Sermon for May 30, 2021—Trinity Sunday

Psalm 29:1-11 · Isaiah 6:1-8 · Romans 8:12-17 · John 3:1-17 The theme for this week is freed from shame, and our scriptures this week discuss how being freed from shame and sin enables us to love and serve others. The call to worship Psalm reminds us to ascribe glory to God who blesses us with peace. Peace is an attribute of living under God’s grace. Isaiah 6 recounts Isaiah’s vision of God and how he was cleansed of his shame and set free for service. In Romans 8, Paul encourages us to break free of shame’s hold and embrace our adoption as beloved children of God.  Lastly, John 3 is our sermon text that uses Nicodemus’ story to illustrate how we move from darkness to light. This is a good illustration to help move us... Read the article

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Sermon for May 23, 2021 (Pentecost)

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b · Acts 2:1-21 · Romans 8:22-27 · John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15 The theme for this week is transformed by the Holy Spirit. The call to worship Psalm is a celebration of creation, which was created by sending the Spirit. Acts 2 speaks about the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, which launched the church and announced its mission to the world. Romans 8 explains that the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf and teaches us how to pray. Jesus taught in John that the Holy Spirit is our advocate and leads us into all truth. The Fire Starter Acts 2:1-21 Today is Pentecost, a day when we celebrate the birth of the church by the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is also a day that launched the church’s... Read the article

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Sermon for May 16, 2021—Ascension Sunday

Psalm 1:1-6 · Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 · 1 John 5:9-13 · John 17:6-19 The theme for this week is the Lord who guides us from the right hand of the Father. The call to worship Psalm discusses the blessings on those who follow the Lord’s ways—to love God and to love each other. In Acts 1, shortly after Jesus’ ascension, we find the apostles moving forward and seeking God’s guidance regarding a new apostle to “become a witness” of the resurrection. In 1 John 5, we learn that whoever has the Son has eternal life. Finally, in John 17 we read a poignant prayer of Jesus speaking about his ascension and our relationship with him and the Father. The Ascension John 17:6-19 NRSV What led up to you following Jesus? Some of us had... Read the article

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Sermon for May 9, 2021

Psalm 98:1-9 · Acts 10:44-48 · 1 John 5:1-6 · John 15:9-17 The theme for this week is the loving authority of Jesus. The call to worship Psalm describes the cosmic authority of the Lord over every creature and all the earth. Acts 10 shows us the universal authority of Jesus, bringing Jews and Gentiles together as the movement started. 1 John 5 tells us about how Jesus “conquered the world” through love, demolishing the old structures of power and authority. In John 15, which we use for the message, Jesus makes the radical choice to graft himself into the human story forever, using his authority to take on a position of helplessness in death. The Radical Choice of Jesus John 15:9-17 ESV Have you ever grown something... Read the article

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Sermon for May 2, 2021

Psalm 22:25-31 · Acts 8:26-40 · 1 John 4:7-21 · John 15:1-8 The theme for this week is Connected to God, which emphasizes how we are already connected without doing anything based on our inclusion in Jesus Christ. The call to worship Psalm talks about our dependence on God and offers praise for God’s faithful presence. Acts 8 tells the story of Philip baptizing the eunuch, affirming his connection with God. John’s letter expands on the interrelated ideas of love and abiding connection. We draw our sermon from the Gospel of John, which helps us understand that the idea of abiding doesn’t require us to do something, but it does require us to live the abundant truth of who God says we are in Christ. Abbondanza John 15:1-8... Read the article

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Sermon for April 25, 2021

Psalm 23:1-6 • Acts 4:5-12 • 1 John 3:16-24 • John 10:11-18 The theme this week is the strength of the shepherd. Throughout our Scriptures, we see people following the good shepherd and sharing his strength. Our call to worship Psalm contains the well-known words of comfort that we are walking in the leadership and guidance of the strong shepherd. In Acts 4, Peter, the roughneck fisherman, is given strength to speak boldly before a collection of powerful, sophisticated leaders. In 1 John 3, the community of Jesus, who often called himself the “good shepherd,” is encouraging each other in the strength of their faith. John 10, on which our sermon is based, gives us the “good shepherd” dialogue of Jesus, rich with Old... Read the article

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Sermon for April 18, 2021

Psalm 4:1-8 • Acts 3:12-19 • 1 John 3:1-7 • Luke 24:36b-48 This week’s theme is being witnesses of the Lord. The call to worship Psalm starts off with a plea and ends with the assurance that the Lord hears our calls to him. The text from Acts follows the healing of a crippled beggar in Jesus’ name, which gives Peter the opportunity to witness to many people. The epistolary text explores the concrete reality of being children of God, which sets us out to be like Jesus. The Gospel text finds the disciples being confronted with the reality of the risen Lord who calls them to be witnesses to all nations. Talking about Jesus Luke 24:36-48 (NRSV) Have you ever been with a group a people who were talking about another person when... Read the article

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Sermon for April 11, 2021

Psalm 133:1-3 • Acts 4:32-35 • I John 1:1-2:2 • John 20:19-31 The theme this week is the God we touch, touches us. The call to worship Psalm talks about the miracle of God among us. His bringing us together is celebrated in all its healing reality. In Acts 4, God is present in the fellowship of the new church and the gritty reality of navigating relationships and generosity. In 1 John, John talks about touching Jesus himself, and then touching him again through the spiritual fellowship of the church. Our sermon is on John 20, and explores the kind of people Jesus chose to touch, revealing himself to weaklings, doubters, and cowards after the resurrection. A Woman, a Doubter, and a Coward John 20 and 21 The resurrection... Read the article

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Sermon for April 4, 2021

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 • Acts 10:34-43 • 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 • John 20:1-18 The theme this week is Grace = love no matter what, juxtaposing God’s loving acceptance with our human conditional love in celebration of Easter and the Resurrection of our Lord. The call to worship Psalm recounts God’s steadfast love and assures readers of God’s constancy even when circumstances are difficult and maybe even our fault. Acts 10 tells one of the times that God transformed Peter’s mind, helping him see that tradition had to be changed when love demanded it. 1 Corinthians 15 reminds us of Paul’s transformation from a murderer of God’s people to a leader and preacher of the good news. Finally, John 20 is our sermon text that takes us... Read the article

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Service for April 2—Good Friday

The Seven Last Statements This service is based on the Seven last statements Jesus made from the cross. It is suggested to have seven different readers for the seven statements and the prayer following each statement and explanation. We give a short prayer, but readers should feel free to pray up to a minute or two. Avoid long prayers. Suggested worship songs: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross; At the Cross Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 Reader: Jesus is praying for us. He’s praying for our forgiveness, not for vindication. He is praying for all his executioners and for all of us. In doing so, Jesus is revealing the heart of the Father. Jesus isn’t begging the Father to... Read the article

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