12/22/2019 Make Space in Your Heart!!

Theme:            God’s invitation is to clean out the past, to let go of what has been meaningless, and to open our hearts to God doing something new.

Purpose:          The congregation will take time in the week to consider what needs to be released in order to move forward in relationship with God and one another.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 7:10-16  A son will be born to us, whose name will be “God with us.”

                        Romans 1:1-7  God sent the Apostle Paul to proclaim a declaration of resurrection.


What does it mean to make space in our hearts for Christ’s love and presence? What do we need to do to be open to God’s love? How is it that we become “cluttered” in our holding onto the past and to things that do not matter? What are some practices or activities we can do that will help to move us forward in opening ourselves to God’s love and presence? How can we be people live our lives as a declaration of God’s love and forgiving peace?

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12/15/2019 8:00 Worship,

Sermon:           Reach Out!!

Theme:            God has given us a time for proclaiming peace both in our own lives and in the lives of the people who are around us.

Purpose:          We will participate together in seeking ways we can build and share the peace that is God’s will.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 35:1-10  God is making a way of healing and reconciliation, inviting all of us to participate in welcoming the renewal.

                        James 5:7-10   Practice patience and release the grudges that separate us from God.

Questions: What happens to us when we become part of reaching out in love to others? How are we enabled to grow and see ourselves differently when we are participating in God’s love and grace flowing to others? What do we need to do in order to redirect our complaining and grumbling into reaching out in love and celebration of peace? How do we practically begin to work for peace rather than live in defensiveness and hostility? How do we find the place where we can reach out in love and serve Christ?

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Sermon:           Make Peace (Get Over It!)

Theme:            It’s time to release our attachment to past wounds, grievances, and complaints so that we may experience the welcome and acceptance that Jesus wants to share with us.

Purpose:          The congregation will begin to examine what past issues are being used for self-justification and propping up identity.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 11:1-10  The presence of Christ is coming to create reconciliation and healing for all who will open themselves to the knowledge of God.

                        Romans 15:4-13          Those who welcome others as Christ has welcomed us find joy, forgiveness and healing.


What does it take to enable us to make a commitment to releasing our past wounds and complaints? Why do we hold onto and relive hurts, conflicts, and issues from the past? What is it that causes us to make our wounds and hurts central to the way in which we see ourselves? What would it take for us to let go of those things? How can we see ourselves as part of God’s love and redeeming work in the world? What do we need to do in order to open our hearts to healing, especially in the places that have long been painful?

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Sermon:           Wake Up!

Theme:            We need to focus on the gift of God’s presence and wisdom in order to make the most of this time.

Purpose:          To call the congregation to dedication to daily preparation for Christ’s presence.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 2:1-5      The people seek to come to the wisdom of God.

                        Romans 13:11-14        Wake up! Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no room for the flesh.


What keeps us from fully appreciating the gift of Christ’s love in Advent and Christmas? What are the distractions that rob us of the joy and wonder of the season? How is it our grievances, unforgiveness, and fears lead us to denial, distraction, and focus upon things that are meaningless? Why do we focus on the things we cannot control, while neglecting to take time for the growth and wisdom that would become a source of strength?

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Sermon:           Christians Follow Christ

Theme:            God calls those who are faithful to place their relationship with Christ and faithfulness to serve above all other commitments and distractions.

Purpose:          To examine what it means to make Christ the center of our life, and make a commitment to what is the center of our faith.

Scriptures:       Jeremiah 23:1-6          Woe to the shepherds who scatter the sheep and do not practice righteousness.

                        Colossians 1:11-20      Be strong in the strength of the power that comes from God in Christ.


In what ways does our personal faith in Christ affect our commitments to our family, our church, and to the world? How do we faithfully develop relationships which reflect Christ’s love? How do we avoid falling prey to serving our own egos or interpreting our selfishness into God’s call? What do we need to do in order to put Christ’s gift of forgiveness first in our ways of speaking and acting towards others? What is it we need to practice regularly as Christians in order to be more focused on Christ than upon the fears and worries that often begin to dominate our thinking?

