Looking Ahead-Summer 2019

June 9/Pentecost Sunday

Text:                Acts 2:1-21

Message:         God-Inebriated & Spirit-Powered

In a breathtaking reversal of the story of Babel, when proud humanity was divided by the plurality of languages (Genesis 11:1-9), Pentecost represents the in-breaking of God’s Spirit, bringing humanity together in understanding, despite their differences.

June 16/Trinity Sunday

Text:                Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

Message:         Wisdom Personified

When we say the word “wisdom,” we might imagine a stern, tight-lipped person perhaps a solemn judge in a black robe.  The picture of wisdom painted in Proverbs 8 offers something different.  Wisdom is not portrayed as dour drudgery, but rather as joyous laughter, dance, and wonder, rejoicing in God’s good creation.

We will also receive the Peace with Justice Sunday offering.  Peace with Justice Sunday is one of six church-wide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church.  Peace with Justice Sunday enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs.  The special offering benefits peace with justice ministries in the Virginia Conference and through the General Board of Church and Society.  Offering envelopes will be available for your convenience.  Please make checks payable to NMO-UMC and write Peace with Justice in the memo line or give online at www.umcgiving.org/givepwjs

June 23/Second Sunday after Pentecost

Text:                1 Kings 19:1-15a

Message:         The Sound of Silence

Huddled in his cave, convinced that he is the last remaining person of faith, Elijah’s temptation is to think that he has to go it alone, that it’s all up to him.  Elijah had forgotten that God was still with him and that God’s specializes in making the impossible possible.

June 30/Third Sunday after Pentecost

Text:                2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14

Message:         The Mentor’s Mantle

Often we prefer security and certainty to God’s empowering us for a risky calling.  In seeking such comforts, we may ignore or confuse our own desires and conventions with God’s direction.  Elisha’s experience invites us to grapple with the uncertainties and ambiguities of life and faith, and to strive to move forward towards the future into which God is calling us.

July 7/Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Text:                2 Kings 5:1-14

Message:         A Dermatological Dilemma

The story of Naaman is characterized by great irony.  The people who should be in the know, such as the king of Israel, appears clueless, while the captured Israelite servant girl sees what God is doing.  Naaman, who seeks healing, almost cheats himself of his healing because of his arrogance.  This irony invites us to reflect on two ideas: both the knowledge of God and the truth of our circumstances may come from unexpected sources, and God’s providence is complex and does not always match our assumptions. Our service of worship will also include the celebration of Holy Communion. Come and join us at the Table of Our Lord.

July 14/Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Text:                Luke 10:25-37

Message:         Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

When the lawyer at the end of the story of the Good Samaritan realizes he, and not Jesus, is the one who is being put to the test, he manages to say that the one who has proved to be a neighbor is the one who showed mercy.  Even then, however, he can’t bring himself to say the word “Samaritan.”  Who are the “Samaritans” around us and what risks might God be calling us to take to receive them as our neighbors?

July 21/Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Text:                Luke 10:38-42

Message:         Holy Hospitality

In the familiar story of the conflict between Mary and Martha, Jesus isn’t going after Busy Martha, but Worried and Distracted Martha.  He is speaking to his dear friend who has worked herself into a state of anxious distraction over the meal she wanted to have for him.  In calling Martha to refocus, Jesus reminds us that hospitality is not primarily about food; more important is the focus.

July 28/Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Text:                Psalm 85

Message:         Speaking Peace

The Hebrew word “shalom” means more than just the absence of conflict.  It implies completion, fulfillment, a just sharing of resources and genuine concern for others.  What does it mean for God to speak peace to God’s people?  What does it mean for us to speak peace into our own lives and communities?

August 4/Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Text:                Luke 12:13-21

Message:         Dollars & Sense

The way we use money often reveals the true heart of a church, an organization, or household.  Money is always about more than money.  Our spending, our saving, and our general attitude toward material wealth are all invested with emotion and memories.  A capacity to trust in God can deepen only as other matters lessen their grip on our lives. Our worship will also include the celebration of Holy Communion. Come and join us at the Table of Our Lord.

August 11/Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Text:                Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

Message:         The Undiscovered Country

Engaging the sweep of the biblical narrative from our earliest ancestors in faith to the earliest days of the church, we encounter in our text some of the mysteries of faith and the journey of a life of discipleship.

August 18/Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Text:                Hebrews 11:29-12:2

Message:         Can I Get a Witness?

The author of Hebrews seemed to know that one of our greatest discouragements is the feeling of being alone.  In our text, we are reminded that we follow in the footsteps of people who were unsure of what was ahead of them but were able to endure their hardships because they trusted in God’s presence and promises.  Ultimately, when we remain focused on Jesus, we are able to see the joy of life despite our sufferings along the journey.

August 25/Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Text: Luke 13:10-17

Message:         The Limits of Legalism

It’s easy to counsel someone else to be patient, when we’re not the one having to endure the suffering.  In the story of the woman who had borne her affliction for eighteen years, we find that the leader of the synagogue would rather enforce rules than offer release and relief.  Fortunately, Jesus rises above the boundaries of legalism to see the person in need of restoration.