03/15/2020 Worship canceled – – Podcast available.

Sermon:           Our Continued Struggle

Theme:            We are made strong to overcome our challenges of superficiality and selfishness through drawing from God’s grace and sustaining love.

Purpose:          We will examine ways to remain strong in our path of growth and transformation.

Scriptures:       Exodus 17:1-7 The people of Israel quarrel with Moses and complain that they do not have water.

                        Romans 5:1-11            We are justified through faith, God’s love is proved to us that while we were sinners Christ died.

Questions:

What are we making harder in our relationships than really needs to be? In what ways are we caught up in our emotional and personal issues? How is it our ego is causing us to live a less fulfilling and joyful life? In what ways do the experiences and challenges we experience enable us to know God more fully? How do we move from being resistant to seeing God in our hard times to becoming people who become closer to God through our difficult times?

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03/08/2020 Second Sunday of Lent

Sermon:                       God’s Call to a New Place

Theme:            We are called to a new, better life of wholeness, healthy relationships, love, and peace.

Purpose:          We will commit to changes that will open us to new possibilities of relationship with God and others.

Scriptures:       Genesis 12:1-4 God calls Abram to leave behind his family and home to a new land that God will show him.

                        John 3:1-17     Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus the Pharisee at night.

Questions:

What do we need to be willing to leave behind in order to move to a healthier place in our faith and relationship with God? What does it mean for us to be “Born from above” and how do we participate with God in our rebirth? In what ways is Nicodemus’ question “how can a person be reborn when they have grown old” describe our own sense of being unable to change? How do we open ourselves to the “water” and the “Spirit” to act in our lives in a new way? What is the difference between being faithful and being transformed by the power of God’s Holy Spirit?

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03/01/2020 Communion Sunday, First Sunday of Lent.

Sermon:           Our Problem

Theme:            We are people who are mired in sin and unable to overcome our weakness.

Purpose:          We will understand our need for submission to God.

Scriptures:       Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7            God’s commandment to not eat of the fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil.

                        Matthew 4:1-11          Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness by the devil.

Questions:

What role does temptation and trial play in our process of sorting out our priorities? How is it that we come to examine what we truly believe rather than the things we wish we believed? What is the path we need to walk in order to come to a place where we are able to be authentic in our faith? What causes people to be more focused on their own will and desires rather than on what would truly be fulfilling and joyful?

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02/23/2020 Transfiguration Sunday

Sermon:           God’s Overwhelming Presence.

Theme:            We are healed and transformed by the power of God’s presence and awe, so that we may choose to follow a new path of wholeness and peace.

Purpose:          We will examine the gifts of awe and the power of God as we experience them in our lives.

Scriptures:       Exodus 24:12-18         The glory of God’s power is shown to Moses and Israel.

                        Matthew 17:1-9          The story of the transfiguration, and the call to listen to Christ.

Questions:

What is the difference between experiencing the awe and wonder of God’s presence and being entertained or excited about an event? What purpose does the Transfiguration play in our relationship with Jesus? What does it mean to see Jesus differently? What influence does the power of God and wonder in God’s glory have in our ability to thoughtful and wise Christians? How does acknowledging God’s greatness and Jesus’ divinity cause us to see ourselves in a different perspective?

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02/16/2020

Sermon:           The Law of Humility and Kindness.

Theme:            We cannot know God’s instruction outside of an attitude of humility and kindness.

Purpose:          We will re-examine our understanding of the law and teachings of God in light of the need for compassion and humility.

Scriptures:       Deuteronomy 30:15-20          God has promised that if we follow God’s law we will experience wholeness and prosperity.

                        Matthew 5:21-37        The laws of God require humility and compassion in order to be fulfilled in God’s new Kingdom.

Questions:

What does it mean for us to control our anger? How does our anger, lust, and insecurity interfere with our relationship with God and our relationships with the people around us? What practices do we need to learn so that we have a healthy relationship with our anger and ability to be honest with others? Why has the world become so prone to hostile outbreaks, insults, and falsehoods? What does the way in which people treat others (created in the image of God) do to our perceptions of God? What entices us to follow after false God’s of wealth, power, influence, or security?

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Sermon 2/9/2020

“Channels of Hope — Beacons of Light”

Guest Pastor Mary Council-Austin
Pastor Mary is a retired United Methodist pastor who has served congregations in Janesville-Beloit area, Fond du Lac, Racine, Neenah and Milwaukee. Pastor Mary served as the Assistant to President of Marian University for Diversity.

To listen please click here

2/2/2020 “What Does God Want from Us?”

                 

Sermon:                What Does God Want from Us?

Theme:                  God calls us to a relationship of wholeness and humility through following Christ’s teachings and direction for our lives.

Purpose: The congregation will seek to practice humility and kindness.

Scriptures: Micah 6:1-8 God has shown you, do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.

Matthew 5:1-12 The Beatitudes.

Questions:

What kind of person does God want us to become? How are The Beatitudes a reflection of what it means to be spiritually mature? What does it mean to hunger and thirst after righteousness? What is the real meaning of humility and how is it a part of a healthy Christian life? How does a life lived focused on ones own needs less a life than a life that is in joyful relationship with the world around us? How do we come to be people who live the beatitudes naturally?

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01/26/2020 Sermon: God’s Promise of a Purpose

Theme:            Our relationship with God and with one another in the church is dependent on our taking part in sharing the love and grace of God rather than focusing on our control or getting our way.

Purpose:          The congregation will consider their particular role of ministry versus falling into distractions.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 9:1-4  God will shine a light to all people which will lead to hope and celebration.

Matthew 4:12-23        Jesus calls the disciples to be “fishers of men.”

Questions:

Why did the disciples choose to follow Jesus? What does it mean for us to follow Jesus and to be a disciple? How does our need to serve God by using our particular gifts affect our relationships with Christ and with other Christians? How does our need to offer light into darkness differ from proselytizing or telling people what to believe? What is the joy of serving God (isn’t it work)?  How do we enter into a relationship in which we are part of the light rather than serving obligations to do work for God?

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01/19/2020 Sermon: God’s Promise to Know Us

Theme:            God’s love is a present strength to all those who open their hearts to the loving kindness and compassion that God wants to share through us to all people.

Purpose:          The Congregation will examine and open themselves in their trust in God’s loving care for them.

Scriptures:       1 Corinthians 1:1-9     God knows you and has promised to strengthen you.

                        John 1:29-42   Jesus’ call of his disciples knowing their strengths and weaknesses.

Questions:

What does it really mean that God loves us? Does God really know what we need or is God too distant from us to be able to know much about us? How do we perceive God’s nature as far as being present and caring? What strength do we gain through trusting in God’s love and knowledge for us? Do we trust that God can know us and accept us? How do we deal with our feelings of guilt and fear that separate us from God?

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01/12/2020 Sermon: God’s Promise of New Life

Theme:            We are renewed by the promise that God’s love will sustain us and keep us close.

Purpose:          The congregation will find confidence through God’s love and approval for every one of us.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 42:1-9    God will give light to the covenant people and keep them safe.

                        Matthew 3:13-17        Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan – God identifies Jesus as blessed and love.

Questions:

What does our baptism mean to us now that we are grown up and older? How does our baptism continue to be a source of new life? If Jesus was sinless what does his baptism mean for us? What is the difference between God sending Jesus to stand with sinners and God being a punishing judge? How does the love and compassion of Jesus enable us to grow in our faith? What does it mean to worship Christ who was humble and accepting of people who were flawed and challenged?

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