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We will not be having an in-person service this Sunday!

We will be broadcasting this Sunday’s service through Facebook Live.  You can find this on our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/UCCSouthHaven/

Sunday Service: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Church Office is open M-F 9:30 to 1:30

We are a household of faith, called by God’s Love to minister In Christ’s name.

Online Giving / Donations

First Congregational Church is taking another step forward in the digital age! We have signed up for Online giving and donations through a company called Vanco Payments. Use this button to go directly to our First Congregational Church online giving and donations page:

Welcome to First Congregational Church, UCC

All are invited to come join us!  We welcome you to join us for our Sunday service and get to know us and who we are.  There are many Outreach and Fellowship areas in which we are involved and are always open to more ways we can help our South Haven, Michigan community.  At First Congregational Church in South Haven, Michigan, we are a household of faith called by God’s love to minister in Christ’s name. God is still speaking.

Announcements

Worship at Home Bulletin for April 5, 2020

GATHERING MUSIC

WELCOME

CELEBRATION OF THE PALMS

HYMN #192  All Glory Laud and Honor

All glory, laud, and honor to you, Redeemer, King, to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.  You are a child of Israel Great David’s greater son;  you ride in lowly triumph, Messiah, Blessed One.

MOVING INTO HOLY WEEK                                                      

PRAYER  OF CONFESSION

Here we are, Jesus.   We have walked with you from the triumphant entry on Palm Sunday, through the temple, listened to your teachings, and watched as you were anointed by the woman with perfume.   We saw you wash the feet of your disciples and then sat with you at table to break bread and drink of the cup.

Now we find ourselves alongside you in a garden of grief.  Both as in your day and in these most difficult days that we are experiencing having to stay at home.  We are tired. We don’t know what to do next.  And so we sleep sometimes,  hoping to awake from a bad dream.

Forgive us, O God.   Help us face this hour knowing you are always here.   You only ask the same of us… to be present, to be awake.   You entered our story through Jesus, now help us to enter fully into the story of your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

SCRIPTURE READING      Mark 14:32-36

Jesus and his disciples came to a place called Gethsemane. Jesus said to them, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John along with him. He began to feel despair and was anxious.  He said to them, “I’m very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert.” Then he went a short distance farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if possible, he might be spared the time of suffering.  He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible. Take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want.”

MESSAGE

A TIME FOR PRAYER

Prayer Hymn # 305          Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying

Lord, listen to Your children praying, Lord, send Your spirit in this place;

Lord, listen to Your children praying, Send us love, send us pow’r, send us grace!

Sharing Joys and Concerns – (received by text or email)

Quiet and Pastoral Prayers

Our Lord’s Prayer

          Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.

HYMN                                     “Were you There”

1. Were you there when he knelt and prayed to God?

2. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

3. Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

BENEDICTION                                 Rev. Jeffrey Dick

POSTLUDE

Worship Leaders

Patricia Kerr, Adam Peterson and Rev. Jeffrey Dick

April 5 news

Welcome to Holy Week,

In years past we have seen snow storms during Holy Week that may have slowed us down, but nothing in my memory compares to what is happening in our world.  These are such unusual times.  Do know you are in my thoughts and prayers as we come to Holy Week.

We will not be gathered together for worship or celebrations of any kind, except by online opportunities.   Still, I encourage you to observe Holy Week at home.  A special Holy Week guide has been created and will come by mail or emailed to you.   Take time each day to read the scripture for that day and an action for that day.

Our Prayer Group continues to meet on Tuesdays and bible studies are taking place.  You are welcome to join us.  Contact me for more information or just to share prayer concerns and joys.

Your prayers and support during this time are greatly appreciated.

Keep safe while at home.

Blessings,

Jeffrey Dick

Sunday Worship—Palm Sunday

This is Palm Sunday.   Palm branches will be at the front doors of the church from 10 am to 5 pm if you want to stop by.

Our worship will once again be live on the church Facebook page.  A link to that is on our website.  Hopefully this week, even if you don’t have Facebook you can watch it.  If you don’t have internet, we are recording the service and you can request a cd by calling the church.

Each Sunday we will record a worship service.  For those with internet access it will be live on Facebook.  If you don’t have Facebook, you can find a link to that on our web page.  Look for it Sunday morning at 10:25.

If you don’t have internet, a bulletin can be mailed to you.  You can also request a recorded cd of the service and we will deliver it to you.

Tuesday Prayer Group

Tuesday Prayer Group will be meeting by phone each week at 1:30.

