Newsletter Week of July 6

Good News for Wednesday, July 8th

Pastor’s Piece

The synagogue assistant gave him the scroll from the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me.  He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.  He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed on him. He began to explain to them, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.”     (Luke 4:17-21)

This is how Jesus formally announced His professional ministry.  He declared that He had been sent to proclaim the healing, hope, and liberation of God.  This sounded great to the crowd that was gathered!  They were ecstatic!  Jesus was promising to be the answer to everything they’d ever hoped for.  

Then Jesus talked about a couple of prophets from Israel’s past and within a few verses they were trying to throw Jesus off a cliff.  That always struck me as odd.  Then I learned what Jesus was saying to them that seems a bit like coded language to you and me- He was saying that He had not come to make their lives better, but to save the whole world… even and especially the heathens who didn’t believe in the One True God.  

Every week we say the same thing at the end of the service.  We say that it’s not about me, it’s about God.  And we say that it’s not about my needs, it’s about their needs.  We say it, but it’s much harder to put these truths into practice in our lives.  It is not a natural thing to put other’s needs before our own.  But that’s exactly what Jesus has asked us to do. 

Following Christ means that we love our neighbors and are FOR them.  It means that we put other’s needs and hopes before our own.  It means that we don’t just hear the cry of the sick, the oppressed, and those in need… but that we take the risks that are required to stand up and proclaim healing, hope, and liberation.  And Jesus didn’t just proclaim it, but He acted with compassion to relieve the suffering He found in the world around Him.  Following Christ means that you and I go and do likewise.  

And following Christ is not without it’s risks.  Don’t forget that the people wanted to throw Jesus off a cliff!  Following Christ is never without risks but it absolutely is eternally rewarding.  What risk is God calling you to take today in order to better love your neighbor as Christ taught you to do?    

Alright, that’s the only sermon you’re going to get from me this week!  By the time you read this, I will officially be on vacation.  We’re not doing anything too exciting, but my body and my soul are deeply in need of this time of rest!  On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for this much needed time of rest.

Rev. Roger Ross will be preaching at church on Sunday.  He is the Director of the Office of Congregational Excellence for the Missouri UMC Annual Conference and he is an excellent preacher.  I know that you’ll be blessed by the message that he is planning to share and you won’t want to miss it!    

Blessings in the wilderness,

Pastor Andy Blacksher  

Online worship details

If you plan to worship online with us this week you have 3 options.  Join us on Facebook Live at 9:30am on Sundays, or watch anytime on our website

Note- Our new Online Campus will not be available this week while Pastor Andy is on vacation.

In-person worship details

If you’re ready, we’re ready!  In-person worship services have resumed.  Seating is limited, however, and you’ll need to make a reservation to ensure we will have a seat for you.  You can MAKE YOUR RESERVATION HERE:  and click on “Events” to find the worship services.

Keep in mind that this isn’t “church as usual.”  We have adapted and made provisions to provide a safe environment for worship.  It will look and feel very different than what you remember, but if you are ready to come back, we are ready for you!

By our Prayers…

Please remember the following people and situations in your prayers this week:

Steve Brown – He is now at home and receiving physical therapy. Please pray for Jayne, Steve’s family, and the doctors as they continue to determine what is best for his body.
Kathy Browns-  Rusty Fowler’s cousin who is fighting cancer
Perry Legg – Friend of Galen and Josie Barlow is battling the return of inoperable lung cancer. He is a retired law enforcement officer and veteran.
Christy McField – Debbie Geasley’s sister-in-law who has breast cancer
Levin McGee – Sharon and Norm’s grandson needs prayers for doctors to make a confident diagnosis of the problems in his shoulder.  
Mary Jo Ware – A friend of Elaine and Bill Griglione is in Louisiana battling Pancreatic cancer.

(To be included in this list, please reply to this email or contact the church office.)