Weekly Thoughts


MOUNTAIN MOVERS?

posted Aug 3, 2021, 9:47 AM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI

 "MOUNTAIN MOVERS?"

"If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain. 
Be moved!  And it will move." --Jesus 
Many of us will never move real mountains. I believe Jesus was speaking figuratively about ones’ will to overcome obstacles. I have read the history of Zwingli Church and am amazed by the many obstacles this congregation has faced. There were financial issues that threatened the life and future of this church, but the will to survive relinquished these issues along with commitment from faithful members. The building needed to be brought up to date, so they lifted the structure 2 to 3 feet to dig out room for a basement. A boiler or furnace room needed to be built, so the men dug and built what was needed. Ministers came and went. Yoked parishes were agreed to and dissolved. War years came and went. 
The constant changes brought the need for youth groups and a choir. Uniting with the United Church of Christ was a major move in identity for this Reformed congregation of Swiss origin. The German language was replaced with English to accommodate the needs of those who did not speak German. A decrease in membership proved challenging, but a core of members went to work keeping the church alive until the tide changed and membership once again began to grow. 
I am glad that modern plumbing was a priority. I am thankful for a modern kitchen with running water and all the necessary equipment to provide for community events. I am glad for a sanctuary which is historic, but equipped with the latest sound systems and other needs to make worship a comfortable experience for all. 

Today we are not immune from the many challenges of our time. However, we are better prepared for whatever the future may hold by remembering our past; our history. May we learn wisdom and character from those who stood the test of time and challenge, who by faith and cooperation with one another moved the mountain. 
Lord I’ve never moved a mountain, I guess I never will, 
all the faith I could muster would not move a small ant hill. 
Yet I’ll tell you Lord, I’m grateful for the joy of knowing you, 
and for all the mountain moving down through life you’ve done for me. 

When I needed some help, you lifted me from the depths of great despair 
and when burdens, pain and sorrows have been more than I can bear. 
You have always been my courage to restore life’s troubled sea 
and move these little mountains that have looked so big to me.

Many times when I’ve had problems and when bills I’ve had to pay 
and worries and the heartaches just kept mounting every day, 
Lord I don’t know how you did it, Can't explain the there’s or why’s 
all I know, I’ve seen these mountains turn to blessings in disguise. 

No, I’ve never moved a mountain for my faith is far too small. 
Yet I thank you Lord of heaven, you have always heard my call. 
And as long as there are mountains in my life, I’ll have no fear, 
for the mountain moving Creator is my strength and always near. 
 
-- Source unknown 
Let’s move mountains together! 

Shalom alechem! 

Pastor Dean Kucera 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Saturday, July 31

9:00 – 10:30 Doors open for donations
UPDATE!
If you need assistance contact
Petra Streiff 608-527-4155

Please Note: We will do our best, but may not be able to continue with the weekly recordings of the Sunday worship service on Facebook. 
Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
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GETTING TO KNOW YOU

posted Aug 3, 2021, 9:46 AM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI

 "GETTING TO KNOW YOU"
Lately many of you have been seeing pictures and stories of fellow members of Zwingli Church in our newsletter. Why? Well Faith and Pastor Dean have been going around interviewing different people and asking them to share some area of their lives that they would be proud to let others in on. Why? To build community and to learn about others and perhaps things you may not have known about them. Sometimes we say to ourselves “I never knew that about so and so; my that’s interesting." We learn that people have many sides to them and some very interesting sides at that. 
Learning something new and interesting about another person changes the way you view them and may form bonds that make you feel closer to them…plus, you just may admire them for their accomplishments and skills! Faith and I have been to the Stoughton Fair, a llama farm, and woodworking shops to catch a glimpse of our members’ lives that often go unseen. Their hidden treasures spark admiration for the beauty and craft they have perfected, and also for the ways in which they have touched others lives.  
From eco-conservation and prairie cultivation, animal husbandry and awards at local fairs, to woodworking skills the list grows with each new interview. Who knows what will be next and who knows what you may learn in our next newsletters edition. And who knows … maybe you will be asked in the future for an interview.
Kudos to Faith for taking the pictures and dealing with the more technological aspects of this project -- not my best skill. And to Kathie for arranging and editing the materials for our newsletter - great job!!!!! It Is our hope that you enjoy these little snippets and that it builds a stronger community when we encourage and support one another.
Shalom.

