From the Pastor’s Desk – “Big Things in Small Packages” (7/12/21)

BIG THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES

   Some significant gifts come in small packages. A diamond ring is encased in an exceedingly small box. Two $100 bills are enclosed in a congratulatory card. A $500 gift card is found in a tiny envelope. A concise, informative, erudite concept emerges from a 52-page book. It is the latter that captured my attention this week.

   Vernard Eller, a past-professor of religion at the University of LaVerne in California and author of over twenty books, has become one of my favorite authors of things related to religion and the church. Eller thinks outside the box and adds imaginative perspective. Even though his writings are several decades old, they remain relevant to the present age, in my humble view.

   The book alluded to in the opening paragraph of this article, written by Eller, is entitled Proclaim Good Tidings: Evangelism for the Faith Community. The e-word, evangelism, frequently elicits anxiety and fear primarily because it is associated with telling (speaking) the good news of Jesus Christ in a manner that will entice people to come along, to join the company of Jesus followers. Moreover, evangelism invokes images, maybe nightmares, of well-defined programming wherein “evangelists” are trained with tools to convert non-believers to the way of Jesus, to Christianity. Anxiety and fear kicks in when those of a more timid nature are concerned about speaking to strangers. What if difficult questions are asked or the good news is rejected? OH MY! Those more outgoing have less trepidation about visiting with others, but…OH MY!…there isn’t enough time to squeeze in a training program!

   Eller, consequently, eases these evangelism burdens. Instead of boxing evangelism into a programmatic monster to be tamed, he develops a portrait of evangelism as a community effort of radiating the essence of the Jesus way. In other words, the body of Christ, the church, or the community of Jesus followers, simply needs to let their manner of living serve as their witness. This manner of living “speaks” volumes, not always in words, but unquestionably with actions. Eller calls this “evangelism through body language.”

   A paragraph from Eller’s 52-page gem provides a nice summary of his thesis. He writes: “The calling of the church is that it function (sic) as ‘the body of Christ.’ Thus, within the body, the members are to operate, not for their own enjoyment or enhancement, but to the end that the body as a whole is built up. When the group is functioning so, its body language is such that a chance observer can read it and be moved to fall down and worship, crying, ‘God is certainly among you!’ And what is going on here is nothing more nor less than evangelism.”

   Eller also helps us to understand that evangelism is not a one-person enterprise. Sharing the good news of Jesus and the Jesus way is most effective when it is done together, in partnership, as the whole. It isn’t a programmatic enterprise, either. It is, at the most basic level, a way of being, acting, and living, revealing evidence of the Spirit of God moving within and acting upon our individual and collective lives.

   So, if the e-word puts you into a state of panic, take heart. Simply be who you are shaped and informed to be in the Jesus way, joining with the company and gifts of others. The rest, in a manner of speaking, will take care of itself.         

“The Stories Will Rise” – by Carol Davis, 2021 Peace Essay Winner

We are pleased to share this essay from Carol Davis entitled, “The Stories Will Rise.” The essay was selected by Bethany Theological Seminary for its 2021 Peace Essay Contest. The contest was funded by the Jennie Calhoun Baker Endowment and open to students in graduate school, college, or high school. This year’s contest solicited entries on the theme, “Civil Resistance and Nonviolent Social Change in an Increasingly Virtual World.” (Read more about the 2021 Peace Essay Contest here)

Continue reading ““The Stories Will Rise” – by Carol Davis, 2021 Peace Essay Winner”

Sunday Morning Meditation at the CCOB, 5/17/2020

THE CCOB MORNING OF COLLECTIVE MEDITATION

Sunday, May 17, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

ANGELS AMONG US

READING 1:

In the New Testament we learn that at each significant moment of Christ’s life on Earth, angels showed up. Whether they were in the air or on the land, these guardians relayed prophecy, celebrated moments of joy, provided protection, and delivered messages of hope.

The angel Gabriel not only told Mary she would bear a son, but what the boy would be called, who he was to become, and how his future was already established (Luke 1:30-33).

Angels rejoiced and sang Glorias from the heavens when the baby was born (Luke 2:13-14).

An angel told Joseph he could finally take his son home because Herod and those who wanted to kill the baby were dead (Matthew 2:19-20).

After Jesus endured the Devil’s temptations in the wilderness, the angels came and ministered to him (Matthew 4:11).

An angel sat with Jesus as he prayed in the Garden at Gethsemane (Luke 22:43).

