Pastor June welcomes everyone to Ebbert!

Ebbert United Methodist Church

532 C Street Springfield, OR 97477 ebbert2@comcast.net 541-746-3513

You are invited to worship and praise via zoom Sundays 10:00 am 


We continue to meet for worship via zoom.  We continue our meals via “take out”.


We currently do not hold worship in person to help protect everyone from the Coronavirus. If you would like a link to a video recording of our worship services or the zoom invite link contact Pastor June at 541-603-8706 or juneafothergill@gmail.com.  Sermon by Pastor June for August 23,2020 is below.


We have a wonderful choir.

 

Our office is open for information and to visit the church: Monday- Friday 8-11:30.


                                                                

WE LIKE TO FEED  PEOPLE

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You can also join us for our  Community Meal each Wednesday at 5-6 p.m.   This meal is now a take out meal.

Click here to learn how they are feeding more than just the hunger of the stomach: http://bit.ly/1AKZNTv

You can get involved on Wednesday Night:

          Eat a great meal

          Bring food to share

          Help serve or in the kitchen              

 

Our Meals Ministry Includes:

  • Mondays 8:30-10:30 Free Breakfast – take out

  • Tues and Thurs 8-11:15 am Sack lunches

  • Wed. 5-6 pm Community Meal- take out

  • Sat Hope House 3:00 take out

  • Sunday  10:30   cancelled for now


Sermon  September 20, 2020   “ Manna”  by Rev. June Fothergill   Ex. 16:2-15  Mat. 20: 1-16 

     Wow, what a couple weeks it has been!   I identify a bit with the Israelites wandering in the desert.  We just get a little used to one set of troubles and then there is more!  I admit to being upset by the harsh air that made it impossible for me to go on my walks, that I had finally gotten into my routine!  I became grumpy and unappreciative.  Of course, it’s not quite the same as losing ones home or job or even having to face possible evacuation from the fires.  It was a scary prospect- the fires coming into Springfield and so many more people needing to evacuate.

    I went down to the evacuation site one afternoon to offer pastoral care.  You know, if you are feeling lousy, go try to help someone else.  There I talked with a woman who had lost her place to live.  She told me a lot about her grandmother and her grandmother’s wisdom.  These messages were some of the things getting her through her loss.  She told me a story about a young hero and how humble he had been.  I told her I thought she was a hero, putting her life back together again. She wasn’t too sure about that!   Together we looked through the clothing.  Hey check this out- this might look good on you. That kind of thing.  Something to do. Something to enjoy in the midst of tragedy.   The clothing given by the generosity of neighbors today. For this days needs. God in the day to day. 

    In a way the manna in the wilderness was like that.  It was not a great big miracle but a natural, daily phenomenon that met a daily need.   Biblical commentator Terrance  E. Fretheim says that the description of the manna sounds like something that actually happens in the Sinai Peninsula. A bug gets into a local tree and produces a sweet tasting, flaky substance that cannot last into the heat of the day. It is still gathered and made into bread by local residents.  One of God’s gifts of creation. 

   Food. Clothing. Friendly conversation.  All part of the gifts of creation and humanity that we can share with one another daily.  That like the Israelite’s we can learn to trust. Interesting thing about the manna. People had to gather it every day.  They gathered different amounts but when they measured it, they each had only what they needed.  Like the laborers in the vineyard story- extra effort didn’t mean you got more. Rather everyone was given what they needed.  God’s provision. Our daily bread. 

   This daily provision of God runs counter to our society’s desire to accumulate.  We are supposed to save, invest and plan ahead. Our economy depends upon accumulation.  If we are able to do it enough we can have capital to invest in enterprises that employ others and fuel our economic prosperity.  We can hardly imagine any other system.  Yet, this economic system like any human system has its problems.  One of them we face today is a greater and greater disparity of wealth.  Some people have barely enough for their daily bread while others build huge mansions. This is not a new story. It’s a very old one.  Pharoah’s army tried to keep the slaves that fueled Egypt’s wealth. Israel’s prophets saw it happening in their day. Jesus saw it in his.    And along side this common human story of accumulation, there is this story of the daily bread/ manna in the wilderness.  Where everyone worked each day and everyone received what they needed. 

