Messages for Today

Click on the Title to View/Listen to our most Recent Recordings from Sunday Worship:

 Jesus Man of Mystery.webNOW YOU SEE IT NOW YOU DON’T based on John 1: 43-51. “we catch another quick glimpse of who this Mystery Man Jesus truly is as he calls Phillip and Nathaniel to be  disciples. Nathaniel’s uninformed and  xenophobic understanding of the world is changed in an instant as he encounters Jesus. “

Jesus Man of Mystery.webCHILDREN OF THE WATER based on Mark 1: 4-11. “The storyteller hopes to convince you and me that as those who have risen from the waters of baptism in whichever form  are now and forevermore children of the water, empowered to reveal God’s love and grace in our lives for others.”

 wonderfullifeWONDERFUL LIFE: BEGIN IT based on Revelation 21: 1-6. “We welcome in the New Year with the promise of God’s gift of of Wonderful Life made known to us in Jesus to embolden us as we look forward to the days, weeks and months of 2018.”

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CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP 

 

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 WONDERFUL LIFE: GIVING IT based on John 1: 1-14. “We give the wonderful life when we share the good news of God’s unconditional love for each and everyone of us. When we see others – all others as accepted and adopted by God as God’s own children – we cannot throw anyone away, condemn people to their circumstances, refuse to listen to their cries of injustice, nor stand idle when the status quo eliminates any support, aid and compassion in the name of growth and prosperity.”

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WONDERFUL LIFE: REJOICING IN IT based on Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11. “God’s desire for you and even me is to rejoice in the wonderful life being made known to us through Jesus – the same wonderful life proclaimed by the prophets of old – and not only to rejoice, but to live it everyday.”

 wonderfullifeWONDERFUL LIFE: PREPARING FOR IT based on Mark 1: 1-8 . “As we journey through Advent we are preparing for the wonderful life of God to be revealed in our midst. Advent is about preparing for a new beginning in Jesus and you are invited to begin today.”

 wonderfullifeWONDERFUL LIFE: WATCHING FOR IT based on Mark 13: 24-37  . “Watching for the Wonderful Life of God right here in our midst is what Advent is all about. Preparing our hearts and our minds for the coming of our Savior, anticipating the coming of God’s Realm, and participating in the future that God is creating for us right here in our midst.”

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ENOUGH: Defined by Generosity based on Matthew 25: 31-46 & 1 Timothy 6: 17-19 with Pulpit Guest Kelly Youngblood. “The Realm of God proclaimed by Jesus is opposite in many ways to the world we know. God’s realm is defined by generosity and as disciples of Jesus we are called to be as well.”

 bread close up artENOUGH: Cultivating Contentment based on Matthew 25:14-30 & Philippians 4: 4-7, 10-14. “Contentment comes when we have our priorities straight – when we remember to keep the main thing the main thing. Jesus said, Love God with all your heart your mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.” Hear four keys to contentment and a new perspective on an old story.

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ENOUGH: Finding Peace & Paying Bills based on Matthew 25:1-13. “We have a life purpose that is greater than our own self-interests, and how we spend our God-given resources reflects our understanding and commitment to this life purpose or mission. Six principles for financial peace are presented. Finding peace means letting go of being first – and like the wise bridesmaids – putting our greater purpose before all else.”

 bread close up artENOUGH: The Moment Everything Changed based on Matthew 16:21-26. “From that moment on the disciples will come to know Jesus as a servant of love, compassion, generosity and mercy – the ingredients of life that is abundant and the power of giving of oneself for others that will ultimately prevail – even over the violence, retribution, hate and force that rule the empires of this world.”

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Are Ghosts Real? based on I Thessalonians 4: 13-18. “As Christians we hold faith in life that is abundant and eternal with God after death. We believe that this body is our earthly vessel – to be cared for respected and honored – and yet a vessel for our soul. While there is no scientific proof of ghosts or paranormal activity, they represent a mystery that we carry into the hopeful promises of our faith.”

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BLESSED to Be a Blessing based on Genesis 12: 1-4. “Friends we are blessed to be a blessing in someone else’s life. To pay it forward – to lend a helping hand – to forgive even when forgiving is hard – to seek to understand one another and not to prejudge one another. We are called to be a blessing for all the families of the earth”

Blessed!BannerBLESSED to be Reformers based on I Thessalonians 2:1-8 with guest Kelly Youngblood. “It is good and right that we recognize and celebrate the 500th anniversary of an important moment in the life of the Body of Christ in the world – and equally important that we claim our place in the ongoing reformation of the body of Christ as witnesses to the good news of God’s undying love, unending grace and desire for abundant life for all of God’s children and indeed creation.”

