Weekly Thoughts


Jesus and the children

posted May 18, 2019, 9:15 AM by Cameron Hubanks   [ updated May 18, 2019, 9:16 AM ]

Dear Zwingli Church,

 

Our “Big Story” for Sunday is the account of Jesus and the children (in honor of Kriss and the Sunday School, of course!).  Jesus’ disciples were offended at the “waste” of his time as people brought their children to him for a blessing.  Jesus (as is his habit) turned the tables of convention upside down and insisted that children epitomize what God is looking for in ALL humans – no matter our age.  Join us tomorrow for some additional thoughts on this topic.

  

Blessings to you.  Stay dry!!

 

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

What do you remember?

posted May 18, 2019, 9:12 AM by Cameron Hubanks   [ updated May 18, 2019, 9:16 AM ]

Dear Friends,

 

What do you remember of your own confirmation?  Do you remember something like an ordeal, or something more pleasant?  

 

At its heart, Confirmation is nothing more (and nothing less!) than the process by which those who were baptized as infants take the baptismal promises made on their behalf by parents and sponsors, and make them their own.  

 

On Sunday 4 of our 7th and 8th grade members will do exactly that – after a year-long process of exposure to biblical stories and theological ideas – these 4 will stand before the church and make their parent’s baptismal promises their own.

 

On the day 12 or 13 years ago when these young men were baptized, you promised your “love, support and care.”  Being present on Confirmation Day is another way to make that love, support and care real!  See you on Sunday!

 

Blessings!

 

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

He broke bread and they realized who he was

posted May 2, 2019, 1:44 PM by Cameron Hubanks   [ updated May 2, 2019, 1:48 PM ]

Good afternoon, Zwingli Church!

 

Jesus appeared twice (maybe three times?) on the day of resurrection – what we call Easter.  The second appearance was to a pair of disciples who were heading home to Emmaus on Sunday afternoon.  They had no idea that Jesus was alive and were understandably confused and discouraged.  Jesus joined them, but as with the women to whom he appeared at the tomb that morning, they didn’t recognize him.  It was only as they prepared to eat – as he “broke bread” – that they realized who he was.  That meal became a communion meal – and just as they met Jesus at table, so may we.  Join us for communion on Sunday – you might just meet Jesus!

 

And….being a communion Sunday, we will gather donations for the area food pantry.  Please come prepared to share generously!

 

Blessings!

 

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

Updates

posted Apr 25, 2019, 3:26 PM by Cameron Hubanks   [ updated Apr 25, 2019, 3:27 PM ]

Dear Zwingli Church,

 

After a string of delightful, spring days, the weather on Saturday is forecast to be cold and rainy.  It doesn’t sound like an ideal day for the Brat Sale fundraiser at Burreson’s – so, the event is postponed.  Stay tuned for info on a new date (when the weather will, hopefully, be nicer!).  If you know of someone from church who doesn’t use email, please pass along this information!  Thanks!

 

The Church Council is moving closer to hiring someone to provide administrative office support for the church.  The position is being advertised starting now and applicants – both from within the church and outside, are encouraged to apply by expressing their interest to either Faith Wittwer, or Pastor Rich Pleva.  Faith and Rich will screen and interview applicants, and eventually make a recommendation to the Church Council for hiring.  Here’s the ad:

 

Zwingli United Church of Christ in Paoli seeks an organized self-starter to provide administrative support for the congregation and its pastor.  The position will be part-time (no more than 5 hours/week) and will be flexible in terms of working hours and workplace (that is, much of the work can be done from a place of the employee’s choosing).  Producing attractive and readable documents (principally newsletters and worship bulletins) and organizing and maintaining files and the church database will constitute a significant part of the work.  21st century office skills, a cheerful personality, and a good grasp of principles of confidentiality are essential prerequisites for the person who will fill this position.  For more information please contact Pastor Rich Pleva at 608-845-5641 or by email at pastor.rich.pleva@gmail.com.  

 

If you, or someone you know, would be an excellent candidate for this position, please apply, or encourage that person to apply!

 

It was a delight to see so many of you at worship on Easter Sunday!  We’ll continue our survey through the Big Stories of the Bible this Sunday in worship.  We’ll be considering Jesus as Healer – using the story of the paraplegic man who was lowered through the roof of a crowded house so that Jesus might help him.  Interestingly, Jesus’ first words to the man were not words of physical healing – they were assurance of forgiveness of sin.  What was that all about?  Join us on Sunday as we work our way through this story.

 

Finally, there’s both Sunday School and Coffee Hour on Sunday.  We’ll be honoring our older members during coffee hour.  In fact, of course, we value all our members – younger and older.  But for a minute or two on Sunday, it’s the older folk (like me?) who will be recognized.

 

God is good!  Thanks be to God!

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

...no such thing as Christianity.

posted Apr 19, 2019, 6:54 AM by Cameron Hubanks

Dear Zwingli Church,

 

Without the events of Holy Week there is no such thing as Christianity.  The life and teaching of Jesus are remarkable and invaluable on their own, but without his death and resurrection his life would barely rate an asterisk in the overall arc of Jewish history.

