Posted by: Pauline | November 5, 2017

Upcoming events: week of November 6

Tuesday, November 7

10:15 Bible Study
1:30 p.m. Women’s Guild

Wednesday, November 8

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Thursday, November 9

7 p.m. Choir practice

Sunday, November 12

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, November 14

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, November 15

6:30 p.m. Bible Study
6:30 p.m. Youth Group
6:30 p.m. Session

Saturday, November 18

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Tuesday, November 21

7 p.m. Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at UMC

Saturday, December 2

6 p.m. Greening of the Church

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Posted by: Pauline | October 29, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday November 5

Proverbs 15:8-10

Nearly every religion directs its worshipers to make sacrifices of some kind to avert divine punishment and/or gain divine favor. Often people come to see these sacrifices as a way to bribe God, as it were, to look the other way when it comes to their sinful behavior.

But God makes it clear in this passage, as throughout the Bible, that He has no use for such sacrifices. He accepts the sacrifice of the person who pursues righteousness both in everyday life and in religious practices, but the person who turns away from God cannot receive His blessing.

Psalm 51:15-17

This psalm echoes that same idea that sacrifice by itself cannot please God, but focuses on a different aspect of what it means to seek God. Spoken by a man who knows he has already committed a grave offense against God, it recognizes that pursuing righteousness begins with acknowledging his guilt and his brokenness before God.

Luke 18:9-14

When reading Scripture, we often tend to identify with the person in the story who is “the good guy,” the one who seeks God. But which person is it in this story? The one who lives a good moral life, or the one who has probably cheated his neighbors and enjoyed the monetary benefits of collaborating with the enemies of his people?

Even when we decide to identify with the tax collector, coming to God asking for mercy because of our sins, it is easy to unconsciously adopt the attitude of the Pharisee. “Thank you, God, that I know the right way to come to you, asking for forgiveness, instead of being like that person who think he can go to heaven because he is a good person.” True humility does not come easy to us.

Posted by: Pauline | October 29, 2017

Upcoming events: week of October 30

Tuesday, October 31

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, November 1

6:30 p.m. Youth Group
6:30 p.m. Bible Study

 

Saturday, November 4

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

 

Sunday, November 5

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, November 7

10:15 Bible Study
1:30 p.m. Women’s Guild

Wednesday, November 8

6:30 p.m. Bible Study

Posted by: Pauline | October 22, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday October 29

Because this will be a special service for Reformation Sunday, recognizing the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation, we will have five Scripture passages, one for each of the Five Solas of the Reformation.

Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.

Colossians 1:11-20

Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:4b-12

Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.

Ephesians 2:1-10

Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

1 Corinthians 10:23-33

Posted by: Pauline | October 22, 2017

Upcoming events: week of October 23

Tuesday, October 24

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, October 25

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

 

Thursday, October 26

9 a.m. – Noon Journey Stitchers

 

Saturday, October 28

10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Fall Festival, including luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sunday, October 29

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, October 31

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, November 1

6:30 p.m. Youth Group
6:30 p.m. Bible Study

 

Saturday, November 4

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Posted by: Pauline | October 15, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday October 22

Psalm 105

Psalm 105 is one of a number of Scripture passages, especially in the Psalms, that relate highlights from the history of the people of Israel. This history is presented not simply as an account of what happened, as history books today do, nor is there generally any attempt to understand or explain why people acted as they did. Rather, this is an account of God’s acts in human history.

The specific incidents included vary from one passage to another, though they generally focus on God’s deliverance of His people from Egypt. In all of them, the point is not merely to know what God has done, but to praise God for what He has done, trusting that He will continue to act in the lives of His people in every time and place.

Matthew 20:1-16

When we are the ones in great need, we are grateful for generosity that does not depend on the work we have done. But this parable highlights our tendency to focus instead on fairness when we feel we have worked hard and deserve an appropriate reward. To see someone who has done far less receive just as much as us is hard to accept. This is true whether we’re thinking about wages for hours worked, recognition for other kinds of work in the home or community, or divine favor toward those who live good moral lives.

