Message from Sept 24, 2017

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“Called to Eat Pruned Fruit Salad”
Luke 3:7-9
John 15:1-12
Ruling Elder Pedro Arellano

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Adult Praise Team

Praise Team – Adults

The praise team sings/plays for our 10:30am service September thru May. This ministry includes singers, guitarists, drummers and keyboard players. Rehearsal time is determined by the team playing for the weekend. Contact: Kris Bartelt, kbartelt@fdlpresbyterian.org

Kris Bartelt, Coordinator

Teen Praise Team

6th thru 12th Graders

 

Teen Praise Team – for young adults 6-12th grade.
Rehearsals are Sunday evening from 4 – 5:15pm starting September 14th. Youth interested in being musicians, singers, ushers, lectors or greeters are welcome. The youth will lead worship on the 3rd Sunday of the month at our 10:30am service. Co-Directors: Becky Frize, Rebecca.frize@outlook.com or Terri Wilke, dtwilkeplus3@gmail.com

Handbell Choir

8th Grade thru Adult

Handbell Choir – 8th grade through adult.
This year we are expanding the age range for handbell ringers. Anyone from 8th grade on up who reads music is welcome to join our handbell choir. Practice is from 5:45-6:30 on Wednesday nights starting September 10th. The Bell choir rings once a month.

Joanne Marchionda, Director

Director: Joanne Marchionda, jomarchionda@me.com

Chancel Choir – Adult

Chancel Choir – Adult choir
This year we are looking at making a few minor changes to our “performance” with adding songs with the congregation, preludes and postludes (all good things). You don’t have to read music or be a perfect singer – just want to have fun and be a part of an amazing group of people.

Sunday, March 30, 2014 4th Sunday of Lent Emotional Courage

Sermon: “The Courage to Be Ourselves”
Theme: We grow in emotional courage as we learn to be shaped and molded by God’s Holy Spirit and Christ’s love.
Purpose: The congregation will explore the difference between holding fast to their own relationship with God and accepting others, as they are.
Scriptures: Ephesians 4:22-32 do not let the sun go down on your anger. be kind to one another.
John 14:18-27 I will not leave you orphaned, those who keep my commandments will show their love.

 

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The Truth Will Set You Free – After it Makes You Miserable

Nehemiah 8:1-12

An important part of our relationship with God through the scriptures is that we are confronted and challenged by the scriptures. It is concerning that many manage to read the bible and find only what confirms their point of view. Worse yet are those who manage to filter their resources, studies, and friends so that they may be free from any confrontation to their previously held assumptions or beliefs. Because without these encounters which challenge our thinking, we cannot hope to grow in our faith.

This is the power of the scriptures, to challenge the way we see ourselves and to replace that point of view with God’s opinion of us. On the one hand God’s opinion is quite gratifying because let’s face it, God has made huge sacrifices to free us from our sins and to heal our lives. God loves us and cares more about us than we even care for ourselves. On the days in which we are feeling worthless and weak God speaks and says: “I have even kept track of the number of hairs on your head.” (Matthew 10:29-31) But at the same time God reminds us that we have failed to love our neighbors, that we are arrogant, greedy, and foolish. As we open our hearts to hear God speak to us through the scriptures we tend to see ourselves anew. And this becomes a source of growth in faith and wisdom.

When the people of Israel returned from bondage they had no knowledge of who they were. They knew of what had been before all of the destruction. And they knew themselves as slaves living in a foreign land. But they did not have any type of image of themselves as faithful people living in the land and fulfilling the purpose for which they were created. The reading of the scriptures with understanding gave them a picture of themselves, an understanding of their purpose for being. And that gave them a new start for shaping their lives. This resulted in tears and in a call for celebration. The tears were because as they formed this picture of who they were created to be, they felt overwhelmed by how far they had fallen. They struggled with how much they needed to rebuild, both in their city and in their own hearts. They were profoundly broken people.

But there was also a call to celebration. The celebration was to be a rejoicing for what God had accomplished in bringing them home. The celebration was to be shared with people who were less fortunate, because an important part of the identity wasn’t about who they were as individuals but who they would be as a people. They needed a party to acknowledge that God would not leave them in their present state, but would walk with them as they rebuilt their lives.

The gift of the Word of God to us is that it has the ability to give this same sense of our identity, our purpose as God created us. Our reason for reading and studying the bible is to grow in that image, to gain more understanding of what it is God wants to accomplish in and through us. And in that process we are sometimes caused to shed tears at how far we’ve fallen short. But it is also our source of great joy in what God can accomplish with us, and through us.
Peace,
Pastor Jack

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