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A Christ-like Footprint:  It’s common lingo to speak of the “carbon footprint’ we impress upon the world we live in. Agree with it or not, it is an attempt to figure out the effect our practices have on our natural environment. Truth is, our attitudes and actions leave a trail wherever we go, and they affect the world both near and far.  And given the times we live in, it would be wise to ask ourselves what a Christian footprint should look like.  This series has as its origin one of the themes from our Week of Prayer for Christian Unity many years ago.  I saved my notes for possible future use, and I believe now is a good a time to share them.  Join us as we examine the mark we leave in the world as followers of Jesus Christ. 

Jan 2   “Hopeful.”  Luke 24:13-35

Jan 9   “Sacrificial.”  Luke 22:14-23

Jan 16  “Compassionate.”  Matt 14:13-21

Jan 23  “Free.”  John 4:1-26

Jan 30  “Inclusive.”  Matt 15:21-28

Feb 6   “Merciful.” Luke 10:25-37

Feb 13 “Connected.”  John 15:12-17

Feb 20  “Stewards.” Deut 25:1-7;  John 9:1-11

Feb 27  “Joyful.”  Luke 1:46:55

 

                                         

Getting Christmas Right!  Mention Christmas, and people get excited.  The season brings thoughts of get-togethers, dinners, gift-giving, and images of sipping hot chocolate by the fire while snow falls softly outside the window.  But let’s be honest…many of us also take a deep breath knowing all the things we have to do before December 25.   Unfortunately, Advent and Christmas can come and go in a rush of frantic activity that has little to do with why we celebrate this season.   And given that this year is likely to continue presenting challenges to our public life, why don’t we take the time to keep in mind what Christmas is truly about – the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ?  In doing so, I pray that the hope, peace, joy and love of God will flood your heart and mind throughout this season and beyond.

Nov 28  “Yes, it’s a big deal!”  Isa 9:1-7

Dec 5    “Make space for God.”  Luke 1:26-38  Communion Sunday

Dec 12  “Keep it in perspective.”  Luke 2:22-38

Dec 19   “Share your JOY.”  Luke 2:8-20 (Our apologies - the video quality is poor today.)

Please note:  In-person worship services are temporarily suspended after December 19

Dec 24   Virtual Christmas Eve Service  

Dec 26   “Keep the gifts coming!”  Matt 2:1-12

                  

                                  

Church for the Ages:  We’re closing in on 2022, and the world is still in the thick of the pandemic.  The landscape around us has shifted in many ways, and churches have not been spared.  But have they?  Yes, churches look very different right now, and some things may never return to where they were before.  But that doesn’t mean the Church is out of commission.  The Church has survived turbulent times before, and has forged new paths where necessary.  If anything, our present situation gives us an opportunity us to examine what the Christian Church is truly all about.  Join us as we take a look at some of the events in the early Church to reclaim what is essential in a continually significant “Church for the Ages.”

Oct 17    “Personal Invitation.”  John 1:35-46; Acts 1:1-11 Anniversary Sunday and Baptism

Oct 24    “Sharing our Faith.”    Acts 8:26-40

Oct 31    “Put it into practice.”  Acts 9:1-19

Nov 7     “You seem different!”   Acts 9:20-31

Nov 14   “Inside Out.”   Acts 10:24-48  Sorry - no video available today.

Nov 21   “Mind what matters.”   Acts 11:1-18

 

                                

#Believe:  As we begin emerging out of our quarantine cocoons, we are faced with a world that looks both familiar and strange.  For sure, we are relearning to the things that once came naturally.  We are now able to see more people, hugs are less taboo, and walking up to people on a sidewalk is not such a logistical exercise!  In many ways, we are learning to live again.  And as churches reopen, perhaps this is a good opportunity to be reminded what it means to be a Christian, and to take a look at our faith with new eyes.  Join us as we look at some of the qualities of the Christian faith, as we rediscover the beauty and power of following Jesus Christ.