Pastor Dean Kucera 

ANNOUNCEMENTS
  
Meets immediately after worship this Sunday
 

Member Directories are here!! Watch your email for an electronic copy. Hard copies can be picked up at the church as of this Sunday.

For Emergency Pastoral Care 
Contact one of these Church Council members
Petra Streiff 608-527-4155
George Brown 608-220-9492
Dave Pauli 608-469-6044

Please Note: We will do our best, but may not be able to continue with the weekly recordings of the Sunday worship service on Facebook. 
Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
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WAIT

posted Aug 3, 2021, 9:45 AM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI

 "WAIT"
Yes, I will wait, I will be still. Wait upon the Lord.
 “For they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” 
Isaiah 40:31 

Today, I find the fast everything culture we live in has promoted everything but patience. Drive through fast food and immediate gratification seems the rule of this day and age and yet, we are still impatient when our needs and wants are put off for a time 
cannot claim to be the most patient person. But, I am convinced that instant gratification, from a psychological point of view, is unhealthy and immature. When I was a kid, my parents did not cater to my needs every minute of the day. I had to work for some things I wanted. Food, shelter, and education is what my parents gave me. I had to develop a sense of responsibility in order to get other needs met. Our instant gratification culture lacks the wisdom to build character in people. We come to EXPECT to have our needs met NOW! 
The Bible teaches a different wisdom. Wait upon the Lord and God will renew our strength. It is when we wait, we learn patience and develop character. God will speak to us in silence and moments when we are waiting. 

But silence and being calm and still in a world of fast-everything seems counterintuitive today. Quietness and silence is perceived as lazy and idle. But it is silence that renews us as Isaiah teaches and in that silence we listen for God to speak! Jesus often took time for himself to meditate and learn to be lead by God. It is indeed a good idea to wait upon the Lord and see in those times of waiting an opportunity to learn the wisdom of calmness and patience, a trait our present culture seems to lack. 
If the past year and a half has taught us anything, it is that we are to wait. We did not know how long we might have go without our normal routines being met. We learned patience and in that time of waiting, developed a more mature outlook on life. Spiritual development also requires discipline and maturity. 
Today I hope you can use times of silence and waiting to grow mature and find God in the places and spaces you might think God is absent. Perhaps it is in this seeming absence that God is most actively present. Our strength is renewed, our character molded, and our spirituality deepened. Instant gratification is for children. The God we serve will reveal to us our direction in his time and when we are ready and prepared to act and do what God calls us to do.  
Blessings and shalom.

Pastor Dean Kucera 

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Please Note: We will do our best, but may not be able to continue with the weekly recordings of the Sunday worship service on Facebook. 
Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
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ENVY

posted Aug 3, 2021, 9:44 AM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI

 "ENVY"
Jesus answered and said to them, 
“Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to this last as I give to you. Am I allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? So, the last will be first, and the first last.” --Matthew 20:14 

Jesus tells the parable of the laborers. The master pays each the same wage. Some for a full day of work, others for just a few hours. The question of equality comes up. Those who worked a full day feel envy toward those who worked less but received the same wage. Jesus makes it clear that as master he can choose to be generous to whomever he wants … its about GRACE. 
The fact is, no one deserves the generosity Jesus speaks of, and envy has no place in the economy of God’s Kingdom. Grace is a free gift. Jesus corrects the ones who complain and envy the generosity bestowed upon others. Would you begrudge me being generous? You take what you have and go, don’t complain; you got what was agreed to, what’s the problem? Such DIALOGUE would create tons of issues in our equality obsessed culture today. But God has different ways, and grace being one of them, leaves no room for envy or jealousy. We are given blessings and should be happy for what we have. To desire more is simply greed that accompanies envy of the good others receive. 
A modern parable tells of an eagle who envied its neighbor eagle who was a better hunter and could fly better than he. One day a hunter showed up with his bow and arrows. The eagle asked if he could shoot the neighbor eagle. He tried, but the eagle was too high in the sky, and he needed feathers for his arrows to direct them to his target. The unhappy eagle plucked a feather off his wing to give to the hunter. Still no luck. The eagle continued to pluck feathers off of himself to give to the hunter to shoot his neighbor. Finally, the unhappy eagle was bare with no more feathers to give … he could not fly at all. The hunter turned on him and shot him….. he could not escape. 
This message is counter to our rights-obsessed culture today. It seems counterintuitive to be happy for those who have more than we, and to compare our lots with others will always end in more unhappiness. Envy destroys us in the end. 
Jesus reminds us to take what we have and go our way, but adds that we should be happy that we have a God who bestows grace on all of us, even when we may think others are undeserving. We, too, are undeserving, but Jesus makes no distinction of sex, class, wealth, or status. In God’s economy, God’s ways are truly equal and inclusive and is the final say on the matter! True equality is demonstrated in God’s love for ALL. 

