Moderator:

Life is difficult!  After reading the Book of Job, you would say Life is unfair!  There are so many questions that we ask ourselves during our life.

Why is God unfair?  Why is he silent?  What did I do wrong to have this suffering?  This is where Faith steps in.  We don’t have the answers to all the questions asked, but faith tells us that God does not abandon us; he is always there.

I see many of our members confronted with challenges.  With God by their side, they work through the challenges.  Through the 150 year history of the Church, challenges have confronted our Saints; flood, building during a depression, decision to sell the church we built with an unknown future, Joint Venture, and remodeling a restaurant.  You know the road we have taken; you know all the hard work it has taken to get to this point.  And I know we never thought this is where we would be when we sold our Church building on Willow.

God has been good to us through our challenges, and God will be good to you through your personal challenges.  Always remember, God is there beside you, holding you up, and giving you the strength you need to face the challenges life is giving you.

Jacque Wallingford, Moderator

Grace i s……………………..

That is the question that I asked the ONA Core Team and Stained Glass.  And now I ask you to complete the sentence with a word or two.  We came up with some great words!

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:51-52) was one of the scriptures for reflection.  Jesus treats those who seek him out and those who seek to destroy him as a beloved child of God, engaging them filled with Grace.  We are challenged to do the same.

May Easter find us full of Grace as we celebrate the empty tomb!

                                   Jacque Wallingford, Moderator

“Make every effort

to keep the unity of the Spirit

through the bond of peace.” 

Ephesians 4:3

150 years we have kept the unity of the Spirit.  We have worked together, disagreed together, and celebrated together.  In times of disagreement, we have done it gracefully and with the bond of peace.  In times of celebration, we have enjoyed fellowship.  And in times of working together, we have remodeled a restaurant into a church and continue to remodel and maintain our church facility.

Churches don’t make it 150 years unless they keep the unity of the Spirit.  This Lent season may we reflect on our journey and be thankful for the blessings we have had through the unity of the Spirit of this congregation.

 

                                   Jacque Wallingford, Moderator

The Holiday Season leaves us all “stressed” with all the activities and family gatherings.

But I still love the Season and enjoy all the activities through the Church and Home.

My message this month is “Communication”.

No matter what is going on in your life, take the time to ask questions when needed, to get explanations when needed, and to understand the message. With all the media we have in today’s world, we don’t take the time to talk “face to face”; sometimes that is the best way to communicate.  Try and understand what the other person is telling you and don’t be afraid to ask questions, and “communicate.”

We have been so blessed in this Church with the unity in decisions that are made and all that we do concerning the Church and future.  As we now approach our Celebration of 150th Birthday in September, let’s continue with that Unity and keep our Communication channels open.  Listen, ask questions, and understand. May God bless us through this year of Celebration!

                                   Jacque Wallingford, Moderator

Have we lost the true meaning of “Christmas”?  Christmas movies on Hallmark, Christmas music on Sirius, and Christmas ads on TV and we still are two weeks away from Thanksgiving.

I love the Christmas Season,

but find myself exhausted by the time Christmas Day comes. So many activities and end of year projects for work, make it always a very busy season.

This season I would like to take some time to reflect on the true meaning of “Christmas”.

Christmas is supposed to be a Christian holiday honoring the Birth of Jesus Christ.  Over time it has

become a time for family and friends and EXCHANGE GIFTS.

I hope this season, you will be able to combine traditions and enjoy your time with family and friends, exchange gifts, but most of all remember the true meaning of Christmas – honoring the Birth of Jesus Christ!

                                          Jacque Wallingford, Moderator

 

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Moderator:  

I haven’t figured out yet where most of the year has gone. In another month we will be celebrating Thanksgiving

and then Advent.

Sunday, November 30th is the start of Advent and the new Advent Devotional is here.  If you are interested in a copy, the devotional will be displayed Thanksgiving Sunday.  The theme is “Tear Open the Heavens.”  On the Introduction page, last paragraph it says, “This Advent devotional is written with that answer in mind as we prepare for the humble power of God breaking into our troubled world.  It may not be the gift we expected, but it is the one we need.”  I love the part of God breaking into our troubled world and the gift may not be what we expected, but it is the one we need!  How many times in worship I have felt God’s presence right next to me; giving me strength and telling me everything is going to be OK…just wait!  I have waited and yes, everything has been

Music is part of that gift of my closeness to God; singing in the choir, playing instruments; or just singing songs during worship.  The Song of Reflection this morning was “Take Me, God.”  The more we sang that song, the more I could feel God’s presence!  I didn’t want the song to end.  It was a great time of singing and thanking God for all that he has given me.  There are many songs that you just want a few moments of silence to feel the spirit and presence of God.  So, next time a song makes me feel that close to God, watch for my raised arm as I reach out to feel God’s presence and watch for my silence as I take in the spirit of God surrounding me!

                                          Jacque Wallingford, Moderator

It is Cherry Season! As Linden prepares for the Cherry Festival I notice that the Cherry Trees around my property look very bare. I get an email every year from friends that own Cherry Orchards and have their own Packing facility. This year in the email they stated the crop was light and would only have cherries for 3 days for each variety. I sure could understand by looking at the trees. Weather (lack of rain) warm weather early, and lack of pollination by the bees seems to be part of the issue for lack of Cherries.

In looking at my church calendar I noticed that May 25th is Rural Life Sunday.

We can’t do much about droughts, floods, or tornadoes—whether God’s hand has played a role as some say, or just Mother Nature.  Life on the western farm belt is hard.  Farm families find it more and more difficult to survive with all issues of water and costs of operation of their farming business. Look at what has happened to the farming in the Central Valley with the lack of water. Farms have opted to leave the ground bare then to plant and loose the crop. Rural Life Sunday, is for lifting up the ministries of families, who use land to make a living. We need them as much as they need us. Food is our nourishment that keeps us alive. But there is also the nourishment that we find in our faith through Jesus Christ. We need him as much as the Farm families need us.

Pray that we all may find the nourishment we need to continue in our ministry local and abroad.

                                          Jacque Wallingford, Moderator

 

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