Sept 5     “It’s about Jesus.”  John 14:1-21

Sept 12    “Do we listen?”  Eph 4:17-32

Sept 19    “A new mindset.”  Psalm 51

Sept 12    “It’s a spiritual battle!”  Matt 4:1-11; Jam 4:7-10

Oct 3       “Be real.”  Matt 18:12-20  Communion Sunday

Oct 14     “Stick with it.”  2Cor 4:1-10; 16-18

   

                                       

Tuned In:  We know our faith is important, don’t we?  But if we’re honest, we might find that sometimes our faith takes a backseat to everything going on in our lives.  And this year has been as busy and tumultuous year as any I can remember.  It’s good to remember that we can always tune into God, no matter what circumstances we face in our lives.  Join us as we examine some of the basic practices that help us tune into God in a practical, life changing way.

Aug 1   “The Bible - A light for our path.’   Eph 3:14-21; Psalm 119:65-72; 105-112

Aug 8   “Prayer - A constant conversation.”  Eph 3:14-21, Psalm 46

Aug 15  “Worship - It’s about God.”   Eph 3:14-21, Psalm 145

Aug 22  “Guest Speaker Rev. Paul Shaw - Transfiguration”   Exodus 34:27 - 35, Luke 9:28 - 26

Aug 29  “Service - Loving others.”  Eph 3:14-21, Phil 2:1-11 

 

                                

The Sign of Jonah - A Big Fish Tale:  Jonah is a tiny book with a big message.  As the only Hebrew prophet with whom Jesus ever directly compared himself and His ministry, Jonah’s message is even more important.  The message?  SALVATION!  

July 4   “The Runaway”   Jonah 1:1-15;  Matthew 12:38-42   Rev. Paul Shaw

July 11  “A Big Fish Tale”  Jonah 2;  Luke 11:29-32   Rev. Paul Shaw

July 18  “The Men of Nineveh”  Jonah 3;  Luke 15:1-7   Rev. Paul Shaw

July 25  “The Truth Comes Out”  Jonah 4;  Phil 1:21-26   Rev. Paul Shaw

 

                            

The Parables of Jesus:  Parables were simple stories Jesus used to illustrate and explain profoundly divine, and yet practical, truths.  The familiar characters and everyday situations were easy to remember, but held deep meaning.  For some, the parables were a window into life in the Kingdom of God.  Still others could not understand them, or saw them as a personal rebuke.  They function in the same way today. We can let their meaning change us from the inside, or we can reject them as idealistic, or contrary to our view of things.  Join us as we explore the parables of Jesus, and to be reminded of the reality of God in a seemingly unreal world still in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Apr 11   “No small thing!” The Mustard Seed/Yeast. Mark 4:30-34; Matt 13:33

Apr 18   “How deep are you?”  The Sower. Mark 4:1-20

Apr 25   “Pay it forward.” The Talents.  Matt 25:14-30

May 2    “Who is #1?”  The Rich Fool.  Luke 12:13-21; 32-34 

May 9    “Special*” The Workers in the Vineyard. Matt 20:1-16

May 16   “Basic ingredient.” The Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Luke 18:9-17

May 23   “Hold your horses.”  The Wheat and the Weeds.  Matt 13:24-30, 36-40

May 30  “Mercy Me!”  The Unmerciful Servant.  Matt 18:21-35

Jun 6     "Inside Out."  Clean and Unclean  Matt 15:1-20    

Jun 13    “Last things First.”  The Sheep and the Goats Matt 25:31-46 

Jun 20    “Lost and found.”  The Lost Sheep/Coin.  Luke 15:1-10

Jun 27   “Special Invitation.”  The Great Banquet. Luke 14:7-24  Communion Sunday

 

 

                                      

Words to live by: Christians of all ages have stood before the cross of Calvary in one way or another.  We have memorized Christ’s words on that final day; recognizing their beauty and power.  It’s no wonder that we sing, “When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died; My richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.  See from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e'er such love and sorrow meet or thorns compose so rich a crown?”  We know that what looked like defeat on Good Friday was God’s most glorious triumph.  Join us as we examine the words of Christ spoken from the cross, and take to heart (and life!) their sacred and eternal meaning.

