Category Archives: Calendar




3 Sharon M. Harold M.

10 Jonathan W. Bev A.

17 Patt K. Sharon D.

24 Harold M. Jonathan W.


3 Liz W. Vanessa W.

10 Bev A. Sharon M.

17 Sharon D. Harold M.

24 Jonathan W. Patt K.

31 Vanessa W. Bev A.


7 Sharon M. Liz W.

14 Harold M. Vanessa W.

21 Patt K. Sharon M.

28 Liz W. Jonathan W.


5 Bev A. Sharon D.

12 Harold M. Patt K.

19 Vanessa W. Sharon M.

26 Liz W. Bev A.


2 Sharon D.. Jonathan W.

9 Patt K. Liz W.

16 Sharon M. Sharon D.

23 Jonathan W. Vanessa W.

30 Bev A. Harold M.


MICAH   6:8       ACT JUSTLY

It is written that the response of a godly heart is      outward (do justice),                inward (love mercy), and          upward (walk humbly).

Micah                                                      – -prophesied during the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah. 742 – 696 BC

–He is considered one of the twelve minor prophets of                                   the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and   was a        contemporary of the   prophets IsaiahAmos and Hosea

Micah                                                             –also rebuked Israel because of dishonesty in the marketplace and corruption in government.

–He warned the people, on behalf of God, of pending destruction if ways and hearts were not changed. He told them what the LORD requires of them:

Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God

Israel’s response to Micah’s charges and threats consisted of three parts:

  1. admission of guilt,
  2. a warning of adversaries that Israel will rely on the LORD for deliverance and forgiveness,
  3. and a prayer for forgiveness and deliverance.

ACT  JUSTLY – Golden rule –


Some of which are so ridiculous, they should never be enforced…

ALABAMA: The City of Mobile may know how to throw down on Mardi Gras, but the use of confetti is strictly prohibited. To carry, manufacture, sell, or handle the party supply is considered an “offense against public safety.”

A frog that dies during a frog-jumping contest cannot be eaten in the state of California.

INDIANA: Liquor stores can’t sell refrigerated water or soda. The law specifies that a beer and wine store should be in the exclusive business of selling adult beverages.

KENTUCKY: Every legislator, public officer, and lawyer must take an oath stating that they have not fought a duel with deadly weapons.

ARIZONA –Illegal for donkey to sleep in a bathtub

In CONNECTICUT … a pickle must be able to bounce.

In Nebraska … you can’t get married if you have a venereal disease.

In VERMONT … it’s illegal for women to wear fake teeth without their husband’s approval.


I am talking about UNJUST LAWS –

Like the laws in our past:

       INDIAN REMOVAL ACT (1830)

Passed by Congress and signed by President Andrew Jackson, This law gave Jackson’s administration the ability to “negotiate” with native American tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole), ostensibly forcing them to vacant the lands they held long before the colonies or United States were established


Congress, largely controlled by pro-slavery Democrats, passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which required that runaway slaves be returned to their “owners” once they were captured.

CHILD LABOR LAW —The first group to fight for child Labor laws, formed in 1906, and it was over ten years later that a law was finally established.

USA PATRIOT Act (2001)

Passed and signed more than a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the USA PATRIOT Act (an acronym for Uniting Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act) gave the intelligence community and law enforcement agencies broad new powers to combat terrorism. Thanks to recent disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden, Americans have learned that the PATRIOT Act has been used by intelligence agencies, most notably the NSA, to snoop and spy on American citizens, even if they’re not suspected of terrorist activity, by obtaining phone and Internet metadata from third-party businesses. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who authored and introduced the PATRIOT Act, has said that the government’s interpretation of the law is “excessive and un-American” and supports efforts to put better privacy protections in place.

  • Illegal for a black person to marry a white person – finally struck down 1967 by Supreme Court
  • Illegal for American Women to vote until 1920.


