Sunday Worship times: 8:45 a.m., 10:00 Sunday School, 11:00 Contemporary Worship
Bible Study Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Bible Study Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
Xtreme Faith youth group meets Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Food Pantry gifts are gathered on the 3rd Sunday each month (that is this Sunday) with the shopping cart out to receive food items and the gallon glass jar for financial gifts.
Third Sunday Fellowship Event will be a game day this Sunday, January 18 at 3:00 p.m. We are planning Bunco, with other game options available as well, like the Pegs & Jokers we enjoyed last time.
salads will be the last Sunday in January, January 25, with a combined worship at 10:30 a.m. that will conclude with the Annual Reports followed by a potluck meal. The suggestions for bringing food are last names beginning with: A-I salads, J-R dessert and S-Z a main dish.
There are still some calendars available to support the youth ministry with the price discounted to just $5.00 each.
Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, this Sunday, January 18.
The Sermon Sunday is “Speak, Lord, I’m Listening” from I Samuel 3:1-9, 19-21- the Lord calls the young boy Samuel; and John 1:43-51- Jesus calls more disciples
“Speak, Lord, for your servant hears…And Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.”
Around Church this Week:
We are very thankful for Larry Anderson repairing the snow blower over the weekend.
Deacons met Monday evening. Our Board of Deacons this year includes: Marilynn Parham- Moderator, Joan Reich- Secretary, Marcia Hoiland, Diana Anderson, LaVonne Volzke and Lana Semelsberger. We thank them for their service in “being the glue” that holds our fellowship together. Please support their ministry by participating in one of the fellowship events coming up: this Sunday at 3:00 will be Game Day and the 2nd Sunday fellowship event in February will be a showing of the movie Heaven Is for Real.
Expect contact from your Deacon through the year as each Deacon is assigned to families in our fellowship (which also are serving groups, so you will be asked to serve (or bring food) for funerals or other needs, but you can initiate the contact by connecting with your Deacon. A list is posted by the office door, to the left of the mailboxes.
Session met on Tuesday and all is in place for the Annual Congregational Meeting next Sunday, January 25. The Elders chose to serve on the following Ministry Teams: Clerk of Session- Larry Anderson; Property and Memorial- Gary Van Regenmorter; Stewardship, Budget and Finance- Jesse Oien; Christian Education- Peggy Jensen; Mission Outreach- David Rotich; Church Growth & Evangelism- Peggy Jensen; Worship & Music- Mary Lambert; Personnel- Cathryn Jaragoske and Gary Van Regenmorter.
We have an emphasis on the concept of “Team.” Our Session is a team and God will bless our working together and supporting one another. Our Ministry Teams will work their best with participation from others in the congregation under the leadership of the Elder who leads it, instead of just the best efforts of an individual. Our congregation, our church family is made up of individuals with a wide variety of interests and gifts. We will thrive by using as many of those gifts in ministry as possible. Please consider these teams and volunteer to help where you feel God leading.
Toni Healy has experimented a little and started exploring the multitude of functions available on the new keyboard and will use it some for the 8:45 a.m. service on Sunday.
The Bible study groups and Xtreme Faith Youth Group were all able to meet this week as well as the Girl Scout troop after the Christmas break was extended last week by blizzards (Deacons had been postponed as well). Have you ever thought about inviting some friends and neighbors to your home for a 4-6 week study? Can you think of anyone who WOULDN’T benefit from being part of such a group??? If you feel God nudging you in that direction, please contact Pastor Dave for support and resources.
We have been extra busy in the office finishing the Annual Reports for printing to distribute for your perusal this week in preparation for the Annual Congregational Meeting.
A representative from the gas company was here on Friday and checked the gas lines and other points of entry in the church and found 0 gasses present.
Josh Ullom has designed and hosts the new Camp website that can be found at www.pioneerrimrock.camp. Take a few minutes to check it out and explore the whole new feel and look of the site. As you do so, please lift up that ministry in prayer, our Director, Jason Wiedrich, and for me as I travel out Sunday evening for the Camping Commission meeting at Pioneer on Monday.
Chuckle: “The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing. . . .” (Psalms 2:4)
“I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship You, O my soul rejoice…”(song lyrics)
One morning, my 3-year-old daughter, Katherine, helped remind me that God wants me to come to Him just as I am. She was dancing and singing around the house as usual, but as I listened, I noticed she was singing, “I love you, Lord, and I lift my noise!”
