Manchester United Methodist Church

Missions Team Interest Form

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Mental Health Awareness

May is national mental health awareness month. One in five adults, about 48.3 million people, will struggle with their mental health this year.  Unfortunately, churches don’t always have the best track record of addressing this mental health crisis.

Our congregation was recently reminded of the importance of proper mental health education and resources. Inspired by the tragedy of a veteran taking his own life, we will be hosting Mental Health Sunday on Sunday, May 5.

Join us for worship that morning and visit our Resource and Information Fair to meet mental health providers and support organizations from throughout the area.  In the afternoon, join us for our Never Leave a Veteran Behind panel and discussion.  A panel of veterans, mental health, and support service providers will discuss the mental and emotional toll of military service, and provide suggestions for supporting veterans. Here are the details:

Never Leave a Veteran Behind Panel Discussion
Sunday, May 5, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Fellowship Hall

–Nicki Reinhardt-Swierk

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Sermon Series Starts This Sunday (28th)

I’m beginning my series on things we can learn from children. They can be our best teachers, teaching us new things and helping us remember things we’ve forgotten. I’ve listed below the themes along with the texts. If these themes spur any memories or stories, please let me know through email!

April 28—Tenderness (Mark 9:33-37)
May 5—Toughness (Mark 7:24-30)
May 12 (Mother’s Day)—Intimacy (Mark 10:13-16)
May 19—Playfulness (Ecclesiastes 9:1-10)

It’s Almost Easter


Yes, last week we were thinking about passing out candles on Christmas Eve. Now, we’re anticipating arranging flowers and lilies for Easter. Wow!

Holy Week is one of the most important times in the life of the Christian community. I hope this finds you having walked the Lenten road of discipline, reflection, and sacrifice. I also hope you’re looking forward to encountering Christ in some new way during this Holy Week.

There are many ways you can walk with Jesus, from Maundy Thursday through Easter morning. Also, please be sure to visit the Stations of the Cross Art Installation, found in the marble entranceway off the north parking lot; this is a moving display by congregational artists.

I’m very much looking forward to bringing the Easter message to you during our Sunday morning services. My sermon is titled, “The Big Empty,” and is based on Luke 24:1-12.

Have a blessed Holy Week!

Pastor Greg

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Childhood Stories?

As I mentioned in last week’s eblast, following Easter I’m going to do a series of sermons on the world of a child. It’s titled, “Revisiting Childhood.” I would greatly appreciate you sending me any real-life stories you might have regarding childhood. This could be memories of your own, memories of children/grandchildren, or other friends and relatives. Please email me. I’d love to read them! If I use any in a sermon, of course, I would share them anonymously. Thanks!

Any Childhood Stories?

Following Easter, I’m going to do a series of sermons on the world of a child. It’s titled, “Revisiting Childhood.” I believe we can learn a lot about how Christians should live if we return to experiencing life as a child. To paraphrase a poet, “The child is father to the man.” In these four sermons, we’ll return to viewing life through a child’s eyes, and how that shapes our life and discipleship today.

To really add color and depth to these sermons, I’d like to include any real-life stories you might have regarding childhood. This could be memories of your own, memories of children/grandchildren, or other friends and relatives. If you think of any, please email me; I’d love to read them! If I use any in a sermon, of course, I would share them anonymously.


Pastor Greg

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Have You Considered Giving Online?

If you’re not supporting the church through online giving, I’d highly suggest you check it out! My wife and I are on an automatic payment schedule through our bank, which sends in our offering twice a month.

Here are two reasons to consider this:

  • One, It’s a spiritual discipline. It is expressing gratitude to God. When you intentionally set it up and give on a recurring basis, you’re making a statement about how this is a priority.
  • Two, by supporting God’s work on a regular basis, you’re reflecting what a priority that is in your life. It provides steady financial support for the church. Our ministry obligations don’t take a summer break!

For more information about how to set this up, check with your financial institution or contact Mary Pettit, our Director of Finance.

