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Worship Together - Witness by Serving

Worship at 10am

We offer worship in the sanctuary as well as online via Facebook live.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 Delta variant this summer and the rapid increase of infections per day, St. John’s is requesting a return to face mask usage and social distancing for in-person worship.

If you don't have a church home, come visit!

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Sermon

Sermon for January 9

Let the words my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer. Amen I think it’s interesting to note that only two of the four gospels tell the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, but all four tell of his baptism by John in the Jordan River. All of them must have thought it was worthy to be written about. In Luke’s version, the story of the baptism takes only two verses. But there are three verses previous that are important, too and sets the stage for the baptism itself. A messiah, or even messiahs, had numerously been prophesied for the last two hundred years, and every once in a while, a promising warrior would appear, only to be killed by the Romans. And then John appeared, the one called the baptizer. He had the courage to rail out against Herod, the son of Herod the Great, king at the time of Jesus’ and John’s birth. John preached a baptism of forgiveness of sins, different from what the rabbis preached. Luke writes that the people were filled with expectation, hoping John was the one. They wanted something better than they had. We, too, want something better. We all have hopes and expectations, especially at the beginning of a new year. Maybe the economy will get really cranked up and inflation will turn downward. Maybe the president and Congress will take positive action and accomplish real bipartisan cooperation. It would really be nice if this congregation could see some real numerical growth in the coming months. It would be nice to see more worshippers in the sanctuary, especially if we can get this COVID thing behind us. I expect our council will enact bold new plans for producing new members. Our expectations may be appropriate and rational, or maybe not. John did the best job he could do, and people placed Messiah-like expectations on him. “Not so fast my friends,” John, the evangelist, the baptizer said, “I have my place, but I also know my place. The one you are looking for is going to do things very differently from me and will be much greater than me.” And as it turned out, the Messiah was right there among them, living as they lived and doing as they did. He was even baptized by John. John baptized with the dirty, muddy water of the Jordon as a sign of repentance—the forgiveness of past sins. He was washing away their sins. But on that day, something happened—something very different, extraordinarily different. As Jesus came up out of the water, praying, the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice was heard, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Only two other times did the gospel writers record a voice coming from heaven addressing Jesus. It was at the Transfiguration and in the Temple grounds during Jesus’ final week. But the significant thing here is that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus. He needed the help of the Holy Spirit to get his mission accomplished. Jesus needed help along the way. He needed the help of his parents—Mary’s willingness to bear the Messiah and Joseph’s willingness to raise him as his own child. He needed his cousin John, the Baptist, to prepare the royal highway, to get people ready to hear about things like repentance and the coming Kingdom of God. He needed him to point to Jesus as the coming one, the Messiah, this new thing God was doing to renew an old faith. On the day of his baptism, Jesus needed help. He needed the help only God could give. God heard him as he prayed, and God delivered. We have been claimed by God at our baptism. He has bestowed the Holy Spirit on us when we were baptized. We have been provided with a community of supporters called the church, and who, like Mary and Joseph, bear our burdens and treat us like family. We all need help and God has sent it. And we are surrounded by a world full of people who need help. Like the Samaritans in our reading from Acts, many of them may not be socially acceptable, they may not be people whose lives and lifestyles make the rest of us think of them as worthy of help. But they need help, and God has sent us into the world to be that help. We, the church, are the touch of the Holy Spirit on their shoulder, we are the voice of God proclaiming love and acceptance and forgiveness of sins. We need the help only God could give. God hears us as we pray, and God delivers. So, in remembrance of your baptism, in celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit in your life, in response to God calling you by name as his beloved child: pray, sing your song, clap your hands, tap your foot, stand and shout, sit and sway – do whatever you need to do in order to give a hand, give some help to the children of God all around you; because everybody needs some help sometimes, and God has put us into the world to be that helping hand. Amen.
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Announcements for January 16

Altar flowers are given to the Glory of God and in memory of Gary (Sonny Boy) Derrick by Nancy and Tim Bradshaw.

