Successfully (R.O.C.K.S), a grandparent support group the church has been sponsoring for about five years. He said the biggest problem facing grandparents today is funding.
“For some of these people, the system works against them. They’re trying to do the right thing and they can’t get assistance in a lot of cases. Some of them have two and three grandchildren. … There is zero funding for this stuff,” he said.
About 10 to 20 people attend the monthly gatherings at Bel Air UMC. Meetings often feature speakers who address issues grandparents may be facing. A retired advocate in the school system also participates regularly to help with kids who are having behavioral problems.
Both Strickland and Panowitz said the transition in caregiving is a culture shock for grandparents and children, especially when the kids are struggling with emotional issues.
“You’re dealing with children who probably have been hurt one way or another because they are not with their parents. You’re dealing with a lot of issues here that you can’t resolve. You can’t heal that for them and you’re doing the best you can,” Strickland said. “Some of these parents, if they’re on drugs, they overdose, and then the child’s got to deal with the death. So there are a lot of traumas and a lot of things where the grandparents need a lot of support.”
While there are plenty of books and other resources available, caregivers also need encouragement and support from people in their community.
Strickland helped start the Seaside grandparents group in 2004 when she and her husband began raising one of their seven grandchildren. She said another church member had been dealing with a similar situation and offered her advice. From there, the group grew to other church members and people from the community. Now, up to a dozen people attend weekly.
“A typical meeting at this point is mainly to get together, to touch base, to find out what is going on in each of their lives and what their needs are and what their prayer concerns are. And we pray for one another,” Strickland said.
Panowitz said the meetings offer grandparents an opportunity to share their stories and learn from those who have gone before them. He and his wife are raising an 11-year-old grandson.
The Bel Air group also offers childcare on meeting nights, which allows children to interact with others who are going through similar situations.
“Some of these children really have serious problems that the grandparents are dealing with … You hear some of these stories. You think this must be fiction. This can’t be true what happens. These can’t be real stories. Some of these stories are unbelievable,” he said.
Seaside UMC has a resource book in its library filled with services and agencies that grandparents who are new to caring for grandchildren can use. The support group also offers suggestions for local lawyers and pediatricians.
“There are a lot of problems that are unique with grandparents taking over from parents. It gets a little more complicated than you realize and most of these things happen suddenly. You suddenly have the children. It’s not a gradual thing. The parent ends up in jail, or the children — social services had to take them. You don’t have a lot of preparation,” Strickland said.
Both coordinators liken the support groups to Alcoholics Anonymous, where meetings are confidential and members become like family.
“If we go through it as a group, it becomes personal. Therefore, when one of us loses one of the parents of the children, everyone hurts for them. It’s just tragic and there’s not much you can do. And that’s the other hard thing is to continue to pray for each of the things that comes up that you know that you really can’t do anything about it. It’s beyond our control when you’re dealing with sick parents. That’s the way it is,” Strickland said.
“You just try to protect the child as much as you can, that’s the main thing.”
She said United Methodist churches that don’t currently offer support groups for grandparents should consider doing so. All you need is a staff or church member who “has a real feeling” for this type of ministry, she said.
Regardless of the size of the church, Panowitz said, there are bound to be members facing the same situation and it’s important to extend them a lifeline. He said, oftentimes, grandparents are embarrassed to share their situation.
“They have nobody to talk to … it’s a nightmare for some of these people,” he said.
“I think every church needs a special person to get involved with this. … It’s taking care of the people in the congregation that are afraid to admit they have problems. … This is a situation that you were dealt and you need to make the best of it. And I think we really try to do that.”
He said the best advice he can offer grandparents navigating parenting again is to focus on the grandchildren not their parents.
“You’re here for these grandchildren. You’re not here for their parents. … The parents have made all the mistakes. What’s going to happen to them happens to them. You’re here to make the best thing for these grandchildren. … People have to hear that from somebody else,” he said.
“You have to look out for the well-being of these children.”
Julie Dwyer is general church content editor with United Methodist Communications.
See Original Story on the Interpreter Magazine
Joint Letter: Teacher Appreciation Week
APRIL 27, 20170 Comments
Dear United Methodist friends,
Grace and peace in the name of Jesus Christ.
