Posted by: Pauline | May 17, 2015

Scriptures for Sunday May 24

Psalm 104:24-35

The natural world reminds us of the greatness of God. We see the God’s power and wisdom in the incredible variety of what He has created. We also remember how utterly dependent all of life is on God to provide breath and sustenance.

Romans 8:22-27

As wonderful as God’s creation is, it is clearly not the perfect world we would like it to be. Sin has warped not only people but creation itself, and both people and creation look forward to the day when all will be made right. Until then, we have the help of the Spirit, who intercedes for us.

Acts 2:1-21

The group of Jesus’ followers gathered on the day of Pentecost were probably almost as surprised by the dramatic manifestation of the Spirit as were those who heard and marveled at it. But Peter recognized in these events the fulfillment of prophecy. No one would have known exactly what the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy would look like when it came, but once it came, the believers’ recognized what God was doing among them.

Posted by: Pauline | May 17, 2015

Upcoming events: week of May 18

This Week

Tuesday, May 19

10 a.m. Bible Study

Wednesday, May 20

1:30 p.m. JOURNEY
7 p.m. Session meeting
No Bible Study

Thursday, May 21

6:30 p.m. Choir rehearsal
7 p.m Handchime rehearsal

Sunday, May 24

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service
It’s Pentecost Sunday – Join us to celebrate the birth of the Church
Wear red to celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit
Youth luncheon after the worship service

Looking Ahead

Wednesday, May 27

4:30 – 6 p.m. Clothes Depot

Thursday, May 28

9 a.m. – Noon JOURNEY Stitchers

Posted by: Pauline | May 10, 2015

Scriptures for Sunday May 17

Psalm 47

This psalm celebrates God’s rule over the entire world. It may be hard, looking at the state of the world, to see evidence of God’s worldwide reign. But as Christians we believe that Jesus Christ is seated in power at the right hand of God, and one day we will see God’s reign perfectly realized and all peoples will indeed praise God as King.

Luke 24:44-53

While this passage appears to describe the ascension of Jesus into heaven, which we will see at the beginning of Acts as Luke continues his narrative, not all manuscripts have the phrase “carried up into heaven.” When this passage includes the ascension or not, however, it clearly presents Jesus commissioning his apostles to proclaim the Gospel to all nations.

Acts 1:1-11

Like a TV show that begins with a brief recap of events of previous episodes, Luke begins Acts with a quick review of events at the end of the Gospel of Luke. We know the story that is coming, of the amazing work the Spirit will do through the apostles. But they are at this point still expecting Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom, and when he leaves, we see them just standing, staring into the air, apparently not sure what to do next.

Posted by: Pauline | May 10, 2015

Upcoming events: week of May 11

This Week

Tuesday, May 12

10 a.m. Bible Study

Wednesday, May 13

4:30 – 6 p.m. Clothes Depot
6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, May 14

9 a.m. – Noon JOURNEY Stitchers

Sunday, May 17

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Sunday, May 24

Pentecost Sunday – Join us to celebrate the birth of the Church
Wear red to celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit
Youth luncheon after the worship service

Posted by: Pauline | May 3, 2015

Scriptures for Sunday May 10

Psalm 98

Psalm 98 is known as one of the Enthronement Psalms, celebrating God as sovereign over all creation. We are called to join in  singing praise to God, joining not only with people of all the earth but also with creation itself. And why do we praise God? Because He brings salvation, and because – unlike human rulers – God rules in perfect righteousness.

1 John 5:1-6

As in previous passages we have looked at in this letter, John links love of God with love of our fellow believers in Christ, and he links faith in Christ with both love and with obedience to God. Obedience, in turn, is linked to the commands to love and to have faith in Christ.

We may find his logic more circular than linear, but it is clear that there is no separating any of these elements from the others. Those who think they can separate them will turn out to be of the world, not of God, just as those who try to separate the Christ they claim to believe in from the man Jesus who died on the cross do not have the true faith.

John 15:9-17

As in his letter, John again links love of God and love of one another, and love with keeping God’s commandments. Here he does not speak of faith, but of abiding. Theologians have pondered the meaning of “abiding,” with somewhat different interpretations. Since “faith” as John used it was as much about trust and faithfulness as about belief in the sense we tend to use it today, faith and abiding are very closely related.