Blessed!BannerBLESSED to be Creation Caretakers based on Genesis 1: 26- 2: 15. ” We are blessed as children of God – fully adopted, accepted and affirmed – to be the creation caretakers God hopes will tend the compassionate beloved community God intended for all of creation in the beginning.

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BLESSED to be Blessed! based on Ephesians 1: 3-14 “We are blessed to be blessed – we have found favor as children of God in Christ Jesus to be remade holy in the image of God.”

central-cc-logo.png A Story of Anti-Racism based on Matthew 13: 10-17 “Seeing with our God-blessed eyes sees through all the barriers we have created for ourselves – to see human beings, no better than us, no less than us, in every living color and hue – children of God, forgiven, loved and free.”

 

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What Does it Mean to be Pr-Reconciling based on Matthew 18: 21-35 & Romans 14:1-12 “Reconciliation happens when we change our relationship with God or with one another. And that involves re-telling and listening to as well as honoring each other’s story. As long as we fail to trust God’s retelling of our story – hearing the truth of God’s reconciling love poured out for the entire world – in Jesus Christ – we will not be able to hear God’s retelling of other’s stories – we will not be a pro-reconciling people.”

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How do Christianity and Capitalism Relate to One Another? based on Acts 4:32-35  “The economy of God is not driven by supply and demand or what the market will bear– the economy of God does not know scarcity – only abundance. Whether we are contributing to the needs of the saints, the mission and ministry of the church, helping with recovery funds for Hurricane Harvey survivors or handing a regular visitor to our Wednesday night events whatever change you have on you so he can get some Popeyes chicken – doing the most good is the priority of the life of faith.”

You-asked-for-it (1)Is the Bible Pro-Slavery based on Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 20-21 “Context and background should always make us pause when we consider the meaning or interpretation of symbols and especially word symbols like the stories and teachings of the Bible. Slavery continues to plague humanity today and as we consider the larger themes of the witness of the Bible – of how God seeks to redeem humanity from ourselves – we are moved to turn the normalized exploitation of people upside down – just as our Lord did.”

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 Is Noah’s Ark Real? based on Genesis 6:11-22. “For ancient Israel stories of people who listen to and follow God’s commands are vital to their identity as those who pledged loyalty to God above everyone and everything else and thus their covenants with God. “

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What Is God’s Role in Tragedy? based on Romans 8: 26-28. “First, we don’t have to shift blame or cause to God. Second, we don’t have to assign a God-reason or purpose to tragedy, especially when it happens to others. Third, we can assume that God is and will be present in the midst of tragedy”

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Is Christian Unity Possible? based on Ephesians 4 & Corinthians 1. “The challenge of Christian unity is as important today as it was when Paul wrote his fledgling communities of faith – the church in all times and places – and as then unity is God’s doing. In a world torn apart by ideologies, politics, economics and yes even religion; we will only find true unity when we know each other all others fully as children of God.”

IMG_9829Sowing Good News based on Matthew 13: 1-9; 18-23 “Jesus is the sower of the good news of God’s unbounded grace, unconditional love and the promise of life fulfilled beyond our imagining. We are the soil, either good soil ready to receive the good news and root it firmly and fully into our lives or the other types of soil unready or unwilling to let go of the ways of sin and death in our world.”

 

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Weary & Burdened  based on Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 with Kelly J Youngblood Pulpit Guest. “This yoke that is easy and burden that is light is a way of life that brings about the kingdom of God”

 

obedience-flag-tlmFreedom: Based on Romans 6: 12-23 “true freedom comes when we confess our allegiance of faith in Jesus -in the absolute and unconditional love of God given freely, demonstrated fully in Jesus’ life teachings death and resurrection”

 

 

Great Commission

We Are Commissioned to Be Good News based on Matthew 9: 35-10:8  “The Good news is proclaimed and the kingdom of heaven comes near whenever we seek good for others, no matter what – when we seek to serve something greater than ourselves, no matter what – when we submit our lives to be fully devoted followers of Jesus, no matter what.”

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We Are Called to Make Disciples
based on Matthew 28: 16-20 “If we stop and think about it – we were not born followers of Jesus – disciples – students of the Good News.  Other disciples had a role in our becoming a disciple of Jesus – a Christian.”

 

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We Are One in the Spirit
based on 1 Corinthians 12: 3b-13 : “When we cultivate our relationship with God, by opening ourselves to living a God-directed life wherein which our prayers consistently invite God to use us for the building up of the body of Christ, we allow the Spirit of God to activate the gifts God gives to everyone.”

 

 Shame
Living in the Shadows: Shame 
based on 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11:   “If anyone knew shame it had to be Peter. Shame is a powerful emotion. It is the feeling of failure – failure to live up to some expectation that we have for ourselves. Shame is powerful, but we have witnessed something even more powerful in the love, grace, mercy, kindness, and forgiveness we find in Jesus. For in Jesus, we have nothing to be ashamed of.

