The Good Shepherd

Psalm 23 and John 10:1-10

We find ourselves in the month of May now. And we are still “at a distance” but still in hope for a coming relief from this season of threat from coronavirus and the necessary public health precautions. We are Easter people of faith and we persevere with God’s help.

We may get a partial return to our sanctuaries the next two Sundays as we will attempt to “live stream” the worship from Kedron on May 3 and from Locks on May 10. Once again, we won’t gather together but we will be visually reminded of our “worship space” and our eventual return “home.”

This fourth Sunday in Easter has traditionally been known as Good Shepherd Sunday as the scriptures are all about the Good Shepherd. We are in need of shepherding in these “lost and difficult days” where we have felt the “valley of the shadow.”

Pray for one another and look to The Good Shepherd to guide us!


Pastor Barry

The Great Mandate

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13

During this COVID-19 time I have had some focused time to re approach spiritual things that I often struggle with. For me forgiveness is sometimes hard. It is often difficult to move past the feelings of anger to the practice of forgiveness.

However, The Bible’s central theme is God seeking and saving those in dire need of forgiveness. Jesus willingly died on the cross for you and me, even though we often don’t feel a need to be forgiven. And even though you and I all too often continue to exhibit a rebellious nature. Through faith in Jesus, God forgives us in spite of ourselves.

But there’s more. God’s forgiveness is a creative force. It spills out to you when you receive it and affects every one of your human relationships. You see, forgiveness is both a gift and a command of God. It’s God’s gift to us that allows us to have everlasting life; at the same time, God tells us He won’t extend that forgiveness to us if we’re not willing to forgive others.

Remember . . . we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, and neither should we expect others to deserve ours.

If I do not forgive everyone, I shall be untrue to myself. – Albert Schweitzer

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. – Mark Twain

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. – C.S. Lewis

Dear Heavenly Father, my own sinful nature makes forgiveness so hard but your Holy Spirit who lives inside my heart empowers me to let go and forgive. I depend on you Lord to help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Amen.


Chaplain Rob

Well, Look Who Is With Us

Acts 2:36-41, Luke 24:13-35

Spring is upon us in its beauty, promise, and unpredictability! Our scriptures for this coming Sunday contain some of these “Spring” features as well. Two disciples on the road to Emmaus presumably in Spring/Passover weather, are suddenly with a companion who walks and talks with them, surprises them at a meal together, and leaves them with anticipation of His always being with them. And the two go tell the others what they have seen and heard. Spring excitement starts to build! The new covenant church grows!

We live in a difficult time where so much of what we see and hear lead to anxiety and fear. We need to hear another voice as well. A voice that comes from God through scripture and within a community that says to each other, “Look! Listen! God has been with us and will be with us! The Lord gives us gifts and graces to get through this and walk the roads we must walk.”

Until we are guided to worship in our sanctuaries once again, we gather on the “airwaves” to worship together. And other worship through your prayer life and scripture study and connection with each other through letters, texts, calls, FB, and emails.

The Lord says, “You can do this! Fear not!”

Though we are to “stay at home,” we can still keep “moving in faith!” Pray for one another especially those who continue to work and must be about on the roads helping others.

On to Sunday!

If you have any joys or concerns please email them to me at

We will live stream on Sunday at 11 am. Bookmark the link

Blessings and Encouragement~~†

Pastor Barry

The Lord is my Light, Whom Shall I Fear

You, LORD, are the light that keeps me safe. I am not afraid of anyone. – Psalm 27:1

When Queen Elizabeth II visited Nigeria in 1956, she laid a wreath at the gravestone of a Scotswoman, Mary Slessor. Mary, however, did not go to Africa under the authority of the British Crown — Mary served a different King.

The child of a violent, alcoholic father and a devoutly Christian mother, she learned survival skills in the slums of Dundee, Scotland. As a young girl, Mary read her Bible faithfully. Because of her earthly father’s violence, she was terrified of speaking in front of males. But she never doubted the unconditional love of her heavenly Father.

