2/24/2019

Sermon:           “Love that Makes a Difference”        

Theme:            Our knowledge of God and God’s law gives us a lamp that shines brighter as we encounter hostility and conflicts.

Purpose:          Congregation members will focus on letting go of grievances in order to be part of God’s work of renewal in the world around them.          

Scriptures:       Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40  Do not fret about the evil doers but allow the law of God to become your refuge.

                        Luke 6:27-38   Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, do not practice judgment.

Questions:

How can we possibly authentically learn to love our enemies and do good to the people who hate us? How do we find freedom from our resentments, suspicions, and fears of people who have hurt us in the past? What does it really mean to have relationships of practicing Jesus’ love for people we don’t like? In what ways does the love of Christ by-pass our feelings and open abilities to live in grace and freedom rather than being driven by our fears and other emotions? How do we work to make this a reality in our daily lives?

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2/17/2019

Sermon:           “Emptiness and Fullness”       

Theme:            Only through being filled with the knowledge of God will we have a message and light that will be sustained and valuable.         

Purpose:          The congregation will reflect on what leads to satisfaction and fulfillment in their lives and what we then share with the world about what matters.

Scriptures:       Psalm 1 Those who follow the law of the Lord are like trees planted by streams.

                        Luke 6:17-26   Blessings to those who have known poverty and hunger because they have roots in the knowledge of God.

Questions:

What brings us real fulfillment and peace? How does focusing on what really matters affect our way of living from day to day? In what ways do we find strength and energy in our relationship with God and our relationships with one another? How do we learn to mediate on God’s law and draw strength from God’s Word? What do we need to do in order to not become obsessed with the things we are lacking? How do we become people who are filled by God’s love and Holy Spirit?

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2/03/2019 Sermon Communion & Souper bowl of Caring Sunday

Sermon:           “We Are Called to Love”        

Theme:            The people of God learn to put love first as they offer a message of healing that the world does not understand. 

Purpose:          To learn love with the power of humility.     

Scriptures:       1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Love is patient, kind, never boastful or rude.

                        Luke 4:21-30   Doubtless you will say to me, “Physician, heal thyself.”  Jesus confronts unbelief among his own community.

Questions:

What does it mean to truly love as God commands us to love? What does it mean to love with humility, compassion, and grace? In what ways does love call us to seek healing and reconciliation for others? How do we learn to practice loving in a way that shines light of hope to the world? In what ways are Paul’s teachings of love in 1 Corinthians 13 a challenge for Christians to demonstrate their knowledge of God in all relationships?

1/27/2019 One service 9:00 AM Annual Meeting following Service.

Sermon:           “A Light for Today”

Theme:            The message of liberation, healing, and being a part of God’s transformation is one that the world craves today.

Purpose:          To focus on being God’s faithful people.

Scriptures:       1 Corinthians 12:12-31a         The various gifts and how the body works together.

Luke 4:14-21   Jesus preaches in the temple, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me.”

Questions:

How can we share a gift of God’s love and acceptance for each person’s gifts and abilities? How do we assist others to know their own identity as one gifted by God? How do we help people to know their own unique ways of being God’s beloved children? What is that causes us to feel insecure and uncertain about our own abilities and contributions to serving God? In what ways does serving God enable us to feel a unique sense of strength and purpose?

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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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