Posted by: Pauline | May 3, 2015

Upcoming events: week of May 4

This Week

Tuesday, May 5

10 a.m. Bible Study
1:30 p.m. Women’s Guild

Wednesday, May 6

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, May 7

7 p.m. Choir practice

Sunday, May 10

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Sunday, May 24

Pentecost Sunday – Join us to celebrate the birth of the Church
Wear red to celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit
Youth luncheon after the worship service

Posted by: Pauline | April 26, 2015

Scriptures for Sunday May 3

Psalm 22:25-31

This psalm is a psalm of lament and a prayer for deliverance. In this part of the psalm, however, we do not see lament or even a request. The psalmist is confident that God does hear and answer his prayer, so he praises God. Nor is he content to just praise God by himself; he expects to join with people from all nations of the earth, and even with future generations, in praising God together.

1 John 4:7-21

It’s no wonder that the writer of this letter is known as “the apostle of love.” In this passage, the word “love” is used almost thirty times in just fifteen verses. He leaves no doubt that this is an essential concept.

It’s more than a concept, though. Love is a Person. If we want to know what love is, we have only to see what God did for us, sending His Son into the world so that we might live through him. We can’t see God, but we can see love in action as we love one another.

Acts 8:26-40

Readers of this passage often wonder whether the Ethiopian eunuch was a Jew, a proselyte (a convert to Judaism), or a non-Jewish “God-fearer.” Since Jews had been dispersed far and wide throughout the known world, any of these is a possibility.

Generally the consensus seems to be that he was most likely a proselyte. He would be unable to participate fully in Jewish worship at the Temple, however, because men with mutilations such as that of a eunuch were expressly forbidden to enter the holy places.

It seems unlikely that he was a non-Jewish God-fearer, however. If that had been the case, the conversion of the Gentile Cornelius in Acts 10 would not have had the significance that it did.

Posted by: Pauline | April 26, 2015

Upcoming events: week of April 27

This Week

Tuesday, April 28

10 a.m. Bible Study

Wednesday, April 29

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Sunday, May 3

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service including Communion

Looking Ahead

Sunday, May 24

Pentecost Sunday – Join us to celebrate the birth of the Church
Wear red to celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit
Youth luncheon after the worship service

Posted by: Pauline | April 22, 2015

Scriptures for Sunday April 26

Psalm 23

This psalm brings to mind images of peace and comfort. It is not the peace and comfort of a lack of conflict or hardship, however. It is being in the presence of enemies and the fear of death, but knowing that one is safe because God is also present. It is having turned away from God and suffered the consequences and having been brought back to Him.

As familiar as the psalm is to most of us, we can still miss some of the meaning. Even aside from the shepherding metaphor, there are words that our English translation may not communicate effectively. Goodness and mercy do not merely “follow” us – they pursue us. And some scholars believe that a better translation of the final line is “I will continue to return to the house of the Lord for all my days.”

1 John 3:16-24

Many times we want reassurance that “we are of the truth.” Some religious traditions emphasize have assurance we belong to God because we have faith in Jesus Christ. Other traditions emphasize instead our good works toward other people. This passage in 1 John says we need both, to believe in Jesus Christ and to love one another (and the love needs to be not just words but self-sacrificial deeds).

Acts 4:5-12

Interpretations of this passage often focus so much on the assertion of verse 12 (that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ) that we may not notice how prophecy is fulfilled in this passage. Jesus had told his disciples that those who hated and persecuted him would hate and persecute them also. He also assured them that when they were brought up before rulers and authorities, they would be given the words to say by the Holy Spirit, and that their opponents would not be able to resist the wisdom with which they would speak. We see both of these predictions fulfilled in this passage.

We also may miss, in our English translations, that both the word “healed” in verse 9 and “saved” in verse 12 come from the same Greek word, which includes a range of meanings including restoring someone to health and rescuing someone who is in danger. Some scholars believe both should be translated “healed,” while others point out that verse 12 applies the power of Jesus to heal from the lame man’s specific need to all humanity’s wider need for spiritual healing.

Posted by: Pauline | April 19, 2015

Upcoming events: week of April 20

This Week

Tuesday, April 21

10 a.m. Bible Study

Wednesday, April 22

4:30 – 6 p.m. Clothes Depot
6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, April 23

9 a.m. – noon JOURNEY Stitchers
7 p.m. Handchime Practice

Sunday, April 26

9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service
2 – 4 p.m. Community Outreach Building Open House

Looking Ahead

Sunday, May 24

Pentecost Sunday – Join us to celebrate the birthday of the Church
Wear red to celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit
Youth luncheon after the worship service

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