Posted by: Pauline | January 15, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday January 22

Luke 5:1-11

Why did Jesus have the fishermen bring in that gigantic haul of fish? To display his power so that Simon and the others would know what kind of person they were going to follow? To cause Simon to recognize his own sinfulness in comparison with Jesus’ obvious holiness? As an object lesson about being fishers and God providing the catch, whether of fish or people? To provide a whole lot of free fish to the people (when the fishermen “left everything” behind as they followed Jesus)?

Whatever the exact purpose, Simon no doubt never forgot the amazement he felt. He must have gotten over his acute discomfort at being in close proximity with a man of such holiness and power, But the conviction that this man was the one to follow, the one with the word of God and the grace of God as well as the power of God, only grew stronger as he followed him.

Psalm 90:13-17

We don’t know what kind of afflictions the psalmist has in mind, as he cries out to God for relief. Whatever it is, it has been going on for a long time, some number of years, apparently. But he knows also that God has always been with His people, and always will be. He knows that God’s love is steadfast, and he looks forward to a time of joy and evidence of God’s blessing.

Posted by: Pauline | January 15, 2017

Upcoming events: week of January 16

This Week

Tuesday, January 17

10:15 a.m. Bible Study
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Guided Learning Club

Wednesday, January 18

6:30 p.m. Session meeting
6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, January 19

7 p.m. Choir practice

Saturday, January 21

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Sunday, January 22

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service
4 p.m. Bible Study in Morning Sun
Movie night: God’s Not Dead 2

Looking Ahead

Sunday, January 29

Congregational meeting following the worship service

Posted by: Pauline | January 8, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday January 15

Luke 4:14-30

The people of Nazareth must have been excited to hear what Jesus would say that Sabbath in the synagogue. They had been hearing about what he had said and done elsewhere, and they must have expected even greater things from him now. After all, Middle Eastern culture dictated that his first loyalty be to his family, and then to his hometown.

So they were shocked and offended when Jesus made it clear that they could expect no special favors just because he had grown up among them. On the contrary, he reminded them that prophets were not received well in their hometowns, and that God had a history of blessing people who would have been considered outsiders.

Psalm 146

This psalm is a song of praise to God, and also a reminder of where to put our trust. People will let us down – even if they have the best of intentions, simply because they do not have God’s power, and because death puts an end to whatever good they might have tried to do. And, of course, we know that people do not always even try to do good. Those whom God saves from various troubles are often in trouble because of their own sin or someone else’s. Only God is always faithful, always loving, and always able to accomplish His purposes.

Posted by: Pauline | January 8, 2017

Upcoming events: week of January 9

This Week

Tuesday, January 10

10:15 a.m. Bible Study
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Guided Learning Club

Wednesday, January 11

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, January 12

2 p.m. Nursing Home service

Sunday, January 15

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Wednesday, January 18

6:30 p.m. Session meeting

Thursday, January 19

7 p.m. Choir practice

Saturday, January 21

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Sunday, January 22

4 p.m. Bible Study in Morning Sun
Movie night: God’s Not Dead 2

Sunday, January 29

Congregational meeting following the worship service

Posted by: Pauline | January 1, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday January 8

Luke 2:1-38

The first half of this passage is very well-known, telling the familiar story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem and the visit of the shepherds. Many people are not nearly as familiar with the story that follows, when Jesus was presented at the temple, witnessed by Simeon and then by Anna.

Simeon and Anna had both been waiting for this for a very long time, though they probably did not know exactly what they were waiting for. Simeon was waiting “for the consolation of Israel,” and Anna was waiting “for the redemption of Jerusalem.” By the Spirit, both of them were enabled to see, in the infant Jesus brought by his parents to the temple, the fulfillment of their long years of waiting.

Psalm 131

Whether it was David himself who wrote this psalm or someone else, it was likely someone who might have been thought, in the world’s eyes, to have reason to take pride in his position and accomplishments. Our culture today celebrates such people, and the idea of “not occupying myself with things too great and too marvelous for me” may strike some as inappropriate self-abnegation rather than godly humility.

