• Genesis 2:4-8

    Saturday, May 30

    Genesis 2:4-8

    This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

    Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 

    It is the beginning of our earth, fresh and new from the hand of God. No water had yet rained down, so there were no shrubs or plants in the fields. God formed man from dust and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    Forget the scientific and archeological data for a moment, and questions about precursors to humanity in various forms. Consider what a marvelous sight it must have been for God, as well as for this new being, who suddenly was able to breathe and move and reason. One moment there was no life, and in the next, there was life. From that moment on, humanity belonged to God, for God made us.

    It doesn’t matter to me what that first human looked like, or whether God made changes along the way to our stature and appearance. What matters is that we are not simply some random pairing of chromosomes and cells. We were made with intention and purpose, and so our lives are meant to be lived with intention and purpose, giving praise to God our maker. We are not a mistake, we were made in love, and if we do nothing else, may we give praise to our Creator every day of our lives.

    Prayer

    God our heavenly Father, thank you for choosing to set in motion the miracle of life, to breathe in us your energizing Spirit and allow us to have a piece of you. Make us truly grateful for all the blessings we receive. Let us consecrate this day to you by choosing to live honorably according to your will. Help us use well the gifts we have been given, and especially the gift of life. Amen.

  • Genesis 1:1-5

    Friday, May 29

    Genesis 1:1-5

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

    3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

    It’s interesting to think about “in the beginning.” It wasn’t God’s beginning, only ours. What was God doing before “the beginning”? Why did God create the heavens and the earth, taking what had no form and giving it form? God did it for us.

    God took what was empty and gave it light, and God called it good. God separated light from darkness, the brightness that is day from the darkness that is night. God made it, God named it, and God chose to do that for us.

    We praise God for his love, for all God has done and continues to do on our behalf. We are made whole by the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, whom God sent for our salvation. We were empty, but God has filled us with his Holy Spirit. We held darkness inside, but all that has been made bright and clean through Christ’s work on the cross. All this God and more God chooses to do – out of love.

    Prayer

    Almighty God, we praise you for your power, taking what was nothing and bringing our world into being. We thank you for your love that inspired you and moves within us, for love changes everything. Thank you for your example of self-less service, exemplified in Jesus Christ our savior. Amen.

  • Psalm 27:3-4

    Thursday, May 28

    Psalm 27:3-4

    3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

    This is a psalm written by King David. In many periods of his life, David faced adversity. But what stands out is his sense of confidence and triumph in the midst of his difficulties. David was a soldier. He was skilled in the practice of war. Even so, he knew that his strength was in God. He trusted in God to find his confidence in battle. Faith overtakes fear.

    But then David shifts gears to contemplate the goodness and greatness of the Lord. He says, “This is what I want; this is what completes me – to spend my time in God’s house, praising God’s name, seeking him and gazing upon his face.” I think of Michel W. Smith speaking before one of his songs, saying how he cherishes time alone in his car, where he can block out other things, turn the radio up loud, and sing to the Lord. He says he probably is making a fool of himself, but it means so much to him to find time to praise God.

    You may not be facing an army today, although it is a sad truth that someone around the world is. Someone is doing his or her duty to their country in serving as a member of the armed forces. I don’t have a clue what that is like, how fear can lurk around corners in unexpected places. You and I face other battles which can be just as difficult through in completely different ways. The truth David writes about is the same. It takes faith to remain confident and stave off fear.

    Prayer

    Almighty God, precious Savior, let us gaze upon your face, let us adore you and praise you and give you all glory. For you love us and are with us, no matter where we are or what danger we face. We lift up those who serve in harm’s way, as we pray for peace in the world. Help us do what we may to care for others in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • Psalm 27:3-4

    Thursday, May 28, 2020

    Psalm 27:3-4

    3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

    This is a psalm written by King David. In many periods of his life, David faced adversity. But what stands out is his sense of confidence and triumph in the midst of his difficulties. David was a soldier. He was skilled in the practice of war. Even so, he knew that his strength was in God. He trusted in God to find his confidence in battle. Faith overtakes fear.

    But then David shifts gears to contemplate the goodness and greatness of the Lord. He says, “This is what I want; this is what completes me – to spend my time in God’s house, praising God’s name, seeking him and gazing upon his face.” I think of Michel W. Smith speaking before one of his songs, saying how he cherishes time alone in his car, where he can block out other things, turn the radio up loud, and sing to the Lord. He says he probably is making a fool of himself, but it means so much to him to find time to praise God.

    You may not be facing an army today, although it is a sad truth that someone around the world is. Someone is doing his or her duty to their country in serving as a member of the armed forces. I don’t have a clue what that is like, how fear can lurk around corners in unexpected places. You and I face other battles which can be just as difficult through in completely different ways. The truth David writes about is the same. It takes faith to remain confident and stave off fear.

    As we remember those who serve in the military, we also give praise to God who is with us all the days of our life. Seek him to gaze upon the Lord’s beauty, and he will be there.

    Prayer

    Almighty God, precious Savior, let us gaze upon your face, let us adore you and praise you and give you all glory. For you love us and are with us, no matter where we are or what danger we face. We lift up those who serve in harm’s way, as we pray for peace in the world. Help us do what we may to care for others in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:17-25

    Wednesday, May 27

    1 Corinthians 1:17-25

    17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

    I love these words, to think that we preach God’s word not with eloquence, lest the cross be emptied of its power. What that means to me is that when I speak, certainly I want my words to make sense. I hope what I say is organized and coherent to those who are listening. But God is the one in charge, not me. God’s Spirit is working within and among those who are receptive to receive what God has to give. As hard as I should try to do my best in preaching, it is God doing the real work, changing our hearts, convicting our souls, and creating in us a desire to be made new by faith.