May 7 – 13 is Teacher Appreciation Week. We United Methodists are deeply committed to our children and public schools and engage with them energetically through Congregations for Children (C4C). We will be eager to express gratitude to all who teach in our public schools.
Across North Carolina we support the teaching profession by urging wages commensurate with the high value we place on the value of teachers to our society, and by providing strong administrative support.
Methodists have historically been advocates for education for all children. Methodist churches in 18th-century England and on the American frontier were most likely to be centers for literacy and health education.
We believe that a strong public school system is a means of securing a hopeful future for all children. Only with equal access do we have equal opportunity. In addition to granting equal access, public schools offer a unique framework for our children to get to know others across racial and socio-economic lines.
Please join the strong connection of United Methodist people across the state reaching out to teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.
We call on our state legislators to demonstrate their commitment to improving the quality of life and education in North Carolina by increasing teacher compensation to the national average and adequately funding our public schools. We also urge you to be an advocate for teachers and public education in your community.
In all of these ways, we will show our neighbors our deep commitment to the children of our state and to those who teach them.
In gratitude for our partnership in Christ’s ministry,
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward Bishop Paul Leeland
North Carolina Conference Western North Carolina Conference
United Methodist Church United Methodist Church
In the months between Advent and Easter, one of the most common themes is that in Christ, God became one of us—human. That is the essential story of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem to a young woman named Mary. As we make our way through Epiphany, we are reminded that this human child, dependent and vulnerable, had to be protected during his young life as his parents became refugees in Egypt, seeking to escape the jealous (and mad) king Herod. At a certain level we get that I suppose. And we get it again during Holy Week as Jesus is arrested, given a cursory trial and is executed. Indeed, sometimes I think that the efforts of some to dwell on the dehumanizing torture and death of Jesus is a way of trying to reclaim his humanity—to remind us that God isn’t just “watching us from a distance” (ala Bette Midler’s famous song), but rather that God really did become one of us.
But then we move into the rest of our year—the rest of our lives, and easily find ourselves stuck in the old habits of thinking of God in largely transactional and propositional ways. We do this when crux of our engagement with God comes in asking God for things (transactional) or making statements “about” God as if God “weren’t in the room” (propositional). The transactional view treats “God as Vending Machine” where I merely need to insert my coin (good works, prayer, etc.) and press the right buttons to get what I want. The Propositional view of God is like standing in an art gallery pondering a masterpiece, discussing the aspects of the piece with admiration and appreciation, but still engaging the piece as an object—an “it” to be discussed and understood. In either case, the God “who became flesh and dwelt among us” is de-humanized. J.B. Phillips would remind us that this sort of a God is too small. This is bad theology.
I know a lot of employer-employee relationships that are largely transactional. I show up, do my work and get paid. But can you imagine such a relationship with a friend? A spouse? I’ve been in hospital rooms where a physician (or a family member) operated on a propositional basis and keeping a sort of professional distance from the one in the bed talking about the patient as if they weren’t there. Would you do that with your beloved?
The God who became one of us is fundamentally about being in relationship. And vulnerability characterizes that relationship. This means the relationship necessarily changes us. William Paul Young (author of “The Shack”) says, “Relationships are entwined, entrenched, elusive, messy, enabling, enrapturing, maddening, exhilarating, frustrating, exposing, and too beautiful for words. There are moments when we think we might finally have a whisper of control over our world, and then—whoosh! in comes someone who knocks it completely sideways.”
Have you been “knocked sideways” by God recently? Do you allow God to get that close or do you hold God at a safe distance? Are you capable of telling someone all about God, yet you don’t really know God? How comfortable are you just sitting and being quietly in God’s presence? At Seaside, let is invite one another into transformative relationship with the one who longs to be WITH us.
Several weeks ago when we had the opportunity to walk the Labyrinth in the Fellowship Hall, I stepped onto the path in a spirit of gratitude, excited about being able to share our story and our journey of getting a permanent labyrinth at Seaside. I thanked God for those who had worked so hard to share their dreams and their vision to get us to this point of having a labyrinth, and for the beauty of the space that we have to build it. I thanked God for the congregation that is going to be able to walk this labyrinth, share their own spiritual experiences and enrich their spiritual lives. And I thanked God that we are going to be able to share this as an outreach into our community. I was grateful for those who have already committed financially to our project, for those who have said they will commit to this project, and those who are prayerfully considering a commitment to labyrinth. My walk on the labyrinth Sunday morning was a joyful walk of celebration and thanksgiving.
