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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Do It Again, Pop Pop! Do It Again!

 

Pastor Jon continues our series of Lenten teachings from the Scriptures and reminds us that God is still at work today in our city.  For 178 years now, the people called Methodists in Beaumont have understood their greatest mission to be making disciples of Jesus Christ that love the city with the heart of Christ.   Today we get to choose if that mission continues or if it stops right now with us.  We remember that we stand before a God that has carried this mission in the past in a mighty way.  Therefore, our greatest work involves praying this simple yet powerful prayer: “Do it again, God! Do it again!”

Text

John 12:20-33

 

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Look Up

Pastor Silverio explores the practice of providing one another with the kind of Christian accountability that is good for our souls.  We usually think of accountability on the basis of what we've experienced in the many settings we have been in throughout our lives.  In God's family, however, accountability is not a stern lecture but an invitation to come stand on holy ground again.  Here we can find a loving and powerful reminder of God's presence, God's holiness, and our sacred worth in God.

 

Text

John 3:14-21

 

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A Temple Tantrum

Pastor Jon teaches from the Scriptures on the story of Jesus flipping tables and clearing out the temple. As we seek to declutter our lives during Lent, we learn from Jesus that clearing out sometimes involves sacrifice.  We see this in the early Methodists who set out to be a people who prayed together and served the world in the name of Jesus Christ.  They set out to recover the sacredness of God's temple among faithful followers of Jesus. 

Text

John 2:13-22

"I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.  And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out." John Wesley, Thoughts Upon Methodism, London, August 4, 1786

 

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Entertaining Angels

 

Pastor Jon talks about the Church's greatest battle for doing ministry today and how we can overcome it together in the name of Christ.  Just like Christ overcame His greatest battle on the cross, we too can overcome the challenges presented by our differences and diversity so that others can encounter the love of God.   

 

Text

Mark 8: 31-38 

 

From Bishop Scott Jones: A Prayer for Unity in the Body of Christ (.pdf)

 

 

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The Never Alone Christian

Pastor Silverio speaks about the importance of trading in the isolated fringes of life and community where there is only lonely chaos, destruction, and a living death for living in the center of God’s heart where there is authentic community, deep healing, great hope, and true life that is lost in the love of God alone.  

Text

Mark 1: 9-15 

“He is fixed in his congregation as well as his principles. He is united to one, not only in spirit, but by all the outward ties of Christian fellowship. There he partakes of all the ordinances of God. There he receives the supper of the Lord. There he pours out his soul in public prayer, and joins in public praise and thanksgiving. There he rejoices to hear the word of reconciliation, the gospel of the grace of God. With these his nearest, his best-beloved brethren, on solemn occasions, he seeks God by fasting. These particularly he watches over in love, as they do over his soul; admonishing, exhorting, comforting, reproving, and every way building up each other in the faith. These he regards as his own household; and therefore, according to the ability God has given him, naturally cares for them, and provides that they may have all the things that are needful for life and godliness.” - John Wesley, A Catholic Spirit

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Transformed People Transform People

Pastor Jon talks about the prophet Jonah in the Old Testament and reflects on the ways in which we tell our faith story to others.  We all know someone that would come to church if they were invited.  In fact, 1 out of every 5 people in town that don't have a church actually would very much like to have a place in which to participate in faith practices,  They are just waiting for your invitation. 

Text

Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Come and See

Pastor Jon explores the stories of the prophet Samuel hearing the voice of God as a young boy as well as the Gospel story of Phillip inviting Nathaniel to come and see Jesus for himself.  God still speaks to us and sends us out into the world to tell others about His great love. 

TEXT

1 Samuel 3:1-10
John 1:43-51

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Things Are Already Better

Pastor Silverio teaches from the Scriptures on the Lord's Baptism in the Gospel of Mark and on the Spirit of God in the story of creation in Genesis.  The power of God that created life is sustaining our lives right now.  That's why things are already better than we think they are. 

Text

Genesis 1:1-5

The Baptismal Covenant I (United Methodist Hymnal pg. 35)
"Do you, as Christ's body, the Church, reaffirm both your rejection of sin and your commitment to Christ?  We do."
"Will you nurture one another in the Christian faith and life and include these persons now before you in your care? With God's help we will proclaim the good news and live according to the example of Christ. We will surround these persons with a community of love and forgiveness, that they may grow in their trust of God, and be found faithful in their service to others. We will pray for them, that they may be true disciples who walk in the way that leads to life."

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You're This, Not That

The Christmas season can be a painful reminder of what we don't have and all the ways that we are hurting right now.  The birth of Christ, however, reminds us that we are children of God.  Therefore, we can grab on to Christmas, even in the midst of sorrow and pain, to be reminded that we are beloved sons and daughters of God. 

Text

Galatians 4:4-7

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Since God Can

Sometimes it seems easier to believe that God became human in the form of a baby than to believe that God can perfect us in this life...but God can.  The birth of Jesus shows us that our efforts, our work, and our religious practices can't save our lives and earn God's love, only God can.  Living like we believe God can means our efforts and our work become about ensuring that everyone we know experiences the same saving love of God.  

Text

2 Peter 3:8-15a

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Can't God Make Us Perfect?

Do you believe that God can make you perfect during this lifetime?  As we remember the anticipation of Jesus' birth by anticipating His return on this First Sunday of Advent, Pastor Jon invites us to identify what our focus is for our lives during this time of waiting.  If it is not in the understanding that God is powerful enough to deliver us from the power of sin and lead us to what John Wesley calls "Christian perfection," than what can we do in order to change that?

Text

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

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