Message for June 21, 2020

Worship June 21, 2020


I welcome you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

From the comfort of our homes we gather to worship.

Whether through printed word, or through the gift of technology

we gather together.

Here we seek connection to the God our creator.

Come, let us worship God,

shown to us through the risen Christ.

Opening Prayer

Join me in prayer

Loving and forgiving God, be present with us now, as we offer praise and thanksgiving for the abundance we have received though your grace.
You have gathered us in, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, to be your people.
Like a loving parent, you have sustained our needs—sharing your love with us, satisfying our thirst, and filling our hunger with good things.
Help us, Lord, to heed your call, that we might find deliverance through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen

 Hymn    TFWS #2146                                        His Eye is on the Sparrow

Children’s Message                                                                                                                        Ben Ziegler

 Scripture                                                             Luke 12:1-7 (NIV)

Hi, I am Rod Schaffran and I am sharing from the book of Luke chapter 12 verses 1-7 (NIV)

Please pray with me – As your people Lord open our hearts and minds to your word. Amen

In this scripture Jesus speaks some dark words. He warns his disciples of the ‘yeast’ of the Pharisees, the opposite of the living bread with which he feeds the people. He warns of the spiritual death which is even more destructive than physical extermination.

He continues with, People who are suffering or are on the fringes of society may not know that they are “of more value than many sparrows.” Trusting that the millions of people who suffer terrible trials of injustice here on earth will find consolation in the life after death is a huge leap of faith. Even the most ordinary life has its trials and needs the leap of faith that hopes for life after death. The message is, do not fear. Every little bird is cared for by God. Even the hairs of our heads are counted

From the Book of Luke we read…

12 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.

What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Meditation                                                         Prayer…

In the early days of the Corona Virus my dear husband took up baking. Regularly we had homemade chocolate chip cookies and then cinnamon chip scones and then he started into the world of breads.

Breads use that magic stuff called yeast.

His bread making days were short lived because yeast was a had to find item in the grocery store. Apparently, yeast was one of the items that was temporarily out of stock, somehow related to the virus.

 In the scripture Rod read earlier, Jesus warns his disciples of the ‘yeast’ of the Pharisees, saying this is the opposite of the living bread with which he feeds the people.

Jesus uses an item the people would be familiar with to make a point. The Pharisees would do anything they could to stop Jesus and to stop the people from believing what this teacher, Jesus, was saying.

I don’t know if the people from 2000 years ago understood the science behind what yeast did but they certainly understood what happened when yeast was added.

Today we know that yeast is the driving force behind fermentation, the magical process that allows a dense mass of dough to become a well-risen loaf of bread.

Jesus once again warns us of hypocrisy, hypocrisy being what we pretend to be and the insincerity in which we live our lives.  This time He is comparing it to the yeast which, though small in quantity can cause great damage to my life and that of others.

Instead of what the Pharisees are offering, Jesus is offering the opposite. He offers the living bread with which he feeds the people.

He says in John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
Jesus uses common things to aid in our understanding. It was not only 2000 years ago that people found themselves lead astray or being full of themselves. These things happen today.

Knowing his people and our tendencies God the Father sent us God the Son who died so we could live and in dyeing left us with God the Holy Spirit – three in one, the trinity, Father Son and Holy Spirit. We are indeed blessed people.

Now I am going to deviate from scripture and talk about our earthly fathers. Today is Father’s Day and each of has a father, some still with us and some now in God heavenly arms.

My father daughter relationship wasn’t healthy nor common but still I have a healthy respect for fathers.

Because my father daughter relationship wasn’t the best, I don’t have much to draw from so I went into our communities and asked some questions. The answers to these questions are a way to honor our individual fathers and to remind you to honor your father.

Jude Houglum responded to the question

What makes your dad special?

And Jude says his Dad is the best because he is always building them things.

Dan Torgeson’ s daughter, Megan, replies to the question

– what is a kind, sweet funny story about being Dan’s daughter.

She said Hmmm well, I guess I would have to say that with being Dan’s daughter there’s never a dull moment. For instance once when I came home he was so excited to tell me about the cute baby racoons that live under the deck and how he didn’t want to chase them off because they were too cute. There still there but we try not to feed them. 😅 With being Dan’s daughter, I know there will be lots of laughs and that any time we play a game he will try to change the rules.

Nora Houglum said being her dad’s daughter is special because he does things for them without them even asking.

Laura Schultz responded to the questions What makes your dad the best dad for you?

