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Sunday’s Sermon: December 2, 2018, Advent I

…from Worship at Good Sam on December 2, 2018/Advent 1

Lessons: Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:1-10, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36

Sermon: “Fulfillment of the Promise”

Prayer: Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection alert us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and redeem us for your life of justice, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from Luke’s Gospel.

Sunday’s Sermon: November 25, 2018, Christ the King Sunday

…from Worship at Good Sam on November 25, 2018/Christ the King Sunday

Lessons: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, Psalm 93, Revelation 1:46-8, John 18:33-37

Sermon: “Knowing vs Understanding:  a Revelation”

Prayer: Almighty and ever-living God, you anointed your beloved Son to be priest and sovereign forever. Grant that all the people of the earth, now divided by the power of sin, may be united by the glorious and gentle rule of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from John’s Gospel.

Sunday’s Sermon: November 18, 2018

…from Worship at Good Sam on November 18, 2018

Lessons: Daniel 12:1-3, Psalm 16, Hebrews 10:11-25, Mark 13:1-8

Sermon: “Like a New Day, Dawning”

Prayer: Almighty God, your sovereign purpose brings salvation to birth. Give us faith to be steadfast amid the tumults of this world, trusting that your kingdom comes and your will is done through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from Mark’s Gospel.

Consecration Sunday Sermon: November 4, 2018

…from Worship at Good Sam on November 4, 2018, Consecration Sunday

Lessons: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, Psalm 24, 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, Mark 4:30-32

Sermon: “Small is Big” Preacher: Rev. Phil Hirsch

Prayer: Almighty God, you have caused us to come to faith and have not failed to bring to light the risen life of Jesus through our lives. We rise to welcome your love, to  grow into its fullness and share its gifts to all whom our lives touch. Sustain us to these ends through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from Mark’s Gospel.

Sunday’s Sermon: November 11, 2018

…from Worship at Good Sam on November 11, 2018

Lessons: 1 Kings 17:8-16, Psalm 146, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12:38-44

Sermon: “Living in the Hand of God” 

Prayer: O God, you show forth your almighty power chiefly by reaching out to us in mercy. Grant us the fullness of your grace, strengthen our trust in your promises, and bring all the world to share in the treasures that come through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from Mark’s Gospel.

Sunday’s Sermon: October 28, 2018

…from Worship at Good Sam on October 28, 2018, Reformation Sunday

Lessons: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Romans 3:19-28, John 8:31-36

Sermon: “Faith and CHANGE”

Prayer: Almighty God, gracious Lord, we thank you that your Holy Spirit renews the church in every age. Pour out your Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep them steadfast in your word, protect and comfort them in times of trial, defend them against all enemies of the gospel, and bestow on the church your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from John’s Gospel.

I Missed a Fall Focus Sunday

Have you heard people talking about a message during Fall Focus this season and wish you could have heard it?   Now you can.   Click on any of the “Fall Focus”  links (like this one  “Fall Focus” ) and you will have a summary with video links to each of the four Fall Focus messages from this season.  Here is a summary of what we have covered”

Theme:  Finding Our Neighbors

We hope you have enjoyed the playful and creative look at what it means to connect with our neighbors.  As always, we wish you faithful journeying with God. (Micah 6:8)

Pastor Mitch

 

 

Fall Focus 2018: Finding Our Neighbors (Week 3)

“What Will You Live For – Give It Voice”

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 55:6-13 and Mark 5:1-20

Parenting will strip you down, revealing your weaknesses.  It will ask for more than you have at any given moment and ask you to give your life when you feel you have nothing left to give.  If you thought about the literal costs and the personal investment it takes to parent, you might tremble or turn and run from the endeavor.

Parenting is also a crucible in which God remakes you into a vessel capable to pouring out love and mercy while giving gifts that others will need to survive and thrive.  And it leaves room for the loves songs we will live and write with our lives.

Isaiah 55 says God’s Word goes out and doesn’t return until it accomplished its purpose just like the rain falls and does not return to heaven until it has watered the earth, filling the lakes and rivers and giving life to the earth.

