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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 November 28

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, our strength and our redeemer. Amen What is it that you hope for? Maybe you hope it will rain tomorrow. Or that you’ll get a good report from the doctor. Maybe by this time next year inflation will go down. Or that this COVID thing will be over for good. Maybe you hope for something that’s a little more long term. Maybe you hope this congregation will have some long-term effects on some young people or even this community. Maybe our hope is that our children and grandchildren will be successful in their chosen fields and they will become leaders in this church community. But we need to be patient, don’t we? We need to wait. In the selection from Jeremiah today, Jeremiah prophesied in verse 16 that Jerusalem will live in safety. That was about 2600 years ago. It has survived being under dominion of some power ever since. While there are still skirmishes with the Palestinians, it now lives in a somewhat guarded state of safety. Now that is a long wait! I pray the wait for the things we are hoping for are not near that long. After all, we don’t want to wait ten minutes in the check-out line at the grocery store. The psalm today reminds us that there is a purpose in our waiting. The in-between time — the time between the promise of God and its fulfillment — is a time for trust. It’s also a time when we ask God to forget the sins of our youth — those times when we strayed off the narrow path. It’s a time when we ask God to remember His mercy and love for us. Sometimes waiting is a good thing. It’s a time for learning, for that is the time God teaches, makes himself known and leads us down his paths. But Jesus himself tells us about some frightening things that will happen. He says there will be unmistakable signs in the sun, moon, and stars. Stress among nations will be the order of the day. There will be all kinds of confusion. There will be no shortage of fear and apprehension. And all we hear is doom and gloom. In fact, doom and gloom is popular — it sells. Look no further than the newspapers or news magazines. Look at all the apocalyptic movies and the games on X-box. Granted these game players are just the type our armed forces want — the ability to control drones and missiles from far away with a joy stick. Joy stick? Doom and gloom sells a let easier than sprouting fig leaves and spring flowers. Advent is the season for waiting and looking. So, what are we waiting for? If we are waiting for the wrong thing we might not recognize it when it gets here. Most of us are waiting for this mid-winter festival of celebrating and gift-giving we call “the Christmas season.” While we wait, we have a lot of practical things to do. There are presents to order on-line, shop for in the local stores, wrap, and put under a tree. There are decorations and lights and all kinds of ornaments to find and then put out. We are almost too busy to wait. And somehow, in the middle of all that, we have to find room for the religious part of our Christmas celebration, maybe to see our children or grandchildren in a Christmas play. I’m sure there are times when many of us just wish it would come and go quickly so we can get on with our lives. As we get ready for Christmas to come, what are we waiting for? As the day approaches and as the signs gather that it’s almost here, and we wait anxiously, if we are waiting for the wrong thing, we will be disappointed. If all we look for is time with family and friends, of gift giving and merry-making, with a little religious pageantry mixed in, we will have missed the powerful gift of God is sending us in Jesus Christ. Advent is to remind us that God is not yet finished, not with us and not with the world. Creation and redemption were not once and for all, over and done with, acts of God. God created the world and keeps on creating it. God in Christ acted to redeem the world and God in Christ keeps on redeeming it. Advent is a time when we wait Christ to be born anew in our lives and in our hearts. But we hate to wait. And life gets tiresome and weary at times. We grow numb and cold and the stuff just keeps piling up. And our best doesn’t seem good enough anymore. And we wait. We wait for God to act. We wait for the Christ Child. We wait for the long expected Messiah. We wait for a glimmer of hope in the world’s darkness. We wait for the renewal of hope in our lives. But it’s not all doom and gloom! Even when the trees look as they do now with most of the leaves gone, we know they’re not dead. They may look bleak and barren, but in just a few months, they will once again put on little green sprouts and start growing again. Jesus tells us something very important. He tells us to stand up; raise our heads; because our redemption is drawing near. As Christians, this is what we’ve been waiting for. So be on guard. We have to become a sign ourselves. We are the beacon of light. We have hope. We are called to take care of each other. We are called to protect each other from a loss of hope and faith. Between the time when Jesus first came and the time when he will come again, we have been called to the ministry of paying attention to each other. Jesus is calling us not only to look for signs of his coming but also be the signs of his coming. We are called to look for signs of God’s love and presence in the lives of those around us and to be signs of that love and grace to all. Christ is coming. His kingdom is near.
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Announcements for December 5

Our Annual Congregational Meeting will be immediately after the Worship Service today. The two orders of business on the agenda are Council members for 2022 and the approval of the spending plan for 2022.

Our Children’s Christmas Pageant is scheduled for 4:30 on December 19 with practices on Saturdays, December 4th and 18th.

For those who can stay, we will put up and decorate our Chrismon tree right after the Congregational Meeting.

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.

We will have our Christmas Eve Candle Light Service on Friday, December 24th at 6:00.

Next quarter’s devotional booklets are available in the Narthex or in the Office/Classroom Building. Pick yours up.

Quote of the Week

When giving to God, we are just taking our hands off what belongs to him.

Serving this week:

Serving on December 5

Worship Leader

Rev. John C. Derrick

Organist

Don Alcorn

Flowers

No flowers during Advent

Altar Guild

Jan Samson

Church Cleaning

Jan Samson

Ushers/Greeters

John-Mark Bell, Steve Kesler

Children's Church

Denise and Howard Henry

Lector

Jimmy Snyder

Communion Assistant

Steve Kesler


Serving next week:

Serving on December 12

Worship Leader

Rev. John C. Derrick

Organist

Don Alcorn

Flowers

No flowers during Advent

Altar Guild

Julianne Kleckley

Church Cleaning

Jan Samson

Ushers/Greeters

John-Mark Bell, Steve Kesler

Children's Church

Denise and Howard Henry

Lector

Barbara Hiller

Communion Assistant

Tim Bradshaw

Daily readings for this week:

Weekday Readings 

Monday

Romans 8:22-25

Tuesday

2 Peter 1:2-15

Wednesday

Luke 7:18-30

Thursday

2 Corinthians 8:1-15

Friday

2 Corinthians 9:1-15

Saturday

Luke 1:57-66

Readings for next Sunday:

Next Sunday's Readings

Zephaniah 3:14-20

Isaiah 12:2-6

Philippians 4:4-7

Luke 3:7-18

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)
Joy Bodnar (sister of Anita Kesler)
Gloria Caulder
Dorothy Cox (friend of Bonita Chapman)
Curt & Gina Deming (Eleanor’s brother-in-law and sister)
Julia Ann Derrick
Marty Dunn (Jeff Bradshaw’s step-sister)
Katie Dunn (mother of Jeff Bradshaw)
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)
Jeff Hein (friend of Jeff Bradshaw)
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)
Wade Payne (friend of Jeff Bradshaw)
Becky Rawson (PJ’s sister)
Delores Richardson (Norma’s sister)
Polly Sale (Jeff Bradshaw’s aunt)
Ed Scupp

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)