Jesus’ parable makes us uncomfortable because we know it is good to be generous but don’t like it when other people benefit more from generosity than we do. If we were the workers hired first and we were paid twelve times as much as the last hired, as would seem right to us, we might feel generous ourselves and give some charity to those obviously in need. Because, after all, then we would be in control, and we could congratulate ourselves on our unselfish behavior. But we find it much harder to be treated like those whom we feel superior to for having done so much more.

Posted by: Pauline | October 15, 2017

Upcoming events: week of October 16

Tuesday, October 17

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, October 18

1:30 p.m. Journey
6:30 p.m. Youth Group
No Bible Study

Saturday, October 21

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Sunday, October 22

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, October 24

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, October 25

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

Thursday, October 26

9 a.m. – Noon Journey Stitchers

Saturday, October 28

10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Fall Festival, including luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Posted by: Pauline | October 8, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday October 15

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Some people today see in Paul’s warnings about sin in this passage a confirmation that religion is about trying to control people by threatening them with hell. Others see justification of their own moral behavior and condemnation of those who do not keep the same high standards.

Paul does speak of the condemnation that is due for violations of God’s commandments. But his purpose is to remind his readers that they are no longer condemned for their former sinful way of life, but rather made righteous and holy through Jesus Christ, who has freed them from sin to live a new way of life in Him.

Luke 16:19-31

Interpretations of this parable vary widely, with some emphasizing the reality of heaven and hell, while others focus on the obligations of the wealthy to be generous to the less fortunate. Since Jesus told this parable in the context of a discussion of the management of money, there is clearly a warning to those who enjoy a place of economic privilege and disregard the needs of those around them. It also echoes a common theme in Scripture about the downfall of the powerful and blessings coming to those who had suffered.

A far less obvious interpretation sees Lazarus as representing Gentiles and the rich man representing Jews, who for centuries had seen themselves as enjoying the riches of God’s favor and revelation, while the Gentiles were dismissed as worthless. Christians who were being marginalized, whether Jews thrown out of synagogues because they professed faith in Christ, or Gentiles told that they could not be blessed by God unless they first became Jews, were to find encouragement in this story that, like Lazarus, they could look forward to a place of blessing in God’s Kingdom.

Posted by: Pauline | October 8, 2017

Upcoming events: week of October 9

Tuesday, October 10

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, October 11

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

Thursday, October 12

9 a.m. – Noon Journey Stitchers

 

Sunday, October 15

9:30 a.m. Youth Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, October 17

10:15 Bible Study

Wednesday, October 18

1:30 p.m. Journey
6:30 p.m. Bible Study
6:30 p.m. Youth Group

Saturday, October 21

10 a.m. – Noon Clothes Depot

Posted by: Pauline | October 5, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday October 8

Ecclesiastes 5:1-20

Some religious traditions see wealth as a sign of God’s favor, and a poor person is seen as one whose relationship with God must also be poor. Other traditions believe that poor people are more favored by God, and that anyone with wealth must have gained it at the expense of the poor.

This passage in Ecclesiastes acknowledges the pitfalls associated with wealth – never being satisfied that one has enough, and worry that it may be lost. But wealth and possessions – however much or little one may have – are seen as a gift of God, to be enjoyed with gratitude. And this gratitude, other Scriptures teach us, will lead us to share what we have with those who have less.

Colossians 3:1-11

Paul draws a clear distinction between the sinful behavior of our old lives, before Christ, and that which is appropriate to our new life in Him. Unfortunately it can be easy to read quickly through a list of sins that don’t seem to apply to us, missing the one or two that cause us to stumble. Some, like covetousness and anger, are often socially acceptable, at least in some forms. And we are generally very skilled at justifying our behavior, at least to ourselves.

Those whose focus is on God and His ways, however, don’t want to continue in their past sinful ways. Their desires and thoughts are changed to align with the desires and thoughts of the One who has given them new life, and that new life inside shows through in their changed behavior.

Luke 12:13-21

Being so successful in business that newer, bigger warehouses are required is generally seen today as a good thing, yet the successful landowner in this parable is called a fool. Jesus does not fault the man for his success, however, but rather for his covetousness. Among the options he had for using his increased wealth, honoring God as the One who was ultimately the source of his wealth, either by sacrifices to God or gifts to the needy among God’s people, apparently does not even occur to this man.

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