Sunday, March 18, 2007

Adult Forum &
All-Ages Sunday School begin @ 9:30
Worship begins @ 10:30
All are Welcome!

Adult Forum
Love that Welcomes

Scriptures: Joshua 5:9-12; Psalm 32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3; 11b-32
Nothing in God’s creation is ever so lost that it is beyond God’s finding. God seeks reconciliation with all, extending forgiveness and welcoming us to a place at the joyous feast. In what ways might our communities and the world be changed through our own ministries of reconciliation in Christ’s name?
Discussion Leader: Carrie Butler

Fourth Sunday in Lent
God’s Gifts in the Wilderness: The Prodigal Gift
Let us eat and celebrate; for this child of mine was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found!
Scriptures: Joshua 5:9-12; Psalm 32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3; 11b-32
Prayer for the Weekend: Merciful God, thank you for forgiving us time after time and welcoming us always as your beloved children. Expand our hearts, that we ight be agents of your reconciliation in our families and communities. Amen.
Preaching: Greg Ledbetter; Worship Leader: Mary Hogan; Scripture Reader: Sandy Mitchell; Choir: What Wondrous Love; The Ramblers: Hope for a Home; Gospel Drama: The Prodigal Son by the Logos Children!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Adult Forum 9:30 a.m.
God’s Glory: The Story of the Transfiguration
Scriptures: Exodus 34: 29-35; Psalm 99; Luke 9:28-36
As we turn toward the Season of Lent, Jesus is turning from the moment of transfiguration glory toward the time when God’s power and presence will be revealed in a new and surprising way. What does it mean in our lives to be open to the depths of God’s presence and the many mysterious ways that presence is revealed?
Discussion Leader: Jennifer Davidson

Worship 10:30 a.m.
Mardi Gras & Transfiguration Sunday
The Serious Work of Sacred Silliness & Holy Hilarity
Scriptures: Exodus 34: 29-35; Psalm 99; Luke 9:28-36
Prayer for the Weekend as You Prepare for Worship: Holy God, your glory and power energize our lives. Bathe us in the warm glow of your love and faithfulness. Transform us each day to live as part of your story. Amen.
Preaching: Greg Ledbetter; Worship Leader: Angela Yarber; Opening Processional: Logos Children; Choir: Let the People Praise; The Ramblers: Allelujah, Baby

Are you starting to consider baptism?
In the ancient churches, Lent was a time set aside for preparation for baptism. If you and/or your child are beginning to explore this possibility as a step of faith, please talk with Greg, Angela, or Jennifer. We’ll be offering some special classes on baptism during the Sunday school hour for three Sundays in Lent. You don’t have to have you mind made up! Just let us know if you’re interested in knowing more.

Words for Meditation

The Privileges of the Child
1. To be in the midst of the congregation, not on the sidelines.
2. To wander among us during worship, being the responsibility of each of us.
3. To give answers during children's time without being laughed at.
4. To be called by name by each adult.
5. To be a valued person in the congregation.
6. To be led to faith by the Christlike love, care, and model of each adult.
7. To be an active participant in worship.
from Assembly Mennonite Church
Goshen, Indiana

“I learned the value of humor during the time of Stalinist terror. I was twenty then. I could always recognize a person who was not a Stalinist, a person whom I needn’t fear, by the way he smiled. A sense of humor was a trustworthy sign of recognition. Ever since, I have been terrified by a world that is losing its sense of humor.”
--Czechoslovakian novelist Milan Kundera
in an interview with Philip Roth

“My goal is to say or do at least one
outrageous thing per week.”
–Maggie Kuhn

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
…I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
…But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
--excerpt from “Warning” by Jenny Joseph

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Adult Forum &
Sunday School begin @ 9:30

Worship Begins @ 10:30
All are welcome!

Adult Forum
Living Love
Focus Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Love provides for the possibility of life lived in the close quarters of the Body of Christ. Our love for one another and the world grows out of God's gracious love for us. Prophecy that prepares us to receive God begins in the speaking and doing of love. Such love enlivens community. Such love persists. By such love we are fully known. Paul urges the community of Christ to love expressed in action. How might this text shape or transform the way we embody love today, especially in the context of community? How does love prepare us for God, and how does God prepare us for love?

