All May Activities and Services have been cancelled.
Messages from Pastor Dave
Years ago, I worked at a summer Bible camp with my cousin Erik. As an evening staff meeting concluded, a sprinkle suddenly became a downpour. Counselors sprinted off toward cabins, while Erik and I, who didn’t supervise youngsters, debated whether to wait out the storm.
We opted to run for it, but being visually impaired, I soon realized the sheets of rain, added to the dark, hindered my view. “I can’t see!” I yelled through the wind to Erik. Immediately, he grabbed my hand, pulling me along. “It’s okay!” he shouted back. “I can!”
The sensation of running blindly yet feeling so secure became a metaphor for me about what I can handle and accomplish through faith. When I let God grab my hand and guide me, even when I’m running through dark, stormy times, I experience peace. For though I cannot see what lies ahead, I know God can.
Genealogy research turns up some intriguing relations; for example, Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are 10th cousins, and Britney Spears and Prince Albert of Monaco are 17th half-cousins. In the Bible, Jesus is linked to Rahab and Ruth, members of nations that were enemies of Israel.
Searches for family connections quickly reveal not only roots but also a web. Only a few generations up in the branches of each family tree are so many people that trees intersect. Scientists speculate that most people living today are related through a recent common ancestor. So there’s a “web-like tapestry” rather than a “tree that fans out exponentially,” according to writer Carl Zimmer.
Realizing we’re all connected should affect how we treat others. After all, we’re related to people with diverse backgrounds and opinions. In terms of genealogy, as well as living as Jesus’ disciples, we belong to one another.
No one wishes for crises, but Christians who’ve endured them often speak of the faith benefits that result. Here are two examples:
Author and Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie, who lost two babies to a rare genetic disorder, writes: “Trusting God when the miracle does not come, when the urgent prayer gets no answer, when there is only darkness … this is the kind of faith that cannot be shaken because it is the result of having been shaken” (Holding On to Hope, Tyndale).
Christian musician Danny Gokey, whose first wife died from congenital heart disease, writes: “Sometimes we don’t discover our purpose until the darkest moments strip us of everything and all we are left with is brokenness and heartache. It is in these moments, ironically, when hope becomes our strength and carries us” (Hope in Front of Me, NavPress).
In the News!
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Welcome Rev. Dr. David Moffett-Moore Transitional Pastor
Grace and peace! I am honored to accept the call to be your Transitional Minister and look forward to serving you during this transitional period. In the coming months I will have a column in The Chimes on our process and priorities, but this month I thought I would just introduce myself.
I grew up in small towns in central Indiana, one of five children in Methodist parsonages. I earned my Bachelor of Arts at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where my parents met. I’ve been working since I was 11: mowing yards, shoveling walks, delivering newspapers, writing for the local newspaper, working in factories and farms. My first job after college was as a loan collector for a consumer finance agency.
Two years after college, I entered the ministry. I have served 8 churches in three states and two denominations: 15 years as United Methodist and 20 years as United Church of Christ. I was Spiritual Formation Program Director for a Roman Catholic retreat center and worked for Mennonite Mutual Aid. Between being UMC and UCC, I spent a decade in the financial services industry, earning Chartered Financial Consultant, Registered Investment Advisor and Registered Financial Principal designations. I’ve written seven books and have taught Psychology and Philosophy at several regional campuses. I’ve a Ph. D. in Celtic Spirituality and a D.Min. in Spirituality and Psychology.
It’s a second marriage for Becki and I; we’ve been together 23 years. Together we have four grown children in four different time zones. We have five grandsons and one granddaughter, with two more grandsons on the way. Becki has a Masters in Ceramic Art, taught at a Community College in Illinois, and was an Advanced Master Gardener in Indiana – ask about her deer proof garden! She grew up in the shadow of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
This is a little bit about me; I look forward to getting to know you in the coming months. We do have work to do, but first let’s get to know each other!
What is Prayer?
A self-help guru once said, “If prayer is you talking to God, then intuition is God talking to you.” Yes and no.
Although we often think of prayer as us talking while God listens, listening to him is crucial. We can start with reading or hearing Scripture and then responding — aloud or in our hearts — with questions, concerns, joys, confessions, gratitude and praise.
Certainly, God also communicates with us in other ways. Through Christian friends we hear guidance, assurance, love, even admonition. Then, too, we hear God speaking in our heart. We may call this our conscience, a hunch or, indeed, intuition. So we might tweak the line above: “Prayer is both you talking to God and your intuition by which God talks to you.” Amen!
Zion United Church of Christ - 9105 Third St, PO Box 10, Baroda, MI 49101 - 269-422-1590 - e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org