Weekly Bulletin





United Methodist Churches of Cresco and Zion
Sunday, January 17, 2021
10:00 A.M.

Piano Prelude

Opening Prayer

Welcome and Announcements – Worship Leader: Roy Gorter

Call to worship
O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.
For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them – they are more than the sand; I come to the end – I am still with you.

Hymn 384 – “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”
(Melodee will play the hymn on the piano. Mute your microphone and sing along.)

V1. Love divine, all loves excelling, jot of heaven, to earth come down; fix in us thy humble dwelling; all thy faithful mercies crown! Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art; visit us with thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.

V2. Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit into every troubled breast! Let us all in thee inherit; let us find that second rest. Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.

V3. Come, Almighty to deliver, let us all thy life receive; suddenly return and never, never more thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above, pray and praise thee without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.

V4. Finish, then, thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be. Let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee; changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place, till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Children’s Message

Albert Okine – “Jesus Chooses His Disciples”

Scripture – 1 Samuel 3:1-10, 11-20, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, John 1:43-51
This is the Word of God
Thanks be to God

Mission Moment – Human Relations Day – Pat Joiner

Sermon – Are we responding to God’s call to rescue the perishing souls?

Joys and Concerns

Closing Hymn 591 – “Rescue the Perishing”
(Again Melodee will play the hymn and you will mute your microphone to sing.)

V1. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o’er the erring one, lift of the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Refrain Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is the merciful, Jesus will save.

V2. Though they are slighting him, still he is waiting, waiting the penitent child to receive; plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently; he will forgive if they only believe.

Refrain Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is the merciful, Jesus will save.

V3. Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore; touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness, chords that were broken will vibrate once more.

Refrain Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is the merciful, Jesus will save.

V4. Rescue the perishing, duty demands it; strength for thy labor the Lord will provide; back to the narrow way patiently win them; tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died.

Refrain Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is the merciful, Jesus will save.

