Thursday, January 28, 2021


Lodi United Methodist Church       Lent 2021        Remodeling Our Souls Devotional

This Lenten season,  Rev. Pam will explore the weekly lectionary scripture lessons using the metaphor of remodeling a home to the work of God’s grace in this holy season.

The topics and questions below are just prompts for reflection. Let us help one another grow in grace through prayer, reflection, almsgiving, and repentance - looking in new directions and turning away from that which keeps us from the abundant life God so desires for us.

These are just ideas! Follow the Spirit’s lead as you make this devotional a “tool” of grace!

Week of February 21: The Design   (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27)
Jesus calls us to build the kingdom of God in our hearts, in our church, and in our world.
        How have we done this?
        What hopes/visions have been realized?
        Who were some folks who helped or inspired you on the kingdom building journey?
        Favorite Bible verses about the Kingdom of God -Why are they special to you?

Week of February 28:   It is Not Easy    (28, March 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
       What are some challenges you have had in your journey? How has God helped you overcome them?
        Is there a Bible story that shows the challenges and struggles of the journey of faith that touches your heart? How were the difficulties overcome with God’s help?

Week of March 7:   It is Messy!    (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,)
        Fixing up our homes or even cleaning out a closet creates a bit of a mess. To fix the mess we often need to reorganize, change our priorities, and weigh our values. The hardest messes can be between two good things:
              I want a tidy garage.               I want to keep items of sentimental value.
         Can you think of times Jesus or others in the Bible faced messy situations where there may have been tension between two values or choices? How did he resolve them? 
For examples, picking grain on the Sabbath, The Garden of Gethsemane, the cleansing of the temple, Jewish and Gentile cultural tension in the Epistles, Joseph and Mary’s sudden pregnancy?
          Can you think of a messy problem you had to address? How did God help you work through the challenge?
          What did you learn as you worked through the mess?

The Week of March 14:    I Need Help!   (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
Who has helped you in your journey?
How did you grow when you reached out for help?
Can you think of some helpers in the Bible?
What made them good helpers?
What changes may have happened in the person helped?  (What might the victim in the Good Samaritan say in a thank you note to his rescuer?  Be creative!)

The Week of March 21:    The Courage to Complete the Task     (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27)
Have you had an experience that required courage or perseverance? How did God help you?
Can you think of a Bible story that showed courage or perseverance? How does it speak to you and all of us?


We NEED YOUR HELP to make this happen!  Many of you have had some great experiences – put them into words – we have some great writers in our church family, too!  There is not much time to do this, but sometimes that works to our advantage!!!!   RSVP a date, ASAP!!!!  We can do this!

If you have any questions, please let me know!



 LIVING and LOVING IN LODI      Sunday,  January 31, 2021 

From Pastor Pam:  

Humility and Dignity

After getting the boys off to school, I made my second cup of coffee, took a deep breathe, and settled in to watch the news until my mug was empty. The host of this morning program began to talk about Tom Brokaw: his accomplishments and his retirement. She spoke of his naming, writing, and teaching about what he termed  “The Greatest Generation,”  and she played old footage of Mr. Brokaw interviewing two veterans of the Battle of Normandy on that very beach. As he began the interview, he spoke of the men's profound dignity and humility. As the interview progressed my tears began to flow, and I wondered if my morning brew would become as salty as the sea.  Both veterans spoke quietly; there was no marching band, no loudspeaker, no flags waving, no cheering crowds; there as only the sound of the wind and the waves and the echoes of the past valor.


One veteran spoke of opening the door of the transport boat and seeing the dead body of a medic floating by. As he spoke, there was none of the   belligerent bravado that often flows from the mouths of what Thomas Paine called "barroom patriots and summer soldiers;"  there was the true courage that speaks with humility and dignity and that acts in accordance with professed values even when the cost is beyond calculation. The man acknowledged his fear; he spoke of his obedience when the commander issued the order for the men to leave the boat and enter the bloody seas to serve together in anonymity a cause greater than self for a purpose far more noble than comfort, wealth or fame. 


