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Category: Lent

Lent 2020 – Sunday, April 12

This is the sixth Sunday of Lent – Easter Sunday. There is no devotion today, so join us in our church this morning at 10:00 a.m. as we live-stream our services on our DCC YouTube channel. You can easily access it by going to www.dillonchurch.org and click on the link from there. And don’t forget to access Julie’s video for your children.

In this together with you,

Jim Howard, pastor

Lent 2020 – Saturday, April 11

I was walking our dog yesterday and observing the amazing beauty of God’s creation, looking out over Dillon Reservoir to Keystone and the ten mile range, and it struck me what an opportunity we will have as we navigate the Covid-19 pandemic. As I thanked the Lord for the many blessings we have, I reflected on, and prayed for, others who may not be so fortunate, even if they are financially capable of weathering the impending storm. Lent is known by many as a time of abstinence, sacrifice, and self-denial as we prepare for the greatest sacrifice ever.  

But, it is also a time for following what Jesus taught us by putting others first, and caring for the poor and disenfranchised. During the next weeks and maybe months, who will be there for the sick and quarantined, and those living day-to-day with limited or no income? Who will shop for them, deliver their groceries and other necessities, or bring them medicines so they can avoid exposing others? 

The more I thought and prayed about it, the more I realized that this is a God-sized task, and who better to serve than God’s people? I wondered about our ministries like the food bank, and then I read Darla’s email that we could still serve, but with appropriate precautions for all. We easily could have succumbed to fear and anxiety and just closed shop. Instead, we will step into this opportunity to serve without letting fear determine our actions. 

Why? Because we can see where God is working in our community! Through this difficult time, each of us will see opportunities to serve those we know and those we don’t know. Our hope is that we as individuals, and as a church body, we will step forward when we recognize where God is working and join him in helping those in need. Surely, we can make a small sacrifice (or several) to honor the life-giving sacrifice he made for us.

Rob Strode, elder

Lent 2020 – Friday, April 10

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Pet 5:6).

My Bible notes that the recipients of this epistle had been suffering various trials and afflictions with the real possibility of greater difficulties to come. 1 Peter has been characterized as a letter of separation, suffering, and persecution. Also of hope, courage and the grace of God.

During this time of Lent, and the unprecedented actions taken recently to provide for and keep safe our citizenry and that of the entire world, I keep asking myself, “What is God showing us here? How can we use this time of isolation to grow closer to him, and to each other? Am I willing to submit to these inconveniences with minimal complaint?”

The answer does seem simple, as well as complicated. We have this amazing opportunity to grow closer to our loved ones, to support and encourage one another, to lean in and embrace (from a 6-foot distance) one another in such an intimate way. To get outside ourselves and understand that we’re all in the same, limited situation. This is our opportunity to really show and know what we believe. Do we believe in God’s promise? His authority? His mercy? Do we believe in Christ’s sacrifice for our redemption? Can we reflect to our family, friends and strangers alike, that God’s “hand is mighty and will lift us up in due time?”

I hope we can.  It’s complicated, and yet so simple.

Jude Mitchell, Church Lady

Lent 2020 – Thursday, April 9

But the LORD replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”  ~ Jonah 4:4 ~

Does the idea of God being merciful to someone who has hurt you make you angry? If so, then you’re like me, or… I’m like you and we’re like a lot of people. Jonah was also like this. He was so angry that God had shown mercy to the inhabitants of Nineveh that he wished for death. Yet, in the midst of this anger, God asks Jonah the very simple question, “Is it right for you to be angry?” and leaves it at that. As we move further and further into this season of Lent and look forward to Easter, maybe this is a good time to meditate on this question. Is it right for you to be angry? Lord… have mercy on us all.  

Rob Schmidt, pastor of worship and arts

Lent 2020 – Wednesday, April 8

As we move through these times of fear and uncertainty, it has been amazing to watch how people stand up to the plate with strength, honor, love and service to their fellow man. So many people are just doing the right thing. Supporting neighbors and the community in the most beautiful ways while being responsible and safety conscious. Our food bank ministry is a prime example. Other county business people have been amazingly generous to this ministry in these painful times. Our volunteers have upped their efforts with joy and love in their hearts to serve an ever increasing need.

As we prepare to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, we need to remember that he died a horrifically agonizing death in order to be resurrected in the first place. He did this in payment for our sins and our eternal salvation. Thank you Jesus for your service. Can you imagine knowing what your mission as the Messiah involved when you came to the earth as a human then executing it flawlessly? He was ready, willing and able. In these strange and crazy days that are unprecedented, we need to prepare ourselves to endure and prosper again. I love to thank God for being there for me to lean on and provide comfort to me. God is in charge. FAITH… where would we be without it??

