Sermon for January 12, 2020

Readings: Isaiah 42:1-9 • Psalm 29 • Acts 10:34-43 • Matthew 3:13-17 This week's theme is the baptism (anointing) of Jesus. The prophet Isaiah foretold that Jesus was the servant of God, the chosen one. The Psalmist reminds us to give glory to the anointed one and reminds us who he is. In Acts, Peter shares with Cornelius---and seems to come to a much deeper understanding himself---of who Jesus is and says, "We are witnesses of everything he did." Matthew recounts the story of Jesus' baptism and subsequent anointing by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:13-17 (NRSV) Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But... Read the article

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Venue Resources: Advent PowerPoint

Advent PowerPoint with a graphic for each candle lighting and the accompanying scripture. Many GCI congregations celebrate Advent by having an Advent wreath on a table in the front of the sanctuary. The wreath encircles three purple candles and one pink candle. There is a white candle at the center of the wreath, representing Christ and the light he brings to the world. Each week a candle is lit; all are symbolic. This month, our church hack is a collection of PowerPoint slides to accompany the Advent candle-lighting portion of your Sunday service. Click on the image or here to access and download the Advent PowerPoint. Read the article

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Faith, Hope, & Love Venue Videos

Throughout 2019 we have focused on the Team Based - Pastor Led model for GCI churches. Pastors can set the pace through this overview by helping their congregations achieve health through what we refer to as the three venues of ministry: Faith venue (discipleship)—discipling people in the faith—small groups, discipleship classes,. Bible studies, missionary activities and [caption id="attachment_12470" align="alignright" width="199"] click on the image to download the pdf[/caption] events. Hope venue (worship)—the Sunday worship service—intentional preparation, inclusive gathering, inspirational worship. Love venue (witness)—mission and outreach—identifying a target community, building relationships,... Read the article

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The Significance of Christmas

Written by Danny Zachariah, Regional Director of the Indian Subcontinent One common reason that some are against celebrating Christmas is: “it’s not in the Bible!” If this reasoning is taken to its logical extreme, there are many things we could not do because “it’s not in the Bible!” Is it vital for believers in Jesus Christ to remember and commemorate his birth as a human being? Does it make a difference to our theological understanding when we consciously recognize and acknowledge the incarnation? Would this understanding improve our relational dimension with our Triune God? Here are three reasons that it does. It’s the only way to know and understand God As human beings, we are limited in our capacity to... Read the article

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Sermon for January 5, 2020

Readings: Psalm 147:12-20 • Ephesians 1:3-14 • John 1:1-9;10-18 • Jeremiah 31:7-14 The theme for this week is God’s riches. Each passage discusses feasting and celebration because of God’s riches given to us. The sermon, "The Discipline of Feasting," is based on Jeremiah 31:7-14. Psalm 147:12-20 envisions God providing the seasons and controlling the weather. Ephesians 1:3-14 tells of the lavish inheritance we have in Christ. John 1:1-18 praises God’s generous plan to redeem us through giving His son. The Discipline of Feasting Jeremiah 31:7-14 NRSV Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year? Most of us did, in some kind of absent way as we put back the last of the dishes or stood on the scale in the morning. The... Read the article

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A Light to Follow

By Lance McKinnon, Grace Communion Seminary The birth of Jesus, accompanied by the visit of the Magi, is an epiphany for us. It opens our eyes to see that the Father sent his Son to draw all people to himself. No matter the distance and darkness that lie between us and the Father, Jesus is the Light of the World leading us home. We read about the Epiphany story in Matthew 2:1-12. In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all... Read the article

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