Join us at:

 

Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2696373804

By Phone: Call in by using the following number:  +1-646-558-8656

Meeting ID: 269 637 3804

If you have prayer requests, please let us know.  These will be added to the Tuesday and Sunday lists .

Please hold the following in your prayers this week:

Brittny Buck

Bill Wood

Elaine Stephens

Karen Morey

Rick Olsen

Lynn Hiscock

Lew Parsell

All affected by the Coronavirus. (CoVid 19)

We pray for our brothers and sisters at Pilgrim Congregational Church in St. Joseph.

Adult Bible Study

Would you like to be a part of a video chat or phone call regarding the scripture for next Sunday? Pastor Dick has one group meeting on Thursday evenings and would be interested in forming one or two additional groups. Let him know by contacting the church or calling him at

269-214-8924.

Church Meetings will take place through phone calls and video conference.  See more on those below.

Church Building:  Here at church the doors are locked and the church building is closed.   Victoria will be here in the office M/W/F from 9:30—1:30 to do the most needed work.   Pastor Dick will be here as well on a limited basis.

 

​​​​​​​

The Food Pantry will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10 to noon with limited staffing.  Food is being handed out while people stay in their cars.

How Can We Help

You should be receiving a call from a member of the church each week to see how you are doing.  If there is something at the church we can assist you with, please let them know or call the church.

How Can You Help

You can mail weekly church offerings to:

First Congregational Church

651 Phoenix Street

South Haven, MI 49090

Pastors

Jeffrey Dick 269-214-8924

Mike Tupper 269-303-3743

Church Office: 268-637-3804

During these times of staying home, we trust that you are taking care of yourself, getting outside for a walk when the sun is shinning.

Holy Week at Home

Holy Week at Home

          While we spend Holy Week at home this year, we can still take time each day to recall the events in the life of Jesus.   There are many activities you can find online, but here is something you can read and share each day.    The Gospel of Matthew has the whole story. Other readings are also mentioned.

Palm Sunday: Matthew 21:1-11

          The triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem contrasts with the way the week will go.   Jesus enters in a humble fashion on a donkey.   This is in contrast to the way military victors would enter.

Matthew’s gospel is the one that mentions people waving palm branches and laying them in the road.  If you don’t have a palm branch, you can make one out of green paper (or white paper and color it green).  Display your branch somewhere you can see it.

Monday: Matthew 21:12-17         

          According to Matthew 21 this story takes place on Sunday.   In Mark 11, and Luke 19, Jesus returns to Jerusalem on Monday!   When he does, he sees shameful practices in the Temple area, he cleanses the Temple.  John’s Gospel also records that he rebuked the unbelief of the crowds. Mark 11:19 records that he returned to Bethany that night.

 

Jesus speaks that God’s house should be a house of prayer.   Today, take extra time to be in prayer.   Give thanks for people that are special to you.  Lift prayers for all who are helping in this time of crisis and all who are ill.

Tuesday: Matthew 25                                 Jesus Teaching

According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus again returns to Jerusalem where he is confronted by the Temple leadership for what he did the day before.  They question his authority.  He also teaches extensively, using parables like the Parable of the vineyard and the parable of the wedding banquet.   There is also the fearful prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem if the inhabitants do not come to faith in him. He warns that not one stone will be left on another.

This is a good day to read the stories that Jesus taught.  Matthew 25 has some to share.  

 

 

Wednesday: Matthew 26:1-16          Extravagant Gift and Betrayal

          Traditionally this day was called “Spy Wednesday” because it was on this Wednesday before the crucifixion that Judas conspired to hand Jesus over.  For this he was paid 30 pieces of silver.  Jesus likely spent the day in Bethany. In the evening, Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus with costly perfumed oil.  Judas objects but Jesus rebukes him and says Mary has anointed him for his burial!

Questions for our journey on this day.  How do we honor Jesus with our lives?  In what ways do we betray him?

Holy Thursday: Matthew 26:17-30, 36-56           The Last Supper

Earlier this day Jesus had given instructions to the disciples on how to prepare for this most holy meal, which will be his last supper.  Through the day they make these preparations.   That evening they gather in the upper room for the Passover Meal.    There Jesus will share the bread and wine with his disciples.  He will also wash their feet.

Following this meal, they will sing a hymn.     After the Last Supper, the disciples and Jesus made a short journey across the Kidron Valley to the Garden, where he asks them to pray and he experiences his agony.

It was near Midnight that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest.

On this day, celebrate the Last Supper at home.  Perhaps have a festive meal.  Break bread and drink juice or wine.  Read the story of the Last Supper as a part of your meal.   Bring worship to your home this evening.

