For the Week Ending July 23

23 JUL Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

The Apostle’s Tale: Groaning

As we come into the second week of our series, we move from the freedom we have found in Christ to confront our differences head-on, and God’s call to welcome all of God’s children, to dealing with the way things are: the sufferings of the present time.

REFERENCES:

  • Genesis 28:10-19a
  • Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
  • Romans 8:12-25
  • Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Prayer

Most Gracious God, you have rescued us from despair and death by the glorious resurrection of Christ your Son. Now you remain with us, empowering us by your Spirit. Turn our hearts in compassion for people who struggle in darkness and danger. We renew our commitment to serve you through our church’s mission outreach. Use our tithes and gifts to kindle the light of the risen Christ in our community and throughout the world. We pray in his name. Amen. (Psalm 86)

 

For the Week Ending July 16

16 JUL Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

The Apostle’s Tale: Freedom

The flow of this series, as the flow of these scriptures, does not go “up” as much as it goes “deep.” This series is more like a dive from the heights than a climb up the mountain or a journey from point A to point B. As you move into today in particular, picture freedom as the diver on the board or at cliff’s edge, poised to jump.

REFERENCES:

  • Genesis 25:19-34
  • Psalm 119:105-112 or Psalm 25
  • Romans 8:1011
  • Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

O God of our salvation, your Word brings joy to our hearts. We find contentment in your presence as we pray and worship you. Enable us to focus on your Holy Spirit who brings life and peace. Inspire our congregation to reach out in creative ways to draw our neighbors into a closer relationship with you. Receive our gifts and offerings for the sake of Christ our Savior. Amen. (Romans 8)

For the Week Ending July 9

09 JUL Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

From Chaos to Community: Legacy

Like all human families, the first families of our faith tradition were not perfect. They had their share of failure and struggles, just like everyone else. But throughout it all they knew the abiding presence of the Lord God was with them—perhaps most clearly known during moments of difficult decision, rites of passage, and periods of painful transition.

REFERENCES:

  • Genesis 24:34-38
  • Psalm 45:10-17 or Psalm 72
  • Romans 7:15-25a
  • Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Generous God, we praise you for life itself and the spiritual renewal that you so freely give. Thank you for sending Jesus, who demonstrates what it means to be gentle and humble in heart.  Gather our congregation in opportunities to respond to people’s needs with tangible assistance. Fill us with your Spirit so that we are eager to help others, like Rebekah who gave water to a stranger and did not expect a reward. May our offerings be acceptable in your sight. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen. (Genesis 24)

For the Week Ending July 2

02 JUL Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

From Chaos to Community: Rites of Passage

In the times of horrific rites of passage, God has provided, and Goes does provide. That is part of our family legacy.

REFERENCES:

  • Genesis 22:1-14
  • Psalm 13
  • Romans 6:12-23
  • Matthew 10:40-42

Prayer

Faithful God, we worship you with grateful hearts, for you have brought us from death to life! We are awed that you gave your beloved Son Jesus for our salvation. He is the lamb you provided, the perfect offering to take away the sins of the world. Help us to share your kindness every day. By your Spirit, may our church’s ministries bring hope and new life to our neighbors. We dedicate these tithes and offerings in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Genesis 22; Romans 6)

 

For the Week Ending June 25

25 JUN Third Sunday After Pentecost

From Choas to Community: Weaning

God is with us, even when we do not act in Christlike ways towards our sisters and brothers. God is with us, sending messages through “angels” to encourage us to engage the really hard questions, to admit to our sins, own up to our mistakes, turn our lives around and head in a new direction.

REFERENCES:

  • Genesis 21:8-21
  • Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17
  • Romans 6:1b-11
  • Matthew 10:24-39

Generous God, you are the source of abundant life. You reveal a great mystery: those who lose their life for the sake of your Son will find it. When we are aware of loss, send your Holy Spirit to help us trust in your steadfast love. You are transforming our lives and this world as surely as you have transformed the cross by Christ’s resurrection. Let our gifts bring vitality to the healing ministries of this community of faith. We ask this in the name of our risen Lord Jesus. Amen. (Matthew 10:24-39)

For the Week Ending June 18

18 JUN Second Sunday After Pentecost

 From Chaos to Community: Birth

Father’s Day
God is with us in our moments of greatest joy, and God is with us though the inevitable chaos and sorrow that life brings. God us with us in our friends and family, and God is with us in strangers who suddenly show up and bring us a word of hope and clarity in the midst of the jumbled, chaotic messes of life. God is with us in the familiar and God is with us in the unexpected.

The good news is, no matter what we must face, we don’t face it alone. We face life together, in community with Christ, and in community with one another, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.

God is with us.

REFERENCES:

  • Genesis 18:1-15
  • Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
  • Romans 5:1-8
  • Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)

 

God, our Heavenly Father, in the power of gracious love, you reveal the meaning of parenthood. You bring forgiveness, joy, and laughter to earthly families where relationships are strained by sin. Thank you for your bountiful love as you listen and respond to our prayers. Accept these offerings as a sign of our thankfulness. May you bless the parents, children, and grandparents of our church so that we may be a blessing to our neighbors. We ask this through Christ, who blessed little children. Amen. (Psalm 116)

For the Week Ending June 4, 2017

04 JUN Day of Pentecost

Flowing Into All the World — During the season of Lent, we focused on preparing the community of the faithful to receive (or refresh with) the waters of the baptismal covenant on Easter morning. Over these last Great Fifty Days of Easter we have been talking about living into that covenant made by water and the Spirit. And now, today, we hear God speaking to us strongly in these texts through the words about water.

REFERENCES:

  • Acts 2:1-21
  • Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
  • 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
  • John 7:37-39

For the week ending May 28, 2017

The 7th Sunday of Easter

The Great Fifty Days of Easter: Becoming Series

Becoming One in Ministry — It takes all of us, the entire body of Christ becoming one in ministry to see the world and God’s people with the eyes of Jesus. And so, as we complete our time around the table with our Lord and Savior, his prayer for his disciples is his prayer for us too.

REFERENCES:

  • Acts 1:6-14
  • Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
  • 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
  • John 17:1-11

O God, you have glorified our victorious Savior with a triumphant resurrection from the dead, and ascension into heaven, where he sits at your right hand. Grant, we ask you, that his triumphs and glories may ever shine in our eyes to make us see more clearly through his sufferings, and more courageously endure our own; being assured by his example, that if we endeavor to live and die like him, for the cause of your love in ourselves and others, you will raise our dead bodies again, and conforming them to his glorious body, call us above the clouds, and give us possession of your everlasting kingdom. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

For the week ending May 21st

The 6th Sunday of Easter

The Great Fifty Days of Easter: Becoming Series

Becoming One with Each Other — As we enter our second week in our series, “Becoming,” this week and next week we continue listening in on Jesus’ final conversation with his disciples on the night before his death.

REFERENCES:

  • Acts 17:22-31
  • Psalm 66:8-20
  • 1 Peter 3:13-22
  • John 14:15-21

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

 

For the Week ending May 14, 2017

Fifth Sunday of Easter

The Great Fifty Days of Easter: Becoming Series

Becoming One with Christ — Today marks the launch of our second Easter three-week series. “Becoming…” focuses on claiming our spiritual gifts and callings as we seek to live out what it means to become one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world in the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Easter season culminates with Pentecost and a service of commissioning people into the ministries to which they have discerned they are called.

REFERENCES:
• Acts 7:55-60
• Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
• 1 Peter 2:2-10
• John 14:1-14

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