FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST – OUR OPEN AND AFFIRMING GREAT FALLS CHURCH WHERE EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

MONTANA/NORTHERN WYOMING CONFERENCE ANNUAL MEETING – HELPERS NEEDED AS EXCITEMENT GROWS!

The annual meeting of the Montana Northern Wyoming Conference of the United Church of Christ is coming to our church!  Experience the work of the wider church through worship, meetings and fellowship. President John Dorhauer of the United Church of Christ will give the message on Sunday June 17th at 9:30 A.M. so it would be great to join with our sisters and brothers from other churches in the Conference to hear him speak.

Volunteers are still needed for the following:

Friday June 15th

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM– help at registration table

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM– General Hospitality

Saturday June 16th

8:00 AM to Noon – General Hospitality

Noon to 4:00 PM — General Hospitality

Please contact Holly in the office (406-453-4316) to volunteer for any of the positions.

The University of Providence gives a big hand to Family Promise Host Churches by housing families during the month of June.  But they need help in providing dinners, which must be prepared ahead of time because their cafeteria is being renovated. Below is a list of dates when dinners are needed. Those interested in providing dinner should call D.J. Lott at 866-0288 to confirm. All times are 5:00 P.M. -7:00 P.M. Meals are served at Mojo’s in the McLaughlin Center.

Sunday, June 10, Tuesday, June 12 , Friday, June 15, Sunday, June 17, Monday, June 18, Wednesday, June 20, Friday, June 22, Saturday, June 23

YOU’RE INVITED to a night at the ballpark on June 30TH, 2018 7:00-10:00 PM  – CENTENE STADIUM – $8.00 PER TICKET

 Join us for a cool summer evening of baseball, a 50-50 raffle, and a celebration of our retiring executive director, Sharon Odden, and the incredible things she’s done to help end childhood homelessness in our community. $4 of every advance ticket sold will go to support Family Promise!  Call the Family Promise office at (406) 866-0288, or swing by 1019 Central Avenue (behind Central Christian Church) to get your hands on your tickets. Only tickets purchased in advance through our office will go to benefit our mission; any tickets purchased at the door will not be recognized as part of this fundraiser. These advance tickets won’t last forever, so get your hands on ‘em quick!

FROM THE PASTOR

“Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:15;NRSV.

Like most other people I know, I’ve always walked around in the belief that there is only one God. The God that created all that is: me, you, the earth, the sun and moon and stars and the aurora borealis. Everything.

I have always brushed off the thought of other “gods” as nothing more than ancient thought. I’d say “Oh, that’s what they used to believe before they figured out that there’s really only one God.” Or, “It was the best they could do because no one had knocked on their door to tell them about the one real God.”

But, what if there were other gods, other entities that were god-ish?

If other gods do indeed exist, then my believing in the God of Jesus of Nazareth is indeed a choice.  A real choice.

Without the existence of other gods, there’s only one choice: you either worship the one God or you don’t. You’re a “believer” or not. Done deal. Black and white. Well, I do believe in God: something beyond creation itself, a source of being, a divine entity that cares for souls and creation, a force that sets forth the ways of life and death and partners with creation to bring it all about so not believing isn’t the way for me. That leaves me on the “believe” side of the coin.

But what if there were other coins. What if those other gods exist? What if Baal exists? What if Zeus exists? What if the god of an unknown universe exists? It broadens the scope of choices. If there are other gods from which to choose, I could worship Baal – or not. I could worship Zeus – or not. I could worship the God of Jesus of Nazareth – or not. I can choose.

Having a choice seems to make walking in faith so much more rich. And, I can choose to make my relationship with the God I choose to worship as rich as I can (or want). Looking at Jesus as a doorway into the God of my choice, I find I love that God more deeply. It’s the right God for me. Perhaps because I have been shaped by believing in (or as Marcus Borg puts it “be-loving”) this God for as long as I can remember. The ground and source of my creativity, my passion, the inclination towards justice and compassion has been rooted in my understanding of God and so the thought of looking into a room full of a variety of gods, I still seek out the one that is familiar to me and say, “It’s you. I choose you.”

So, going back to Joshua, my ancient brother in faith, I join with the invitation: Choose this day whom you will serve. As for me, I choose the God of Jesus.

 

Lynne