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 9:30

Enjoy our choir singing ”  For the Beauty of the Earth” by John Rutter

We will not hold worship on Sunday March 22 , 29 and April 5 to help protect everyone from the Coronavirus. Watch for a special video for Palm/ Passion Sunday April 5.  Lay leader Bob Beck’s sermon for March 22 is posted below.

Lent at Ebbert

Mar. 22  Fourth Sun. in Lent   Healing in the Wilderness

PSALM 23  – A SOLDIERS PRAYER

JOHN 9: 1-8, 32-41    As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.  His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 

They brought him to the Pharisees.  Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said,[a “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Sermon:  Healing in the Wilderness…

The wilderness can be a beautiful place, full of wonder and exciting things to see.  But when you are lost in the wilderness, it can be frightening and disheartening.  If you let the fear take hold of you, it will rob you of your will to live.

Today’s Scripture from John tells us of a man born blind.  The wisdom of that day said that if you were born crippled in any way, it was because you, or your parents, were sinful, and the Jewish people shunned them.  Definitely a life lived lost in the wilderness.  But Jesus, the Lamb of God, healed him, and brought him out of his life in the wilderness.   The reading from the Old Testament is the 23rd Psalm, one of my favorites from my youth.  A scripture on healing; and the 23rd Psalm…  I began to love the 23rd Psalm when I was a soldier stationed overseas, and began to realize that this Psalm is a soldier’s prayer.  It is a Psalm written by David.  Not only did David kill the giant Goliath, and play the harp to calm King Saul’s mental illness, he was also a very good soldier.  He spent part of those soldier years hiding, in the wilderness, from his own king and his army.

A soldier’s prayer; and scriptures of healing…  healing in the wilderness.  A strange combination…  a scripture on healing, and a soldier’s prayer.

My mind was thinking…

My mind wandered to my good friend, I’ll call him… John.  John served our country in Viet Nam.  Many of you know how our Viet Nam veterans were treated when they returned from their wilderness experience, and came back to the “world.”  It was not a pleasant experience for our veterans, nor was it for John.  Going though the airports back here in the “world,” he was yelled at, cussed at, spit on.  As soon as he could, he got out of his uniform.  Then John decided to use the GI bill and go to college.  When his fellow students, and professors, discovered that he was a Viet Nam vet, it started again – he was yelled at, and fellow students spilled their food and drinks on him.  They called him “baby killer.”  Baby killer…  While serving in Viet Nam, John rarely carried a weapon.  John was a Navy Seabee; CB stands for Construction Battalion.  John was a heavy equipment operator, and occasionally, if they were building roads where combat was a bit more active, he would have a shotgun beside him on the bulldozer.  Baby killer…   I think not.

John quit school and went into that wilderness area, that wilderness of the mind… he wanted nothing to do with other people.  John had already been drinking; sometimes it was the only way he could get to sleep for remembering the stressful experiences of Viet Nam.  He began drinking more.  Rather than go to work for someone else, remember – he didn’t like other people very much – John bought a bulldozer and a dump truck, and went to work.  Working for himself, he only had to deal with the contractor who hired him.  John worked 12-hour days, six-day weeks; then he would go drink for a few hours, get a few troubled hours of sleep, and back to work.  This was his life for about 10 years. 

Then God intervened.   One of his boyhood friends asked John to join a recreation softball team.  John joined the team – they were allowed to drink during the games.  During one of the games John dislocated his shoulder and couldn’t get it back into the socket.  The father-in-law of one of players had been a medic when he was in the service, and came over to help John.  John said, “I’m OK, just pass me another beer.”  John couldn’t play for a couple weeks so would sit in the stands to support his team.  The father-in-law, Bob (not me) would come and sit with him.  Over the next few months, Bob would bump into John, frequently, perhaps intentionally.  They became friends.  John was comfortable with this older veteran.  John began to share his experiences with Bob, about his time in Viet Nam, and how it had been to come home.  Bob listened, and began to counsel John.  Then John discovered that this very caring man was a pastor.  Yes, God did intervene in John’s life.  Bob, and God, gradually brought John out of the wilderness.  John and Bob spent a lot of time talking.  John joined Bob’s church.  John turned his life around.  John met Bob’s younger daughter, the one not married to John’s teammate.  She is a beautiful blond with a warn smile.  They married.   John went back to college and became a very successful high school teacher.  They have three children, and one granddaughter.   I’m very proud of John, you see, he is my little brother, and tomorrow is his birthday.

Now it is Lent, and we are experiencing a worldwide health crisis.  For many of us, the concerns for the health crisis could drive us into a wilderness place.  But Lent is a time for us to contemplate what it means to follow Jesus.  It is a time to consider the sacrifice of Good Friday and the gift of Easter.  It is a time to think about what it means, and to consider what that gift means to me personally.  Do I hold onto it as a warm fuzzy feeling, or do I share the love that it displays.  With the health crisis I have chosen to shelter at home, which gives me an excellent opportunity to study and pray, as well as catch up on projects.  It is a time to read and consider the Lenten prayer booklet put together by Frank and June.  But even more, it is a time to share God’s love, to reach out in prayer and to phone friends, neighbors and relatives.  It is a time to phone members of our congregation to check on them and to see if they have any needs.  It is a time to share the heart and hands of Jesus.  It is a time to avoid the fearful wilderness and help others avoid it as well.

The wilderness and healing…  God can bring us back from that far country, from the wilderness where we are lost.  But remember Pastor Bob, God needs us, you and me, to help do His work.  Some of our meals guests are lost in the wilderness; who will be that friend to sit with them, to listen to them?  At times, some of us are lost in that wilderness.  A dear friend, or a member of our family, may have passed away.  It may be a lingering illness.  We may be dealing with some other kind of crisis, a crisis that has driven us into that wilderness place.  It may be the fear of the current health crisis.  Who will be our friend?  Who will listen to us?  Who will comfort us?  Who will lead us out of the wilderness place and back to God?

Will it be you?

 

Mar. 29  Fifth Sunday in Lent   Death and Life in the Wilderness

Ezek. 37: 1-14  Dry Bones
John 11: 1-45  Raising of Lazarus

 April 5  Palm/ Passion Sunday

Liturgy of Palms: Matt 21: 1-11, Ps 118: 1-2, 19-29
Liturgy of the Passion: Isa 50: 4-9a; Ps. 31: 9-16, Ph 2: 5-11; Matt. 26: 14-27, of 27: 11-54
A Lessons in Carols of the Passion Story

HOLY WEEK 

April 9  Maundy Thursday  Our traditional meal will be cancelled. Watch for special video.
April 10  Good Friday  noon= midnight  individual or couple prayer in sanctuary
April 12  EASTER
7:00 a.m.EASTER sunrise- At Schutte’s house   Wheeler Rd, Pleasant Hill
9:30 A.M.  Worship Celebration in Sanctuary  ( still to be determined)

 

Choir Rehearsals are each Wednesday, at 7:30 pm.  Choir will restart in September. Thanks to all who sang this year!   Postponed for now.

 

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

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.                                                                         

WE LIKE TO FEED  PEOPLE

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You can also join us for our  Community Meal each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.  Basement doors open at 4:30.  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 8-11 Free Breakfast – take out

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

  • Wed. 5:30 Community Meal- take out

  • Sat Hope House 3:00 take out

  • Sunday  10:30   cancelled for now

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 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.

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.