Ban on Those entering country

Iran   Libya   North Korea   Yemen Somalia   Venezuela   Syria


RESTRICTIVE VOTING MEASURES           have been enacted by states in recent years. They range from laws demanding that voters produce specific forms of identification to reductions in the number of locations where people can cast their ballot. 

  • California city passed a law banning the charitable act following a massive Hepatitis A outbreak.
  • police officer warned the activists not to give food to the homeless in the park.
  • “It’s okay to give food in public to other people but not homeless people,” he said, referencing the city law, KGTV reports. 
  • “That’s an unfair way of targeting the alleged issue of hepatitis A.”
  • ________________________

Justice is not merely about defending     personal rights and condemning social evils. 

Biblical justice starts in the heart.

It is inseparable from love and humility.

When we choose to walk in the light – to follow the teachings of Jesus – to work to do God’s will… 

We enter a covenant which means both parties have obligations to the other…

Micah was reminding people of their part of the bargain – of what GOD expects of a person who seeks Him. 

God requires three ongoing actions:

  1. Act justly.
  2. Love mercy.
  3. Walk humbly with God.

acting justly

making fair decisions in our business      and personal lives.

Show each person the same respect whether they are rich or poor / young or old / educated or ignorant/ white or one of the million other shades of skin tones….

Do we treat people better who are dressed in a suit and tie than if they are in drag?

However we treat one another is how we treat God.

To Act Justly requires we show others the same attention as we show ourselves.

We are to love justice, not only when it harmonizes with our own interests… but we are to love justice…more than ourselves…

if it ain’t right – and I do nothing,     then I ain’t right.

Pay attention to the word REQUIRES – meaning NOT OPTIONAL

       Eugene Peterson paraphrases in the MESSAGE –                          Do what is fair and just.

And that means, even when life isn’t fair to us…

We are the only Bible some people read… we are the only Christ some people will meet.

We are the only example of a relationship with God, some people will ever experience…


Archbishop Desmond Tutu  said this:

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

If an elephant has his foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. ~

Go To The Back of the Line September 23, 2018

Mark 9:30-39 New International Version (NIV)

30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were,

31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.

32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?”

34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

 HOMILY   Go to the Back of the Line  


If I asked you who was the first man in space?                                              Most of you know that it was the Russian Yuri Gagarin.

But who was the second man in space?                                                                      Most of us do not know!     (American John Glenn)

If I asked you who was the first man to walk on the moon?                        Most of you know that it was Neil Armstrong.

But who was the second man on the moon?                                                        Most people don’t know!                      (Buzz Aldrin)

If I asked you who was the first man to run the mile in                         under 4 minutes?  Most of you know that it was Roger Bannister.

But who was the second man to run the mile in under 4 minutes? (John Landy)

If I asked you who were the first men to conquer Mount Everest?Most of you know that it was Edmund Hillary, and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay,

But who did it after them? Your guess is as good as mine!Most of know who did ‘a thing’ first, because there is something about being first!


Neil Armstrong was the first  man to walk on the moon; On the 26th July 1969. In total only 12 people have ever walked on   the moon;  The last person was on, Apollo 17, in December 1972.

His name was Harrison Schmitt but most of us have never heard of him!                 There is something about being first!

Since childhood, humans struggle to be first…

Bus stop   Lunch line   VBS – kool aid/cookie


Ticket line  Airport/Airplane  First on/first off   Merging traffic     Lines  at stores on Black Friday    Food line at weddings

What are we afraid of, if we are not FIRST?

Running out of food (unlikely)         Running out of tickets (maybe)      Being LESS THAN if someone merges in front of us

What happened in our life that makes us fight to be first?

Sporting – First = winner            Trophy   Recognition

Second = loser       Nothing


Contests – First = winner       Trophy       Money     Recognition

All others = losers


Academy Awards     Oscar – Statue        Recognition                                       Can earn more  Money


Is our need to be first part of our natural instinct of

Survival of the fittest?    Us or THEM –

All or nothing?     Really?

The last shall be first and the first shall be last…

Where does it say the first are the only ones that count?