Today, may we count our blessings and celebrate others good fortune. Jealousy is like plucking our own feathers in order to get back at someone and destroy them…… we end up destroying ourselves. Thank God for grace -- amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved one like me! The last and most unworthy. 
Blessings and shalom.

Pastor Dean Kucera 

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Please Note: We will do our best, but may not be able to continue with the weekly recordings of the Sunday worship service on Facebook. 
Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
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DRY BONES

posted Jul 3, 2021, 2:22 PM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI

 "DRY BONES"
“Thus says the Lord God to these bones, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinew’s upon you, and cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord” 
Ezekiel 37:5-7 
The dry bones story is well known -- a vision of resurrection and renewal. In her decline, she (Israel) has lost vitality and vision and is no longer a vital force for God. 
Knowing it was impossible, God asked Ezekiel, can dry bones live? Ezekiel replied, “you know Lord if they can live.” It is this impossibility which makes the story unique. It tells us that only God can blow NEW life into dead bodies. But more than that, only God can renew vision and purpose in life. Amazingly God resurrects an army of the walking dead. Before Ezekiel’s eyes, flesh appears on the delicate frames of the skeletons before him. Life surges through their veins, eyes see, and hearts beat again. And in the end, the swaying bodies of the Dead of Israel stand before Ezekiel.  
What is the meaning of this story? God can create in us new life when we are tired and when our vision becomes lost in the chaos of day to day living and we feel dried up and finished. 
Jesus also reminds us that he came to give us new life. He said, "you cannot put new wine in old wine skins, otherwise the skins burst." Such is the truth that his new work in us must find a place in a new and renewed vessel. Whatever our needs may be (loss of faith, vitality, energy, hope, addictions, financial challenges, or health issues) we need God to breathe new life into us. Jesus came to bring new life to our person and to our church community. 
Here at Zwingli, you are going through a process of renewal as you search for a new minister. The very act of seeking a pastor causes a re-evaluation of your church; its mission, its purpose, and its gifts that every member must reflect upon. You will need God to help blow new life and new vision into this community so that when the time comes to issue a call to your new minister, you will have a better idea of what your limits and strengths are. 

Can dry bone live again? No … not unless God is invited to breathe life into them. Let God help you in this seeking time and take this opportunity to evaluate yourselves and your church so that you can call on God to give you the necessary vision, strength, and life to welcome a new phase in the life of this congregation. 
Peace on the journey.

Pastor Dean Kucera 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

We will observe 
Communion 
this Sunday.
Please Note: We will do our best, but may not be able to continue with the weekly recordings of the Sunday worship service on Facebook. 
Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
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Summer

posted Jul 3, 2021, 2:22 PM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI

 "SUMMER"
Even Jesus had to take time from the crowds that often pressed upon him. As we officially move into summer, we can take a lesson from Jesus who got himself to a quiet place. Many people are involved in some form of meditation. I consider meditation prayer or just allowing myself quiet time to reflect and think. When Jesus went to a quiet place, he did so to re-charge himself as he needed to be strong and ready for the work he was called to do. We also need to recharge ourselves. This simple act allows us to gain better focus on everyday matters and to make more informed decisions. When under pressure we often make mistakes or become irritable and say things that we regret. 
So, let’s all enjoy some summer: 
  • Go fishing with a friend or your partner… 
  • Cook outside and invite friends for an outdoor BBQ… 
  • Take a walk in the woods to recharge your emotional batteries… 
  • Play with your children or grandchildren...
  • Discover something new to learn...
  • Take up a new hobby… 
When we were children, it was easy to enjoy simple things. However, as we grew older, we lost that ability for discovery and mystery. Maybe this summer we can all re-discover a bit of that childhood mystery and wonder. It may be right in your backyard -- a garden or in unexpected surprises. Summer is a great time to be with friends and create spaces where we can quietly recharge our emotional batteries. It's been a trying year and a half and life has been difficult with the restrictions placed upon us. 
But now things have evened out a bit: 
  • We are back in church -- in-person! 
  • We can see and talk to our friends in-person… 
  • We can get and give hugs of comfort… 
  • We can share fun times together again… 
So let’s all take advantage of the blessings around us and like Jesus, find our quiet place to re-discover some of the joy we knew as children: the mystery and wonder of these longer warmer days ahead together. It's good for our mental health.

