Monday, April 6, 2020

April 5

We hope and pray that you are safe and healthy during this time.
Larry is on facebook live each Sunday morning at 10:00 with the sermon. Join us on Cerro Gordo Church of the Brethren on facebook.
Below is the April 5 sermon text and below that are our announcements.
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A GREETING FIT FOR A KING—JOHN 12:12-19
A quick review from last week for those who watched or read last week’s message: we looked at what set the stage from all the events leading up to what we celebrate on Easter. We focused on Jesus ultimately raising Lazarus from the grave and all the other events leading up to that and also what was said and done after Lazarus was raised, which leads us to today, a day Christians call Palm Sunday. We will be looking at a few sections of the 12th chapter of John as we continue to move closer to Jesus’ date with destiny. Even though we didn’t read all of the 11th chapter of John, if you did you would have seen that after Lazarus was raised from the dead Jesus went to another town. If you have your Bible, I would again encourage you to follow along. I will be reading from the New International Version, John 12:1-2. We see Jesus has returned to Bethany to check in on Lazarus, Mary and Martha. It is just 6 days before the Jewish people celebrate Passover, the event dating back to Moses and the Israelites enslaved in Egypt. While Jesus was visiting, a dinner was given, probably in part as a thank you for what Jesus did for Lazarus, but also because they loved each other deeply. Jesus, the disciples, and maybe others attended this dinner.
We now pick up the event that took place on what we call Palm Sunday. We read lots of people had come to Jerusalem to celebrate The Passover. When word got out Jesus was on his way to town, many came out to meet him. Have you even been a part of an event that just happened? It wasn’t planned but for some reason things in a spontaneous way happened? That’s what happened on this day. Many who were there when Lazarus was raised from the dead, or heard about or witnessed one of the other miracles Jesus had performed. We read as he got closer to Jerusalem, they were cutting palm branches and laying them on the road in front of Jesus like a red-carpet welcome, fit for a king. The disciples didn’t understand what was going on. If you remember from last week, they didn’t want Jesus going anywhere near Jerusalem because the Jewish leaders had tried to kill him the last time he was there. But now it seems everyone loves Jesus. They were confused, yet I can’t help but think encouraged, by this apparent outpouring of love. As they all got closer and closer to Jerusalem and the crowd grew larger and louder, I can’t help but think the disciples also became more confident. They believed finally everyone understood what a special man Jesus was. They also probably felt bold enough to let everyone know we are the ones that have been with Jesus from the beginning. This was the best day of their lives and probably believed it was going to be smooth sailing from now on. But how quickly things are about to change.
In verse 19, we see not everyone liked what was happening. In fact, we read in verse 10 there is not only a plan to kill Jesus but also Lazarus as well. After Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, things happen really fast. Next Sunday is Easter, the greatest day for mankind in all of history. We will be looking at the events that happen in Chapters 13 through 20 in the Book of John with our main focus on John 20:1-9. What we celebrate on Palm Sunday was the greatest day in many ways that Jesus and the disciples had ever experienced. The disciples wanted to believe the people were finally getting it, but Jesus knew what lay ahead--the event that would change the world forever. As we close our service today, I would like to share Numbers 6:24-26.
24 “‘The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
Be safe, God loves you. I look forward to being with you next Sunday at 10 a.m. Let’s check in on each other. I want you to know if you want to talk, I will be glad to talk with you. My phone number is 217-454-2362. God loves you. I love you. See you next week.


Announcements for April 5

April 9: 7:00 p.m. The denomination is hosting a Live Love Feast via the internet, featuring meditations, scriptures, and music. You may watch by going to www.brethren.org/lovefeast2020 and can participate if you have your own communion supplies while you watch.
The recording will be available to watch on the same website afterwards.
April 12: Easter, worship with us on facebook live 10:00 when Larry gives the message (You must “Like” the Cerro Gordo Church of the Brethren facebook page and then Larry should pop up on facebook when he comes on the air.) You can also watch this any time after the session is over.

Offerings: Please mail your offerings to the church at PO Box 45 or, if you have a key to the church and would rather put it in the donation box at the back of the sanctuary, you may do so but also please use a regular offering envelope or an envelope that you have labeled “offering.” We still need your regular offerings since we still have bills to pay. Thanks! Carol

We collected $380 for Easter boxes for the Lord’s Storehouse. Thank you, everyone!

Let Stacie know of any supplies you need and are unable to get for yourself. Someone in the church will get them for you.