FearLiving in the Shadows: Fear based on 1 Peter 3:3-17  “While the sky may be churning with despair above us and the earth may be tremoring below us, while we may be standing at the edge of an ever widening abyss of fears and obsessions, doubts and anxieties, weakness and apathy- the power of God to transform the world is within us “

LonelinessLiving in the Shadows: Loneliness based on 1 Peter 2:2-10  “Loneliness is a human emotion that is always going to be with us in the shadows of life. We have the option to choose to belong to a people – a people chosen by God to be light in the darkness – to bring hope in places of despair – to carry hope where hopelessness seems to win the day – to love the unlovable – to participate in the building of a masterpiece of God’s beloved community right here and right now.”

GriefLiving in the Shadows: Grief based on Psalm 23 “Grief is real for everyone and everyone of us will express our grief in our own ways. Our journey through the valley of shadows will be at our own pace. And God promises to walk through the valley with us. God does not promise life without grief, without loss, without pain or suffering. God is not the author of our suffering instead God promises God’s goodness and mercy will go with us – all the way. “

Living in the Shadows: Disappointment based on LukeLISDisappointment 24. “We are ALL like two disciples – We are all somewhere on the same road filled with disappointments. The gospel story is our story living in the shadows of the cross. Whenever we Gather in our Shared Humanity as the body of Jesus Christ: We Proclaim the Gospel –God’s Love is bigger than our biggest disappointments and God’s Accepts us in our Brokenness and Offers us a Way filled with Hope and Abundant Life.”

Faith Easter 2017& Doubts based on Mark 20:19-30. “Doubt then is not the opposite of faith – asking big questions is one of the ways we grow in our faith. Science and faith need not be enemies.” Faith is trust, not certainty. Thomas gets a bad rap as a “doubter” when in reality he is a true disciple of Christ. And like Thomas we are called to be the presence of Christ in the world today.

Love WinEaster 2017s! based on Mark 16:1-8 Our Message for Today from Easter Sunday, April 16th.
Like relay runners we are handed the story of love’s victory revealed in the Resurrection of Jesus. It is our turn to proclaim the Good News of Easter!

Empirlastdaysbulletine Strikes Back: Friday of Holy Week based on Mark 15:1-41 Our Message for Today from April 9th concludes our Lenten Series The Last Days of Jesus with the story of Jesus’ trial by Pilate, Crucifixion and burial as Rome asserted the Power of Violence against the Nonviolent Savior.  Worship with us Sundays at 10:30 AM. All are Welcome!

Handed Over: Thursday of Holy Week based on Mark 14:12-71 featuring pulpit guest Kelly Youngblood.  Our Message for Today from April 2nd continues our Lenten Series The Last Days of Jesus with the story of Jesus celebrating the Passover Feast with his disciples, his betrayal, his arrest and his denial by Peter. Worship with us Sundays at 10:30 AM. All are Welcome!

Believers and Betrayers: Our Message for Today  March 26th in Dialogue with Kelly Youngblood and Rev. Bushey focusing on Wednesday of the Last Week of Jesus’ earthly journey from Mark 14. Hear the story of the first believer whose anointment of Jesus challenges the status quo and invites you to be a fully devoted disciples of Christ. You are Welcome Here!

Occupy Jerusalem Tuesday of Holy Week based on Mark 11: 20-13:37 Our Message for Today from March 19th continues our Lenten Series The Last Days of Jesus with the story of Jesus being challenged by the authorities in the temple. Stories of the Tenants in the Vineyard, Taxes to Caesar, the Widow’s Mite and the teaching of the Greatest Commandments all point to true loyalty to God above all else, even the powers that be.

Insurgents in the Temple Monday of Holy Week based on Mark 11:12-19 Our Message for Today from March 12th continues our Lenten Series The Last Days of Jesus with the story of Jesus reclaiming the temple for God’s dream for the world.

 Compassion In Action III based on I John 3: 11-19 & Matthew 25:31-46  Our Message for Today focused on the theme of the 2017 Week of Compassion Offering, “God is most tangibly present in this world where people hunger, thirst, lack adequate clothing and shelter, and are sick or imprisoned. Christ claims as family members people who suffer and says Christ is so present in them that when you feed the hungry, care for the sick, welcome the stranger – you feed, and care for, and welcome Christ.”

Compassion In Action II  February 19, 2017 based on Leviticus 19: 9-14, 33-34 Our Message for Today comes from the holiness code of ancient Israel,  When immigrants live in your land with you, you must not cheat them.  Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens..“Faith in God’s love revealed and demonstrated in Jesus is the ability to diminish all fear, of others, of ourselves even death itself.”