 

We stand in a 2000-year long train of those who follow Christ because we find compelling the witness that Jesus did die and was miraculously resurrected on the third day.  

 

Loss, sickness, suffering and death are distasteful.  They are also unavoidable realities of human experience.  A part of the power of the Jesus-story is that injustice, loss and ultimately death itself are no match for the life-giving power of God in Christ Jesus.

 

We will celebrate that power on Easter Sunday morning.  We will do so with amazement and joy.

 

But the joy of Easter finds its amazing effect in the prior reality of loss and death – the stories of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  If you are able, consider joining us tonight (6:30 pm) for a brief service of scripture and communion in which we will remember the suffering and sacrifice that precede the glory of Easter.

 

See you tonight….and then again on Sunday.  

 

In great hope!!

 

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

Palm Sunday always feels a bit odd.

posted Apr 13, 2019, 5:22 AM by Cameron Hubanks

Good afternoon, Zwingli Church!

 

Palm Sunday always feels a bit odd to me.  Jesus rides into Jerusalem on…..a donkey?  What’s that all about?  He ends the day by watching the temple from a distance….but does nothing until the next morning?  Why?

 

Holy Week – the week starting with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter – with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in-between – is certainly at the heart of Christianity.  But the essence of that “heart” can be a bit challenging to untangle.  That’s the task we’ll begin (but only begin) this Sunday.  Come and join us.

 

Oh!  We’ll also have a simple service of scripture, reflection and communion on Maundy Thursday (April 18) – starting at 6:30 pm.  As always, all are welcome!

 

Blessings to each of you!

 

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

Wine Symbolizes Joy and Meaning

posted Apr 5, 2019, 12:56 PM by Cameron Hubanks

Dear Friends,

 

There was a time Jesus was invited to a wedding.  But even there he got called to work – and not because he was to officiate!  No, the problem Jesus faced was insufficient wine.

 

I think wine in this story symbolizes joy and meaning.  If that’s the case, then this story might be about times our lives lack joy and meaning.  Might that make sense?  Come on Sunday and see for yourself!

 

Not only will be think about “wine” on Sunday – we will take a special offering – “One Great Hour of Sharing.”  OGHS is an annual offering received in our denomination to fund relief and development needs around the world.  I hope you’ll come prepared to give generously.

 

And a request:  Do you know of individuals related to our church who will be graduating (from High School, college or graduate school) this spring?  If you do, please pass along their names.  Thanks!

 

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

Who is church for?

posted Mar 31, 2019, 4:21 PM by Cameron Hubanks

Good evening, Zwingli Church!

 

Who is church for?  

 

An awful lot of folk are pretty sure it’s not for people like them.  An awful lot of folk think church is for “good people” – people who’ve got their <omitted word - 😊> together.  Church is for people who dress properly and talk properly and who are nice and smile a lot and never rock the boat.  

 

And I suppose that’s what a lot of churches really are like.  

 

But Jesus seems to think that church is for a different sort of people – people who DON’T have their <whatever> together and who struggle with the meaning of life and sometimes feel like calling it quits.  

 

On Sunday we’ll take a quick look at Jesus calling disciples.  You might know their names, but you might not know what they were like.  Are you curious?

 

See you Sunday!

 

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

When Jesus Asks

posted Mar 18, 2019, 2:41 PM by Cameron Hubanks   [ updated Mar 18, 2019, 2:45 PM ]

Greetings, Zwingli Church!

 

When Jesus asked to be baptized by John, John was hesitant.  John’s hesitation shows his grasp of the gravity of the request.  It also, ironically, shows John’s emotional and spiritual health.  When Jesus asks – the faithful may be hesitant, but they seek to obey.

 

How might Jesus be asking you and me to baptize him?  That’s the question we’ll be thinking about on Sunday morning.  Join us, please!

 

Please keep the people of New Zealand, and particularly the friends and family members of those 49 who were killed at two different mosques in Christchurch (more irony in the name of the city where this happened) in your prayers.  Such acts of mass violence tend to make us numb in the face of their frequency.  As followers of Jesus we dare not let that happen.  

 

In the name of love, and in the hope for better……

 

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

Signs of Spring

posted Mar 11, 2019, 4:07 PM by Cameron Hubanks

Good afternoon, Church!

 

It’s a dreary Saturday afternoon, but spring is coming.  One of the signs of spring is baseball spring training.  Did you know that opening day is just 19 days off?  Hard to imagine when there’s still a foot of snow on the ground!

 

Tomorrow I’ll explore some similarities between baseball spring training and the life of faith.  Do you think I can pull it off?  Come and see!!  You can be the judge!  😊

 

Oh!! And don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead by one hour tonight.  Daylight savings time is, I suppose, another of those signs of spring.

 

Blessings to each of you!

 

Rich Pleva, Pastor

Zwingli United Church of Christ

Paoli, Wisconsin

608-845-5641 – voice

608-574-9465 - text

 

Zwingli UCC – A small church with a big and open heart!

1-10 of 32