Good Friday: Matthew 27:15-56                         Jesus is Killed

In the late morning Jesus was taken by the soldiers through the city and up the hillside of Golgotha. By noon he is nailed to the cross where he hangs in agony for some three hours. He dies around three in the afternoon. He is taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb hastily before sundown.

At home you can read the story.  Perhaps place a black napkin or paper over your bible.   Or place a nail on top of the bible.   Something symbolic to remember this day.  If reading with children, remind them that while this is a very sad day, this is not the end of the story,

Saturday: Matthew 27:57-66                         Jesus is Buried and guards set

The body of Jesus is in the tomb, but His soul is among the dead to announce the kingdom.    Meanwhile, the Disciples, heartbroken at the death of Jesus, observed the Jewish Sabbath in sorrow.  They are locked in the Upper room, afraid.   They had forgotten the promise of Jesus that He would rise.

 

This is a quiet day.  Good to remember that there are times when we find ourselves in quiet, sometimes afraid, sometimes lost.   Even in those times, God is still there.  Listen for God on this day.   Take some time to prepare for your Easter Celebration.

Do watch for a special Easter message to come by mail or email.

Easter and Holy Week

April 5th: The Garden – Mark 14: 32-36
Our service will begin with Palm Sunday and then move to Jesus in the garden at Gethsemane. In the garden, Jesus is taken into custody and there is no going back. So we pause a moment with him in the garden just before his arrest, and we feel with him the temptations that arise when facing difficult circumstances—to run, hide, use whatever power we have to change things, fight it, perhaps even bargain with God. We walk among the sleepy disciples who just can’t grasp what is about to happen. And we open to let the story remind us that no matter what we face, or how we fail to meet the demand of the moment, second chances are possible.

April 9th: Holy Thursday Worship
“In Remembrance of Me” Worship at 7 pm with communion as we re-member the Last Supper on Holy Thursday.

April 9th: Good Friday Community Service at First Congregational Church in South Haven
A community service with area pastors participating. The service will be from noon to 1 pm in the sanctuary and focus on the seven last words of Jesus from the cross.

April 12th: EASTER SUNDAY
worship at 10:30 am

You can now make donations ONLINE!

First Congregational Church is taking another step forward in the digital age!  We have signed up for Online giving and donations through a company called Vanco Payments.  Use this button  to go directly to our First Congregational Church online giving and donations page:

Follow this button to donate through the Website:  Online Giving / Donations

Or

Use your Smart Phone and download the Give+ app and donate directly from your phone

With GivePlus Mobile your members and guests can express their generosity in the moment — right from the palm of their hand.

  1. Download the app
  2. Find your church
  3. Give!

And best of all, GivePlus Mobile is included with ALL eGiving plans. That means you pay no additional set-up or monthly fees to offer the app.

Food Pantry Remains Open

The food pantry remains open as a drive-up service on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10-noon.  Drive to the pantry entrance on the side of the church building.  Someone will come to your car window to get your name and the number in your household.  Food will be carried out and placed in your trunk.

March 29 news

Welcome to our second weekly email.  

 

Church Building:  Here at church the doors are locked and the church building is closed.   Victoria will be here in the office M/W/F from 9:30—1:30 to do the most needed work.   Pastor Dick will be here as well on a limited basis. 

 

The Food Pantry will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10 to noon with limited staffing.  Food is being handed out while people stay in their cars.

 

Staying Connected

Our Team Captains will continue to check in on a weekly basis.   If you need assistance in any way, please let them know or contact the church office at 637-3804.  We will be checking messages on a regular basis.  

 

We will be sending this newsletter out by email and postal mail to those who

request it each week.

 

Daily Devotionals are also available at the church.  Contact us if you would like one delivered.

 

Church Meetings will take place through phone calls and video conference.  See more on those below.

 

Sunday Worship

Each Sunday we will record a worship service.  For those with internet access it will be live on Facebook.  If you don’t have Facebook, you can find a link to that on our web page.  Look for it Sunday morning at 10:25.

 

If you don’t have internet, a bulletin can be mailed to you.  You can also request a recorded cd of the service and we will deliver it to you.

 

This Sunday as a part of worship we are celebrating communion.  You can use any juice or wine you have at home along with a piece of bread or cracker.

 

 

Tuesday Prayer Group

Tuesday Prayer Group will be meeting by phone each week at 1:30. 