—Sandra James, Orange, CA. Today’s Christian Woman, “Heart to Heart.”
Birthdays this Week:
Here is an important question to ask yourself, “Am I praying more than I was last month?” As you ponder that, here is something to direct your prayers this week:
Churches recognize the third Sunday in January as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. You might start your prayer time this week meditating on Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Actually, verses 13-16 speak of God’s presence as a life is being formed and created. This is a time when we might pray for young mothers and those who feel that they are in impossible situations, and for whatever reason feel that their best way out is to terminate the young life that has begun. Pray that choices will be made to nurture life, but also pray for those who make the choice for an abortion. They are in even greater need of support and love in the name of Christ. Pray that they might find a church fellowship where they might experience unconditional love and support to deal with the guilt that may plague them even years later.
Please keep in prayer: Joyce Gries as she makes the decision for another shoulder surgery; Nicole Stoll was diagnosed with asthma this week, and thankfully found she doesn’t have food allergies (like to gluten)- pray for eliminating symptoms; Gerry Van Holland recuperating at home after knee replacement surgery, and for her rehab therapy sessions; Dale Klutman; For Arlene Lewis, Pete and Dolores Van Regenmorter– pray for balance, core strength and protection from falls.
Never look down on someone unless you are trying to help them up.
This from the PCUSA website:
Regarding ruling elders: sharing your faith January 15, 2015
Becoming a ruling elder in the PC(USA) begins much earlier than the phone call from the nominating committee. Through a myriad of ways, God has been and is working to bring us to that place where we have no choice but to say “yes, here am I, send me.”
The first three constitutional questions asked of every person being ordained and installed reflects this. “Ground Zero” is our relationship with Jesus Christ, and our ministry is shaped, not just by our understanding of God’s Word in Scripture, but the profound influence of our personal journeys of faith in coming to know the Lordship and Saviorhood of Christ.
Each of us is a product of an amazing God-With-Us journey and we bring that to the table when meeting together as the session. We often underestimate all of the people and experiences that have brought us so uniquely into our expression of faith. Likewise, we overlook how God has been intimately and lovingly shaping our faith long before becoming a ruling elder. One of the most significant activities elders can engage in together is writing and sharing their personal statements of faith. Doing so provides the insight, understanding, and appreciation of how God has been at work moving each of us to the moment when we accepted a call to serve our Lord and congregation as a spiritual leader. God has a wonderful sense of humor and timing, bringing together for God’s own purposes men and women, who at other times might not necessarily have chosen to work together, onto the session. There, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, all those phenomenal experiences are melded together, providing the capability to nurture, guide, and direct the people of God in fulfilling God’s design.
Many of us don’t consider ourselves storytellers, or for that matter, having a story worth telling, but nothing could be further from the truth. We carry within our hearts and souls compelling stories, and it is in the telling of these stories and describing where, when, and how we came to know Jesus that we establish the platform from which we engage in the experience of being a ruling elder. Sharing our faith stories allows us to realize that as similar sounding as they all might be, each story is unique and provides the lens for appreciating the perspective each person brings to their service. In sharing our stories, we develop an appreciation for diversity and how God is able to work through the likes of us.
Some ruling elders grew up in traditions other than Presbyterian or Reformed. Others didn’t come to know Jesus until they were in college, got married, or were in the foxhole. Some grew up in the church, had perfect attendance at Sunday school, went through confirmation, but didn’t really understand their faith or develop a deeper commitment to Jesus Christ until much later. When ruling elders gather together, it is a spiritual collage from which the Spirit creates a picture of unity.
By writing our faith statements and telling our stories, we begin to understand others better, appreciate them, and find ways to work together as brothers and sisters. Spiritual journeys do not respect boundaries. Age or gender doesn’t matter anymore than where you live, grew up, or went to school. Telling our stories helps us appreciate how the Holy Spirit works to enlarge our understanding and open us up to the deeper, more meaningful expressions of the gospel.
The Reverend Richard Johnson has been a PC(USA) pastor for forty-two years. Fifteen years ago he developed a curriculum for training ruling elders, which has been used for the past six years in training events throughout Great Rivers Presbytery. Recently the curriculum was expanded to include the unique ministry of deacons.
Pastor Dave Ullom <*}}}<.