August 25th, 2019

Sermon:           I Believe in the resurrection and Judgment.  

Theme:            We believe in God’s justice and that our choices whether to follow Christ’s love or our own selfish ego determines whether we experience grace or an absence of God’s presence.   

Purpose:          To help the congregation understand judgment and responsibility as a part of our relationship with God and the world around us.               

Scriptures:       John 14:1-5, 25-27      Jesus offers peace to the disciples through the promise of the resurrection.

                        1 Thessalonians 4:13-18         We do not grieve as those who have no hope.

Questions:

Is there really a Hell? Will Jesus really send people to hell or is it like threatening to send us to bed without dinner? Does he judge us? Are there bigger sins than others? When we ask for forgiveness is our slate clean?  Is there a way to hack in and see our score cards? What does it mean for us that we believe that some people are judged? Can we believe in righteousness and justice if we don’t believe in hell? How are people responsible for their own judgment? What does it mean to us that “hell” is the absence of the presence of God’s love?

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August 18th, 2019

Sermon:           I Believe in the Historical Jesus          

Theme:            As we affirm Jesus’ and experiences we are more open to our own humanity and needs as we grow closer to God.    

Purpose:          The congregation will consider their own humanity as a gift from God.      

Scriptures:       Acts 4:8-12, 23-31       Peter and John speak before the Council speaking of the historical fact of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

                        1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Paul gives testimony to the historical experience of Christ Jesus.

Questions:

What is the real proof that Jesus did exist? Is there any proof that the bible is legit? Does the history really matter or is it just about the story? Where is Jesus now? How does a historical Jesus affect our perceptions of God acting in the world today? How do we understand the “reality” of God’s intervention today, because of the way God acted in the birth of Jesus in the world? How do we deal with the areas where we are less certain in Jesus’ history?

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August 11th, 2019

Sermon:           I Believe in the Holy Spirit      

Theme:            We open our hearts and minds to participating with God’s work through God’s presence within our hearts and minds, inspiring and leading us.

Purpose:          The congregation will expand their perception of the Holy Spirit as a constant presence in our lives.

Scriptures:       Acts 2:1-4, 16-21         The Holy Spirit fulfills the prophecy of the prophet Joel.

                        John 20:19-23 Jesus breathes upon the disciples and gives them the Holy Spirit.

Questions:

Is he a friendly ghost? What’s up with all of the “speaking in tongues” stuff? Why can’t the Holy Spirit be more direct with us? What difference the Holy Spirit make in our lives in practical ways? How do we relate to God being present within us? How does the Holy Spirit empower us with spiritual gifts? How can we allow the Holy Spirit to inspire us?

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August 4th, 2019 Communion, Outdoor Worship, Churchnic

Sermon:           I Believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Begotten Son.           

Theme:            We believe in Jesus as God’s gift of love to share with us relationship with God.   

Purpose:          The congregation will appreciate the love of God for humanity in Christ.   

Scriptures:       Luke 1:26-38   Jesus is born to the virgin Mary.

                        John 3:16-21   God sent the son into the world to save the world.

Questions:

What is “begotten?” Is there a “c”gotten? When did Jesus know that he was “special?” When was Jesus actually born (was he around before he was born)? What does it mean that Jesus is uniquely begotten of God? What is our relationship with God through Jesus? What does it mean that God sent Jesus to the world out of love? How do we relate to the story of the virgin Mary? Does it matter whether we believe in the virgin birth of Jesus?

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July 28th, 2019

Sermon:           I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth

Theme:            God’s act of creation was an extension of God’s nature and love which is fulfilled in our love and sharing in creation.         

Purpose:          To focus on the nature of God as loving and creative.         

Scriptures:       Genesis 1:1-5, 31        God created the heavens earth, Let there be light, and all was good.

                        John 1:1-5       In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God.

Questions:

Why did God create the heavens and the earth? What about the Big Bang? How was God created? (who is God’s mom?)  What is heaven? In what ways do we see God’s nature as being loving and caring through creation? What does it mean that God created everything good? What difference does it make that the manner of creation is through the Word of God? How do we relate to that Word of God? What is our role in taking part in God’s creation? How do we understand that God’s work of creation separates what is good out of chaos?

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7/21/2019 Sermon: Yours is the Kingdom and The Power Forever.

Theme:            Our confidence and joy come from seeing the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness shared with the world around us.     

Purpose:          The congregation will seek to participate with God’s work of transforming and making things right in the world.      

Scriptures:       Ephesians 1:3-14         God has made his work complete in adopting us as children at the right appointed time.

                        Luke 17:20-37 Pharisees ask where the Kingdom of God is. Jesus warns that the kingdom comes unseen and unexpected.

Questions:

Why don’t the Catholics say: “Thine is the Kingdom and power?”  Is it they want to get out of church faster?  What is the glory of God?  “Forever?”  Seems a little much.  There’s got to be an end somewhere.  How do we know that the Kingdom of God is coming? What does it mean when Jesus says that the Pharisees cannot see the Kingdom of God? Why is God’s reign a monarchy and not a president or prime minister? How do we understand God’s reign as a King? How are we supposed to understand Jesus’ warning about the kingdom coming unexpectedly?