Humility and dignity are central to a life lived in and for Christ.  Humility come from the word meaning earth or dirt. To be humble is to be "down to earth," It is not a denial of one's gifts and graces with  limiting self- condemnation but rather a hope born of authentic understanding of who and whose we are. Even as Adam, which translates to “dirt man", was formed by God from the earth, he and all people are made in "the image and likeness of God."  What greater dignity can we humans have than being children of the King and servants of the Lord? 


We will not be asked to serve in the exact way these veterans have served; but with God's help we can approach our daily work and relationships with humility and dignity. We can ask for the grace to live in and for Christ in spirit and in truth by acting in accordance as best we can with the values we profess.


Spiritual Reflection-Weekly E Bible Study

1.      Read the first chapter of Genesis.  Reflection on the awesome wonders of creation often inspires a spirit of humility and dignity .. and joy!


      2.  Can you think of specific relationships or areas of your daily life that need the graces of humility and dignity? How might these spiritual gifts help you in issues related to power and control- How does humility teach us to let go and let God? How does dignity empower us to act with quiet courage?


Spiritual Support: Pastor Pam is available for a porch visits, to bring Holy Communion for you to partake in your home, to listen, to pray with you.  Please call or text: 216 704 0307 or e-mail


Even though our building is closed, until the governor says we can reopen, we are live on Facebook at 10:00am Sunday mornings AND once the service has been uploaded, it will be on our private YouTube channel!!!!  An e-mail will include the link. A new website is being worked on – this will make viewing the Sunday service much easier!  Please be patient as this takes time. 


Thank you:  From our District Superintendent, Rev. Doug Lewis: (pictures and the story of the cross were sent to the district and conference) What a beautiful Beacon of Hope to the community in the midst of this difficult time in which we find ourselves. Thank you for your witness to the Light that continuously shines.  

Blessings, Doug

Ash Wednesday – things are in the works for an Ash Wednesday service – details will be coming!


Lenten Food Drive  - In the past we have celebrated Super Bowl Sunday by bringing in cans of soups to stock the shelves at the Good Samaritan food pantry, as we dine, together, on homemade soups.  This year is so different than in the past – but the need to help others never changes.

We can still help stock the shelves, just in a new way.  Here’s the plan:

Lent is from Ash Wednesday, February 17, to Easter Sunday, April 4, or 6 weeks.  Easter to Christmas in July (July 25) is 16 weeks. 

Let’s “give” for Lent – in place of  “give up” for Lent.  Place a canned food item in a basket or box (whatever works for you, in your pantry, garage or wherever) each week of Lent.  As you form a really great new habit, keep it up for the next 16 weeks, until Christmas in July!  We will then set up collection times for the food to be brought in to give to the Good Samaritans food pantry.

The food pantry’s shelves, at times during the summer, get a little sparse, so we will help replenish them this coming summer!   Thank you!


The Trustees met on Sunday, January 17. They continue to work hard on many projects that will allow us to be faithful stewards of the gifts God has given us. We will be ready to grow our ministry in our time and place.


Youth News:   A local mission experience is being planned for the last week in June; there will be Zoom planning meeting on the evening of February 14- here is the link:  All LUMC are welcome to join with youth from Lafayette UMC and other churches for Zoom or in person gatherings on Wednesday evenings. We plan to develop our youth program to meet the needs of the young people in our church and in our community. 


You can mail your offerings to:  Lodi UMC, PO Box 3, Lodi, OH  44254 (The church continues to need your tithes and offerings, each week.  Even though we are not meeting in person, the work of the church goes on.  Thank you for your continued support.) 2021 Offering envelopes are just inside the single door at the church. Call Dottie for a code 330-887-1471

Statements will be in the mail by the first of the week. 


Do you have a new phone number or e-mail address?  Please share it with us so we can all stay connected! 


