Thursday, August 16, 2012

Welcome, Pastor Valera, to our church and community!  We are excited to see what will happen as you work with our new team of lay ministers: Alice Lindekugel, Melody Newman, Amy Prior, and Rachell Richman, and lay leader, Rod Beemer. 

One of the first orders of business is to get as many members as possible into bible studies being led by the ministerial team.  The study is titled, "Does Your Church Have a Prayer," and is a great way to build connections and understanding among our members.  Books are available at the church for $10.  Here is the schedule:Melody-10:45am Sundays at church; Alice-5pm Sundays at her home; Amy-9:30am Mondays at church; Rod-6;30am Wednesdays at church; Rachell-12 noon Wednesdays at church.

 Next, you should know that worship services will be held in the fellowship hall for three weeks, starting August 26th with a breakfast at 8am.  Egg casseroles, muffins, juice and coffee will be served.  No breakfast is planned for September 2nd, and 9th. During this time we will begin some transformation of the sanctuary as we move into a new era.  Pray for all of us!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Our Advent devotional booklet was featured in the Winter issue of Nebraska Messenger, the conference's quarterly newspaper.  Blessings have been realized by many from this endeavor...I can see the ripples spreading!  Years ago I did a painting called Remember the Ripples.  My description said, "Everything we do affects others, some we don't even know, in ways we cannot imagine--for good or for bad...REMEMBER THE RIPPLES as you make your choices."  I believe our project was a choice for making a good influence in the world.  Thank you to those responsible.

We are in need of an altar steward to handle flowers, decor, candles, etc.  If you are interested in serving with this ministry, or know someone who would be great for the mission, contact the church office.

Pray for the work of our assessment team as interviews are conducted this week.  We hope you can be present for the Circle of the Past supper discussion on Friday at 6pm.  Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Uncle Lowell's Christmas Story

Advent Devotional by Dianne Radcliffe

“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.”
—John 1:5—

It was in the mid-1930’s when my Uncle Lowell was touched by his faith to go into the ministry. He was living on a farm in northeast Nebraska with his parents and five younger brothers and sisters. He attended college in Yankton, S.D. His parents would drop him off each Sunday to walk across the toll bridge over the Missouri River because they could not afford the quarter toll. They would pick him up on Friday night. He took fresh eggs and cream to pay for his board and room. On the weekends he would serve a small country church about five miles from his home.
On Christmas Eve that year it was cold and blustery as he walked to church in the late afternoon, but he wanted to prepare for the service. As nine o’clock drew near and it was time for the service, a raging blizzard had developed. He waited, but no one showed up for church. After much thought and prayer Uncle Lowell decided that his mother would worry if he did not come home, and he really wanted to be with the rest of the family on Christmas morning, so he left the church. The wind was very strong and the snow was coming down hard. He trudged slowly along the road, praying he could find his way. As he came closer to home he could see a slight glimmer of light. To his amazement the answer to his prayers for safety and guidance was the lit kerosene lamp that his mother had placed in the front window to show him the way up the drive and into the warmth and love of home on Christmas Day.
My prayer is a family grace that Uncle Lowell, The Reverend Dr. Lowell Jones, wrote. We use it at holidays and family meals. Feel free to use it.

We are a family for one another. We are love and strength in times of trials. Even when we are far apart we belong to one another, and in various ways we remember and pray for each other. We join now to give thanks to God and to ask God’s blessings on this family, those who are present and those who are not here. Amen

Saturday, December 24, 2011

MapQuesting Jesus

Advent Devotional by Diane Bauerle

Read Matthew 2:7-12
“When they had heard the king they went their way;
and lo the star which they had seen in the East
went before them; till it came to rest over
the place where the child was.”
—Matthew 2:9—

Can you find Jesus by using MapQuest or programming a GPS? Technology has made traveling to unfamiliar destinations easier with the assistance of these two electronic tools. Enter the start and end addresses and push a button for a road map, detailed directions, and calculations showing the length of time and number of miles. This form of technology has helped many travelers successfully find their destination.
The Bible tells us a story about the three wise men traveling to the unfamiliar destination of Bethlehem. The three wise men were summoned by Herod to find Jesus. As they set out on their journey, they didn’t have the luxury of using MapQuest or a GPS system. Instead they knew to follow a brightly lit star.
Can you imagine traveling by night looking skyward at the stars to find your way? Amazingly, the three wise men were guided directly to their destination and were overjoyed to find Jesus, God’s gift to the world.
Is finding Jesus using MapQuest or by programming a GPS possible? Try entering a start address of “your heart” and an end address of “Jesus” and see what happens. You’ll be surprised at the destinations to which Jesus will lead you.

