1/20/2019

Sermon:           “Plenty to Share”

Theme:            We have an abundance of God’s wisdom, love, and healing presence to share.

Purpose:          Focus more on caring, less on anxiousness and selfish concerns.

Scriptures:       1 Corinthians 12:1-11 One body, many gifts for the good of all.

John 2:1-11     Jesus changes the water into wine, purification becomes celebration of the Kingdom of God.

Questions:

What causes people to feel uncomfortable about sharing their faith? What do we need to do in order to live our faith so that others sense our confidence and joy in knowing Christ? How can we be “attractive” in our faith rather than creating a sense of judgment or pushing faith on others? How can we joyfully invite others to celebrate God’s love and blessings? What causes the fear and sense of intimidation around sharing our faith?

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1/13/2019

Sermon:           “A Message All People”

Theme:            Our confidence, strength, and mission is to carry the light to the world.

Purpose:          The congregation will focus less on themselves and more on the light we share.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 43:1-7    God promises that God will be with us as we draw people back to the faithfulness of God.

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22    John the Baptist baptizes with water but promises the coming Messiah.

Questions:

What is it that people in the world around us are truly hungering to hear? What is needed in order to heal the brokenness and comfort the fear in the hearts of people today? What is the source of the hostility and resentment that causes so much unhappiness? How do we speak with authenticity and compassion? What can we do to be people who are living in the confidence and hope of the grace of God? What happens when we learn to live our faith with genuineness and confidence?

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1/6/2019 Communion Epiphany Series: A Light for All Nations

Sermon:           “The Lamp in the Darkness”

Theme:            Light shines out from our hearts and attracts people to the love of Christ.

Purpose:          The congregation will see themselves as sources of “light” for healing of others.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 60:1-6    Darkness shall cover the earth, but the Lord will rise upon you and bring a message for all nations.

Matthew 2:1-12          The Magi come to worship the Christ.

Questions:

What does it mean for us to be a light in the darkness? In what ways are we called to be ourselves and at the same time called to make a difference in the world? How do we become people who are able to naturally share God’s love and grace? What is the difference between trying to make things better and allowing ourselves to be a light which the world is drawn to? In what ways are people still seeking a light that will make a difference?

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December 23rd, 2018 One Service at 9:00 AM

Sermon:           Small Packages, Big Gifts.

Theme:            God’s blessings are given in small ways that have large, powerful impacts on our lives, for those who are wise enough to pay attention.

Purpose:          The congregation will focus on paying attention to those things that are not as powerful or impressive.

Scriptures:       Micah 5:2-5a   The prophet identifies that “little” Bethlehem shall be the source of the reign of God’s peace.

Luke 1:39-55   The magnificat of Mary, God is on the side of the small and needy.

Questions:

What are some of the lowly things that God is raising up and making central in the Kingdom of God? What are some of the things that are insignificant as far as the rest of the world is concerned, but are most important in terms of God’s love? What do we need to do in order to shift our focus to see what God is doing in our midst? In what ways is God acting to bring healing and renewal through unexpected acts of love and grace? How can we participate in that promise of bringing healing and love to others?

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December 16th, 2018 Worship at 8:00 Cantata at 10:30

Sermon:           “But in the Mean Time..”

Theme:            The people of God live between two realities: the Kingdom of God and the need to show Christ’s love to the world around them.

Purpose:          The congregation will commit to seeking after Christ’s direction in their lives in spite of all of the chaos and confusion that surrounds us.

Scriptures:       Philippians 4:4-7         Rejoice always, do not worry about anything but by prayer and thanksgiving let your needs be known to God.

Luke 3:7-18     John the Baptist instructs the people how to live faithfully.

Questions:

What does it mean to be baptized with God’s Holy Spirit and presence? Are we really seeking to experience God’s presence in the midst of Christmas? Or are we distracted with issues and practices that need to be uprooted? If God is not impressed by our traditions or our outer appearances, what really does matter to God this Christmas? Are we wanting to be a part of what God is doing or are we hoping God will be a part of what we have already planned ourselves?

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December 9th 2018 2nd Sunday of Advent

Sermon:           Listening For Voices Proclaiming God’s Work

Theme:            The people of God seek after messages of justice, mercy, and compassion in the midst of all of the surrounding noise.

Purpose:          The congregation will take time to listen for God’s Word.

Scriptures:       Malachi 3:1-4  The prophecy of the coming of Elijah – a voice in the wilderness.

Luke 3:1-6       John the Baptist comes bringing a message of repentance and healing.

