Archive for the ‘from the pastor’s desk’ Category

A Child’s 10 Commandments

1. Thou shalt accept my youthfulness. I need tender direction and loving leadership. Constant criticism and raised eyebrows make me feel foolish and inadequate.

2. Thou shalt accept my imperfections. Please don’t expect perfection whenever you assign a task to me. I really do learn by my mistakes.

3. Thou shalt accept my limitations. My hands are small and sometimes I seem awkward and clumsy.  Please be patient with me.

4. Thou shalt show me the way to go. When I show off, I’m really asking for affirmation and reassurance.  Could you please give me gentle guidance so my behavior doesn’t become my attitude?

5. Thou shalt welcome me. If I’m new to your class, please take the time to explain the routine and show the other children that you’re glad to see me (even if you thought your class was big enough already).

6. Thou shalt expect the best from me. Please don’t  have preconceived ideas about me. I have the tendency to live up to your expectations. Expect me to behave appropriately.

7. Thou shalt make the Word of God come to life for me. Find creative ways to teach me about the power of God, the ministry of Jesus, and all of God’s Word.

8. Thou shalt help me know and do what’s right.  Nobody needs to show me how to sin (it comes naturally), but somebody please care enough to lovingly discipline me when I act inappropriately.

9. Honor my father and mother with good  communication. Talking to my parents could help you discover my fears, my joys, my problems, my talents, my weaknesses, and my strengths.

10.Thou shalt pray for me. You know, you may be the only person in the whole world who talks to God about  me. I need you to ask God to help me.

Peace to all,
Pastor Lori

For the New Year

As we begin the new year, it might be helpful to find a mantra or a prayer to hold close to your heart this year on your journey through life. I have found that the Prayer of St. Francis is a helpful stabilizing set of words that bring gentleness and comfort to the forefront. “In most of the published versions of the prayer, the text is abridged, paraphrased, and/or copyrighted. Below is the complete original text from its earliest known publication (1912, in French, copyright expired), alongside a line-by-line English translation.” (source Wikipedia) I have only provided the English version for you. May this bring a focus for us all as we move into 2019.

English translation

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

Peace to all,

Pastor Lori

Wealth

Someone said that money can buy a bed, but it can’t buy you sleep. It can buy you books, but not brains. It can buy you food, but not an appetite. It can buy a house, but not a home. It can buy medicine, but it can’t buy health. It can buy all kinds of amusements, but it can’t buy happiness. Money can buy a fine dog, but only love will make the dog wag its tail.

What kind of wealth do you want? We celebrate the wealth of God’s love in Jesus Christ. The wealth of God’s love brings us what the wealth of the world cannot touch: Peace, understanding, fulfillment, life. These things are eternal.

In Milan, Italy, there is a great cathedral with three doors. On the door to the right is written: “All that pleases lasts only for a moment.” The door on the left proclaims: “All that troubles lasts only for a moment.” And the large center door reminds all that approach: “Nothing is important except that which is eternal.” In this life you will experience pleasures and troubles. What lasts forever is the wealth of God in Jesus. (author unknown)

Take this time this Advent and Christmas season to ponder the wealth of God in Jesus that you have. It will change your life.

Blessings to all for a Peace-filled holiday,

Pastor Lori

Do you know somebody?

Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. That seems to be a good thought for all of us. Think with me about how much we need somebody in this church family. There is no importance placed upon the manner or the list in which I write about somebody.

  • Let’s address somebody who unlocked the church so we could enter.
  • How about somebody who was a greeter or an usher?
  • Do not forget somebody who made the lists for those jobs.
  • Somebody on the worship committee had a hand in our church service.
  • The hymnals were provided by somebody.
  • Oh, that bulletin was done by somebody.
  • The contents of the bulletin were supplied by somebody.
  • The altar flowers were supplied by somebody.
  • The right altar cloths had to be placed by somebody.
  • The sermon had to be prepared and delivered by somebody.
  • The scriptures had to be read by somebody and the list prepared by somebody.
  • The hymns had to be selected by somebody.
  • The choir had to be directed by somebody.
  • And somebody had to be willing to sing in the choir.
  • Somebody had to play the organ.
  • Most important, somebody had to show up for this service.
  • Somebody had to make an offering to the church.
  • We certainly have somebody who cleans our church facility.
  • Somebody gets to count the offering. Somebody takes the funds collected to the bank.