Cancelled:

April 8: Executive Committee—Commissions, please met via phone calls or email, if needed.

April 19: All church birthday dinner

**************************
First Sunday of the month: Food Banks
Food needs: boxes of cereal, boxes of prepared foods, such as soups, potatoes, rice, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly

Donation Box: Camp Emmanuel

--Don’t forget to check mailboxes when you are able.
--Women’s Fellowship is looking for a strawberry festival chair or co-chairs.           

Keep in Your Prayers
Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Liam Martina; Ali Bryant; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Mike Gentry; Gary Jesse; Robert & Laurie Morr; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Tim and Betty Sue Laird; Larry Nall; Leslie Lake; Jennifer Like; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross: Denice Mosbach; Stacie Warren; many unspoken requests; traveling mercies for those on the road; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders

Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

Prayers and cards of encouragement are requested for our Shut-ins:
Zola Copeland – 214 E. Fitch St. Forsyth, IL.
62535-9668
Anna Rose Larrick C/O Evergreen Place #110
4825 E. Evergreen Ct. Decatur IL. 62521
Shawn Cain – 208 West Wait St. Cerro Gordo IL. 61818
                                    217-871-5179
Robert Cripe – 21 Park Street Danville IL. 61832

A Letter from David Steele, General Secretary of the Church of the Brethren:

Few events have dramatically altered global social, political, and economic realities the way the COVID-19 virus has in just a matter of weeks. To date, over a half a million cases of the virus have been documented around the world. Each country in which the Church of the Brethren has a presence has been affected. In some communities the virus has forced people to shelter at home and in others it has compounded existing needs.

I recognize that this is a time of anxiety and even fear. Yet, as persons of faith in Jesus Christ we know that death no longer holds us captive, for we are people of Christ’s resurrection.

The Psalm reminds us that though the world quakes, seas roar, and the nations rage, God is our refuge and God is our strength (Psalm 46).

I invite us to join together as a church in fasting and prayer each Friday in April. By fasting we seek to gather together spiritually before our ever-present God. We do not seek to make statements to our leaders, nor to be noticed by others, but only to center our hearts in the refuge of God’s peace. By praying we intercede for our communities that compassion may flourish, that health and safety may reign, and that the peace of Christ will surround the world.

May our prayer together be an offering to our God, and through us may God heal the nations.

Monday, March 30, 2020

March 29 Message

Below is Larry's message from Sunday, March 29. You may also watch it on our facebook page,
Cerro Gordo Church of the Brethren.
Next Sunday morning, April 4, Larry will be on facebook live again at 10:00 a.m. with that morning's message.