Enjoy life again. Catch some fireflies. Seek out the wonder of life. Bake a cake just for the fun of it and have a tea party outside with friends and neighbors. Try out a new recipe with your friends or discover an old one you have not tried for a long time. 
Have a great summer and we will see you in Church! 
Shalom!

Pastor Dean Kucera 

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Right now, the American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise – and deplete the nation’s blood inventory. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible to prevent further impact to patients.
 
Hospitals are currently seeing a higher number of emergency room visits, and when seconds count in trauma situations, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can make all the difference in lifesaving care. The Red Cross asks those who are eligible to make blood donation a summer activity that can help save lives.
 
Belleville Blood Drive 
St Mary of Lourdes 
221 Frederick Street 
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 
1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  
Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
The regular Sunday worship service is streamed on Facebook and can also be found on our YouTube channel. 
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
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FAITH TOUCHING HOPE

posted Jun 19, 2021, 8:12 AM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI

 "FAITH TOUCHING HOPE"
Jesus turned and when he saw her he said, ”Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at the moment. Matthew 9: 20-22
Erwin Schrodinger said: “The task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees”. 
 
Everyone saw Jesus, he had come to their town. But in the large crowd was a woman who was thinking about what others had not thought. To see Jesus was evident -- but to touch Jesus was not.  Jewish custom did not allow a Jew to touch or be touched by a gentile. The woman was a gentile and because of her disease, and blood flow, she was unclean. But she continued to see what others did not.  
She pushes through the crowd to get near Jesus as he passes by -- she must be quick! At last she sees the man himself near her and reaches out through the crowd to touch the hem of his prayer shawl (Tzitzit*).  Jesus’ notices power drain from him. He looks around, and there in the midst of the crowd is a woman afraid; the disciples standing over her accusingly. They know no gentile should touch a Jewish man, and especially not a woman. Is this going to be a problem with the Rabbi? 
Not at all. Jesus turns to the woman, knowing at once her reason for touching his tzitzit. He knows her inner reason; she has suffered much and he was her last hope. Her faith pushed her to believe that Jesus could heal her! Jesus says to her, ”Daughter, your faith has made you well.” Her efforts paid off.  She saw what others saw, but thought what others would not -- “If I could only touch his Tzitzit, I will be healed”.  
For many, custom and habit bar us from allowing our faith to reach to extraordinary levels. Jesus was a Jew, a Rabbi, and custom prohibited a woman touching a man and visa versa. But Jesus was no ordinary Rabbi. He did not condemn the woman, but honored her unusual faith in the face of opposition.  
We, too, can learn to see Jesus.  
The heart sees hope and faith. The heart knows a touch of compassion can bring healing. The heart transcends all customs and rules, and places us in direct contact with hope and mercy. Today, be like that woman. Think about Jesus and others differently! 
We may not experience a physical healing, but we my have our hearts and minds healed. We may find peace to face difficult challenges in our lives. Jesus will be with us no matter what our lot in life may be. He is passing by… touch him! Your extraordinary faith can pay off with a peace in knowing that Jesus is our compassion and hope. Give this same compassion and hope to others.  You may be the only Jesus they will ever know.  Don’t pass them by, let them see Jesus in you! 
Shalom!

Pastor Dean Kucera 

*What is a Tzitzit?   
It is the fringes or little threads on a Jew's prayer shawl. I will bring mine to the service to provide a visual example to demonstrate the story above.
ANNOUNCEMENTS

Happy Father's Day!

Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
The regular Sunday worship service is streamed on Facebook and can also be found on our YouTube channel. 
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
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DAVID DANCED

posted Jun 19, 2021, 8:11 AM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI

 "DAVID DANCED"
“And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouting. And with the sound of the horn.”  II Samuel 6:1-19 
It was a great day for King David. The Ark of the Lord was to rest in his city and he was ecstatic. But his wife Michal, was not. As the Ark of the Lord came into the city, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord and she despised him.
Michal was ready to cast an atmosphere of judgement on what was to be an otherwise joyful day. She did not think David’s behavior was befitting a King and wanted to humiliate David and make him feel ashamed of his behavior in the presence of his people. He danced with only a linen ephod on his body and mingled with his subjects. But Michal’s attempt to dull the joy of David failed. He confronted her and reminded her that God chose him over her father Saul (jealousy here?) “I will be honored by them” the story goes, and Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death. I guess she pushed the King too far and ended up childless which was a great disgrace in those times! 
admire King David for standing his ground against the criticisms of Michal. He knew that God desired a true heart and a joyous celebration. The God of Israel was a God of dance. Michal placed political correctness over the Spirit of God moving David to show his subjects that God was a God who desired honest joy, no matter how such joy came wrapped, even in a linen ephod! 

Many of us have the misconception of God as a stone faced judge -- a kill-joy. We are not to be too happy in His presence or in worship. Then we wonder why younger people find the church boring?  But, this story tells us differently. David danced for God and because his worship was sincere, God accepted it. 
David’s story reminds us to dance in God’s presence -- to be joyful, laugh and celebrate! There is no need for shame or judgement when the Spirit of God enters our church or service. There will always be Michal’s to shame us and try to kill the joyous spirit in our worship and service to God. But like David, we can counteract the shame with a reminder that God celebrates with us. 
Remember Jesus was judged by the 'religious' of his day as one who enjoyed the company of -- well ‘those’ people. Many said his ways were inappropriate as he hung out with the outcasts of polite society.
Jesus called the least to be his followers. Yes, those whom many condemned as unworthy. But Jesus says you are worthy, and he wants true worship and not just formal by-the-book worship. God is a God of surprise, and our spiritual lives ought to reflect the joy of dancing in the His presence. Never mind the Michal’s. 
Therefore my friends...DANCE before God! He will teach you how and your unique dance will be a blessing to God and to others…that’s really all that matters! 
Shalom!

Pastor Dean Kucera 
ANNOUNCEMENTS


Take a Guess
Can you identify the object in this photo?


Hint: It can be found at the church.
Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
The regular Sunday worship service is streamed on Facebook and can also be found on our YouTube channel. 
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
Unsubscribe hubanks@tds.net
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Because He Had Pity

posted Jun 19, 2021, 8:10 AM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI

 "Because He Had Pity"
Once we assuage our conscience by calling something a 'necessary evil', 
it begins to look more necessary and less evil. --  Sidney J. Harris 

In 2 Samuel 12:3 we read that David kills Uriah, his lead military commander, in order to hide his act of fornication with Uriah’s wife. David thought he could hide his sin from God, but the prophet Nathan was sent to give David a message. 

Nathan told David about a man who took a poor man’s only sheep to serve it to a friend, without regard to the man’s needs or feelings. When David heard of this act, he was angered and said the man ought to be put to death and the poor man have all restored to him fourfold! Nathan said to David, “you are that man”. 
David then realized that Nathan was using a story to convey the facts of David’s sin, because David had no pity when he had Uriah killed. David accused himself and passed judgement on himself. Nathan’s approach to bringing David to see the wrong he had done, and the pain he caused was unique in that it was a covert accusation against David.
We learn in this story that God may forgive our sin, but reminds us that there are consequences to the wrongs we do. Grace is not cheap. Grace is costly. God does not ignore the pain our bad actions bring upon others and allows us to reap the consequences of our sin. Jesus reminds us that without heartfelt repentance our sins cannot be forgiven. For us to experience God’s full mercy and pity, we must turn away from our sin, confess our wrong to God and others, and indicate a willingness to change our behavior and live as God intends us to live. 
If God did not demand justice and true repentance for our sins, then we would go on minimizing and justifying our sin, making our ‘necessary evils' more necessary and less evil.
May God gently lead us back to the ways of mercy and compassion for others by opening our hearts to forgiveness, and by changing our behaviors so as to reflect God’s love for others.  
If you forgive others their sins, God is just and merciful to forgive us our sins. Like the father in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, God is waiting to receive us back home.  
Shalom and peace!

