2/19/2017

Sermon:           “When We Fail to Be the Body of Christ”

Theme:            We will review what it means to worship in the love and compassion of Christ and how that calls us to practice our love for one another and for the world in the sacraments.

Purpose:          The congregation will examine their need to forgive, love, and accept one another in order to be right with God.

Scriptures:       John 13:12-20 Jesus washes the disciple’s feet and calls them to serve one another.

1 Corinthians 11:17-26   Paul corrects the Corinthian people in their practice of the Lord’s supper.

 

Questions:

How does the Holy Spirit move us to think and feel differently about our brothers and sisters in Christ? What happens that causes us to hold onto divisions and grudges, and to be resistant to forgiving? In what ways does our lack of forgiveness affect the others in the body of Christ? In what ways does our tendency to be judgmental and intractable interfere with the life of the church? In what ways does seeing ourselves as servants for one another causes us to be restored in love and fellowship together?

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2/12/2017

Sermon:           How We are Called to Love

Theme:            God calls us to practice love that is founded on a commitment to humbly share God’s compassion and grace with all people.

Purpose:          The congregation will put love into practice, caring for one another with humility forgiveness, as they serve God.

Scriptures:       John 15:1-17   Jesus is the vine, and we are branches; we are commanded to love one another.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 The Apostle Paul describes the gift of love.

 

Questions:

In what ways is the love that the Apostle Paul describes different from what is popularly thought of as being love? In what ways is humility a necessary part of the capacity to love as God calls us to love? How does the love that Paul describes reflect the type of love that God gives to us? In what ways do we need to be in Christ so that we may share this meaningful and powerful love? How do we practice this type of love? In what ways does this love move us away from “feelings” and emotions and move us to a commitment to be Christ-like?

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February 5, 2017 Communion

February 5, 2017  Communion

 

Pastor Sam Hamilton-Poore, will be preaching.  Pastor Hamilton-Poore is an “At large” pastor in Winnebago Presbytery (not currently serving a congregation) who has published works in spiritual development and spiritual practices.

Passages:  Isaiah 58:1-12,  Matthew 5:13-20

Sermon:  “Then Your Light Will Shine”

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1/29/2017

Sermon:           “Many Parts, One Body”

Theme:            Through humility we can bring together our varieties of gifts in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

Purpose:          The congregation will value our unity and strength that comes through humility and love.

Scriptures:       Luke 9:46-50   Who is greatest in the kingdom of God, whoever is not against you is for you.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31           The various parts of the body of Christ and gifts we use.

Questions:

What does it mean to us in practical terms that there are a variety of gifts, but one Holy Spirit? Do we see ourselves as gifted? Do we recognize that our gifts are in the service of the one body? Why is it that so many times there are arguments and divisions among Christians? What does it mean to humble ourselves and place ourselves in the service of Christ? What does it mean to us that anyone who does not oppose us is for us?

Click HERE to listen to the message.

January 22, 2017

Sermon:           “One Body, Many Parts”

Theme:            God created us with many different perspectives, gifts, and capabilities so that we may be in fellowship together.

Purpose:          The congregation will seek to grow in love and acceptance of one another.

Scriptures:       John 14:15-26 Jesus will not leave us orphaned but sends the Holy Spirit to be our advocate.

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 There are varieties of gifts but one Holy Spirit.

 

Questions:

What is meant by “Spiritual gifts?” Do we all have special gifts and abilities that are given to us by God? How do we access and use these gifts? Does this mean we have supernatural powers or is this a way that God works through us? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives? How do we put this power and role of the Holy Spirit into perspective for us?

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1/15/2017

Sermon:           “To Know Only Christ, and Him Crucified”

Theme:            Our foundation for our faith is that Christ sacrificed himself, which calls us to a wisdom of love and compassion.

Purpose:          The congregation will learn and grow in the wisdom of Christ.

Scriptures:       Luke 7:24-35   Jesus compares the wisdom of John the Baptist with the wisdom of the religious teachers.

1 Corinthians 2:1-13   The Apostle Paul speaks of the wisdom of knowing Christ, and him crucified.

 

Questions:

What does it mean to only know Christ, and him crucified? What difference does it make to us that we worship the God who was crucified? What does it mean for our humility and judgment that our model is Christ who was willing to suffer for people who did not deserve his love and grace? What becomes our source for our identity and self-esteem as Christians? What enables us to be ourselves in the midst of the expectations of others?

Click HERE to listen to the message.

1/8/2017 Epiphany Sunday (Baptism of the Lord)

Sermon:           “A Light For All of the World”

Theme:            We place conditions on our grace and compassion that sell short God’s love and grace and cause us to be confused about what God is doing in the world around us.

