United Church of Christ. Ohio Conference. Southern ohio-Northern Kentucky Association. Western Reserve-EEastern Ohio Association. Central Southeast Association. Northwest Ohio Association. Outdoor Ministries. UCC Disability Ministries. Seneca County Habitat for Humanity. Church World Service. Tiffin CROP Hunger Walk. Partners For Just Trade. Bread For The World. Tiffin Weather. I am a La Leche League breastfeeding leader for Tiffin/Seneca county. Meetings? Where? Time? 7 PM. Third Tuesday of each month at the First Presbyterian Church, Tiffin. Learn More.
Rev. Pam officiating. Wedding. Emily and DeeDee.
World Communion Sunday.
What Will You Risk? Rev. Pam Easterday. Christmas Eve, 2015. Faith Presbyterian Church, Findly. Homily, Carols, Readings. Wonderful piano. Even a dulcimer! Enjoy. Listen. Full Worship Service. Or, a shortened 10 minute edit which includes piano, homily, dulcimer and silent night. Enjoy! Listen. Short Version.
Rev. Pam Easterday. Introduction and Sunday Message. Watch. Or. Link: Sunday Message: Steadfast Love.
Often, I have imagined God sets us free, like children barreling through a banging screen door into the green backyard. And God calls us home. We may resist. We may run full-speed. We may meander slowly home, investigating every shrub and frog on the journey. We may be broken by the hazards in the world, wander, swinging blindly at everyone. Or we may long to return home, yet be barred by human-set hurdles between us and the Holy One. Personally, my calling is to knock down the hurdles to allow everyone access to God.
Beyond our smiles, handshakes and yummy cookies (they are so good) ... But, yes. We are called to extravagant welcome, to share “the cost and joy of discipleship, to be [God's] servants in service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world, and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory” (UCC Statement of Faith). How shall we worship, learn, grow and serve?
What It's About. The Holy Bible: Love, Justice and Peace: The word love appears in my Bible 586 times. Steadfast love runs through it. In spite of the fact that Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery, God stayed with him and loved him steadfastly. God even used Joseph, in slavery, to feed people through a famine, redeeming his brothers' crime, using it for good.
The ancient prophets were God's messengers, telling the people in poetic and powerful ways that starving the poor to accumulate wealth is a sin. Indulging themselves while harming others is a crime, because God cares about justice, mercy and peace. The Holy One loved them. God loved us enough to risk coming to live among us. Yet even after we killed him, Jesus walked among us, granting us peace, telling us not to be afraid, revealing God's love.
In Matthew 22, Jesus says that the two greatest commandments are love God and love neighbor. ?On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.? Loving God and loving neighbor are the guiding principles by which we must judge all other rules and advice. Is it loving? If it does not show love, it is not godly. Blessed to serve, Rev. Pam Easterday.
When someone says they believe in the biblical creation story, I say, “me too. Which one is your favorite?” There are quite a few. If you say you believe in the Genesis creation story, again I might ask, “Which one?” There is a lot to like in the many loving stories in the Bible. The Genesis 1 story begins with God's Spirit or Breath or Wind sweeping over the surface of watery darkness. Then God spoke each element into being. Our Creator is so powerful as to make something out of nothing with just desire. Land, sky, plants and creatures all grew and developed because God willed them to be so. Awesome. And then, God created humans. Everything else had been good, but these creatures (us), male and female in God's image, the Holy One called very good. What a joy and a promise to be God's crowning achievement!
Or perhaps you prefer the story that begins with Genesis 2:4. Here, humanity is created because the LORD (YHWH) needed farmers to till the fertile garden. Indeed, the first human is called Adam; Adam comes from adamah, dirt. In other words, we are earthlings! This story emphasizes man and woman as workers, side-by-side. Both Genesis stories give us care of creation just as God tends all of us.
Or perhaps your favorite biblical creation story is the beginning of the Gospel of John. “In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him and without him not one thing came into being,” (NRSV). There are deep riches in the John description of Jesus, the Messiah: all that logos can mean besides word, what this borrows from Wisdom of Proverbs 8, and the fact that the eternal, divine nature called logos pitched a tent among mere humans.