The first will get it all and everyone else get nothing?

This is such an important lesson that it appears in different forms in three of the four gospels…

What lesson are we to learn?

Every time the phrase “last shall be first and the first last” occurs in scripture it refers to the fact that one’s position in this life does not give a person an advantage in gaining eternal life—or a higher level of eternal life

Every time Jesus uses the phrase, the message is the same.

It does not matter who we are in this     world or what we have done.

Eternal life is for all – equally

Humans continuously focus on FAIRNESS—

As we humanly understand fairness –

First come — First served

Don’t cut the line

Go to the back of the line

We were here first.


Tickets sales

Tents/camped out days ahead

To go to class – would have someone                                                                            hold place in line –

First come – first served

Stores at Christmas

Can’t chance NOT getting Item                                                                                 for Xmas

Cabbage Patch Dolls

In 1983 we saw the birth of total consumer anarchy—

First in line       Took on use of violence     Camped out stores for days

Physically fighting to get one     A woman was pictured tightly grasping a Cabbage Patch Kid with both arms,                                                     as another woman wrapped her purse strap around her throat –

FIRST to be sure to GET

FIRST to be IN



Again, our lessons from Christ seem to throw everything we understand – out the window…


First are to be last? Really?

What does that really mean?


Once a teacher told her class to line up in front of her desk to receive a special treat…

You know what happened…

A scramble to be the first in line – to be in the front –

Once everyone was in a line – the teacher got up and walked around the desk with  her bag of candy –

She reached inside the bag, pulled out a piece of candy, and then walked to the back of the line and gave it to the child who was LAST in line.

What did they learn that day?


Back in 2008, Sara was a college senior playing for the championship of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference softball league. In the second inning, she hit her first home run ever — the ball sailed right out of the park. Then, rounding the bases, she realized that she had failed to touch first. So, she turned back. But, through a twist of fate and her knee, she found herself down on the ground with a torn ligament, crawling in agony back to first base. According to the rules, she would have been out if anyone from her team helped her.

That’s when Mallory Holtman — from the other team — stepped up to help. She and her teammate, Liz Wallace, carried Sara around the bases, making sure to tap her left foot on each base. Though Mallory and Liz lost the game that day, they clearly accomplished something more important.

There’s no doubt that this is an extremely emotionally touching story. Mallory and Liz went beyond good sportsmanship. In a moment that really counted, those young women showed good character. And Mallory’s unsolicited offer to help (at a cost to herself) displayed a deep sense of humanity that we all hope (but don’t know) we would show in a similar circumstance.

When you put the needs and well    being of others before yourself                  you are showing love in a                                                                                   way that God has showed                                                                                              love to you.

The way that we grow in our trust   and faith in God is by taking               steps of faith.

By putting first  we can actually practice trusting that God will take                     care of our needs.

Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Although It’s tempting to want to  be great,  do we achieve that at        the expense of making  0thers out to be the                                                               least –

If so, will that make us least in the eyes of God?

What happens when we live out

The first shall be last and the last shall be first?

What does this really look like — ??



We are always to put others first?


I grew up believing that…


What a wonderful way to spell JOY


I understood that I was supposed to ALWAYS put others first – and me LAST.

Today, I have a different view of this lesson…

The first will be last  and the last will be first…

I have learned that when I always put myself LAST –

I failed to be my best –

I failed to take the best care of myself

I sacrificed myself for others…


This may be necessary at times…


We also need to treat ourselves as we treat others..

Love ourselves as we love others…

Not merely trade places with them…



Sure, helping people is rewarding, but don’t keep giving it your all if you receive nothing in return.


Be kind to yourself – you’re doing your best and sometimes, just getting up in the morning is the biggest achievement and that’s okay.


Taking care of yourself is by no means a weakness, but a sign of strength. But sometimes, admitting that you can’t do something might feel like failure. It’s not. It’s okay and healthy to realize you’re not able or ready to do something.


Nothing is ever more important than your health and mental well being.