   Yet, this way of living was temporary. When the people came into the land of milk and honey, they no longer gathered the manna but began to grow their own crops and keep their own animals for food.  Economies and societies change even in the Bible. Yet, the legacy of daily manna and receiving what they needed was to be remembered in Israel.  Moses was told by  God to keep a jar of manna to remind the people of their daily provision. 

  Today we live this out in how we work to share our wealth.  We give to our church, to community organizations, to thrift stores so that everyone can have the basics of life: like food and clothing.  Sometimes we also tax our wealth so that our governments can provide for larger things like healthcare and housing for those with less.  We find ways to recycle and re-distribute because somewhere in our hearts we still hold the lesson of the manna. In God’s way of economy- That everyone’s needs can be met.

    You see, God sent the manna, but the people had some responsibilities too.  In this case each household was expected to gather manna for that day but not try to hoard it.  When they tried to hoard it, there was trouble.   This daily discipline helped them to participate and also rely on God the Creator of the manna.       

   Also, there was one exception.  The sabbath.  On one day they could gather more, so that they could the next day have a day of rest.  The order of creation according to God included a day of rest. A day that they did not have to gather the manna.  Thus, they had a routine that included rest.  A day to just enjoy the gift of  God’s provisions.    Remember they had been slaves. Their whole lives had been work. Now they had a new thing- a sabbath day. To rest and also to enjoy manna.  Sabbath became one of the foundations of their lives as families and society.  One of the provisions of God’s economy is time for rest and relaxation.  A rhythm of work and rest that brings human welfare and joy.

   Much has been written about our loss of sabbath time in our society. Factories, stores and services work 24/7. People are proud of their 60-70 hour weeks.  Working long hours is expected and usually rewarded.  It was only in the past century or so that limitations on work hours came about after workers struggled for them.  Can we trust God enough to practice Sabbath in our lives and our economy?  Could we work for a better distribution of work and rest just like we try to do for food and other things people need? 

      Daily Bread and Sabbath. The two phenomenon in this story in Exodus are foundational to  God’s way of life. To God’s economy and justice.  As we see homes go up in flames. We realize the temporary nature of all our accumulation.  As we slow down to respond to a pandemic.  We realize the importance of companionship and connection.   When we open our eyes to the common needs we all have.  We realize we can share our wealth so that everyone has their basic needs met.    The Manna and the Sabbath teach us to persist in faith and take time for joy. Day by Day.

     I close with some short stories from a health training program our denomination sponsored in Latin America. Women were given time – a kind of sabbath time to grow in faith and skills.    “ Maria Sylvia is a Peruvian woman disfigured with arthritis who felt so bad about herself that she could not look into the mirror. During a Health for All training event she had a profound experience of God’s love, enabling her to accept herself and her gifts for health care ministry. She looked into the mirror and wept for joy.    Another women, Juanita of Bolivia found the courage to confront a local official with the urgency of using town land for a vegetable garden to address he hunger crisis. Though timid and afraid, she persisted until she gained permission to start a community garden.  ( Prayer Calendar entry by Wilson and Nora Q. Boots, missionaries in Bolivia )         Manna and Sabbath.  God’s gifts to share and time for rest. These are the source of faith and joy.

 



The mission of  Ebbert United Methodist Church is to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ through welcoming, worshiping, nurturing and sending.


If you’d like more information about us you can call 541-746-3513 or Pastor June at 541-603-8706 or email us at ebbert2@comcast.net.  We are glad you came by to see us today.


The church building has space available for non-profit groups for offices or meeting spaces.  Contact the church office at 541-746-3513 or email ebbert2@comcast.net, if interested.         


Our Monday Breakfast and Sack Lunch programs are helped by  Food for Lane County.   This meals are open to all people.   In accordance with Federal law and U. S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race color, national origin, sex, age or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.