It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1
On July 4, 1776, the colonists living in our country declared their independence, their freedom from Great Britain. But just writing the Declaration of Independence and signing it was not enough. The colonists had to fight a long, bloody war so that they could be free.
We thank God for people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and all the other early leaders in our country because of the sacrifices they made. We enjoy freedom today-especially freedom to worship God in peace and without fear of persecution. But, not everyone who fought in the Revolutionary War cared about religious freedom. Not everyone even loved or believed in God. But many, many of these people did know and love Jesus. Francis Scott Key did, for example. He wrote our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
Today, hardly anyone knows or sings stanza two thru four. Here are the words to the fourth verse of the Star Spangled Banner.
O! thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav ‘n-rescued land
Praise the Pow ‘r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just;
And this be our motto, “In God is our trust!”
And the star spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Because of this stanza and its history, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled to print this motto, “In God We Trust,” on all of our money. Unfortunately, we have reached a time where this is being challenged.
It is not only because of the colonists and all the brave men and women who have fought to keep our nation free since that time, it is also because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our sin and set us free.
As you celebrate Independence Day this month, remember to thank God for all the heroes who fought and died so our country could be free. But remember, too, to thank God for his Son Jesus, who died to win eternal freedom for us, freedom from sin and its guilt. This freedom is already ours and it will be ours forever in heaven.
Grace & Peace, Pastor Bob
AS MANY OF YOU ALREADY KNOW, worship and church sponsored small groups have been canceled effective immediately until further notice.
   Even though we cannot gather for worship at this time, the church bills have not stopped. The church is getting by “paycheck to paycheck”, like many of you. We are taking measures to try to weather storm, so we return to worship and continue to serve the community when the situation improves. There is not much in the budget that can be trimmed, as so we need our members to continue to contribute what you can as to tithings and offerings.
Finance information-
   * Monday’s of every week we will collect, record and deposit any pledges, Donations and Loose Funds.                 Please mail to the church at: 1st UMC of Chenango Bridge, PO Box 501, Chenango Bridge, 13745.
    * Bank Accounts and Expenses will be reviewed weekly to ensure Bills are paid in a timely manner.
    * Any financial questions should be directed to David Lewis at 607.727.0250.
    * Search for any potential financial opportunities that will provide additional income to meet the continue          operation expenses through this unknown period.

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