Wholehearted, part 2

Here from Cathy Deddo is part 2 of her two-part essay on the Christian life, based on material Cathy presented at GCI's August 2017 Denominational Conference in Orlando. For part 1, click here. For a GCI.org article that includes both parts, click here. Wholehearted, part 2: Finding Personal Wholeness in Jesus [caption id="attachment_6199" align="alignright" width="144"] Cathy Deddo[/caption] In part 1 of this essay we looked at Jesus’ wonderful relationship with the Father and how he has enabled us to participate in that relationship. This fellowship with God is the telos (purpose, goal, end) of our lives. We have been created for full, life-giving, fruitful, ongoing interactive communion with our triune Creator and, in Christ,... Read the article

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Sermon for April 29, 2018

Scripture readings: Acts 8:26-40; Ps. 22:25-31; 1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8 Sermon by Cathy Deddo (from John 15:1-11) On Being Branches Introduction What is the heart of the Christian life? That important question is answered in our Gospel reading today in John chapter 15, where Jesus is teaching his disciples concerning the vine and branches. [caption id="attachment_7988" align="aligncenter" width="439"] (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)[/caption] Having left the Last Supper in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples are on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. As they walk and talk, Jesus is preparing his followers for his death, which will occur tomorrow, Good Friday. The disciples had come to know and... Read the article

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Kid’s Korner: Children’s ministry resources

This issue of Kid’s Korner is from long-time children’s minister Georgia McKinnon who recently was appointed to serve as Registrar for Grace Communion Seminary, starting in April. [caption id="attachment_340" align="alignright" width="146"] Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6)[/caption] I'm often asked, “What curriculum should I use for our children’s ministry?” While there is no one answer that fits the needs of every congregation, Kid's Korner this month will share some resources that may be helpful for your needs. Sunday School lessons are easier to find and access than they ever before, but this also presents the challenge of discerning... Read the article

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Sermon for April 22, 2018

Scripture readings: Acts 4:5-12; Ps. 23; 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18 Sermon by Sheila Graham (from John 10:11-15; Ps. 23; 1 John 3:16-24; Acts 4:5-12) It's About Sheep Introduction Rock, vine, lamb of God, bread of life, light of the world, many are the metaphors used for our Savior, but one of my favorites is that of good shepherd. The reference to sheep was used frequently in the Scriptures because the people of that time were familiar with sheep and shepherds. Sheep are social animals. They get a little stressed out if they are separated very far from the flock. If a sheep does isolate itself from the rest of the flock the shepherd needs to be concerned because it might be lost or ill. Sheep are easily led, which can be... Read the article

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Videos for Holy Week

Throughout Holy Week (March 25 through April 1 this year) we will remember the events that led to Jesus’ horrific death on the cross and his glorious resurrection from the dead. Once again, we will consider Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the weight of his crucifixion on Good Friday, and the joy of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. To help us remember, the GCI Media Department has produced three short videos (embedded below). To download them, click on the small icon above each one. Below each video is a reading to be shared after each video is watched. Using these videos for the call to worship in Holy Week services would work well with the RCL-synced sermons provided in GCI Equipper for the Holy Week services. ... Read the article

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Sermon for April 15, 2018

Scripture readings: Acts 3:12-19; Ps. 4; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48 Sermon by Linda Rex (from Luke 24:36b-48 and 1 John 3:1-7, 14) In Touch with Jesus Introduction Many people go through life as though there is no reality other than what can be seen, heard, tasted, smelled and touched. It seems that they don't think much, if at all, about the things of the spirit. As Christians we do. We know God exists and we talk with him in prayer. But do we have spiritual eyes to "see" his presence and spiritual ears to "hear" him speak? To the extent that we do, we're in touch with ultimate reality. King David knew that reality. In Psalm 4, he asked God to hear his prayer and thanked him for his gracious response. David reminds us that... Read the article

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Video for starting the church service

The lead-in to the start of a church service is an opportunity for a congregation to do several things: Communicate God's love by being warm and welcoming. Set expectations for the flow the worship that is about to begin. Create a space for members and guests to participate, thus providing an invitation into the congregation's worship life. To help you take advantage of this opportunity, GCI-Media has produced a GCI-branded countdown video for use in transitioning from the fellowship time before church into the worship service. The video comes in two formats that can be streamed below and downloaded from YouTube by following the links provided. 1. Countdown without introduction (at https://youtu.be/zsoCdtDaNes) 2.... Read the article

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Sermon for April 8, 2018

Scripture readings: Acts 4:32-35; Ps. 133; 1 John 1:1-2:2; John 20:19-31 Sermon by Martin Manuel (from John 20:19-31) A Fantastic Story Introduction Perhaps you like fantastic stories---ones about UFO sightings, strange events in the Bermuda Triangle, the lost city of Atlantis, or the Loch Ness Monster. The word fantastic has a dual meaning in our culture. It can mean something that is made up and thus not to be taken seriously. It can also mean something that is exceptionally good. Today, on the second Sunday of Easter, our gospel reading takes us to the story of the disciple Thomas' encounter with the risen Lord Jesus. To Thomas, the story of Jesus' resurrection told by his fellow disciples was fantastic in the sense of... Read the article

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Sermon for April 1, 2018 (Easter)

Scripture readings: Acts 10:34-43; Ps. 118:1-2,14-24; 1 Cor. 15:1-11; John 20:1-18 Sermon by Ted Johnston (from John 20:1-18) Drawing on commentary by Warren Wiersbe (Bible Expository Commentary), Donald Guthrie (New Bible Commentary), Michael Card (The Parable of Joy), and F.F. Bruce (The Gospel of John). The Dawning of the New Day Here is a video from GCI Media that would make a good call to worship for this Easter Sunday service.On Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/257629649. Introduction Biographies usually end with the subject's death. But the book of John is gospel, not mere biography. It proclaims the good news of Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection. John's purpose in writing is to invite us to believe---to place our... Read the article

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Resources for preachers

Here are resources that help preachers grow in the categories noted. General issues Article by Charley Reeb: "10 Things Great Preachers Do Differently" [caption id="attachment_7761" align="aligncenter" width="331"] (used with permission)[/caption] Exegesis Toward an Exegetical Theology by Walter Kaiser, Jr. Article by Scot McKnight: "The Hermeneutics Quiz" Preparing and delivering expository sermons Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson Preaching by Fred Craddock Christ Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller Article by Thom Rainer: "15 Ways to Improve Your Preaching or Teaching" Article by Tim Challies: "The Preacher's... Read the article

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