SEPTEMBER 26, 2021

     This past Sunday in worship I impressed upon those gathered in person and online how important humility is as a characteristic for followers of Jesus.  I said that if we want to be more like Jesus, we need to excise pride from our lives.  I reminded us of this valuable verse: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

     There are many temptations toward pride which come alongside us in our day-to-day living.  Our politicians—of whatever stripe—are quick to blame the other for all the troubles in our nation: this invites us to see ourselves—and our political heroes—as right and good and all others as foul and flawed.  Pride seeps in… 

     On social media, the temptation is always there to present and promote all the best things about our lives: where we are going, who we are seeing, even what we are eating at any given meal.  This somehow makes us feel better about ourselves and our station in life.  Pride seeps in… 

     Even in matters religious, we claim the obvious righteousness of our particular religion, or denomination, or even local church, while demeaning all other faith viewpoints.  Pride seeps in…

     I shared that I strive to begin each day by voicing something of an antidote to such pride.  The first words out of my mouth most mornings are the words to what is often called A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition.  This prayer was used by Methodism’s founder John Wesley in the Watchnight services which brought people into the New Year; it was the means of rededicating themselves humbly to God for all that the year would bring.  I need to voice it more often—hence daily.

     I promised to share the text in this context so that you would have it available to repeat in its totality should that appeal to you.  I want to add that Tracy and I have produced laminated bookmarks with the text should you want to keep it close at hand.  These bookmarks will be available in the church office or at the back table on Sunday morning.  If we run out, we can easily produce more.

     With no further ado, here’s the prayer in its entirety:

I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low by thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, 

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine.

So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

let it be ratified in heaven.


My prayer for you is that your use of this prayer will be as meaningful for you as it is for me.

     Yours for Christ,

     Pastor Gary



     The United Methodist Church is a global denomination that opens hearts, opens minds and opens doors through active engagement with our world. The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.


    We are collecting socks (gently used or new) for the unsheltered in our area and athletic shoes (new only, size 13 kids to 8 adults) for the One TLC school.  You can purchase these items and leave them in the black box in the Church Social Hall, drop them off at the Church Office, or you can make a monetary donation (Church website, mailing or dropping off a check to the office, or on Sundays). Please note your donation—JOY CIRCLE. Thank you!


     The state of California has completely reopened with most restrictions reduced or eliminated with some remaining guidelines for face coverings in public areas.

However, the county of San Joaquin

  • Currently has less than 40% of its population fully vaccinated,
  • Has a Covid case rate that is much higher than the state case rate.

For those reasons, at Holy Cross UMC when we gather in-person.

For INDOOR services, events, or meetings we will:

  • Continue to wear a face mask or a full-face shield. Persons leading worship from a distance of 10 feet will be exempt from wearing a face covering.
  • Allow congregational singing!
  • If vaccinated: with a mask or full-face shield in place,
  • If not yet vaccinated: please refrain from singing in the presence of others.
  • Enter and exit from the front door.
  • Eliminate one-way travel to and from the restrooms.

Click on the file for the FULL description of our policies!