Feb 21      “No exceptions.”   Luke 23:26-38

Feb 28     “Promises, promises.”  Luke 23:35-43

Mar 7      “Family affair.”  John 19:16-27 Communion Sunday

Mar 14     “Why, Lord?”  Matt 27:32-49

Mar 21     “Mission accomplished.”  John 19:28-37

Mar 28    “If only!”  Luke 19:28-44  Palm Sunday

Apr 2      “In good hands.”  Luke 23:44-49  Good Friday

Apr 4      “He has risen!”  Mark 16:1-7  Easter Sunday

 

                            

Fresh Start: Yes, it’s the new year.  It is that time of year when many of us make resolutions to improve our diet, exercise more, and prioritize what is important in our lives.  Thing is…those who follow through on their resolutions see positive results.  Our faith is no different in this regard.  No one is born an expert in spiritual matters.  It takes time and intention to allow the Holy Spirit to act in our lives.  Join us as we explore some of the practices we can institute in our lives to create a deeper and more life-changing faith.

Jan 3       “No time like the present.”  John 1:35-42; Luke 9:57-62

Jan 10     “Let us pray.”  Mark 1:35-39; Col 1:9-14

Jan 17     “Godly friends.”  Prov 3:1-6; Gal 6:1-9

Jan 24     “Serve others first.”  Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37; Matt 6:1-4

Jan 31     "EveryDay Worship"  Psalm 27; Col 3:17

Feb 7       “Challenge accepted!”  James 1:1-18

Feb 14     “Mix it all together.”  Matt 7:24-28

 

                                 

Light of the World:  (An Advent Series)  Light is a powerful symbol.  The light of the Sun gives life to the earth.  Light, whether natural or artificial, allows us to see the world around us.  Light lights up our path and shows us the way forward.  It is any wonder that Jesus referred himself as the “Light of the World?”  He is truly the “way, the truth and the life” for all who believe in him.  Join us as we learn what it means to have the light of Christ shining brightly in our lives, as we navigate this year’s uncharted territory.

Nov 29   “Seeking the Light – The Magi”  Matt 2:1-12 

Dec 6     “Embracing the Light – Mary”   Luke 1:26-38 Communion Sunday

Dec 13   “Sharing the Light – The Shepherds”  Luke 2:8-20

Dec 20    “Jesus the Light of the World  John 1:1-18

Dec 24    Virtual Christmas Eve Service  (Posted online at 7:p.m.)

Dec 27   "Testifying to the Light - Simeon and Anna"  Luke 2:22-40

                   

                                

Finding Church: What a year this has been so far!  Many of things we took for granted just six months ago seem to be put on hold, or maybe gone forever.  One of the casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the church we are so familiar with.  Gone, for now at least, are the worship services and unrestricted fellowship we enjoyed at the start of the year.  Although the present situation is painful, I suggest that we have been given a choice:  to pine for the way things used to be, or to reimagine the church in light of what the Bible says about life as followers of Jesus.  This series aims to encourage us to remember that the Church always exists, regardless of current circumstances.  And that perhaps, “finding church” is actually rediscovering its essential qualities.  Join us, as we examine what the Church is meant to be, and how it is very much alive today!

Oct 4        “Clean Sweep.”  John 2:13-25  Communion Sunday

Oct 11       “The (really!) Big Story.”   Luke 4:14-30

Oct 18       “Church without walls.”   Luke 10:25-37

Oct 25       “Proper practices.”   Micah 6:1-8  Guest speaker:  Rev. Paul Shaw

Nov 1        “Less is more.”  Matt 18:1-14  Amalgamation Sunday

Nov 8       “The body of Christ.”  Rom 12:3-13; Col 3:15-17

Nov 15      “Search party!”   Luke 19:1-10

Nov 22      “Guided by the Holy Spirit.”  Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:1-8

 

                                 

2020 Vision: Many sermons at the start of the year were titled “20/20 Vision” or some variation on the theme.  It was a clever idea to highlight what it meant to be a Christian in today’s society.  But who would have guessed that 2020 turned out to be the way it did? Many of us feel like our road map has been yanked out of our hands.  And worse still, we can’t see what’s up ahead.  Vision in 2020 turned out to be very blurry!  But take heart, though we can’t see the big picture, God is guiding us in the “every day” of our lives. Join us as we remember that God’s hand is upon us in these blurry times.  God’s sight is clear, and we can rely on him.

