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United Church of Christ
National Site







285 West National Drive
Newark, Ohio 43055
(740) 323-2407

  

Pastor's message

2018 September message

Dear members and friends:

Author Virginia Patterson tells of a four-year-old girl named Cindy who wanted very much to go to school. Her older sister went to school. Her mother taught school. And her father was the principal of the school. The kids Cindy liked were all in school. Why couldn’t she go? Her mother and father kept telling her that she could go...when she was six. One morning when they were having family devotions, Cindy refused to join in. When her parents asked her why, she replied, “I’m mad at God.” “Why?” her parents asked. “Because I’ve asked Him and asked Him to make me six, and He won’t!

On Sunday, September 16th, church school classes will resume at St. John’s and you don’t have to be six to attend. Our Christian Education Director, Julie Kroah and the CE Committee have excellent programs planned for children, youth and adults. And I’m happy to say we have a confirmation class that I am privileged to teach.

With classrooms sitting unused in many churches, you may ask, why Church school is still important and relevant. Beth Moore thinks it is. She says, “Sunday school was where she had “a falling in love moment with Jesus as a child.”

Reese Witherspoon “takes her kids to church and Sunday school and they love it.” She believes “it’s really important for a child to feel that there are things bigger than your life out there.” For John D. Rockefeller, “Sunday School was of great help to (him), greater perhaps than any other force in his Christian life.”

Elizabeth Warren “grew up in the Methodist Church and taught Sunday school.” One of her favorite passages of scripture is “as much as you have done this to the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40

It was two months short of my sixth birthday that I started the first grade. I remember my mom walking me to the end of our circular drive to catch the school bus and being there to meet me at the end of the day.”

Since I went to Catholic school, religion class happened every day. I loved hearing Bible stories and coloring Bible pictures. It was where I first started thinking about going into the ministry.

A little boy, who is six, comes home from his first day of school, and his mother asks, “What did you learn today?” “Not enough,” he replies. “They said I have to go back tomorrow.”

On September 16th, please prayerfully consider going back to school to fall in love with Jesus all over again, to learn new scripture passages, and to rediscover that there are things bigger than your life. Don’t be mad, be glad that Christian Education is for all people of all ages and is still a force to be reckoned with.

You don’t even have to come back next Sunday, but I am sure you will want to.

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Mark

Rev. Mark Katrick