Sermon for September 25, 2022 – Proper 21

Psalm 91:1-6 (14-16) • Jeremiah 32:1-3a (6-15) • 1 Timothy 6:6-19 • Luke 16:19-31 This week’s theme is God’s caring provision. In our call to worship Psalm, we can proclaim that God is our refuge and our fortress we can run to. In the Old Testament, Jeremiah acts out the word of the Lord, communicating that God has not forgotten his people, but has plans to restore them. In the epistles, Paul encourages us by sharing that God cares enough to provide everything that we truly need in this life. And in Luke, Jesus gives the parable of Lazarus and Dives, showing how Lazarus was comforted and cared for by God in the next age. The Heart That is Moved Luke 16:19-31 Oscar Schindler was a German industrialist during World War 2. He... Read the article

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Sermon for September 18, 2022 – Proper 20

Psalm 79:1-9 • Jeremiah 18:18-9:1 • 1 Timothy 2:1-7 • Luke 16:1-13 The theme of this week’s scriptures is the singular faith God desires. Our passage in Jeremiah laments the fate of his people brought on by their idolatry and the Psalmist prays for their deliverance and atonement that the people might glorify him. In Timothy, Paul encourages believers to pray for the ability to lead lives focused on our faith in the one God and Mediator, Jesus. Finally in our sermon passage for today, Jesus warns that everything we have is given by God and intended to be faithfully administered in service to him. Gifts Not to be Squandered Luke 16:1-13 (ESV) This year has seen the release of the latest Spider-man movie, No Way Home. In a gutsy... Read the article

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Sermon for September 11, 2022 – Proper 19

Psalm 14:1-7 • Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28 • 1 Timothy 1:12-17 • Luke 15:1-10 The theme for this week is the restoration of relationship. Our call to worship in Psalm 14 contrasts the response of the foolish with the wise and the inevitable struggling and suffering that goes along with trying to go it alone, not relying on God’s presence. Jeremiah 4 emphasizes the sorrows we bring on ourselves by thinking we can handle this life without seeking a relationship with God. Paul reminds us that Jesus has saved us, and God seeks a relationship with us, regardless of our checkered past. Our sermon text is Luke 15:1-10 where Jesus tells the Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Parable of the Lost Coin, showing us that lostness is our typical... Read the article

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Sermon for September 4, 2022 – Proper 18

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 • Jeremiah 18:1-11 • Philemon 1-25 • Luke 14:25-33 As we enter our 18th week of Ordinary Time, we are brought to consider the implications of following God. Our theme this week is the often painful path to perfection. The Psalmist declares his amazement at the wonders of the life God has created for him to live. In Philemon we have a plea for reconciliation between two people who have had a painful rift in relationship. Jeremiah warns us that the process of being molded by God will at times be disruptive and uncomfortable. In our sermon passage, we are told that Jesus expects us to be willing to give up everything, including family, for his sake. Spiritual Risk Assessments Luke 14:25-33 (ESV) “An untenable... Read the article

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2023 Denominational Celebration Watch Party

Save the date for the 2023 Denominational Celebration! The Denominational Celebration is the perfect time for your local congregation to be encouraged, inspired, challenged, and to reflect and discern the vision to which God has called your unique congregation. If you are able to spend time together over meals, in worship, and in prayer together, it is the perfect time to take your next step toward Healthy Church. Even if you are unable to attend in person you can still participate by hosting a watch party with your local congregation. Daily worship sessions and each keynote session will be livestreamed. We will also provide resources to host local breakout sessions and relational building activities. Have questions about hosting... Read the article

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Church Hack: Accessibility

Healthy Church always seeks to create a healthy environment where both attendees and guests feel welcomed. This is not something that occurs accidentally—there must be some intentionality behind it. In fact, it is a vital ministry of the church. This month’s church Hack provides best practices and reflective questions to consider your congregation’s accessibility. #GCIchurchhacks To view and download this month's church hack visit: https://resources.gci.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/2022-CH7-Accessibility.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2_rg-J0xu6l94R2INhpHSKgmdO3_j0m5NKiGtva6nx4RCvYGW4x0tt1pk Read the article

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Show and Tell

Let’s make Jesus real to our young people and get them involved in mission. I recently went on a trip to Israel. The experience was life changing and I am still processing all that I learned and felt. Walking in the places that Jesus walked and standing where he stood deepened my appreciation for who he is and what he did. The journey made him more real and made the Bible come alive. For example, the photo shows me touching the rock that the resurrected Christ sat upon when he restored Peter (John 21). Prior to that point, I imagined the story very differently. However, being there brought a reality to the story. No longer do I have to imagine the scene. While I still have to imagine the people in the story, the setting is no... Read the article

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A Biblical View of Disassociation

Though disassociation is a rare occurrence, there are times difficult decisions must be made for the health of the congregation and/or an individual. By Dr. Greg Williams, GCI President and James Henderson, Superintendent - Europe   By God’s grace, we have moved away from being sheriffs to caring shepherds who point people to Jesus. With that said, there are times when a situation needs special attention and decisions need to be made for the physical, emotional, or spiritual health of a congregation or an individual. In these cases, we look to Paul’s example for guidance. It is clear Paul had compassion for the congregations under his care. He wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:28 of “the daily pressure” on him of his... Read the article

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