June 14    “Where’s the remote?”  Psalm 86

June 21    “Don’t worry…BE.” Matt 6:25-34; Phil 4:6-7

June 28    “Managing doubt.” Matt 14:22-33; (Matt 11:1-6)

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July 5      "Forthtelling"  Jer 1:1-12  Guest speaker: Rev. Paul Shaw

July 12    "The Fountains of God"   Jer 2:1-13  Guest speaker: Rev. Paul Shaw

July 19     "Be Encouraged"  1Sam 30:1-20  Guest speaker: Barb Sargent

July 26     "We are all one in Christ"  Gal 3:23-29  Guest speaker:  Barb Sargent

________________________________________________________________

Aug 2     “Shameless!”  Luke 7:36-50  

Aug 9     “Keep your cool.”  Rom 12:14-21   

Aug 16   “Practice forgiveness.”  Psalm 103:10-14; Luke 17:1-10  

Aug 23   “Show humility.” Mark 9:30-37, Phil 2:3-4

Aug 30   “We, not Me.”  John 13:1-17

Sept 6     “Foster relationships.” Eccl 4:9-12; Eph 4:1-6

Sept 13   “Read the manual.” Psalm 119:105-112; 169-176

Sept 20   “Pray without ceasing.” Mark 1:35-37; Matt 6:5-18

Sept 27  “Above all…Love.”  1John 4:7-21
 

 

                                   

#Blessed – A series on the Beatitudes:  If there’s one thing about the Kingdom of God about which all of us can agree is that it operates by different rules than those in the world at large. In the Kingdom of God, many norms are upended: the last shall be first, the master is not greater than the servant, and everyone receives the same rewards.  The Beatitudes show us another aspect of the Kingdom that defies common expectations.  Dallas Willard describes the Beatitudes as showing that "the rule of God from the heavens truly is available in life circumstances that are beyond all human hope.”  In the topsy-turvy pandemic reality we are experiencing, join us as we remember that God is with us, no matter what we face in life.

Apr 19     “Blessed are the poor in spirit”  Matt 5:1-3;  Luke 18:9-14

Apr 26     “Blessed are those who mourn”   Matt 5:4 Isaiah 61:1-11

May  3     “Blessed are the meek”  Matt 5:5; Isaiah 42:1-9

May 10    “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”  Matt 5:6 Psalm 42:1-11

May 17    “Blessed are the merciful”  Matt5:7; 9:9-13

May 24    “Blessed are the pure in heart”  Matt 5:8 Ps 24:1-7

May 31    “Blessed are the peacemakers”  Matt 5:9; Matt 5:43-48

June 7      “Blessed are the persecuted”   Matt 5:10; 1Pet 3:8-18

                   

                               

“Restored” A Lenten series.  The Bible has been compared to a love story – a love story  between God and his creation.  It is a story filled with both joy and sorrow; the latter because people are quick to reject their creator.  It is a love story detailing how people have often lost their way from God, only to be welcomed back by God again and again.  In the accounts in the Bible we see that God has never given up on us.  God’s patient love is spelled out in the events recorded in the Bible, in the words of the judges, priests and prophets, and finally in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – the “Passover Lamb.”  Join us this Lent as we retell the story of God’s love for us, and of the lengths he takes to win us back to him.

Mar 1   “In the Garden of Eden.”  Gen 3:1-24

Mar 8   “God means it for good.”  Gen 45:1-15; 50:15-21

Mar 15  SERVICES CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Mar 22  Being Church and a follower of Jesus Christ amidst COVID-19  Phil 4:4-9

Mar 29 "The everlasting love of God"  Jer 31:1-14

Apr 5    “Riding into our lives.” Matt 21:1-17; 23:37-39  Palm Sunday

Apr 10  “Paradise found.” Luke 23:32-43 Good Friday

Apr 12  “Come Home.”  Mark 16:1-7; Luke 15:11-32   Easter Sunday

Apr 12  Ringing of the Church Bells on Easter morning.   Played by Rev. Paul Shaw.