Scholars and believers have spent lifetimes studying these beautifully meaningful stories of creation. Exploring these writings helps us accept God's steadfast love and care. With the response of the Spirit within us, they help us know our Source's heart and mind. Living in faith communities, studying ancient and modern love stories, we feel the Spirit within, that we might know and love the God of all.
In the Holy Bible, you see, the word love appears 586 times because that is what this book of books is about. The word science does not show up at all. And where we think we read biology, geography, astronomy, history, geology or anatomy, those are just part of a love story.
In science class, we use our senses to measure and observe. Our provider created a reliable world that may be dug and parsed and endlessly explored. Indeed, in spite of technological advancements, our universe continues to reveal new secrets in medicine, physics, the ocean depths and distant galaxies. How blessed we are to know God's creativity and love, as well as our Provider's precision, which allows us to develop, heal, travel and create. Our big, human brains can calculate and treasure, write poetry and computer code. We are blessed with ancient love songs and modern faith communities. We are blessed with astrophysicists who can describe our cosmic origins, and we are blessed with medieval nuns who describe the heart of God. No conflict, just blessings.
Remember all the times when God, or angels, or Jesus told people, ?Do not be afraid.? Science helped us live longer when it discovered bacteria in our water. That all our neighbors might have plenty, that safer, abundant energy might be developed, that disease and disability might be defeated, all of us need to support scientific research, and our best thinking. We must use our God-given brains to love our neighbors. Our children must separate theory from proof. Our teachers must be encouraged to teach science. Because we serve a God who loves us all.
I have preached a sermon on the compatability of faith, science and evolution for the past ten years. Preached in February, this is conjunction with Evolution Sunday/Weekend as promoted since 2003 by the The Clergy Letter Project.
Rev. Pam Easterday, acceptance as incoming moderator of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ at the Ohio Conference gathering in June, 2011. Listen. Doing a New Thing. God is Still Speaking. This audio file is recorded in MP3 format and will play in any media player installed on your computer. Or, if you download the file, you can play at your leisure on your computer or transfer to a stand-alone MP3 audio player. To play while online just left click the Audio link. To save to your computer right click and in the dropdown menu select something like Save Target As. Save to where you can find the file. Desktop is a good place!
Who am I? I am a servant of God, wherever I go. Whether I am helping a new mother breastfeed as a La Leche League Leader, listening to elementary students read, writing an article for the paper or listening for how a certain scripture speaks to this time and this place, I am called to mercy, justice and extravagant love.
As a single mom, I went to college. My bachelor's in psychology has extra science: organic chemistry, anatomy, physiology and microbiology. I earned that degree summa cum laude. When I switched my undergrad schedule to fit in with my seminary's, I should have lost scholarship dollars, but there were actually more available, and even my books were covered in that last quarter. God is like that. Then, I commuted to the Methodist Theological School in Ohio for a master of divinity. My classmates were the most caring people and I learned from them, as well as: Bible, church history (1 class at the Josephinum), theology (thinking about God), ethics, pastoral care, preaching and more. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, I was solo pastor of two congregations, totaling nine years, and preached in dozens of pulpits.
Serving the wider Church, I counseled camp for years, served on the division of outdoor ministries and took my own kids to camp. Hosting missionaries and promoting all types of mission, I am trained as a Ministries and Mission Interpreter. As a delegate, I participated at association, conference and national levels. Serving six years for the Ohio Conference in the executive committee, I was vice-moderator, moderator, past-moderator and conference-minister, search-committee chair.
My work history includes factory sewing, teaching, retail security, manager and cashier, motel maid, child abuse prevention, six years as a radio disc jockey and years of free lance voice work. As a volunteer, I have coached soccer, helped abuse survivors, promoted and organized the CROP Hunger Walk.
For fun, I grow tomatoes on my roof, rescue dogs, knit hats, install appliances, square dance, read and SCUBA dive.
Most importantly, I am Mom to Kat, Clay and Anna, all college grads, and terrific young people. Who am I? Much more, just ask. Pam.
On Preaching: I preach EXTRAVAGANT WELCOME, the Good News about God’s LOVE for EVERYONE ... I have read that love is like water cupped in your hands. You cannot grip it tightly. It escapes, to return to its source. You can scoop water again and again. You can splash it, bathe in it, or drink it. You cannot hold it still for long. Water and love may be enjoyed and shared. Stuffed in a bottle, it grows stale. Set free, water can run clean and fresh. It seeks its source. Rivers rush to the sea. Evaporating to the clouds, water comes back again and again. We cannot grip love. We may show it to children. We may pour it out and share it. We may drink deeply and bathe in it. It comes from the wellspring of life … Drink in love, again and again...
