Sermon – Jun 18 – Go First to the Lost Sheep

Scripture: Exodus 19:2-8a; Psalm 100; Romans 5:1-8; Matthew 9:35-10:8
Sermon: Go First to the Lost Sheep
Sermon Text: Matthew 10:5-7

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.

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Sermon – June 11 – Receive the Blessing

Scripture: Genesis 1:26-2:3; Psalm 8; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20
Sermon: Receive the Blessing
Sermon Text: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

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Sermon – May 21 – Tea Time

Scripture: Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14;15-21
Sermon: Tea Time
Sermon Text: John 14:19-20

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.

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Sermon – May 14 – Be My Strong Rock

Scripture: Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14;1-14
Sermon: Be My Strong Rock
Sermon Text: Psalm 31:1-5

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Incline your ear to me; make haste to deliver me. Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me. Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength. Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth.

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Notes from Pastor Steve – Summer 2017

What helps, what gives the people confidence and assurance that they can change, is that they sense [the pastor’s] own willingness to change, to be flexible. 
Kennon L. Callahan
A New Beginning for Pastors and Congregations, page 83

If you want to read a nuts-and-bolts vision of how to create a loving and missional spirit within a congregation, Callahan provides great counsel through his use of personal experiences, of common sense, and of biblical references.  This text is intended to be read every three years so pastors and church leaders may continue to grow into their faith.  Callahan provides reading that is relevant for a pastor or church leader in any stage of his/her faith development.

This congregation has changed quite a bit from January 23, 2014 when I delivered my first sermon.  The work of the Holy Spirit is obvious to me; so many of you are relating your personal experiences that clearly indicate how God is shaping your lives.  Worship is alive in Word and Sacrament.  Our number of ministries – both local and beyond – is growing because our commitment to being God’s hands and feet in the world is growing, too.  Holy Week this year brought in members, long time visitors, and strangers off the street; attendance numbers were astounding.  Also, we have adopted a comprehensive stewardship plan that keeps resources growing for future in-house uses all the while giving us the opportunity to more fully demonstrate our trust in God as we gradually increase our tithe to our Synod.  We are now a handicapped-accessible building.  All this – this loving expression of faith in God – happens every day here as little by little our memories of Hurricane Matthew and its fallout fade.

At least, that is my perspective.  Callahan notes that one person’s view of change can be that of a developing faith, while with someone else the change can be perceived as scary or even as unnecessary.  It is common for some church folks to share, “Things are moving along quite nicely, don’t you think?” while they may present the conflicting response, “Things are changing too fast and I cannot adjust.”

What is your response?  Are you satisfied with the spiritual growth of this congregation over the last three years?  Does the church council act in ways that are accurate representations of what you expect from your church leadership?  In your observation, am I growing spiritually?  I am asking you to share your thoughts about congregational, leadership, and pastoral growth.

Throughout the summer please take the opportunity to write down your thoughts and ideas about worship and the life of this congregation.  Your comments will be directed to the proper council member or will remain with me.  Expect a return contact soon; the council and I stand ready to hear your ideas about expanding spiritual growth and about improving leadership development.  Why?  Because in all we say and do as a congregation, we do so to the Glory of God.

 

To God be the Glory for all God has done,

Pastor Steve

Sermon – May 7 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

Scripture: Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10
Sermon: Deacon Allison Ward No Combination Lock at the Gate
Sermon Text: John 10:9

I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.

Bulletin: 2017-05-07 Fourth Sunday of Easter

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Sermon – April 30 – Word and Sacrament

Scripture: Acts 2:14a,36-41; Psalm 116:1-4,12-19; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24:13-35
Sermon: Word and Sacrament
Sermon Text: Luke 24:33-35

O God, your Son makes himself known to all his disciples in the breaking of bread. Open the eyes of our faith, that we may see him in his redeeming work, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever

Bulletin: 2017-04-30 Third Sunday of Easter

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