Sermon for July 29, 2018

Scripture readings: 2 Kings 4:42-44; Ps. 145:10-18; Eph. 3:14-21; John 6:1-21 Sermon by Sheila Graham from 2 Kings 4, Ephesians 3 and John 6 When the Impossible Becomes Possible Introduction The apostle Paul constantly encouraged the early Christians to have faith, and, as they went out into the world with the gospel message, to access the power of the Spirit, which, through Christ, was within them. That same message applies to us today. Jesus did not give us an impossible job when he said to take the gospel to the world, making disciples of all peoples. It may seem that way at times, but through him the impossible becomes possible. Let’s look at what Paul wrote in Ephesians chapter 3. First, he reminds his readers that we do... Read the article

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Worship in Spirit and Truth

This article is from Santiago Lange, GCI pastor in Germany. Controversy concerning how to worship God has raged since the Garden of Eden and continues today. This article addresses this important topic, but instead of offering a "one size fits all" formula, it offers three essential principles related to how we can worship God in spirit and truth. [caption id="attachment_9078" align="aligncenter" width="362"] "The Lord's Prayer" by Liz Lemon Swindle (used with permission)[/caption] 1. Worship is theocentric Several years ago, Donald Bloesch, Emeritus Professor of theology at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, wrote an article in Christianity Today titled "Whatever Happened to God?" Concerning the worship that occurs in... Read the article

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Sermon for July 22, 2018

Scripture readings: 2 Samuel 7:11-14a; Ps. 89:20-37; Eph. 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 Sermon by Lance McKinnon from Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 Rest for All Introduction The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:30-31) Mark begins today's reading from the Gospels using the word “apostles” instead of his usual title of “disciples” when referring to the Twelve. The word apostle means “sent one.” Perhaps Mark wants us to read this story with an eye to the church. What can we learn from Mark about... Read the article

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Sermon for July 15, 2018

Scripture readings: 2 Sam. 6:1-5, 12b-19; Ps. 85:8-13; Eph. 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29 Sermon by Linda Rex from Eph. 1:3-4; Mark 6:14-29 When God Judges Elijah's story One of the Bible stories I remember from my childhood is one about the prophet Elijah and the prophets of Baal meeting on Mount Carmel with the people of Israel. Elijah made fun of the pagan prophets and their futile efforts to get God to bring down fire on their altars. Then he dug a trench around the altar and poured water all over it and the sacrifice he had put on it. Then Elijah asked God to prove he was indeed the God of Israel by bringing fire down on the water-soaked altar. Apparently God was more than happy to do so, because he sent fire which not only consumed... Read the article

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Kid’s Korner: Fun in the Son!

Kid's Korner this month is from Georgia McKinnon, a mom and children's minister who serves as Registrar at Grace Communion Seminary. [caption id="attachment_340" align="alignright" width="163"] 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] It's almost summertime here in North America, and with the onset of summer comes a flurry of activity for children's ministry: VBS, pool parties, picnics, summer camps, movie nights, mission activities, and more! Before you know it, it will be time to plan a back-to-school bash! Whew! Summer is a great time to intentionally engage children in ministry---at church and outside of church. But summer planning and... Read the article

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Journeying on with Jesus

This issue explores several aspects of our journey with Jesus in articles from Greg Williams, Santiago Lange and Georgia McKinnon. This issue also includes the June Prayer Guide and RCL-synced sermons for July. From Greg: Pilgrimage of the Faithful Greg Williams looks at the seasons of change and movement in our lives and compares them to the faith-filled journey of Abraham and Sarah. June Prayer Guide Here are topics from our GCI family to pray about each day in June. Worship in Spirit and Truth Santiago Lange looks at the controversial but important topic of worship. Kid's Korner: Fun in the Son Georgia McKinnon looks at the busy summer season in children's ministry. RCL sermons for June 2018 Here are Revised... Read the article

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From Greg: Pilgrimage of the Faithful

Dear Pastors and Ministry Leaders, [caption id="attachment_5219" align="alignright" width="164"] Greg and Susan Williams[/caption] We all face seasons of change and movement. For my family, April of this year was one of those seasons. My brother Mark sold his house and set out to build a new one. My son Gatlin left his apartment to join his best friend from high school in a location new to both of them. Then Susan and I joined the happy throng of GCI Home Office staffers, moving 2,400 miles from Glendora, CA, to Charlotte, NC. This personal and corporate move was a big challenge to us all---and now, whether we're at home or at work, we are faced with boxes to unpack. During this season of change and movement, I've found myself... Read the article

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Sermon for July 8, 2018

Scripture readings: 2 Sam. 5:1-5, 9-10; Ps. 123; 2 Cor. 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-13 Sermon by Ted Johnston from 2 Cor. 12:1-10 (Drawing on commentary from Warren Wiersbe in The Bible Exposition Commentary and Colin Kruse in The New Bible Commentary.) Encouragement for Those Who Suffer in Serving Christ Introduction As we saw in our Gospel and Epistle readings today, serving Christ often involves suffering. In 2 Corinthians 12, we find the apostle Paul suffering the ignominy of false charges leveled by his opponents within the church at Corinth. Chief among them are the Judaizers—false teachers who are tearing Paul down in order to promote themselves. In chapter 11, Paul counters their false claims by recounting his sufferings to serve... Read the article

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Sermon for July 1, 2018

Scripture readings: 2 Sam. 1:1, 17-27; Wisdom 1:13-15 (NRSV); Wisdom 2:23-24 (NRSV); Lamentations 3:22-33; 2 Cor. 8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43 Sermon by Martin Manuel from Mark chapters 3-5 God Cares Introduction Though King David said that we humans are "fearfully and wonderfully made," we don't always function in accordance with God's good design. The results can be painful. When we become less active due to injury or aging, we can feel a great sense of loss. Perhaps nothing is more heart-wrenching than the sight of an injured or terribly sick child, leaving us asking, Why does God allow suffering? Does he even care? Though answering those questions is beyond the scope of this sermon, the Bible does provide comfort by giving us... Read the article

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