I used to keep forcing myself to do things I thought I needed to do, when every part of myself kept screaming no. But my sense of responsibility was always louder.


Sometimes we just need silence, keep to ourselves and breathe.


We tend to always put others first, but sometimes, we need to take a step back and treat ourselves like our best friend. Because, in the end, there is no one you spend more time with than yourself.


Healing takes time, getting better takes time, learning takes time… everything takes time.


If you become empty because you always give away – You are limited in who and how many you will help…


S. Lewis said

Humilty is not thinking less of yourself –


Thinking of yourself LESS

The first shall be last and the last shall be first –


Working together – as a team…as part of the whole…

It may be easier just to remember to

Put God first and we will never be last…

Elder Schedule​2018​

​           Bread​        Cup
7​      Gwen​​      Jonathan
14​   Debbie​   Vanessa
21​   Patt          ​Bev
28​   Teresa​    Liz

4​    Jonathan    ​Debbie
11​  Bev               ​Liz
18​  Teresa​        Gwen
25​   Vanessa​   Patt

4​    Debbie​      Gwen
11​  Teresa      ​Bev
18​   Liz​​             Vanessa
25​  Patt          ​Jonathan

1​   Teresa​      Debbie
8​   Gwenv  ​​Patt




Elder Schedule​2018​​pg 2







January 2019

Homily – Jesus Condones Weed

Matthew 13:24-43

24He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

After telling two other parables…. He has to explain the first one…


36Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!


Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart           be acceptable to you, O God           my rock and my liberator. Psalm 19:14




HOMILY –                                JESUS CONDONES WEED


Pericope –

  • Weeds sown with Seeds
  • Malicious vandalism of crop
  • Hopes of choking out crop


The actual weed Jesus spoke of was a ryegrass called “darnell.”

  • In its early stages it resembles wheat;
  • but instead of bearing fruit,it’s poisonous.
  • So not only is darnell useless, it’s toxic as



God – sower of Seeds –                             Good people

Devil –sower of Weeds –                            evil people

In the END

God sorts out the good                         from the bad…                    takes Good into the kingdom                 and sends bad in the flames



SEEDS represent ?


WEEDS represent ?

Seeds –                                                                                                                                          those trying to do God’s  will/Follow Christ

Weeds –                                                                                                                                              those struggling with God’s will/Christ


Seeds –      Facts

Weeds –     Lies


Seeds –      Truth

Weeds –     Untruth


Seeds –      Accurate News Coverage

Weeds –     Fake News Stories


At one time or another – we have found ourselves surrounded by WEEDS…


Mildred, the small town gossip and self-appointed monitor of church morals, was always one to stick nose into other people’s business.

Most members of the congregation did not approve of her intrusions, but she was feared, so all maintained their silence.

She took that fatal step too far one day, when she accused Frank, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the small town’s only bar all afternoon.

She emphatically told Frank (in front of several others) that EVERYONE SEEING THAT PICKUP THERE WOULD KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING !

Frank, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment then just turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.

Later that evening, Frank quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred’s house, walked home ….and left it there all night.



These weeds are the hardest.

We want to stop the spread –

But rumors/lies cannot be stopped –

We must spread the truth just as quickly… then let it go

Often we have to live with the lies/rumors – until the day the truth comes to light….



Although it has always existed…

Now it has a proper name

AND a perfect disguise.

Fake news is frustrating, infuriating


For many – we want to take it upon ourselves                                                 to jump on the lies/fake news and WEED them OUT –

Shout out contradictions and

Root out the truth…

In this parable – what is Jesus trying to convey?

Jesus seems to be saying that God’s Answer to Problem – is to do nothing —

Let the lies,                                                                                                                           untruths,                                                                                                                                     fake news                                                                                                                            rumors  continue to circulate –


Go On about your life… live it according to God’s will –


Racing in to refute a lie only     keeps  the lie center stage…

Once the story is out there…    an immediate  correction   rarely repairs the damage

Stirring up the mud…

The lies begin to muddy the water – but then when we respond trying to refute the lies, we stir the water more and more mud gets into the mix…

Jesus says —  wait – don’t act now… let the mud settle and THEN the truth will appear…

Don’t’ spend all of our time trying to fight the lies, and nothing else gets done…


Jesus wants to get across to the disciples that attempting to pull out the weeds before harvest will only result in pulling out the wheat as well….

