Looking Ahead…

1/20                  Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Text:                      John 2:1-11

Message:           An Alarming Alchemy

Other:                   Human Relations Day

It seems odd that, instead of a healing or some work of compassion, John begins Jesus’ ministry at, of all places, a wedding party.  Against our attempts to reduce Jesus to more manageable proportions, to scale down his good news to our size, John’s Jesus breaks into the scene in majesty and glory.   Join us for a closer look at John 2:1-11 in our message, An Alarming Alchemy.

We will also receive the Human Relations Day offering.  Human Relations Day is one of six church-wide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church.  Human Relations Day calls United Methodists to recognize the right of all God’s children in realizing their potential as human beings in relationship with one another.  The special offering benefits neighborhood ministries through Community Developers, community advocacy through United Methodist Voluntary Services and work with at-risk teens through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program.

1/27                  Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Text:                      Luke 4:14-21

Message:            Here & Now

The Gospel of Luke (4:14-21) shares a detailed report of Jesus’ first (and probably last) sermon in his hometown synagogue in Nazareth.  Upon ending his reading from the prophet Isaiah, he declares, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled.”  It’s one thing to say that God will move, act, and save one day.  It’s quite another thing to say God is doing so today, here, now, as you listen.  Join us for worship as we reflect upon this moment at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in our message Here and Now.

2/3                    Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Text:                      Luke 4:21-30

Message:            A Real Cliffhanger

Other:                   Holy Communion

In the synagogue at Nazareth, after Jesus announces that the long-awaited messianic age is here, the people’s adulation turns into rage when Jesus announces the peculiar nature of the messianic age that is coming.  Join us for a closer look at the crowd’s response to Jesus’ message (Luke 4:21-30) in our message A Real Cliffhanger.  Our worship will also include the celebration of Holy Communion.

2/10                  Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

Text:                      Luke 5:1-11

Message:            Awe-some!

Before leaving their boats and nets on the shore to follow Jesus (Luke 5:1-11), we hear Simon Peter’s initial reaction to God’s calling—a sudden awareness of his own brokenness: “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”   Join us for worship as we consider our response to God’s calling on our own lives in our message Awe-some!

2/17                   Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

Text:                      Luke 6:17-26

Message:           A New Reality

Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain found in Luke 6:17-26 offers a description of a new reality, namely, God’s kingdom, that moves in among us in the teaching and work of Jesus.  Here is a God who takes sides with those whom we often exclude or put down.  Here is a God who blesses those whom we curse and curses those whom we bless.  Join us for worship as we explore these things in our message, A New Reality.

2/24                  Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany

Text:                      Luke 6:27-38

Message:            From Enmity to Empathy

Even though others advocate treating others as we want to be treated, the Gospel of Luke calls for a radical new understanding.  Jesus talks about loving our enemies and doing good to those who hate us, curse us, and even strike us on the cheek.  In other words, our response to others is not predicated on their behavior.  Join us for a closer look at Luke 6:27-38 in our message From Enmity to Empathy.

3/3                    Transfiguration Sunday

Text:                      Luke 9:28-36

Message:            Beyond Reason

Other:                   Holy Communion

Someone once described faith as “a mystery wrapped with an enigma.”  To be a Christian is to be in love with the grand mystery that is God.  Ultimately, this mystery is not a problem to be solved or a question to be answered but rather a relationship to be enjoyed and lived into.  Join us for worship as we look at the events on the Transfiguration of Christ in our message Beyond Reason.  Our text will come from Luke 9:28-36 and our service will include the celebration of Holy Communion.

3/10                   First Sunday in Lent

Text:                    Luke 4:1-13

Message:         Staring Evil in the Face

On the First Sunday in Lent, we remember the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13).  Join us as we ponder the mystery of evil and how Jesus stands with us as we face our own temptations in our message Staring Evil in the Face.

 

 

3/17        Second Sunday in Lent

Text:                  Luke 13:31-35

Message:         Ruffling Feathers

Herod Antipas, the plotting Pharisees, the power players in Jerusalem, all the first who would be first, then and now, desire to see themselves as masters of the universe, invulnerable and imperial, behind their relentless, clever maneuvering.  In our text (Luke 13:31-35), Jesus calls their death-dealing by name, yet also sees them as barnyard chicks lost in a storm, too afraid and too stubborn to find shelter under the shadow of the mother hen’s wings.   Join us as we hear Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem in our message Ruffling Feathers.

3/24                Third Sunday in Lent

Text:                Luke 13:1-9

Message:      Taking up Space

In Luke 13:1-9, we are confronted with the issue of self-righteous anger.  Against the backdrop of Pilate’s killing of the Galileans in the Temple and the disaster with the tower of Siloam, Jesus points us to the fig tree and brings us down to earth with talk of fertilizer and fruit-bearing.

 

3/31                Fourth Sunday in Lent

Text:                2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Message:      The Scandal of Grace

Other:              UMCOR Offering

                            (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once wrote, “Without forgiveness there can be no future for a relationship between individuals or within and between nations.”  Join us for a closer look at the ministry of reconciliation.

We will also receive this year’s UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Offering.  For more than 50 years, UM congregations have been taking part in a special UMCOR Sunday offering, laying the foundation for UMCOR’s ministry of relief and hope.  All the gifts UMCOR receives through this offering, along with other undesignated gifts made throughout the year, cover UMCOR’s costs of doing business.  Gifts like yours make it possible for UMCOR to use 100% of all other contributions on the projects our donors specify, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs.

 

April 7           Fifth Sunday in Lent

Text:                   John 12:1-8

Message:         The Fragrance of Faith

Other:                Holy Communion

Mary’s lavish act of anointing Jesus occurs in a moment of calm before the storm of treachery and betrayal.  Indeed, while we live our lives in the shadow of the cross, we also in the presence of the risen Christ who invites us to move from a mindset of scarcity to one of abundance.  Our message, The Fragrance of Faith, will come from John 12:1-8.  Our worship will also include the celebration of Holy Communion.