|Posted by ureche1 on September 9, 2020 at 12:05 AM|
As I write this article, we will have been out of the sanctuary for worship six Sunday’s and it appears that we will be out for a few more (at least until the end of May). These are indeed difficult times. Many of us are feeling like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day. Same thing, day after day.
We miss each other. Worship in front of your computer doesn’t feel the same. No hugs. We are stuck at home. All these things are true, however, just because we are not physically together it doesn’t mean we aren’t still worshiping God and Jesus. Remember what Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” (Matthew 18:20 CEB) Granted Jesus didn’t have the internet, Facebook or YouTube during his ministry, but I think if he were here on earth today doing his thing he would embrace all the forms of worship we are using. Heck, he might even Twitter. I must admit, Twitter is something I don’t do, yet.
Having said all that I want to be sure that during this time of separation that we don’t let our faith waiver. Amid all that is happening in our world I offer “Five Faithful Habits” that I believe will serve us well to get through this time and into the future. These have been culled from various sources for sharing here. All these scriptures come from the Common English Bible translation.
1. Be Thankful in Everything—Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I don’t believe can ever say thank you too much. Especially to God. During this time, it is easy to get down about what we don’t have or aren’t being able to do. But when you think about it, we still have much. During this time, I encourage us to write down, on a slip of paper, one thing each day that we are thankful for. Put that slip in a jar and on a day when you think you have nothing to be thankful for, pull a slip out of the jar. Read and ask yourself, “Am I still thankful for this?” If you are, remember to thank God. Giving thanks in ever situation, even just once a day can improve or outlook on life.
2. Rejoice Always—Philippians 4:4, “Be glad in the Lord always! Again, I say, be glad!”
Rejoicing always ranks right up there with being thankful in everything. Rejoicing is what we should do right after we give thanks. The Psalmist has this to say about rejoicing, “Come, let’s sing out loud to the Lord! Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation!” (Psalm 95:1) Our joyful shouts are something hidden beneath the everyday burdens that we carry. Just like being thankful, taking time to rejoice is important to improving our overall spiritual health which leads to an improved physical and mental health. Rejoicing could be as simple as singing one verse of your favorite hymn out loud. I think we all know at least one verse of a hymn by heart. Give it a try and see what you feel like afterward.
3. Don’t Worry, Pray—Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”
Yes, we are called to pray about EVERYTHING! That’s what Paul is saying here. He also says that we are to not only bring our concerns to God we are also in prayer called to give thanks to God (see numbers 1 and 2). What Paul doesn’t say directly here is that not all our prayers will be answered. What Paul is saying is that when we pray, we will receive peace from God that will keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus. And that’s a good place to focus.
4. Not Only Are We to Focus on Jesus, but We Are to Focus on God—Philippians 4:8-9, “From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.”
Just in case we missed the point that he made in verses 6 and 7 of Philippians Paul tells us again. In God we will find peace. What I think Paul is trying to say here is that when we can stop worrying about everything we can begin to focus on other things: “all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise”. When we do that, we will once again receive peace in our lives. I believe that we receive that peace because we have then begun to allow God’s will to be done in our lives rather than our own will or the will of the world.
5. Trust God to Meet All of Our Needs—Philippians 4:19, “My God will meet your every need out of his riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus.”
Paul tells us that his God (who can also be our God if we chose) will meet our every need for living if we follow Jesus. Not only was Jesus placed here on earth to die so that we might all live, he was also placed here to show us how to live while we are here. Jesus tells us in Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to announce, ‘Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!’” By trusting in God and following Jesus’ example of how to live, we will have everything we will ever need. I think that Jesus was a great example of trusting God to meet all his needs. If I remember correctly, Jesus never once lacked for anything to live his life. I cannot think of a better example for how to live than Jesus.
That’s it. You could probably find other things to add and I would encourage you to do so. I also encourage you to keep the list in a place where you will see it every day. By looking at the list daily there is a better chance that we may incorporate some of these “Faithful Habits” into our daily life of discipleship.