The Annual Tiffin CROP Hunger Walk is held the first Sunday in October. For complete information and links to register and/or donate online, see The Annual Tiffin CROP Hunger Walk.
Many kids count on free breakfasts and lunches at school. But what do they do on weekends? In the Tiffin area, they may find a bag full of yummy food in their backpacks on Friday. Nutritionally balanced meals and snacks carry kids over the days away from school. Many hands and donors make it possible for kids to enjoy their weekends with plenty to eat. Twenty-five percent of every Tiffin CROP Hunger Walk donation will go to the YMCA Weekend Food Program, to feed kids in need.
Walking to End Hunger! 2016 Hunger Walk Participants.
What Does Hunger Look Like? by the Rev. Pam Easterday: We may think we know what hunger looks like, an emaciated child in Africa carried by her weary mother. And that is hunger, not enough resources for a healthy life. However, hunger not enough for life also exists beyond our television cameras. Families that live milesfrom a water source suffer each day. Women and children spend theirdays walking and carrying. Thus no school, no industry, no culture, barely life.
A South American family owns a small plot of land on a mountainside. They grow corn or beans, as their parents did. When a storm blows down the young plants, or the rain fails to come and fill out the pods, families go hungry; hungry children go quiet.
Hunger in the U.S.A. is hidden as well. The U.S.A. Department of Agriculture ranks Ohio third from the bottom in food security, better than only Arkansas and Missouri. Singles “couch-surf” or sleep in their cars because part-time jobs may pay enough for lunch meat but not shelter. Mothers and fathers decide which bill to pay, and what is the cheapest, most-filling food in the store.
The Tiffin CROP Hunger Walk is your opportunity to feed all the world. Watch the Youtube video: Women and Water in Rural Kenya to see the miracle of a sand dam, simple technology that saves lives. On land around the world, our CROP dollars provide the tools and training for varied, sustainable agriculture, “dream farms,” planned for secure, healthy diets. Where populations may have enough of just one food, such as rice, your CROP donations supplement the bowls for pregnant and nursing women, as well as toddlers, to protect crucial brain and body development.
Finally, one fourth of our CROP dollars come home to the hungry in Tiffin, serving the YMCA Weekend Food Program, to feed kids in need.
The Rev. Pam Easterday is one of the organizers of the Tiffin CROP Hunger Walk.
A Tiffin CROP Hunger Walk exclusive: Pam hand-knits hats. No two alike. Baby, Toddler, Child, Adult and extra-large sizes. For a $20.00 donation to the Tiffin CROP Hunger Walk. Have your choice. All labor and supplies donated. 100% of YOUR $20.00 donation goes to CROP!
The following audio files are recorded in MP3 format and will play in any media player installed on your computer. Or, if you download the file, you can play at your leisure on your computer or transfer to a stand-alone MP3 audio player. To play while online just left click the Download link. To save to your computer right click and in the dropdown menu select something like Save Target As. Save to where you can find the file. Desktop is a good place! Each Worship Service audio file is an edit of the service which may include when appropriate, music such as prelude, postlude, choir, congregational singing; the children's message; prayers and sermon.
May 3, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
April 19, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
April 12, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
April 5, 2015. Easter Sunday. DOWNLOAD.
March 29, 2015.Palm Sunday. DOWNLOAD.
March 22, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
March 15, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
March 8, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
March 1, 2015. Amy Lester: Global Ministries. DOWNLOAD.
February 22, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
February 15, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
February 8, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
February 1, 2015. Heidelberg University Concert Choir. DOWNLOAD.
January 25, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
January 18, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
January 11, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
January 4, 2015. DOWNLOAD.
Rev. Pam Easterday. June 26, 2011 Sunday Message. Watch. Or. Link: Sunday Message:Baptism. God's Love Made Visible.
The following (and above) videos are hosted on You Tube. Each link will go directly to the video. I have included a short description of each video. Enjoy!
Description: Part theater and complete message. The Genesis story told in a completely new way! Sunday Message: Called into Life.
