Our life has been interrupted. There is a certain point when we become weary from constantly adapting from these interruptions.
We recently hosted a wedding at our church. Perhaps, you spotted it when we went live on our Facebook page. We streamed the service because we had to limit the guest list due to Covid-19. This way, they could still have loved ones present. They also had to work around a lot of loop holes in order to plan and prepare. I know this couple had shared that for rehearsal and reception, it took some figuring out. They had a place and had to change in response to guidelines with a pandemic. Planning a wedding is difficult enough without planning during this time. We had to work out the safest way for us to do this ceremony. We wanted to be sure we could do it safely and celebrate their new marriage.
Through the pandemic, I’ve been in conversation with them. We kept thinking by the end of January that we wouldn’t have to be tightening up restrictions, that things would be more ‘normal’. However, that was not the case. So, we did our best to make their wedding special.
Our life has been interrupted and we are exhausted. It is tiresome to constantly way the pros and cons of our choices. Will it be ok if I share a meal with a loved one? Will that be the moment this virus will invade me? I need to run into the store, will others be wearing their mask and keep their distance? Will I be safe? How do we translate this worship or other aspects of life over video calls? The questions and concerns go on and on.
Life gets interrupted when we experience loss. Life gets interrupted when we have new changes, even the positive ones. Life gets interrupted when a friend or loved one moves away. Life gets interrupted when there is a change in jobs or loss of income. Life gets interrupted when pandemics hit. Life gets interrupted when we surrender our lives to God.
Perhaps, you felt like you have lived a year in Lent - a time of surrendering and self reflection. However, we have had to lean into our faith more than ever before. We are desperate for God to be our anchor through all of this. When we come to God, our life is interrupted because we no longer can keep on doing the same thing. We have to ask those difficult questions of introspection. We have to start living as Christ models for us. We no longer belong of this world, but to God’s kingdom that calls on us to live in such a way that is pleasing to God.
May your life be interrupted this Lent season. Our theme for Lent this year is Rend Your Hearts: Claiming the Promise. It’s time to break open our hearts and start claiming God. Start proclaiming the Good news and allow God to lead us.
The Greatest Love of All!!!!
February is known as the month of “LOVE” In my research I found that according to Wikipedia, Valentine’s day was named after to Catholic saints who were killed my Roman emperor Claudius the second. This day February the 14th was said to remember these two saints who went against Claudius in order to marry despite the emperor’s decree none should marry during war times. Later Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized this day of love. Since this time over 9 hundred million cards, and chocolates are given each year in the United States alone. We do understand that love is expressed everyday and not just one day each year.
Now in order to understand true love is to look at the bible and see the word “LOVE” is used over 538 times. When I think of God’s love “AGAPE” there is one scripture that I remember in First Corinthians 13,1-13.. Paul is stating he could move mountains and prophesy, give over his body to flames but, with out “LOVE” he has nothing, he gains nothings and he is nothing. The next lines are so poetic with what true love really is. As I read these beautiful verses about “LOVE” I am filled with God’s example of what “LOVE” is suppose to look like. “LOVE” is patient, kind, forgiving, never blaming, understanding, and unconditional. I can’t help but wonder if we all treated each other this way how pleased God would be with us. For at the end of this scripture verse thirteen states “For all we have left is these three, faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is “LOVE” This is what I want to be left with on my last day on Earth. I want to know that I “LOVED” and I was “LOVED” How about you?
It is the season of light- Epiphany of the Lord. This time of year, we experience the hours of daylight increase and the darkness subsides. There is a light that overpowers the darkness, that is the Son of God. Join together as “the people walking in darkness who have seen a great light because for those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.” –Isaiah 9:2
February 7 Matthew 5:14-16 “Let Your Light Shine”
February 14 Matthew 17:1-8 “Radiant Light”
This year, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17th.
So, what is the end of the season of Lent? Why do we have this period of preparation, of fasting and self-denial, of repentance and confession, of putting our spiritual house in order? Simply so that we can be prepared for Easter. Lent is about embracing the Resurrected One with a whole and longing heart. We need this season. We need the observance to open us to all God has in store for us. Rend your hearts, so together we can claim the promise.
One of the most central and ancient practices of Christian prayer is lectio divina, or divine reading. In lectio divina, we begin by reading a few verses of the Bible. We read unhurriedly so that we can listen for the message God has for us there. We stay alert to connections the Spirit may reveal between the passage and what is going on in our lives. We ask, “What are you saying to me today, Lord? What am I to hear in this story, parable, or prophecy?” Listening in this way requires patience and a willingness to let go of our own agendas and open ourselves to God’s shaping.
Reading, reflecting, responding and resting — this is the basic rhythm of divine reading. We will join together in this practice.
Read the scripture slowly. (We will read it three times with specific directions.)
First reading reflect on a word.
Second reading reflect on a phrase
Third reading respond to what God is calling you to do.
This will be a great practice for us as we journey through Lent. Join us on Zoom at 4:00. This should be anywhere from 30 minutes -45 minutes.
We invite you to pray for these individuals daily. If you have a prayer request that you would like added to our prayer list, contact us.
Sherri Sowa Austin - Debbie Erne's grandson
Jimmie Lee Stephens
Taylor and pregnancy
Sue - Jim's Sister
Kaye - Jean's sister
Family members with Cancer Caregivers
For those in need of healing
For Our Church
2020 Financial Update
Just a few things of note for 2020
We met our budget and had a tiny surplus.
We paid our conference and district apportionments!
We were able to do missions with our resources!
We have been in a good position throughout Covid-19. This is because of you all and your generosity. Thank you for being a congregation that understands that by giving you are living out your faith. The money we receive impacts our church but it also impacts the world. We pay into the apportionments, which then go on to ministries in Africa, help in times of crisis, and more. Together, we can do so much more! Locally, that money goes on to fund ministries in our conference like 200,000 More Reasons and campus ministry.
Job well done church!
We will work together to continue this trajectory this year. We want to continue to do ministry and make an impact in our community. So thank you for giving and continue to do so. We want to have another wonderful financial year. We know that God has big things in store for us!
Ways to Give: Online, Mail a check, or drop off through church mail slot