If you have made a financial contribution, or are considering making one, to the labyrinth, thank you. As of this writing $10,530 of the $19,000 goal has been raised. If you would like to be a part of reaching our goal, designate your gift for the labyrinth on the memo line of your check or to tell Wayne Matthews if you are using a credit card that it goes for the labyrinth.
Sue Amyx, Labyrinth Committee
- 8:00 am: Morning Worship (Communion)
- 9:30 am: Contemporary Worship
- 11:00 am: Traditional Worship
- 4:00 pm: Easter Cantata: “Glorious Day”
- 7:00 pm: Easter Cantata: “Glorious Day”
Maundy Thursday—April 13
- 7:00 pm: Maundy Thursday Communion with Stripping of the Altar
Good Friday—April 14
- 12:00 Noon: Good Friday Service
- 7:00 pm: A Service of Tenebrae (Shadows)
Easter Sunday—April 16
- 6:30 am: Sunrise Service on Sunset Beach at Gazebo access
- 8:00 am: Morning Worship (Communion)
- 9:30 am: Contemporary Worship
- 10:30 am: Easter Egg Hunt on the South Lawn
- 11:00 am: Traditional Worship
Tickets are still available for “Seaside Friends in Concert II” next Sunday at 4:00 pm. A reception in the Fellowship Hall will follow the concert. Music Minister Kathryn Parker has invited three former students who are currently professional singers. Joining them is our own Linda Ladrick. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in the church office. All proceeds will go to the Sanctuary Choir’s trip to perform at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City in May.
Seaside’s Food Pantry served the following clients during February:
Total served: 766
Total households served: 244
Special thanks go out to all of our wonderful volunteers who come each week to faithfully and joyfully serve our food pantry clients. There is much behind the scenes work involved:
- Monday morning volunteers pick up non-perishable food items and deliver to Seaside’s Pantry and stock shelves.
Each Tuesday morning:
- Volunteers visit Lowes Foods to pick up produce Lowes has available to donate.
- The same group of men come to the church each week long before the pantry opens. They set up the fellowship hall so service can be provided in a welcoming and orderly manner.
- Volunteers work checking clients in at 9:30 am as clients arrive.
- Other volunteers work tirelessly throughout the morning bagging groceries in the small area behind the kitchen.
- Another team of volunteers are busy in the Fellowship Hall distributing extra items donated to the Food Pantry along with eggs, bread and additional meat provided through your generosity.
- Volunteers assist clients in taking groceries to cars.
- A member of the Health and Wellness Ministry offers blood pressure checks.
- A Stephen Minister is available to listen and pray with clients.
At least 60 individuals participate in this outreach mission of our church throughout the year. Please know how much each of you is appreciated!
A Way to Offer Help and Hope to Those Facing Cancer
All too often we hear that someone we know is facing cancer. A friend, relative, or neighbor—or a colleague, church member, customer, patient, care receiver, or client—receives the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis.During such a difficult time, we want to reach out with support and care, to offer help and hope. But how?
A simple, powerful way is to give a copy of Cancer—Now What? This book from Stephen Ministries is a comprehensive how-to guide that helps cancer patients and their loved ones navigate the medical, emotional, relational, and spiritual challenges of cancer.
To Order Your Copy:
Complete the Order Form Located in the Gallery.
Payment will be due upon delivery.
Book – $17.00
Giving Guide – $3.00
Asking the right questions at the right time
Finding reliable information
Tracking medical information simply and effectively
Helping your medical team help you
Coping with the emotional aftershocks
Finding ways to express difficult feelings
Not letting cancer define you
Caring for yourself
Getting the support you need
Updating others without wearing yourself out
Creating a safe place within your family
Connecting with those who have faced cancer
Finding spiritual support
Weathering spiritual storms
Being totally honest with God
Asking hard questions without feeling guilty