Monday, July 4, 2022

July 3 Sermon and Announcements



July 3, 2022


Praying for a Happy Birthday!

Romans 13:5-12


Tomorrow, July 4th, America will celebrate yet another birthday. There have been a lot of things happen in the past 246 years. This nation has grown from 13 states to 50 states. Going from mainly the east coast all the way west to the Pacific, as well as an island state and a state north of Canada. There have been many changes and challenges that have faced this nation and its people. The nation first declared its independence from England in 1776 but did not get an official guiding document that outlined our laws until 1787.


The first thing those gathered working on our Constitution agreed on was the mission statement for our country. It is called as most all of you know, the Preamble of the Constitution. It states these goals, these beliefs. “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”


The Constitution then went on to outline how America would work. There were provisions built into the Constitution to make changes as, in time, it became clear they should be made. It was a system put in place that allowed for all the things that would be necessary to make changes as this nation grew. The framers also thought it was a good idea to have three different branches of government as well that were intended to function together yet independently. Nothing quite like this form of government had ever been tried before.


Here we are almost 250 years later. This nation has had a series of challenges during its history. A little over 160 years ago, a war that literally led families to go to war against one another occurred. It would have been easy to have seen this nation come to an end at this time but it did not. This nation continues to face serious challenges to its core promise stated in the Preamble. What was stated is a goal to create a more perfect union. You notice they understood it would never be possible to create a perfect union. The goals and dreams of the original framers is what lives on today. There continues to be people in this nation that believe those goals are still worthy and worth striving to achieve.

While there is some disagreement on just how the framers lived out their faith, all of the framers had a belief and a faith in God guiding them as this nation was formed. They believed with God’s help these goals of the Preamble might be achieved, which leads us back to today and the birthday we about to celebrate. There are problems facing this nation, it seems, on every front. I am not going to highlight them. You can come to your own conclusions.


The verses we read this morning from Romans highlight what God is calling us as Christians to do. First, we are to obey the laws. We are to pay taxes. The 6th verse goes as far as to say our leaders are God’s servants. Verse 7 says to give to everyone what is owed them. Verse 8 makes it clear what debt we are allowed to owe. That debt is to love one another. A brief checklist of some of the Ten Commandments is then stated with the concluding thought that love is the fulfillment of the law. Just as there were challenges to the Christians during the Roman Empire when these words were spoken, we Christians clearly have challenges today as well. Paul wrote this encouragement and warning to the church in Rome, but it could just as easily be written last week to Christians in America. “Understanding the present time, the hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”


As America celebrates another birthday, it is time for us as Christians to make our voices heard. That can take many different forms, but we need to lift up God’s holy standards. We need to try to draw others to God’s redeeming power and his forgiveness. And most of all, we must do all of that out of love for one another. That is what God is calling us to do as his children and as citizens of this still great beacon of hope, which is the United States of America.


May God’s blessing continue to rest upon this imperfect union. Remember the sacrifice first of all that Jesus Christ made for you and me. Also remember those who have tried to do their best for the people of this nation throughout our nation’s history. May God’s guiding hand still lead us today and may God bless America.

Pastor Larry



Tuesday 9:30 Bible Study


July 10 Guest speaker Jim Helton of Prison Ministries


July 10 – 14 Annual Conference in Omaha—Pastor Larry is our delegate


July 13 Board meeting—6:15 Exec Comm; 7:00 Commissions; 7:30 Board


July 23 9:30 – 10:30 Food bank distribution at Kirby Medical Group, Cerro Gordo


July 25-29 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. VBS here at our church

August 3 12:00 noon Women's Fellowship Luncheon--salad potluck


Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you for your continued giving!


Donation Box: AC bills

First Sundays: food donations for food banks


Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362


To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:

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Keep in Your Prayers

Janet James and family; Mike Nuding; Michelle West; Tom West; Carolyn Hirsch; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler; Joe Waltz; Doug Larrick; Anna Rose Larrick; Ron & Kathleen Petersen; Anna Gentry Thompson; Louis & Carol Sulwer; Maralyn Heckman; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Sonna Hall; Tina Wilhelm; Baby Tate; Bryce Ashenfelter; Mindy Sawyer; Marlene Schultz; Sarah Rudelick; Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker;  Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Candy Dobson; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of those who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine; Hope Welty Library

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for Camp Emmaus and camp managers Bill and Betty Hare


Church of the Brethren vision statement:

Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.


Our Mission Statement:

Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.

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