On the first Sunday (and first day) of the year, we will celebrate Epiphany Sunday, which commemorates the visitation of Christ by the Magi from the East. The Magi, guided by a star, brought gifts to the newborn King, and thwarted King Herod’s plan for violence.
The Star Words will be given out to those in worship on Epiphany Sunday. Star Words is a contemporary tradition of passing out intention words on Epiphany—a tradition growing in popularity amongst many Protestant churches. Inspired by the Magi following the star to Jesus, selecting a star word to meditate on throughout the new year can deepen your self-reflection and prayer practices.
The use of star words is a prayer practice connected to Epiphany and the new year that has been growing in popularity in Protestant churches for nearly a decade now. The idea is that a list of intention words, or guiding words, are written or printed on paper stars. These paper stars are then arranged, most commonly face down, on the Communion Table or in a large basket. Individuals are often encouraged to place their star word somewhere they will see it regularly throughout the year to allow consistent reflection on how God has moved through, around, or in connection to that word.
In January and February, we will share a new worship series called, “Come and See.” In the coming weeks we will move through the first half of the Gospel of John. The stories will all reveal truths about the identity and nature of Jesus. The series will include famous stories such as turning water into wine, the exchange with Nicodemus the verse John 3:16, and the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well.
Ultimately, following Jesus is about invitation. You are invited to come and see who Jesus is and what it means to follow him.
On December 26, a long-standing tradition at Two Rivers Church will be renewed. The children and youth will put on the first puppet show in over a decade. The original “Puppet News Christmas” will be performed live during the worship service on Sunday, December 26.
The show will feature a live broadcast of the events of Christmas. Anchors Dr. Luke A. Possel and Matthew T. Collector will bring you “all the news that’s fit to puppet.”
The Easter season lasts from Easter sunday until Pentecost on June 9. This season we will feature a series called “Reconcile: How Christ can reconcile humanity’s deepest divisions.”
On Easter, we celebrate that Christ is Risen? To be faithful however, we must examine what that means. For our faith to be more than simply an intelectual endeavor, we must be willing to ask, “So what?”
The “So What?” of Easter is this: Reconciliation. Paul reminded us that all who follow Christ must be a part of sharing the “message of reconciliation.” For seven weeks we will examine how Christ can reconcile some of the deepest divisions that we humans have created.
As usual, there will be a Bible study to accompany this series. Each on Monday the small group will meet to discuss the upcoming Sunday’s topic and Bible passage.
April 28 – How it all started, Genesis 11:1-9
May 5 – Family of Many Colors, The barrier of race. Number 12:1-15
May 12 – Truth will make us free, The barrier of gender. John 4:1-30, 39-42
May 19 – There’s nothing to prevent you, The barrier of sexual orientation. Acts 8:26-40
May 26 – Living on the Margins, The barrier of age. Acts 20:7-12
June 2 – Another plate at the table, The barrier of class. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
June 9 – Pentecost, a Celebration of Diversity, Acts 2
Christmas is a season of good cheer, but for some it can mean a time of sharpened pain. Christmas can bring anxiety, stress, and deeper sense of loss. The Blue Christmas service on Wednesday, December 21 at 6:00 p.m. is a chance a time to speak this truth about Christmas. It is okay to be hurting at Christmas. This doesn’t mean you are less faithful. It doesn’t meant that there is something wrong with you. It doesn’t mean that you are a “Scrooge.” It just means that you are human.
The Blue Christmas service will be a short time of quiet reflection, prayer, and contemplation. There will be a song of lamentation – or complaint. There will be a time of quiet prayer. There will be a chance to speak publicly to the pain of the season – but this is certainly not required. There will also be a short ritual of transformation and an invitation to Christ’s table.
Click below to see Pastor Robb on Paula Sands Live for last year’s service.
On July 23, Two Rivers United Methodist Church will present a special day of worship featuring music from The Beatles. Members of the Quad Cities’ own “Generations Band” will help lead the church in worship with classic Beatles songs such as “Help,” and “All You Need is Love.” The service will be built much like a regular worship service, but all the music will be provided by the band in an acoustic style. Pastor Robb McCoy, a long time Beatles fan, will share a message of love, hope, and peace.
The day will be a fun time of worship, and is a great chance to invite people to experience a new kind of worship service. According to Pastor Robb, “This is further evidence that we are willing to have a little fun, and try something new in worship.” The service will begin at 9:30 as usual, and people are encouraged to invite others to this special experience.