CHURCH MISSION STATEMENT
We are called to bring people into a personal relationship with God through his son, Jesus Christ.
We accomplish this by bringing others into the community of the church through genuine friendship and fellowship. In this loving fellowship we grow in faith through the Word, community, prayer and worship.
WEEKLY BIBLE READINGS
You will find the daily Bible readings under the Bible Reading tab.
The annual Thanksgiving Dinner will be held Nov. 20 right after Church!
HANGING OF THE GREENS
The annual hanging of the greens will be held on Nov. 27 after services.
Mary Did You Know
A large turn-out attended the chili tasting party at Barb Bergin's home. Six chili's were available for tasting and then eating. Along with a bowl of your favorite chili, salad, rolls, corn bread and desert was also available. Lynn Balasovic won the grand prize for best chili.
More photos in the photo gallery
"The Way We Walk" an informal bible study that meets in homes over a cup of coffee. Contact Karen Vance with questions (989-245-6080).
(WAIT FOR IT TO LOAD-CHECK THE SERMONS TAB FOR MORE SERMONS)
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2.2.24 NRSV
September 29, 2016
As you might remember, I recently commented on hearing the unexpected words that my TV satellite is falling from the sky. Now last week I read that the crew of China’s space station left it unattended and came home. That was because it’s falling from the sky and due to crash next year.
It’s not enough that we have to deal with texting drivers, burning smart phones and constant car and food recalls, but now we have to keep one eye toward the sky for falling debris? As Charlie Brown would say, good grief!
There is a natural law for our pretty blue marble circling our yellow sun, and that is gravity wins. Always. It may take a time long, long time, but gravity wins.
There are some things that are certain. If we borrow money, no matter how good the product is, no matter how great a rate we get, there will be a moment when the bill comes due.
For my sins and yours, that moment came two thousand year ago. And Someone else stepped in and made the full and final payment. And so, when we look up, it is not out of the fear of things falling, but in expectation of His coming.
Prayer: Lord, may my gratitude for Your love and mercy never end.
You Want Me to Do What?
“He saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant; so he bowed his shoulder to the burden, and became a slave at forced labor.” Genesis 49.15 NRSV
September 28, 2016
Long ago, I served a good church in the semi-mythical land of Southern Illinois (Yes, the locals capitalize the word Southern). The church was growing in numbers and the generosity of the congregation was rising. There was excitement among the people as new ministries were springing up without my having to even suggest them, much less “push” them upon the people.
The best ministries effervesce up from the congregation and are not pressed down on them from “above”.
I note all this in preparation for what came next.
At a social function one evening, a fellow took me aside to share his good pleasure with the direction the church was headed. He added that the congregation seemed pleased with my leadership.
Are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? Smart. Then he said, “Now, pastor, there are some more things we would like you to do.” And so he began to share a list some of new ideas. Sigh.
The ideas were good ones and I could see their merit.
There is always more to do, ministries to start and projects to begin. And, if we let them, people will fill our days and lives with good ideas until we crash and burn.
Note: I once had a dear lady tell me of an idea she had for ministry and then she said, “I’ve done my part, I’ve told you. It’s up to you now.” And she turned to walk away seemingly satisfied that she had done her Christian duty. I gave her the same answer I gave him. I said no.
“No” is often the right answer, no matter how unspiritual it seems.
Prayer: Lord, good to know You have the right answer for me.
Not Where I Want to Go
“You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.” Psalm 71.20a NRSV
September 27, 2016
One of the great questions we must deal with in our relationship with an untamed God is whether God is there to catch us as we fall or push us. Is it not both?
This is the One Who, after ninety-nine percent of His sheep are safe, leaves them to find the one. And this is also the One Who said, “Do you think I am bringing peace as you understand it into your life? Think again! I bring strife and civil war!”
Sometimes, God leads us into trouble. Why? I cannot answer that question for everyone. I have come to know that I learn some things only by going through difficult circumstances and testing. Testing is the forge that tempers me and strengthens me. I often wish it were otherwise, but it is not.
Take a good look through the rearview mirror of your life. Where have you truly learned and grown strong? Is it not the same with you?
Have faith. It all comes right.
Prayer: Lord, when I have to go through these times, thank You for going through them with me.
For many years, I found it easier to rely on a non-productive pattern of doing things.
I found it easier to do a thing poorly than ask for help. Asking meant I would have to learn a new way and that required change.
This Morning“In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” Ecclesiastes 11.6 NRSVSeptember 22 th, 2016We rose this morning just as we have countless mornings in the past.We washed the sleep from our eyes, looked out the window and maybe we checked the weather on TV to determine our wardrobe.It seemed like other mornings we have known, but it wasn’t.We have never journeyed through September 22, 2016 before. It is new and full of possibilities for wonder and kindness.Let us ask for eyes to see and ears to hear and the capacity to rejoice in all the possibilities of today.Prayer: Lord, looking forward to what You have today!
September 21th, 2016Years ago, a magazine asked me to write an article they called, “The Five Myths of the Modern Church”. Sounded fun! Well, that and the nice check, so I took the assignment.Here is a selection from Myth Three:“Churches sincerely believe they want to grow and will say they are open to new directions…the truth is that many churches want to achieve growth with little pain, little effort and no substantial change. And by growth, they mean, ‘Let there be more people just like us.’” And any new person will need to come with the good sense to find his or her own pew and parking spot.This is not so much new growth, but cloning. Genuine grow requires change and that means change for all of us. Yikes! Perhaps that is why there is so little of it out there.Prayer: Lord, if you are leading us into a new way, help us get over the shock.
The Wonder of a Nickel
As I thought about it, I was reminded that not only are there coins to be found, but there are new friends to be made, delicious recipes to be tasted for the first time and a whole lot of world to explore.
The wonder awaits, good hunting!
The Selfish Do Not Inherit the World