January Sermon Notes
The New Year’s Sermon Series, "Personal Power and Politics," will focus on themes of relationship, leadership and unity.
Epiphany: Celebrating the revelation of Jesus as the Christ, remembering the Visit of the Magi and pondering the universality of God’s love.
Kneeling Before Our Lord
Matthew 2:1-12 – "King of the Jews"
The Magi come looking for the "king of the Jews." This simple phrase unleashes fear and violence. Why? Maybe because Herod feared loss of earthly power. Jesus, however, is more than an earthly ruler. The real question is: Will he be king of our lives?
The Baptism of Our Lord: Celebrating the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptizer and our own baptism.
Mark 1:4-11 – "Relationships That Matter"
At Jesus' baptism God acknowledges him as the Son. They have a special relationship. As we enter into a sermon series focusing on challenging issues in a tough season, we explore the relationship between the preacher and the congregation.
Human Relations Day: Lifting up the right of all God's children to realize their potential as human beings in relationship with one another.
John 1:43-51, Mark 3:13-19 – "Team of Rivals"
Jesus calls together a very disparate group to be his disciples. Even his twelve apostles represent a very wide range of opinions! Tensions among and between them soon become clear. What can we learn from Jesus' disciples and their relationship with him?
Ecumenical Sunday: Repenting of divisions in the Church, celebrating the diversity of faith expressions, and striving for shared experiences of worship, service and witness across denominational lines.
John 10:14-16, Matthew 22:34-40 – "The Great Commandment for 2021"
Christ calls us to unity within our diversity. He also gives us the Great Commandment. What core values drive Christian unity? How can we, the Church, lead our nation to greater unity?
Leadership Sunday: Dedicating church leaders for 2021 and thanking those who served in 2020.
Psalm 146, Mark 1:14-20 – "Leadership Under God"
Jesus calls those who lead in ministry for a purpose. They are to serve that purpose before all else. The Hebrews scriptures are clear that God outranks all other leaders. What does the Bible, including the Hebrew psalms and Jesus' call of his disciples, tell us about the exercise of leadership?
February Sermon Notes
The Lenten Sermon Series will focus on the theme: "The Subversive Power of Christ." Radical self-sacrifice has a power to subvert forces and structures of injustice. Lent is the season of preparation for Easter and calls us to repentance, service and self-examination.
Cub Scout Sunday: We celebrate the ministry of Cub Scouting.
Celebration of the Wesleyan Love Feast
Isaiah 40:21-31, Mark 1:29-39 – "One VERY Big Friend!"
The ruler of the universe stoops to care about and help Judah... and us!
Transfiguration Sunday: We recall.
Scout Sunday 2.0: We celebrate the ministry of Scouts of America (formerly Boy Scouts of America).
II Corinthians 4:3-6, Mark 9:2-9 – "From the Heights to the Depths"
From the heights to the depths of human experience, Jesus cares about people. So should we.
Ash Wednesday: With the mark of the ashes, we are reminded of our mortality, our need for repentance and God's grace in extending forgiveness to us and we begin the season of Lent leading to Easter.
10:00 AM – Noon: Ashes "2 GO"
Pastor Norman will be handing out ashes to those who stop by the corner of Congress and Union Avenue. Ashes will also be made available outside the church office before Ash Wednesday as well.
7:00 PM: Service of Ashes (livestreamed on Facebook Live)
Joel 2:1-2; 12-17 – "In-Significance"
In the vast scope of the universe, we and our lives are insignificant. Yet, God considers us important enough to call us to be better people!
First Sunday in Lent
Mark 1:9-15 – "Is Our God Too Small?"
Jesus tells us God is at work in the world, but do we see it? Are we willing to open our perspective to God's wider view? Are we willing to work for a world more like God desires, like God's Kingdom?
Second Sunday in Lent
Mark 8:31-38 – "Saving Lives"
We are called to save others' lives, but to do that we need to serve others. This is not easy, but it's life-saving... for us!
March Sermon Notes
Third Sunday in Lent
John 2:13-22 – "Multiplication by Subtraction"
Sometimes our religious systems, rituals and buildings can get between folk and Jesus. God, through the Holy Spirit, lives in people and is always available. Do we see God in others?
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Girl Scout Sunday: We celebrate the ministry of Girl Scouting.
UMCOR Sunday: We celebrate the ministry of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
Daylight Savings Time Begins: Turn your clocks forward one hour before going to bed.
John 3:14-21 – "Lancing the Boil"
Letting the light of God's grace shine on the sinful parts of our lives and grimmer parts of our nation's history can be painful, but it leads to true healing.
Fifth Sunday in Lent
John 12:20-33 – "Sacrificial Bravery"
We wonder, "Is this really worth it? Is my faith witness worth the effort and suffering?" Jesus understands our questions. He, too, had his Gethsemane moment, but his choice to be brave transformed human history forever!
Palm-Passion Sunday: We recall Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem five days before He is crucified.
Mark 11:1-11, Philippians 2:5-11 – "A Contrast of Kingdoms"
Jesus allows His followers to indulge in a little hero-worship. This only heightens the stunning emotional roller-coaster they will experience over the next seven days! We know the rest of the story: By his life, suffering, death, and ultimately, resurrection, Christ contrasts two kingdoms: His and the world's. And He reveals the subversive, upside-down nature of His kingdom.