Worship at Home for November 26 2023

Dear Friends,

People across our country will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week. Family and friends will travel to be with those they love. We will eat together and give thanks for our blessings. Most people will have turkey and celebrate family traditions. May you have a blessed celebration with your family this week.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

  • Thank you to everyone who helped with the Turkey Supper!
  • The Congregational Budget for 2024 passed.
  • Totenfest on Sunday, November 26 with Hanging of the Greens after worship. We will be remembering those who have died during the past year by lighting candles during worship.
  • Advent Tea on Saturday, December 2, please call the church office to reserve your seating at 11am or 2pm
  • Christmas Cantata on Sunday, December 3 at 3pm
  • Cookie Sale will be on Saturday. December 9. We are asking church members and friends to bake 3 batches of 3 dozen cookies each.
  • Caroling and Cocoa at 2pm on Saturday, December 9.
  • Youth shopping for adopted family and pizza on Sunday, December 10 at 4pm.
  • Dorcas Christmas Party on Thursday, December 14 at 11:30am. All women are invited to join us.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 • Psalm 95:1-7a • Ephesians 1:15-23 • Matthew 25:31-46

Sermon: Care

This Sunday is the Reign of Christ Sunday which is celebrated on the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. On this Sunday we celebrate that Jesus is our true King. The world offers so many distractions and asks that we offer our loyalty to people, things and ways that are not Jesus. May we always seek to follow Jesus the true king of this world.

In Matthew 25, Jesus describes the Son of Man (another name for Messiah) sitting on the throne in all his glory. All the peoples of the world will be gathered around him. The ethnic, racial, cultural, and national barriers are gone. All the different peoples of the world will be gathered and sorted like a shepherd sorting the sheep from the goats. This would be familiar reference for those hearing Jesus speak in the days before his crucifixion in this his farewell sermon.

Does this vision of Jesus cause anxiety in anyone else? The image of Jesus with a giant shepherd staff acting like a bouncer at a popular night club letting some into the club and others left out on the street troubles me. Night club bouncers stand imperiously and judge people by their physical beauty, stylish demeanor, wealth, and power. I have never been in such a line, but the scenes that I have seen portrayed on TV strike me as demoralizing.

Jesus has a different rule for sorting the people. The Sunday School lesson for today sums it up as, “Did you show your love and thanks by being kind to others?” We do not need to answer the question as the king on the throne already knows. Those who performed loving acts of kindness are invited into the Kingdom. The surprising thing is that the righteous people had not even realized that they were caring for Jesus when they were caring for the sick, the hungry, the poor, and the lonely. They had cared for others because they knew in their hearts to be the thankful and loving.

Jesus wants us to serve him by caring for other people. People who care are those who are invited into God’s Kingdom. This is not a contest of social media likes, wealth, or social status. Everyone who cares is part of the “in crowd”. In this final sermon of Jesus before his crucifixion, he is telling us that if you want to be seated on my right hand, show love and care for your family, your friends and most importantly the ones that society often forgets and ignores. The ones whom Jesus called blessed in the Beatitudes.

During the next month we will be presented with all sorts of opportunities to share our love and thanks with Jesus. We may help with Operation Christmas and ringing the Salvation Army Bells (December 15 and 16). We may donate money to the Christmas Fund. The Advent Tea (Saturday, December 2 at 11am and 2pm) gives all its proceeds away to local charities. During this festive time some people may feel left out and lonely. Take a moment to ask how they are doing and invite them to an event at church like the Cantata (December 3 at 3pm) or put them on the Caroling and Cocoa visit list (Saturday, December 9 at 2pm). Celebrate the Reign of Christ and Christmas by sharing and caring with the least of these.

Prayer: Blessed Savior, open my eyes to see you in everyone I meet. Give me the insight to care for them. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list for a while, Mark’ s brother Billy, Delores W., Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z., Jesse, Tammy. Jennifer, Richard, Tamara, John, Dixon’s great granddaughter, Ashlely and Cody, Garth, Linda, Tessa, Carl, Kimbra, Liz’s father, Dannie, Lathe, Marilyn, Kris, Lee Ann, Bob, Diane, Louise, Janet, Linda, Keetha, Lori’s mom Judy and all who are in need about which we do not know. If you know of anyone who would like a prayer shawl, please let us know.

Prayers for all the places in the world where there is war, special prayers for Israel and Gaza.