Join us at: 

 

Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2696373804

Meeting ID: 269 637 3804

By Phone: Call in by using the following number:  +1-646-558-8656

 

If you have prayer requests, please let us know.  These will be added to the Tuesday and Sunday lists

Please hold the following in your prayers this week:

 

Brittny Buck

Bill Wood

Elaine Stephens

Karen Morey

Rick Olsen

Bonnie Deke

Lynn Hiscock

Lynda Sharpe

Todd & Eric Ruesink

 

Family of Kathy Lamphier who died 3/21

 

All affected by the Coronavirus. (CoVid 19)

 

We pray for our brothers and sisters at First Congregational in St. Joseph.

 

 

Adult Bible Study

Would you like to be a part of a video chat or phone call regarding the scripture for next Sunday? Pastor Dick has one group meeting on Thursday evenings and would be interested in forming one or two additional groups. Let him know by contacting the church or calling him at 269-214-8924.

 

 

Looking Ahead to Palm Sunday

Pastor Dick will be handing out Palm branches and a Holy Week Devotional at the church on Wednesday and Friday (April 1 and 3) from 10 to noon at the Food Pantry door.   If you are out food shopping or going for a walk at that time come on by.

 

On Sunday, April 5th, the palms will be available from 10-5 on the outside front steps of the sanctuary. 

 

These can also be delivered to you by contacting the church office.

 

 

How Can We Help

You should be receiving a call from a member of the church each week to see how you are doing.  If there is something at the church we can assist you with, please let them know or call the church.

 

 

How Can You Help

You can mail weekly church offerings to:

First Congregational Church

651 Phoenix Street

South Haven, MI 49090

 

Pastors

Jeffrey Dick 269-214-8924

Mike Tupper 269-303-3743

Church Office: 268-637-3804

 

 

During these times of staying home, we trust that you are taking care of yourself, getting outside for a walk when the sun is shining.   Hopefully no more snow will fall!

 

 

May God’s blessings be with you

Worship at Home Bulletin for March 29, 2020

Worship at Home Bulletin for March 29, 2020

GATHERING MUSIC                                                       Patricia Kerr

WELCOME                                                                                                                                   

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Sometimes we just aren’t paying attention.   We can keep our heads in the sand when we really need to attend to difficult situations, or the needs of your people.  

Forgive us, O God.  While we must keep our distance from others in this time, guard us from distancing ourselves from you.   You entered our story through Jesus, now help us to enter fully into the story of your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON                        

HYMN (composer: Patricia Kerr)Anchor       “By Your Grace”            Adam Peterson

By Your Grace, by Your Grace, I am well. All is well, by Your Grace. By Your Grace, I am well. All is well.

   By Your Grace, all is one. I am one. All is one. By Your Grace, by Your Grace, I am one. All is one.

   God is Love. God is Love. I am Love. We are Love. God is Love. God is Love. I am Well. All is Well.          O Lord My God! 

 

SCRIPTURE READING      John 13: 1 – 17 and 33 – 35

Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully.​​

Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God.  So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist.  Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing.  When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.”   “No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”   Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”   Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”

Jesus responded, “Those who have bathed need only to have their feet washed, because they are completely clean. You disciples are clean, but not every one of you.”   He knew who would betray him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you is clean.”

After he washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you?   You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am.   If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do.   I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them.  Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.

Little children, I’m with you for a little while longer. You will look for me—but, just as I told the Jewish leaders, I also tell you now—‘Where I’m going, you can’t come.’   “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.   This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”

SPECIAL MUSIC

MESSAGE                                                        Rev. Jeffrey Dick

HYMN                      “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love”

(Refrain) Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbors we have from you.

Kneels at the feet of his friends, silently washes their feet, Master who acts as a slave to them.

      (Refrain)

Neighbors are wealthy and poor, varied in color and race, neighbors are near us and far away.

       (Refrain)

These are the ones we should serve, these are the ones we should love, all these are neighbors to us and you.

       (Refrain)

SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

INVITATION

COMMUNION PRAYER

          Sharing Joys and Concerns – (received by text or email)

Quiet and Pastoral Prayers

SHARING THE ELEMENTS OF COMMUNION

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Our Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.”

HYMN                         “We Are One in the Spirit”                    Adam Peterson

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

And we pray that all unity may one day be restored

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

They will know we are Christians by our love

BENEDICTION                                 Rev. Jeffrey Dick

POSTLUDE

Introducing our New Associate Pastor

At the January Council meeting, the Reverend Michael Tupper was officially called to begin serving in ministry here. He will start by working 10 – 13 hours a week. Come May, he will be working 20 hours a week. During February, March and April, Mike will not be here on Sunday mornings as he will continue serving the church he is currently at. Beginning in May he will be here many Sunday mornings. Mike will be at worship on February 2nd.