When Jesus was betrayed, he exclaimed that he could have twelve legions of angels to sustain him if he only asked God for help (Matthew 26:53).

An angel rolled back the stone of the tomb of Jesus and another announced his resurrection (Matthew 28: 2, 5-6).

Jesus ascended into Heaven with angels watching nearby (Acts 1:10).

And someday Jesus will send out angels with trumpets to gather his elect from the four winds – from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:31).

Whether we believe in the actual physical embodiment of angels or not, the significance of angels in our lives can be very real.

In his inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln, with a Civil War brewing all around him, spoke of angels. He stated,

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again

touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

As we now face a pandemic which has disrupted our lives in every way imaginable, we must continue to believe in angels…we must BE angels… deliverers of joy, of protection, of hope.

For as we learn in Hebrews: Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (1:14).

And as we are reminded, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (13:2)

Continue reading “Sunday Morning Meditation at the CCOB, 5/17/2020”

CCOB to Offer Services Online: Message from Pastor Kevin Kessler

I continue to hope and pray that you are safe and well. If at any time you need to visit or you have thoughts and concerns you need to share, please contact me by phone (cell: 309-224-4828), text (same number), or email (cantoncob@gmail.com).

Because we are social beings, having the ability to continue meeting together on Sunday is important The online platform Zoom provides us with a means of connecting electronically. It isn’t the same as being present with each other in the same location, but it is a platform that allows us to be present with each other by video/audio or audio from the safety of our own homes.

Therefore, for the next 2 Sundays, March 22 and 29, we have the opportunity to connect with each other using Zoom at our regular meeting time of 9:30am. If you have access to a computer, microphone, and camera (fairly standard laptop) you can easily access the Zoom connection. Even if you do not have this equipment, you can still join in by phone. Using the phone does not provide video but at least offers connection by voice (you can share and you can hear others who are sharing). A few directions will follow.

Continue reading “CCOB to Offer Services Online: Message from Pastor Kevin Kessler”

You’re Always There, Special Music from Baylor Carper & Ed Carper

On Sunday, July 7, 2019, the Canton Church of the Brethren was privileged to hear a special performance from Ed Carper and his daughter Baylor Carper.  The song they played was called “You’re Always There.” Please enjoy!

CANTON CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN PRESENTS “FORGIVEN” ON PALM SUNDAY

The Canton Church of the Brethren presents “Forgiven” on Palm Sunday, April 14, at 9:30 a.m. The church is located at 269 E. Chestnut. The public is invited to attend.

The service features the words of Jesus, special readings, poetry, and a variety of music presented by the Canton Church of the Brethren Choir. The choir, directed by Carol Davis, consists of Candice Stuckey, Wilma Long, Doris Howater, Robin Henry, Tammy Kessler, Jackie Davis, Kevin Kessler, Colin Davis, Bob Champlin, and Ed Carper. Accompanist is Pam Willison.

Special musical guests include Carla Bobell, Lindsey Larson, Alex Smith, Tammy Weaver, and Trygve Meade. Chad Murphy provides narration.

“The message of Easter directs each of us to paths of forgiveness,” said Carol Davis, music director. “The Holy Week story is one of hope for everyone. We invite any and all to join us for this service of inclusion.

Song selections include “My Father’s House,” by Bruce Springsteen and sung by Colin Davis, “Forgiveness” from the musical Jane Eyre, “One God” as recorded by Barbra Streisand, “Hosanna to the King,” “Every Time I Think of You,” and more.

For more information, please contact Carol Davis at carol.davis31@gmail.com

Lectio Divina (Divine Reading)

Lectio Divina is a prayerful approach to the scriptures.  Some would say it is a way of praying the scriptures.  This practice, which translated means Divine Reading, was introduced by a 12th-century Carthusian monk named Guigo.  Lectio Divina can be practiced a number of ways both individually or in groups.  he most common method has 4 steps: Reading, Meditation, Response, and Contemplation.  Sometimes another step of prayer is added.  Or, the method can be reduced to 3 steps of reading, meditation, and action.

Continue reading “Lectio Divina (Divine Reading)”

Bigger Than the Box, 1/6/19

Sermon Title: Bigger Than the Box

Speaker: Pastor Kevin Kessler

Date: January 6, 2019

Scripture: Proverbs 2: 1-15

Today is Epiphany Sunday, the time of the church year when we celebrate the story of the those who traveled great distances seeking the Christ child. The child was nearly 2 years old when the seekers arrived. Whatever had sparked the curiosity of these seekers caused them to continue pursuing a goal. Something mysterious, something of wonder was out of their reach, something that compelled them to continue on until they were able to experience first-hand what they sought.