I think my dad is the best dad for me because he’s always there for me no matter what. He never leaves me behind and is always there for me if I need to talk. He never judges me or makes me feel bad about myself in any way. He knows how to make me laugh even if I’m not in a good mood. He gives the best big bear hugs which make me feel safe and loved. My dad loves to teach me new things and help me through my tough life problems. My dad is always down for telling jokes and picking on me even if I get mad or embarrassed that’s just who my dad is. I love my dad and I know he’ll always love me more than anything in the world. He provides a roof over my head, food on the table, and love in my brother, mom, and my hearts. I can’t thank my dad enough for everything he’s done for me, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if he wasn’t my dad.

Many of us have memories of our dads that are no longer with us and when asked How would you want to celebrate Father’s Day with your dad if you could? Jenny Houglum replied

If I could spend Father’s Day with my Dad, I would take him fishing.  He loved being at peace with nature and the quietness of the lake.  I’d spend the day relaxing and escaping with him.  (-:

The following is a story I often use at funerals, but it is appropriate today as we remember our fathers and our God the Father.

An older gentleman tells about being 5 years old and how he would pretend to fall asleep during the evening worship service! He said “If I did, I knew my dad would carry me home.

I would do this because we walked to and from church. It was about a mile each way.

Being little wasn’t my problem. The distance wasn’t my problem. I enjoyed the walk with my family.

However, my older brothers teased me by telling me that in one of the fields we’d walk through there was a “boogey man” who would “get me”. Now that frightened me!

One night I really did fall asleep. Dad picked me up. I woke up right away but continued to pretend to be asleep as he carried me.

That night we went right through that scary field and I was not one bit afraid. I felt the warmth, the strength and the protection of my dad’s arms.

To this day, some 50 plus years later, I can still “feel” his arms and “hear” his breathing as I remember his ultimate protection.

So, it wasn’t long until I would always pretend to fall asleep on the pew knowing I could go through that frightening experience safe in my dad’s arms!

And then he goes on to say, “Today, when I talk about death and dying, I realize that it, too, can be a frightening experience.

But one thing I know for sure, I am always safe in my Fathers’ Arms.

He made me a promise in the Bible that when my room was ready, He would come for me and take me there.

Even the frightening experience of death’s field is no match for our Father’s secure and strong Arms!”

Today we also find ourselves in the strong loving arms of Jesus.

If you honor your earthly father today tell him. Tell him what he means to you, tell him how much you love him, tell him how he is the best father for you.

And if you’re your earthy father is now in the presence of God the Father reminisce, remember the stories, give thanks to God for the years you had and memories you hold.

We are blessed people, blessed to have earthly fathers to care for us while we are together and blessed to have a heavenly Father that cares for us in eternity. Amen

Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer

Oh God, You know that we live in a crazy and chaotic world. You also know the struggles in our daily lives. When life gets to be too much, please draw us to you. Calm our thoughts and emotions and open our hearts to your peace, comfort, and wisdom. Please reduce the feelings of fear and anxiety that plague us. Help us not to live in fear Help us rest in You and trust You as we navigate through this broken world.

Lord, we thank You for always keeping Your eye on us. Even when we don’t think that You are even near, your faithfulness rises up and touches us.  Help us Lord to always know that we can call on You and You will respond. Touch us Lord as many times as You desire. For within Your touch we are restored. In Jesus Name. Amen.

And now in the words Jesus taught His disciples, we too pray…

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

Hymn    UMH 378                                              Amazing Grace, verses 1-3

Offering and Prayer of Dedication

God tells us over and over in the Bible not to be afraid.  Our gifts today are one way that we trust God even in a world that keeps telling us to be afraid.  We let go of thinking that we are on our own and live each day in graceful dependence on God. May your gifts reflect your trust in God.

Prayer of Dedication

We give in grateful thanksgiving for all that God has given us.

In the upside-down world of the gospel,

we measure our wealth not by what we have,

but what we can give away.

Let us give away generously, in this offering,

To bless your church, your people, your creation.


God go before you to lead you, God go behind you to protect you, God go beneath you to support you, God go beside you to befriend you. Do not be afraid. May the blessing of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be upon you. Do not be afraid.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.


  • Thank you Rod for sharing the scripture today
  • Thank you to music leader Ellen Timmers and accompanist Elaine Keehr for our music
  • Thanks to Ben and his helpers for the children’s message
  • If you are interested in receiving an Upper Room Meditation for July and August contact the church office.
  • Mora and Ogilvie United Methodist Church will not offer
    in-person worship until we can do so safely, 
    adhering to federal and state recommendations, and the guidance of the Minnesota Annual Conference. As we continue to navigate this challenging season, let us remember that God is with us.

 So until we meet gather again, I wish you peace.





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