Mike has been a pastor for over 38 years. He has served in eight churches including the Casco United Methodist Church (north of South Haven). Presently he is the CoPastor of the Gull Lake United Methodist Church in Richland, Michigan.

Mike and his wife Lori have been married for over forty years. Lori has been a schoolteacher and church administrative assistant and writer. She has published two books. They live in Lawrence, Michigan near Lake Cora. Mike likes to paddle his kayak on
this lake (even during the winter).

Mike and Lori have two children. They are both 33 years old and attended school at Lincoln Elementary, Central Late Elementary, and Baseline Middle School. Sarah is married to Ali and have a new baby named Saima (Mike and Lori’s first grandchild!). Sarah has been a schoolteacher but is now the Associate Pastor at the North Baltimore Mennonite Church. Scott lives in Boston and works for the MIT Defense Laboratory.

Mike is transferring his ministerial credentials from the United Methodist Church to the United Church of Christ.

“ I look forward to getting to know you and being one of your pastors. It will be a privilege to work alongside Jeffrey Dick. ”

One Great Hour of Sharing - still accepting offerings

One Great Hour of Sharing is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten Offering supports the disaster, refugee, and de-velopment ministries of the UCC. We will celebrate this offering on March 22nd , On the first two Sundays in March a special mission moment will be offered to explain this offering.
Through your generosity, the world is a better place. But more is needed. Today, you have an opportunity to plant seeds into the lives of others. Be a co-worker with God. Building, planting, watering…and trust-ing that God gives growth to all good gifts shared in faith. Thank you for your partnership. Thank you for your generosity.
We will be collecting for OGHS during the month of March.
Envelopes are in the pews beginning March 1st.
Entering the Passion of Jesus
Lent 2020
The events of Christ’s Passion, which take place during the last week of Jesus’ life, often don’t receive enough time in our worship and study. These stories are important to our faith jour-ney and our identity as followers of Jesus. And yet we often move too quickly from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday with little time to take in the dramatic story of that last week.
Throughout the six weeks of Lent we will “freeze-frame” moments in Holy Week so we might put ourselves in the picture, thereby “Entering the Passion of Jesus.” How might taking a closer look at the ancient story open us to deeper conviction for our role in its ongoing message?

NO FOOLIN'. IT'S RUMMAGE TIME AGAIN: April 1 from 3-7 pm and April 2 from 1-4 pm - POSTPONED!

April 1 from 3-7 pm. New bargain table
April 2 from 1-4 pm.
$5 bags until 3pm, then free. Clean up begins @ 3:30.
Presale set up will begin after the last Thurs-day Night Supper about 7. Help appreciated.
Tables and signs put in place.
Rummage may be brought in from then until Sunday afternoon. PLEASE PLACE IN APPROPRIATE AREA. You do not need to set it up.
DO NOT bring in earlier unless you check with Jeffrey or Kris.
It is a big help when your items are CLEAN, sets (ie. towel sets, shoes, games, toys, gloves/mittens, PJs, outfits, etc) are bundled, pinned, or bagged and linens/curtains have sizes marked. Indicate that electronics work.
Help is needed:
**Sunday and Monday to straighten and
organize.
**Tuesday items over $1 priced and Bargain Table set up (under $1).
**Wednesday a.m. finish if needed.
Sale from 3-7.
**Thursday sale 1-4 . Pack and deliver to Mission.
The fun begins at 8:30 Monday and Tuesday A.M.’s. Stop by whenever/ how long you can. There will be plenty of people to tell you what to do and where to put it! Don’t be shy.
Pricing has been streamlined.
Check out people are needed during sale hours. Two per station.
Remember, as always, this is an equal opportunity event. Uniforms, meals and snacks provided. First picks on incoming items!! Make a friend, bring a friend!
Consider adding this to your Lenten “do” list.
Looking forward to seeing and working with you,
Kris Ayers 637.8762
Help

March 23 News

WELCOME to a new weekly newsletter from First Congregational Church, UCC South Haven.   These sure are extraordinarily strange times!! We hope to keep in touch with each other during the lock down and nurture our social and spiritual health.

We hope you will use this resource as an aid to keep you connected to God and others. Here you will find prayer notes, daily scripture, activity suggestions and action options to keep your faith engaged during the Corona event—however long it lasts. You will receive a new letter each week until we can worship face to face again.

As we sit sequestered in our homes, “suffering” the inconvenience of sitting on our couches all day reading books, watching movies, talking with friends and relatives on the phone and scouring the internet, it makes me feel like I’m in some sort of post-modern wilderness. This feels very, very strange—especially on Sunday mornings!

