293 Years Of Blessings

What a great Sunday! We celebrated our stewardship, were blessed with an incredible choir anthem and had a fabulous trunk-or-treat event after church. Blessings abound!

***

Sarah Weaver
Rehoboth Congregational Church
Rehoboth, MA
October 26, 2014

Genesis 8:20-9:1
Genesis 12:1-3
Ephesians 1:3-14

293 Years Of Blessings

The theme for this year’s stewardship campaign is Blessed to be a Blessing.

We, as a Stewardship Committee and a congregation, have had the opportunity over the past several weeks to talk about the many blessings in our lives and in our church. And we have reflected on those blessings as we discerned our financial commitments to the church for the upcoming year.

I said in my stewardship sermon last week:

We give to this church to give glory to God; to make visible the invisible signs of God’s grace in the community and in the world. Giving is an act of grace and grace is something that is far more important to this church than any line item on our budget is.

We do not give to the church because we need money to fund our programs and maintain our buildings. We give to the church because throughout the generations God has blessed us in so many ways. And we are called to give back and be a blessing to others.

This morning we were reminded of God’s ever-constant presence in our lives for thousands and thousands of years. God’s blessing over Noah and Abraham 3,000-4,000 years ago was the same blessing that Paul talked about when he wrote to the church in Ephesus nearly 2,000 years ago. And those blessings are the same blessings that we are experiencing in our lives today.

Some days it seems as though nothing in life is constant. We, as human beings, constantly have to adapt as the world around us changes. Life moves at an ever-quickening pace. Tragedies seem to strike when we least expect them to.

And yet one thing always remains the same.

We are so very blessed by God.

We have been told, generation upon generation, that we are in covenant with God. Scriptures prove to us these covenants have weathered storms, wars and tragedies. These covenants have remained strong throughout the wilderness and all the way to Calgary. These covenants remind us that God has made promises to us and – in turn – we make promises to God and to one another.

It is not always easy to remember this fact. We are human beings. Life has a way of taking over. We often feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. We do not always know how to pause and seek out God’s presence.

But we choose to focus on and celebrate the blessings of God not because it is easy, but because it is what gives us strength when we feel weak, love when we feel hate and wisdom when we feel lost.

In fact, this is one of the reasons that we come to church; because from time to time we need to be reminded of the blessings that surround us.

As we celebrate our church and community this morning, let us be reminded of the blessings that abound. A few weeks ago, I asked the question on Facebook, “How have you been blessed by the church?” Last week I handed out paper balloons and posed the same question, asking people to write down their responses. The responses we received represented blessings from 293 years of the Rehoboth Congregational Church.

So now let us, members and friends of the Rehoboth Congregational Church, celebrate the blessings in our lives and in our church. I invite you listen to what your church family had to say.

I love that you are welcomed, no matter where you are on your journey as you say.

The church school program is a huge blessing! For parents and kids.

The wonderful people who make up this great community we are a part of.

A place for caring and sharing.

With wonderful new friends.

The prayer shawl program and lay shepherd outreach program have both helped my family during difficult periods in our lives.

The love our church family gives us!

The bonds among women of all ages at RCC are so strong! I’ve made friends I’ll have forever.

Blessed by the baptism of our children.

This church has blessed me with a home for my extended family.

Our family can be a part of this wonderful church family with so much love.

For the welcoming and warmness of this church and congregation.

I am blessed by God.

I have been blessed by God! I will continue to be blessed by God! Thanks be to God!

Inspiring sermons. Friendship. Fellowship. Beautiful music.

A welcoming place for me to worship at my own pace, guilt free!

This church has blessed us by providing the baptism of two of our children.

The sharing of God’s stories with family.

Prayers of healing.

Family.

Blessed to raise my kids in God’s teaching.

Friends.

Comfort in bad times. Love – peace – friends.

We are blessed by the church to help us teach our children the love of God.

We have been blessed by a new church family, lots of desserts and laughs, a seat at the table for all events, the choir, uplifting lessons from Sarah’s sermons and new connections from the past.

We are blessed to have a welcoming sanctuary that provides a weekly opportunity for the recharging of our souls and warming of our hearts.

Blessed by the fellowship of the Disciple Dudes and Divas, the Prayerful Paddlers and Pedalers. Also blessed by the community that gathers for dinners.

Being welcomed into the church as soon as we stepped in. Sermons which speak to Christianity in our lives today.

Being welcomed by warm people, listening to beautiful sermons and a talented choir.

Marriage.

I have been blessed with a second family – when I was younger, the Youth Group advisors were like a set of 20+ parents; now, the Youth Group students are 20+ younger siblings. The rest of the congregation is like a giant extended family – aunts and uncles, grandparents, nieces and nephews. Where would I be without my church family?

Friendship and support in good times and in need.

I have been blessed by the people of this church. It is so special to feel part of the church community.

Friendship and fellowship.

I have been blessed by the small town comfort of this church.

I feel blessed to be welcomed with smiles and warmth. And to be touched with spirit and goodness that I can share with others.

Congregation.

Friendship.

Sunday School, music and prayer.

Christian Education for our children.

Homeless Awareness Weekend.

We are thankful for feeling closer to God and feeling accepted into the church.

Our congregation and the Rehoboth Congregational Church has helped me with my spiritual strength when I needed it most over the years.

Fellowship of this church.

Experiencing God’s love through friends, love, caring, generosity and grace.

I have been blessed by the mission of helping the needy.

Opportunities to help the less fortunate.

The rich history evident in the church inspired me to remember those before me that they, like me, love God, others and their church. This is my blessing.

The support this church has given me and my family is amazing.

I am so blessed by being a member of this church. I have received love and hope during the difficult times by life-long friends here at church. Also during the times of joy. This church and its members have filled my life with goodness. The children and youth made teaching Sunday School so easy and fulfilling. God blesses us all who love this church and all that come here.

I am thankful for 59 wonderful years in my church … and many more!

We are blessed to have a safe and loving place to be when things don’t go quite right. Thank Him always for all your blessings!

I feel blessed by the positive energy I find in the Rehoboth Congregational Church.

Being baptized.

Friends and community.

Our ministers – past and present!

For the love of our children.

The blessing of feeling like a member of a supportive community.

Friends, these are the blessings in our lives, the blessings that give us new life and the blessings that surround us always.

Thanks be to God!
Amen.

One thought on “293 Years Of Blessings

  1. Another great sermon! You did a great job weaving all of the blessings together and showed the congregation all of the blessings that the church has received.

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