Daily Archives: May 4, 2021

Pastor’s Ponderings

By Pastor Gary Peterson

During this past year we have had periods of time when we have not been able to attend church worship in person because of Covid-19. Yet, there are compelling reasons why church attendance is necessary to keep the Christian life alive and to fulfill the duties of the Christian life. We have some familiar reasons for attending church. There are certain things in life which gain a great part of their value and their impact from being experienced together, and attending worship is one of the necessities we have as followers of Jesus Christ. Yes, we can worship alone and, of course, there are times when we must worship alone. But the fact remains that being together is an essential part of our worship experience.

There is real value in being sure that the Christian faith is not only a personal experience, but the possession of a whole community. We need the church in our worship experience and the church needs us in worship.

I read just recently, a very good explanation as to why we need to go to church. The writer put it this way, “Over the years of growing up my mother prepared thousands of meals for me. The food that she provided at each meal helped me grow strong and healthy. If I were to miss a meal or two that did not have a significant effect on my growth and health, but if I were to have missed a large number of meals in a row, I would become weak and could, if extended for a long period of time, lose my strength and die. I cannot tell you what all the meals contained but I knew that they were good for me. Going to church and attending worship is much like eating meals. When we attend worship, and are fed on an ongoing basis, we become strong in our faith. If we were to miss an occasional worship, we would still remain strong as a follower of Jesus Christ because we were continually being fed spiritually as we honored God in worship when we gathered with other sisters and brothers in Christ. We may not remember all the messages in part, but as a whole, they feed us.  Because we are committed to worshiping together and giving praise to God Almighty, our healthy souls can carry us during the difficult times in life. Just like when we eat a meal on a regular basis, we have the strength to meet the physical challenges in life. When we are fed spiritually we can meet all the spiritual challenges life holds.”

There is real value in being assured that the Christian faith is not only a personal experience, but the gathering and expression of the whole faith community will sustain us to meet the challenges of life. We need the communal worship experiences, and the church needs us to participate in worship together.

There is much being written about what is happening in many churches today because of Covid-19 and members of churches not attending worship service on a regular basis. It is sometimes easy, on Sunday mornings when the church family is not able to meet in person, and in the sanctuary of the church, to “Just let the Sunday morning go by.” Yet, I truly believe over time, we as followers of Jesus Christ will recognize the need to be fed from the nourishment that is gained in corporate worship and we, as followers of Jesus Christ, will continue to return to worship together on Sunday mornings, as we are safely able to do so.

For some there is a need to continue to worship online or by video broadcast. One religious writer that I read frequently put it this way, “There are those who because of health and physical necessities need to worship online and it is very important to them. That is why as a church community we must continue to provide such opportunities, yet we all recognize that online worship does not always get you outside of yourself; that happens when the Holy Spirit takes hold of your life and you continue to grow spiritually.  This happens when we feel the presence of the Holy Spirit surrounding not just for ourselves but all those who gather together”.

Our prayer is that we will continue to feed all of God’s children in ways that they can continue to grow.

Announcements and Stuff

Adult Sunday School – will return from May 2nd to June 6th for five Sundays.  We will be meeting in the Fellowship Hall using safe distancing beginning at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 10:15 a.m. to be able to move into worship time.  Our study will consist of a few of the shorter books of the New Testament.  We will begin with Titus on May 2nd.  Other books we will look at are Philemon on the 9th, Books of John on May 16 and 23, Jude on the 30th and a book to be determined by the class on June 6th.  All are welcome for any of the Sundays.  You All Come!

UMW meeting
Our UMW ladies started out meeting as usual with a devotional reading and prayer.  The reading came from “Help Lord, I’m Having a Senior Moment” by Karen O’Connor.  We all know God has a sense of humor, so we do enjoy a bit of humor before our meetings and this book certainly gives that to us!

Then it was on to more serious business.  We will be keeping close watch on our financial situation and by Fall we will decide on the missions we support and if we need to make any adjustments.

We discussed how we might help Elaine by supplying Sunday morning sanctuary flowers.  This is too much for Elaine alone to worry about and she might even need help with her flower gardens.  We recognize in gratitude, her flower contributions through the years, following the years of flowers from Alma Martin’s garden.  For now, we will rely on volunteer presentations rather than putting out another sign-up sheet.

We discussed how the strawberry social will be held this year.  We most likely will serve from a table by the kitchen like when we have luncheons and let people seat themselves.  Hopefully, the weather will be lovely, and we can commune out-of-doors.  Men, be prepared to figure out a way to set up tables for us! People are already asking if we will have the social this year and the answer is “God willing” yes!

We Need Your Help
Liturgists are needed for June through August and volunteers are needed to clean the church from June through the end of the year. Please sign up on the sheets located on the table in the Fellowship Hall.

Peru Medical Mission 2021
Our April 25th Worship Service was led by Denise Schuitema who presented on the Peru Medical Mission trip that she plans to attend sometime in 2021.  Denise introduced herself and showed photos of a previous mission trip. She said that donations of multi-vitamins for both adults and children, new bras, and toothbrushes would be appreciated and would greatly benefit the people they will be serving.  A donation box was left in the Fellowship Hall.  Carol Royalty presented Denise with a check for $500 from our church.

Upcoming Worship Schedule

Sunday, May 2Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
John 15:1-8
What Do You Have To
Throw Into The Fire?
Sunday May 9
Mother’s Day
Sermon by Edie BogartLoyalty
Sunday, May 16
Ascension Sunday
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53
We Are To Return To
Jerusalem With Great Joy!
Sunday, May 23
Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21
John 15:26-27
John 16:4b-15
Are We Filled With
New Wine?
Sunday, May 30
Memorial Weekend
Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29
“Here I Am Lord”