God wants us to Wait –

In the end, the lies and the       truth will be sorted out …




This means we have to allow the lies to continue to live and grow –

Until God moves in….               Letting God handle it…

Trusting God to bring the                truth into the light

And send the lies into flames


There was a church in which the minister asked the people to imagine what would happen if they adopted a policy of weed-pulling,

if they drew a circle around their little town of Wingate, North Carolina, and made a vow that no evil would cross that line,

that no weeds would grow within that border.

The minister said,

“You know, you and I could spend the rest of our lives protecting that boundary,

standing shoulder to shoulder with pitchforks and clubs, making sure that we kept drugs and alcohol and pornography and gambling safely on the other side.

I think it would take all of our energy and most of our time.

But what if we did it?

What if we succeeded?

What would we have?

We would have a town characterized by the absence of evil,

which is not the same as a town characterized by the presence of good.

And maybe this is what Jesus was talking about all along,

that it’s better to have a wheat field with weeds in it than a field with nothing in it at all.

We also have to understand that what is a plant to one may be a weed to another…

I am sure I have one of the healthiest WEEDS growing in my back yard…who knows… I am not deciding…

The same goes for some people around us we may see as weeds, who AREN’T –

Transgender      Illegal Aliens      Muslims      Homeless                      Mentally Challenged

A man wrote about someone he viewed as a WEED…

He said:

One of the best Christians I’ve ever known was a Roman Catholic who cursed and smoked and had a heart as big as the Gulf of Mexico.

She was not the kind of person you would find serving punch in the church fellowship hall.

But she started the shelter movement in Atlanta.

I remember when she stopped a knife fight at our night shelter by walking calmly between two combatants and saying,

“You guys know better than  this.”

And that was the end of that.

When one of our homeless friends died on the street,                                she claimed his body,   paid for the cremation, and waited for someone- friend or family-to come.

No one ever came.                   She drove around for weeks with his ashes in the backseat  of her car.

Finally, she asked the rector of a downtown Episcopal church                      if the ashes could be placed  in the church’s memorial                garden.

He said:

“Our policies will allow only the remains of relatives to be placed here,”

“Perfect,” she said.     “Jesse was my brother.”

It’s often hard to tell who is wheat and who is weed.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am wheat                                     and sometimes I am weed,

Often, I can’t tell when I am being either…

Pray with me –

Homily – Numbers Don’t Always Count

Luke 10:1-20                                    (MSG)

10 1-2 Later the Master selected seventy and sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he intended to go. He gave them this charge:

“What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands.

3 “On your way! But be careful—this is hazardous work. You’re like lambs in a wolf pack.

4 “Travel light. Comb and toothbrush and no extra luggage.

“Don’t loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way.

5-6 “When you enter a home, greet the family, ‘Peace.’ If your greeting is received, then it’s a good place to stay. But if it’s not received, take it back and get out. Don’t impose yourself.

7 “Stay at one home, taking your meals there, for a worker deserves three square meals. Don’t move from house to house, looking for the best cook in town.

8-9 “When you enter a town and are received, eat what they set before you, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!’

10-12 “When you enter a town and are not received, go out in the street and say, ‘The only thing we got from you is the dirt on our feet, and we’re giving it back. Did you have any idea that God’s kingdom was right on your doorstep?’ Sodom will have it better on Judgment Day than the town that rejects you.

13-14 “Doom, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had been given half the chances given you, they’d have been on their knees long ago, repenting and crying for mercy. Tyre and Sidon will have it easy on Judgment Day compared to you.

15 “And you, Capernaum! Do you think you’re about to be promoted to heaven? Think again. You’re on a mudslide to hell.