Continue reading “Bigger Than the Box, 1/6/19”

Canton Church of the Brethren Presents CANTATA

The Canton Church of the Brethren Choir and guests will present the John Purifoy cantata

Christmas Seekers on Sunday, December 16 at 9:30 a.m. in the church sanctuary. The church is located at the corner of Third and Chestnut Streets in Canton. The presentation is open to the public.

Continue reading “Canton Church of the Brethren Presents CANTATA”

Our Land, Our Earth, Our History!

With Award Winning Singer/Songwriter Barry Cloyd

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2018

11:00 a.m. following worship service in the sanctuary

A concert celebrating the environment and God’s creation

Sponsored by the Environment Passion Group

Potluck luncheon to follow at noon in the Fellowship Hall

Free Will Offering

Barry Cloyd is a Midwestern based, full-time touring singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who performs more than 125 shows of all types per year.  In addition to a concert schedule, he has been the resident stringed instrumentalist/vocalist on The Spirit of Peoria Paddlewheel Riverboat for 18 years, traveling the inland waterways.  Barry also has created and toured dozens of edu-tainment programs which focus on our own history with music. He has shared the stage & recorded with many stars of the Blues and Americana worlds including members of Buddy Guy’s Band, The Byrds, Stephen Still’s, EmmyLou Harris’, The Oak Ridge Boys, John Denver’s and Dan Fogelberg’s Bands.  Barry is also a recording artist with 10 CD’s, the last of which, the all original “Southland”, won an award for best Americana album in 2016 which resulted in his tracks “Spirit Dance” and “Know This River” being placed on radio stations in more than 45 countries worldwide.

www.barrycloyd.com

CCOB Celebrates Earth Day 2018

The following post was taken from the CCOB Newsletter, Volume 2018, Issue #5

“God of heaven and earth, the work of your hands is made known in your bountiful creation and in those who faithfully live their lives in your grace. Today we especially remember those we have mentioned trusting your promise of everlasting life and love. Be present with us this day as we mark their lives through the planting of this tree. May this tree speak the power of your life in our midst, deeply rooted and ever growing in all creation, through Jesus Christ. Amen.” —Kevin Kessler

Continue reading “CCOB Celebrates Earth Day 2018”

Camp Emmanuel Special Offering

The following post is a Mission Moment prepared by Martha Harr for our service on July 1, 2018. 

Do you ever get tired of turning on the news to hear about all of the bad things that are going on in the world? Sometimes, it would just be nice to tune in and find that EVERY SINGLE NEWS STORY for the day was focused on only happy, good things that are happening!

Continue reading “Camp Emmanuel Special Offering”

Educational Bee Summit Workshop to be Held at Canton Church of the Brethren, June 20

Bee Workshop

As part of its year-long focus on dignity and the environment, the Canton Church of the Brethren is offering a Bee Summit/Workshop by local beekeeper Greg Mathis on Wednesday, June 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the church located at 269 E. Chestnut in Canton.  The event is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about bees, bees impact on our world, or the art of beekeeping.

Continue reading “Educational Bee Summit Workshop to be Held at Canton Church of the Brethren, June 20”

From the Pastor’s Desk: April-May 2018

The following post was taken from The April-May edition of The Canton Chronicle, Volume 2018, Issue #4. 

In our backyard are two crabapple trees. One has pink blooms and the other white. Usually I would contend that the one with pink blooms exudes more beauty. But this year was different. The one with white blooms was gorgeous to the point of being nearly radiant. Interestingly, though, the radiance was short-lived. On about Monday or Tuesday the blooms were at peak. By Saturday not a bloom was left on the tree. Beauty is fleeting.

Continue reading “From the Pastor’s Desk: April-May 2018”

Canton Provides Polo with Rain Barrel

This year, Polo Church of the Brethren is creating a community garden. However, the organizers realized that a water source was needed. Luckily, Canton Church of the Brethren was working on a rain barrel project, which initiated a conversation between Canton COB and Polo COB. These conversations lead to Canton COB donating a rain barrel to Polo COB’s community garden project. Pastor Kevin Kessler of Canton COB said “A community garden is a valuable ministry. We, at Canton, are glad for the opportunity to share in a sister congregation’s efforts. As congregations, we are not entities unto ourselves. Together we make a difference.