Council members, our meeting after worship service today has been cancelled.

The new Flower Chart is in the Narthex. Dates are filling fast. Please sign up for the Sunday(s) you desire. As a reminder, we don’t use Altar Flowers during Lent and Advent. Also, you may make a donation in lieu of flowers to a charity. Please let us know so that we can put the appropriate dedication in the Announcements.

We also need some more volunteers for cleaning. That chart is in the Office/SS Building. Your help with this is greatly appreciated.

There are many unfortunate people who need our help during this Christmas Season. Please help out with your donations to Sharing God’s Love. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Please make sure that when you are the last person to leave our facilities, that all doors are locked! Your help in this will be greatly appreciated.

Please pray for all of those on our prayer list. Our prayers are heard by the Master Healer and He brings peace, healing and consolation to all those who need His presence.

Noisy Offering will be next Sunday!

Quote of the Week

“God never said that the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.” – Max Lucado

Serving this week:

Serving on January 16

Worship Leader

Rev. John C. Derrick

Organist

Don Alcorn

Flowers

Tim and Nancy Bradshaw

Altar Guild (Green paraments)

Bonita Chapman

Church Cleaning

Tim and Nancy Bradshaw

Ushers/Greeters

Jeff Bradshaw, Charles Eleazer

Children's Church

Denise and Howard Henry

Lector

Tim Bradley

Communion Assistant

Tim Bradley

Serving next week:

Serving on January 23

Worship Leader

Rev. John C. Derrick

Organist

Don Alcorn

Flowers

Jeff Bradshaw

Altar Guild (Green paraments)

Nancy Bradshaw

Church Cleaning

Tim and Nancy Bradshaw

Ushers/Greeters

Jeff Bradshaw, Charles Eleazer

Children's Church

Denise and Howard Henry

Lector

Jimmy Snyder

Communion Assistant

Charles Eleazer

Daily readings for this week:

Weekday Readings 


Monday

Romans 12:9-21

Tuesday

Matthew 16:13-19

Wednesday

Luke 5:33-39

Thursday

Romans 7:1-6

Friday

Romans 12:1-8

Saturday

Luke 2:39-52

Readings for next Sunday:

Next Sunday's Readings

Nehemiah 8:1-3 5-6, 8-10

Psalm 19

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

Luke 4:14-21

Prayer List

Phillip Arrant (brother of Anita Kesler)
Richard Ayer (father of a friend of Glenn Lindler)
Crew Bailey (infant of friend of Brittany Danielsen)
Roger Bailey (Barbara’s friend)
Joy Bodnar (sister of Anita Kesler)
Ernestine Bouknight
Gloria Caulder
Dorothy Cox (friend of Bonita Chapman)
Gina Deming (Eleanor’s sister)
Julia Ann Derrick
Patty Eleazer
Sawyer Frost (Vince and Anna’s grandson)
Lyndsay Furse (friend of Bonita)
Vicky Goodwin (friend of Eleanor Bradley)
Sally Grooms (Jeff Bradshaw’s aunt)
Wanda Hein (friend of Jeff Bradshaw)
Judy Hrinda
Blaine Johnson (husband of Glenn Lindler’s niece)
Connie Lindler (PJ’s classmate and Glenn’s relative)
Kathy Lindler
Zane Lindler (Glenn Lindler’s brother)
Tricia McKinnon (Julia Ann’s sister)
Risa Nolting (friend of Kathy and Glenn)
Gail Oliver (Gloria’s sister)
Becky Rawson (PJ’s sister)
Delores Richardson (Norma’s sister)
Ed Scupp
The family and friends of Gary Derrick (Tim Bradshaw’s cousin)

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Bishop Ginny Aebischer and Staff
Pastor John Derrick

In Our Armed Forces
Joy and Danny Meyers (US Army)
Colt Protheroe (US Navy)