When she heard of Dr. David Livingstone’s death in Africa, she was deeply moved by his plea for someone to carry out his work. In 1876, she sailed for West Africa. Many fears, the results of her traumatic childhood, haunted her. But one by one she overcame them, and she made herself a part of the African community. She cared for abandoned children, stood firm against abuses, and loved the African people wholeheartedly. When she was awarded the Maltese Cross, she kept it secret. After her death, believers sang “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” in memory of Mary Slessor, who had found the power to overcome her nightmarish childhood and to reach out to other abused boys and girls.

Instead of working through fear, we sometimes divert ourselves with activity or deny that we are afraid, even to ourselves. Faithful people are encouraged to fear God–in the sense of awe, respect, and obedience. But we are not to be afraid of anything or anyone else. Overcoming personal fears is a lifelong process.

It is possible only in the knowledge that love is greater than fear and that God loves us deeply and dearly.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela

Dear Lord, please help me to conquer and overcome my fears. Teach me to be patient with myself and with you as I work through the process of conquering my fears. I confess Lord, that through you I can do all things. Amen.


Chaplain Rob

Easter Season Humor

Easter is a season in the life of the church’s worship not just a Sunday.
And, in spite of a wide range of emotions during the pandemic, the people of God always include Easter joy and its companion humor. As we like to say, “the joke on the Devil is the Empty Tomb.”

So, here are a few jokes and such for helping express your Easter joy. Please share with others. Some will elicit laughter and others will just bring a groan!

James, age four, was listening to a Bible story. His Dad read, “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee from the city without looking back, but his wife couldn’t resist. She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.” Concerned, the little boy asked, “What happened to the flea??!”

-The great miracle in the old Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
-The Epistles were the wives of the Apostles.
-“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us some email.”
-In the first book of the Bible, Guinness, God got tired of creating the world so he took the Sabbath off.”

One liners:
-He who laughs, lasts!
-Middle age is when you burn the midnight oil at about 8pm.
-If all is not lost, then where the heck is it?!
-I’ve reached the age where any train of thought often leaves the station without me!
-Why are a wise man and a wise guy the very opposite?
-Christmas is an odd holiday when you can sit in front of a dead tree inside your house and eat candy out of your large socks!
-How does Moses make tea? Hebrews it.

Try one or two of these on your family or coworkers or neighbors. And send me any jokes you have found to be amusing to you!
Hope humor helps!

Pastor Barry 😄

Leaning Into The New Life

Acts 2:22-32 and John 20:19-31

Greetings Brothers and Sisters in Christ! Well, we are far into a month of absence from our sanctuaries of worship, fellowship halls, Sunday School rooms, and the strange way of doing mission and community life at a “social distance.” Who could imagine!? Snow and ice keep us away and inside, but not a virus! Really?!

So, we learn different ways of following our Resurrected Lord without being with each other like always. We are almost like Thomas in our John text, we can’t see and touch so we are likely to have doubts creeping in. Jesus gave Thomas the opportunity to touch but still said to all disciples, “blessed are those who can’t see and touch but still believe!”

Doubt and belief often sit beside each other but belief “gets up and walks!” That’s where the Holy Spirit comes alongside us as Jesus bestows the Spirit upon us so we can find the strength and effort to live the new life of renewing hope and love to neighbors.

In this odd season of separation and interrupted routine, we are like the early disciples “leaning into a new life.” Let’s lean together even we don’t see each other quite like we used to! Pray as you lean forward!

And, like in years past, this Sunday after Easter Sunday is Bright Sunday in which the whole church rejoices with good humor and smiles with laughter. We tell jokes to remind ourselves that the Empty Tomb is a joke on the Devil! Be sure to check your email before Sunday to find some good humor coming your way. And if you can send me a fine, clean joke to share with others. I’ll post those soon and give you credit as well!

If you have any joys or concerns please email them to me at

Please remember your tithes and offerings. They can be sent to Naomi Lee.

We will live stream on Sunday at 11 am. Bookmark the link

Blessings and Encouragement~~†

Pastor Barry

Running and Clinging

Colossians 3:1-4 and John 20:1-18

As different as this “social distanced” Holy Week has been this year, the stories and message of our faith are the same. Out of death God makes new Life. Where there was no hope, now there is hope!

