Worship at Home for November 20 2022

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Reign of Christ Sunday when we remember that it is Jesus who is the true King. This Sunday we will celebrate Totenfest when we remember church members who died during the last church year by lighting a candle in their memory. After these candles have been lit, worshipers will be invited to come forward to light a candle for their loved ones.
If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

  • The Turkey Supper will be on Saturday, November 19.  Serving begins at 4pm. We will need help serving, in the kitchen, baking pies and more. There will be a Quilts for sale, Silent Auction and Country Store.
  • Totenfest will be on Sunday, November 20 during worship.
  • Congregational Budget Meeting after worship on Sunday, November 20
  • Thanksgiving Gospel Sing at New Hope UMC at 5:30pm on Sunday, Nov. 20
  • The Advent Tea will be on Saturday, December 3. Reservations for seating at 2pm are being taken, 437-2779. 11am is pretty full.
  • The Cantata will be on Sunday, December 4 at 3pm.
  • Cookie Sale Date: Dec 10th from 9 to 1 or when we run out. Selling by the pound. Choose your own cookies and pack your own box. Place: St Peters downstairs
  • Bakers: please bake 3 different kinds. 3 dozen of each kind. Need cookies put down in the kitchen by noon on Friday December 9th Thanks to all the bakers and candy makers!

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons:
Jeremiah 23:1-6, Colossians 1:11-20, Luke 23:33-43

Sermon: Gathered

The people were scattered as Jeremiah witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem. Jeremiah was shocked by what was happening to the people. Leadership was falling apart in the face of all the destruction. The people of Judah were like sheep without a shepherd or worse shepherds who abandoned the sheep to their fate.

Jeremiah is promising of a time when God will gather the scattered remnants of the faithful. God will lovingly shepherd the hurt, lonely and frightened sheep together. The people will be gathered.

The gathered will become what I like to think of as “Team Remnant”. This is a team made up of those who have been left behind. Those extra pieces of fabric. Those remains from the Thanksgiving meal that sit uneaten on the platters. Those people who come climbing out of their hiding places after the disaster has passed.

These sheep, these people are not whole and healthy. How could they be after the trauma that has been experienced? The gathered are people with emotional issues. Who wouldn’t be after years of abandonment and grief. These sheep are not the beautiful and perfect county fair blue-ribbon winners. These sheep are those who stand shivering in the cold longing for other sheep and good food to eat.

There seems to be an idea that Christians should be these beautiful faithful prize-winning people who are always happy and accomplishing so much. An almost I’m a better sheep than you exaltation type of people. These are not the people being gathered by God.

When Jesus walked on the earth, he shepherded the lost and hurting. Those sheep who did not stand around looking perfect in the temple. Jesus cared for the woman with the hemorrhage, the man cursed with demons, and the repentant tax collectors. Jesus listened to the stories of the difficult people. Jesus challenged those “I’m more perfect than you people.” You know those scholars of perfection who offer nothing but criticism and anger to those who do not live up to their standards of perfection. Jesus gathers the hurt and the lonely. Jesus offers paradise to a repentant thief on the cross.

On Christ the King Sunday, we remember that Jesus turned the whole idea of Kingship upside down. A worldly perfect King would never have died on the cross. A heavenly King who comes to heal and gather hurt sheep willingly gave up his life to save his sheep. Jesus is the one who truly reigns in a hurting world and gathers us into his fold.

 Jesus challenges us to turn the idea of power in this world upside down. We as gathered sheep are not to lord it over others with our perfection. We are called to accept and love each other for we are the hurting, lonely troubled and scared sheep. We are those who need the hope and promise offered by Jesus. We need to accept this grace for ourselves and to share it with others. We are to embrace the healing love of God. We are the gathered.

“‘Embracing the Light’
Collected bits of truth
Shimmering sparks
Shards of light
Merge
Healing
Restoring
Bursting Bright
Rising
in divine ecstatic flame.”
― Leonard Nimoy

Prayer: Gathering God, may I be gathered into your loving flock. May I live with love for others who are gathered in the fold with me. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list in the past and Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Ken and Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Jaqueline, Friends of Shelby, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Dixon’s daughter, Barbara, Melvin, Mitchell, Mahala, Maybelle and Mary, La Rae, , Bud, Bob, Ruth, Tyra, Ed and for peace in troubled and war-torn places. Special prayers for Kurt and Carol Keller who are on a Mission Trip to Senegal.

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