Description: A quirky and fun message that includes Pam's husband as a willing helper! Sunday Message: Haircut.
Description Coming! Sunday Message: Strangers on Earth.
Description Coming! Sunday Message: New Life.
Description Coming! Sunday Message: Response.
Description: This is just a pure audio file, but, the response from the kids in this sermon is wonderful! Sunday Children's Message: Flexible.
Description: While at St. John's UCC, Tiffin, I started a Lawn Chair Drill Team to promote the church during yearly downtown parades. This included a new church banner at the head of the Drill Team. Quirky and alot of fun! St. John's UCC: Lawn Chair Drill Team.
Description: While at St. John's UCC, Tiffin, I started and promoted a Fair Trade store located in the church office! St. John's UCC: Fair Trade Store.
A Vision Statement. The United Church of Christ
A History of Our CORE IDENTITY by Rev. John H. Thomas, past General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. June 20, 2004. Scripture: Galati ans 3:23-29. From the time of our founding, the United Church of Christ has struggled to articulate its identity. The names of predecessor denominations identify important elements: Evangelical suggests a piety shaped by personal encounter with the Gospel. Congregational reminds us of the centrality of the local church for discipleship and mission. Reformed teaches us that church and society are subject to sin and must therefore be reshaped by the prophetic word. Christian connects us to those who cherish the simplicity of a commitment to Jesus who invites all to the Table.
Since 1957 other phrases have helped us articulate our distinctive vocation: We are a United and Uniting church seeking renewal through the vision of Christ's prayer That They May All Be One That The World Might Believe. We are a Just Peace church committed to overcoming violence and oppression. We are a Multi-Racial, Multi-Cultural Church yearning for the day when our congregations more fully reflect the vision of Pentecost. We are an Open And Affirming church where no one's baptismal identity can be denied because of his or her sexual identity. We are an Accessible church cherishing the gifts of all regardless of physical or mental abilities. More recently we have been thinking about what it means to call ourselves the church of the Still Speaking God, a church that believes God has yet more light and truth to break forth from the Word.
Each of these phrases captures an important dimension of our life together. But Paul also tells that our core identity transcends human categories. In Christ we are all children of God through faith, heirs according to God's promise. In the end Identity is About Belonging, and it is to Christ that we belong before any party or agenda. Let us give thanks for those distinctive gifts that mark our unique contribution to the Christian witness in the world. But even more, we give thanks that through this church we have received our inheritance with all others who are one in Jesus Christ.
Excerpted from "A History of the United Church of Christ" by Margaret Rowland Post: All Christians are related in faith to Judaism and are faith descendants of the first apostles of Jesus who roamed the world with the good news of God's love.
The United Church of Christ, a united and uniting church, was born on June 25, 1957 out of a combination of four groups. Two of these were the Congregational Churches of the English Reformation with Puritan New England roots in America, and the Christian Church with American frontier beginnings. These two denominations were concerned for freedom of religious expression and local autonomy and united on June 17, 1931 to become the Congregational Christian Churches. The other two denominations were the Evangelical Synod of North America, a 19th-century German-American church of the frontier Mississippi Valley, and the Reformed Church in the United States, initially composed of early 18th-century churches in Pennsylvania and neighboring colonies, unified in a Coetus in 1793 to become a Synod. The parent churches were of German and Swiss heritage, conscientious carriers of the Reformed and Lutheran traditions of the Reformation, and united to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church on June 26, 1934. The Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches shared a strong commitment under Christ to the freedom of religious expression. They combined strong European ties, early colonial roots, and the vitality of the American frontier church. Their union forced accommodation between congregational and presbyterial forms of church government. Both denominations found their authority in the Bible and were more concerned with what unites Christians than with what divides them. In their marriage, a church that valued the free congregational tradition was strengthened by one that remained faithful to the liturgical tradition of Reformed church worship and to catechetical teaching. A tradition that maintained important aspects of European Protestantism was broadened by one that, in mutual covenant with Christ, embraced diversity and freedom.
Written as a Doxology
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you.
About this testimony: The original (traditional) version of the United Church of Christ Statement of Faith was adopted in 1959 by General Synod and is widely regarded as one of the most significant Christian faith testimonies of the 20th century. The Statement of Faith in the Form of a Doxology was authorized by Executive Council in 1981.