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Vermillion, SD

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 “I lift up my eyes to the hills—

from where will my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2 


“For the Beauty of the Earth…”


by Rev. Rick Pittenger


One of my favorite verses of scripture is the above two verses. It’s a favorite because I think too often we look down too much or backwards in our history. When we do that we become persons who are not living in the now.

My daughter is always telling me to put away my camera and just “be.” To live in the moment is what life is all about. Oh, not that we don’t make plans for the future, but just like looking in the past, or if we only look at life of what could be tomorrow, both can become counterproductive. This is true for the church as well as in life.

I’m inspired when I look up at the clouds. I’m inspired when I look at the intricacies of a tree. Sometimes I stand at their base and look up and feel the sense of peace that trees provide. Rooted and grounded, they too are a analogy of life, each branch reaching out in its own direction.

Soon, HS and College Graduations will take place in our community and elsewhere. Each of the graduates are like tree branches going every which way following the ceremony. After they symbolically throw their caps in the air, they will cling together like little birds just before they leave the nest. They tell each other we’ll have to get together sometime, but really it’s not possible to capture that moment ever again. Oh, there’ll be reunions and weddings. Still, each of them will be going in a different direction; and the likelihood that they’ll all be together again gets lost in the lessons of life.

I’m also inspired by the plants like the sunflowers that move toward the sun. To look out over the river valley from my perch on top of Valley View is to marvel at God’s creation each morning. Sunsets are my favorite, although recently I’ve experienced some pretty awesome sunrises.

Tonight our youth are going to Spirit Mound to take in God’s beauty on this glorious spring day. The old adage is true: each of us needs to take the time to smell the roses. I caught someone doing just that as we gave a bouquet away after the Welcome Table. Denny has a neighbor who is dying and he thought they’d bring joy to his neighbor's life.

So, the cycle of life continues. Each of us rides it at our own pace. What I’m asking you all to do is to go outside during these beautiful days of spring and look up to the Heavens, take a deep breath and breathe in everything God has done and continues to do in your life.

In closing I leave you with these words for thought:

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you aren’t afraid of dying, there is nothing you can’t achieve. Trying to control the future is like trying to take the Master Carpenter’s place. When you handle the Master Carpenter’s tools, chances are that you’ll cut yourself.”

Tao Te Ching, p.74,
translation by Stephen Mitchell.


Taking it all in with gratitude and love,




Contact Us  
First United Methodist Church
16 North Dakota Street
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069
Phone: 605 624 2179
Mobile: 605 929 7400
Email Us
Regular Schedule  
  • Adult Sunday School -- Begins Sept. 7
    9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
  • Worship (Worship is Blended) We begin with our Praise Band and transition into a more traditional worship. Our Worship uses multimedia as part of our worship! Come Join Us!
    10:25 AM to 11:30 AM
  • Fellowship & Refreshments (Immediately following our worship service)
    11:30 AM to 12:15 PM
  • Welcome Table (All are welcome to serve and be served!)
    5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Coffee w/ Pastor Rick (Topics are brought by the participants, a fellowship group that sometimes solves the world's problems, well... sometimes!)
    10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Middler Youth Group and Meal -- Begins Sept. 10
    5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Choir Practice
    5:30 PM to 6:15 PM
  • Praise Band Practice: (We try and meet during the summer too!) We plan the Praise Band Music for Sunday's Gathering Music, etc. All are welcome!
    7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
  • High School Youth Group -- Begins Sept. 10
    8:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday Morning Book Study - breakfast is served to all who attend (free) AND GOOD!
    6:45 AM to 8:00 AM
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