Worship at Home for Sunday July 3 2022

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and Independence Day weekend. I hope that you will have time to spend time with family and friends and to reflect on the meaning of Independence Day.

18 people from St. Peter’s along with 13 people from BEM attended the Cardinals game on Wednesday, June 29. Our trip to the Cardinals game was so much fun, that we are now planning a trip to see “Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat” at the Muny in August. The musical runs from Friday, August 12 to Thursday, August 18. If we get a group of 15 to go, we can arrange for a backstage tour. Please let me know if you would be interested in going and which dates would work for you. Thanks!

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

Announcements:

  • The Pool Party will be on Sunday, July 10 from 6:15-8:15pm. Bring some snacks and drinks to share. Invite your family and friends to join us for a fun evening at the Owensville Water Park.
  • I will be on vacation from Tuesday, July 12 to Tuesday, July 19. Pat Peets will be preaching. Pastor Jeff Remelius is available for Pastoral emergencies.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

 

Scripture Lessons: 2 Kings 5:1-14, Galatians 6:7-16, Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Fun Video about the story in 2 Kings 5:1-14

Sermon: What We Believe

Around Independence Day, I like to review the Declaration of Independence. It is an amazing document whose words continue to inspire us today. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Preamble of the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson) These words have the audacity to declare that people are created equal and given rights by God. Nearly 250 years later, this idea is embedded in the American psyche, but at the time this was a new idea which many found difficult to accept and believe. What we believe matters.

King George of Great Britain had a very hard time accepting these words from people he viewed as his colonists. King George was not prepared to let the 13 colonies go without a fight. Years of war followed the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The creation of our nation was filled with struggle. What King George believed was different from the pronouncement in the Declaration of Independence. What we believe matters.

In 2 Kings 5:1-14, Naaman the commander of the army of the king of Aram faced his own personal challenges. He suffered from a dreaded skin disease. His wife’s servant girl believes that the prophet in Samaria can heal Naaman. So, Commander Naaman travels to Israel to see the famed prophet, Elijah.

Naaman believes that the prophet will do amazing things to heal him. A new and different idea is presented to Naaman. He is given the simple solution of bathing seven times in the Jordon River. The instructions are not delivered by Elijah, but through a messenger. Naman believes that he has been insulted because the cure is simple and the prophet absent. Naman is convinced to believe otherwise by his servants. The bath works and Naaman is healed. What Naaman believed healed him. What we believe matters.

Have you ever believed that you were insulted when simple solution to a problem was offered? Have you believed that things must be done as they have in the past? Letting go of the past is hard. We often accumulate a lot of stuff in our homes and in our hearts because letting go of the old is too difficult. Failing to let go of old ways and expectations blocks us from being healed and moving forward as individuals and groups.

One example might be the old preschool area at St. Peter’s. Not much has changed in the room in the six years since the preschool was closed. Now thanks to a committee of people who have been working very hard, the area has been cleaned up, organized and is being redecorated. Don’t worry the precious handprints of generations of preschoolers are still there. But the closet is organized. The space is becoming fresh and welcoming. New things are being done, even if it is a bit scary. When we believe that we can let go of the past and move forward, then we can let Jesus’ healing, peace, and hope into our lives.

Jesus offers the good news of God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is filled with healing and peace. Jesus wants to this good news to be widely spread and knows that he cannot do it alone. So, 70 people are sent out to share the good news.  

Sadly, Jesus know that some communities will not welcome this news of God’s Kingdom. Some communities will believe that they must hang on to their old ways and reject the Good News. Other communities will welcome Jesus’ messengers and show hospitality to them and listen to the Good News. The 70 who were commissioned by Jesus to share the Good News rely on the hospitality of those who are willing to believe the good news and shake of the dust of towns that would not.

What kind of community are we? Do we believe in welcoming the stranger? Do we believe in listening to the good news of Jesus from new people? Do we believe in letting go of the past so that we can move forward to a better future? What we believe matters.

Prayer:  God who invites us to be a part of the Kingdom of God, may we welcome your message of love, peace and hope into our lives. Help us to be healed from our afflictions as Naaman’s leprosy was shed from his skin when he jumped in and out of the Jordon. May we be open to new ideas and ways of being the church. May we let go of what holds us back and may we invite others to know the good news of Jesus. 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, Marilee, Uncle AJ, Jim, Jenny, Dixon’s daughter, and for peace in the world in Ukraine and other war-torn places.

  • Happy Anniversary to all who have been celebrating anniversaries in our congregation, but especially to the Niebruegges and the Mayberrys who both celebrated their 50th anniversaries last weekend.
Contents © 2022 St. Peter´s UCC in Owensville, Missouri • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy