(9-13-21) The Congregation of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ – Rockford welcomed Pastor Doug Meyer to the pulpit on Sunday, September 5, 2021. He began the service with a message for the children that involved cookies in the shape of a hammer and the USA. The hammer cookie cutter was one owned by the late Reitta Branstetter; Doug thanked Connie (Branstetter) Sapp for donating the cutter to him. His message to the children was about Labor Day and thanks to God for work and the chores that parents give their children so that they can learn the meaning of work. Jesus was a carpenter and worked with his earthly dad, as a child.

His message to the congregation was based on Matthew 18:15-20.

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

The sermon was titled, “And We Still Need Watchmen.” Other Biblical references included Ezekiel 33:1-7 “Take heed when the trumpet sounds.” and Romans 3:8-14 All are under the power of sin”. All watchmen, to be good, must be honest, vigilant, alert, awake and never afraid to tell the truth, according to Pastor Doug. Ezekiel was called by God to be a Watchman for the House of Israel. A Watchman sounded the alarm of danger by blowing the Shofar horn. The people had to trust that person – to let them know they had to take shelter or prepare to fight. If they didn’t heed the warning, according to God, they would suffer the consequences. God called the prophets to be watchmen, too, and their warnings were about sin. They were not always popular. They spoke God’s truth to people of the nations – “Heed the warning or be destroyed”. God’s love is so great for us, that he gave (and gives) us watchmen to warn us and keep us on the right path to heaven. That is Grace. Listen to the word of God. Resist the devil and he’ll flee from you. Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you. (James4:7). Pray daily to God for yourself and your families to resist the Devil, because he’s alive and active, and God promises to be with us in that resistance.

Doug will be back in the pulpit at 10 AM on Sunday, November 7, 2021 for the Remembrance Service for members who have passed away this year. All family members are invited to join the congregation for this meaningful memorial to their deceased loved-ones. A catered meal will follow after the service and will be safely served by the Women’s Fellowship.

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.