16 “The one who listens to you, listens to me. The one who rejects you, rejects me. And rejecting me is the same as rejecting God, who sent me.”

17 The seventy came back triumphant. “Master, even the demons danced to your tune!”

18-20 Jesus said, “I know. I saw Satan fall, a bolt of lightning out of the sky. See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.”





When I first knew that God was calling me to this church… I began disassembling our house and packing boxes. I packed boxes every day for three months and stacked them in the garage. Even with yard sale, many late night runs to various dumpsters, and trips to Good Will… I still had filled a large two car garage and stacked two and three boxes high.

I thought, for two people who had accumulated a lifetime of stuff… this wasn’t too bad —

Until the day the semi-trailer truck pulled into our little cul-de-sac for the move. The driver walked through the house and began putting yellow tags with numbers on everything….

Before he had come close to finishing… he said Oh, Oh..

Apparently the company contracted to estimate the load had been inaccurate… by 4000 pounds… (remember the estimate was made BEFORE sorting, selling, throwing and donating.

I asked if there was a problem, and he said there was. The estimate was for only ¾ of the trailer… and he was to pick up two more loads in route to Nebraska…He had to call his office in Michigan to have another truck sent for the other loads. I still could not believe our stuff would take up that much space in a semi-trailer…

Well, after eight hours of five men and two dollies loading the trailer to within inches of the roof… and front to back— they got it all loaded — but barely. And we didn’t bring washer and dryer or refrigerator. After preparing for this move – literally handling every possession we have… then packing the truck… I can now understand why it was that Jesus suggested to his followers that we ‘carry no purse, no bag, no sandals’….

Jesus understood how belongings can be a burden – how possessions divide our attention–how things divert our focus –how stuff can prevent progress

Jesus then sent these followers out in pairs, rather than one by one…We are not given his reasoning for this,        Maybe Jesus thought it was more   effective to send his followers out in               pairs sharing diverse gifts.

They would be accountable to one another, They would be encouragement for one another, They would be safer traveling in pairs.  But who were these followers?

Scripture just states that Jesus appointed seventy others…Not priests… not prophets… not scholars… not royalty…


Others sent to share God’s peace – cure the sick – cast out demons – and share God’s love..Contrary to popular belief these acts do not require professional religious leaders – to perform these acts requires trust in God’s reign. Sending out ordinary people shows us that everyone is called into God’s ministry….and can carry out that ministry in any number of ways.

Flannel blankets cut and tied are a ministry to children through Linus Project – and to those at the end of life in the hospital.

Some of these are tied by young people with mental illness; older people who still wish to contribute and everyone in between.        Taking turns to serve breakfast to the homeless.                                   Collecting household items for refugees                                                                Distributing necessities to panhandlers                                                       Picking up the tab for groceries for a struggling family.                  Collecting eye glasses for the poor                                                               Giving rides to dr appts                                                                                              Hospice House volunteer – ministry was to go room to room and clean the resident’s glasses.

These are ministries – that do not require professional training –Theological research  Special skills    Or money….Just time — and a desire to be part of God’s ministry…

The followers were sent out empty handed –

Another reason for this might have been so that these followers ministry to others would require them to depend on relationships to survive…It required them to help others learn to help themselves, rather than supplying for their need—or fixing the problem….

Is this story a good example of a successful ministry?                                   It was seventy ordinary people – untrained – unskilled and sent out in pairs       When it comes to having a successful ministry- it may not look like what we would expect –When the seventy returned excited at their ‘success’, Jesus reminded them that their success was because of him… and not they themselves…

Often, ministers measure the ‘successes of their ministry by the numbers in the pews… by the money in the plate                                         If that is a legitimate way of measuring… then many churches are very UNSUCCESSFUL…

FACEBOOK   Modern Religion Focuses on Filling Churches with People. The True Gospel Emphasizes Filling People With God.(

Jesus taught us to be more concerned with the health of the community not the size of it. Jesus knew the difference between CROWDS and followers…One who reads the gospel of Matthew       quickly realizes there is a real difference between crowds and         disciples.

