Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation and the Lutherans, called it an “epistle of straw.” John Wesley, the father of Methodism, disagreed. He found it important. What is “it”? It is the Book of James in the New Testament. The debate centered around James’ statement “Faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.” (2:17) Luther understood James to be giving equal weight to faith and works in the salvation process. Wesley understood James to be saying that faith must be lived out through the things we do in our lives. As a Methodist, I agree with Wesley. On September 9, we’ll begin a study of the Book of James in worship. James has some very practical instructions for living the Christian life. Also, on September 9 we will be starting the new Sunday school year. Lots of good things are planned. You won’t want to miss it!

For your information, the Upper New York Annual Conference expects all churches to have a Safe Sanctuaries Policy. We are in the process of implementing a new Safe Sanctuaries Policy which includes background checks for everyone who works with children and youth. Within the next month anyone at Aldersgate who works with youth ages 17 and under, will be asked to complete paperwork for this process. Think of it as a positive step to do everything we can to protect our children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Thank you for your service and assistance with this.

On another note, I want to say a special thanks to some people who faithfully work behind the scenes.

Thanks to Barb and Jimmie Condon who have spent hours and hours keeping up the gardens around the church! It’s getting harder for them to do it. If you can help, there is a sign up sheet on the bulletin board next to the elevator.

Also, you may not even be aware of it, but there are some people who come one night a week to check to make sure the church is secure. Thanks to John Cochran, Gordon Spicer, Dick Edgett, Harry Muthersbaugh, Ray Poling, Hector Rivera, and John and Karen Best!

In Christ’s love,

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