Benediction


Are We Responding to God’s Call to Rescue the Perishing Souls?
Are you a light or heavy sleeper? What does it take to wake you? Although prophetic
utterances had been given in the past, yet the office of the prophet was not established before then.
In fact, Samuel was the first to occupy that office. Considering that the priesthood was corrupt, the
nation for all practical purposes was then without spiritual leadership. Can we say the same for our
country, as well as many countries in the world? Lack of spiritual leadership to engage the corrupt
practices opens the door for moral decadence. The Bible proves that when our leaders resort to lies,
the people become very wicked. In first Samuel 3 verse 2 we see that the golden lampstand which
was to be supplied with oil morning and evening had obviously been neglected.
Brothers and Sisters God has called all of us like Samuel. Thank God some of us in Cresco
are called to be retirees, students, janitors, factory workers, farmers, bankers, teachers, business
owners, home-makers, etc. and God is going all He can to get us equipped for our calling. But if we
do not avail ourselves to the education, environment and association God has ordained to prepare
us to serve in our calling, we can be ineffective. Like Eli, if we refuse to engage the culture in order
to, bring about correction in our homes, school, factory, community, church, what future do we
anticipate for our country? If the people God has put in leadership would not live in integrity, the
wrath of God would fall, like it did on Eli and his two children.
Samuel lived in the Lord’s temple yet “he had never had a message from the Lord before”
(v.7). What does that say about Eli, the high priest? Brethren, I am here in Cresco to give you a
message from the Lord, and it is not meant for only Sunday worship alone, but in bible study groups,
fellowship gatherings, and social groups as well. The bible says in Heb. 10:25, “Do not forsake the
assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhort one another: and so much
the more, as you see the day approaching.”
In Romans 12:1 and 2, Apostle Paul, beseeched us by the mercies of God to present our
bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. We should
not be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good and
acceptable, and perfect will of God. For our discipleship in Cresco UMC, we shall all collectively
study first and second Peter, in order, to know how to walk as new believer in Christ.
In John 1, we read that Peter was one of the first disciples called by Jesus. He was a
fisherman by trade. His brother was Andrew the Apostle. He was married, and his wife accompanied
him on some of his preaching tours. He wrote his letter (first and second Peter) to Christians being
accused of setting fire to Rome. Christianity was being prohibited. Do we realize the silent
persecution we are going through in these last days? How many of us can confidently open and read
their bibles in the breakroom at work?
Why is God going to judge Eli’s family forever? What might Eli have done to stop his sons? In
what way is Eli responsible for their sins? How are you responsible for speaking out against those
who are doing wrong in our home, school, office, and Cresco community?
Brethren through our bible study and discipleship studies, we would acquire a lot of
knowledge to be bold to engage in our community. Feeding on the inspired word of God is essential
for our spiritual growth in grace.
When Paul, who was called Saul, practiced Judaism, he was so zealous that he travelled both
far and near to bring justice ‘members of the way, Christian believers.’ Little did he know that he was
persecuting our Lord Jesus Christ. Many religious people who hate us for trying to study God’s work,
go deeper in fellowship, live and pray like Jesus, do not know that they are persecuting our Lord,
who is the head of the body of Christ. Paul had received education and misinformation under
Judaism. If we neglect bible study and small group fellowship, we may be setting ourselves up to fail
like Saul of old.
In 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, we read that all things are lawful unto us, but not all things are
helpful. Brethren, we have the freedom to do anything, but not everything is helpful. I have the
freedom to do anything, but I won’t be controlled by anything. There may be COVID-19, but shall we
strive to join in the body of Christ wherever they are meeting. We burn well as a cluster of firewood,
but when alone we cannot burn effectively in Cresco.
13Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, and yet God will do away with both.
The body isn’t for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14God has raised
the Lord and will raise us through his power. Shall we be consistent in our daily devotion, bible
reading and prayer?
15Don’t you know that your bodies are parts of Christ? So then, should I take parts of Christ
and make them a part of someone who is sleeping around? No way! 16Don’t you know that anyone
who is joined to someone who is sleeping around is one body with that person? The scripture says,
The two will become one flesh. 17The one who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. If we are
one spirit with our Lord Jesus Christ, why are we not doing all that Christ did?
18Avoid sexual immorality! Every sin that a person can do is committed outside the body,
except those who engage in sexual immorality commit sin against their own bodies. 19Or don’t you
know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t’ you know that you have the
Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? 20We have been bought and paid for, so
let us honor God with our body.
Firstly, Christianity is not a religion which consists of rules. We do not focus on unprofitable
things. Christianity is a relationship with the founder, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We read the
bible to know more about our Savior Jesus Christ. When God called us, he revealed his will, plan
and purpose for our lives in his world, the bible. We need to read, study, memorize, meditate and
speak forth the word of God to the situations of life we encounter. How can we speak to create God’s
plan for our lives, if we do not know the word of God? Grace does not give us a license to sin, but
rather liberty to live a holy life. Paul is saying that food contains no spiritual application, so we should
not make a God out of our belly; it would not set well with the Lord. Our physical bodies are temples
of the Holy Spirit. If we keep ourselves – God’s temple – pure, which we can only do by God’s grace,
God will keep us well. The resurrection of our Lord carries the idea that the human body belongs to
God, not just the soul and spirit, because it will also participate in the physical resurrection of
believers.
When a person is saved, they are saved holistically, meaning spirit, soul and body. We
become a member of Christ as unity, with the Holy Spirit looking at the triune being of man as “one.”
How could anyone, especially a believer, think the Holy Spirit would sanction the terrible sin of
fornication?
But he who is joined unto the Lord. It indicates the closest possible union, symbolized by the
sexual union of a Christian husband and wife. This reflects the same union with Christ, albeit in a
spiritual sense, as a husband and wife have in a physical sense. Flee fornication – includes any type
of immorality – is not a suggestion but a command. Every sin that one does is without one’s bodyspeak
of all sins other than fornication. Gluttony, drunkenness, or a drug addiction, etc., while
affecting the body in a negative way, originate from without. With fornication, the source of
uncleanness is in the heart. Do you remember that God referred to Israel worshipping idols as
“spiritual adultery or fornication.” Now, we know that the human body of the born – again believer is a
sanctuary of the Holy Spirit. We belong to God, and all of the trinity lives in us, and the body must be
treated accordingly. The price God paid for our redemption was the shed blood of Christ at Calvary.
The Lord who called us is perfect, so let us strive to be perfect always. Amen!!


Announcements
 Sunday, January 17th
Fellowship (on Zoom): 9:05-9:55 A.M. The Zoom meeting ID is 215 026 6631 and the passcode is QW0F59 (the 0 is a zero).
Piano Prelude
Worship service – 10:00 A.M.
VFW Cancer Breakfast: 8:00A.M. – 12:30P.M. – dine in (spaced at tables) and carry out. Donations will be split between the 2 Cresco cancer organizations.
 Tuesday, January 19th
Ad. Board meeting – 6:00P.M. on Zoom
 Wednesday, January 20th
Bible Study – 9:15 A.M. on Zoom
Youth Group – 7:00 P.M. on Zoom
 Friday, January 22nd
Items for February newsletter are due
 We will continue to have church by Zoom the rest of January. At the end of January or the first part of February, the leadership committees will meet again to decide how to proceed.
 Pat Joiner will have the Mission Moment on Sunday. Now there are envelopes that you can send your checks in the mail. The address is: GCFA, P.O. Box 340029, Nashville, TN 37203. Please write
the name of the Mission Moment (such as Humans Relations Day) on the FOR line. You can also put your donation in the envelope and slide it under the secretary’s door.
 The January and February Upper Rooms are in the back of the sanctuary.
 The Northeast Iowa “Back Pack Program” along with Immanuel Lutheran Church could use more 16 oz. jars of CREAMY peanut butter. Feel free to drop the jars off at Immanuel Luther Church or there is a box in our church on the table by the south entry. 16 jars of peanut butter were
delivered to Immanuel! Thank you!!
 Continue to either send your offerings, slide them under the Pastor’s or the secretary’s door or talk to Melodee about direct deposit.
 If you have any items for the bulletins or newsletters, please send them to umc@outlook.com or slide your written message under the secretary’s office door.
 To reach Pastor, email him at pastderrick@gmail.com or call/text him at 605-691-6020.
 January 10th:
 Attendance: Zoom – 32 and YouTube – 10


