7/16/2017 Security Blankets and Good Luck Charms

“Milk it for all it’s worth”

Sermon:           “Insecurity and Security Blankets”

Theme:            Instead of creating “Sacred cows” we will find our security in the knowledge of God’s unending loving care for us.

Purpose:          The congregation will recognize their insecurities and begin to seek to set them aside.

Scriptures:        Romans 8:31-39          All things work together for those who are in Christ, if God is for us, who can be against us?

Matthew 14:22-36      Jesus walks on the water to the Disciples, who are struggling in the boat.  The people want to touch the fringe of his cloak.

 

Questions:

How do we respond to the anxieties and fears that are with us over long periods of time? What roles do “good luck charms” and other attachments play in our lives? In what ways do we enable fears to dominate our lives? In what ways do we lack trust in God’s love or willingness to care for us? What are the ways in which we can remind ourselves that God’s love is with us? What can we do to break our dependence on superstitions and other crutches for dealing with anxiousness and fear? What is a healthy understanding of anxiousness and fear for Christians?

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7/9/2017 “Putting on A New Self”

God clothes us in a robe of being valued for ourselves.

Sermon:           “Putting On an Identity of Love”

Theme:            We are constantly pushed to show importance, power, influence, and success but real happiness and security is found in clothing ourselves with compassion, humility, and above all, love.

Purpose:          The congregation will become sensitive to their need to be noticed and important so that they may seek instead to find love and peace.

Scriptures:                    Matthew 6:28-30        Consider the lilies of the filed.

Colossians 3:12-17      Above all clothe yourselves with love.

 

Questions:

What shapes the way we think of ourselves? In what ways do we allow our “self” or identity to be given to us by others? In what ways do we have a solid self that holds onto our value and purpose? What role does love play in our values? In what ways do we allow superficial things to determine how we feel about ourselves and the attitudes we hold towards others? What impact does the tendency to make judgements about other people’s appearance make on ourselves and our own relationships?

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7/2/2017 Sabbath – God Says You Deserve a Day Off Communion

Sermon:           “Working and Living”

Theme:            We become slaves to our work and anxieties about proving ourselves worthy, and as a result lose the precious gift of being God’s capable people.

Purpose:          The congregation members will consider what they do that is important to relationships and focus on those things.

Scriptures:       Exodus 20:8-11           God commanded to rest on the Sabbath.

Luke 13:10-17 Jesus heals on the Sabbath.

Questions:

Why is it so many of us do not have a healthy balance between work and rest? What causes us to think that somehow neglecting our health and our family is pleasing to God? What lack of inner strength leads us to obsessively worry about work and money? How do we learn to honor sabbath without becoming legalistic about it? What can we change in our lives to be healthier in our relationships with our family and with God?

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6/25/2017 The Cost of Loving Money

The way in which money decides what we think about ourselves.   “moolah”

Sermon:           “Cash Cows”

Theme:            Money becomes an idol which can dominate our hearts, lives, and thinking.

Purpose           To create an altitude of freedom from money.

Scriptures:       Ecclesiastes 5:10-20    God has given wisdom in taking pleasure in what we do for labor and be in relationships which are healthy.

Matthew 6:19-24        You cannot serve two masters, where your money is, there your heart will be also.

 

Questions:

What does it mean to be a “lover of money?”  How does our relationship with money affect our way of seeing ourselves? How does our feelings about money affect our spiritual life? In what ways do we seek to serve money and to serve God?  How do we go about the process of putting our money in service of God? What role does sacrificing our feelings about money have in developing our healthy relationships with God and the people we love?

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6/18/2017 The things that Own Us; Identifying Our Slavery to Things.

“Cow-nt Your Blessings”

Sermon:           Slaves to Golden Calves

Theme:            We become slaves to those things that become more precious than our relationship with God.

Purpose:          To make the congregation aware of the condition of being slaves to possessions.

Scriptures:       Exodus 20:1-6 You will have no other gods or idols.

Luke 18:18-30  The story of the wealthy young man.

Questions:

What does it mean to put God first in our lives? In what ways are we prone to make idols to replace God?  When Jesus asked the rich young ruler to sell everything, was this a command to us all or an invitation specifically for this particular individual?  What would have happened if this young man had embraced Jesus’ invitation? What is meant by the “iniquity of parents” carrying out to three or four generations but blessings going to the thousandth generation?  How do we embrace the gift of living free of slavery to our possessions and enjoy our possessions in a healthy way?

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6/11/2017 Introduction to Idols Beginning our Sacred Cows Series

Sermon:           “Chewing the Cud”

Theme:            We create idols that enslave us and separate us from God out of our loss of direction and need for control.

