We invite you to join us online for worship this coming Sunday! For August, we are exploring the gospel. Please join us online.
Rev. Tom Jelinek
Message: Having Beautiful Feet
Read: Romans 10:5-15
Video will be available by 9 AM, Sunday.
Below is a letter from Rev. Jelinek to the congregation.
Dear Members and Friends,
It was a great blessing to get the call from Nancy Cushman several months ago, with the news that I was being asked to serve as your Pastor, beginning on July 1st. It was wonderful to meet with your Staff Parish Committee several weeks later, to discover the many ministries of Glendale First, and to hear about some new directions the congregation is interested in exploring. I look forward to getting started in just a few weeks!
One of the things that the Conference suggested I do was to provide a little information about me and my background, etc., that I could share with you before my arrival. In the next few paragraphs, I’ll try to give an outline. I hope you’ll ask questions about any area where you’d like more information.
I was born in Beloit, Wisconsin on April 25th 1958, and spent my early childhood first in Chicago, then in Ann Arbor Michigan. When I was 8, my family headed west, first to Deming, New Mexico, then to Tucson, where I spent the rest of my childhood, youth, and college years. I began attending St. James United Methodist in Tucson at the age of 18, and began my relationship with Christ there. Several years later, while at the University of Arizona, I moved my membership to nearby Catalina United Methodist. At the U of A, I began my studies in Electrical Engineering, but finished with Bachelor’s Degrees in History and Music.
While I was at Catalina, I felt the call to ministry. It took a while, but with God’s persistent invitation, I began the journey to ordination. I entered Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. in 1990, and over the next five years, earned Master’s Degrees in Divinity and Youth Ministry, while serving as the Director of Youth and Family Ministries at the United Christian Parish in Reston, Virginia. In 1995, I returned to our Desert Southwest Conference, and began my service at Trinity Heights in Flagstaff. From there, I moved to Los Arcos in Scottsdale in 1998, St. Marks in Tucson in 2005, New Song in Surprise in 2006, Heritage in Las Vegas in 2010, University in Las Vegas in 2013, First in Yuma in 2014, and to Patagonia Community United Methodist in 2016.
During my years of ministry, I’ve always enjoyed working with youth groups. I’ve deaned and served camps at Mingus Mountain, Pine Canyon, and Potosi Pines, and have helped plan and lead many district and conference youth events over the last 35 years. I also feel a strong calling to work on social issues, have served on local church and Conference boards of Church and Society, and have worked with interfaith organizations all over our Conference.
On a personal level, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading history, literature, and technical subjects, watching movies, and traveling. Music has been and is a lifelong interest and pleasure. I love virtually all kinds of music, and enjoy singing and playing guitar. When time and resources permit, I also have hobbies of working on old radios, TV’s, phonographs, recorders, etc., transferring and remastering old recordings, and crawling under the occasional vintage auto.
What’s your story? I’d love to hear! Let’s get together and compare our journeys! I look forward to meeting all of you by whatever means is practical initially, and then face to face, when that becomes possible.
Looking forward to meeting all of you soon! With best wishes for staying safe and well…
To read the most recent letter from the bishop, updated July 29, please click here.
Online worship will continue to be available to watch anytime on Sunday morning and you can join us in two ways: by going to the church website at glendalefirstumc.com and clicking on the button labeled “Online Worship” or by going to Facebook and the “First United Methodist Church of Glendale” page here: https://www.facebook.com/FirstUMCGlendale/
Also, watch for the weekly devotional, “Good Words for Tough Times” on Tuesdays.
Dear Church Family,
We need one another and it’s important to stay in touch. Even though we can’t gather physically, we can still gather spiritually. This is the twentieth in a series of weekly devotions focused on faith, hope, and strength during hard times. We hope you find them meaningful. Thank you to Christine Jones for submitting this week's devotion. We invite you to submit your devotion to be used in upcoming weeks; please email the Church Office.
A little girl was walking to the bus stop with her mother. There had been a rainstorm the night before and there were puddles of water along the route. Just before the bus stop, the little girl paused and pointed at a puddle and announced, as little girls do, that the puddle was pretty. The mother looked at the puddle and saw a muddy puddle with leaves and a scum of oil. The little girl pointed again and said, more insistently, that the puddle was pretty. The bus wasn’t waiting, so the mother patiently knelt down next to her daughter to see exactly what she was talking about. At the angle the little girl was looking from, the puddle captured a view of the clouds and the bright blue sky with a rainbow across the image. From that angle, the view was indeed pretty.
I was that little girl. Throughout my experiences of the world, I have been the type of person who stops to find out if the rose in bloom is fragrant or not. It simply makes each day better; approaching each day with the desire to notice small beauty and in that beauty to find God. To find God in the small things, in whom are hidden all the treasures of the world. To find the blessings he has hidden on the rocky path: the cool breeze, the blooming flower, the song of the bird, the Zoom call from a friend, the answer to a prayer.
The changes to our situation that began in March threw a few roadblocks up in trying to find God in the small things. When I noticed that I was distracted and not as clear, I did something I should have done months ago. I deleted Facebook off my phone. It did make things harder for me since I regularly update the First Glendale Facebook Page. But for me, that was all it took and it was worth it. I found myself with more time and more energy for finding those small beauties possessed in each and every day. For you, it may not be something as easy as deleting Facebook but look for that roadblock that is stopping you. Do your best and I am sure you will start to see Him in the small things. When you do, it is even easier to see God in the big things.
I know you are going through a lot today. I know because I am going through a lot, too. Allow me to encourage you with this: Search for deep treasure as you go through this day, and you will find Him all along the way.
For this week, consider saying this one small prayer. “God, help me see you today” and recharge yourself with Jeremiah 29:12-13 and Psalm 28:7.