December 1, 2015


Join us as together we praise our Creator on Sunday mornings. [Scroll down to view older posts.]

A Prayer for Advent: PUCC Advent Devotion – Dec 1

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d3c3643e-e3b3-448b-b22b-5ff41638f639A Prayer for Advent by Mark Sandlin 

Good and gracious God,
It is never easy to wait…
that may be
why Advent
is so hard for us.
But Loving God,
it is not so hard for you.
You wait for us
to turn from our old ways
toward the life you desire for us.
You wait for us
to admit what we have done,
and what we have failed to do,
so we might be freed
toward the life you know
we can have here on Earth.
But our fears and our failures
get in the way.
We lose sight of hope
and find ourselves
stuck in what we see
as impossibilities.
We lose sight of joy
and wallow in
what is wrong.
We lose sight of love
and focus on the things
that frustrate and anger us.
We lose sight of peace
and bind ourselves up
in the things that divide us.
This Advent season
give us pause to rest,
to wait,
to be still
and know that you are God.
Lend us perspective
this Advent
and call us back to be the people
you created us to be.
As we wait
for Hope Come Down
may we learn to practice hopefulness
and may that hopefulness
teach us to fear less
and love more.
May it strengthen us
and encourage us
as we ourselves
strive to be a people of hope
in a far too fearful world.


Holiday Spirit: PUCC Advent Devotion – Nov 30

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ac4823ff-fbd4-4dbc-8abe-f506b0a381f6Holiday Spirit

November 25, 2015 
Written by Kristen Walling – a Justice and Peace Fellow in our United Church of Christ.
I recently had a conversation with someone lamenting the powerlessness she felt in the face of recent events. Terrorist groups are committing horrific acts of violence all over the world. Some have responded to these events with compassion, but it seems that so many more spread hateful messages and fear. Our leaders are willing to sacrifice the lives of hundreds of thousands of refugees to win political points. Countries are at war. We continue to see stories of the hundreds of black lives extinguished at the hands of police. Student protesters are threatened and condemned for defending their rights and the safety of their classmates. Thousands of people somehow misconstrue a red cardboard cup as a full-frontal assault on Christianity.
It feels as though the world is falling apart and it’s completely out of our control. Our elected officials don’t always make the decisions we ask of them. It’s easy to feel like our voices are lost in a cacophony of competing interests and demands. We don’t quite know where to begin.
But if I know anything about the Christmas story, it’s a testament to the power one person has to quite literally change the world forever. I can’t stop ISIS. I can’t wave a magic wand and eliminate racism and Islamophobia. I can’t change hearts and minds overnight. But I can be gentle and kind with my neighbors. I can be patient with cashiers and sales clerks who are overwhelmed by the holiday rush. I can donate my time and money to organizations whose causes I support. I can stop and chat with the stranger on the street. I can focus on making just one person’s day even the slightest bit brighter.
As we enter into this holiday season, let us all reflect on the small and simple acts of kindness over which we do have control. Let us respond to desperation and despair with Hope. Let us respond to violence with Peace. Let us respond to hatred, racism, Islamophobia, sexism, and vitriol with Love. Let us respond to lament with Joy. I believe that if all try just a little bit harder to show kindness to those we encounter every day, we will see that this world can, in fact, be a better place.

Much More than Words: PUCC Advent Devotion – Nov 29

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14ece113-4757-44e8-a5ab-a2a8a62bac88Much More than Words

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance . . .” – 1 Thessalonians 1:5
As we approach the celebration of the incarnation of God in Christ at Christmas, our ears are already filled with the festive, majestic words of the season. “Shalom,” “Glad tidings to all,” “Peace on earth,” “Wise men still seek him,” “The greatest gift of all,” “For unto us a son is born; a child is given,” “Silent night, Holy night,” “Behold the star,” “Joy to the world!”

But despite the beloved choruses of our holiday hymns, scriptures and salutations, the Apostle Paul suggests that what God has given to us through Christ Jesus can never be adequately proclaimed through words alone. For in Christ, God has given us much more than a good word or a good sentiment or a good idea. In Christ, God has given us the power of word made flesh. In Christ, God shows us the awesome power we have when we take lofty principles and incorporate them into everyday human practices. In Christ, the concept of good is realized and personified in a human character to which we can all relate. In Christ, God invites us to simultaneously embrace the full humanity and the full divinity that is in each of us.

