From the Pastor�??s Desk
"Don't speak unless you can improve upon the silence."�??Old Quaker saying
Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air �??
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music �?? like the rain pelting the trees �?? like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds �??
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?�??
The Swan by Mary Oliver
�??Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.�?��??Proverbs 3:5-6
�??For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:�?��??Ecclesiastes 3
As the clock hits midnight on December 31 a new year begins and an old year ends. We turn our page of life from 2019 to 2020. Even more we see the dawning of a new decade. For me, this will be my eighth decade on this earth. I know some of you have been around for many more new years and decades than I have.
A new year and a new decade, a time to reflect on what we have done; a time to reflect on what we hope to do. While it is important to look back down the road of life to see where we have been, I think it is more important that we look down the road ahead to see where we might be going over the next year, five years, and ten years.
While it is very important to think about our own, individual futures, I am focusing in this article about the future of St. Peter�??s United Church of Christ. What might lie ahead for our congregation and the people who call it their worship home?
There few things that we can be sure of, there will be those that leave us through death or other means. However, there can be as well new life, through birth and new people joining us in this place to worship. If God and this congregation are both willing I will retire at the end of 2025 after serving here at St. Peter�??s for just over 13 years. Five years may seem like a long time, but it really isn�??t. Once the calendar turns to January 1 2020 it will only take 2,191 days to reach December 31, 2025. What will we as a church do with those days? By the end of 2020 I hope that we will have a plan, a roadmap of where we want to go in the future.
How are we going to do this? Well a plan begins appropriately enough with a plan. The hard part is putting together a plan for the PLAN. It is my hope that at our Spring Congregational meeting I will have a plan as to how we will construct our future PLAN. I am not sure what this planning process will look like, but I am working on it.
I do know that there will need to be hard questions asked. We as people don�??t always like questions and we dislike hard questions even more. Hard questions require us to dig deeply into our feelings and emotions. Deep into places where we don�??t like to go. However this work must be done.
Jesus had a plan for his followers to carry out. We find it in Matthew 28:16-20, it is called the Great Commission:
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which
Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him;
but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, �??All authority in
heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything
that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to
the end of the age.�??
This is our Great Commission as well. Regardless of what plan we come up with, this commission from Jesus must be a part of it. We are Jesus�?? disciples today, we are called to go and tell the Good News of Jesus Christ.
As we begin planning how we will tell the Good News to those who haven�??t heard it there is one thing that is unchanging. That one thing is found at the end of this passage, �??And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.�?� Jesus tells us that he will always be with us, that we will never be alone. If we believe that Jesus is always with us then we also believe and know that God is always with us as well. We do not and will not make this journey into the new decade and our new future alone. We will have God, we will have Jesus, and we will have the Holy Spirit; leading us, walking beside us, and behind us pushing us into the future. Friends, we will also have each other.
I ask that you come with me on this journey into a new future for St. Peter�??s. I can tell you with certainty that it won�??t always be a smooth or easy trip. But, it is a trip that must be taken. As followers of Jesus we are called to go and proclaim the kingdom of God. Our role is to find the best way to do that. I am looking forward to the trip.
