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Our statement regarding the immigration ban

We, the people of Coralville United Methodist Church, wish to reach out in support of our Muslim brothers and sisters in this time of uncertainty. We believe in peace and understanding between all faiths. We do not support any kind of discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity, race, gender or sexual orientation. We do not condone hatred or fear amongst our fellow Americans, refugees, immigrants or any who share in the blessings of our nation.

We are a congregation of approximately 250 people located in the heart of Coralville. Our congregation and community are diverse, and we deeply appreciate that diversity. Our Christian faith proclaims the loving and inclusive nature of God, and the inherent value of all God’s people.

January 3, 2017

Happy Resolution! It’s that season again, and typical New Year’s resolutions include to get more exercise; quit smoking; stop drinking; or manage our money more wisely. By far the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.

So why are we not all thin? Because New Year’s resolutions are, more often than not, broken. There is no power in them. While transformation requires discipline and a plan, above all transformation is God-centered. We will not transform unless our desire and willingness to change are born of our intentional relationship with God. This relationship does not come through osmosis – like all relationships it requires our time and attention.

The strength of our connection to God is at the heart of our soul-wellness. A traditional and loved hymn has this refrain: It is well with my soul. Singing these words without devoting time to soul-wellness is akin to saying “I am physically fit” and exercising occasionally. Physical fitness means daily exercise. Weight loss means following a healthy diet – and for some possibly reading a book or attending weekly meetings at Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Soul-wellness also requires exercise and a healthy diet.  

I would like to propose this New Year’s resolution: Take your soul seriously – devote time and energy to soul-wellness. Adopt a plan of soul-exercise and soul-diet.

1)   Soul exercise: Find a place with people who share your spiritual journey – a place where you can be the real you, weaknesses and all. Then be that someone for someone else. It does mean opening oneself up to vulnerability, but if we are to live fully we must get past the thin facade of “I am fine, how are you?” Our soul-wellness happens through intentional prayer and small group interaction with others on the same journey. At Coralville UMC we offer both Pathways and Tuesday evening Christian meditation as ways to strengthen our connection to God and thus our soul-wellness.

We devote one hour a week to attending worship – our gift to God’s wellness as well as our own – and we should devote one hour per week to integrating our faith into our life. That is 2 hours per week spent on your personal soul-wellness. To what other things in life have you given 2 hours per week of devotion? If you are too busy to devote time to soul-wellness, then you need to rethink your priorities. There really is no substitute for this. This is our “exercise plan” for the soul.

2)   Soul diet: You only get one soul – don’t feed it things that are unworthy of its sacred nature. Your character is shaped by the influences that you choose: who you spend time with, what you listen to on television and at the water cooler, and how you treat others both publicly and privately. Life is a continuous journey of soul shaping.

This year, resolve to intentionally feed that journey, remembering the impact of influence on character. Turn away from those things that are seductive but toxic — people who gossip or insult those around them; gratuitous depictions of violence; television and talk radio that feeds our anger and divisiveness; and vitriolic Twitter rants. Pay attention to what you are taking in – positivity, kindness, compassion and love are your “diet plan” for the soul.

In keeping any resolution, the key is to avoid perfectionism. You will not achieve this plan every day. Have goals for yourself, but be kind in your journey toward that goal. The idea is not to be perfect – only God is perfect – but to grow. The New Year is here, and you have not wasted a single day of the future. Here is your opportunity to strengthen your soul and live your life purposefully. May it be so.

Rev. Leigh

For information on Pathways and Tuesday evening Christian meditation, go to Grow/Adult Faith Formation.


What's New

Join us the first Sunday of every month, right after church.

Did you know that CUMC has a vital African ministry?

The Council of Bishops is encouraging intentional engagement by United Methodists worldwide by asking everyone to pause and pray each day for the special-called General Conference from 2:23 through 2:26 a.m. or p.m.

The United Methodist Council of Bishops has joined other faith organizations in asking the U.S. government to end its policy of separating immigrant families. Read the statement here.

Our United Methodist immigration ministry, Justice for our Neighbors (JFON), is working to help our immigrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking neighbors obtain safety, protection, and freedom. If you would like to donate to JFON through UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), please click here. 100% of your gift goes to National JFON.