 

DE Ponderings: May 2018

The following post was taken from The Reflector, a publication of the IL/WI Church of the Brethren Newsletter May 2018: Volume 15/Issue 4. 

Neal F. Fisher, president emeritus of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, offers these thoughts in an article in The Christian Century:

What morality, we might ask, does one culture or social group create that another with equal authority could not revoke? On what basis should my personal perceptions make a universal claim? The issue here is not to challenge universal moral claims. The point, rather, is that many of those who make universal claims disavow any reasonable basis for explaining how that claim can be made,” 

Continue reading “DE Ponderings: May 2018”

Your Giving Matters: Amazon Smile

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price (.5%) to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

On your first visit to AmazonSmile smile.amazon.com, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make will result in a donation to Canton Church of the Brethren.

Remember, shop locally, but when shopping online through Amazon, remember AmazonSmile, and donate to Canton Church of the Brethren.

Leading the Way: Ecology Theology Worship Services at Canton COB

April services will prove that our Canton Church of the Brethren is a “happening” place to be! Benefiting from the culminating project Carol Davis has created for her Bethany Theological Seminary class, Ecological Theology and Christian Responsibility course, the CCOB congregants will have the opportunity to experience the fruit of her labors.

Continue reading “Leading the Way: Ecology Theology Worship Services at Canton COB”

Leadership Team Issues Call to Christ-like Discourse

Taken from the Brethren Newsline March 23, 2018

The Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren has issued a letter calling for Christ-like discourse at this time in the life of the church. The Leadership Team of the denomination includes the general secretary, the Annual Conference officers, a representative of the Council of District Executives, and the director of the Annual Conference office.

Here is the full text of the letter from the Leadership Team:

 

Continue reading “Leadership Team Issues Call to Christ-like Discourse”

‘Lukewarm No More’ calls for repentance and action on gun violence

The following article is taken from the Church of the Brethren Newsline, March 13, 2018 (Link to the Brethren Newsline webpage here)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren adopted a statement on gun violence at its spring meetings held at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on March 9-12. The statement was initiated by staff of Global Mission and Service, and quotes from the Bible and previous Annual Conference statements in its call to the wider church.

“Our sister churches pray for us as an American church in a time of violence, as we undergo repeated acts of mass shootings, and they express love and concern for us,” said Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service, who recently returned from a trip to the emerging Brethren body in Venezuela. He noted the scripture’s call for Christians not to lose their “saltiness.” In Venezuela, that may mean considering how the church may be “salt of the earth” in that country’s economic crisis. Here in the US, he commented, “if we have continued gun violence and we have ready access to guns, and mass shootings, and children are unsafe in schools, don’t we have to ask the question whether the church has lost its saltiness?”

Continue reading “‘Lukewarm No More’ calls for repentance and action on gun violence”

Easter Cantata: Praise to the Lamb, 3/25/18

The Canton Church of the Brethren is please to present a special Easter Cantata service, Praise to the Lamb by Stan Pethel.

This service will be held on Palm SundayMarch 25, 2018 at 9:30 am at the Canton Church of the Brethren.

Come hear the Story of Holy Week in song. 

Please, invite your friends, family, and especially young people to attend this service. 

This service will feature

  • Carol Davis – Director
  • Pam Willison – Accompanist
  • The Canton Church of the Brethren Choir
  • Special Guests – Tammy Weaver, Sara Mathis, Greg Mathis, and Trygve Meade
  • Martha Harr – Narrator

…and will include a Special Children’s Story Moment that even the adults will enjoy!

Let us know if you have any question or need any accomodations.  Or you can visit our  “First Time?” page for more information.

From the Pastor’s Desk, February 2018

The following article was taken from the Canton Chronicle Vol. 2018 #2 issue written by Pastor Kevin Kessler and edited by Martha Harr

So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:25-32 NRSV)

Continue reading “From the Pastor’s Desk, February 2018”

A Pastoral Letter for a Time of Grief and Fear

The following post was taken from the Church of the Brethren email service Newsline. Subscribe online by visiting the following webpage: http://cob.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?em_id=37179.0&dlv_id=45238

Continue reading “A Pastoral Letter for a Time of Grief and Fear”

This Sunday: Savor and Serve, 2/18/18

Jesus meets us in the midst of our grief and weeps with us, but then helps us to move forward with and into life.
Sermon Title: Savor and Serve
Speaker: Pastor Kevin Kessler
Date: Sunday September 18, 2018
Scripture: John 11: 28-37
First time at Canton COB?  Visit our webpage for information and let us know if you have any questions.