THE STAGE IS SET—JOHN 11:45-53
Today we are going to look at the events that took place in the Book of John, Chapter 11. I would encourage you to read the entire chapter if you get a chance this week, because we are going to look at a small portion of this chapter only. My Bible breaks this chapter into four different sections. Each section tells its own story of what is happening. We are now less than two weeks away from the most important event to ever happen. These events take place over a four-day period as we will see.
11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,
Now Jesus had just been told that his dear friend, Lazarus, was sick so what did he do? He did what any of us would do, right? He left immediately to go see what was going on and how he could help? NO. He stayed where he was for two more days. But the disciples at least said aren’t we going right now to see Lazarus?
Let’s see the disciple’s response: and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
No they said nothing until Jesus said, “Let’s go.” Then their response was they tried to kill you last time. We were there. Are you crazy? Jesus response to that was, there is no time to waste because he knew things were about to start moving fast. The stage was about to be set for what would change the world. So off they went to see Lazarus. In verse 17 we read Lazarus had already been dead four days. When Martha hears Jesus is getting close, she leaves her friends, family and sister to go meet him. Her first words were “Lord, if you had been here, he would be alive.” But she also added one interesting comment as well. “But I know even now, God will give you whatever you ask.”  Jesus said, “He will rise again.” Martha showed she had been listening to Jesus’ teaching by saying, “I know he will be raised in the last days.”  But clearly that’s not what Jesus meant.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Martha then went back to tell Mary that Jesus is here. When Mary met Jesus, she said the same identical words her sister said, “Lord, if only you had been here.” Mary was weeping as well as their friends and when Jesus saw this outpouring of loss and love he too was moved to tears, which leads us to the shortest verse in the Bible, verse 35, “Jesus wept.” Some in the group though were saying, “couldn’t he have done something if he wanted to?” Which leads us to Lazarus’ grave. Lazarus had been put in a cave with a stone rolled in front to seal it. Jesus told them to take the stone away. Martha quickly stepped up and said, “He’s been in there for four days. I would like to see him again too, but it’s not going to be pretty in there.” Maybe it’s not quite recorded that way, but she did say it’s going to smell. At that point, he said, I told you if you believe you will see the glory of God.
In verses 41 and 42, we read 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
He then commanded Lazarus to come out of the tomb and he did, which leads us to the scripture we read at the beginning. Some left Lazarus’ tomb praising God and letting people know the Messiah has come. Others left the tomb with a totally different agenda. They went immediately to the Pharisees and what was their response? Did they praise God for his goodness and mercy? No, they said that Jesus must die. They said he was going to mess up everything. They have it pretty good with the Romans and he is going to cause trouble for us all and Jesus must be stopped. So, what do we see happening over this four-day period of time, less than two weeks from the most important events in history? Jesus gets word Lazarus is sick but instead of going immediately he waits two more days before he goes to see Lazarus. It shows us God’s timing and ours often times are not the same. We also see God’s plans and ours also don’t always match up. We also see that despite the fact the disciples had been with Jesus for three years, they still didn’t understand who he was and what he was capable of. Are we the same way more often than we should be? Then we see Lazarus’ sisters genuinely grieving the loss of their brother, they say, “If you had only been here.” With what is going on in America and around the world are we Christians questioning God the same way as Mary and Martha? Are we saying, God, if only you would take this away all would be good again? Just as God was teaching something to all who would see through Lazarus, is God wanting us to learn something about ourselves and about our need for God in our lives, which leads us to the final part today. Isn’t it incredible that Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is what set the stage for the Jewish leadership to plot to kill Jesus? There is so much that happened in such a short space of time. The Jewish leaders were more concerned about their position and power than seeing lives changed. May we use these next couple of weeks to look at our lives and our relationship with the Lord. In spite of everything that is going on in our world, God loves you and he cares about what’s going on in your life. Next Sunday, we celebrate Palm Sunday and I will be reading from John 12:12-19 as we get closer to the events that changed the world. I look forward to seeing you next Sunday at 10 a.m.
God bless you and your families. Have a safe and blessed week!
Larry


Our announcements for the week:


April 4: Lord’s Storehouse Easter box contributions due. Suggested amount, $25.00 per box. Please put any donations in Carol’s mailbox at church by Friday, April 3 or put them on her front porch. Checks can be made out to The Lord’s Storehouse.

April 5: Palm Sunday, no worship in the church, Larry on facetime at 10:00

Offerings: Please mail your offerings to the church at PO Box 45 or, if you have a key to the church and would rather put it in the donation box at the back of the sanctuary, you may do so but also please use a regular offering envelope or an envelope that you have labeled “offering.”

Let Stacie know of any supplies you need and are unable to get for yourself. Someone in the church will get them for you.

Easter Sunrise Service and breakfast has been cancelled.

We are not asking for snacks for college care packages this spring. We do not want to encourage you to go out and purchase things just for these, and we are concerned about many hands touching all the snacks. It is healthier to forego this at this point. We hope we can resume providing the care packages this fall.

Tentative:

April 8: 7:00 p.m. Executive Committee

April 19: 12:00 All church birthday dinner—potluck

**************************
First Sunday of the month: Food Banks
Food needs: boxes of cereal, boxes of prepared foods, such as soups, potatoes, rice, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly

Donation Box: Camp Emmanuel

--Don’t forget to check mailboxes when you are able.
--Women’s Fellowship is looking for a strawberry festival chair or co-chairs.           

Keep in Your Prayers
Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Liam Martina; Ali Bryant; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Mike Gentry; Gary Jesse; Robert & Laurie Morr; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Tim and Betty Sue Laird; Larry Nall; Leslie Lake; Jennifer Like; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross: Denice Mosbach; Stacie Warren; Parker West; many unspoken requests; traveling mercies for those on the road; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders

Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

Prayers and cards of encouragement are requested for our Shut-ins:
Zola Copeland – 214 E. Fitch St. Forsyth, IL.
62535-9668
Anna Rose Larrick C/O Evergreen Place #110
4825 E. Evergreen Ct. Decatur IL. 62521
Shawn Cain – 208 West Wait St. Cerro Gordo IL. 61818
                                    217-871-5179
Robert Cripe – 21 Park Street Danville IL. 61832

           

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sunday's Message

Larry's Sunday message is available to watch on our facebook page Cerro Gordo Church of the Brethren.
If you aren't on facebook and/or would like to read his script, here it is.

