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
Welcome Rev. Ken Richter
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.
The Blessing Newsletter for May
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.
April Newsletter-The Blessing
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
March Newsletter-The Blessing
The March church newsletter, The Blessing is now available for your use. https://mailchi.mp/fc7c75d3148e/your-helper-20259624
The Blessing Newsletter for January 2023
Please click link to view the January 2023 church newsletter, The Blessing. https://mailchi.mp/4756400f5082/your-helper-20251988
When St. John’s UCC is at its best
This Advent season I am going around different church groups to find out what our church does best. Here are today’s responses:
|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.
Martinszug in Rosenberg
For the fourth time, St. John’s is bringing St. Martin to Rosenberg, Texas. Celebrating one of Germany’s most cherished holiday traditions please join us for a Saint Martin’s Procession on Saturday, November 10th, 2018.
Young and Old with self-made paper lanterns will follow Saint Martin on his horse through the neighborhood around St. John’s United Church of Christ.
It all starts with the making of the paper lanterns at 6:00 pm. Please bring your own supplies. If you need assistance with that please contact the church.
A Soup Dinner is provided free of charge. Everyone is invited to bring dessert and a free will offering.
After our meal a skit will introduce the legendary episode of the cloak. Then the procession will circle around the neighborhood. Even though this is a German-language activity the skit will be bilingual for your convenience.
Please RSVP on Facebook
Zum vierten mal bringt die Johanniskirche St. Martin nach Rosenberg, Texas. Alle sind herzlich eingeladen eine der beliebtesten deutschen Feiertagstraditionen zu feiern am Samstag, den 10. November 2018.
Jung und Alt folgen St. Martin, der hoch zu Ross unterwegs ist, mit selbstgebastelten Laternen durch die Nachbarschaft um St. John’s United Church of Christ.
Es geht los um 18:00 Uhr mit dem Laternenbasteln. Bringt bitte eure eigenen Materialen mit. Wer dabei Hilfe braucht, melde sich bitte bei der Gemeinde.
Zum Abendessen gibt es kostenlose Suppe. Wer möchte kann Nachtisch und eine freiwillige Spende dazu beitragen.
Im Anspiel nach dem Essen erleben wir die berühmte Geschichte mit dem Mantel. Dann geht der Zug los durch die Nachbarschaft. Für unsere englischsprachigen Gäste wird das Ganze bilingual veranstaltet.
Bitte meldet euch auf Facebook an
Be a Responsible Citizen
The deadline for voter registration in Texas is fast approaching on October 9th. Please check with the secretary of state that you are properly registered. Why would a pastor have to remind me of that? Church is not supposed to be political! Well, I am following the example of the Apostle Paul reminding the Romans to be responsible citizens:
“Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear. Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live. That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.” (Romans 13, The Message)
The greatest danger to our system of government is when citizens do not do their part and the most formidable thing you can do to fulfill this commandment is to vote. You know the consequences of what happens when you don’t:
There is a biblical example of that as well. If you don’t follow Romans 13 and check your voter registration you may end up with worse than Taco Bell – the beast of Revelation 13:
“The Beast had a loud mouth, boastful and blasphemous. It could do anything it wanted for forty-two months. It yelled blasphemies against God, blasphemed his Name, blasphemed his Church, especially those already dwelling with God in Heaven. It was permitted to make war on God’s holy people and conquer them. It held absolute sway over all tribes and peoples, tongues and races. Everyone on earth whose name was not written from the world’s foundation in the slaughtered Lamb’s Book of Life will worship the Beast.”