Continue reading “This Sunday: Savor and Serve, 2/18/18”

Dorothy Day Offertory Thought, 2/11/18

The following excerpt was taken during the offertory thought of our worship service on Sunday February 11, 2018. 

The well-known social activist Dorothy Day has said: “The sense of futility is one of the greatest evils of the day.…People say, “What can one person do? What is the sense of our small effort?” They cannot see that we can only lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time; we can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment.”

Continue reading “Dorothy Day Offertory Thought, 2/11/18”

This Sunday:Deeper Sight, 2/11/18

Blindness occurs or remains when we are unable or unwilling to receive the support or direction or help of others. Sight is experienced at the moment when selfishness or stubbornness is set aside. Sight opens the door for faith.

Speaker: Pastor Kevin Kessler

Sermon: Deeper Sight

Date: Sunday February 11, 2018, 9:30-10:30am

Scripture: John 9: 1-41

*For more information about the Canton COB see our First Time page.

Continue reading “This Sunday:Deeper Sight, 2/11/18”

Beyond Limits, 2/4/18

Jesus meets us at our most vulnerable points in life and offers us life beyond the limits we place upon ourselves. The abundant life Jesus offers then reaches beyond the limits of our lives to impact the world.

Sermon Title: Beyond Limits

Speaker: Pastor Kevin Kessler

Scripture: John 4: 1-42

Date: Sunday February 4, 2018

Continue reading “Beyond Limits, 2/4/18”

This Sunday: Beyond Limits, 2/4/18

Jesus meets us at our most vulnerable points in life and offers us life beyond the limits we place upon ourselves. The abundant life Jesus offers then reaches beyond the limits of our lives to impact the world.

Continue reading “This Sunday: Beyond Limits, 2/4/18”

DE Ponderings, January 2018

The following article was taken from Volume 15 Issue 1 of  ¨The Reflector¨ a publication of the IL/WI District Church of the Brethren.

Last week I caught up on a few chores at home that I´ve been neglecting, one of which was cleaning an old stereo system. The components of the system were all separate, so I carefully removed each one from the stereo cabinet. When cleaning the 5-disc CD player, I tilted it in such a manner that 2 CDs slid out the front. I finished cleaning, replaced the components in the cabinet, turned on the CD player, opened the drawer, and found 3 more CDs. After removing them I pushed the button to close the drawer. All was not well. The drawer did not close completely; it remained about a third of the way open. I could not get the drawer to close no matter what I tried.

Continue reading “DE Ponderings, January 2018”

GFI Grant supports gardens and gardeners

The following article was taken from the Church of Brethren Newsline on January 26, 2018. You can subscribe to the Newsline by clicking the link here.

The Global Food Initiative (GFI) of the Church of the Brethren has made several grants in recent months. The grants support a Going to the Garden retreat, an aquaponics system in Haiti, two community gardens in Spain, and a feeding ministry in Mexico.

Continue reading “GFI Grant supports gardens and gardeners”

This Sunday, 1/21/18: Follow Me

Join us this Sunday, January 21st as Robin Henry will join us speaking from Mark 1:14-20 when Jesus called his first disciples. We will also hear a poetry reading from Martha Harr with worship being led by Harrold Rose. Hope you can join us!

Date: Sunday January 21, 2018

Speaker: Robin Henry

Sermon: Follow Me

Worship Leader: Harrold Rose

Poetry Reading: Martha Harr

Scripture: Mark 1:14-20

Continue reading “This Sunday, 1/21/18: Follow Me”

Dignity Passion Update, January 2018

Ministry & Education

If you would like to check up on what this Dignity Passion Group has been doing, you will need to check out the previous blogpost on our church website; Their trip to the Anshai Emeth Jewish Center in Peoria. The visit was the culmination of the 3-part study on Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism. We want to thank this Passion Group for offering such a rich, educational opportunity to broaden our horizons.