 

                               

See like Jesus:  People see the world in many ways.  For some, it is their “oyster.”  Others see it as hectic and out of control.  Still others see it as theirs to own and use.  One thing for sure: our view of the world influences our life and faith.  As followers of Christ we are taught to look at everything and everyone around us with the eyes of Christ.  Join us as we examine the seven miracles or “signs” of Christ recorded in the Gospel of John.  There we will be reminded that God’s vision for the world is fulfilled and spelled out in Jesus.  To see like Jesus, is to see like God.  It can’t get any clearer than that!

Jan 5   “Always the best.”  John 2:1-11

Jan 12  “What will it take?” John 4:43-54

Jan 19  “Missing the point.”  John 5:1-18

Jan 26 “God’s sufficiency.”  John 6:1-15

Feb 2  PWS&D Sunday

Feb 9   “Don’t be afraid.”  John 6:16-24

Feb 16 “What do you see?” John 9:1-11; 24-41

Feb 23 “Resurrection and Life.”  John 11:17-45

 

                           

“Manger Miracle” Without a doubt, the Christmas season has a different feel than the rest of the year.  I’ve said it before, but Christmas is softer and more hopeful in many ways.  People seem to have a little bounce in their step, and are kinder and more optimistic.  We all open doors for each other with an “Are you ready for Christmas?” and “Merry Christmas!” greetings.  Some will say that the Christmas season is overly commercial.  This can be true, but it overlooks the “reason for the season.”  Truth is, we celebrate something truly special.  We know what, or who that is…our Lord Jesus Christ, the “Word made flesh" born in a manger.  Join us as we celebrate Advent and Christmas, and give thanks to God for this “manger miracle.”

Dec 1     “A divine promise.”  Isa 9:1-7  Communion Sunday

Dec 8   “The power of hope.”  Luke 1:5-25 Children’s Christmas Presentation

Dec 15   “Down to Earth.”   Luke 1:26-38  Christmas Cantata  (Audio not available.)

Dec 22   “When it hits home.”  Matt 1:18-25

Dec 24   “God delivers!”  Luke 2:1-20  Christmas Eve 7 p.m. (Audio not available.)

Dec 29   “Seek Him”  Matt 2:1-12

 

                                  

Starting Advent Right:  This two-week series is a pre-Advent pep talk to set the tone for the month ahead.  All too often the “Christmas Season” is upon us before we have time to set our minds and hearts to receive it properly.  It is ironic to look forward to something only to be run over by it!  Join us as we take the time to prepare our hearts for Christmas even before the season begins.

Nov 17  “Give Christ your best.” Mark 14:1-9

Nov 24   “Live generously.”  2Cor 9:10-15

 

 

From the Heart:  One of the ideas that shows up regularly in the Bible is the notion of the human heart. This is not the heart as we know it in scientific terms, but refers to the core of every human being.  According to the Bible, the “heart’ is where our intentions originate – it is the seat of our will and emotions.  No surprise then that the Bible spends much time in assessing the condition of the heart of its characters and audience.  At its most basic, the Bible asks, “Is our heart in line with God, or not?”  Join us as we examine the Biblical understanding of the heart, and in so doing, take an honest look at ourselves.  Does our heart beat after God, or does it follow its own desires?

Sept 8      “Good or Bad?”  Ezek 11:17-21; Matt 15:10-20

Sept 15     “What’s your diagnosis?"  1Sam 16:1-13; Luke 6:41-45

Sept 22     “A heart for Christ.”  Psa 86:11; Mark 12:28-34; Heb 12:1-3

Sept 29    "The Produce of the Spirit."  Ezek 36:22-28; Gal 5:13-25  Rev. Paul Shaw

Oct 6       “Squeaky clean.”   Psalm 51   Communion Sunday

Oct 13     “What’s your treasure?”  Deut 6:4-9; Matt 6:19-24 Thanksgiving Sunday

Oct 20     “Guard your heart.”  Prov 4:23; Eph 5:15-20; Phil 4:6-7 Anniversary Sunday

Oct 27     “Blessed are the pure in heart.”  Matt 5:8; Psalm 24

 

 

   

Uncluttered:  As we move into the summer months, many of us are afforded the opportunity to seek some time for rest and relaxation.  It’s almost as if summer makes us think of slowing down in general – to find and reconnect with what is meaningful in life. It’s a time of year when we dream of shedding some of the busyness and responsibilities we carry every day.  But what if there was a way to lighten our load on a permanent basis?  What if we could shed attitudes and habits that weigh us down in mind and heart?  Join us as we examine the spiritual side of decluttering our home and life to live a life that experiences more meaning, and “sparks joy.” 

