Welcome to The Messenger - Welcome Hope

Welcome to the first episode of The Messenger. The Messenger is a blog by Pastor Russell Willis and others from the United Church of Colchester (Vermont).


It will often be a biblical meditation, sometimes a study of Scripture, every once and a while an excerpt of a sermon. But in any case it will be offered to the friends and members of the United Church of Colchester, and any other fellow travelers who come upon this website, as a gift of the Spirit, a gift of faith, a gift of the heart. We hope you are blessed by these our simple gifts.

"HOPE!" Just what so many of us are searching for in the midst of the coronavirus crisis -- hope. And, as you can see from the photo from our Sanctuary in Colchester, Vermont, we can say to the whole world, the United Church of Colchester has hope!


Not just because it happens to be hanging on the wall behind the pulpit, but because we are the Church. We are the body of Christ. And the Christ is the One who started so many conversations -- "fear not." And it is through Christ that we know peace and hope.


The Altar Bible at the United Church of Colchester

Romans 5:1-5

1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.


And as we hope together, we can realize that we are in this together, that by sharing the load we give rise to hope, a gift of faith to those who are afraid.


God bless!


Pastor Russ




Finding Rest for the Soul


In the midst of

A ladened life

Yoked to worrisome busyness

To the constant murmur

Of unrest and disquiet

Within and without

To responsibilities

Both freely assumed and

Wantonly assessed

Exhausted by incessant incessance

Where sleep is at best

The absence of incessance

If not for the dreams

And night fears

Yet, hope forms

As that small voice

That gift of faith

Of grace

That releases the soul

From the load

Though not shirking the load -

That living of life

That we do -

But by sharing the load


by Russell E. Willis

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