Purpose:          The congregation will begin to be sensitive to the idols we have created.

Scriptures:       1 Corinthians 10:14, 23-24, 31-33      All may be lawful but not all is right.

Exodus 32:1-6,            Moses is with God, and the people form a Golden Calf.

Questions:

What is an idol?  How is it that we make things so important that they get in the way of our relationships?  Why is it we never have time to pray, to worship, or to reach out in love? What has happened so that our priorities have lost the focus on knowing God? How would our lives be different if we focused our time and energy in ways that supported our health and knowledge of God?  In what ways are the sacred cows running our lives?

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6/4/2017 Pentecost Graduation Sunday, Communion

Sermon:           “Sent With God’s Spirit”

Theme:            We are given the power of God’s own Holy Spirit so that we may have the power to accomplish what we are created to fulfill.

Purpose:          The congregation will seek to see themselves as empowered by God and to use that power.

Scriptures:       John 20:19-23 The Resurrected Jesus shows himself to the disciples and sends them with peace.

Acts 2:1-21      The winds of Pentecost turn fearful disciples into bold people to share the work of God to all of the world.

Questions:

What difference does the Holy Spirit make in our lives today? What difference does having power from God make for those who are moving or going through major changes in their lives?  What difference does it make to us that we are empowered and commissioned by God?  How do we tap into that power from the Holy Spirit?  As our young people graduate, how are they like the disciples, being empowered to go new places and speak new languages?

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5/21/2017

Sermon:           “To Know and Be Known by God”

Theme:            Our relationship with Christ is an active relationship that shapes us through love into people who live joyfully as Christ’s disciples.

Purpose:          The congregation will move from an intellectualized relationship with God to a moving relationship which will challenge sacrifice and growth.

Scriptures:       John 14:15-21  Jesus said: “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” Jesus will send us the Advocate to guide us.

Acts 7:22-31    Paul’s sermon to Athens – God invites us to a relationship of knowing God rather than worshipping mystery.

 

Questions:

What does it mean to know Christ? The Apostle Paul spoke to the people in Athens about the mystery of God, but also spoke about knowing God? How do we go about coming to know God? In what ways do we learn to love God by loving one another? In what ways is our ability to know God dependent on our willingness to love the people around us? In what ways does the lack of love in the world cause God’s presence to be invisible to much of the world? In what ways are we involved in a relationship of spiritual life with God rather than focused on our building, structures, or programs?

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5/14/2017 Mother’s Day

Sermon:            “Growing Into Mature Christians”

Theme:             God’s desire is for us to live in grace and faith that comes from abiding in Christ.

Purpose:            We become for us examples of maturity and strength so that we can encourage joyful and meaningful  lives in one another.

Scriptures:        John 14:1-14    Do not be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Jesus – he goes to prepare a place for us.

1 Peter 2:2-10 Through the Love of Christ mature Christians are built into the temple that shares God’s love and presence in the world.

 

Questions:

What does Jesus mean when he calls us to believe? What is the difference between “believing” in Jesus and accepting a doctrine or teaching?  In what ways do we choose to be shaped by God? How do we take part in the process of being renewed and guided into a life of maturity in Christ? What is the sacrifice that we have to give in order to set aside our ego and self-centeredness in order to joyfully live in the relationships that Christ invites us to know? What does it mean for us to be a “spiritual sacrifice” built into the temple of Christ?

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5/7/2017 Communion

Sermon:           The Strength of Submission

Theme:            The people of God find strength through submitting their hearts to Christ’s direction.

Purpose:          The congregation will seek to learn humility and to practice gratitude for opportunities to serve.

Scriptures:       Acts 2:42-27    The disciples held all in common and were empowered by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 10:1-10    The sheep hear the shepherd’s voice and enter by the gate.

 

Questions:

What does it mean to submit to God’s will in our lives? When we practice submission do we give up our own personality or uniqueness? Or does submission mean to recognize greater wisdom than our own? What was the relationship like among the early Christians that they did not feel the need to be jealous about sharing their wealth? Why does it frighten us to picture a relationship in the church that drove people to such generosity? What do we really want in terms of our relationship with Christ and with one another?

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April 23rd, 2017 Chaplain Darren Beachy will be Preaching

Sermon Title: Gone Fishing

First Reading: John 21:1-9

Second: John 21:10-17

Displaying Gone-Fishing-Sign-270x300.jpg

When one is betrayed by a close friend it can become personal and cause some to lose faith in humanity. Jesus was betrayed by a close friend yet out of the abundance of God’s love and forgiveness, Peter is restored. How much more can we be forgiven for the times we kept silent or hid our faith and done things displeasing to the Lord?

 

Theme of sermon: Forgiveness and Restoration.

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