Provision in the Desert – Water

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Blessed To Be a Blessing

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Just about everyone you talk to around our church would agree that we are a “blessed” church. We have dedicated lay leadership, a caring, down-to-earth pastor, great music and worship, and a wonderful congregation that supports our church with their time and finances. In fact, things are so great here that it’s easy for us to get comfortable and enjoy the blessings we have and forget that one of our purposes for gathering together as a church is to bless others.

The church is God’s plan to bless the world. God has gathered us (including you!) to be a part of God’s Kingdom that Jesus proclaimed is here now (Mark 1:13-14). Like our forefather Abraham, God has blessed us to be a blessing to the world (Genesis 12:3).

I invite you to join us in worship on Sundays from October 19th – November 9th as we explore God’s instructions and stories from scripture about being a blessing to others. We will also take the opportunity to explore the many ways that our church is currently blessing our community (I can almost guarantee one or two might be new to you!)

I am looking forward to spending these weeks together, wrapping up on November 9th when we promise our financial gifts to God for the new year and celebrate the many ways God is blessing the world through us.

 

 

Provision in the Wilderness – Manna

Coastal Cleanup 2014

IMG_2884A group from First Congregational United Church of Christ was at Phipps Oceanfront Park on Saturday morning to help clean up the beach as part of The International Coastal Cleanup. There was a great turnout from the rest of the community as well. Our beach cleaners were even featured on the Palm Beach Daily News website!

 

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PEACE Listening Meeting

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Update 9/29/14: We had a great meeting yesterday with 10 people joining our Justice Ministry Network. We are off to a great start and will be sharing with you how you can be involved to make a big difference in our community.

 

You are invited to join us next Sunday, September 28th, for our PEACE kickoff meeting. This meeting will introduce you to how the People Engaged in Active Community Efforts organization operates, what issues we will be working with this year, and how you can be a vital part of  practical change in Palm Beach County. We hope to see you there!

The Daily: Thursday September 18, 2014

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Today’s Lectionary Readings: Exodus 15:22-27 (NRSV, The Message); Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 (NRSV, The Message); 2 Corinthians 13:1-4 (NRSV The Message)

 

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Meredith Button, Paul Bennett, Ron Pearson, Sandra (a friend of Faustina), Susan Frisby, Julia (Stephanie’s daughter), Miriam McIlvaine, Howard Austen

How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Wednesday September 17, 2014

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Today’s Lectionary Readings: 2 Kings 2:1-18 (NRSV, The Message); Psalm 77 (NRSV, The Message); Mark 11:20-25 (NRSV The Message)

He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over. When the company of prophets who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.  2 Kings 2:14-15 (NRSV)

Man, there are rivers splitting everywhere! Once a miracle/motif is used in scripture, it is sometimes used again as a teaching device. In this case, when someone heard a story that included a body of water being split, they would perk up and recognize, “Ah! the power of God is here!”

I’m wondering, what are the signs of God in your life? What are the things you can point to and say, I know God is at work when this happens?

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Meredith Button, Paul Bennett, Ron Pearson, Sandra (a friend of Faustina), Susan Frisby, Julia (Stephanie’s daughter), Miriam McIlvaine, Howard Austen

How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Monday September 15, 2014

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Today’s Lectionary Readings: Joshua 3:1-17 (NRSV, The Message); Psalm 77 (NRSV, The Message) Hebrews 11:23-29 (NRSV The Message)

Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, 16the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing toward the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho.   Joshua 3:15-16 (NRSV)

Another instance of the people of Israel crossing a body of water. The details here are a little different, however. God saves, God delivers in different ways. Our trust isn’t in the specific circumstances. It is in God.

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered abuse suffered for the Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the reward.   Hebrews 11:24-26 (NRSV)

So I have never noticed this before. Paul is doing some creative preaching here. Because Moses did not do what he did for the sake of (who we understand as) Christ. Here, scripture itself is expanding our understanding of Christ, introducing us to a Cosmic Christ, who was and is and is to come. A Christ that is larger than the Jesus of history.

If Christ was present with Moses, then Christ is present with me today, with you today. Good news indeed!

 

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Meredith Button, Paul Bennett, Ron Pearson, Sandra (a friend of Faustina), Susan Frisby, Julia (Stephanie’s daughter), Miriam McIlvaine

How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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Road to Freedom

Evening of Worship and Prayer

The_Art_and_Practice_WIDEYou are invited to join us as we begin a new tradition at First Congregational United Church of Christ. Each month on the third Wednesday we will gather together to worship and pray. We will sing hymns and simple songs, engage a series of teachings on “The Art and Practice of Prayer,” and lift up one another and our world in prayer. Let’s take the opportunity to turn our hearts toward God and practice together living in His presence.

If you play and instrument or would like to assist in leading worship, see Pastor Jason.