Gathering for worship

304 members and friends gathered to celebrate 150 years of worshiping God in California, Missouri on June 5, 2016. Rev. Andrew Lovins welcomed all to the special service and introduced special guests.  June 5, 2016 Bulletin Rev Lovins welcomes

Bell Choir plays call to worship  Dale Parson prayer of the day

The Bell Choir, under the direction of Phil Lewis, opened the service by playing “Fanfare in G”.  Rev. Dale Parson, Associate Conference Minister offered the Prayer of the Day.  The Anniversary Choir, under the direction of Stacy Friedrich, sang “House of Grace”.

Anniversary choir  Lovins children's time            Rev. Lovins talked to the children about living in the present.  He told them that the past 150 years is history, tomorrow and the future are a mystery, but today is a present, a gift we should enjoy now.

Gary Schulte in pulpit 4A message from Rev Gary Shulte’s blog that underscores his feelings about being with us:

On My Way Rejoicing!
          I woke up in Jefferson City, Missouri this morning.  My time away has been rich with connections.  Yesterday, I was present for the 150th Anniversary of the United Church of Christ of California, Missouri–a church where I served as Pastor and Teacher during a formative time in our family’s life.  It was humbling to return to people and a place that had been home.
         What I found in California was a vital and lively congregation, as I had imaged that it would be.  There were children–almost thirty of them gathered at the Pastor’s feet for the children’s time.  The choirs sang for joy with words of harmony and hope.  The names of the saints flooded my memory and stirred my soul.  I am grateful to Pastor Andrew Lovins for his generous welcome and hospitality.    I offered the sermon for the day and will link to it here for those who might like to read what I said:  A Homily of the 150th Anniversary of the UCC of CaliforniaRev. Gary Schulte
         And now, it is time to leave for home.  I start the journey in a few minutes and will be home in Concord and back to my ministry with the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ later this week.  This has been a renewing time.  I leave this place that once was home with a joyful heart and a thankful spirit.  The God who calls us into communities of deep faith continues to support and sustain the Church and calls it to be an agent of resurrection hope now and in all the times yet to come.
Lovins on steps
Rev. Lovins closed the service with the Benediction.  “With great joy, we will go to bless others.  With great hope, we will go to share justice with everyone we meet.  With great wonder, we will offer peace where it is needed most.”