Betty Bauer, long time member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Castell is moving to San Angelo. She will be dearly missed not only by her church family at Trinity but also by her Art UMC church friends. Pastor Cliff Krcha is the minister for Trinity UMC and Art UMC and as a result of combined programs and activities, Betty has become a dear church friend at Art as well. Betty is pictured above in the Cassandra Miiller Fellowship Hall at Trinity. The fellowship hall was named in memory of her daughter, Sandy Miiller. For those of us who know and love Betty, her promised returned visits will sustain us for now. On behalf of both churches, we wish Betty the very best in her new home.
We have two special birthdays this week. Happy Birthday to Tina Ceynowa Sanders and Marion Leifeste on February 1. May all your birthday wishes come true!
Announcements for the week include an Art Finance meeting on Wednesday, January 30, followed by the Art Men’s Choir practice at 7:00pm. Please pray for comfort and peace for Pearl Leifeste as she has entered hospice. As always, please continue prayers for our service men and women as they put their lives in harm’s way for our freedom. Our thoughts and prayers continue for our homebound and nursing home members and friends; Don Boyd, Dick Pierson, Willie Mae Oestreich, Etta Marie Mutschink, and Johnita Bohmfalk.
Last Sunday was the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany and also our Covenant Renewal Service. Pastor Cliff led us in a service of renewal and re-dedication of ourselves to the Lord. This was and is an opportunity for all of us who seek to live as true disciples of Jesus Christ, but sometime fall short, to examine ourselves before God, humbly confessing our sins and submitting ourselves to a life of dedication and obedience. There are five steps to help us with our Covenant Renewal. First, set apart time in your day to be spent alone with the Lord, examining your heart and reflecting on your will and desire to freely give your life to God by obeying His laws. Second, uphold a serious spirit of Holy awe and reverence. Third, claim God’s covenant. Do not trust in your own strength and power but rely upon God’s promise of giving grace and strength. In this way the Holy Spirit will empower you to keep your promise. Fourth, be determined to be faithful to the vows you make to God. Become a part of a small group that will be the means of God’s grace for you to keep your covenant with God. Meet with this group and hear and share the truth in love and speak the truth in love through accountability. Fifth, be prepared to renew your covenant with God. Fall on your knees. Lift your hands. Open your hearts as we commit our ways to God.
I love this prayer for the declaration of our intentions to God. O God, we make this covenant in sincerity, without deceit or reluctance. If You find anything false in us, guide us and help us to set it right. Glory be to You, God the Father. From this day forward, I shall look upon You as my God and Father. Glory be to You, God the Son. You have loved me and washed me from my sins in Your own blood. From this day forward, I shall look upon You as my Savior and Redeemer. Glory be to You, O God the Holy Spirit. By your almighty power, You have turned my heart from sin to God. From this day forward I shall look upon You as my Comforter and Guide. O mighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you have now become my Covenant Friend. And I, through Your infinite grace, have become Your Covenant Servant. Your are mine and I am Yours. So be it. May this covenant that I have made here on earth be ratified in heaven. Amen. Powerful! Peace to all