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Palm Sunday Sermon (14th)
ANGER: Jesus Threatening the Powerful

This concludes my series on dealing with anger. We’ll look at the definitive time in the Gospels where it says that Jesus “looked around with anger” (Mark 3:1-6). This gives us a pretty good idea about what made Jesus mad—which is a good warning for us! This sermon will help set the stage for the events of Holy Week.

New Lead Pastor

Photo of Lead Pastor Rev. Andy Bryan
Photo of Lead Pastor Rev. Andy Bryan

Rev. Andy Bryan

Bishop Robert Farr, of the Missouri Area of The United Methodist Church, has appointed Rev. Andy Bryan as our new Lead Pastor, effective July 1, 2019. After serving Manchester United Methodist Church for 9 years Rev. Greg Weeks, retired June 30.

Rev. Andy comes to us from Campbell United Methodist Church in Springfield, Missouri. He is joined by his wife, Erin, and their three children. The Bryans also serve as a foster family.

Rev. Andy studied at Saint Paul School of Theology. He also studied vocal music and choral conducting at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. He served as a church music director in Galesburg, Illinois for five years before God called him to pastoral ministry in 2000.

Manchester UMC invites everyone to meet Rev. Andy and his family. All are welcome here, period.

Lenten Prayer Guide

Saturday’s Modern Worship concert was a huge success. More scenes are on Facebook. Many thanks to the worship team and volunteers who made this first-time Joy of Music concert possible!

In a sermon a few weeks ago, I gave an outline of a Lenten prayer exercise. Since then, I’ve received some positive feedback about how helpful that was, as a spiritual discipline. I thought it might be useful if I wrote it out in an email, and you can use it as a reference.
1st—Find a comfortable place free from distractions (this includes your smartphone!). Take a Bible and read over the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ first sermon (Matthew chapters 5-7). This gets you thinking about values and guidelines that are distinctive to the Christian.
2nd—Set a timer for 5-10 minutes, so you won’t have to worry about the time. Then ask: “What roles do I have each day, and how would God want me to carry them out?” For example, you might reflect on your role as a parent, and you feel you need to be more patient in that role.
3rd—After you’ve done this, then for the remaining time, repeat this simple prayer: LORD, MAKE ME THE PERSON YOU WANT ME TO BE, AND OTHERS NEED ME TO BE. Repeat it slowly, pausing from time to time, and listen. What “nudges” of the Holy Spirit might you hear?
4th—Once the timer goes off, you may choose to end your prayer time with, I LOVE YOU, LORD. YOUR WILL BE DONE! AMEN.
Try praying like this occasionally, listening for the Spirit. You might truly be surprised by the power you receive when you pray that God will shape you into the person God’s called you to be. If you have a chance, email me and let me know how it went.
Pastor Greg
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Trivia Night to Support Youth Ministry
Friday, April 5, 7 p.m., Kirkwood Community Center
This is always a FUN event for a WONDERFUL cause! If you haven’t registered yet, or need to get more info, click here.
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Sermon for This Sunday (7th)
ANGER: Jesus Refusing His Place in the Social Order
Traditional Services, 8 & 11
We’re continuing our theme of looking at anger, both its constructive and destructive uses. This Sunday, we’ll look at another way Jesus angered people, and how Jesus reacted to it. The text is Matthew 13:53-58.
Update on Post-General Conference Conversations
Recently the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an article updating current conversations within United Methodism in the wake of the General Conference decision. It’s very informative, including quotes from Adam Hamilton. If you missed it, you can read it here.

LEARNING GROUP: Young Adult Book Club Weekend Edition

Coffee and Book

Dates:   Every Other Sunday – July 28; Aug. 11 & 25; Sept. 8 & 22; Oct. 6 & 20; Nov. 3, 17 & 30
Times: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Location:  Harford Coffee Company | 3974 Hartford St, St. Louis
Leader:   Sarah Healy

Description:  By popular demand! We will be offering a second book club to read at a slower pace, meeting every other week. This group is perfect for parents, students, teachers or anyone else who loves to read, but needs some extra time to fit reading into their schedules. Come read a fun sci-fi book that explores what it means to be a person.

Register below:

For enrollment assistance, please contact Winter Hamilton.