Aug 4   “Getting past our past.”  Tit 3:3-8; 2Cor 5:17-21 (Psalm 38)

Aug 11   Backyard Mission  - Joint service at First Christian Reformed Church - 10:00 a.m.

Aug 18  “Ditch Negativity!”  Prov 15:18; 2 Tim 3:1-5; Phil 4:4-9

Aug 25  “Fear Less”  Isa 41:8-10, 2 Tim 1:6-14

Sept 1    “Don’t be so stuffy!”  1 Tim 6-10, Acts 20:32-35

      

                                     

The Holy Spirit:   Christians believe in the Trinity – that is, “One God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”  And yet, many Christians think and act as if their faith was “Biniterian” addressing only God and Jesus.  It is possible that many Christians misunderstand and downplay the role of the Holy Spirit in reaction to charismatic churches where it is associated with speaking in tongues and prophecy. Truth is, the Holy Spirit is more than just “signs and wonders,” and is present in every day life in a real and practical way.  Join us as we get acquainted with the third person of the Triune God and understand the Holy Spirit’s role in life and faith.

May 12     “The Spirit of the Lord.”  Gen 1:1-5; Ezek: 36:22-32

May 19     “At work with Jesus.”  Matt 3:13-4:11, Luke 4:16-21

May 26     “Makes us new.”  John 3:1-15

June 2     “Transforms us.”  Eph 5:15-20; Gal 5:16-26   Communion Sunday

June 9      “Empowers the Church.”  Acts 2:1-13   Pentecost Sunday

June 17    “Our comforter and helper.”   John 14:15-27; Rom 8:26-27

June 24    “Helps us share our faith.”  Acts 8:26-40

June 30    “A fountain of life!”  John 7:1-10; 37-44

 

                                     

None but Jesus!   We believe that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.”  He is the Son of God; a member of the Trinitarian expression of God.  As we enter into the season of Lent it is good to be reminded that Jesus alone could free us from sin and death through his death on the cross.  Terrible as is was, what transpired in the days leading up to the crucifixion was not a random set of cruel events. It was God’s necessary plan.  Christ’s journey to the cross is a stark reminder of the steep price God had to pay to rid humanity of the effect of sin.  Join us as we journey through Lent and into the glory of Easter giving thanks for our Lord Jesus Christ and his sacrificial love for all humanity.  Truly, none but Jesus could have accomplished this!

Mar 3    “To die for.”  John 12:1-11; 20-28  Communion Sunday

Mar 10   “God-like status.”  John 13:1-17

Mar 17   “Not a chance!”  John 13:18-30

Mar 24   “Marked by love.”  John 13:31-38; 15:9-17

Mar 31  “Jesus is the way.”  John 14:1-14; 17:20-26

Apr 7     “In the unpopular club.” John 15:18-25

Apr 14   “A reason to celebrate!”  John 12:12-19 Palm Sunday and Easter Cantata

Apr 19   “It is finished.”  John 19:16-30  Good Friday

Apr 21   “Do we recognize him?”  John 20:1-18  Easter Sunday and Sunday School Play

 

 

                                                             

Charting the Course:  The new year is often a time of personal assessment.  We look back on the year (or life!) behind us, and wonder what is to come.  With this often comes a desire to enact positive changes in our life, and even to set a new direction altogether.  But what about our faith?  What changes can we make, and what course can we set to order our life and grow closer to Jesus?  Join us as we examine some of the basics of what it takes to find our way in life as followers of Jesus.

