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Cincinnati Song Initiative Concert

May 6 | 3PM
Armstrong Chapel UMC

Cincinnati Song Initiative concludes its thrilling second season with a concert part of its Spotlight series. Art song aficionados Martha Guth and Erika Switzer grace the Cincinnati stage for a stunning recital to be savored by all. The dynamic duo will bring to life the words and sounds of some of history's most beloved poets and composers, including an eclectic mix of songs Schubert, Ravel, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Canadian composer Andrew Staniland, and more.

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Posted by Wendy Ransom with

Recalling the Acts of the Apostles

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The Book of Acts contains the most dramatic account of the explosive growth of the early Christian communities. It details the outreach to widows and orphans, devotion to prayer and study, and ultimately, the spreading of the Good News story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is clear that the early followers attended worship in the synagogues and Jerusalem Temple. They also shared all things “in common,” suggesting that homes and businesses were the places that day-to-day ministry was experienced.  So, when did we shift from the church being a dynamic community that adapted to the needs of the world in light of the gospel witness?  In the mid-1970’s, my home church sang a chorus that strikes at the cord of this question. “The church is not a building. The church is not a steeple. The church is not a resting place. The church is the people! I am the church, you are the church; we are the church together. All of God’s people, all around the world, yes we’re the church together.” It’s amazing that I recall this simple chorus yet how profound this truth holds for the Christian community today. 

The early circuit riders spread scriptural holiness across the frontier. They were driven to organize small classes of communities that gave birth to the small chapels that dot the landscape. In the last 200 years, we have watched the transformation of society. Horse-riding preachers gave way to automobiles; pony express gave way to daily mail delivery and now, e-mail and instantaneous messaging/Facebook; flat boats and wagons gave way to canal boats, railways and then, thanks to the Wright Brothers, air flight. News reports from travelers gave way to radio and now, television 24-hour news and Internet updates.

Let’s remember that as the early witnesses of the resurrection offered the message of salvation to everyone that would be receptive, we too can join the “Acts of the Apostles” and offer the risen Christ through every element of the ministry at Armstrong Chapel.

Grace and Peace,


Posted by David Brown with
in Easter

Death Where is Your Sting

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“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher).” – John 20:16, NRSV

All hope was lost. The body of Jesus was gone; Jesus, the one in whom Mary Magdalene and so many others had put their hope could not be found. The followers of Jesus laid down their nets, left their homes and families, and followed Jesus. Mary had followed Jesus all the way to the cross, all the way through his journey of suffering a humiliating death on a cross. She had come to attend to his body.  Mary was still following Jesus. In her grief, Mary could not recognize the man in front of her. She mistook Jesus, the one she sought, for a gardener.

It was not until Jesus called her name that she was able to see him. Almost as soon as Jesus called her name, he had somewhere for Mary Magdalene to go and something to say. Mary was sent to tell the disciples all she had seen at the tomb that day, how she went ready to prepare a body for its final rest and instead heard and then saw Jesus. 

Jesus’ voice is calling still today, calling his church to tell the world that we have seen the Lord. We are called to demonstrate through word and deed that God’s love for us will go to the depths of a tomb and overcome death to remain with us.

God of love, we are grateful for the gift of Jesus’ love that included the laying down of his life, that overcame death and offers us life, freedom and hope today. Open our hearts that we might love and give as Jesus did, generously for the sake of work of God’s reign today. Amen.

Posted by UMC Mission Moments with