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Sermon:           Christians Share their Faith

Theme:            Christians do not attempt to change other people but share their love and knowledge of God as a gift of hope and peace to everyone they meet.

Purpose:          We explore what it means to bring Christ to the people around us with love and respect.

Scriptures:       2 Thessalonians 3:6-13           The disciples worked to not be a burden to the people.

                        Isaiah 65:17-25            Promise that God will create and new heavens and new earth and will create a place of health, healing, and joy for the people.


What does it mean to us that God’s intention is to create a new heaven and new earth? How does our commission to share Christ’s message of love flow from a work of healing and transforming our world? What difference does it make whether a person believes in God acting in supernatural ways that are outside of our responsibility, or whether we believe that God is working through us to bring healing and renewal to the world? What is each person’s labor in the work of restoring our community and our nation?  How do we motivate one another to labor on God’s behalf?

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Sermon:           Christians Live Resurrection Hope

Theme:            Christians anticipate that their faith will face difficult times.

Purpose:          For the congregation to consider how they might practice their prayer, mediation, and learning so as to have strength for difficult times.

Scriptures:       1 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17  Paul and the others did not come to deceive or “sell” the gospel but came to share what they had received themselves.

                        Luke 20:27-38 Sadducees question Jesus about the resurrection, but God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.


What difference does the resurrection mean to our perspective and values for this life? How does God’s promise of resurrection cause us to see suffering and injustice differently? In what ways do we trust in God’s righteousness over and above the values of our earthly life? How do we become people who endure trials and hardships without being overwhelmed or discouraged? What do we know about God’s promises of justice and righteousness, and how does that affect our thinking about this life and the life to come?

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10/27/2019 Christians Practice Acceptance

Theme:            Intolerance, prejudice, unforgiveness and racism are incompatible with a healthy relationship with Christ and call Christians to constant work to be healthy.

Purpose:          The need to withhold judgment will be explored.

Scriptures:       2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18           Paul has kept the faith and accepts his circumstances even though he has been abandoned by some he thought were his friends.

                        Luke 18:9-14   Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector praying for forgiveness.


What does it mean to be accepting of people who are different from ourselves? In what ways do we participate and live in systems that are discriminatory and oppressive? What is the difference between being racist and living in systems that are unjust? How do we become open to seeing our place and role in causing problems in which we live? What can we do to share Christ’s love in ways that are healing and renewing?

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10/20/2019 Christians Wrestle with Their Faith

Theme:            As Christians we seek to know God in our own experience and understanding, through a process of questioning and seeking.

Purpose:          The people in the congregation will grow in their understanding of what it means to struggle with their faith and beliefs.

Scriptures:       Genesis 2:22-31          God created man and women, made them to be one flesh.

                        Luke 18:1-8     Parable of unjust judge moved by persistence.


What is the experience of growing in our faith and in our relationships as Christians? How do we deal with situations that are challenging and confusing? What does it mean for our faith to persevere? What do we need to do in order to be faithful, and yet open to growth and change? How do we know the difference between being rigid and being too easily swayed? How do we deal with living faithfully when we are in times of faith transition and doubts?

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10/13/2019 Christians Thrive in “Babylon”

Theme:            The people of God work with the circumstances in which they live for peace and healing.

Purpose:          Christians are adaptable and practical in their faith, which means that they seek what is best for themselves and the people who are around them.

Scriptures:       Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7      Work to accomplish what is best in the city of your exile.

                        2 Timothy 2:8-15         Endure in the midst of hardships, Christ is faithful to us, do not get caught up in meaningless controversy.


How do Christians respond to situations in which their faith conflicts with the culture and practices around them? How do Christians manage to live their faith without being obstinate, conceited, or arrogant? How do we keep our values and priorities in a world that pushes for conformity? How do we “stand out” for Christ without being rude or inconsiderate? How do we seek what is best for the land in which we live? What does it mean to be strangers in a strange land?

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