(7-7-21) The Congregation of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ – Rockford welcomed Pastor Steve Howell to the pulpit on Sunday, June 27, 2021. His message entitled “When a Little Becomes A Lot” is based on the Gospel Lesson John 6:1-15”.

Jesus performed a miracle at the Sea of Galilee. And, according to Pastor Steve, there are three parts to the event.

First there was the miracle. Jesus’ compassion for the estimated 15,000 people who had followed Jesus and wanted to hear him teach and watch him perform miracles. He realized their hunger, and asked Philip how to feed them even though Jesus could perform the miracle of providing food. Philip said that was going to be impossible. He had a boy with him who offered his lunch of 2 fish and 5 barley loaves. Jesus said give your life to me and I will give it back. He told Philip to trust him. Jesus took the food and thanked God and blessed it. They began passing the boy’s lunch in the basket. The people took all they wanted and passed the basket along. When everyone had their fill, they collected the leftovers and there were 12 baskets full. Jesus knew they needed to eat before they could listen. The people responded, in awe, by saying this must be the prophet. He responded by telling them he is the bread of life. Believe and have eternal life. Believe more than just an existence – you must believe in your heart, not just your head.

Following the sermon Becky Shope and Pastor Steve served Holy Communion.

Pastor Steve Howell is a retired minister from Grace Missionary Church.

Pastor Steve will be back in the pulpit on Sunday, July 11, 2021 delivering the message entitled “Who Controls Your
Schedule” which is based on the Gospel Lesson John 7:1-13 – for those of you who like to follow the scriptures.

The Unbelief of Jesus’ Brethren

7 1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want[1] to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him. 6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8 You go to the festival. I am not[2] going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.

Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles

10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?” 12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

Pastor Doug Meyer will be back in the pulpit on Sunday, July 18, 2021.

Please call Becky Shope 419-363-2227 for any questions regarding the worship services.

Visit the St. Paul’s UCC – Rockford Facebook Page for information as well.