However, the more I sit in solitude, the more I realize the amazing opportunities to use this time for good. I realize how much reading I can do, how many projects I can work on, maybe even clean my office!!!

This is not to say all this extra solitude is easy or welcome, just that it provides opportunities to embrace many tasks and projects that usually go ignored. I encourage all of us to keep a positive outlook. We are not being sent to war, we are being sent to our couches. To make it easier, set a daily schedule with a balance of work and play. Keep meal times. Try to get outside a little each day.

Some activity options for you to consider:

  1. Drive to the beach or other scenic place, park your car and pray for everything you see.
  2. Read a book on your want-to-read list.
  3. Phone a friend and ask her/him to tell you about their first day of school; their favorite meal; their first memory of you.
  4. Set a timer for 15 minutes and sit or stand near a window. Count how many birds or animals you see in that time.
  5. Collect all the coins you can find in your house and count them then put them aside to donate to your favorite charity.

Jesus spent a lot of time in the wilderness—without the convenience of the internet, phones or other modern comforts to keep him connected to the world. He went to the wilderness for one purpose: to connect with God. I often wonder how Jesus used this time of prayer. Did he enjoy this time, or was it a chore? Where did he sleep at night? Did he move around or stay in one place? Did he get distracted?

What do you think Jesus found more holy: the wilderness or the temple? being with friends or being in solitude? I think our answers to these questions differ for each of us. As you spend time at home, I invite you to ponder these questions and come up with answers for yourselves.

Sincerely, Jeffrey Dick

Tuesday Prayer Group

The Tuesday Prayer Group will be meeting by phone each week at 1:30.   If you would like to be a part of that phone call, please contact the church office.    If you have prayer requests, please let us know.  These will be added to the Tuesday and Sunday lists.

Please hold the following in your prayers this week:

Brittny Buck             Bill Wood

Elaine Stephens     Karen Morey

Rick Olsen              Lynn Hiscock

Bonnie Deke

We remember and pray for our brothers and sisters of Portage UCC, Portage.

All those affected by the Coronavirus. (CoVid 19)

 

The Spring Rummage Sale has been postponed.

 

Sunday Worship

Each Sunday we will record a worship service.  For those with internet access it will be live on Facebook.  If you don’t have Facebook, you can find a link to that on our web page.  Look for it Sunday morning at 10:25.

If you don’t have internet, you can follow along with the bulletin included here or request a recorded cd of the service and we will deliver it to you.   In this mailing is a bulletin for Sunday.  You can use it at anytime.

How Can We Help

You should be receiving a call from a member of the church each week to see how you are doing.  If there is something at the church we can assist you with, please let them know or call the church.

If you haven’t been contacted yet, please let us know.

How Can You Help

You can mail weekly church offerings to:

First Congregational Church

651 Phoenix Street

South Haven, MI 49090

 

Pastors

Jeffrey Dick 269-214-8924

Mike Tupper 269-303-3743

Church Office: 268-637-3804

 

May God’s blessings be with you.

Worship at Home Bulletin for March 22, 2020
Worship at Home Bulletin for March 22, 2020

 

 

GATHERING MUSIC                                                 Patricia Kerr

 

WELCOME                                                                Don Kitchin

PRAYER  OF CONFESSION                                    Rev. Jeffrey Dick

 

Dear God, it is so hard to not be afraid.   Sometimes our fear makes us less compassionate, and more judgmental. We think we can ward off getting hurt by holding back, unwilling to risk putting ourselves out there for the sake of love. 

 Forgive us, O God.  Encourage us to extravagant acts of love, especially when we are frightened. You entered our story through Jesus, now help us to enter fully into the story of your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON                                       Rev. Jeffrey Dick

 

HYMN # 33, v. 1           I Love to Tell the Story           Adam Peterson

 

       O Lord My God! When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee, how great thou art, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; how great thou art!

 

SCRIPTURE READING                                Don Kitchin and Rev. Dick

Mark 14:3-9 The Anointing at Bethany

 

MESSAGE                                                                 Rev. Jeffrey Dick

 

A TIME FOR PRAYER                                               Rev. Jeffrey Dick

 

Prayer Hymn # 305          Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying

 

Lord, listen to Your children praying, Lord, send Your spirit in this place;

Lord, listen to Your children praying, Send us love, send us pow’r, send us grace!

 

Sharing Joys and Concerns – (received by text or email)

 

Quiet and Pastoral Prayers

 

Our Lord’s Prayer

 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.”

