Owatonna United Methodist Church
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Connecting Caring Learning Serving

From The Pastor







Dear Friends in Christ,

I’ll begin with a word about the end of this month.  On Wednesday February 26th, each of our churches will have an Ash Wednesday worship service in the evening.  We hope that you’ll join us for this “kick-off” into Lent. Lent is such a meaningful season for the church year and I, personally, get a lot out of the tradition of honoring Ash Wednesday.


On Sundays during the month of February, I’ll be preaching at Owatonna UMC 3 times and once in Dodge Center (my usual pattern since I’ve been your interim pastor).  Each of the pastors serving this parish may be focusing on different sermon themes for this month based on how the Holy Spirit is calling them to share God’s Word. Here’s the approach I’ll be taking. (Sometimes it helps people to be better listeners - and it helps me to be a better preacher - when I’ve thought through the direction that the sermons will be going in for the whole month).


When I preach on February 2nd, I’ll focus on the theme of


Wisdom.  I’ll preach on the wise ways of living outlined in the Beatitudes.  I’ll also focus on the reading from 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 which emphasizes the wisdom of God as it relates to the foolishness of the cross.  


When I preach on February 9th, I’ll focus on the theme of


Witness.  As I reflect on the Gospel of Matthew’s reference to us being a light shining on a hill - and as I look at 1 Corinthians 2 and our call to be a witness to making Christ known as the Crucified One - we’ll emphasize the opportunities available to us all to share God’s love with others.


When I preach on February 16th, I’ll focus on the theme of Words.  Here I'll highlight the Gospel lesson (Matthew 5:21-26 and 33-37) focusing on the power of our words in relationships, and using our words to be reconciled to each other, and not bearing false witness in regard to others with words.  I will also preach on Deuteronomy 30:15-20, with the words of life or death set before us for us to freely choose.


Finally, when I preach on February 23rd, I’ll focus on the theme of Wonders.  I’ll look with you at the wonder of the transfiguration event from the Gospel lesson and I’ll point to the way Moses experienced the wonder of God's appearance on the mountain from our Old Testament reading for the day. Wonderment is an essential component to discipleship!


In closing, I’ve completed 4 of my expected 9 months with you as your interim - at the point at which you read this article.  I continue to enjoy our time of serving God together. We’ve got a lot of work to do in this time of transition - and when we get the results of our church checkup back, we’ll have some clearer focus to that work that we share.  For now, we’ll look for wisdom, try to be good witnesses, use words well, and spend time in wonder at the love of God shown to us all in Jesus Christ.


Thanks for the opportunity to serve!


Pr. Scott