“Broken: How Sin Affects Our View of Others” (March 24, 2019)

from Ephesians 2:11-22

By nature we have a tendency to form teams. We gravitate to or surround ourselves with people who share things like our ideals, our values, and our view of morality. While this is not inherently wrong, what happens when our forming teams becomes choosing sides and choosing sides sets us at odds with those who aren’t like us or don’t agree with us…those who are outside of our circle? When this happens in the church, how does the way we treat those who are “outside” have any hope of looking like the Gospel?

What if God is calling you into relationship with those not like you so that God can work in you…and God can work in those relationships?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our Relationships” (March 17, 2019)

from Matthew 5:21-26

We are meant to be a reflection of God for the world around us. One of the things that is true about God is the relationship in which God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, why are relationships one of the most difficult places for us to reflect Who God is? What if we began to allow God to bring healing to the brokenness that exists in our relationships with those around us?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Self” (March 10, 2019)

from Isaiah 30:8-18

As we begin this season of Lent and our new series, “Broken,” you are invited to come to terms with, to name the brokenness in your life. Sin is the great equalizer…not of are exempt from its effects, and yet in Christ we find that not only does God know something about our brokenness, but is willing to enter in to it.

Over the next several weeks we are going to consider how our sin creates brokenness in different areas of our lives…beginning with how it affects your relationship with God. While you are being invited to come to terms with your brokenness, know that God longs to bring healing…that God longs to and promises to take that which is broken and redeem it, turning it into something beautiful.

w/ Vern Collins

“Sent” (March 3, 2019)

from John 20:19-22

From hearing from some of our missionaries, to a powerful message on Jesus’ commission of His disciples from John’s Gospel, to an important invitation following our denomination’s called General Conference vote, this is a powerful Sunday.

Even in the midst of our every day, busy, running from here to there lives…even in the midst of our doubt and our hurt and our own woundedness, we are invited to remember that Jesus not only walks into that with us, but calls us to follow Him in becoming partners in His work of healing brokenness and redeeming this world.

w/ Laura Byrch, Mason Heistand, Caitlin McVay, and Vern Collins

“Belonging: Offering Accepted” (February 17, 2019)

from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

It is difficult to feel a sense of belonging when you don’t feel like you have anything to contribute to thing to which you have given yourself to belong. Even for those who would just as soon fly under the radar and are content with doing next to nothing, eventually the chasm of disconnect created is too much to navigate, and you are left feeling like there is no place for you.

In God’s Kingdom, in the Body of Christ…in the church, no gift offered is too small. In fact, Paul suggests that those who feel the least significant are perhaps the greatest gift to the church, and to what the church is called to be in this world.

What if your belonging included your willingness to use the gifts God has given you…no matter how small they may seem…to use the gifts God has given you in and through the church to transform the world?

w/ Vern Collins

“Belonging: Making Time” (February 10, 2019)

from Acts 2:42-47

Somehow we have allowed ourselves to become convinced that busyness equals fruitfulness. The reality, however, is not that we are left admiring all that we’ve accomplished…rather, we are often left just trying to hang on. Though the invitation to a healthy rhythm and the command to rest, the truth is, many of us are simply committed to things we can’t readily drop or opt out of.

So rather than put off taking our next step in belonging…rather than waiting until we get through “this busy season” (which never seems to come)…what if we reimagined what it could look like to be connected….to BELONG to the Body of Christ? What if we allowed God to redefine how our time is spent?

w/ Vern Collins

“Belonging: in Transition” (February 3, 2019)

from Romans 12:3-8

When you say yes to the gift of life made possible by Jesus on the cross, when you walk in salvation, when you are adopted into the family of God…you are NOT meant to be an only child! And yet far too many of us attempt to walk this journey of faith and life in isolation from those we are meant to walk alongside.

In this first week of our “Belonging” series, we consider why belonging in the midst of life’s transitions is not only good…it is vital to our remaining rooted in who we are in Christ and remaining connected in relationship to God and what God is doing in this world.

w/ Vern Collins

“New Year Resolution: God’s Perfection” (January 27, 2019)

from Philippians 2:12-13, 3:10-14

In the final week of our “New Year Resolution” series, we wrestle with the question, “now what?” Perhaps you’ve embraced the hopeful truth that God’s grace exists for you before you are even aware of it…perhaps you’ve said “yes” to your need for the sacrifice that Jesus so willingly gave on the cross that you might live a new life…but what does it mean to live into that new life? How are you transformed? How do you become the “new creation” that Paul talks about?

While God’s grace is always at work, the exciting thing about the life ahead of you is that YOU are called to be a part of it…to be a part of what God is doing in making you new!

w/ Vern Collins

“New Year Resolution: Saying ‘Yes'” (January 20, 2019)

from Romans 5:1-11, Romans 3:20-26, John 4:1-18

The idea that God’s grace exists for us before we have done anything to earn it, that “Jesus Knows,” and that Jesus seeks us out is comforting. That kind of grace, that prevenient grace begins to get us on the track toward believing something about God’s love for us…but what happens when we are brought face to face with the extend God is willing to go in order bring that grace to work in our lives?