Thank God for somebody or this church would be closed. Sunday after Sunday somebody performs all these tasks and more, some for financial reward but most for spiritual reward.

I hope that you might be somebody we can count on at Old Zionsville UCC.

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.

Be Thankful in all things.

Peace, Lori

(This column originally appeared in a Bethany UCC, Bethlehem, 2009 newsletter and was written by Dan Sabetti. I altered it slightly. Thanks to Dan for his original thoughts and for being somebody!)

Emergency Phone Numbers

When in sorrow………………..call John 16
When people fail you………………..call Psalm 27
If you want to be fruitful………………..call John 15
If you have sinned………………..call Psalm 51
When you worry………………..call Matthew 6:19-34
When you are in danger………………..call Psalm 91
When God seems far away………………..call Psalm 139
When your faith needs stirring………………..call Hebrews 11
When you are lonely and fearful………………..call Psalm23
When you grow bitter………………..call 1 Corinthians 13
Paul’s secret of happiness………………..call Colossians 3:12-17
What is Christianity?……………call 2 Corinthians 5:15-19
When feeling down and out………………..call Romans 8:31
When you want peace and rest………………..call Matthew 11:25-30
When the world seems bigger than God………………..call Psalm 90
Wanting Christian assurance?…………call Romans 8:1-30
Leaving home for work or travel………………..call Psalm 121
When prayer becomes selfish………………………………..call Psalm 67
For a great invention/opportunity………………………………..call Isaiah 55
When you want courage for a task………………..….call Joshua 1
How to get along with people………………..call Romans 12
Thinking of investments returns?……………..call Mark 10
If you are depressed………………………………..call Psalm 27
If your pocketbook is empty………………..call Psalm 37
Losing confidence in people………………..call 1 Corinthians 13
If people seem unkind………………..call John 15
If discouraged about your work………………..call Psalm 126

Alternate Numbers
For dealing with fear………………..call Psalm 34:7
For security…………………call Psalm 121:3
For assurance…………………call Mark 8:35
For reassurance………………..call Psalm 145:18

All numbers may be dialed direct. No operator assistance is necessary. All lines to Heaven are open 24 hours a day!

Peace, Pastor Lori

Hugs

I remember going through the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in the 4th grade. Even at the age of 9, most of my peers realized that it was a bunch of propaganda, and we’d sarcastically say “hugs not drugs” to each other. Fast forward 20 years and science has some research to back up the idea that hugs are better than drugs. It turns out, the simple hug can have profound psychological effects like:

  1. Reducing your fear of mortality. Which is pretty interesting! Research published in the journal Psychological Science shows that hugging and simply touching someone reduces their fear of mortality by soothing existential fears. “Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance,” lead researcher Sander Koole wrote in the study.
  2. Hugging lowers your heart rate. An experiment conducted at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill found that participants who didn’t have any contact with their partners developed a heart rate that was 10 beats per minute faster. Comparatively, the heart beats of those who made contact with their partners were not as fast.
  3. Babies who are hugged experience less stress as adults. If you want to help the future, hug a baby! An Emory University study found that in rats, touch and stress relief were connected, especially early in life. The study found that the same goes for humans too, noting that babies coped better with stress as adults if they were hugged and held more.
  4. Improved immune function. New research show that hug hormones are what they call immunoregulatory. Basically, these hormones have a profound impact on how our immune systems work. This ties in with the relaxing nature of hugs as well. If you want a stronger immune system, hug it out?

Pretty interesting, isn’t it? Maybe it’s time to open up a hugging booth!

Peace, Pastor Lori

Blog Archive
Our Mission Statement

The mission of our church is to be a congregation devoted to our community where we experience and share the loving presence of God by teaching the Good News of Jesus Christ, by celebrating God’s Word in the Bible, and through loving service to all people.