Category Archives: Worship

Communion on a Bad Day

It has not been a good day. I’ve been bitter, upset, and angry at slights real and imagined for much of the day. Nonetheless, I went to the 6:00 p.m. Communion Service. I left feeling much better, having encountered God in sacrament and fellowship. I would encourage you to try it.

Communion Every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.

It has come to my attention that not everyone knows we have a communion service (only about ten minutes long, but inclusive of all the essentials) at 6:00 p.m. every Wednesday. We do this for the simple reason that Jenny and I want to receive communion every week and it’s both fair and good theology that we open the sacrament up to the entire congregation and not just ourselves.

Blessing of the Backpacks

Next Sunday Morning, August 18, 2019, we’ll have the blessing the backpacks. All children are invited to bring their backpacks up to the chancel with them during the children’s time. The backpacks, and more importantly, the children they belong to, will be blessed for the new year of school. School personnel are also encouraged to bring their work bags to worship and participate, but even if you don’t, we’ll be praying for you.

Special Music: Joseph and His Brother

Jenny and I went to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last night at the Great Plains Theatre. It was an excellent production.* (Although I am biased as Liz is playing Rachel.) It also gave me another reason to look forward to the 10:30 worship service tomorrow. Layne Roate (who plays Joseph) and Natalie Szczerba (who plays one of the brothers) will be singing How Great Thou Art with Natalie accompanying on the ukelele. It promises to be a great, one-of-a-kind performance.

On a much less important note, I received a big box of chocolates from the Russell Stover parade entry on Thursday, and I plan to share it at the after-service coffee time.

*Shameless promotional plug: it really was a great production of a beloved musical. All the kids in it came through a special Bootcamp held in our basement. It’s not cheap, but they do offer $20 tickets ($10 for students) on Thursdays.

T-Shirt/Jeans/Fair Sunday

On Sunday, July 28, 2019, we’ll be having T-Shirt/Jeans/Fair Sunday to celebrate the new church t-shirts and the start of the fair. Feel free to wear an old church t-shirt if you don’t have a new one. You can, of course, wear any shirt on any Sunday (including this one), but on July 28 we’ll try to wear church t-shirts together.

We have some extra t-shirts in the office (as well as some t-shirts that people forgot to pick up). You can come in during the week or pick one up today.

T-Shirt/Jeans/Fair Sunday

On Sunday, July 28, 2019, we’ll be having T-Shirt/Jeans/Fair Sunday to celebrate the new church t-shirts and the start of the fair. Feel free to wear an old church t-shirt if you don’t have a new one. You can, of course, wear any shirt on any Sunday (including this one), but on July 28 we’ll try to wear church t-shirts together.

We have some extra t-shirts in the office (as well as some t-shirts that people forgot to pick up). You can come in during the week or pick one up today.

Tomorrow’s Sermon

I (John) haven’t preached a sermon since May 12, 2019. So I’m really looking forward to preaching tomorrow (June 22, 2019). To make up for lost time, I plan to preach not one, but rather three sermons. Fear not, they will be short (about 5 minutes each). I’ll be preaching on 1 Kings 19:1-15; Galatians 3:23-29; and Luke 8:26-39.

Praying for the President

1 Timothy 2:1-2 reads “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity” (NRSV). Because of these verses, we sometimes pray for the leaders of our government in the opening prayer on Sunday morning.

You may have seen a call by Franklin Graham for Christians to pray for Donald J. Trump this Sunday. That isn’t going to happen at First UMC. For starters, we usually pray for elected officials by position and not by name in order to be non-partisan. Also, if you think we should pray for Trump by name at the behest of Franklin Graham, I would ask you to consider how you would feel if the popular vote had carried the day, Hillary Clinton was president, and Jessie Jackson was asking us to pray for her.

In my own personal prayers, I pray for President Trump on a regular basis, just as I prayed for President Obama, President Bush, and President Clinton. As far as corporate prayer as a gathered congregation, I think our present policy is best.

All Saints/Memorial Sunday

We’re observing All Saints/Memorial Sunday tomorrow. We’ll be honoring the following members who passed away since the last time we observed All Saints Day. Here’s the list. Please let us know if we’ve missed anyone.

  • Orban Haas, June 2, 2018
  • Phyllis Frederich, June 7, 2018
  • Ralph Hilton, September 28, 2018
  • Jerry Sleichter, October 24, 2018
  • Charles “Bud” Bankes, November 26, 2018
  • Kenneth Brown, December 3, 2018
  • Gary Coleman, December 23, 2018
  • Rose Marie Rogers, January 8, 2019
  • Phyllis Newell, January 21, 2019
  • Wendell Gugler, February 11, 2019
  • Paula Peterson, February 21, 2019
  • Mary Ruth Dieter, April 14, 2019
  • Robert Bottorff, May 6, 2019