The August edition of the church newsletter, The Blessing is now available for your use. We hope that you are able to share in worship with us on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. in the church sanctuary. Click here to view the newsletter https://mailchi.mp/b86e2921934b/your-helper-20273368
Here is your copy of the July church newsletter, The Blessing. https://mailchi.mp/064818b17863/your-helper-20270960 We invite you to share in worship with us on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
A copy of The Blessing Newsletter for June is now available for your use. We hope that you will join us for worship on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. https://mailchi.mp/f2fd3ab0fa86/your-helper-20268528
During the called Congregational Meeting on Sunday, May 14, 2023 the Rev. Ken Richter was approved as the Designated Pastor of St. John’s UCC. Welcome home, Rev. Richter.
Please find your online copy of the church newsletter, The Blessing for the month of May here. https://mailchi.mp/0b7447819278/your-helper-20265712 We invite you to join us as you are able.
The April Church Newsletter-The Blessing is now available for your use. As always we invite you to participate at St. John’s UCC as you are able. https://mailchi.mp/34bcecacc9bd/your-helper-20262800
The March church newsletter, The Blessing is now available for your use. https://mailchi.mp/fc7c75d3148e/your-helper-20259624
Please click link to view the January 2023 church newsletter, The Blessing. https://mailchi.mp/4756400f5082/your-helper-20251988
|When we are sharing a meal together or working together.||Family Ministry reaching out to our shut-ins and those in need!||Having each other’s back by helping when needed without having to ask.|
|Showing up for families in crisis. Showing love and concerns for all offering prayers.||To see before church the people conversing, laughing and coming together.||covered dish meals|
|it responds to unexpected challenges||when reaching out to serve the needs of others unselfishly, caring for others, being the hands and feet of Christ||Each member brings their best gifts / talents to share. Everyone has a time to give of themselves and even if it is a moment of prayer it is best!|
Please note: None of these have anything to do with worship! The one hour of music and proclamation is not even mentioned. That’s not where church happens when it’s most meaningful. Here with St. John’s UCC, church is not a place or event you go to, but a movement that makes people’s lives better. St. John’s is the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; 6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’
The holiday season is upon us. With it come the inevitable proclamations and expectations that people have for Christmas. Listening to people share their hopes, dreams, and fears for the season I found that there are really four very distinct Christmases that people engage with. You can put them in a quad chart that stretches from Internal to External as well as from Conciliatory to Confrontational:
The external confrontational Christmas is represented by the bumper sticker that demands to keep Christ in Christmas. When people feel threatened in their identity they tend to overemphasize symbols and words. The aggressive overtone of a Kulturkampf corresponds with the perceived threat to a “Christian America”. Christmas is a welcome season to “strike back”. This Christmas is a cultural idol that gets politicized a lot.
The external conciliatory Christmas is one that is manifested in soup kitchens and generous donations throughout the season. When people want to feel good about themselves, the holiday season gives permission and occasion to live that out. Soup kitchens and food banks are notoriously short on volunteers and donations during the summer. But during the holiday season they get swamped with both, making scheduling and storage a nightmare.
The internal conciliatory Christmas is all about home sweet home. It kicks off around Thanksgiving with decorations and food. The cold winter months are the bitter contrast that gets fended off by a home that is warmer and cozier than ever. In a world that is increasingly complex and unpredictable the warm fuzzies of this Christmas bring a sense of safety and security.
The internal confrontational Christmas happens when family members gather around holiday feasts. The expectation is for everybody to get along and behave for the holidays. But the truth of the matter is that there are reasons some people are not invited, stay away, or show up grudgingly. There is no magic in the air that fixes broken relationships without continuous effort.
Did you notice that I just described the entirety of the Christmas experience without mentioning the church or the birth of Christ? They are an afterthought for most people because we are so busy engaging with the four other Christmases. Christmas is the Mass that celebrates Christ. Christ-Mass is a worship service. That is all from a church perspective. You should try it this holiday season.