Jan 6   “God has a master plan.”   Micah 6:1-8

Jan 13   “It’s personal.”  Rom 12:1-21

Jan 20  “Love is the basic ingredient.”  1 John 4:7-21

Jan 27 “It’s lived out in community.”  Eccl 4:9-12; Gal 6:1-10 (No audio available.)

Feb 3   “It puts others first.” Luke 10:25-37; Mark 10:42-45

Feb 10  “It requires constant guidance.”  Prov 3:5-8; Luke 18:9-14

Feb 17   “It shows!”  Gal 5:16-26

Feb 24   “It always points to Jesus.”  Rom 10:9-15

 

                                    

An “Olde-Fashioned” Christmas.  There’s just something about Christmas that makes us think of yesteryear.  The season of Advent brings to mind a by-gone era where things were simpler, and somehow kinder and gentler.  But guess what?  If we go back to the origins of Christmas in the words of the prophets recorded in the Old Testament, we find that Christmas is anything but quaint and simple. The Hebrew prophets spoke of a day when God would send the Messiah to redeem the people of Israel, and institute God’s reign of radical and inclusive love that would upend the global status quo.  Join us as we examine an “Olde-fashioned” Christmas, and become reacquainted with the significance, power and hope of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Dec 2     “The TRUE Christmas Season.”  Jer 33:14-18; Luke 21:25-36  Communion Sunday

Dec 9     “Ready…or NOT?”    Mal 3:1-4; Luke 3:1-17

Dec 16   “A major announcement.”  Micah 5:2-5a; Luke 1:26-38  Christmas Cantata

Dec 23   “A proper Christmas list.”  Zeph 3:14-20; Luke 1:39-55

Dec 24   “The Perfect Gift”  Luke 2:1-20  Christmas Eve Service 7:00 p.m. (No audio available.)

Dec 30   “Next Steps”  Psalm 8; Luke 2:21-39

             

                                     

A Faith-based Life: You might have heard someone say “Do as I say, not as I do!”  That is something we’d never hear Jesus say. Jesus was one in intention and action.  And he calls us to live in the same way.  On the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus outlined what a life of faith looks like, one which is lived here and now.  Sometimes we forget that our faith is just as much about this earthly life as it is about heavenly life.  As Dallas Willard noted, “We get so busy trying to get people into Heaven, that we forget to teach them to live in Heaven now.”  Join us as Mike looks at the Sermon on the Mount to highlight how a faith-based life impacts our daily life in every way, and blesses us in this life, not just in the age to come.

Sept 2   “To end is to begin.”   Matt 5:1-12 (no audio available)

Sept 9    “Isn’t it obvious?”   Matt 5:13-16

Sept 16    “Jesus raises the bar.”  Matt 5:17-32

Sept 23   “Promises matter.”  Matt 5:33-37 

Sept 30    Guest Speaker  (Mike at Youth Retreat)

Oct 7      “Loving our enemy.”  Matt 5:38-48 Communion and Thanksgiving Sunday

Oct 14    “True intentions.”  Matt 6:1-18

Oct 21    “Trusting in God.”  Matt 6:19-34  Anniversary Sunday

Oct 28     “Avoiding the Blame Game.”  Matt 7:1-5

Nov 4      "Take the Gift"  Mark 12:28-34   Guest Speaker: Rev. Lillian Wilton

Nov 11   "A Soldier's Story"  “The Golden Rule.” Matt 7:6-12 Remembrance Sunday

Nov 18   “True or False?” Matt 7:13-23

Nov 25   “A Solid Life.”  Matt 7:24-29

           

                                       

In Him: As members of First Presbyterian Church, we confess our faith in God. We believe God created all things, including you and me. We bear witness that God sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world to save us from sin, and leads us by the Holy Spirit. These are no small claims, and they should affect every aspect of our lives. But do they? Sometimes we get off track, or worse, fail to find the way altogether. What does it mean then to be a follower or Christ? How does it look like in a practical sense? Join us as Mike discusses what it means to be plugged into Jesus Christ, and how to go about it on a daily basis. 