Perhaps also, God is busy parenting us, pouring out love and mercy, while giving us gifts that we will need to survive and thrive.

Listen to the struggles of one young woman, looking for life… and wrestling with herself and her father to search out what it means to live and thrive in the world.

There are many ways that the love and gifts of God invite us into the world to discover and to acquire the gifts that are needed in the world…. But living this adventure is a beautiful love song…. A Golden melody to the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier whose purposes are accomplished and who’s love song continues to resound in the lives and hearts of those who love God.

Fall Focus 2018: Finding Our Nieghbors (Week 2)

Building a Conversation

Scripture Readings:  James 1:19, Philippians 2:3-4, Matthew 6:19-21

  • When people talk, listen completely, most people never listen.   –  Ernest Hemingway
  • “Just as love to God begins with listening to God’s word, so the beginning of love for the person is learning to listen to them.”      –  Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.  –  Bryant H. McGill
  • “Often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to them seriously.”      –  Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • I like to listen.  I have learned a great deal from listening carefully.  Most people never listen.   –  Ernest Hemingway
  • When we listen with curiosity we don’t listen with the intent to reply.  We listen for what’s behind the words.  –  Roy T. Bennett

Sometimes we miss seeing the blessing and benefit we receive in finding our neighbors.  In our first session on Radical Hospitality we explored how being really present and creating space for another is a gift to them and part of the way God creates a graceful space for us to be present with God.  But when we welcome another, often elements of our own faith journey will come into play and we discover that God is giving us what we need as well.  This is the liberation that often comes with our learning to be about Radical Hospitality.

The next step is learning to play with that graceful space we make between us and another.  Here we have the opportunity to learn and practice the art and activity of building a conversation.  We are often very centered on what we want to say instead of learning to listen in order to connect.  Here are 10 things to consider…

Play video.

Filling graceful space between us and another with the activity of listening to understand and to connect is a great way to create meaning and better begin to see our neighbor, beyond what we thought we knew about them.  There is always more to learn and everyone is an expert in something.  Listen in order to discover what the another is gifted in.

You also might read Chapter 16 of “The Whole Brained Child” by Daniel J. Siegel M.D.  He talks about how our brains are hardwired for this kind of connection and our brains are built for this kind of connecting and learning to understand each other.

Fall Focus 2018: Finding Our Neighbors (Week 1)

Radical Hospitality for the Rest of Us

Scripture Readings:  Hebrews 13, Romans 12, Luke 14

The Good News is that the Gospel of Jesus is alive and coming to us from others – and coming from us to others! The life of Jesus is bridging us to paths of hope and life giving acceptance that happen when God’s hospitality opens our hearts and engages our lives.

Today we welcome just a few of the people who are finding life and hope among us.  They bring with them an invitation to see what God is doing in the world and to welcome it into our hearts and into our lives as well.  This is the heart of Radical Hospitality.  It is a primary by-product of being made new in Christ.

Finding our Neighbors is about opening our hearts and our lives to God’s Hospitality, where we learn to open our lives newly and creatively to people God’s bring to us along our Journey of Faith.  This is what we mean by “Finding our Neighbors.”   It is a work of God, opening our lives and the lives of others as the life of Christ is poured out into our lives and into our community life, through God’s love and mercy.

Today, I want to share with you a vision for and seven signs of Radical Hospitality as God opens us to God’s work right here were we live.  They are called:  Radical Hospitality for the Rest of Us.

When we practice Radical Hospitality, two things happen.   First, those we welcome begin to experience the radical “Welcome” of God among us.  And second, we each on our own experience a participation in what God is doing and a liberation from our self-preoccupation.  The liberation that learning to practice Radical Hospitality wherever we go, is a liberation for us and our lives.  Liberation is what happens for all of us as God’s Radical Hospitality is accepted and shared.    This is “Finding Our Neighbors.”

It is a powerful way to live.  It is God’s way with us.  It is life giving for those who practice it and for those who receive it.

 

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