Peace and Blessings,
Please pray for these people
on their designated day in January
1) Cassie Spears, Levi, Hailey
2) James and Sophia Stephens
3) Freddi Stowe
4) Jesse and Jessica Stucky, Haley
5) Allen Thiessen
6) Merle and Karen Thiessen-
7) Verla Thomason
Donna and Jim Toews
9) Lamont, Kelly Turcotte, Aoife, Loki
10) Dennis Ureche (Pastor) Diane Miller
11) Peggy Watts
12) Marcelyn Wittorff
13) Lois Wright
14) Kathy Zimmerman
15) Norman Achilles
16) Scott and Connie Achilles
17) Adam and Katie Albers, Cash
18) Phyllis Armstrong
19) Kara Ayers, Elian Dorantes, Maya
20) Adolyn Bartels
21) Rosetta Bartels
22) Dan and Fay Binder
23) Cody and Ashely Bornholdt
24) James Bornholdt
25) Tim and Terri Bornholdt
26) Steve and Theresa Buller
27) Richard and Beverly Castleberry, John
28) Gary Ely
29) Gene Ely
30) Gladys Erksin
31) Tim and Cindy Fay
Virginia Bosworth, Dean Brungardt,
Steve and Theresa Buller, Terry and Karen Fay, William Forehand, Vicki and Rusty Johnson, Gretchen Kimble, Brianna Krull,
Bill Maurer Sr. Danny Parr, Kairos Prison Ministry, Gene and Karen Schierling, Jim and Sophia Stephens, Jace Ward, Nort and Nancy Warner, Peggy Watts, Norma Friesen�??s grand and great grandchildren, Lisa Grace
Revised Common Lectionary Readings
January 5 Jeremiah 31:7-14
John 1: (1-9), 10-18
January 12 Isaiah 42:1-9
January 19 Isaiah 49:1-7
1 Cor 1:1-9
January 26 Isaiah 9:1-4
Psalm 27:1, 4-9
1 Cor 1;10-18
Sunday, January 5
will meet Sunday, January 5
after Morning Worship
Wednesday, January 8
No practice on Wed. Jan 1
Thursday, January 9
Make a note of the date change!
We collected $176.86 from the Thanks Offering this year. We will decide the recipient at our January 9th meeting.
will meet for breakfast
Saturday, January 11,
Inman Harvest Café
All teams are asked to submit a written report for the Annual Congregational Meeting
Reports are due before Tuesday, January 14
Church Council Meeting
Wednesday, January 15
Annual Congregational Meeting
Sunday, January 26
Following Morning Worship
Lunch will be provided by BOCE
2 Dottie Erker
12 Rosetta Bartels
15 Crystal Schroeder
18 Lamont Turcotte
22 Isaac Sisson
McClain Roy Harris
23 Auxana Fay Whatley ---
30 Chris Stevenson
1 Loren and Denise Postier
23 Cody and Auxana Whatley
2019 Christmas Program a Success!
There were doubts about exactly how this would come together, but, thanks to an amazing cast and crew, the production �??peaked�?� at exactly the right moment in the service on Sunday, 12-15-19, and it was amazing.
Thanks to our actors: Karson Schierling, Kash Schierling, Kella Schierling, Jessica Schierling, Devin Schierling, Kru Harris, Suttyn Harris, Matt Harris, Mac Harris, Todd Harman, Aoife Turcotte, Loki Turcotte, Raymond Osborn, and Rachel Harman. You are an amazing group with whom to work, and I appreciate your families�?? dedication to pulling this together. Special thanks to those who volunteered or were drafted at the last minute due to others unable to get to church because of the icy roads.
BOCE and friends filled in where needed: Fay Binder, Brenna Harris, Karen Schierling, Rachel Harman, Dennis Ureche (kudos on building the mountain!), Freddie Stowe, Dan Binder, and Shivawn Schierling.
Our music was coordinated by Ellen Neufeld and Jessica Schierling. It�??s been a long time since I put music into one of my Christmas plays, and it worked splendidly.
A/V assistance was provided by Rich Castleberry and Janell Harman�??sorry for the microphone confusion; both of you rose to the occasion to make it work! Thanks to Scott Achilles for setting up the microphones for us.
Diane Miller, Writer/Producer/Director
St Peter�??s United Church of Christ
107 North Pine, P.O. Box 506
Inman, Kansas 67546
Pastor Dennis Ureche�??firstname.lastname@example.org
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
Rev. Dennis Ureche, Pastor
Ellen Neufeld, Organist
Beverly Castleberry, Church Secretary
Sept. thru May: Sunday School 9:30 AM
Morning Worship 10:30 AM
June thru August: No Sunday School
Morning Worship 9:30 AM
Followed by Brunch
St. Peter's United Church of Christ 111 N. Pine St. Inman, Kansas 67546 620-585-2627