Pastoral Pondering – September 2020

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  ~   John 8:32

We—and by “we”, I mean “I” – have talked an awful lot about the trials and tribulations of 2020, and we really don’t need to rehash them. Yes, that is part of the truth, but there is another part of the truth that we tend to leave out, especially when we are feeling the fear and despair of all that has been thrown at us.

That truth is the continued abundant blessings we have been given, as a world, as a nation, as a community, as a church, and as individuals. I want to share that part of the truth with you here.

WORLD

In this time of chaos and uncertainty, besides our humanity, we now have another thing in common with every single person walking on this planet—the experience of this pandemic. Every single human has their own stories to share about their lived experience. We are not alone!

NATION

We have much to work on as a nation, and even in the difficulties and tragedies that continue to be thrown our way, we have been blessed with the opportunity to begin to make things right—to offer justice and equality in ways that we have been ignoring. The more we work toward justice and peace, the more God will bless us.

COMMUNITY

In this last storm, I watched our community gather in ways I haven’t experienced before. Again, everyone in our community was affected by this last storm in one way or another, and yet, neighbors helped neighbors, strangers prayed for each other, and a real sense of community was present, if even for a brief moment.

CHURCH

This is the most amazing! During this time of sheltering in place, we have raised enough money to replace the roof and take down the cross, to repair the hail damage on the shed and gutters; we have purchased a new sound/video system (which is just about complete!); continued to offer our pledges for the bills that our church has; held a paint party; continue to gather on ZOOM every other Wednesday evening; gather in person and on ZOOM for Bible Study; held our first ever Virtual Vacation Bible School with 3 other churches; and we endured 15 weeks away from one another—while still worshiping—thanks to technology.

INDIVIDUAL

This might be my favorite truth. We have grown, albeit with growing pains, but we have grown nonetheless. We have stretched our ideas past what we have always done, and what we have known, opening ourselves to new life. We have used the creativity that God instilled in us. While we are rebuilding life, which can be hard, we are being given the opportunity to play! Think about it, in the beginning when God created everything, do you really think God stressed and worried, and was afraid? No way! God played! God said, LIGHT! and called it GOOD! God made water, land, animals, plants, and then called them all GOOD! And then God made humans—and we are GOOD. Creation wasn’t serious work—it was play! And now we are being invited to take part in that play; to come up with new ways to be and live, and new ways to love. And, as long as we keep God at the center—all of it will be GOOD!

In this time of chaos, uncertainty, and fear, these are the truths that we tend to overlook. Opportunity and abundance. But more than that, this opportunity is offering us freedom from the bondage we once thought to be truth. We don’t have to produce, produce, produce to be successful! We have to LOVE, and be loved. That’s all. And that is the abundant truth.

 ~ Always Peace,   Pastor Heidi

 

 

Derecho, August 10, 2020

  • Post category:Weather

A storm blew through the Midwest on August 20th with little warning.  Here are some of the photos of the church property — thanks to everyone who came to help us clean up after the storm.

Backpacks and School Supplies

During Worship Service, Sunday, August 2nd, the backpacks and school supplies we collected in July were blessed.  These supplies will be delivered to EICC Student Success Store.

We are still accepting backpacks and school supplies.  Drop them off at the church during office hours.

Backpacks and school supplies!

Painting Event

This event was originally scheduled for March 29.  Then, due to COVID19 it was postponed and scheduled again for May 3rd.  Postponed once again until July 26th.  We had 30 registrations for the original event — due to conflicts with the new date and social distancing concerns several decided not to attend. 

However, the 15 who did show had a great time.  Instead of a buffet lunch, we served sack lunches and guests were encouraged to bring their own beverages.

Virtual Vacation Bible School


Virtual Bible School July 26- July 31 – This VBS will begin in person to pick up supplies at Edwards Congregational UCC, and join for a sorting ceremony and blessing.

Then we will meet via ZOOM for stories during the week, and your Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment bag will have all the instructions for you to learn that you are special, and you were beautifully and wonderfully made for a specific purpose.

Congregational Meeting, Sunday, July 5

Hello Faith UCC!

Just a reminder that we will have a Congregational Meeting immediately following worship this Sunday to discuss and vote on the roof bid(s).

If you are not able to be in-person with us, we will offer ZOOM call-in. Please let Pastor Heidi know if you need the Zoom link so I can send it to you.

First in-person worship since March!

  • Post category:Worship

We begin our in-person worship this Sunday, June 21. I am very much looking forward to seeing you again, as you feel comfortable, of course!

If you choose not to join us in-person that morning, please know that we will continue to hold worship on Facebook Live and posting it on Youtube. For those of you watching at home, please be patient with us as we will once again be trying something new!

This is an exciting time, and we will be playing with how we do things. Some will work, and we will probably have some that won’t, but because we are in this new time, we will keep trying until we get it!

(We will continue to send out weekly bulletins, as we will not be printing and handing out bulletins on Sunday morning for now.)

Begin in-person worship services!

  • Post category:Worship

The decision is that we will begin in-person worship on Sunday, June 21. If you choose not to join us in-person that morning, please know that we will continue to hold worship on Facebook Live and posting it on Youtube.

Because we do not currently have the needed equipment to do both simultaneously at this point, we ask that you be patient with us as we work through any kinks.

Pentecost Sunday, May 31

  • Post category:Worship

Join us on Sunday to celebrate Pentecost – the birthday of the Church. We will worship together on Facebook Live at 10:30 am.

Hearts for Pentecost

  • Post category:Worship

Sending you (and the world) LOVE on this Friday before the celebration of Pentecost!

Thank you to Holly Green and her beautiful family for helping make the stained glass hearts that were in the Pentecost Bags! This one even matches my heart worry stone!!

And thank you to Cheryl Leamer, Jan Hannel, Arlene Barclay, Myrene Burton, and Linda Martin for delivering them!