Compassion In Action I -February 12, 2017 based on Deuteronomy 30:15-20
and Isaiah 58  Our Message for Today focuses on the challenge presented by Moses to ancient Israel, I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live. “In truth God never abandons us – it is we who choose to abandon God and chase after our own wants and desires. We want a magician God who sweeps a magic wand over our challenges and difficulties and grants us our desires without our devotion to God’s way of abundant life rooted in compassion, mercy, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, humility, and reconciliation.”

Called to Live for Others – February 5, 2017 based on Isaiah 53called-to-live-for-others and John 15: 12-17  Our Message for Today focuses on the Servant Song of Isaiah 53. “The sacrificial love God calls us to embody as God’s servants is as much about living as it may ever be about dying for one another. God calls us as servants to live for others. In the life and ministry of Jesus, God demonstrated what that means– revealed God’s very own nature, as empowering, trustworthy and reconciling.

called-to-be-resilientCalled to Be Resilient – January 29, 2017 based on Isaiah 50:4-9 and I Corinthians 1: 18-25  Our Message for Today focuses on the Servant Song of Isaiah 50. “The Servant of the Lord – has a word of hope that sustains the weary.  The Servant does not return evil for evil nor hide from insults,but sets her face like flint standing strong in the face of adversity…We are called to be resilient even when the world seems to be coming apart at its seams – when fear and hatred appear to have won the day – when we want to just give up.”

called-to-be-reconcilers2Called to Be Reconcilers – January 22, 2017  based on Isaiah 42:1-9 and I Corinthians 1: 10-18  Our Message for Today focuses on the Servant Song of Isaiah 42. “While as Christians it is clear that Jesus easily fits the description of this servant song, so do we when we accept the call to be reconcilers – to restore right and just relationships between all of God’s people – across the globe.” With reflections on the historic events of the past week, we hear the call of God to be reconcilers for God’s reign of peace and justice from coast land to coast land.

called-to-serveCalled to Serve – January 15, 2017  based on Isaiah 49:1-7 and I Corinthians 1: 1-9  We begin a four week series focusing on the Servant Songs of Isaiah with a reflection on how  one of the inspirations for  Hidden Figures, Katherine Johnson answered her calling to help America at a time when women of color were widely discriminated against. Despite the social barriers she faced, Johnson would one day receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
We are all gifted and called by God to serve.

01-january-8-titleEpiphany: Good News for All People – January 8, 2017 based on Matthew 2:1-12. The story of the Wise Men’s visit to the Christ child, honoring him with gifts and then defying King Herod by returning by another road. Stories help us remember the past and teach us lessons for the future.   This story helps us see our role in God’s continuing story of salvation today.

 From our Advent Series: What Shall We Call Him? Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Dec. 2016

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What Shall We Call Him? Mighty God – December 4, 2016 – Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 1: 46-55   Isaiah proclaimed the hope of a Messiah to save his people Israel. For unto us a child is born, a son given and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Mary the mother of our Lord perhaps remembers Isaiah’s hope in the Magnificat where she sings, the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” We serve a Mighty God revealed to us in Jesus.

 From our Recent Intersections Series: Where Faith and Real Life Intersect April-May 2016

Intersections: Can Christians & Muslims Coexist? – April 24, 2016 – Acts 17: 16-34

Intersections: Does My Sexual Identity Matter to God? – May 1, 2016 – Acts 10: 9-15, 27-28, 34-36

From our In the Beginning Series: Our Role in God’s Good Creation May-June 2016

In the Beginning Series Day Three: Seekers of Peace – June 5, 2016

In the Beginning Series Day Two: Faithful Followers – May 29, 2016

In the Beginning Series Day One: Bearers of Light – May 22, 2016

Older Messages and Videos

Starry Night – February 15, 2015 – Mark 1: 29-39

Snow Day Worship Online Service – February 1, 2015 – Psalm 111

Easter Hope – March 31, 2013

What Matters Most – February 24, 2013

Unhealthy Religion – February 17, 2013

Click on the links to download an mp3 format of the sermon. Sermons are edited from the original format for file size, personal references most appropriate for the original context and for action sequences that just don’t make sense without the visual component. We hope you enjoy and are encouraged for your life of faith by these messages. God bless you!

April 29, 2012
Accepted Adopted Affirmed based on I John 3:1-7

November 6, 2011 All Saints Sunday
Incline Your Heart to the Lord based on Joshua 24 1-14, 14-18 

October 23, 2011 Global Missions Sunday
What the World Needs Now based on Matthew 22:34-40

October 9, 2011
Think Again based on Philippians 4: 1-9

October 2, 2011 World Communion Sunday
Trash & Trophies based on Philippians 3: 4b-14

August 21, 2011 
Growing in Faith based on Romans 12

August 14, 2011
No Child Left Behind based on Matthew 15-21-28