Pastor's Ponderings
Heartland Shared Ministries
May 2019 Newsletter

Edgar, Nebraska

It is my tradition to ask those youth who have taken confirmation class to prepare to affirm their baptism to pick a bible verse and write a paragraph on how it speaks to their faith.  On Sunday, April 14th, at the UCC in Clay Center, there were five youth who stood in front of all gathered and affirm their baptism/faith in Jesus the Christ.  What follows are the bible verses and paragraphs they wrote and read on Sunday, April 14.  I would invite you to read them and let the Spirit lead!  God is working in and through this young folk who are fellow members of the the Body of Christ, the Church.  When you see these individuals, congratulate them and make sure you let them know they are valuable members of the Body of Christ—the Church!!

 For my confirmation verse, I chose Matthew 28:20. It reads “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” I choose this verse because of what happened to our family in December of 2015. I believe this to be true because even after the accident you can still see signs that they are here with us. During the spring, when I look out the window in our living room and see two red cardinals sitting in the tree, I know that its Jake and Taylor sending me a simple reminder that they are always with me even though I can not see them with my eyes, I can feel them with my heart.  Aisley Schliep

 The bible verse that I chose for my confirmation is Ephesians 6:1-3. It reads Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother- which is the first commandment with a promise. So that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. I chose this verse because I feel, as children, we should all obey and listen to our parents. We might not always understand or agree with what you are telling or teaching us. But I know that you have a much better view of what is better for me. I believe that children that have a better sense of authority will grow up and have more respect for people and be more successful in life. I also think that parents should be expected to love and protect their children, and children should obey their parents until they are old enough to be independent and make decisions of their own.  Ella Martin

 For my confirmation verse I chose Jeremiah 29:11. It states For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This really speaks to me because there have been times in my life where I have felt alone and unsure of what was going to happen next in my life. This verse helped me know that God has a plan for my life. Whenever I play volleyball or basketball, I am always very nervous before my games but I always know that god will have a plan for me whether my team wins or loses. My church has really led me to believe that I can do all things through Christ and not have to be nervous. He lets me do the best that I can do and for that I am very thankful.  Sophie Dane

The verse that I chose is Isaiah 43:2: When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. I chose this verse because it is important to me. This means that no matter what happens in my life God will be there with me. One time in my life that this verse was special to me, was when my grandma got her tumor removed. I was worried about her and that she would be ok. It helped me remember that when I am scared, he is always there, and will be with me and my grandma. My grandma was ok and God was with both of us!  I am thankful that my parents brought me to church and Sunday School since I was little. I have learned a lot about Jesus and the Bible by participating in activities at this church.  Thanks to everyone who has helped me in my journey.  Jake Dane

 My bible verse that speaks to my faith is Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

Examples of times that God has helped me in the past: get through hard schoolwork, baseball championship, keep working on the farm when it’s hot and I’m tired, getting me through my brothers fighting, God helped me be a good friend to some of my classmates who were struggling with their home life. Examples of times that God will help me in the future: He’s going to help me work hard for good grades, to be a good role model for my friends, being good at school work and helping me get into college, help me be good in sports, help me have good sportsmanship and be a good teammate. One time God gave me strength the strength was when I prayed to Him to help me get through my grandma’s death.  Jack Watts


Pastor Ethan and Kellie will be gone May 24-27th to attend great nieces’ graduation in Oklahoma.  The council/sessions members and the secretaries will have the name and number of the Pastor covering for Pastor Ethan in case of an emergency.

On May 11th, I will be celebrating the completion of my first year as the pastor of the Heartland Shared Ministries.  I want to thank all of you for a great year and for your grace, patience and understanding.  As they say in the clergy circles, the “honeymoon period” has finished. If you have any comments, questions, and/or suggestions for me to be a better pastor, please talk to me about them; assumption is not a good thing so please contact me.  God has called us here together for a reason—to grow in faith, as the Body of Christ and in our mission together.  It has been a great year and I’m looking forward to see how the God continues to bind us as one as we work together as God’s children and messengers of the Good News!   Let the Spirit lead!!!

Pastor Ethan

Thanks to everyone who participated in Lenten suppers/devotions, Holy Week and Easter services, you helped build up the Body of Christ!  Thanks for participating and your witness, God used you!  

Thanks to everyone who shared with Kellie and I special greetings and gifts this Easter, they are all appreciated!  We are so blessed!  Thanks for all you do!!  God’s blessings! 

 Pastor Ethan and Kellie