Purpose:          The congregation will reconsider prejudices and attitudes towards people who are different from ourselves.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 42:1-9    God has given us a light to open the eyes of the blind and free the captives

Acts 10:34-43  God’s message of healing is for all nations and all people.

 

Questions:

What prejudices do we suffer because of our narrow perspective and lack of understanding of what God is doing in the world around us? How should we relate to people that are different from ourselves?  In what ways do we tend to discount people of other cultures or backgrounds? What happens when we are not open to people who are different from ourselves? What do we lose as a part of the body of Christ? In what ways do our anxieties and fears of the world come out of a lack of understanding of those who are different form ourselves?

Click HERE to listen to the message.

December 18th, 2016 “Such a Small Thing”

10:30 service will be the Cantata

8:00 Service:

Sermon:           “Such a Small Thing”

Theme:            Out of the smallest thing, a newborn baby, God acted to change all of creation so that we may experience God with us.

Purpose:          The congregation will see the birth of Jesus as God’s way of bringing healing in the world rather than programs, force, or other “big solutions.”

Scriptures:       Isaiah 7:10-16  Unto you a son shall be born, as a sign of God’s provision of care.

Matthew 1:18-25        The birth of Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy of God.

 

Questions:

Why is the sign that is given for God’s action in the world the birth of a baby? In what ways is a baby a meaningful sign of God’s redeeming work? What difference should it make to us that God worked through people who would normally have no power or influence? What does this say about the way God brings healing to the world? In what ways is it important that the promise to Joseph begins with “do not be afraid?”  How do we adjust our thinking around God’s way of bringing healing to the world?

Click HERE to listen to the message.

December 11th, 2016 “Share the News: Hope is Reborn!”

Congregational Meeting following 8:00 Worship to elect officers.

Cookie Walk between services.

Sermon:           “Share the News: Hope is Reborn!”

Theme:            The source of our hope and joy is from the promises of God and the work that Christ gives us together.

Purpose:          The congregation will become less focused on the things that we cannot control and more focused on finding peace through sharing God’s love with the people around them.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 35:1-10  The wilderness shall be glad, strength the weak hands and make firm weak knees.  The eyes of the blind will be opened, the gospel will heal the land.

Matthew 11:2-11        John’s disciples inquire if Jesus is the messiah, he gives the signs of healing, proclamation, and blessing. Jesus affirms John’s role as prophet.

 

Questions:

How can we draw strength from the coming of Christ? How do we strengthen our weak hands and weak knees? What do we have to do in order to see the coming of the love and healing of God? How do we open our hearts to the things we need during this season, such as peace, reconciliation, and comfort for our losses?  Why is it that so many of us find this such a sad season while there are so many upbeat carols and expectations that we be “merry?”  How is this a time for finding the joy of God’s refreshment and healing rather than joining in all of the activity and gaiety?  When we seek to deepen our relationship with Christ are we being selfish are is this a time for reflecting more on God’s work of grace and healing than on the external things of the season?

Click HERE to listen to the message.

12/4/2016 Communion “Open to A New Beginning”

Sermon:           “Open to A New Beginning”

Theme:            Our vision for Christmas is of reconciliation and peace, which takes place through daily openness to God’s healing in our lives as we acknowledge our need for renewal.

Purpose:          The congregation will recognize a need to seek a new vision for themselves and for the world in which they live.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 11:1-10  A shoot from the stump of Jessie, the wolf shall live with the lamb, the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord.

Matthew 3:1-12          John the Baptist, baptized with repentance.

Questions:

In what ways are we blind to possibilities for hope and peace? In what ways does our inability to envision ourselves being different keep us from being open to God’s renewal and work in our lives? In what ways do we create the hopelessness and despair for peace in which we live? How can we envision God accomplishing a new work in our midst? How do we live acting realistically while keeping the ideals of peace and justice as our guide? What role does working for peace have in our ability to envision change in ourselves and in the world around us?

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11/27/2016 First Sunday of Advent

Sermon:           “Time to Wake Up!”

Theme:            As we awaken to Christ’s work of love and healing we discover the gift of light, peace, and unending joy.

Purpose:          The congregation will recognize the distractions that do not bring happiness and seek instead to experience God’s presence in Advent.

Scriptures:       Isaiah 2:1-5      The Lord’s house will be established above all others, they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, they shall not practice war any more.

Romans 13:11-14        Awake from sleep, live as people of the light.

 

Questions:

What does it mean to “awaken” to Christ’s presence? What do we need to do in order to know God’s love and presence in the midst of Advent? What is the darkness in which we are stumbling through today? In what ways are we closing our eyes to God’s love and grace that is being offered to us? How can we be joyful and accepting rather than focused on all of the problems that surround us? What does it really mean to “walk in the light of the Lord?”

Click HERE to listen to the message.

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