First United Methodist Church Westfield

Minister’s Message


September 2018

Please sing with me:

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be
With God as our creator,
Children all are we.
Let us walk with each other
In perfect harmony.

I grew up singing this song in the various United Methodist Churches where my father served as senior pastor (Texas & Nebraska), where I worshiped while in college (Pennsylvania), and in all of the United Methodist Churches where I served as youth and senior pastor (Nebraska, Missouri, New Jersey). When we sung it as our final hymn on my first Sunday here at FUMC, my heart was warmed, and I felt at home.

This September, our Vacation Bible School team will lead the First United Methodist congregation of Westfield through scriptures, songs, and messages that help us discover God’s way of peace, and equip us to follow Jesus as compassionate peacemakers in a VBS lesson entitled, Peace Lab. Though VBS is a one-day event (9/18/2018), my hope is that we will make these lessons throughout September a daily part of our faith journey. Each Sunday, we will explore a different characteristic of God’s peace.

Sing the remainder of this song with me:

Let peace begin with me;
let this be the moment now.
With every step I take,
Let this by my solemn vow:
To take each moment and live each moment
In peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it
begin with me.

I write this on a day that our youth director delivered the Youth Mission Trip Report and preached on God’s Reckless Love. In my reflection on the sermon, I reminded that she told us,

“If we are truly loving the way we are called to, God is going to take every-thing we have and pour it out for the good of the world. In order for us to achieve this endurance to love recklessly, we have to practice love. Love is a choice, and like anything we choose to do, we have to work at it to do it well.”

Though Kylie was preaching about using our love muscle so that we become the hands and feet of God’s love in this world, I say the same can be said about peace. God can and will take everything we have and pour us out.
Regardless of geographic location, United Methodists sing songs of peace — by itself, this is impactful, as I previously noted. Imagine the impact on a wider community when we put song lyrics into action. when we are agents of peace in the community.

August’s worship theme focused on God’s work-out plan to strengthen our endurance for this month’s work. As we end the time of vacation and enter back into the normalcy of life, know that you are prepared to be compassionate peacemakers everywhere you go.

#Remember Philippians 4:4-7.

May the God of peace be with you,

Rev. William M. Williams, III

P.S. Thank you for singing with me.