Worship at Home for Sunday January 29 2023

Dear Friends,

The lectionary passages for this Sunday are filled with word that inspire our lives. Take time to prayerfully read the passages and meditate on them.

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 had a good annual meeting. We voted to approve spending Memorial Fund money on upgrading the sound system and improving the lighting in the church. New Council Members are Lori Angel, Kaye West, Carol Nowack and Judy Balluff. Returning Council Members are Betty Estes, Vickie Mayberry, and Letha Ellis.
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm & Choir Practice at 7pm
  • Confirmation on Wednesday at 6:30pm
  • Souper Bowl Sunday on February 12 after worship. Enjoy delicious soup and donate to Helping Hands.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Micah 6:1-8, Psalm 15, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, Matthew 5:1-12

Sermon: Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

These words (from Micah 6:8) are perfect for a wall plaque to be hung in our home. A plaque with these words proclaims that this is who we are and what we seek to do as a family and a people of faith. Such a wonderful aspiration, but oh so much harder to live.

To me the hardest may be “do justice”. I really aspire to do justice in my life, but how do I discern self-righteous justice from what is truly righteously just? History and personal stories are told of people who thought they were acting in the name of justice only to find out later that they had gotten it wrong.

Justice, we all want it, but what is it. Justice is a clothing brand for girls…I never did get that one, but the marketing must work. There is a group of Superheroes known as the Justice League. Justice is what our judicial system promises. Justice is restoring righteousness to this world. Justice is blind if you look at the statues in front of court houses. The Supreme Court members are called Justices. Justice is a big pay out from an insurance company if you look at advertisements for attorneys on TV. In the wild west there was frontier justice when criminals would be hung on a tree by a posse sent out to catch the horse rustlers and cattle thieves. Sometimes justice becomes if I get what I want then the verdict is just. That is not the justice that God wants from us.

In Deuteronomy God tells the people this about justice, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:17-19 NRSVU Could justice really be as simple as being impartial, not taking bribes and showing loving kindness to those in need?

Love kindness is what God desires from us. Loving kindness shows a caring toward others that builds up relationships. We show loving kindness when we listen to someone tell their story. When we write a note, send a text or make a phone call to let people know that we care. Loving kindness is hosting a community forum about mental health issues so that we can better care for those in our lives who struggle. Loving kindness is collecting food for those who are hungry. Loving kindness is showing that you care.

Walk humbly with God, can be translated walk reverently with God. Sometimes when we use the term humble, we think that we should allow others to push us around. Reverently with God implies that what we do is for the glory of God. We walk in our lives with respect, thanksgiving, and awe for all that God has done for us.

Today is Health and Human Services Sunday in the United Church of Christ when we recognize institutions of the church that care for people with justice, loving kindness, and reverence towards God. These agencies work together through an organization called The Council for Health and Human Services Ministries. If you go to their website (https://www.chhsm.org/), you can see the many ways and places the church is active in this country helping people every day.

Our church supports several of these agencies with our donations. One organization that we support is Every Childs Hope (formerly the Evangelical Children’s Home) which provides care for families, children youth and young adults. Did you ever wonder what happens to youth who age out of Foster Care? Are they expected to strike out on their own and get an apartment and job? The Steppingstone program of Every Child’s Hope offers transitional housing for youth aged 16-21. The ECH website states, “Steppingstone offers life skills training to help youth find work, with self-sufficiency being the end goal. The program helps youth create an education and career plan, develop work readiness skills, learn how to apply for jobs, dress for interviews, and more.” (https://everychildshope.org/st-louis-steppingstone/) Every Child’s Hope offers justice to these you, loving kindness during their time of transition and has all involved walking humbly/reverently with God.

After Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John to become fishers of people, he went about Galilee teaching in synagogues, preaching good news and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Large crowds began to form around him, but Jesus takes a moment to sit down and explain a few things to his disciples. This ministry is not going to be about the rich and the powerful. This ministry is about blessing those who are often forgotten: the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, those who desire righteousness, the merciful (kind), the pure in heart, the peace makers, the persecuted. Blessings are going to come to those who need it.

God’s love surrounds us, the everyday ordinary people in the Beatitudes. Perhaps that is why we love these verses to much. Micah 6:8 gives instructions to us ordinary everyday people as how we should live our lives. As God’s love surrounds us let us surround each other with loving kindness.

Prayer: God who loves and cares for us help me to do justice, love kindness and walk reverently with you. Amen.

Prayer list: Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Ken and Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Jaqueline-Dixon’s daughter, Jaqueline and Kirk, Barbara, Mitchell, Mahala, Maybelle and Mary, La Rae, Bud, Tyra, Marilyn, Tom, Jeff, Ken’s mom, Jesse and for peace.