But the psalmist had learned – probably through painful experience – that chasing after power and high status did not lead to contentment. He does not retreat to the opposite extreme, passively sitting by and just waiting for things to happen. He compares himself, not to a helpless infant, but to a weaned child – able to go off and do things, but still dependent on his mother and comforted by her presence and protection.

Posted by: Pauline | January 1, 2017

Upcoming events: week of January 2

This Week

Tuesday, January 3

No Bible Study

Wednesday, January 4

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Saturday, January 7

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Sunday, January 8

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service, including Youth Christmas Program (rescheduled from December 18)
De-greening of the church following the worship service
Youth luncheon following the worship service
4 p.m. Bible Study at Morning Sun

Looking Ahead

Thursday, January 12

2 p.m. Nursing Home service

Posted by: Pauline | December 25, 2016

Scriptures for Sunday, January 1

12/17/2016 Note: Instead of the Scriptures listed here, Sunday’s Scriptures will be those from December 18, when church was cancelled. Scroll down for those Scriptures.

Luke 2:1-38

The first half of this passage is very well-known, telling the familiar story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem and the visit of the shepherds. Many people are not nearly as familiar with the story that follows, when Jesus was presented at the temple, witnessed by Simeon and then by Anna.

Simeon and Anna had both been waiting for this for a very long time, though they probably did not know exactly what they were waiting for. Simeon was waiting “for the consolation of Israel,” and Anna was waiting “for the redemption of Jerusalem.” By the Spirit, both of them were enabled to see, in the infant Jesus brought by his parents to the temple, the fulfillment of their long years of waiting.

Psalm 131

Whether it was David himself who wrote this psalm or someone else, it was likely someone who might have been thought, in the world’s eyes, to have reason to take pride in his position and accomplishments. Our culture today celebrates such people, and the idea of “not occupying myself with things too great and too marvelous for me” may strike some as inappropriate self-abnegation rather than godly humility.

But the psalmist had learned – probably through painful experience – that chasing after power and high status did not lead to contentment. He does not retreat to the opposite extreme, passively sitting by and just waiting for things to happen. He compares himself, not to a helpless infant, but to a weaned child – able to go off and do things, but still dependent on his mother and comforted by her presence and protection.

Posted by: Pauline | December 25, 2016

Upcoming events: week of December 26

This Week

Tuesday, December 27

10:15 a.m. Bible Study

Wednesday, December 28

4:30 – 6: p.m. Clothes Depot
No Bible Study

Sunday, January 1

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service, including Communion for all ages

Looking Ahead

Saturday, January 7

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Sunday, January 8

Youth Christmas Program (rescheduled from December 18)
De-greening of the church following the worship service
Youth luncheon following the worship service
4 p.m. Bible Study at Morning Sun
Posted by: Pauline | December 17, 2016

No church service Sunday December 18

Due to weather conditions tonight and tomorrow, the Session has decided to cancel the church service tomorrow (December 18). The children’s Christmas program will instead be on Sunday, January 1, 2017.

Posted by: Pauline | December 11, 2016

Scriptures for Sunday December 18

Matthew 1:18-25

Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus is probably not quite as well-known as Luke’s, perhaps because the shorter story with fewer details and fewer characters offers less scope for children’s Christmas pageants. But in these few verses, Matthew communicates clearly two essential principles of our faith, incarnation and redemption.

The son to be born to Mary will be called Immanuel because he will be God with us. That was not his personal name, but it describes the experience his followers came to recognize as the presence of God among them through Jesus. He continues to be Immanuel to us today though we do not see or experience him in the same way as during his physical life on earth.

And he was called Jesus because he saves people from their sins. This is the same name in Hebrew as Joshua, who led the Israelites into the Promised Land. By achieving our salvation, Jesus leads his people into eternal life with God.

Psalm 80:1-7, 18-19

Psalm 80 is classified as a psalm of lament, which may seem to some people at odds with the mood of joyful expectation for the holiday we will be celebrating within a week. Many churches will be presenting children’s Christmas pageants today, and even missed or messed up lines will be greeted not with lament but with appreciation for everyone’s efforts.

But Christmas is meaningful precisely because we are in such need of God to save us. Our world is messed up and our lives are messed up, and if we sometimes don’t cry out to God with the kind of desperate appeal we see in the psalms of lament, it is because we know He has already answered, in the person of Jesus Christ.

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