I hope all of you will have a wonderful 4th of July. Connie and I will be traveling to see our daughter Brie and her fiancé this week in Millbrae, CA. We are so happy to have the opportunity to travel freely. Our son, Eric and his wife, Michelle, will be making the journey as well. Thanks to the uptick in vaccinations, families can safely reunite again.
This year is a special year to celebrate what we can do together as citizens. Covid-19 has been a scourge upon our country and the world. Over a half million people in the United States and nearly 4 million in the world have died from this disease. It is only by working together: Masking up, Washing up, Distance ourselves and finally vaccinate ourselves that we have been able to open up our communities, state, nation and slowly the world.
When people are free to choose the right thing and do it – there is cause for celebration.
In our Gospel reading from Mark 6, Jesus tries to lead the people of Nazareth, toward a new day of healing and wholeness. You would think they jump at the chance to follow their hometown hero. They understand he is wise, and that mighty works were done by his hand. But they cannot get past his humble origins. “They take offense at him.” The result is that he is not able to “mighty work there”. He is left to “marvel at their unbelief”.
The twelve on the other hand are sent out two by two with little or no provision for themselves. They move forward in faith. If they encounter disbelief they move on, “shake off the dust”. The results are marvelous: demons were on the run and people were healed.
They freely chose to follow Jesus and in doing the right thing, great things happened.
In our own country, in our time, there are enough people who, in their freedom, considered the welfare of others and followed the best science are were vaccinated. So now new doors are open. Trips like ours can be taken. Those of us who are fully vaccinated can worship without a mask. We can really sing it out now.
We should be singing it out, singing for joy that together in freedom we can care for each other.
Many countries around the world do not trust their citizens to make the right decision. China was the origin of the virus but held it in bay by dictates of the government. China and Russia dictate what is “good” for their workers’ paradise. In Iran, Ayatollahs dictate what is “good”. The Middle East and Africa are rife with dictators. Just this week, a record number of Venezuelan refugees are trying to cross our border, these are doctors, lawyers, bankers and engineers. The worker’s paradise there, rich in oil reserves, has turned into a nightmare, through years of mismanagement and a president who will not let go of power.
Societies work best when individuals freely choose to come to the aid of their fellow citizens. The leaders of our country that we truly venerate are those who motivate their citizens to move beyond self-interest to sacrifice for the interest of the country. George Washington motivated his “troops” to stay through the winter at valley forge. Abraham Lincoln motivated northern troops to preserve the union and end slavery. FDR motivated our nation to rise up out depression and stand against the dictators of his day.
Now is time for us to shake off any resentments we might have over people who would not do their part during this pandemic. Instead, let us rejoice that there were enough people who cared for others that the demon of this pandemic is on the run and people are healed and healthy. There is much to celebrate this 4th of July, enjoy.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the freedoms we enjoy in this country. Thank you for those who in their freedom care for others, just as your son freely cared for us. Thank you for medical personnel and first responders who continue to care for the sick and dying during this pandemic. Be with the afflicted and with us all as we move forward to restore our country.
Sunday @ 10 am. Indoors, masks optional for the vaccinated. We do offer a special time for the children.
This Sunday there will NOT be a live stream. NEXT week, you can also join us live at again at 10 am. Zoom meeting for worship are no longer offered.
Refreshments after services have returned. Join us.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: This Week July 8 and 9 9:30 to 3 p.m. Normally they are Monday and Tuesday.
- Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know at the church office or give Robyn Blue a call.
- CAMP is open for Grades 3 – 10 is July 18 – 3 @ Oak Glen. Looks like we have four going, you only pay for the initial registration.
- Back together BBQ – We are planning a BBQ for the middle school youth of our church on July 25. More details to follow.
- The pantry had about 30 family units June 26. Thanks to all who helped. Next Pantry is this Saturday, July 10.
- The front is continuing to take shape. A new tree was planted. Tom Ziech and George Motschall are working on the watering system, half covered now. Joe Koenig, and the Hitters are watering the new plants this week.
- Quilting continues 45 quilts thus far –vaccinated volunteers are returning. Tuesdays starting at 9:00 am. They could use some flat king size sheets if you have them.
- Outside groups continue their return. Ala-non now meets on Tuesday mornings @ 10 a.m. in the fireside room. OA hopes to start on Saturday mornings.
MEMBER UPDATES AND CONTINUAL PRAYERS
Thanks for your prayers:
- Fred Mazurier was with us in church.
- Wells Santos continues his recovery from infection. He will be in the hospital about four more weeks.
- Gerri requests prayers for her friend Linda.
- Friend of the Cady’s Leslie with throat cancer.
- Kim Guevara’s friends, Don and Edith Besant, who just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Sadly, Edith suffered a stroke and is in a coma.
- Motschall’s niece, Linda Odde, with a brain tumor.
- Diane Watson who broke her hip and is recovering well at home with Bud.
- Roxanne Foss’s niece, Ginny.
- erwin for strength and Lynda for healing.
- Jerry Mills facing chemotherapy.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca, daughter of Michael Shea.
- Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter, Laura, living in Kansas.
- Pattie, a friend of the Halls with thyroid cancer, treatments have started.
HAVE A MARVELOUS WEEK!