4th Sunday after the Epiphany
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Jeremiah 1:4-10; Luke 4:21-20; (Psalm 71:1-6)
Prayer for the weekend as you prepare for worship: Love is who you are, O God. Love is how you have come in Jesus Christ. Love is how you call us to be the Body of Christ. Teach us to love in word and action. May we persist in love, even as you persistently grace us and all with your Love. Amen.
Preaching: Greg Ledbetter; Worship Leader: Jodie Tooley; Adult Choir: Joy in the Morning

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Coffee Time @ 9:15
Adult Forum &
Sunday School @ 9:30

Worship @ 10:30
All are welcome!

Adult Forum

Revealing Love
Focus Scripture:
John 2:1-11
Additional Scriptures: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
We can depend on God's abundant love. Whether offering renewal to those without hope in Isaiah's time or changing water into wine at the wedding of Cana, God gives us extravagant gifts. The abundant gifts of God's Spirit work in the midst of the community of God's beloved people to reveal Christ, then and now. In what ways does Jesus' life and ministry reveal God's abundance to you? In what ways does God continue to bring abundance into the world today?
Discussion Leader: Lenita Shumaker

2nd Sunday after the Epiphany
Celebrating the Witness of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Scriptures: 1 Kings 19:9-18; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; 1 Peter 2:1-10
Additional Readings: Selections from Letter from Birmingham Jail and Beyond Vietnam
Prayer for the Weekend as You Prepare for Worship: O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let the design of your great love shine on the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to your church, peace among nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts.
Preaching: Greg Ledbetter; Head Usher:Max (Jim) Foust; The Ramblers: How Much Can One Heart Hold (Kate Campbell) and When God Made Me (Neil Young); Adult Choir: On Eagles Wings

Words for Meditation
from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Love must be our regulating ideal.
…If we fail to do this,
our protest will end up as a meaningless drama
on the stage of history,
and its memory will be shrouded
with the ugly garments of shame.
Montgomery Improvement Association, December 5, 1955,
Recounted in Stride Toward Freedom, 1957

I learned that the inseparable twin of racial injustice
was economic injustice…
Here I saw economic injustice firsthand,
and realized that the poor White
was exploited just as much as the Negro.
Stride Toward Freedom, 1957

I am absolutely convinced
that there is no basic difference
between colonialism and segregation.
They are both based on a contempt for life,
and a tragic doctrine of White supremacy.
So our struggles are not only similar;
they are in a real sense one.”
SCLC African Freedom Dinner, April 20, 1959

If today’s church does not recapture
the sacrificial spirit of the early church,
it will lose its authenticity,
forfeit the loyalty of millions,
and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club
with no meaning for the twentieth century.”
Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Sunday Morning, December 24, 2006

Daily Devotionals are being published on the Worship & Spiritual Growth Blog.

Important Note: There will be no Adult Forum or Sunday School Classes on December 24 or December 31. Classes will resume on January 7.

Morning Worship begins at 10:30 am
All are

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Surprising Joy!

Come sing carols and celebrate the good news!
Focus Scripture: Luke 1:39-55
Prayer for the Weekend as You Prepare for Worship: O God, we delight in your amazing and surprising ways. Open our hearts this Christmas season to sing with Elizabeth and Mary your song of justice and salvation to all the world.
Preaching: Greg Ledbetter; Worship Leader: Jennifer Davidson; Adult Choir: Hallelujah, Glory Hallelujah and A Child of Peace.

God's work of salvation is full of surprises. God chooses young Mary to be the mother of Jesus. God chooses the elderly Elizabeth to bear a son, John. God chooses little Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah. The prophetic voices of Mary and Elizabeth invite us to rejoice in the surprising joy and justice of God's reign and to bear this news to the world.

Though it may seem surprising and, at times, hard to believe, God also chooses to act in our lives. We are called to sing along with Mary and Elizabeth -- to rejoice in God's Messiah and prophesy to the reign of justice and hope that Christ brings. God's Spirit fills us with power, that ordinary lives might bear God to the world. In what ways can we encourage each other as we proclaim the reign of God in word and deed?