Questions:

What does it mean for us to prepare our hearts for Christ’s appearance? What needs to be refined and purified in order that we can welcome God’s work? In what ways are we attached to things that are not important or valuable? What is our struggle with welcoming God’s plan over our own desires and agenda? How do we prepare the way for Christ’s coming this year, as Christmas approaches? What are the low points that need to be filled in around us? What is missing from people’s relationships that make it hard for them to welcome reconciliation and peace?

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December 2nd, 2018 1st Sunday of Advent Communion

Sermon:           “Watching for Signs of New Life”

Theme:            The people of God are focused on seeing the signs of God’s movement in the world around us.

Purpose:          The congregation will seek to keep attention on relationships and faithfulness to God.

Scriptures:       Jeremiah 33:14-16      The days are coming when a righteous branch will spring up for David.

Luke 21:25-36 The signs of the fig tree mean new life is coming soon.

Questions:

What causes us to be afraid of the coming of “The Son of Man?” What do we need to do in order to welcome Jesus’ appearance? In what ways do we need to “be awake” and prepared? In what ways do people tend to become distracted and unprepared for Jesus’ presence in their lives? What do we need to do in order to welcome a new sign of Christ’s reign in our midst? How do we place Jesus’ instruction ahead of our own agenda and issues?

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November 25th, 2018

Sermon:          “The Kingdom Without End”

Theme:            God calls us to be in a relationship which is based on lasting through eternity and with power beyond this world.

Purpose:         The congregation will be committed to Christ’s reign of peace rather than earthly powers.

Scriptures:      Revelation 1:4b-8        We live in the now-and-not-yet kingdom of God.

John 18:33-37 Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, but he is an everlasting King.

 

Questions:

What does it mean for us to acknowledge Jesus as the supreme authority in our lives? Do we actually submit our lives to Christ’s direction or just want God to do things our way and prevent the things we fear? What does it mean that Jesus is the source, beginning, and end of our lives? What conflicts do we experience between submitting to Christ’s direction over our choices, and craving to receive the benefits and pleasures of the world? Are we willing to trust God with giving direction and meaning to our lives?

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November 18th, 2018 (Congregational Meeting to Act on By-Laws)

Sermon:          “The Things that Will Last”

Theme:            Our relationship with Christ and the kingdom of God will outlast anything else we invest our time, energy, or life into.

Purpose:         The congregation will evaluate how they use their time and energy.

Scriptures:      Hebrews 10:11-25       In response to Jesus’ sacrificial love, we gather to encourage one another in love.

Mark 13:1-8    The disciples are warned that the grand buildings will fall, but the Kingdom of God will stand.

 

Questions:

What are the things that we focus upon in order to feel stable and secure? In what ways do we depend upon things that at times leave us feeling worried and unsure about the future? How do we come to terms with our dependence on God for our safety and strength? In what ways can we come to be confident and sure in God’s love for us? How do we come to draw strength and our identity from the knowledge of God’s love for us and promise to care for us? How do we live in the joy of knowing God’s constant care is our strength? How do we allow God to write the law on our hearts and minds so that we may enjoy the blessings of God’s constant care?

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November 11th, 2018

Sermon:          “The Gift of Yourself”

Theme:            In Christ we choose to be the gift of God, not for other people’s benefit, but because that is fulfilling for our lives.

Purpose:         The congregation will consider their motivations behind being generous and seek to know Christ more fully through their giving.

Scriptures:      Hebrews 9:24-28         Christ offered the sacrifice of himself, which brings salvation to all who are eagerly waiting on him.

Mark 12:38-44            The widow in her offering gives sacrificially.

Questions:

What does it mean for us to be faithful in generosity? What is the difference between giving out of obligation and giving out of the joy of Christ’s love? What are the ways in which our religiosity robs us of our enjoyment of the good things that God has given us? How has focusing on religiosity and guilt caused us to be resentful and angry in our giving? What does it mean to give with joy and celebration of the abundance in which God has blessed us? How is it that those who give freely are the happiest and feel best about what they have received?

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November 4th, 2018 Communion Sunday

Sermon:          “Where You Go…”

Theme:            Real love commits to staying, abiding, and consistency rather than being conditional or based on appetites.

Purpose:         The congregation will seek to develop consistency in commitments.

Scriptures:      Ruth 1:1-18     Ruth promises to never abandon her mother-in-law in spite of loss and hardship.

Mark 12:28-34 We love God and others with our whole selves.

Questions:

What does it mean to us to have meaningful and committed relationships? In what ways does our commitment to Christ’s love affect the relationships of the people who are closest to us? How does Jesus enable us to be healthier and stronger in our relationships with the people who are nearest to us? What does it mean to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength? In what ways does dedicating all of our love to God give us so much more love to give to the people who are near us?

Click HERE to listen to the message.

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