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On this 6th Sunday of Easter we began with the Bible readings as follows: Acts 17:22-31, Psalm 66:8-20 and the New Testament I Peter 3:13-22, Gospel: John 14: 15- 21. Our lector was Jean Rutledge.
Today we prayed for all the survivors and the victims of that terrible tornado in Joplin as well as the devastation all over our country.
We have several people from our Church in Joplin and in the coming days ahead we will have others going to help in every way they can. Money is given to the different organizations to help in this community as well.
Pastor Wayne Strohschein’s sermon was based on the gospel lesson for today from John 14: 15-21.
We all struggle with the story of Joplin and the stark images we see on television and on our computers – the images of the hospital, of flattened homes and businesses.
These and other stories of disasters fill us with the whole spectrum of emotions from grief and despair to heartwarming pride in the spirit of self-sacrifice, resiliency and hope.
Any one of us can recount our own moments when time seem to stand still as we are struck with such a force we could not have imagined. Any one of us can tell of people we know whom tragedy of one kind or another has struck and is in need.
What are we to do? Where can we turn in the face of overwhelming tragedy? To whom can we go? It is timely to hear the gospel lesson today and to hear Jesus say, “I will not leave you orphaned.” And he speaks of the Spirit, who will be with them forever.
That promise of God’s continuing presence is for me the most crucial important message we as the church can proclaim this day and any day. This promise gives not only great comfort but also great encouragement, and the motivation to do something, to rebuild, to pick myself up and start living again. It gives me the motivation to reach out to someone else that is in the midst of a tragedy and give a helping hand.
It is the presence of the Holy Spirit that enables us to see through our tragedies or the tragedies of others to the other side and remember and proclaim – He is not here, His has risen, he has risen indeed. Alleluia.
That is why we need the church, a place to learn about the Holy Spirit, a place to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit, a place to be with others who believe in and are willing to receive the Holy Spirit, a place to go forth from and do the work the Holy Spirit calls us to do.
Monday at 5 p.m. at the church the Sunshine Singers will meet. Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. is women workday.
We wish to welcome all visitors and the new members that have joined us.
Please come join us Sunday, as we have adult Bible study at 9:30 a.m., and children Sunday school, the church service at 10:45 a.m.
Communion is the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month and potluck luncheons are on the 1st and 3rd Sundays after the service.