MATTHEW 10:16 – Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and innocent as doves.

When we look at what Jesus was telling his disciples clearly, he was talking about a different challenge facing the disciples. They were being sent out to the world that would resist the message of repentance and taking responsibility for one’s sins. While some may question whether this virus could be the work of Satan or not, we as God’s people are called to be examples. Examples of responsibility, examples of hope, examples of mercy and grace. When we look at this verse, Matthew 10:16, we could view this virus as wolves talked about in the first part of verse 16. We could also see God calling us to use wisdom in how we go about our lives as Jesus was talking in the second part of verse 16. Also, we should be men and women who offer support, hope and assistance as best we can during this time as mentioned in this verse being harmless as doves. This is a different time than we have faced before. Our prayers for one another should be to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. We must ALWAYS remember in spite of the turmoil this nation and the world is experiencing GOD IS IN CONTROL. God knows exactly what is going on. He will bring us through victoriously. Our responsibility to God and to one another is to be smart, be prayerful, be full of faith and full of hope. Never lose sight of the fact that God loves us more than we can really imagine or ever understand. We will come thru this with God’s help. I would like to close with God’s encouragement. Romans 8:37-No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who love us. Again, be safe and smart. God bless you and I hope to see you all soon.

Larry

Below are our announcements for the week.

April 4: Lord’s Storehouse Easter box contributions due. Suggested amount, $25.00 per box. Please put any donations in Carol’s mailbox at church or drop them off on Carol’s front porch. Checks can be made out to The Lord’s Storehouse.

April 5: Palm Sunday, no worship in the church

Offerings: Please mail your offerings to the church at PO Box 45 or, if you have a key to the church and would rather put it in the donation box at the back of the sanctuary, you may do so but please use a regular offering envelope or an envelope that you have labeled “offering.”

**Let Stacie Warren know of any supplies you need and are unable to get for yourself. Someone in the church will get them for you.

Tentative:

April 8: 7:00 p.m. Executive Committee

April 12: 7:00 Easter Sunrise Service & Breakfast HERE      

April 19: 12:00 All church birthday dinner—potluck

**************************
First Sunday of the month: Food Banks
Food needs: boxes of cereal, boxes of prepared foods, such as soups, potatoes, rice, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly

Donation Box: Camp Emmanuel

--Don’t forget to check mailboxes when you are able.
--Women’s Fellowship is looking for a strawberry festival chair or co-chairs.           

Keep in Your Prayers
Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Liam Martina; Ali Bryant; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Mike Gentry; Gary Jesse; Robert & Laurie Morr; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Tim and Betty Sue Laird; Larry Nall; Leslie Lake; Jennifer Like; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross: Denice Mosbach; Stacie Warren; Parker West; many unspoken requests; traveling mercies for those on the road; Coronavirus crisis

Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

Prayers and cards of encouragement are requested for our Shut-ins:
Zola Copeland – 214 E. Fitch St. Forsyth, IL.
62535-9668
Anna Rose Larrick C/O Evergreen Place #110
4825 E. Evergreen Ct. Decatur IL. 62521
Shawn Cain – 208 West Wait St. Cerro Gordo IL. 61818
                                    217-871-5179
Robert Cripe – 21 Park Street Danville IL. 61832

            "Prayer for a Pandemic"

by Dr. Cameron Wiggins Bellm of Seattle, Washington:

May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.

May we who have had to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,
Let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Amen.


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Church Services



Due to COVID-19 and the need to be especially cautious, we are cancelling our Sunday morning services for March 22 and 29.
We will re-evaluate after that time and pray that we will be able to have Sunday morning worship here again on April 5.
We encourage everyone to err on the side of caution, take care of yourselves, wash your hands often, and thank God for all the blessings we have.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Come and See

Spring is on the way.
We are worshipping during this Lenten season, preparing for the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Join us on Sundays as we worship.
9:00 Sunday School
10:00 Worship


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Soup Supper This Saturday

Come, join us for a community-wide soup supper at our church this Saturday (Feb 22) from 4 to 6 p.m.


We will have several pots of soup--a variety--to entice your appetite.


Desserts, too, of course! (Use your imagination for these...)
Every day is a good day for soup!
We welcome all!!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Happy New Year!
It's time for regeneration and new growth.
Come join us each Sunday at 9:00 for Sunday School and 10:00 for Worship!


Power Hour for elementary school kids is every Wednesday that there is school, right after school at 3:00 p.m.