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Showing posts from June, 2019

Sermon, "The Holy Club: A Matter of Faith," Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16, 32-40, 12:1-12

Sermon 6/23/19 Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16, 32-40, 12:1-2

The Holy Club: A Matter of Faith
Today we’re continuing in our sermon series on The Holy Club. The Holy Club, remember, was the name given to John and Charles Wesley and their friends who started gathering regularly - several times a week - to encourage each other in their discipleship, to be accountable to each other in their faith journeys. As part of this plan of accountability, they had a set of questions - twenty-one (ish, depending on how you count) that they would use for self-reflection, and then share their reflections with their group. And during this series, we’re trying to follow along with them. You can see in your bulletin insert the next set of questions from the twenty-one that we’re focusing on today: When did I last speak to someone else about my faith? Am I defeated in any part of my life? Am I proud? Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying? Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the …

Sermon, "The Holy Club: A Matter of Trust," Proverbs 3:1-8, Luke 16:10-12

Sermon 6/16/19 Luke 16:10-12, Proverbs 3:1-8

The Holy Club: A Matter of Trust

When John Wesley and his younger brother Charles were students in college, they struggled with how to keep growing in faith, despite the rigors of higher education. John was hoping that having his brother near him at school meant that he would have a partner to keep him on track, to keep him accountable with his discipleship, but when Charles first went to Oxford, he sort of “put his faith on hold” like many other students. By then John had become a fellow, a teacher of other students at Oxford, and then went to serve as pastor of a church. But eventually, he received a letter from Charles. Charles wrote, “I … awoke out of my lethargy.” Charles “wrote of his renewed desire to focus on his spiritual growth. He also asked for tips on keeping a spiritual journal, a practice John found helpful.” (1) John took the opportunity when offered to go back to his teaching post as a fellow at Oxford, and he and Charles and …

Sermon for Pentecost Sunday, Acts 2:1-21

Sermon 6/9/19 Acts 2:1-21
Pentecost
The Holy Spirit is weird. Let’s just acknowledge that right from the get-go. Christians are Trinitarian. That is, we worship one God, but we believe that God is a Trinity - three “persons,” one God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer; God, Christ, Spirit. And that’s great. But many of us, maybe even most of us are a lot more comfortable talking about who God is, the one we think of as Creator and Parent, and talking about Jesus, his teachings, and following as his disciples, than we are figuring out what this Holy Spirit thing is. In the weeks between the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter morning, and when Jesus finally returns to God’s home, as we celebrated last week on Ascension Sunday, Jesus keeps talking about this Holy Spirit thing that’s supposed to come and help the disciples feel equipped and prepared to do the work of Jesus in the world. And I’m not sure exactly what the disciples were expecting to have happen, but i…

Sermon for Ascension Sunday, Acts 1:1-11

Sermon 6/2/19 Acts 1:1-11
Ascension
I shared with you a couple of weeks ago my joy that I’d gotten to attend my niece’s first dance recital. She’s been taking tap and ballet, and she loves it. She’s in the three and four year old class, and of course, the skill level is - well, the skills at that point are mostly about being willing to stand up in front of a room of people who are all staring at you and smiling big goofy grins and taking your picture, and of course, the managing to be excessively cute while doing this, and all the children in Siggy’s class managed to accomplish this. No one ran off stage that I could see - everyone got up front and did their thing. At one point, though, all though the children were standing up front and smiling and being cute enough, they didn’t seem to be doing much dancing. Ok - there was not much dancing happening at the best of moments, but they were mostly just standing there at one point, and I wasn’t sure why. I wasn’t sure, that is, until after …