Sunday Evening
Christmas Eve Service begins at
5:00 pm
A Time of Meditation and Music

All are welcome!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Daily Advent Devotionals are being posted on the Worship & Spiritual Growth Blog.

Adult Forum 9:30 a.m.
What Should We Do?
Opening Ourselves to the Challenge of Deeper Intimacy with God
Focus Scripture: Luke 3:7-18
Additional Scripture: Isaiah 12:2-6; Zephaniah 3:14-20; Philippians 4:4-7
Preparing the way for God’s Messiah relies on openness to change. Intimate relationship with God moves us through questions into expectations, through repentance into actions of sharing. The good news does not consist of promises limited to a distant future. God is near. God rejoices over us. In love, God invites us all into renewed relationship.
Discussion Leader: Doug Davidson

Worship 10:30 a.m.
Third Sunday of Advent
Scriptures: Isaiah 12:2-6; Zephaniah 3:14-20; Luke 3:7-18
Prayer for the Weekend as You Prepare for Worship: What should we do, O God, to open our lives to you? What changes of mind do you have in mind? Break open to us the good news of your coming, that we may open wide the way for your grace and justice—and deeper relationship with you. In Jesus Christ, amen..
Preaching: Jennifer Davidson; Worship Leader: Doug Brown; Sacred Dance: The Ramblers with Angela Yarber; Adult Choir: Calypso Christmas; Logos Kids: Donne Moi Le Main

Words for Meditation

What good is it to me
if this eternal birth of the divine Son
takes place unceasingly
but does not take place
within myself?

what good is it to me
if Mary is full of grace
and if I am not also full of grace?
What good is it to me
for the Creator to give birth to his/her Son
if I do not also give birth to him
in my time
and my culture?
This, then,
is the fullness of time:
When the Son of God
is begotten

in us.

This is the fullness of time –
when the Son of God is begotten in you.

–from Meditations with Meister Eckhart

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Daily Advent Devotionals are being posted on the Worship & Spiritual Growth Blog.

Coffee Time begins @ 9:15 a.m.
Adult Forum & Sunday School begin @ 9:30 a.m.
Worship begins @ 10:30 a.m.
All are welcome!

Adult Forum
And You, Child

Focus Scripture
: Luke 1:69-79
Additional Scripture: Malachi 3:1-4; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6.
Zechariah blesses his newly born child. The blessings cascade into promises of hope for the people and a call to ministry for John. The role cast upon John recalls the prophecy of Malachi and anticipates God’s reign. The immanence and hope of God’s reign must be announced. The way of God’s Messiah must be prepared. What do you hear Zechariah’s song affirming about life, self, vocation, and God: as they relate to John; as they relate to you? In what ways do we strike a faithful balance between relying on God to bring the ‘not yet’ of God’s reign, and our bearing witness to God’s reign already among us?
Discussion Leader: Doug Davidson

Advent Choir Sunday—Come, Celebrate the Good News in Song!
Scriptures: Malachi 3:1-4 and Luke 1:68-79
Prayer for the Weekend as You Prepare for Worship: Blessed are you, O God, for the gifts of children and future—and for the time you entrust into our hands to be stewards of these gifts. May we speak well, in word and deed, the grace of our saving, and thus prepare others to carry that word forward.
Preaching: Greg Ledbetter; Worship Leader: Angela Yarber; Good News of God-With-Us: Mary Hogan

Words for Meditation

Now, it is the nature of a word
to reveal what is hidden.

The Word that is hidden

still sparkles in the darkness

and whispers in the silence.

It entices us to pursue it,
to yearn
and sigh after it.
For it wishes to reveal to me
something about God.

–from Meditations with Meister Eckhart

The key for understanding incarnation
is to think small.
How ironic,
in a culture that prides itself
on thinking
big, bold, and brash
—especially at this time of year—

we have to retrain ourselves
to look for the God

in the small and unexpected.

Craig Kocher, preacher at Duke University Chapel.