New Curriculum: On Being with Jesus

On Being is a four-part interactive connect group curriculum, designed for biblically-based, dynamic discussions around being a disciple. We are excited to release, part III of the series On Being with Jesus.  Being with Jesus – is a six-week series that reflects on the themes of the person of Jesus, our identity in Christ, and our participation in ministry with him. Being with Jesus Facilitator Guide – Full-color Version – DOWNLOAD HERE Being with Jesus Facilitator Guide – Grayscale Version – DOWNLOAD HERE Being with Jesus Participant Workbook – DOWNLOAD HERE Facilitator Best Practices – The introduction was developed to assist leaders in the formation... Read the article

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Sermon for April 24, 2022 – Second Sunday of Easter

Psalm 118:14-29 • Acts 5:27-32 • Revelation 1:4-8 • John 20:19-31 Today is the Second Sunday of Easter, which kicks off a season of reflection upon Jesus' resurrected life and Ascension. The theme is: responding to the resurrected and glorified Jesus. In our passages today, we witness how in the resurrection, God has shown us the chasm between human values and God’s values. We are brought to witness the exalted Jesus, contrasted with his horrific death and supposed humiliation upon the cross. Our call to worship Psalm calls us to remember that God's love is eternal, and that what humans have rejected, God has chosen. In Acts, Peter stands before a bewildered Sanhedrin declaring boldly that the man they crucified, God has... Read the article

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Sermon for April 17, 2022 — Resurrection of the Lord

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 · Acts 10:34-43 · 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 · John 20:1-18 The theme for this week is holding the tension of death and life with joy. Today we’re celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, but it’s important that we don’t gloss over Good Friday and Holy Saturday. While Jesus’ resurrection from the dead ensures our resurrection too, we can learn a lot about living in a world where both suffering and joy appear side by side by considering the resurrection story. As Psalm 118 points out, times of suffering can feel like punishment from God, but in reality, God is our salvation and comfort. Even as Adam introduced death to humanity, Jesus’ resurrection shows that death cannot hold us in its grip, as... Read the article

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Church Hack: Gospel Fluency

As we take a deeper dive into the Love Avenue, we can’t forget the whole reason for joining with our neighbors in community. We are compelled by love, Christ’s love, which fills and transforms us, compelling us to share that love with those around us. In his book, Gospel Fluency, Jeff Vanderstelt suggests that many Christians struggle with sharing the good news of Jesus because we do not see our lives through the lens of the good news. As we practice examining our lives through the gospel, we naturally begin to share our stories with the truth that God is with us and moving in all the circumstances of our lives. To learn more about Gospel Fluency, view and download this month’s Church Hack here: ... Read the article

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Sermon for April 15 – Good Friday

Good Friday Service As a call to worship read through Psalm 22. Today we commemorate Good Friday. We remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross because of his love for humanity. This is often referred to as the passion of the Christ. In current times, passion is defined by a strong emotion, but the root word for passion means to suffer. To have compassion is to suffer with. On the cross, Jesus showed compassion, he suffered with us. In today’s service we will meditate on Jesus’ seven statements from the cross. Together, these sayings constitute a powerful message from our Savior’s heart during the hours of his greatest personal agony. They reveal Jesus’ innermost feelings as he poured out his life for us. (Participants can... Read the article

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Sermon for April 10, 2022 – Liturgy of the Palms (Palm Sunday)

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 • Luke 19:28-40 This week’s theme is the gates of praise. With a chosen focus on Palm Sunday for the Sixth Sunday of Easter Preparation, there are only two passages in the RCL. The call to worship Psalm presents a liturgy of entrance to the temple courts that is paved with praise and rejoicing. The Gospel reading in Luke echoes this theme with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where his disciples shout out with praise and rejoicing. The Entry of Departure Luke 19:28-40 (NRSV) Today marks the end of our journey through the Season of Easter Preparation (commonly referred to as Lent) and it launches us into the beginning of Holy Week. In Holy Week, we are invited to praise and worship Jesus as the one who... Read the article

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Sermon for April 3 – 5th Sunday in Easter Preparation

Psalm 126:1-6 • Isaiah 43:16-21 • Philippians 3:4-14 • John 12:1-8 Our theme this week is the abundance of God. The call to worship Psalm talks about mourning being turned into rejoicing by God’s abundant provision. Isaiah 43 describes God’s deliverance for Israel, creating abundance in the wasteland. Philippians 3 shares Paul’s “riches” in his past life that he gave up to know the overflowing riches of Christ. Our sermon comes from John 12 – a portrait of the abundant worship of Mary at Jesus’ feet. The Lingering Fragrance of Grace John 12:1-11 ESV Have you ever smelled good perfume? Most of us have, and unless we are allergic to perfume, we enjoy the fragrance. If you put a dash of perfume or cologne on the neck... Read the article

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Never Alone

When I was younger, I was an athlete and pretty cocky. In my sophomore year in high school, I played on the junior varsity basketball team (JV) and was a substitute on the varsity team. I was not humble and had little respect for my JV coach. In my mind, I was already on the varsity team and my JV coach did not have much to teach me. As a point guard, part of my job was to pass the ball to create opportunities for my teammates, but I was far more oriented towards making plays on my own. During one practice, my JV coach, trying to get me to pass more, said, “Dishon, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team!’” I waited until he turned his head, and said just loud enough for him to hear, “But, there is a ‘me’!” I ran a lot of laps that... Read the article

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