The vision of Our Savior Jesus Christ for the New Year – 2021
Jeremiah 31:7-14; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1(1-9), 10-18

Just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. (Eph. 1:4, 9-11)

1:9 – He has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ,

1:10 – As a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

1:11 – In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will.

A bit of a curve here on the second Sunday after Christmas. We’ve been in a tandem with Isaiah and the Gospel text for the week up to now. So why shift to Ephesians for this last part of the series? Because we need the blessing. OK, also because the lectionary shifts to Jeremiah and to the prologue of the Gospel of John, which we may have just covered on Christmas Eve or Day. Sincethere was a change coming anyway, why not make a big change and listen in on Paul’s opening words to the church in Ephesus?

The old year 2020 is gone, and we are nearer to the end of our life than ever before. For the believer, 2021 offers new opportunities for service unto God or to enter into a new relationship with God and fresh hope of new blessings. To make the best of the year, we need to remind ourselves of being called to be children of God, develop our faith in God, and to carefully follow God’s revealed plans for our lives. Why do we have to do these? “No man puts of piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved.” We cannot hope to enjoy divine blessings by living in sin. Indeed, there are many blessings to enjoy when we enter into covenant with God. One of these is the salvation of our souls as well as success in ministry.

Today we want to see our savior Jesus walked in His calling, worked on His vision from God, and the steps Jesus took to succeed in ministry. “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”

The word “better” for the Cresco Zion and First UMC is prophetic for this year 2021 – as we look at all the provisions that are available in the new covenant. Desire new heights in your spiritual lives to become God’s friend this year. Have better family and work relationships. Desire a greater faith to pray through victory in all circumstances.

Continuous enjoyment of the blessings demands some perseverance in the covenant we made with God. This year the Lord wants us to spend time in His presence daily. (Mark 1:35) Andrew brought Peter to Jesus. Barnabas introduced Paul to the apostles.

I think you can also bring somebody in Cresco to Jesus. You were not created just to make a living, but to make a difference in life with your calling, gifts, talents, and skills. Jesus accepted his vision from God, so we observed the following in His earthly life.

a. Vision matured the faith of Jesus.
b. Vision helped Jesus choose His friends.
c. Vision may have helped Jesus choose His library and what you read.
d. Vision helped Jesus to choose His time and how to spend it.
e. Vision helped Jesus to choose his enemies because without stumbling blocks there would be no stepping stones.
f. Vision may have chosen the movies Jesus spent money on and the theatres He visited with His siblings.
g. Vision chose Jesus’ priority in life.
h. Vision chose His hobbies and games which were related to His vision.
i. The hobby of Jesus brought Him to an environment that expanded your territory of influence. Who do you choose to play with that helps your purpose?
j. Vision of Jesus helped Him decide on His diet.
k. Vision of Jesus helped Him decide how to invest His money.
l. Vision helped Jesus to choose His goals and tasks as well as to-do lists.
What can we do today that will help us get closer to our vision?
m. Vision chooses your attitude of life. If you know where you are going it helps how to think?
n. Vision helps to choose how you end up living, i.e. your life-style.
o. Vision chooses your life’s plans – how to plan your living.
p. Vision helps you dictate your values. You throw off strength and self – control if you have no vision or cannot perceive God’s calling for you.

Recently, I was taught by Winston Churchill, that “Success is defined as the ability to move from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

Children of God, are we ready to apply the principles of Jesus we read about in God’s word? If Jesus were to return today, would He find us faithfully responding to our calling, serving Him and carrying out His will in the world? Or, would He find us skating around the edges, holding hands with the world? Would He find us inactive in the church? Would He find us doing His will or doing as we will? I challenge every believer in Cresco UMC to look at yourself and your walk with
the Lord in the light of His coming. Do we want Him to come while we are living the life we are living right now – without hope?

Precious One! What can we take away from all of this? Jesus is coming, whether we are ready or not! If we aren’t ready, we can be! If we are ready, let’s be watching and working, for the Master is at the door! Enjoy the service. Stay BLESSED. AMEN!!