Please come and join us every Sunday

Sunday School at 9am and Worship at 10am

Welcome Statement

First Congregational United Church of Christ, Watertown, SD Welcoming Statement

Based on welcoming statement from Prince of Peace Lutheran, Philadelphia, PA

Who is welcome here?

If you are Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Black, White, or multi-racial . . .

If you are three days old, 30 years old, or 103 years old . . .

If you are male or female or transgender . . .

If you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or not registered to vote . . .

If you are single, married, divorced, separated, or partnered . . .

If you are straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual . . .

If you are Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, or a life-long Congregationalist . . .

If you have never set foot in a church, attend only on Easter and Christmas, or attend every Sunday . . .

If you are fully-abled, living with a disability, or a person of differing abilities . . .

If you have or had addictions, phobias, mental illness, or physical illness . . .

If you own your own home, rent, live with your parents, or are homeless . . .

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE!

This congregation is committed to being a loving and welcoming community.

In faithfulness to God, and to the best of our ability, we work to provide programs, ministries, fellowship, and pastoral care to all who seek God in this place.

We dedicate ourselves to living the UCC church’s motto:

“No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!”

Pastor's January Ponderings 

            “Lessons From A Star Quilt”

 

If you've ever been to a Native American cultural event where someone was being honored, you probably witnessed the giving away of one or more beautiful handmade “star quilts.”  This style quilt is so named because of the prominent "star" pattern in the center.  When presented, the star quilt is typically draped over and around the honoree’s shoulders.  This places the honored person at the literal center - a place of balance and blessing - within the four directions represented in the star itself.  What rich imagery, don't you think?  What a wonderful place to be, “centered,” grounded, smack dab in the middle of everything that is good and right and beautiful!  

This reminds me of something the Apostle Paul said to the Christ-followers in the city of Philippi.  He was closing his letter, summarizing what it means to live a faith-filled life, when he said, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  When our spiritual relationship with God is the grounding point of our lives, we have the assurance of peace in every circumstance.  When we are centered in God's perfect place for us, nothing can shake us.

Paul goes on to encourage the believers in Philippi, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  What - or who - are we focusing on, when our focus is on all that is good and right and beautiful, but God?  When we make it our goal to wrap our lives around all that is true and noble, right and pure, lovely and admirable, excellent and praiseworthy, we find ourselves centered on God, grounded in God's goodness and grace.  When we do this, we discover that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding … [guards our hearts and] minds in Christ Jesus.”

Every day of our lives God surrounds us with this incredible grace.  This grace has been made available to us because of the saving work of Jesus Christ.  This is the grace we celebrate with Easter.  This is the grace we claim throughout the year as God’s transformed people.  Each moment of every hour God wraps us in God's love, like a star quilt over our shoulders.  And each day God calls us into an ever deeper relationship, desiring for us to be centered on God through our faith in Christ.  It is only there that we find the place of perfect balance – of the peace that transcends human understanding.  

As we begin a new year, considering how we will live out this new year, it’s good to be reminded that the way we live and the decisions we make should all have their centered grounding in God and in God’s love.  In this new year, make God the center of your life.

Prayer: Thank you, O God, for your grace that surrounds us, and for your love that enfolds us.  Be the center of our lives!  Teach us to focus on you, and guide us ever closer to you, through Christ Jesus, our Lord.  Amen.

 

                                                         Grace and peace, Pastor David