Noteworthy News and Needs: Do you have News or Needs or Prayer Concerns?  Please share them with Dottie ( , 330-887-1471) or Pastor Pam Buzalka (216)704-0307


Life Line Screening at Lodi United Methodist Church March 16, 2021  9am-5pm  Life Line Screening, the nation’s leading provider of preventive health screenings, will offer affordable, non-invasive and painless health screenings at Lodi United Methodist Church on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.  A package of 5 screenings to identify risk for stroke, heart disease and other chronic conditions will be offered: 5 vital screenings are offered for only $149 & take 60-90 minutes to complete. If you register today, you will receive a $10 discount. Register: 1-888-653-6441 or text "circle" to 797979.

Lodi United Methodist Church Bulletin, Sunday, January 31, 2021 Worship


Prelude     People Need the Lord  Missy


Call to Worship  - Larry Scott

Larry:  Come let us worship Christ in whose presence the way, the truth, and the life are revealed.

Community: Jesus came to bless us.

Larry: With a love that did not count the cost

Community:  Jesus came to heal us.

Larry:  From hopelessness and despair

Community: Jesus came to free us.

Larry: With the power of the Holy Spirit,

Community: Jesus came to save us. Amen        adapted from  The  Abingdon Worship Annual 2018, p.71


Hymn     Surely the Presence    #328

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place, I can feel His mighty power and His grace.
I can hear the brush of angel's wings, I see glory on each face.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.


Unison Prayer   Larry Scott

God of light and love, shine on your people this day. Meet us in our brokenness, and heal our errant ways. Take from us our spirit of disobedience, and save us with your grace. Lead us into your truth that we may live as children of light and act as children of the Most High. Amen           Abingdon, p. 58


Church in Action – Larry Scott

Joys and Concerns    - Pastor Pam                                                                           


Prayer Song   Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus   #349 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, (wonderful face),

and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.  


Silent Prayer and Lord’s Prayer               

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.   For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”  Amen      


Hymn        He Lives    vs. 1,2   #310

1 I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today; I know that He is living whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, and just the time I need Him, He's always near.

Refrain: He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives! He lives!  Salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives?  He lives within my heart.

2 In all the world around me I see His loving care, and tho' my heart grows weary I never will despair;
I know that He is leading thro' all the stormy blast, the day of His appearing will come at last.


Refrain: He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives! He lives!  Salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives?  He lives within my heart.



Offering prayer:

Larry Scott:   We pray that we may offer our gifts to God in prophetic and faithful ways. Take a moment to thank God for the gifts and graces of the week.


Moment of Silent Prayer


Larry Scott:   Let us with one heart and one voice praise the Holy One.


*Doxology   Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow   #95

*Prayer of Dedication  - Larry Scott

To God the Creator, who loved us first and gave us this world to be our home. To God the Redeemer, who loves us and by dying and rising pioneered the way of freedom, to God the Sanctifier, who spreads the divine love in our hearts, we offer all that we have and all that we are so that the holy kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven.  Amen                adapted from A New Zealand Prayerbook, 1989  p.185


Special Music:    An Outcast Among Outcasts    vocal solo Larry Scott with Missy


The Good News        Mark 1: 21-28     Larry Scott


Message      When We Open the Door to Jesus, Things Happen!!      Pastor Pam


Hymn      Go Forth for God      #670

2 Go forth for God; go forth to the world in love; strengthen the faint, give courage to the weak,
help the afflicted; richly from above His love supplies the grace and power we seek.

Go forth for God, go to the world in love.


3 Go forth for God; go forth to the world in strength; hold fast the good, be urgent for the right,
render to no man evil; Christ at length shall overcome all darkness with his light.

Go forth for God, go to the world in strength.


Benediction   Larry Scott

Christ be within us to keep us.  Beside us to guard, before us to lead, behind us to protect, beneath us to support, above us to bless!                                                      adapted from A New Zealand Prayerbook, 1989  p.186