 

HYMN (composer: Patricia Kerr) By Your Grace              Adam Peterson

(music is after Scripture below)

 

By Your Grace, by Your Grace, I am well. All is well, by Your Grace. By Your Grace, I am well. All is well.

   By Your Grace, all is one. I am one. All is one. By Your Grace, by Your Grace, I am one. All is one.

   God is Love. God is Love. I am Love. We are Love. God is Love. God is Love. I am Well. All is Well.

 

 

BENEDICTION                                                           Rev. Jeffrey Dick

 

POSTLUDE

 

 

Mark 14:3-9   Common English Version:       The Anointing at Bethany

Jesus was at Bethany visiting the house of Simon, who had a skin disease. During dinner, a woman came in with a vase made of alabaster and containing very expensive perfume of pure nard. She broke open the vase and poured the perfume on his head. Some grew angry. They said to each other, “Why waste the perfume? This perfume could have been sold for almost a year’s pay and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her.

Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me. You always have the poor with you; and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you won’t always have me. She has done what she could. She has anointed my body ahead of time for burial. I tell you the truth that, wherever in the whole world the good news is announced, what she’s done will also be told in memory of her.”

 

 

 

A Devotion for this Sunday

 

The story of the woman with the alabaster jar appears in all four Gospels. Usually that means that it was such an extraordinary moment that no one would forget.  Not only that, Jesus makes a point to instruct those present to remember this woman.

 

The story takes place at a dinner at the home of Simon, a man who had a skin disease.   Jesus and his disciples are there, along with some other people.   An unnamed woman enters and pours and expensive ointment on the head of Jesus.   What a surprise that must have been.

 

Many in at the table were appalled at what she did.  Some offered that what she did was wasteful, that it could have been used to help the poor!   Were they right?   Well, the ointment was expensive.  Scholars let us know that this is so.  Nard we are told was used as a perfume for the head and hair (see the Song of Solomon 4: 13-14).  It was also used to anoint the dead.

 

In our story today, it is used for both purposes.  Jesus says, She has done a good thing for me.  The word for good here can mean beautiful or the right thing.   In fact, she has done both.   She has honored Jesus with something beautiful and she has anointed him before he will die.    But, those around Jesus did not understand that.

 

Jesus further says that “She has done what she could.”   What she could!   She has given a beautiful gift and she has given all that she could.

 

What is it that we could give to Jesus?   What would it mean to give all that we could?

 

In this time in our nation where we are asked to stay home and avoid contact with others, how do we give of ourselves?   Perhaps we can think of that in the coming day.

​​​​​​​

For today, let us remember that Jesus gave all he could, his enter life for us.

 

God’s blessings be with you.

Pastor Dick

Worship during Lent - Live streamed or available by recording

March 1st: The Parade – Matthew 21
Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week was full of risk. Rather than a nice impromptu celebration, it can be seen for the carefully planned and significantly symbolic event that would rub those in power the wrong way. In a moment already filled with tension, this “victory parade” had many implications, and many consequences.

March 8th: The Temple – Mark 11:15-17
Jesus’ response to a visit to the Temple in the midst of this busy, noisy, Passover “tourist season” is utter frustration turned to anger. With so much at stake, “business-as-usual” seems obscene. This can be true for us today. The banality of our everyday lives sometimes seems ludicrous in the face of such suffering around the world. But taking a moment inside the scene where Jesus is overturning tables in this “house of prayer for all nations” can offer us a way to see what we actually might do to reassess our own actions and make our own corner of the world (our “temples”) a more welcoming place for all people.

March 15th: The Teaching – Matthew 22:18-21
That last week, Jesus doesn’t “lay low.” He puts himself out there, susceptible to those who want to trap him, twist his words, get him to say something damning. He cannot turn from his vocation—he is not only a master teacher, but prophet and voice of the Divine. It is his ability to draw the people to his teachings that pose a threat, a challenge, to the authorities.

March 22nd: The First Dinner – Mark 14:3-7
Besides the Last Supper, Holy Week contains another important story that happens at dinner. Earlier in the week, Jesus and his fol-lowers gather for a meal, and a woman shows up unexpectedly to anoint Jesus in an extravagant show of devotion. To say she caused quite a “stir” might be understating it a bit. We imagine ourselves in the room and we see the looks of judgment and even outrage on the faces around us. Are we our-selves moved by her generosity and outpouring of emotion? Or are we uncomfortable as Jesus refers to his own death? Does our complaining or anger really serve to hide our own fear? Jesus invites us to tell this story “in remembrance of her.” What uncomfortable stories are we called to tell in our time?

