This weekend is traditionally, in America, the official beginning of summer. It is also Memorial weekend where America remembers all those who have given their all to help us continue to be a land of opportunity. Memorial weekend is also the weekend we remember our loved ones who have gone on ahead of us as well. Many families may have developed special ways to do all of this. Cookouts have become a tradition for many Americans on this holiday weekend. For those who enjoy boating, that is another way to celebrate this holiday as well. I am not sure if any of you, over the years, have created special ways to get together with friends or family to remember loved ones, to celebrate American’s fallen heroes, or just celebrate the start to summer. Cathy and I started a tradition the very first year we were married. Memorial weekend has almost always been the first weekend after our anniversary. As a kid, I always loved auto racing and the Herald and Review used to cover the Indy 500 really well when I was growing up. I always wanted to go see a race but never thought I would. As it turned out, my new in-laws always went to the Indy 500 and part of our wedding present from them was tickets to the Indy 500. We have only missed two races since 1975. This year was going to be our third time to miss because Cathy and I were planning on being gone to celebrate our anniversary the first Sunday in May and we were not going to miss another Sunday in May as well. Of course, that all changed. Things may have changed for many of you as well because of this virus that continues to limit what we are able to do. Memorial weekend should not be about where we are. Memorial weekend should be about remembering. Taking some time to reflect on the blessings we have in this Nation and why we have them. Remembering those special loved ones who are no longer with us. As Christians we should also spend some time reflecting on the goodness of our God. Remembering the special men and women of God that have changed our lives. Both those who have been a part of our growth within our church. As well as some of the great leaders of faith highlighted in God’s word. So, for a few minutes this morning in our time together, I hope we can take some time to truly reflect on all these different aspects of Memorial Day. I would like us to turn to the 11th chapter of Hebrews. In this chapter, we are reminded of some of the great men and women of the Old Testament. Those who in many ways risked everything, including their lives, to stand up for God. We are going to pick up what is being said as it is talking about Moses. Let us read Hebrews 11:23-38. What an incredible list of men and women who refused to let their circumstances keep them from doing what God was calling them to do. None of them had any idea how things would turn out yet duty and a love for God compelled them to answer the call. In these verses, we read some paid the price for obedience with their lives. This Nation every Memorial weekend also remembers and celebrates. There are those who have answered their Nation’s call. There are a variety of options in America to do that. Some paid with their lives as well. As I said earlier, Cathy and I have gone to the Indy 500 almost every year since we have been married. As crazy as it might sound, the older I have gotten the most memorable and moving moment of the race is during the opening ceremony. Just before the race is to begin everyone is asked to have a moment of silence to remember all who have gone on before us. For a few moments, 400,000 people are in complete, respectful silence. You could almost literally hear a pin drop it is so quiet. I encourage each of you before this weekend is over to take some time to reflect on all these people I have mentioned. Remember God’s people, both those of Bible times and those God brought our way on this earth. Remember all the men and women who have sacrificed for us in this Nation, both past and present. Also remember those loved ones in your family, both past and present. We must always remember our God who has given us the opportunities we have. If we will take some time to reflect on all of these special people, I can’t help but think what is written in Hebrews 12 is truly for us today. So, in closing, let us read Hebrews 12:1-3. What an incredible way God is talking to each and every one of us on this special weekend. God loves you and me. He has done everything for us including bringing special people into our lives. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Let us keep pushing forward. God bless you, pray for this Nation and its leaders and God please continue to bless America. Have a blessed week. We will be with you again next week at 10:00.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face to shine on you, and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.
May 31: Worship with us on facebook live at 10:00 when Larry gives the message. You can also watch this any time after the session is over.
June 7: We will start worshipping in the sanctuary for those who feel comfortable coming. Physical distancing must be maintained and the wearing of face masks, please. We will also continue the facebook live service for those who wish to stay home. We will NOT start Sunday School yet.
June 10: Board Meeting: 6:15 executive comm; 7:00 commissions; 7:30 board meeting; physical distancing and face masks please.
June 14: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Strawberry Festival, with pre-orders and curbside delivery. We need volunteers to make pie shells. Please contact Carol by text or phone call to tell me how many you will make. Volunteers will be needed to wash and stem strawberries on the 13th at 9:30 a.m. We will practice physical distancing and face mask wearing while doing this. We will also need volunteers to put together the pies on Sunday.
Graduates: Jordan Wright, Madison Warren, and Allena Vest graduate from CGHS.
Congratulations to all three and the rest of the graduates!
Cancelled: all May and June camps at Camp Emmanuel
Annual Conference in July
Upper Room: May/June issues are still available in the copy room at church. You may also get a PDF copy of the May/June issue of UPPER ROOM on line at www.upperroom.org/covid-19
Daily Bread: June – August issue is available in the copy room.
Offerings: Thanks to everyone for keeping up with your offerings! Please continue to either mail your offerings to the church at PO Box 45 or, if you have a key to the church, put it in the donation box at the back of the sanctuary in a properly marked envelope.
Please let Stacie Warren or Larry Traxler know of any supplies you need and are unable to get for yourself. Someone in the church will get them for you.
Let Carol Kussart or Kathy Gentry know if you need a mask.
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
This month please consider sending The Lord’s Storehouse a monetary donation. The address is PO Box 229, La Place, IL 61936.
Donation Box May and June: Vacation Bible School
--Don’t forget to check mailboxes when you are able.
Keep up on denominational happenings at www.brethren.org
Larry Traxler’s phone number: 217-454-2362
Keep in Your Prayers
Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Shirley Clarkson; Mike Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Liam Martina; Ali Bryant; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Jennifer Like; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; Joe Martina’s cousin who has COVID-19
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Prayers and cards of encouragement are requested for:
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
Robert Cripe – 21 Park Street Danville IL 61832