January 22, 2019

About United Congregational

Come to the About Us section to find out what we're all about!

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What is UCC?

Find out about the United Church of Christ and the history of this wonderful organization on our What is UCC page.

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This months Website is 

sponsored by

Rod & Judy Harlow

 

 

If you would like to sponsor a month

contact the office.

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Christmas Program with White Gifts

Please join us on December 16th for the children's Christmas program with White Gifts. Following the Christmas program you are all invited to a Christmas potluck

Last week's Sermon

January 20, 2019

 

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 & John 2:1-11

“Hidden treasure”

There is a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that has Calvin in a hole up to his neck with a shovel in hand.  Hobbes asks Calvin, “Why are you digging a hole? 


Calvin responds excitedly, “I’m looking for buried treasure!”


Hobbes’ next question is, “What have you found?”


Calvin responds, “A few dirty rocks, a weird root, and some disgusting grubs.”


Amazed, Hobbes replies while he looking at one of the rocks, “On your first try?”


Excitedly Calvin responds, “There’s treasure everywhere!”


Looking for buried treasure is one of the tasks that we are called to do as a church and as individual Christians.  Only, the treasures we are looking for are gifts.  We are called to look for the gifts that God has given us. We are called to look for those gifts in ourselves and in others.  We are to call out those gifts when we recognize them in order that they might be used for the work of the Church, the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. 


We chuckle at the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that I just mentioned because we recognize the naivete of a child that can see treasure in ordinary and what most of us might call weird and disgusting stuff.  We, on the other hand as adults, can recognize those things for what they really are …weird, worthless, and somewhat disgusting stuff.  They really are not what the child thinks they are.  They are not real treasure. 


Unfortunately, when it comes to digging into our own gifts, we are too much the adult.  We look at our own gifts as not being that valuable if we even consider that we have gifts at all.  We do not look at our gifts with the enthusiasm of a child that we have treasure within us.  How many of you haven’t thought and probably even said at one time or another, “Oh, I don’t have any gifts.”? 


I’ll be the first one to admit to thinking and even saying that.  I do not look at what I can do as anything special.  Now those people who can sing, or draw, or paint, or create, or have wisdom …those people have gifts.  What we do not stop and realize is that what we might think is plain and ordinary to us might be something special to someone else.  Sometimes the ordinary is a gift. 


Our Gospel reading this morning records the story of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding.  Compared to his miracles of healing, exorcizing demons, and even raising someone from the dead, this miracle seems like a pretty minor thing.  What’s the big deal?  So, water became wine.  I know that it is not something that just anyone can do.  But it is not really that profound compared to the benefits of his other miracles.  It is a miracle performed at an ordinary event with ordinary elements that very few people had privy to.  While it might have been ordinary to some, it was a big deal to the bridegroom and his family.  Their reputation in the community was preserved. 


One of the requirements for seeking ordination into pastoral ministry is to have the support of your local congregation before going to the conference Committee on Ministry.  The Committee on Ministry wants to know that the local congregation sees in an individual, gifts for ministry.  I’ll never forget something that Pastor Susan said when I went before my local church board in Wessington Springs.  One of her comments was, “Keith has the gift of gab.” 


She really did mean it as a compliment.  Many of you are probably thinking the same thing I’m thinking.  That just means, “He won’t shut up.”


The gifts from God are not just limited to the few that Apostle Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians.  The gift of gab is a gift.  Being able to sit and listen is a gift.  Being able to cook and to share a meal is a gift.  Giving of your time and having the time to give is a gift.  Everyone has gifts.  Everyone is a gift.  You are a gift to me.  You are a gift to this church.  Everyone has gifts.  We just have to dig them out …recognize them as such …and be willing to use them for the benefit of the church, the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ.    


Do not keep the treasure of God’s gifts given to you buried within you.  They are not for you to keep for yourself.  They were given to you …to us by God so that those gifts might be shared.  Whether you …we choose to use them is up to us.  When our gifts are activated by God’s Holy Spirit, the seemingly ordinary can do amazing things and be great treasures for others.  Amen.