March 29th: The Last Supper – John 13:12-16
Jesus’ words at the Last Supper were shocking to those in attendance. His words can seem familiar, even comforting to us because we hear these words every time we have communion. But at the moment of their utterance, they were anything but “usual.”

News from the Good Shepherd Orphanage in Haiti

We received the following good news from the orphanage on Feb 17th! Our church contributed $500 toward this project in addition to some individuals who made donations. The Women’s Fellowship is now sponsoring two children at the orphanage and the youth group is sponsoring one, as well as Jeffrey and Lynn Dick. The pictures of these boys are on the new bulletin board by Fellowship Hall. More pictures of the food truck are there as well.
The 40-foot food container you helped us purchase has arrived to The Good Shepherd Orphanage! In Novem-ber, we shared our urgent need with you that our food supply had run out due to the humanitarian crisis in Hai-ti. This container is full of pre-packaged food to serve the community and feed our children at TGSO. There are 272,160 well-balanced meals, called Manna Packs, that are specially formulated by nutritionists to provide essential carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and miner-als. These packets form the central component of daily meals, but they are also designed to be supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables; so we will continue to grow and buy local food when we can. These Manna Packs have provided immense relief to the Good Shep-herd Orphanage ministry by allowing us to go on feed-ing over 150 people daily through our community feed-ing program.
We hope you enjoy the photos and video of the boys unloading the truck of food as much as we enjoyed receiving it! The excitement we all felt that day was truly palpable. We cannot thank you enough for this generous gift. In the words of one of our GSO boys, Sami (the boy with his hands raised in the photo, “We’re all going to eat tonight!”

Communion Bread

The Diaconate wants everyone to feel welcomed at communion. Because a number of people can not have gluten, all of the bread at communion has become gluten free.

We recently held a taste test on various breads. A large number of people cast their votes. The results are as follows:

Bread 1st choice 2nd choice

Aldi’’s White 0 5 Aldi’s Whole Grain 1 2 Meijer Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White 18 2 Meijer White 0 3 Saunders Vegan 5 5 Saunders Sour 2 6 Dough Therefore the bread used for communion will be the Meijer Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White. Thank you for your response.

Food Pantry 2019 Report

The We Care Food Pantry had another busy year in 2019. Along with serving 1,785 families (of 4,916 people) during normal hours, we sponsored four Feeding America Mobile Food Trucks and gave out over one hundred holiday meal baskets. We could not have done this without the generous donations of money and food from the people of the South Haven area.

Our success is due in large measure to the dedication of our volunteer staff. Volunteers Don Kitchin, Kay Mielke, Sue Murphey, Linda Olson, Ann Raue, Cathy Siler, Terry Tatsch, Carol Tidwell, and Chris Valentine have given countless hours of service to the pantry. Two longtime volunteers, Roger Post and Joan Gruber, retired after many years of service. The pantry suffered a very unexpected loss of volunteer Shirlee Clark, who died the end of December. These three were valued members of our staff and will be greatly missed. Many other people have stepped up to help when needed. We thank them all.

February is our month to supply the We Care Food Pantry. Items should be imperishable. Here are some suggestions:
Canned vegetables Tuna Canned fruit Cereal Pasta noodles Soups Spaghetti sauce (cans) Peanut butter Mac n’ Cheese Pork & beans
Your donations can be brought to church on Sunday or during the week to the office wing.

Race Across Michigan– March 15th - cancelled

The University of Michigan Runners are coming back! For many years we have hosted some 60 to 70 runners from the University of Michigan who arrive here early on a Sunday morning (often around 5 a.m.) They spend Saturday into Sunday running across the state. Last year they raised over $20,000 for Special Olympics.
While they don’t expect anything more than clean bathrooms and a place to sleep for a couple of hours, we have always provided a continental breakfast.
We are looking for some people to help plan for their arrival. This would in-clude getting breakfast items out for them and making coffee and hot water for hot chocolate. Also need someone willing to open the church at 4 or 5 a.m. for them.
Lastly, donations for the breakfast would be appreciated. This includes bana-nas, yogurt, breakfast bars, juice, and other fruit.
There will be a sign up sheet at the church in the Narthex as well as in the weekly e-mail.

Get our latest newsletter and listen to our recent service!

Want to get to know us better?  Here is a good place to start,  check out our most recent monthly newsletter and recorded service.  We would love to have you join us for a service and get to know us better!

March 2020 Newsletter
Download Newsletter
April 5th, 2020
Fellowship Hall

Join us in Fellowship Hall after service for coffee, snacks and fellowship!