Ministry Updates for Friday, May 29th, 2020

Worship—Sunday, May 31st, at 9:30 a.m.

Please join us as we again worship through Facebook Live. Use this link to watch the service. And please consider passing it along to a friend.

Scripture for Reflection – Mark 1:14-15

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”


Reflection – The Neighborhood Kingdom of Heaven.

If we consider the headlines of Jesus’ day, we really would have to stretch to believe the kingdom of God had come near. John was arrested. The nation was occupied by the Roman Empire. The leadership of Israel had most likely ‘sold out’. Tax collectors were poorly governed at best and thugs at worst. ‘The kingdom of God has come near’, would be a hard sell.

In Wednesday’s Dayton Daily News there were numerous articles regarding how you could ‘get help’. But they were not about COVID-19. They were about long-term tornado relief for those who were impacted by last year’s Memorial Day tornadoes. We have an area also hard hit by illegal drugs and overdoses, as well as being on-par with national rates in the suicide epidemic, not to mention the shootings in the Oregon District last year.

Rebecca Solnit wrote the book ‘A Paradise Built on Hell’. She reviewed disaster stories, studies, and events, and reported on them in her book. Her key message was hopeful and spoke of how disasters seem to bring out the best in people. Sure, there are immoral opportunists and the irrationally fearful who act badly. Those behaviors are with us in all times. But in contrast, most people find a way to step up. The stories she shares are truly inspiring.

As I reflected on those disasters, I could not help but think how things do not have to be good for the kingdom of heaven to come near. In fact, we likely need a moment of heaven and the touch of God far more in difficult times.  I know God is more loving and more powerful than any disaster, whether the disaster is personal, communal, national, or global. This is the world we live in. I thank God for it.


God who brought order to chaos in the creation, God who restores, God who loves his people, in this life we all experience what feels like a disaster. On this one-year anniversary of the Dayton Memorial Day Tornadoes, we give you thanks our church was able to help in some small way. We pray for those who are still reeling or displaced. We pray for those whose individual or collective lives feel like a disaster. We remember Jesus, who when his world seemed spinning out of control, calmly proclaimed, ‘The kingdom of God has come near’. Help us live with this calm assurance always. Amen.