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Lay Leader Bob Beck’s Sermon

“The Lord is My Shepherd” Sermon  April  26, 2015 by Bob Beck   Mary had a little lamb it’s fleece was white as snow everywhere that mary went the lamb was sure to go.   The lord is my shepherd I shall not want…   The poems that we learn as children –  these poems do have an impact on our lives.   They bring us joy, or comfort.  They bring a smile to our face as we remember our childhood – I know I saw several of you smile when I began Mary had a little lamb.  They bring us comfort….   I memorized, or mostly memorized, the 23d psalm as a boy in Sunday school, not knowing then how much this psalm  would mean to me later when I was prepared to go into harms way.  Even then, as a boy, I suppose I was becoming a soldier – I can’t remember any time when I was not fascinated by the army.   When Ike Eisenhower became president in 1953, i still thought of him as General Eisenhower – I was only 6 years old.   “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil:  for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.”  to me this was a soldiers’ prayer.   King David wrote the 23d psalm, and yes, he had been a soldier,  but David had also been a shepherd, and spent much of his time in the fields and hills.  “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.”  I grew up in the hills just east of Newport, Oregon, and loved the hills covered in trees.  not only did my brother and I have foxhole forts scattered in several places on our 10-acre property, but there were other places that were set apart as peaceful sanctuaries – the small grove of Doug Fir trees carpeted with moss as thick as a mattress, dad’s “park’ where he transplanted trilliums.  The babbling brook that bordered Dad’s park.   “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the lord forever.”  “He restoreth my soul.”  I felt very fortunate to grow up in God’s country, with the beauty of the hills and forests of the coast range. And during a good storm I could walk down to the bluffs overlooking the ocean, and yell at the wind, and feel the power of God.   But, the rest of the story:...

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Mother’s Day sermon 2015

Sermon   May 10, 2015  by Rev. June Fothergill Scripture:  John 15: 9-17 As I was boarding an airplane recently  I over heard a Mom say to her little 7 year old daughter .  “ I was worried about you.”   “ Oh Mom” said the girl as she jauntily walked up the ramp to the plane, “ Why do you worry about me?”   The Mom shrugged,  “ I guess It’s just something we moms do.” I try not to be a worrier but on our trip there was a moment when I worried about one of my sons because I hadn’t heard from him.  My imagination started to think of all the possible things that could happen to him that would leave him unable to communicate.  Of course soon we did get an email reply and I felt much better.   I can’t imagine how my parents did it when I traveled in college before email and facebook and such.  They had to wait for those letters to come across the ocean.   I didn’t realize how much they worried until years later.    Worrying about our children or at some point in time the reverse, worrying about our aging parents seems a normal part of loving our families.   It’s just what we do. Now some anxiety is normal, such as a little flurry of worry when someone doesn’t connect like we expected.    But too much worry can create unhealthy stress in our lives.  Too much fear can be debilitating.    When we think about parenting or loving our family it’s healthy to find a balance between being overly protective and restricting because of our fears or worries and being too lenient and even neglectful because of our  apathy or feeling overwhelmed.  How do we find the healthy balance  which is loving and realistic?  How do learn to love in a way that can bring joy , peace and hope to our lives and the lives of those around us? Certainly these questions are part of  the setting of the words of Jesus we read in John’s gospel this morning.  This is Jesus last word to his disciples before he dies.  He  and they know that he is heading into dangerous territory.  He is trying to prepare them for the stressful time of his death.  He wants to give them all the resources he can for the difficult time ahead.  John is also writing for later disciples who also faced stressful times of persecution and struggle. So, the context of this passage is one of high anxiety and even worry. Jesus tells his disciples to keep their focus on one important thing-  Abide in my love!  I love that...

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