Mike Kermode, food bank director

Lent 2020 – Tuesday, April 7

My kids’ favorite dinner conversation is regularly “Daddy, tell us a funny story from when you were a kid!” Rob goes on to tell them one of his favorite memories usually involving one of his brothers and a prank that was played on the other. Sometimes, he tells a story we’ve all heard before and sometimes it’s something completely new (these men played a lot of pranks on each other when they were kids!). I really don’t know how Rob always seems to have a good story! What stood out to me recently about this whole routine and gave me a fresh perspective is that this is really about how badly my boys desire to know their Dad. That’s why they want the stories! Of course, they love the laughter and the surprise of the story but really, it’s about just wanting to know him better. 

It made me question why I don’t take this same stance toward my Father in Heaven. If I’m honest: this season of Lent hasn’t gotten me thinking much about getting to know my Father better. I’ve been more focused on the new adventure of homeschooling, on staying healthy and taking care of my physical and mental health along with my family’s health and just trying not to get overwhelmed by it all. 

My prayer for you and for myself is that we would take the time that has been given to us right now to get know our Father. 

Darla Schmidt, admin. Assistant

Lent 2020 – Monday, April 6

I did not grow up with a big tradition of observing Lent. I remember being excited for Palm Sunday and Easter but the formal idea of Lent and going without something as a means of focus and worship was not practiced in the Church body I grew up attending. As I have grown in my faith over the years and have learned and adopted new practices of worship, Lent has really come into focus.  

This year, probably for the obvious reason of our “social distancing”, all of us are not just volunteering to give some things up during Lent, we are really being forced into doing this. It seems to me it is sort of like the man who prays for patience and then wonders why it takes so long for God to grant that Fruit.  

I believe that we will come through this season and God will do great things through the people of DCC. He is doing great things right now. It may not be easy and it may not be as quick as we hope for but we will get through this. I have really enjoyed online Church with my family but I cannot wait to get together as a group, in person again. In general, we tend to never realize what we have until it is gone. I pray that we all use this time of Lent to come out on the other side truly counting our blessings more than ever before.

Jeff White, elder

Lent 2020 – Sunday, April 5

This is the fifth Sunday of Lent – Palm Sunday. There is no devotion today, so join us in our church this morning at 10:00 a.m. as we live-stream our services on our DCC YouTube channel. You can easily access it by going to www.dillonchurch.org and click on the link from there. And don’t forget to access Julie’s video for your children.

In this together with you,

Jim Howard, pastor

Lent 2020 – Saturday, April 4

Lord of the Missing Pieces—Part One

Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep (Luke 15:7).

For a present this last Christmas, I gave my boys a 500 piece puzzle. It was cool because it had glow in the dark tigers in the puzzle that couldn’t be seen unless, of course, it was dark. We had gone down to our cabin for a short vacation and during our stay, we decided to tackle the puzzle. Not surprisingly, my boys were quickly disenchanted with the whole process. I on the other hand was enjoying fitting the pieces together and watching the image come together. Every night, after the kids and my wife had gone to bed, I would sit enjoying the quiet whilst puzzling away. Our final night there, I completed the project; all except for one piece. I wasn’t too surprised as a number of times my kids had knocked pieces off of the table and I reasoned it had to be somewhere close but it was late and so I determined to find it in the morning as we were preparing to leave. So the next morning, cup of coffee in hand, I began searching… and searching… and searching. I moved the table. I looked under the carpet. I swept the floor. I lifted the couch to look underneath. I ran my hand down inside the couch. But no matter how hard I looked the missing piece refused to be found.

When the cabin was clean and it came time to leave, the piece still was not found. So back in the box the unfinished puzzle had to go. Then on the outside of the box I wrote a note, “Missing One Piece.” As we drove away I was troubled by an unresolved frustration. I really don’t like missing pieces. And as I simmered in frustration, my mind drifted to the parables of the lost coin and the lost sheep. A woman loses one of ten coins and so lights a lamp and sweeps the floor carefully until she finds it. And when she does, rejoicing she calls her friends to celebrate. A man, missing one of his 100 sheep, leaves the 99 and goes in search of the one. And when he finds the sheep he joyfully puts it on his shoulder and returns calling together his friends to celebrate with him that his sheep has been found. In both cases Jesus says that in the same way, there will be rejoicing in heaven over the one sinner who repents. I really enjoy these parables because I find it very easy to identify with the coin and the sheep. I often feel that I am the one who is lost. And the thought that God searches unrelentingly for me (and for everyone else) is comforting. As I continued to drive down the highway and the Colorado Mountains passed by in all of their glory I found myself wondering: At the end of time will God have to close the box and write on the outside, “Missing One Piece”?

Rob Schmidt, pastor of worship and arts

Lent 2020 – Friday, April 3

As I have bowed my head in the morning to pray and consider Easter, Jesus words echoed in my ears, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The reason is that these are the most heart wrenching moments to me of the crucifixion. It is so human. Poor Jesus, all God, but yet all human. Here is where we really see his pain as a human like us. And yet, I have never felt that kind of pain, either physically or emotionally. Which is why my heart aches for Jesus.

I am sure Jesus was quoting Psalm 22. And that is a devotion worth reading, crying over, and rejoicing with. David’s lent devotional.

Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are (out of joint) on display; people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
But you, LORD, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.
You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will praise him—may your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!

Tim Morris, elder