To get to Easter morning we face Good Friday first. In preparation, for our online Candle Light Service please find a cross in your home, a necklace, pocket cross, or cross on the wall or table. Or even a cross in a card. Have that present with you as you watch and participate in the Friday evening online service.

On Sunday morning at 11 am we hope to be outside weather permitting. Have a flower or plant nearby as a reminder of life blooming or waiting to bloom. We will hear of the disciples seeing the unexpected and then running. Of Mary Magdalene crying and then once again reaching out to cling to her Savior. We will hear where our hearts should be confidently placed as our life unfolds here and now.

This is not a “normal” time in our lives. It is disruptive from jobs to school to relationships and daily routine. But so were the times of the church experiencing the hope of Resurrection centuries ago and up into our time….and beyond.

Join our community in worship this Friday night and Sunday morning. And find your personal story written into the Eternal Story of Resurrection!

If you have any joys or concerns please email them to me at

Please remember your tithes and offerings. They can be sent to our treasurer Naomi Lee.

This Friday and Easter Sunday “tune in” once again on our Facebook page for worship!

The Good Friday service will be pre-recorded and posted on Friday evening. Should be available at 7:30 pm

We will live stream on Sunday at 11 am. Bookmark the link

Peace and Grace to all~~~†

Pastor Barry

Love One Another

John 13:1-17, 31-35 (NRSV)

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord-and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

The New Commandment

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The parade is over (Palm Sunday Last Sunday). The singing and joyous celebrating are now just a memory from Sunday. The palms are all cleaned up, and the city of Jerusalem is quiet. Tonight, we get one last meal with Jesus. But, before the action picks up in Gethsemane tomorrow, we get one last lesson from our Lord.

He tells us to love each other. He doesn’t just give it lip service. He gets down on his knees, pours water into a bowl, and washes the disciples’ dusty feet. This is the love he speaks about. Humble, lowly devotion to the ones you love. It’s a love that carries no glamour. It’s a love that gains you nothing other than sideways glances from others, who would never do something that is beneath them.

Jesus is showing us that love is costly. But more importantly, it is holy. How we love each other echoes an eternity. It is how we identify ourselves as followers of Christ. It is our calling card for the world.

As we, the church, enter into the great three days of Christ’s death and resurrection, I pray we hear this one last lesson about our identity as citizens of God’s Heavenly Reign. People will know us by how we love each other. People will know. People will see where our hearts and our values are by how we fall to our knees and reach out in service to our neighbor. Our promise in Jesus’ resurrection is firm, and our call and identity are clear. When we get to the other side of the big celebration Sunday morning, and those decorations are cleaned up, and we go back out into the world, I pray that this identity shines brightly and clearly.

Lord Jesus, servant of all, we lift up our hearts to your command. Give us the strength to love as you love us. Amen.


Chaplain Rob

Palm Sunday Without Crowds in the Streets

To all of us in exile, we will still worship our God and wave Palm branches for the Messiah and participate in Holy Communion! In preparation, find a broad leaf branch and place it in a front window. Or on the door front. A sign of welcoming the coming Lord.

In preparation, have some bread or cracker and/or grape juice (or equivalent) nearby as you watch the worship broadcast on Sunday 11am. The liturgy can easily be followed as you will have spoken prompts when to “repeat as the family of God.” Although “socially distanced” we will be in the Spirit as we partake of The Lords Supper together: an adaptive service for exceptional times!

When we hear of Jesus’ celebrated arrival into the Holy City we are called to expect how quiet our own city streets and church sanctuaries will be this Palm Sunday. Yet, we will welcome Jesus of Nazareth wherever we are because “nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

If you have any joys or concerns please email them to me at

Please remember your tithes and offerings. They can be sent to Naomi Lee.

This Sunday “tune in” once again on our Facebook page for worship!

We will live stream at 11 am. Bookmark the link

Peace and Grace to all~~~†

Pastor Barry