(9–21-21) St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, located at 1538 Oregon Road, Rockford, OH welcomes retired Pastor Steve Howell back to the pulpit on Sunday, September 26, 2021. His message entitled “Jesus is the Good Shepherd” is based on the Gospel Lesson John 10:1-14 ~ for those of you who like to follow the scriptures.

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—

A congregational meeting with a vote will follow this service.

Pastor Steve recently completed a two part series entitled Being Set Free (John 8:31-36) and Seeing for the First Time
(John 9: 1-12). In the first sermon, Jesus gave us the Good News: the truth will set you free. They answered him that
they were not slaves. “We are our own persons, Jesus.” But he gave them the bad news then: You are a slave to sin. Sin
enslaves (and he mentioned all kinds of human sins like alcohol, food, gossip and sex), and we have all sinned. Sin
matured leads to death through its addictive nature, Pastor Steve said. The addiction of sin can be overcome by abiding in the word of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in John 8. The truth about Jesus Christ is that believing in Him will set you free.

In the second sermon, Pastor Steve continued the two part by discussing that all is good in God’s eyes. He created
everything about humans and human behavior. Everything he created is perfect in His eyes. Don’t get sucked into the
lies of Satan – the master liar. You love the person, but hate the sin, Ephesians 4:15. Speak to those in addicting sin and
help them. I love you and want you to live in life eternal is our message to the sinner. Jesus told us, I am the way, the
truth and the life. All scripture is God-breathed. Don’t laugh and think Satan is a myth; be sober-minded and alert
against Satan who is always looking for another soul. Steve reminded the congregation to choose God’s word and not
the words of the world.

Steve has been in the ministry for 50 years and is retired from Grace Missionary Church in Celina. He delivers a powerful message from the God-breathed word of the Bible.

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

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