    I am grateful beyond measure for each person who holds this congregation in prayer throughout the worship service each week. I cannot conceive of trying to persuade anyone by my own strength alone. In fact, to do that is to demean God, and as Paul puts it, to empty the cross of Christ of its power. No different from anyone else, I have to depend on God if any substantial changes can be made – in me or any person who participates in worship. Together we pray to let God’s power be made known through whatever source becomes meaningful – whether preaching or singing, prayers or silences, and the reading of God’s word.

    So let us be foolish if that gives God more credit! Let us believe what the rest of the world thinks is irrelevant and out-of-date. The cross is a stumbling block to those who cannot believe God would ask Jesus to die for us, who cannot believe sin is all that serious, who see the cross as proof of a wrathful God. Let God be “foolish” if we may be saved by the cross of Jesus Christ! God’s still a lot wiser than us.

    Prayer

    We give you all the praise in Jesus Christ, for you set in motion a plan designed before the first person stepped on this earth, before the first sin had been committed. You planned the cross, an instrument of torture and death, that becomes by faith the means for our salvation. Thank you, Lord, for Jesus, who has taken away the sin of the world. By faith, let us be foolish, and see in you the source of all wisdom and grace. Amen.

  • Psalm 63:1

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    Psalm 63:1

    You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

    When are you thirsty – your mouth so parched that you feel there is no moisture left inside you? Have you had days so busy that you forgot to take a drink until suddenly you realized how dry you were? Or you woke up in the night because you could not breathe and your tongue felt like dry cotton? You couldn’t wait to take a drink, to let the coolness of the water revive you inside!

    There is urgency when we thirst. It is a demand that must be met. Our bodies scream for refreshment when we are dehydrated, and it can become a medical emergency should we go too long or become too sick to keep fluids within us.

    That’s the kind of urgency the psalmist is talking about, but his thirst is not for water but for God. Let me see you, Lord, for I want to long for you like a wanderer in the desert who staggers in his desperate need for water. I pray, “Let me reach out for you and be immersed in the cool waters of your presence, dear God.”

    Maybe we have experienced thirst for water, but we fail to realize how that our longing for God is just as intense a need. We have turned off the signal that warns us our faith in the Lord is waning, our fluid level of faith dipping down to a dangerous level. We forget how much we need the Lord. We presume we can “make it” on our own. We wander off through the hot and burning sands of our days, until finally when an emergency strikes, we realize how much we need God. But we have no faith resources left; we are parched and dry.

    We cannot imagine living without water. Life as we know it would end without life-giving rains to replenish the earth. Can we also not imagine being without God’s presence? Let us long for the Lord, and feel refreshed and renewed!

    Prayer

    Hear our prayers, O Lord. Hear the longing of our hearts to know you and experience you and find strength in your presence. Draw us close to your side so that we are made new. Keep us always connected to your life-giving Spirit, in Jesus Christ our savior. Amen.

  • 1 Samuel 1:12-17

    Monday, May 25, 2020

    1 Samuel 1:12-17

    12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”

    15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

    17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”

    Reading this passage, several thoughts come to mind. Notice first the depth of Hannah’s prayer. It is written that she was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving, but no sounds came out of her mouth. Her focus was completely on God, and she probably had no idea that her lips were even moving. Paul once wrote that the Holy Spirit will speak for us in prayer when we do not have words to say. That’s what was happening for Hannah. Her prayers were moving straight from her heart to God; no actual words were needed.

    Maybe there’s a time you were especially fervent in prayer. To read the whole first chapter in 1 Samuel, we can see that Hannah made a risky prayer. She desperately wanted a child, so much that she made a vow before the Lord that if she had a son, she would allow her child to be given to the priest Eli in the service of the Lord. She was willing to relinquish her son from her care, so much did she want a son.

    The second thing we notice is a surprise. Eli, who is a priest, completely misunderstood the depth of Hannah’s prayer and accused her of being drunk. The same thing happened on the day of Pentecost when God sent the Holy Spirit. Believers were given the power to speak about God in other languages, but onlookers thought they were drunk. Peter had to reassure them that it was the Spirit moving them to speak as they did. Why didn’t Eli realize Hannah was praying?

    When we are completely focused on God in prayer, strange things can happen. Moses was with God in the tabernacle, and he came out with his face shining. Jesus was transfigured before the disciples, his face and clothes were gleaming white, and the disciples were filled with fear. It is an unforgettable experience to be caught up in prayer as Hannah was. People may misunderstand you, but God never will.

    Prayer

    Almighty and most holy God, lift us out of ourselves as we give ourselves to you in prayer. Let us focus on your goodness, your power, your mercy and your grace. Let us know that as we lay our concerns at your feet, we give you room to work. We love you, Lord, and praise you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • What We Believe

    We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son and our savior, who lived among us to teach us and die for us. He rose again to give us the promise of eternal life in him John 3:16. He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is God dwelling in us John 14:15-17. We seek God’s word in the Bible, the foundation of our faith. Our mission as a church is to proclaim the good news of Christ to all. We honor Christ through worship and fellowship, encouraging one another in faith, hope and love 1 Corinthians 13:13, and serving our neighbors with compassion and justice.

    We belong to the United Church of Christ. As a congregation we are granted the autonomy to govern our local church, and prayerfully make the best decisions we can on how to live out our calling as believers. Each person has the freedom and responsibility of discerning for themselves how faith in Jesus Christ impacts their daily walk and their worldview. We respect one another’s differences because even though we are diverse, we are still part of Christ’s body.

    We look forward to welcoming you some day soon. Peace to you in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Worship time

    Sundays
    10:00 am Worship Service
    10:00 am Children's Adventure Hour

    Due to the Coronavirus we regret that worship and all face to face activities have been suspended. Take care of each other and God Bless!

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