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07/14/2019 Sermon: Lead us not into temptation, keep us from evil.

Theme:            We trust God to enable us to grow in wisdom and strength through our experiences rather than fear unknowns that are out of our control.      

Purpose:          The congregation will recognize that we come together to seek strength from God to grow and be wise.

Scriptures:       James 1:2-4, 12-21      Count it all joy when you experience trials. Let your temptations lead to the implanted word that has the sower to save your souls. Matthew 4:1-11           Jesus is tempted in the wilderness.

Questions:

Why would God want to lead us into temptation? What role does temptation play for us? What difference does it make that we pray together that we be strengthened in the midst of our temptations? Are we focused on our temptations as individuals or the whole church? Do we create our own temptations or are they sent to us by God or by the devil? How would we be lead to evil? How do we come to trust God with our vulnerable appetites and weaknesses? Why are temptations such a big part of our lives? Why can’t we pray that God just make us strong without having to go through trials and temptations?

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07/07/2019 Communion, July 4th weekend Sermon: Forgive us our Sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Theme:            We are able to enjoy the freedom of forgiveness as we practice releasing others of our accounts and grievances, and in that way are released of feelings of guilt or remorse.

Purpose:          The congregation will explore their practices of letting go of the faults of others so that they may enjoy release from guilt and defensiveness.

Scriptures:       Colossians 3:12-17      As God’s chosen ones, clothe yourself with compassion, love, and forgive one another.

                        Matthew 18:21-35      Parable of the unforgiving servant.

Questions:

Why do we pray together that our sins be forgiven as we forgive others? What does forgiving others have to do with our own forgiveness? What if we are still angry? Does forgiving mean we have to forget what happened before? What do we need to have forgiven for us together rather than individually? Do we have to forgive all sins or can we just forgive ones that aren’t so bad? Why do some say trespasses, and some say debtors, while we pray to that our sins be forgiven.

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06/30/2019 Sermon: Give us Our Daily Bread

Theme:            We find joy and satisfaction in trusting God to provide for all of our needs as we grow in wisdom and gratitude.          

Purpose:          The congregation will explore gratitude as a way of finding satisfaction and security in their lives.

Scriptures:       John 6:30-35   Jesus says: I am the bread of Life.

Luke 11:3, 5-13           God will respond as we persistently ask, search, and knock.

Questions: What do we mean by “daily bread?” Was Jesus being literal or is this referring to something more? What does it mean for us to live from day to day, depending on God’s provision for us? What is the relationship between praying for “daily bread” and the Manna that the Hebrew people received in the wilderness? Why can’t God just give us all we need for a longer period of time? What does this have to do with faith?

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06/23/2019 Sermon: On Earth as it is in Heaven

Theme:            We participate in a relationship in which God’s Kingdom and intention for humanity is experienced through our way of living and treating one another.   

Purpose:          The Congregation will seek to see ways in which they may share God’s heavenly realm in their relationships.

Scriptures:       Revelation 21:1-7        A new heaven and a new earth. God will wipe away every tear.

                        Luke 17:20-37 Some will be taken and some will not in the coming judgment.

Questions: What is the relationship between things happening on heaven and earth? How can we have a heavenly presence on earth? How do we participate with God and with one another in bringing about the reign of God on earth? Do we really want God’s plan for earth or are we still serving our own egos? How do we learn to pray this with confidence that we want God’s plans?

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06/16/2019 Father’s Day Sermon: Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done.

Theme:            We submit our will to listen to God’s will and find joy in aligning our desires with God’s will in the world around us.

Purpose:          The congregation will explore the process of humbling selfishness in order to find satisfaction and joy in God’s will.

Scriptures:       Romans 8:18-30          We do not consider the sufferings of the present times worth comparing what will be revealed. All things work together for Good for those in Christ Jesus.

                        Luke 12:13-31 Parable of the wealthy man, seek first the Kingdom of God.

Questions: How do we know what God’s will really is? Is God’s will more than that we live by the laws and rules of the bible or is there something more? Who decides what the will of God is on earth? In the flood, God willed that an event that killed a lot of people, does that mean that God will for bad things to happen in the world today? What difference does it mean that we pray together for God’s will? What do we need to do as God’s people together in order to be faithful to God’s will?

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06/09/2019 Pentecost Sunday Sermon: Holy is Your Name

Theme:            We need to experience the gift of sacred space and holiness in order to know God’s presence in a powerful and mysterious way.   

Purpose:          The congregation will explore where they experience what is sacred and holy in their lives.

Scriptures:       Hebrews 10:19-25       We are cleansed to enter together into worship.

Acts 2:1-21      The Holy Spirit pours out on all people, enabling glorifying God in every language.

Questions: What does Pentecost mean to us today? What does it mean to share the Holy Spirit in our lives together? What is the holiness of God? What does it mean to hold God’s name in holiness? Does that mean we should not swear or is it something more? In what ways does God’s holiness affect our perspective about the world around us? How is it important that we have some things sacred together? How does God’s Holy Spirit renew what is sacred in our relationships with one another? How does the holiness of God’s Name and Pentecost draw us together as one people?

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