Monthly Archives: May, 2018

  1. Online Worship Services : The Long Obedience

    John 3: 1-16, John 7: 45-52, John 19: 38-42

    This is a story about seeking after the holy; this is our story.

    There was once a rabbi who had a son. Every day, the rabbi’s son would wander in the woods. At first, the rabbi didn’t mind but after a while, it began to concern him a bit. He sat his son down. “Son, I notice that each day you walk into the woods. I wonder – why do you go there?”

    The son replied, “I go there to find God.”

    Relieved, the rabbi exhaled and gently said, “Son, that is a very good thing. I am glad you are searching for God. But my dear child, don’t you know that God is the same everywhere?”

    “Yes,” the boy answered. “But I am not.”

    Very truly, I tell you, we, too, are not the same everywhere. Take a moment and remember yourself as a twelve-year old or if you are around that age, as a four-year old. What did you know about God, Christ, the Spirit? What was holy to you? Now relocate yourself to the present – are you the same as you were then? When I remember the phases, the waxing and waning, the wondering and wandering, I see an undeniable grace that washes over me with steadfast love. I can do nothing but give thanks to God for all the pieces of my faith that fit together in some magnificent, not yet fully seen picture. It seems the psalmists knew this thanksgiving, too when she wrote, In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them – they are more than the sand; I come to the end – I am still with you.

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  2. Online Worship Services : A Spirit-Led Church

    Acts 2:1-13

    The disciples were gathered together, the Book of Acts tells us.  They had just appointed a new 12th disciple, Matthias, to replace Judas, who had betrayed Jesus.  And they waited.  When Jesus had ascended to heaven, he said to them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8).  So maybe they were waiting for this power from on high, not even knowing quite what it would look like.

    Other people were gathered in Jerusalem as well, for the festival time that marked the beginning of the growing year, the first fruits of the season.  They were gathered from every known nation in the world at that time. So they talked different languages, they wore different clothing, they looked different from one another.  This may be a bit irrelevant, or even irreverent, but I kind of imagine it to be like the bar scenes in STAR WARS, with very diverse folk from around the universe gathered together in close quarters, looking very different and speaking very different languages, yet all getting along happily.  Or maybe it was like walking through the mall or the airport and hearing languages and seeing styles of dress from all over the world and realizing how diverse we are.  The crowd gathered in our passage was as diverse as it could be.

    And all of a sudden a wind blew through them.  Whether it was a literal wind or not, it got the attention of everyone there, this moving of the Spirit.  There is a song I do with the preschoolers sometimes that says, “When the Spirit says move, you gotta move.”  And we do!  The Spirit blew through the place like a hurricane wind.  And, the story tells us, tongues of fire (That’s what I tried to create in the back of the sanctuary as you entered!) rested on each of them.  And they began speaking in many languages.  Some churches use this to justify the gift of speaking in tongues.  In such churches, someone has to translate what is being said in tongues. Sometimes, no translation is given and everyone revels in this great, mysterious gift.  But this was not what happened that day, because everyone understood what was said in their own language.  Everyone heard and rejoiced.  Well, not everyone understood, because the text says some thought all of these crazy, happy people filled with the Spirit must be drunk.

  3. Monthly Newsletter : May 16, 2018

    May 16 Newsletter

    Concerns & Celebrations, Movie Night: Poverty, Interfaith Interaction, Threshold, Urban Ministries Shelter Meal, In the Library, Christian Education News, Westminster School for Children, New Member Bios, Local Missions Update, Capital Campaign, Nominated Officer Bios, Preaching Schedule,
    Worship Volunteers

  4. Online Worship Services : It Takes People

    Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
    Psalm 1

    In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred and twenty persons) and said, “Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus – for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”

    So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us – one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.”  So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, and Matthias.  Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.  Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”

    And they cast lots for them; and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

    The Word of God for the People of God.

                Thanks be to God.

  5. Bulletins : May 2018

    May 6, 2018 Bulletin
    May 13, 2018 Bulletin
    May 20, 2018 Bulletin
    May 27, 2018 Bulletin