Pastor Dean Kucera 
ANNOUNCEMENTS


We will be celebrating Communion 
this coming Sunday, June 6 
Do we have high school or college graduates in our church family? If so, please send information, their future plans and photos to the Admin Assistant at zwingliuccpaoli@gmail.com so we can recognize them in the coming weeks.
Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
The regular Sunday worship service is streamed on Facebook and can also be found on our YouTube channel. 
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
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PERSISTENCE

posted May 28, 2021, 2:09 PM by Cameron Hubanks

A Message From
Pastor Dean
Kucera
Zwingli United Church of Christ
Paoli, WI


 "PERSISTENCE"  
He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the ship and you shall find fish." They cast there and now they were not able to draw in the nets for the multitude of fishes.
John 21:6  

In this story, Jesus meets the disciples out on a lake fishing and they are not having a great day. Jesus said to them, "Cast your nets on this side of the boat." The disciples must have thought -- Lord we have been at it all morning and nothing, a few feet is not going to make much difference. But the disciples did as Jesus commanded and were rewarded with a multitude of fish. Sometimes persistence pays off!
As an artist and perfectionist who does oil painting, I am always aiming to get the color and details right. It takes time and at times I am up all night until I get it the way I want it done. After a lot of frustration, my persistence pays off and the results are a painting I can be happy with showing others. 

We are told that our persistence can offer us rewards and many times this is true. However, when it comes to life itself … life can hammer us down to where we lose our will to try. We want to give up.
But when we want to give up, we should remember that no great work of art was ever accomplished without hard work and persistence. Michelangelo did not paint the Sistine Chapel in one day -- it took years of agony to reach ecstasy. Cities do not rise over night . . . athletes do not obtain gold medals by giving up. 

The pursuit of faith is no different. Paul uses the example of a runner in a race to illustrate this point. He has run the good race until the end and received his reward -- a crown of glory. 

We, too, are engaged in a race called life and the goal is to run until the end. We know we are going to encounter obstacles and the life race is going to challenge our strength… sometime to the limit! 
Today, when life takes a toll on us, may we be encouraged to hear the words of Jesus calling on us to persist. Perhaps it only takes a slight change in our way of thinking to bring about the rewards we seek. It is no different when it come to faith. Faith, too, takes work and we have to persist. John Wesley, the great founder of the Methodist Church, told a discouraged minister who lost his faith, "preach faith until you have found faith and you will preach that  faith again." 

Don’t give up yet . . . cast your nets on this side!
Shalom!

Pastor Dean Kucera 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
9:30 am
May 30, 2021
(weather permitting)


Bring your favorite pet(s) to the service for a blessing of one’s companions in life. Whether it’s a dog, cat, chicken, horse, or ferret... all are welcome! 

Coffee, milk, and donuts will be served before the service. 

Bring your own lawn chairs!.
  • Masks are required and worshipers are asked to observe social distancing 
  • No handshakes - wave to your neighbors as a greeting
The worship service will be live-streamed on Facebook at 9:30am as usual.
Do we have high school or college graduates in our church family? If so, please send information, their future plans and photos to the Admin Assistant at zwingliuccpaoli@gmail.com so we can recognize them in the coming weeks.
Pastor Kucera will be at the church every Wednesday from 10:30 to Noon working on his weekly message. Parishioners are welcome to stop in and meet him or schedule counseling with him during that time.
The regular Sunday worship service is streamed on Facebook and can also be found on our YouTube channel. 
church closeup

Zwingli United Church of Christ 
PO Box 530, Belleville, WI 53508


"A small church with a big 
and open heart!"



Kathie Wagner, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 608-239-4531


Zwingli United Church of Christ | 1338 Cty Road PBPO Box 530Belleville, WI 53508
Unsubscribe hubanks@tds.net
Update Profile | Constant Contact Data Notice
Sent by zwingliuccpaoli@gmail.com powered by
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