8002 U. S. Highway 301 South, Riverview, FL  33578  813-677-5995
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Life Line Screening Returns October 27th
Life Line Screening, the nation’s leading provider of preventive health screenings, will offer affordable, non-invasive and painless health screenings at Riverview United Methodist Church on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

A package of five screenings to identify risk for stroke, heart disease and other chronic conditions will be offered:

  • Carotid artery ultrasound to identify plaque buildup in the carotid arteries, a major risk factor for stroke
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound to identify presence of an enlargement in the largest blood vessel in the body
  • An EKG to identify the presence of atrial fibrillation, which increases the risk for stroke
  • Ultrasound of the lower legs to look for plaque buildup known as peripheral artery disease
  • Ultrasound of the shin bone to identify risk for osteoporosis

These 5 vital screenings are offered for only $149 and take 60-90 minutes to complete. If you register today, you will receive a $10 discount.

Register by calling toll free 1-888-653-6441 or text the word "circle" to 797979.

Tuesdays at the Table
The world has changed and is changing. The global coronavirus pandemic and disagreements within our denomination are just two of many events that continue to affect United Methodists around the world. As the church confronts these new realities, it is important for the people called United Methodists to explore and understand who we are, what we believe, and how we live as people of God today and into the future.

To help us think through these issues, the Connectional Table, in cooperation with our general agencies, is hosting a series of discussions with United Methodist theologians and leaders that will help us better understand our faith, our church, ourselves.

Beginning October 5, join us every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Central Time (3:00 p.m. GMT) on our Facebook page, for a 20-30 minute conversation about who we are as the people of The United Methodist Church. Our guests will be responding to your questions in that chat for approximately 30 minutes following the presentation.

The first Tuesdays at the Table session Maybe you started going to a United Methodist church as a child. Or perhaps you came later in life because of the choir, the preaching or because the building was near your home. As our church experiences a tumultuous season, you may be wondering what our disagreements and decisions will mean for you.

As we begin Tuesdays at the Table, we talk with Dr. David N. Field about why he is a United Methodist and how he is thinking through these personal decisions. Dr. Field is a renowned author and scholar who serves on the staff of the Council of United Methodist Bishops. He is the author of several books, including Our Purpose Is Love: The Wesleyan Way to Be the Church.
The Family and Youth Center
The RUMC Jimmy Ford Family and Youth Center has been completely restored, and it’s now open for business. An Open House for the new building was held as part of a churchwide cookout celebration on Sunday, September 12th. The Youth Building is currently occupied by the Boy Scouts on Tuesday nights, and by a Laotian church on Sunday afternoons. The picture below is of the new Dedication Frame which honors the young man for whom the facility is named.

Fear Not
Even when the Rev. John Stephens quotes the Apostle Paul’s writings in Philippians 4:6 that say, “Do not be anxious about anything,” the Houston area pastor recognizes the struggle. “One of the hardest commands is not to worry about anything,” says Stephens, senior pastor at a UM Church in Chapelwood, Texas. “Worry is constantly deconstructing us, fragmenting us. We are distracted and scattered.”

Although anxiety is an understandable byproduct in a world that has been living with the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year, as well as other global disasters, some United Methodist pastors say it’s possible to limit or eliminate the fear and worry that threaten many. “People think peace is when all things get resolved,” Stephens comments. “That’s not what peace is. If you’re just talking about the circumstances changing, then that’s relief. Peace is a state of being and only God can give peace.”

So, where does that process begin and how? Scripture tells us, in the second part of verse 6, “…by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

“I think Paul is giving us a prescription for taking the worry and getting us to the peace, the oneness and the unity with God,” Stephens teaches. When Stephens talks to his congregation about prayer, he usually directs them to a couple of types of praying: centering prayer, which can involve praying Scripture; and contemplative prayer, which involves sitting and listening to God. The purpose of the prayers, he says, is to “move yourself out of the way.”

In addition to praying, the apostle also suggests, in verse 8, to redirect your thoughts, writing, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

“Paul wasn’t a psychologist, but there is all of this science about (your brain’s) neuropathways and how changing your thoughts can change your neuropathways,” says Stephens, adding that he believes Paul is telling us to think positively.

Here are seven tips to avoid fear and anxiety.

2.Focus on the positive
3.Find a reason to laugh
4.Take up a new activity
5.Turn off the news
6.Revisit something that comforts you
7.Create a to do list

Focusing on what is beautiful and good is how the Rev. Donna Pritchard chooses to combat worry. Whether that’s a flower blooming in her yard or lines from her favorite poems, the senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon, uses this coping mechanism to stay connected with God. “These are signs of God’s creative presence in this world right now,” she shares. “Just because we’re experiencing life in a new, strange, and difficult way, does not mean that God is not with us. We need to remember that this moment is still God’s moment.”

In addition to looking at the positive in the world, Pritchard finds ways to laugh every day. “Don’t forget the power of humor. Particularly at a time when people may be acutely aware of the pain in the world, it helps to say there are reasons to laugh,” she explains, adding that laughter benefits a person’s immune system too.

The Rev. Matt Hall comes at this topic through the lens of recovery. As the associate pastor of recovery ministries at First United Methodist Church in Maryville, Tennessee—and as someone in recovery himself–Hall understands fear and its pitfalls. “Something that I continuously tell folks is that the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety,” he says. “The opposite of addiction is community.” In the absence of physical community mandated by state and local governments, Hall works to keep an emotional connection through online meetings, regular phone calls and other creative means, such as Netflix viewing parties.

Personally, he’s come up with his own list of ways to push through the solitude so that it does not lead to fear. “I’ve taken up cooking,” Hall shares, noting that he’s never had the time to do that before.

“This is a great opportunity to try new things,” Hall suggests, saying that trying something new without an audience has advantages. “When’s a better time – and safer place – to fail than when confined to you own house?”

While Hall may be taking on new experiences, one way he is combating worry is by eliminating other things. “I’m being very intentional about not following any news outlets,” Hall says. “I feel like any breaking news will come to me one way or another. It isn’t healthy for me to be bombarded by it.”

Instead, Hall turns to items that have brought him comfort during past difficult times, such as books. “I’m revisiting Bob Goff’s ‘Love Does,’” he says. “It’s one of two books I own on my Kindle. I’ve probably read that book 20 or 30 times.”

Of course, prayer is part of Hall’s prescription too. “As I’ve prayed for God to take away the fear, then I do something,” Hall shares. “In my own personal experience, I’ve found that my prayers are better when coupled with actions on my end.”

Actions, for Hall, include making a daily to do list, which always consists of a list of 10 people to call. “If they are in my phone,” Hall says, “I believe they are in there for a reason and that reason may be to call and say, “Hello,” today.”

Crystal Caviness, United Methodist Communications