The Full Meal Deal

Pastor Jon continues teaching from Jesus' Bread of Life sermon in the Gospel of John and explores the spiritual practice of fasting.  Fasting is a way that we make room within our lives to come to Jesus with our thirst and hunger.  Fasting is resting in God's presence as God's creation, and acknowledging our dependence in God as our Creator.   

Text

John 6: 35, 41-51

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Backpack Sermon #3 - Romans 8:26-31

We continue the Backpack Sermon Series with a reading from the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans. Listen as Pastors Jon and Silverio consider this passage for the first time this week and begin to explore Paul's teaching regarding the prayers of the Holy Spirit.   

Text

Romans 8:26-31

BACKPACK SERMON SERIES 

Since January, 2018, our First Kids have been leading in worship by sharing an object from home that Pastors Silverio and Jon see for the first time and spend a moment with the children learning about God’s love and grace.  During our January Sunday School Collective, someone shared with the pastors the idea of having a “backpack sermon,” where the Scripture Reading to be shared during worship remains unannounced until it is read.  With an element or two between the reading of Scripture and the sermon, Pastors Jon and Silverio will read, pray, and consider the passage.  During the sermon time, our pastors are modeling the means of grace we know as “Searching the Scriptures.”  

During the week, our pastors are keeping their normal rhythms of prayer, study, and Christian conferencing to be well prepared for worship on Sunday.  In addition to their normal rhythms, Pastors Silverio and Jon fashion an order in which they will lead during the sermon.  The main difference between a normal week of preparation and this manner of preach is that the inquiry process is shortened to the time during worship.  Pastors Silverio and Jon fashion an “order of the sermon” so they know who is beginning and who is finishing.  

Searching the Scripture as a means of grace is an essential part of the disciples life.  As a congregation, we encourage the use of this means of grace through our Bible Reading Plan.  This summer, we are reading through the Psalms.  Many keep this rhythm as well as reading throughout the Scriptures.  There are many apps available on various electronic devices that have Bible Reading Plans such as: the Bible in 90 days, the Gospels in 40 days, and the Bible in one year.  The importance of Searching the Scriptures is the continuity of the rhythm, not the amount of reading that is accomplished each day. 

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Backpack Sermon #2 - Luke 15:11-32

We continue the Backpack Sermon Series with a reading of the Gospel of Luke's telling of Jesus' parable about the Prodigal Son. Listen as Pastors Jon and Silverio consider this passage for the first time this week and are led to explore our rhythms of mourning and celebration.  When we invite others to join us in these rhythms, we will grow in our trust of God and service of others as we become more aware of how our lives of mourning and celebration are interwoven with one another. 

Text

Luke 15:11-32

Backpack Sermon Series 

Since January, 2018, our First Kids have been leading in worship by sharing an object from home that Pastors Silverio and Jon see for the first time and spend a moment with the children learning about God’s love and grace.  During our January Sunday School Collective, someone shared with the pastors the idea of having a “backpack sermon,” where the Scripture Reading to be shared during worship remains unannounced until it is read.  With an element or two between the reading of Scripture and the sermon, Pastors Jon and Silverio will read, pray, and consider the passage.  During the sermon time, our pastors are modeling the means of grace we know as “Searching the Scriptures.”  

During the week, our pastors are keeping their normal rhythms of prayer, study, and Christian conferencing to be well prepared for worship on Sunday.  In addition to their normal rhythms, Pastors Silverio and Jon fashion an order in which they will lead during the sermon.  The main difference between a normal week of preparation and this manner of preach is that the inquiry process is shortened to the time during worship.  Pastors Silverio and Jon fashion an “order of the sermon” so they know who is beginning and who is finishing.  

Searching the Scripture as a means of grace is an essential part of the disciples life.  As a congregation, we encourage the use of this means of grace through our Bible Reading Plan.  This summer, we are reading through the Psalms.  Many keep this rhythm as well as reading throughout the Scriptures.  There are many apps available on various electronic devices that have Bible Reading Plans such as: the Bible in 90 days, the Gospels in 40 days, and the Bible in one year.  The importance of Searching the Scriptures is the continuity of the rhythm, not the amount of reading that is accomplished each day. 