Continue reading “Dignity Passion Update, January 2018”

From the Pastor’s Desk, January 2018

¨It is a mistake to sharpen our minds by narrowing them. It is a mistake to look to the Bible to close a discussion; the Bible seeks to open one…. The Bible is no oracle to be consulted for specific advice on specific problems; rather, it is a wellspring of wisdom about the ambiguity, inevitability, and insolubility of the human situation…. The Bible makes us comfortable with struggle but uneasy in success…. [The Bible is a signpost, not a hitching post].¨ –William Sloane Coffin, The Courage to Love (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1982), 7-8

Continue reading “From the Pastor’s Desk, January 2018”

Joint Cantata Service with Trinity Lutheran, 12/10/17

Please enjoy this joint Cantata Church service with Trinity Lutheran and Pastor Micah Garnett.  Music was led by Carol Davis with Pam Willison accompanying.

The event was warmly appreciated, so much so that a member of the Trinity congregation expressed: “Our two congregations should do this again, and join together for a picnic this summer.”

Read more about this service here: Combined Worship Service and Cantata

It’s Not a Miracle, 1/14/18

Date: Sunday January 14, 2018

Speaker: Kevin Kessler

Worship Leader: Robin Henry

Sermon: It’s Not a Miracle

Scripture: John 2:1-11

Special Music by Pam Willison

Continue reading “It’s Not a Miracle, 1/14/18”

Broadening Our Horizons

On Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, a group of 11 people (Ed Carper, Brenda Carper, Carol Davis, Jackie Davis, Tammy Kessler, Kevin Kessler, Caryl Harrison, Nels Henry, Robin Henry, Harold Rose, Martha Harr) from the Canton Church of the Brethren visited the Anshai
Emeth Jewish Center in Peoria, IL, as part of the study of Judaism.

The evening included conversation with Rabbi Bryna Milkow (between Pastor Kevin and Jackie Davis in picture), seeing the Torah scroll,viewing various items displayed throughout the building (e.g., shofars, shawls), experiencing a Friday evening Shabbat service, and enjoying oneg (a time of fellowship after worship).

“The evening was delightful,” reports Pastor Kessler. “We were welcomed by our Jewish neighbors, shown hospitality, and enriched with a great learning experience.”

While Judaism and Christianity have distinct understandings and values, we have learned that we hold much in common as well. That we can respect our differences and serve together in our commonality is truly a blessing.

This Sunday, 1/14/18: It’s Not a Miracle

Join us this Sunday at the Canton Church of the Brethren.  Pastor Kevin will be speaking from John 2: 1- 11 (the wedding at Cana) and we will hear special music by Pam Willison. Look forward to seeing you there!

Date: Sunday January 14, 2018

Speaker: Kevin Kessler

Worship Leader: Robin Henry

Sermon: It’s Not a Miracle

Scripture: John 2:1-11

Special Music by Pam Willison

Continue reading “This Sunday, 1/14/18: It’s Not a Miracle”

Brethren Leaders Endorse Christmas Letter Regarding Federal Budget

This article is taken from the Brethren Newsline, December 21, 2017

Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele and Office of Public Witness director Nathan Hosler have given endorsement to a Christmas letter to Vice President Mike Pence “to protect the humanitarian, diplomatic, and peacebuilding budget in the FY19 budget” of the federal government.

The letter was organized by Search for Common Ground ( www.sfcg.org ) and was hand-delivered to the Vice President’s office on Wednesday, Dec. 20. It was copied by e-mail to other government officials at the White House, USAID, the State Department, and Congress as key decision makers in the budget development process.

Continue reading “Brethren Leaders Endorse Christmas Letter Regarding Federal Budget”

Christmas Cantata: A Service of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love

Trinity Lutheran Church and the Canton Church of the Brethren are celebrating Christian unity with a joint worship service and Christmas cantata on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 9:00am! The blended service will feature worship traditions from both Lutheran and Brethren perspectives, along with the celebration of Holy Communion. A fellowship and discussion time follows the service, and coffee and cookies will be served.

Continue reading “Christmas Cantata: A Service of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love”

The Big Clean!

Hey, everyone!

Come and share in the big clean, a few hours of working together to make our church building sparkle!

Date: December 8, 2017

Time: 2:00pm to 6:00 pm

Spend a few minutes or all 4-hours or any time you have available; many hands make light work.

Please call 309-647-4828 or email cantoncob@gmail.com with any questions. Hope to see you there!

Living in Exile, 11/26/17

Please enjoy this special message from Pastor Kevin Kessler entitled “Living in Exile.” We also included the children’s story and giving message.

Sermon: Living in Exile

Speaker: Pastor Kevin Kessler

Scripture: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14

Date: Sunday November 26, 2017

Continue reading “Living in Exile, 11/26/17”