So, it may be that the message we have here is                                           The health of a church is not based                                                                        upon the number of people who attend.

But whether the church is producing disciples.

So when we worry about church growth —Remember – we are healthy and successful  Because

We are more concerned with growing disciples than numbers!

Ministerting to Refugees / Homeless


Karen and Jane – Shopping for household items to                                        assist refugee families

Open Door Missions - Serving Breakfast - July 8, 2016

Breakfast Queens – Rev. Susan, Peggy and Debbie                                         serving pancakes at Open Door Mission

Open Door 2

Peanut Butter Patt brightening someone’s day                                             at Open Door Mission.

Open Door 3

Helping Hands at Open Door Mission Breakfast                                            – Peggy, Barb, Patt and Debbie


Homily – Baptism of Jesus

Homily – Baptism of Jesus


Luke 3:15-22                         The Message (MSG)

15 The interest of the people by now was building. They were all beginning to wonder, “Could this John be the Messiah?”

16-17 But John intervened: “I’m baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”

18-20 There was a lot more of this—words that gave strength to the people, words that put heart in them. The Message! But Herod, the ruler, stung by John’s rebuke in the matter of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, capped his long string of evil deeds with this outrage: He put John in jail.

21-22 After all the people were baptized, Jesus was baptized. As he was praying, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, came down on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”




-Christian sacrament (ritual/ceremony)

marked by ritual use of water and                  admitting the recipient to the                         Christian community

-a non-Christian rite using water for               ritual purification

-Christian sacrament signifying                       spiritual         cleansing and rebirth

-an immersion or sprinkling of water                      that signifies one’s identification with            a belief or cause.

In Christianity,                                                      it is the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection     (Rom. 6:4-5).

It is done in the name and authority                      (Acts 4:7) of Christ with the baptismal    formula of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit       (Matt. 28:19).


Do you remember your baptism?

This is what we are called to do whenever we witness a baptism… to remember our own.


How were you Baptized?






What is one word that describes your baptism?



Why were you baptized?





Some Traditions: baptism needed for salvation


It does not save us (1 Pet. 3:21).                      However, it is our responsibility,                               as believers, to receive it.

Why are some baptized by                            sprinkling? Pouring? Immersion?


Why was Jesus baptized?

Baptism of REPENTENCE?

Washing away sins?


Possible Reasons

  1. He would be recognized by his forerunner, John the Baptizer
  2. Showed Jesus identified with sinners
  3. His baptism symbolized the sinners’ baptism into righteousness
  4. Showed his approval of John’s baptism, and that it was approved by God.
  5. Symbol of the new beginning of     Jesus’ ministry

Some theologians say that Jesus                         was also just following Jewish law…                   the legal requirements for                                   entering priesthood….

  1. Cleansing – washing – water
  2. Anointing with oil – represents the anointing of the HS.
  3. Needed to be 30 years old
  4. Receive verbal blessing – God spoke this blessing.


Luke was not as concerned with the Baptism of Jesus, as he was with what happened               AFTER WARDS

Luke, unlike Matthew, Mark and John                never mentions Jesus in the water,                        or that it was John who baptized him.

Luke directed our attention to what Jesus did AFTER the baptism – his story has Jesus

IN PRAYER after the baptism and at            THAT time the HS descended                 on Jesus like a dove…


Luke wanted his listeners to know that PRAYER was and is an important part of Jesus’ life as it should be for all of us…

And it is in prayer that we will receive the HS…

Baptism ends too soon when we focus only on              the moment and forget what comes                    after the water has dried:

a baptism-shaped life where God’s Spirit               dwells within our very bodies.

Please pray with me.

Gracious God, remind us that baptism is a symbol that we are claimed by someone special and called to do something special.

That we are God’s beloved… and God is well pleased with us…

Pour out your Holy Spirit now upon us, upon and within our bodies.

Help us to live in faithfulness to you long after the water has dried.