Aug 5      "Abide in Him"    John 15:1-11; 1 John 4:12-13

Aug 12    "Depend on Him"   Isaiah 44:1-10; Matt 16:21-28

Aug 19    "Learn from Him"    Luke 10:38-42; Matt 11:25-28

Aug 26     Guest Speaker

 

                                

July 8         Rev. Paul Shaw

July 15       Rev. Paul Shaw

July 22       Backyard Mission 2018  Rev. Nate VanDenend

July 29       Bob McCall

 

                                

Fresh Faith:  When it comes to the deepening of our faith, we Christians know the drill, don’t we?We know we are to read our Bible, pray, worship and serve others.  All these lead to a deeper faith which can’t be diluted by affluence or overwhelmed by rough times.  Nonetheless, our busy life can dampen the spirit within us, making our faith seem stale.  Join us as we highlight three things we can do to keep our faith fresh and vibrant.  These are by no means the only things we can do, but they are important.  Here’s praying that you think so too!

June 17       Cultivate an attentive spirit.   Psalm 1:1-6 

June 24       Cultivate a forgiving spirit.   Psalm 103:1-12

July 1          Cultivate a thankful spirit.   Psalm 138:1-8

 

                                 

Citizens of Heaven:  In his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul refers to its members as “Citizens of Heaven.”  These were people just like you and me who were encouraged to live a life of faith with joy and perseverance. The world has changed a lot since the time Paul wrote this letter, but our Christian perspective remains the same no matter our environment.  In some ways, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Join us as we take a look at the book of Philippians and take in lessons that are as relevant today as they were in the 1st century.

Apr 15    “We are partners in Christ.”  Phil 1:1-11

Apr 22    “Having a heavenly perspective.”  Phil 1:12-30

Apr 29    “We are to be like Christ.”  Phil 2:1-11

May 6      Mission Sunday  “Serving in our own backyard.”  Luke 6:37-38; James 2:14-18

May 13   “Maturity is key!”  Phil 2:12-18

May 20   “Volunteers needed!”  Phil 2:19-30

May 27   “Stay focused.” Phil 3:1-21

Jun 3      “Let Goodness be your default setting.”  Phil 4:4-9  Communion Sunday

Jun 10    “Strive for Godly contentment.”  Phil 4:10-23          

            

 

                                

“Sent to Save” Many people think that Jesus came to teach us how to love, and though that may be right, it neglects the central aspect of Jesus’s mission.  Just who did Jesus claim to be, and why was he sent into the world?  The Gospel writers were clear that Jesus was sent by his Heavenly Father to save the world from sin and death.  This is why John the Baptist referred to Jesus as the “Lamb of God’, who sacrificed himself for our sake.  Join us as we reacquaint ourselves with Jesus’ mission of salvation through selected events in his ministry, culminating in his crucifixion and resurrection.  May it be that we are reminded how much we owe our loving God, who took our sin upon himself that we might not bear the consequences of our human rebelliousness.

Jan 7     “God and the Devil.”  Matt 3:13-4:11

Jan 14    “Many hands…”  Luke 5:1-11; 27-32

Jan 21   “No first-class seating.”  Mark 10:13-16; Matt 18:1-5; Luke 22:24-27

Jan 28   “Healing touch.” Matt 4:23-25; Mark 2:1-12

Feb 4     “Bread of life.”  John 6:1-15; 35-40

Feb 11   “In the storm.” Mark 4:35-41

Feb 18 “In Divine light.”  Matt 17:1-13  First Sunday in Lent

Feb 25   “Made alive!” John 11:17-44

Mar 4    “To die for.”  Mark 14:1-9  Communion Sunday

Mar 11  (Mike away on study leave)

Mar 18  “Holy spring cleaning.”  Mark 11:15-19

Mar 25  “Fit for a King.”  Matt 21:1-11  Palm Sunday

Mar 30  “The Lamb of God.” John 1:29-34; Luke 23:26-49  Good Friday

Apr 1     “He is Risen!” John 20:1-18  Easter Sunday

Apr 8     “What are we standing here for?”  Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:1-11

      

 

                      

Dec 31  "Many Seasons; One God."  A New Year's Eve message.   Eccl 3:1-14; Deut 6:4-9