Lord, help us find Jesus in Bethlehem this Christmas season and guide us on our daily journeys as we travel to unfamiliar destinations. Amen

Friday, December 23, 2011

Blessed Assurance

Advent Devotional by Joan Osler

Read Psalms 103:19-22
“In my distress I cry to the Lord, that he may answer me.”
—Psalm 120:1—

My mother’s birthday fell on Dec. 23 and she usually came to our home to celebrate with our family. The year 1971 marked her 80th birthday, so my brother and his wife from Seattle, Wash., joined us for the occasion. Mother had been enjoying an early Christmas gift, a beautiful Christmas Amaryllis plant. Its beautiful blooms lasted most of the season. However, after it faded, I hurriedly carried it to our basement, carelessly putting it on the shelf and promptly forgetting it. The months went by and in August Mother quietly slipped away from us to go to her Heavenly Home.
Christmas came again, and with the help of Bill and Amy, our two youngest children, we finished decorating the Christmas tree. I sent the children to bed and then sat down wearily in Mother’s favorite chair. A wave of sadness came over me and I whispered a prayer, “If only I knew Mother was happy and I would see her again.” After a few moments, I got up from the chair and began carrying boxes to the basement. For some reason, I reached to the back of the shelf and found a flower pot. When I pulled it out, I discovered the Amaryllis plant was starting to grow again.

Dear God, help us to remember Your promises which tell us that we will have eternal life if we love You and strive to do Your will. Send the Holy Spirit to us when we are feeling lost and lonely. We ask this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Advent Devotional by Monna Milner
Art by Bruce Lantry

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every
matter under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die.”
—Ecclesiastes 3:1-2—

Today the calendar says it’s the first day of winter. Even though spring and fall are my favorite months I love to wake up on a winter morning to a beautiful, gentle snow that covers everything. God is giving the wheat, bulbs and roots protection and moisture just as he protects us. Whatever the current season is, it will not last. Life brings seasons of dancing, mourning, embracing and times to be grateful. I am very grateful God planted me in Chase County. I have no fear of earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis or floods here and I do not think we will ever have a terrorist attack. Oh yes, we do have tornadoes. One was so close to my home Father’s Day this year, but again the Lord protected us as He has done so many times.
We find seasons change and turn, children are born and grow up, parents grow old and a new generation begins. The planting is done but the harvest is not ready. There is growing time ahead. God takes us through different seasons in our lives, seasons of rejoicing, mourning, saying hello and goodbye. God consoles me through these words: for everything there is a season for every activity under heaven.

Thought for the day:
This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Dear Lord, help us to learn from every season. Remind us to be joyful and grateful for all you have given us and to remember those less fortunate. As we prepare for Christmas Day, remind us to give thanks for the miracle of Your coming to us and to show Your loving care. Amen

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Manger?

Advent Devotional by Melody Newman

“For there is born to you this day in the city of
David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
—Luke 2:11-12—

A manger? What is a manger? My handy Webster’s dictionary says that a manger is a “trough holding livestock feed.” A trough! What a bed for the King of Kings! And yet this is what God allowed Mary and Joseph to place Him in. On our Christmas cards and in our Christmas pageants, we usually show the manger as a cute little wooden structure filled with fresh, clean hay. It may actually have been made of roughly hewn stone, and we can only hope that Joseph and Mary found hay that was clean enough to make a comfortable crib for their baby. Whatever the manger was made of, and whatever it was full of, it was almost certainly not beautiful or fancy, bejeweled or sophisticated. It was a utilitarian object, plain and simple, and yet it held the Son of God. We people, too, are often plain and simple. We are rarely beautiful in the world’s eyes. We are seldom fancy or bejeweled, and most of us are not terribly sophisticated. Yet our Heavenly Father has allowed our hearts to hold his only begotten Son. If that isn’t a wonderful Christmas gift, I don’t know what is.

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us enough to send us Your son. May our lives reflect the beauty and the glory of that gift. Amen