Be the Light

According to the Gospel of Mark, “Everyone is searching for Jesus.” But in our searching, live out the Three Great Loves: the love of children, the love of neighbor, and the love of creation.  I can imagine each of you, and our congregation being fully illuminated more often, closer to God more often, and understanding…

The Season of Epiphany

The season of Epiphany (God’s revealing in Jesus) helps the church understand why we need to be the church to the world.  The church of Jesus Christ is to be the light that reveals the Christ to the world through our actions.  God is calling us to a ministry of hospitality for all who are…

Baby Jesus – New Year – God’s Newness

We have listened to the angels, gathered with the shepherds at the manger and anticipate the coming of the magi who continue to follow the star.  As the new year is upon us, we remember the happenings of the previous year, gaze at the present realities and look forward to the coming year with great…

Reflections on Chattanooga

Horrific.  Heinous.  Terror.  Evil.  Sin. All are words that only partially form our attempt to fully describe the shooting in Chattanooga. Fear.  Hate.  Revenge.  War.  Exterminate. All are words I’ve heard used to describe what our nation’s response should be to Chattanooga. We belong to God’s household.  We, as God’s household, are built on the…

Let The Children Come To Jesus

I have heard it said that our church is not very biblical.  Really? Jesus said: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the realm of God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the realm of God like a child shall not enter it.”  And Jesus…

Pentecost Renewal and Prayer

A Prayer at Pentecost (Use with your family, or, if you live alone, read the first aloud and the bold silently as if others are reading it aloud or singing as they surround you.) One: Creator God, who came to us as Jesus the Christ and who fills us with the Holy Spirit, breathe in…

Easter: Over or Just Starting

Easter is a marvelous day.  Lenten contemplation is over.  God’s newness is now proclaimed in Christ’s resurrection.  From contemplation to Death to Resurrection, God’s promises are proclaimed as fulfilled.  Yet let us never think of Easter as being over.  Easter faith is just beginning.  It is this new vision for life now and life eternal….

Candlelight Vigil for Peace and Non-Violence

A silent candlelight prayer vigil for peace and non-violence will be held at 6:00 p.m. on the steps of St. Paul United Church of Christ, Columbia, IL  on the evening of the Ferguson grand jury announcement.  If the announcement is made on Wednesday, the vigil will still take place and the Community Thanksgiving Service will…

Worship. Love. Go. Do.

Churches of the United Church of Christ of southern Illinois (the Illinois South Conference) gather each fall for their annual meeting.  It is a wonderful reminder that the ministry of Jesus Christ spreads beyond the communities where our local church resides.  Yes, there are wonderful ministries we do at the local level, but there are…