Upcoming events in July:
Saturday, July 2nd – The Bargain Barn will be open from 9 am -1 pm as part of the downtown Farmer’s Market celebrating family fun day. Their will be a bouncy house set up from 8 – 1 pm on the Church Street side of FCC. Bring the kids, grandkids to jump for joy.
Sunday, July 3rd – Wearing patriotic colors as we celebrate the 4th and communion. We’ll continue with our epic series on Joseph through July.
Thursday, July 7th – Story & Snack @10 am continues through the summer. Join us right outside the front doors of the church (corner of Church & Main) As I read to younger kids, and we share a snack.
Coming Soon – Dinners/Desserts for 8 sign-up sheet. An open invitation of gathering with a group including Synthea and I (around 8 people) here at church or organizing a meal at your home, if you would like to host. The meal is a vehicle for conversations of getting to know one another better.
Speaking of dinner:
A 4-year-old boy was asked to give the meal blessing before dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation. He began his prayer, thanking God for all his friends, naming them one by one.
Then he thanked God for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey, the dressing, the fruit salad, the cranberry sauce, the pies, the cakes, even the Cool Whip.
Then he paused, and everyone waited– and waited. After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the broccoli, won’t he know that I’m lying?”
Blessings (Broccoli not required 😊)
Each one of us is born most free
And we alone can choose
To do what God would have us do,
To use what God would use.
Or we are also free to seek
The proud and selfish way —
A life where other gods come first
To reign and hold full sway.
But when we follow where Christ leads,
We find that freedom’s place
Is really in God’s will for us,
And we have chosen GRACE!
Peggy Ferrell, Prayers and Poems
The Power of Kindness
No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. Amelia Earhart
The Soul as Soil
Gardeners who’ve dealt with inhospitable conditions can relate especially well to Jesus’ parable of the sower. Drought, invasive critters and thorny weeds often seem to conspire against growers’ efforts. Yet when seeds fall on “good soil,” the crop yield is abundant — up to a hundred times what was sown (Matthew 13:8).
That parable emphasizes the need for hearts to be receptive to God’s Word. But it’s also a reminder to plant Scripture persistently. Just as soil and weather conditions change, so may someone’s attitude toward following Jesus. Pastor J. Ellsworth Kalas writes, “Whenever we serve as witnesses to the faith, we must do so with all earnestness, because one doesn’t know the season in which the soul currently abides. That uninterested, distracted or unresponsive person may be nearer the Kingdom than we — or they — realize.” Kalas adds, “We dare not give up on anyone at any time — including ourselves.”
A Prayer for Strength
God of inexhaustible strength and limitless energy, our refuge, strength and very present help in trouble: When even youth faint in weariness and the young fall exhausted, help us wait patiently for you to come to renew our strength, so that we will mount up with wings to soar like eagles, riding on the undercurrents of the wind of your Spirit.
You who need no slumber nor sleep, by your Holy Spirit’s power keep us from all evil, safe in Jesus’ nail-scarred hands. Help us never weary as we run after you and never faint as we walk in Christ’s footsteps, now and forevermore. Amen.
Oxygen for Ministry
Flight attendants instruct airplane passengers that if oxygen masks are needed, we should secure our own before assisting someone else. Why? If we aren’t getting enough oxygen ourselves, we can’t help another person for long.
The Holy Spirit empowers Christians for ministry — the work of loving and caring for our neighbors and God’s creation. But if we aren’t Spirit-fueled on an ongoing basis, we will soon lack capacity to serve. This may manifest as burnout, cynicism, exhaustion or even lack of faith. So how to ensure we’re breathing in the Spirit’s energy and guidance instead of poor-quality “air”?
By taking part in corporate worship regularly, immersing ourselves in the Scriptures (devotional reading and Bible study), praying “continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV) and spending time with Christian friends and mentors. Opening ourselves to the Spirit in these ways allows the Breath of God to flow into us, which in turn empowers us to reach out to others in love. Heidi Hyland Mann
The Ministry of Quilting and of Mending Hearts
To sew is to pray. … We mend … turn things inside out and set things right. We salvage what we can of human garments and piece the rest into blankets. Sometimes our stitches stutter and slow. … Other times the tension in the stitches might be too tight because of tears, but only we know what emotion went into the making.