Worship at Home for Sunday, March 5, 2023

Dear Friends,

This Sunday will be our only Communion Sunday during Lent. Take time to reflect on this precious sacrament given to us by our Savior.

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

  • Dorcas meeting on Monday at 7pm
  • Protestant Communion at Gasconade Manor on Tuesday at 1:30pm
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm
  • Lenten Wednesday Worship on March 8 at 6:30pm
  • Choir Practice and Confirmation after Lenten Wednesday Worship
  • Pi Day Celebration on Sunday, March 19. Bring a pie to share for a meal after worship.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Genesis 12:1-4a, Psalm 121, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, John 3:1-17

Sermon: Following God

Humans are travelers by nature. Perhaps it is due to our hunter gather ancestors who had to move to follow the herds of wild beasts. People migrate to other places hoping for a better life. Drought conditions in one place force people to move where food is plentiful. Better jobs might be found in the city or another town. Students will leave home to study at a college in another town, state, or country. The dream of a better future or the hope that grass is always greener elsewhere keeps many of us moving. Or maybe we are just curious about what is over that next hill.

Abram (later renamed Abraham) was already on the move when God spoke to him. If we read Genesis Chapter 11:31-32, we learn that Abram’s father Terah had moved Lot, Abram, and Sarai from Ur toward the land of Canaan. They settled for a while in Haran where Abram’s father died. The family had moved for personal reasons.

In Genesis 12:1, God told Abram to move his family and leave his past behind as an act of faith. God promised to bless Abram. God would make of him a great nation and make his name great so that he might be a blessing.  My favorite part is that God promises and predicts that through Abram all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Amazing promises because Genesis 11:30 makes a point of saying that Sarai was barren. Still Abram trusted these words, packed up his family and possessions and moved.

All these centuries later, we know that what God had promised to Abram did come true. Sarai (renamed Sarah) who was said to be barren eventually bore a son named Isaac. Abram and Sarai made mistakes along their journey but did try to follow God. Their faithfulness inspired and continues to inspire Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Abram and Sarai traveled around in their lives, but finally settled in the land of Canaan. Eventually travelling people desire to put down roots and till the soil. There is something appealing about staying put. To be able to say that this farm has been in our family for several generations is a statement of pride. Grow where you are planted is popular adage.

With these thoughts in mind, just how are we to be inspired by God’s call to Abram this Lent. You might say to yourself well I can’t just pick up everything and leave it behind and move to wherever. Well maybe not physically, but God does call on all to keep moving spiritually. Plus, there is a faithfulness in practicing stability in a culture that is always on the move.

The Benedictine Order has a vow of stability. The Conception Abbey in Conception, MO has a website which explains how the monks at Conception Abbey seek to live out lives of faith. When a man commits to become a monk at the Abbey, he takes a series of vows. One of which is stability. The reasons for this can be found in the quotes below taken from the Conception Abby website:

“When he is to be received, he comes before the whole community in the oratory and promises stability, fidelity to monastic life, and obedience. This is done in the presence of God and his saints.”

-Rule of St. Benedict 58:17-18a


This vow binds the monk in both body and spirit to the community of his profession for the rest of his life, where he serves under both a Rule and an Abbot.

In an ever-moving world, a commitment to stability in community and place declares a deep commitment to God. Sometimes leaving when things get hard is the easier option. Choosing to remain and work out our faith in one community may prove to be more faithful than leaving.

Our community may not be perfect, but we are seeking to follow God. Abram was blessed not because he was a perfect person, but because God chose to be in relationship with him and his descendants. God chooses to be in relationship with us even when we have failed, are failing or will fail. Read this quote from Pope Francis that also appears on the Conception Abbey website:

“There is no saint without a past, nor a sinner without a future.”
“The church is not a community of perfect people, but of disciples on a journey, who follow the Lord because they know they are sinners and in need of his pardon. Thus, the Christian life is a school of humility which opens us to grace.”
-Pope Francis

How may we as a community of disciples journey forward in faith this Lent while being stable and rooted in this place? I encourage us to ponder this question.  To follow God, we need to worship and fellowship in community. Worship and fellowship help us to build bonds of faith and love. God is calling us to faithfully follow here in Owensville. Let’s do so together.

Prayer: God help me to follow you in my own way and in my own place. Amen.

Prayer list: Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Jaqueline-Dixon’s daughter, Kirk, Barbara, Mitchell, Mahala, Mary, La Rae, Bud, Tyra, Marilyn, Tom, Jeff, Mary Ann (Ken’s mom), Jesse, Kate, Kyle, Carmen, and for peace. Special prayers for the Loder family, Prayers for Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes.