Newsletter Week of January 4, 2021

Good News for Friday, January 8th

Pastor’s Piece

Friends-

I was prepared to send out a newsletter on Wednesday and then the news of the events at the Capitol building came across my screen.  Our Bishop, Rev. Bob Farr, put out a letter yesterday that I included below and I hope you will read.  I agree wholeheartedly with his statements and would say the same to you if I were with you today.  I am a pastor and I was a Communication major in college.  Because of this, I have frequently said in sermons and everyday conversations, “Our words matter.”  Jesus said, in Matthew 12:36, “I tell you that people will have to answer on Judgment Day for every useless word they speak.”  

I had already begun filming a sermons series on Moses that I planned to begin this week.  However, In light of recent events I will be preaching on Sunday about the power of our words.  God expects you and I to think, act, and speak in a way of love that is unquestionably clear in scripture.  I hope that you will join us this Sunday and invite a friend if you feel led.    

I recommend the Bishop’s letter below, and I ask that you keep living as the people of great moral courage that you are.  Have faith in God, and as the passage in Galatians that Bishop Farr quoted in his letter says, “let us not grow weary of doing good.”

Blessings in the wilderness,

Pastor Andy Blacksher

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Jan 7, 2021
What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was un-American. It was not okay. Even as we affirm the rights of freedom of speech and to peacefully assemble, the peaceful transition of power is a pillar of a democracy and nothing must disrupt this process.
 
What happened was beyond alarming, but perhaps not surprising. People of the Word know that words have consequences. The President of the United States and key members of his party, including Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, have been whipping up fear and anger among their radical supporters for weeks, months, even years. This is not to say that all leaders of one party or the other conducted themselves in this way. Many have carried out their work with dignity and we saw that last night on the floor of Congress. I name only the inflaming language used by some in trying to subvert the outcome of an election. I condemn the abuse of power and rhetoric from leaders inciting violence, division and anarchy. I call on all to work for justice and the common good of the country and our democracy.
 
I am proud of the Congress for reconvening their work so quickly. Whether you agree or disagree with the outcome of the election, they showed courage and fortitude in gathering to do the work of the people after such a traumatic day. Elections always result in disappointment and hurt feelings, but that is never a reason to violently threaten our democracy. The people have spoken, we must allow the work of democracy to go forward.
 
I trust our democracy. It is messy and often broken, but it is ours and we must protect it. The Church has a role in standing up to violence. Join me in praying for those who died and were injured in the unlawful actions, including the loved ones of a woman shot and killed in the violence, for first responders, for our legislators and their staff. My colleague, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, called us “to transcend fear and to resist the temptation to seek the reassurance of easy answers. Followers of Jesus Christ must prophetically embody, in word and deed, the precepts, practices and promises of the Gospel message. It is a message of love, but a love that speaks truth and stands against immorality.” People of the Word, let us use our words for messages of love and may our actions reflect the message of Christ.
 
I know the news coming from Washington and around our country is disheartening. The increasing division, persistence of unfounded conspiracy theories and growing radicalization among us are scary. But, sisters and brothers, let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (Gal. 6:9). And, for the many of us who are beyond weary, exhausted and broken-hearted, trust in this promise, Jesus says to come to him if we are weary (Matt. 11:28). It is there, at Jesus’ side, that he shares his yoke with us, teaching us that his words and actions are often the rest and the life we need.

In Christ,
https://www.moumethodist.org/files/bishop%27s+office/bf_signature.png
Bishop Bob Farr
Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church

Connect, Grow and Serve…

Thank You!
We have received several thank you notes from first responders who benefitted from our Christmas Eve cookie deliveries. If you had a part in this Christmas ministry tradition, thank you!  You were a blessing.

Hope House Volunteers Needed

If you would be interested in volunteering at Hope House, they can always use your help. Contact Hope House for volunteer and scheduling information or you can contact the church office.

Women’s Bible Study

Our next study will begin Tuesday, Jan19th at 9:30am on Zoom.  The study is called Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle by Barb Roose, and it will last 6 weeks. Hopefully our next one we can start to meet in person again!! Books are $13 and you can order them here: https://barbroose.com/books/joshua/   For more information contact Marcy Myers at (573) 286-8765.  

Wellness Tips For You
Becky Beck, a long-time member of Faithbridge and healthcare professional shares some new information on taking care of yourself and your loved ones. To learn more CLICK HERE.

2020 Year-End Giving Statements

We will be working on your giving statements for 2020 next week and should have them in the mail to you the following week. New IRS laws may allow you to claim up to $300 as a charitable donation in 2020, even if you take the standard deduction. 

DRIVE 2 SAVE LIVES – Community Blood Drive

You are invited to participate in a Community Blood Drive hosted by Christ the King Lutheran Church in Lake Ozark. 
Friday, January 8th – 11:00AM – 5:00PM
Christ the King Lutheran Church
Bloodmobile in Parking Lot

By our Prayers…

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

Owen Boatman-  the young son of Nancy who works at Starbucks who needs a surgery to fix his chest cavity.  The surgery will be February 19th.
Janis Chittenden – a close friend of Josie Barlow is facing several health issues, as well as mourning the death of her brother.
Lora Cunningham- pastor at Versailles UMC who is fighting cancer and recovering from surgery
Dottie and Don Hillison-  friends of Bonnie Wood who are hospitalized with COVID, and for their daughter Sue Coers who is also fighting COVID
The Horning Family- Connie Horning, a dear friend of Tina Melville passed away. Please pray for her family.
Donna McAdams – Betty McAdam’s Mother-in-law who is receiving chemo treatments. Pray for strength and increased oxygen levels.
Christy McField – Debbie Geasley’s sister-in-law who has breast cancer.

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