What do we do when the cross forces us to come face to face with our brokenness that necessitated such a sacrifice?

What if we simply started where we are? What if we simply said, “yes?”

w/ Vern Collins

“New Year Resolution: Broken Already (Jesus Knows)” (January 13, 2019)

from Ephesians 1:5-10 and John 4:1-18

Many of us see the turn of the calendar year as an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to make some changes, to improve some things about who we are. We enter a new year with a sense of hope and possibility.

What happens when we fall short of those things we want to see change?

What happens when this seems to be the pattern not only in our resolutions and goals, but more importantly in our walk with Jesus? How do you navigate the feeling of falling short once again? Is there guilt? Shame? Weariness? How does it affect your relationship with God? With others?

How might things begin to look different if you approached those disappointments with the understanding that…Jesus knows…and loves you anyway?

w/ Vern Collins

“Believe” (January 6, 2019)

from Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Much of our energy and effort at the start of a new year is given to some measure of improvement of who we are. Whether it is committing to exercise more, be more intentional in relationship, eat healthier, or work harder…the new year represents for many a new start.

What if instead of simply trying to improve something about who you already are, you allowed a new or renewed understanding of who you are as one loved by God to transform the way you live the life that is ahead of you?

Imagine what could be different if you lived into the truth that you are the beloved of God. In the waters of baptism we have opportunity to claim that truth over our lives.

w/ Vern Collins

“Losing Jesus” (December 30, 2018)

from Luke 2:41-52

While we might give Mary and Jospeh a hard time for losing track of young Jesus…we must deal with the question, “when have you taken your eyes off of Jesus…when have you lost sight of Jesus in your life?”

w/ Vern Collins

“Manger and Mystery: Recalling the Story, Restoring the Call” (Christmas Eve Service 6:00pm)

from Luke 2:8-20

The story of Christmas is often a familiar one. Come to think of it, the story of your life can begin to feel familiar as well. The hope of Christmas is that the birth of Jesus speaks something NEW into the familiar!

w/ Vern Collins

“Manger and Mystery: Remembering the Song” (December 16, 2018)

From Luke 1:39-42, 46-56

We all have those songs that define a moment or a season.  Those songs that transport us back in memory, or that focus and excite us toward some goal or event in the future.  

But what about a song that names a promise?  What about a song that claims hope in the face of trial?  What about a song that offers a future for the forgotten?  What about a song named and still can spark a revolution?  

In week 3 of Advent, listen to Mary’s Song as Luke records it in his Gospel account…yes it is the song of an expectant mother, but it is also the song of a faithful follower…one who longs to see God’s Kingdom become a reality on this earth.  Imagine what could change, if you took up this song!

w/ Vern Collins

“Manger and Mystery: Recovering the Stable” (December 2, 2018) w/ Vern Collins

First Sunday in Advent

from Isaiah 9:1-7

As we begin the season of Advent, the march toward Christmas we must acknowledge that there is much that is familiar about this time of year.  There are traditions we uphold, customs, gatherings that happen every year, people we expect to see, even food we expect to eat…it is part of what makes this time of year so special…being able to enjoy things that we don’t always get to.

What if in the familiar, we have lost sight of that which is foundational to our reason for celebrating?  Has the birth of Christ simply become for us another familiar tradition rather then the foundation of our hope and the expectation of our future?

w/ Vern Collins

“What Kind of King?” (November 25, 2018)

from John 18:33-37

Who or what are the little kings you have set up on the thrones of your life to serve and protect the kingdoms of your desires, your pursuits, your opinions, your comfort or your convenience?  How are those little kings serving you?  Have they proven weak yet?

What happens when your little kings and kingdoms begin to collide with the kings and kingdoms of those around you?  We tend to live in this perpetual state of conflict with the world around us and feelings of being unfulfilled with our own life.  Surely this can’t be all that Jesus had in mind.

What if instead of fighting against the reign of Christ in your life, you lived a life submitted to Jesus as King.  What if by losing yourself you found what life is meant to be?

w/ Vern Collins

“A Stewardship Journey: Choosing to Follow” (November 18, 2018)

from Matthew 4:18-22

What kind of follower are you?  In an age of social media, we “follow” any number of people and organizations.  Are you simply an observer, are you one who engages hoping to prove your self right, or are you one who follows until you don’t like what you hear or see at which point you are quick to “unfollow.”

Have you ever considered how who and what and the manner in which you are following in culture is impacting how you understand what it means to follow Jesus?

We can know everything we need to about stewardship and what that means for discipleship, but until we are willing to follow, until we are willing to take our first step or our next step we cannot experience the fullness of what God has for us and wants to do through us.

w/ Vern Collins

“A Stewardship Journey: Most Important” (November 4, 2018)

from Mark 12:28-34

What does stewardship mean to you?  Often times we cringe at those words in church…here comes the ask, right?  More money.  More time.  More serving.

What if stewardship weren’t about what you GIVE, but about Who you understand God to be, and how you lived your life in response to that?

As we start this series inviting you to consider a new way of thinking about stewardship, what if you thought about the journey of stewardship as a journey?  When starting a journey, what is most important to have…in order to sustain a journey…what is most important to have?

w/ Vern Collins

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