Such Good News can never be conveyed in words alone. This Good News requires a passionate presence among people, the strength to forgive and the humility to be forgiven, the faith to keep searching for light despite the darkness of night, and, oh yes . . . the willingness to approach grown-up things through the eyes of a child. 

Much more than the words we speak, we must seek to become the incarnation of Advent this season.

Prayer:  Dear God, in addition to the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, give me the will and the capacity to act out the meaning of Advent through Christ who animates me. Amen.

November 2015 Worship Notes

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November 1 | 9:30 & 11:00am | Give-a-Meal | All Saints
Scripture: Isaiah 25:6-9; John 11:32-44
Message: Yesterday
Theme: Our Hebrew Lesson is most comforting and reassuring. Our Gospel Lesson is a story of commitment and hope among siblings Mary, Martha and Lazarus. There is a death and grief and then celebration.

November 8 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 112; Mark 12:38-44
Message: It’s All Relative
Theme: Scriptures about generosity. What is enough to share? What is enough to keep? When does it hurt? When does it help

November 15 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 127; Mark 13:1-8
Message: The Church Building
Theme: How the relationships within the building strengthen the structure. What causes a structure to crumble? What is our vision? What are we building?

November 22 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Variety of Psalms – 1, 8, 23, 63, 91, 92, 107, 121, 139, 148, 150
Message: Faith Expressions
Theme: Giving thanks for the gifts of faith throughout day, season, year.Writing our own psalm.

November 29 | 10:00am | Advent | One Family Worship
Scripture: Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-10; Luke 21: 25-36
Message: Give Us Hope
Theme: There are signs and symbols, words and wonders that lead us forward. How can we catch the momentum of the Holy this Advent?

October 2015 Worship Notes

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October 4| 9:30 & 11:00am | Give-a-Meal | World Communion
Scripture: Job 1:1; 2:1-10; Psalm 26
Message: In the Land of Uz
Theme: The challenges that Job’s story brings with it—blessing and curse. The rollercoaster nature of life—good and bad things happen.

October 11 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Mark 10:17-27
Message: Possess Less
Theme: The call to simplify…Jesus talks about the camel through the eye of the needle; the man that did not want to give away his possessions.

October 18 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c; Mark 10:35-45
Message: Pick Me
Theme: Disciples arguing among themselves as to which one is most favored. Secrecy, rivalry…Colleagues, collaboration…or somewhere in between? How do we serve one another?

October 25| 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 34:1-8; Mark 10:46-52
Message: Trifocals
Theme: The blind man said to Jesus, “I want to see.” Bartimaeus knew what he wanted—to be able to see. How do we get ourselves into a place where we can see what Jesus sees? What is Jesus’ vision?

September 2015 Worship Notes

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298824_10150443206679478_840423056_nSeptember 6 | 9:30 & 11:00am | Give-a-Meal | Communion
Scripture: Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Mark 7:31-35
Message: Ephphatha
Theme: Ephphatha “open up”…Jesus heals the man who was both deaf and mute. The words we speak should be very much connected to the words we hear. Jesus blesses us as we listen and speak. When is it a challenge to hear and speak? How do we ensure that we are listening and speaking with the Spirit?

September 13 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 19; Mark 8:27-29
Message: Name Tag
Theme: Jesus and the disciples were traveling in and out of villages. He asked the disciples who people said he was. There were a few answers. What old and new names, roles, images do we use when we ponder and experience Jesus?

September 20 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 1; Mark 9:33-37
Message: Kids R Us
Theme Jesus hears the disciples arguing and wants to remind them that none of them is greater than the other. In fact, he invites them to think about the last being first and the first being last—and how to welcome children as a measure of health, connectedness, honor.

September 27 | 9:30 & 11:00amr 20 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22; Psalm 124
Message: Now
Theme: The Esther story—even with some gruesome parts—is about being in the right place at the right time…Esther calling on courage as she is asked to play a role she never imagined and one that she doesn’t feel equipped to play. How can we see where we are needed now and act with more courage and compassion?

