July 3, 2016 – Jonathan Chute – “Adventures in Moving”
In this week’s gospel Jesus sends seventy of his followers ahead of him on the road. They seem to be something of an advance team, to prepare for his arrival in the towns and villages where he is headed. But they also have a message to bring as they go. Jesus knows that their work is important, but also that they will face rejection. He wants them to know how to handle both being popular and being scorned. They will have plenty of both in the days to come. The text for Jonathan’s sermon, “Adventures in Moving,” is Luke 10:1-11.
July 10, 2016 – April Herron – “Together In God’s Garden”
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Sometimes this question surges to the forefront of people’s minds and hearts, and sometimes it lives in the background. When the question was addressed to Jesus (by a lawyer), Jesus replied by referencing scripture and then telling a story-the intriguing story of the compassionate Samaritan. When Paul reflected on the question, he credited God for making it possible for us to “share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.” As Paul saw it, we don’t earn eternal life, we receive it as a gift. God “has rescued us… and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son,” Paul wrote.
As we worship this Sunday, July 10, we’ll consider both the story Jesus told to the inquiring lawyer and other listeners, and the beginning of the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians. We’ll sing songs of praise, lift our prayers, and welcome friends in faith to membership in the church as fellow disciples on the way. April’s sermon title is “Together In God’s Garden.” We’ll give thanks for the ways God’s truth and love grow among us.
July 17, 2016 – April Herron – “The Struggle for Stillness”
Life presents us with many puzzles. How do I get along with my sister or brother? What shall I do about my resentments and anxieties? How does my faith inform my actions? Where do I go when I need help or guidance? Who gets to set my priorities for investing my time, energy, and concentration? This week in worship, a story from Luke’s gospel (10:38-42) will be explored to see what light it sheds on some of our daily conundrums. It’s the story of one of Jesus’s visits to the home of Martha and Mary. April’s sermon title is, “The Struggle for Stillness.”
July 24, 2016 – April Herron – “Lord, Teach us to Pray”
Everywhere Jesus went, people were watching him. They studied everything he did. Among other things, they noticed when he prayed. They noticed his dedication to prayer. And they noticed that the time he spent in prayer seemed to be a source of encouragement, strength, power, blessing, and peace.
Jesus had an amazing capacity to share healing, grace, and love with the people around him. Could prayer have something to do with that? One of the disciples decided to ask him. The question and the answer can be found in Luke 11:1-13, which is our scripture text for this Sunday. April’s sermon will explore the reply Jesus gives to the request, “Lord, Teach us to Pray.”
July 31, 2016 – Jonathan Chute – “In the Heart of God”
Our scripture is a reflection in which God looks back and remembers the love and care that has been shared with Israel over its lifetime. The nation is pictured as a child named Ephraim, who has turned away from the loving parent who raised him. Though the Lord gave this child his name, taught him to walk, and fed him, it now seems that he has run off in other directions. The prophet Hosea imagines the frustration and grief that such a loving parent must feel, and holds out the promise that God will never give up on us. The text for Jonathan’s sermon is Hosea 11:1-11, and his title is “In the Heart of God.”