Worship at Home for November 5

Dear Friends,

Rember that this Sunday we turn back the clock one hour to switch back to Standard Time!

Tuesday was Halloween also known as All Hallows Eve. Wednesday was all Saints Day when we remember the faithful who have gone before us. In many churches those who have passed will be remembered during worship this Sunday. Our tradition will do this during Totenfest on Christ the King Sunday which is the last Sunday of the Church Liturgical Year. We will be celebrating Totenfest on Sunday, November 26.

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

  • We have Apple Butter for sale: Quarts - $10, Pints - $6, Half Pints - $4
  • Dorcas meeting on Monday, November 6 at 7pm
  • Communion at Gasconade Manor on Tuesday at 1:30pm
  • Wednesday: Bell Choir Practice at 4:15pm and Choir Practice at 7pm
  • The Turkey Supper will be on Saturday, November 18. We will need church members to help with baking items and making crafts for the Country Store, prepping food on Friday, November 17, and cooking, serving, and cleaning up on Saturday, November 18.
  • Congregational Budget Meeting on Sunday, November 19
  • Totenfest on Sunday, November 26


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Joshua 3:7-17 and Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 • 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 • Matthew 23:1-12

Sermon: Greatness

The Missouri Mid-South Conference is hosting a Zoom book study on The Afro-Christian Convention: The Fifth Stream of the United Church of Christ, edited by Yvonne Delk and published by Pilgrim Press © 2023. You may have learned during confirmation class that there are four streams of the United Church of Christ. St. Peter’s finds its roots in the Evangelical Church which was brought to Missouri from Germany. The Reformed Church of the UCC has German roots along with Swiss, Dutch, Hungarian and other European traditions. The Congregational stream of the UCC originated in England. The traditional fourth stream of the UCC is the Christian Church which began in the United States.

The Afro-Christian Convention has close ties with the Christian Church stream of the UCC but traces its roots and traditions to Africa as it was the Christian tradition of slaves primarily in the Carolinas and Virginia. The Afro-Christians began worshipping in hush arbors on Sundays separate from the white Christian community. Their African traditions were incorporated as part of their worship. (I’m paraphrasing what I learned in the book.) Sometime in the future I will tell more of what I have learned from the book and the book study.

The reason why I mentioned the book study is that Afro-Christian Church believed that Christ is the only head of the church. This belief reflects the reading from Matthew 23:8-11 (NRSVUE)

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father--the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant.

When we believe that Jesus is the only head of the church, it keeps us from thinking that we are the ones who are most important. In the book, I read that sometimes the Afro-Christian church members would remind the pastor and the deacons that Jesus was the head of the church not them. Knowing that the greatest among us is a servant gives dignity to those who toil in lowly jobs. The man who works as a custodian during the week could be the dignified Church Usher or Sunday School Superintendent.

We live in a world where greatness is admired and debated. The term GOAT is used to describe the Greatest Off All Time. NFL commentators often debate about who are the greatest players. Is Tom Brady truly the GOAT of quarterbacks or has that mantle been passed on to Patrick Mahomes? Politicians argue with one another about who should be in control. The recent difficulties in electing a new Speaker of the House provides an example of how the powerful struggle for greatness and control.

Jesus calls upon us as Christians to live in a different way. Jesus is the true head of the church. We are all called upon to be servants of God. No jostling for seats at the head of the table. No fighting to be the GOAT. We are called to live as Jesus lived and taught. We are called to serve one another in love, because in the God’s kingdom the notions of greatness are turned upside-down.

Prayer: God keep in me a humble heart living secure in the knowledge that Jesus is the true head of the Church. 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, Louise, Janet 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.

Prayers for the family of Diane Guitar who passed away last week.
Prayers for the family of Ida Barnett who passed away on Monday.