August 2015 Worship Notes

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10359208_10152916318849478_3212867295524181348_nAugust 2| 9:30 & 11:00am | Give-a-Meal | Communion
Scripture: 2Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13a; Psalm 51:1-12
Message: My Story
Theme: The story of David and Bathsheba where Nathan points out David’s mistakes in a story that David does not recognize right away. How do we see ourselves in story and learn from them?

August 9 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2
Message: HALT
Theme: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired… Letter to the Ephesians trying to help them figure out how to live in community. Ponder the things we can and cannot do…emotional health; fresh starts

August 16 | 9:30 & 11:00am
Scripture: 1Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14; Psalm 111
Message: Discernment
Theme: Solomon becoming King—young/inexperienced so he asks for a discerning mind to acquire good judgement. How do we cultivate our spirit of discernment? Where is our power?

Scripture: Psalm 84; Ephesians 6:10-20
Message: Armor All
Theme: More support sent to the early church in Ephesus. What it means to be strong, alert, confident in the ways that we live and partner with the Spirit. What happens when you are struggling and/or broken?

August 30 | One Family Worship at 10:00am
Scripture: Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23; James 1:17-27
Message: Following the Rules
Theme: Rules and codes and assumptions that have been handed down—generation to generation. What do we do with them? Which rules are gratefully accepted as inheritance and which do we want to be more intentional about? What about Leviticus!?

Choir Call Fall 2015

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colorfulChoirIf you enjoy singing, we would love to have you join the choir! We rehearse Wednesday evenings, 6:30-8:00pm, and sing for the 9:30am worship service on Sundays, with a warm up at 8:45am. Child care is provided on Wednesday evenings and before the service on Sundays. Rehearsals resume this Wednesday, September 2, and we will sing for the 9:30am worship services beginning on Sunday, September 13. Please contact Barbara Raedeke at, or just come to the first rehearsal on August 26. You will be most welcome!

July 2015 Worship Notes

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2015-06-14 20.43.11July 5 | Give-a-Meal | Communion
Scripture: Psalm 48; Mark 6:1-13
Message: Shake the Dust Off
Theme: Jesus and the disciples aren’t welcome everywhere they go. Jesus encourages them not to get stuck or blocked by obstacles others place in their way. He buoys them up so they can move on and keep on!

July 12
Scripture: Psalm 24; Mark 6:14-29
Message: What Should I Ask For?
Theme: Gospel story of Herodias asking Herod for John the Baptist’s head. Herod respected John but was manipulated by Herodias. This story invites us to think about our allegiances and analyze our motives. What do we ask for others? What do they ask of us? What does God ask of us? What should I ask God for?

July 19
Scripture: Psalm 89:20-37; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
Message: Set It All Aside
Theme Jesus and the disciples are coming and going so that there is no time for them to eat! Yikes. Busy lives. Lists and priorities. What place do sabbath and meditation and renewal have in your life?

July 26 | Guest Worship Leader–Jackie Tyler

June 2015 Worship Notes

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10476399_10153986406894478_7292010207458030510_nJune 7 | One Family Worship | Give-a-Meal | Communion
Scripture: Psalm 138; 2Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Message: Seen and Unseen
Theme: Gratitude for what we can see and what is below our awareness. Focus on the things that are beyond and you will get there. Seek ye first…

June 14
Scripture: Psalm 20; Mark 4:26-34
Message: Seeds—Gathered and Scattered
Theme: Jesus tells stories about seeds sprouting, growing, producing. Patience is needed. Mustard seeds are packed! This all feeds in to a Sunday when we will welcome new members and bid a fond farewell to the Barclay Family.

June 21 | Father’s Day
Scripture: Psalm 9:9-20; Mark 4:35-41
Message: Be Still
Theme Jesus stills the storm as he and the disciples are out in the boat. He was asleep during all of it… the storm did not worry him. Where do we find the gifts of peace? How do we share them?

June 28
Scripture: Psalm 130; Mark 5:21-43
Message: Double Healing
Theme: Jesus heals Jairus’ daughter and the hemorrhaging woman. Where does healing come from? Where does it go? How can we be a part of it? When do we block/deflect/deny it?