 

 

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Backpack Sermon #1 - Psalm 100

A few months ago, a faithful First Methodist came up with the idea of taking the backpack Children’s Sermon concept (where the kids bring the pastor a surprise toy from home and they have to use it in a Scripture lesson for them) and make a sermon series out of it. Each week, someone will bring a Scripture passage to worship and Pastors Jon and Silverio will teach from it without having known what that text is beforehand.  

Listen to the first Backpack Sermon as Pastors Jon and Silverio lead us in searching the Scriptures together and teach from Psalm 100.  

Text

Psalm 100

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As it is in Heaven

Pastor Silverio continues our exploration of what it looks like to regularly practice taking time for holy rest.  As we rest, it is beneficial to incorporate time for playfulness and pretend.  For one thing, this helps us counter our tendency to worry.  As Christians, pretend play also helps us make space and time for looking at our lives and world from the vantage point of heaven, the place in which worry, fear, and death do not exist.  

 

Text

Mark 5:21-43

"The Sabbath is the day we set aside to look at one another from the vantage point of eternity and then to operate in time, in an actual hour or minute, as if it is true." - Dan Allender

 

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Clarity, Rhythm, and Rest

Pastor Jon begins a short series of teachings anchored around the need for clarity of purpose and rhythm of practice in order to faithfully follow Christ. One rhythm that we often neglect or ignore, partly due to a lack of clarity, is regularly keeping Sabbath rest.  Sabbath is more than just taking a day off, it's about regularly relinquishing the things that are not ours to control.  

Text

Colossians 3:1-4

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Burning With Love

On Pentecost Sunday, we opened the Scriptures to the beginning of the Book of Acts to hear the birth story of God's Church.  Today, God continues place within the followers of Christ the desire to build God's kingdom and to share the good news of God's love with everyone.  We may not always realize this desire, but when God dreams and we happen to catch it, we will find ourselves filled with the power, poise, and the words to go out into the world burning with love for the sake of Christ. 

Text

Acts 1:1-21

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God of Answers, God of Silence

Pastor Silverio examines the prayer the apostles prayed before choosing a replacement for Judas. Sometimes we pray and God's answer is clear.  Sometimes we pray and God's answer isn't clear or immediate, so we do our best as we continue to move forward. Both instances require us to trust God fully. Our trust in God flourishes when we have the clarity and rhythm with which to live as Christians in this world. 

 

Text

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Habakuk 3:17-29 (The Message)

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Pardon The Interruption Please

We continue our exploration of the Book of Acts and consider the story of Peter and Cornelius, one of the first persons to become a follower of Jesus outside of the Jewish community.  Pastor Jon provides some guidance on important questions that arise from reading this passage of Scripture such as: "What does it mean that the Sprit fell down on them?" and "What does it mean that they were speaking in tongues?"

Text

Acts 10:44-48

 

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Unless

 

Pastor Jon considers a story from the book of Acts about Phillip the Apostle asking an Ethiopian man if he understood the Scripture he was reading.  The man replied to Phillip: "how could I, unless someone guides me?"  Guiding people to Jesus is an important part of God's plan for redeeming this world. How can those that live around us come to know Jesus, or hear the good news about what Christ offers unless someone is willing to tell them? 

Text

Acts 8:26-40

 

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iHope, iPray, iWork

On Palm Sunday, as we remember the mighty acts of God through Jesus Christ during Holy Week, Pastor Jon invites us to consider how we might walk alongside of Jesus and seek to become involved in God's redemptive activity in the world today. The real question for Christ followers is not whether they are optimistic or pessimistic about whether God is at work in our midst, the real question is whether we are wiling to be a part of God's work.

Text

Mark 11: 1-11 

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