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Central United Church
135 Wellington Street
St. Thomas, ON
N5R 2R7
519-631-3503
centraluc@bellnet.ca
Sunday, June 28th Bulletin - (click here)
'Central United Church Story' - June 21st by Dave Mathers
Sunday, June 21st Bulletin - (click here)
For More ......Central's Church Stories by Dave Mathers
(Click Here)
The Men’s Club took over Sunday’s second service at Central United Church for the celebration of Fathers Day. Scott Doupe, took great pride in calling forth his two nieces, Arden and McKenna Doupe, to light the Christ Candle. The Senior Choir then performed the richly powerful anthem, The Lord’s Prayer. The Children’s story, delivered by Dave Mathers, dealt with the Ten Commandments. Nine of the commandments were read and then the fifth one was read at the end. The children were then asked if they knew what that one, ‘Honour thy father and thy mother’, actually meant. The consensus was that they were to obey their parents, to do their chores and to always help their parents, siblings and even their teachers.
The Bible lesson from Isaiah 64:8-10, read by Terry Lanning, reminded us that God is our Father, that we are the clay and He is the potter. Also it was asked that God not be too angry with us, that He shouldn’t keep a permanent account of our wrongdoings and to remember that we are His people, all of us.
The message ‘Our Father’, delivered by Dave Mathers, actually began with an apology to the Senior Choir. It was felt that The Lord’s Prayer would be a great anthem for Father’s Day but the version used was extremely difficult to say the least. But the good news was that the choir nailed it!! So the message began with the question, what is Father’s Day? Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 as a way of thanking all mothers for their hard work and dedication. Two years late Father’s Day was created with the same goals in mind. Sadly those social days have become highly commercialized similar to Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. But what does the Bible tell us about fathers? The Bible begins with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the story of the forbidden fruit. Thus began the biblical version of evolution. Since the Adam and Eve days there have been many influential fathers noted and recorded in the Bible - Joseph, Jacob, Moses, King David and King Saul to mention a few. Moving ahead to the time of Jesus Christians became familiar and comfortable with the Holy Trinity - the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Lord’s prayer, taught by Jesus, starts of by referring to ‘Our Father, who art in heaven’. That was back in the time where twelve believers were spreading the Holy Word throughout the land. Here we are two thousand years later and there are now two billion Christians on the planet.
Attention was then focused to how the ‘father’ thing is working out today. Statistics show that in 1910 over 90 % of families had married parents. This number had dropped to about 80 % in 1950, down to 65 % in 1980 and as low as 45 % in 2010. A shocking statistic showed that 71 % of children in Chicago have no father present in their lives whatsoever. It would seem that the sacrament of marriage has suffered and suffered badly over the years. A story in the latest edition of the United Church Observer relates the ordeals faced by a female United Church minister who has been going through a divorce from her United Church minister husband. It was felt that there would be some very interesting conversations in their respective congregations. Several features in the sanctuary were highlighted as examples of families making a difference in the life of the church. The Flint family donated the beautiful stained glass window behind the altar, the G.P.Smith family donated the chimes for the organ that were wonderfully played after the service, the Joliffe family funded the restoration of the huge railroad stained glass window on the Moore St. side of the sanctuary and the Crossley and Hunter families were also well represented around the church with both a plaque and a cornerstone. As a caring and practising Christian congregation we were advised to do as Jesus did when He told us to lead by example as He did.
John Lounsbury then closed out the service starting with the Prayers of the People.