I think that’s all God and Jesus will ever ask of us. They both know that we will never be perfect in our lives, that’s why we are given the gift of grace. When we stumble, we are called to get up, seek forgiveness and give life according to God’s will another try. If we can do that, we can get through all that is wrong with the world today and make the world a better place for all.
Peace and Blessings,
The Future As We Know it Today
Worship and fellowship have been hard during these times. We now are approaching almost two months out of the sanctuary for worship and it appears as things stand today it will be awhile longer. In person worship will continue to be suspended through the month of May. If we can get back earlier it will be a plus and a blessing, but I also want to be realistic.
When we do get back things will be a bit different than before we suspended in person worship. I am working on protocols and procedures that will be in to protect everyone's health. As of this writing I don't know what these precautions will look like as they are still in the works. Just know that things will not be the same. We will be easing into a new normal. The choice to attend in person worship will remain each individuals decision and I for one will support whatever you choose to do. You need to be the final determiner as to the health and safety and those that you love.
As things continue to change, as we know they will, I will provide updates via e-mail and on the church's Facebook page (St. Peter's United Church of Christ). Please monitor you e-mail and Facebook to be kept abreast of new developments.
The one thing that I know for certain is that God has been worshiped, is being worshiped, and will be worshiped into the future. Peace and blessings to you all and know that I miss y'all. Stay safe.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!
Thank you for continuing to support our ministry here at St. Peter's. Here is what the month of April in regards to the general fund offerings.
General Fund Offering as of April 26
$ 9, 385.00
Monthly Budget Need
$ 9, 102.00
Offerings can be dropped off at the church through the mail slot by the office or mailed to P.O. Box 506. Thanks again.
6 Jasper James Whatley
7 Ruth Sisson
8 Jeanne Osborn
11 Gladys Erksin
15 Randy Miles
21 Jerry Sisson
2 Adam and Katie Albers
15 Chris and Laura Stevenson
21 Cody and Ashley Bornholdt
Please pray for these people
on their designated day in May
1) Lois Wright
2) Kathy Zimmerman
3) Norman Achilles
4) Scott and Connie Achilles
5) Adam and Katie Albers, Cash
6) Phyllis Armstrong
7) Kara Ayers, Elian Dorantes, Maya
9) Rosetta Bartels
10) Dan and Fay Binder
11) Cody and Ashley Bornholdt
12) James Bornholdt
13) Tim and Terri Bornholdt
14) Steve and Theresa Buller
15) Richard and Beverly Castleberry-John
16) Gary Ely
17) Gene Ely
18) Gladys Erksin
19) Tim and Cindy Fay
20) Norma Friesen
21) Shirley Friesen
22) Todd and Janell Harman-Max, Rachel
23) Matt, Brenna Harris Suttyn, Kru, Mac
24) Gretchen Kimble
25) Kendall, Becky, Kristen, Tanner
26) Phyllis Knackstedt
27) Vicki Lindenberger
28) Mike and Dorothy Luty
29) Mike and Kimba McCormick
30) Randy and Darcel Miles, Aisjha
31) Dave and Cynde Neufeld
Revised Common Lectionary Readings
May 3 Acts 2:42-47
1 Peter 2:19-25
May 10 Acts 7:55-60
Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
1 Peter 2:2-10
John 14: 1-14
May 17 Acts 17:22-31
1 Peter 3:13-22
May 24 Acts 1:6-14
Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
1 Peter 4: 12-14; 5:6-11
May 31 Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
Virginia Bosworth, Betty Bengston,
Virgil Bengston, Steve and Theresa Buller,
Terry and Karen Fay, William Forehand,
Vicki and Rusty Johnson, Gretchen Kimble, Brianna Krull, Bill Maurer Sr. Danny Parr,
Loren and Denise Postier, Kairos Prison Ministry, Gene and Karen Schierling, Jim and Sophia Stephens, Norma Friesen’s grand and great grandchildren, Deb Kirby,
Bruce Moots Family and Friends
Mildred Unruh Family and Friends
Esther Nikkel Family and Friends,
Dennis Schlosser Family and Friends,
Bob Kirby Family and Friends,
Arthur Ureche Family and Friends
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