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December 6, 2020

Music Director- Michael Reilly

Lector- Steve Krutilek

Advent Candle Lighter- Dave Major

Message- "I Believe in Love: Daring Right Relationshipby Rev. Wendy Komori Stager

Old Testament Scripture   Isaiah 7: 1-14
New Testament Scripture  Matthew 1: 1-25

Music:  “Love Breaks Down the Walls” Worship series design © Worship Design Studio by Marcia McFee. Used, adapted, and live-streamed with permission. www.worshipdesignstudio.com

Trailer from Girls on the Wall that Wendy showed during her sermon.

Link to " 4:30 of Behind the Scenes: the Making of Girls on the Wall" 

If you choose to watch this, it is on Amazon Prime (for 1.99 rental). Be aware there is unedited profanity in the film.


The history of humanity is fraught with pain–especially the pain that comes
accompanied by fear and leads to oppression and violence of one people against
another. This is the world into which Jesus was born and through which his
teachings would challenge and call for transformation. The opening words of an
anonymous Jewish poet, “I believe in the sun, even when the sun is not shining,”
were scrawled on a wall during the Holocaust. This theme song for our season
calls us to examine our penchant for annihilating fear by annihilating each other.
The power of narrative and music will call us to a different response–
transformation and reconciliation through hope, love, joy, and peace. This Advent
and Christmas, let us fill the night with music and light and affirm and act on the
reasons why we can still “believe, even when” we are discouraged.  
  Link to the Defiant Requieum website

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November 29, 2020

Music Director- Michael Reilly

Lector- Joan Changus

Advent Candle Lighters- The Emerys

Message- "I Believe in the Sun:  Hope for Tomorrowby Rev. Wendy Komori Stager

Old Testament Scripture   Isaiah 40: 1-11 
New Testament Scripture  Mark 1:  1-15   

Music:  I Believe, Even When” By Mark A. Miller   Used with permission of Mark A. Miller, www.markamillermusic.com


Isaiah 40:1-11


God’s People Are Comforted


40 Comfort, O comfort my people,  says your God. 

2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 

3 A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 

4 Every valley shall be lifted up,  and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 

5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,  and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 

6 A voice says, “Cry out!”  And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. 

7 The grass withers, the flower fades,  when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. 

8 The grass withers, the flower fades;  but the word of our God will stand forever. 

9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,[b] 

    lift it up, do not fear;  say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” 

10 See, the Lord God comes with might,  and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 

11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;  he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.


The Proclamation of John the Baptist

 

1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; 

3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” 

4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 

 

The Baptism of Jesus

 

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

 

The Temptation of Jesus

 

12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

 

The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry

 

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,

15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”



November 22, 2020

Music Director- Michael Reilly

Lector- Joan Changus

Message- "Always?"   by Rev. Eric Beene (Pastor Wendy on vacation)

Scripture-  Phil. 4: 4-9  (NIV)


4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.



November 15, 2020

Music Director- Michael Reilly

Lector- Joan Changus

Message- "Body Parts" by Wendy Komori Stager

Scripture-  1 Corinthians 12: 14-27  (NIV)


14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.



November 8, 2020

Music Director- Michael Reilly

Lector- Joan Changus

Message- "We are connected" by Wendy Komori Stager

Scripture-  1 Corinthians 12: 4-21 (NIV)


4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Unity and Diversity in the Body12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”



November 1, 2020

Music Director- Michael Reilly

Lector- Joan Changus

Message- "God Gives the Growth" by Wendy Komori Stager

Scripture-  1 Corinthians 3:  1-9 (NIV)


The Church and Its Leaders

3 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

 

October 25, 2020

Music Director- Michael Reilly

Lector- Edie Parsons

Message- "Love" by Wendy Komori Stager

Scripture-  1 Corinthians 13:  1-13 (NIV)


If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;i then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.l But the greatest of these is love.



October 18, 2020

Music Director- Michael Reilly

Lector- Edie Parsons

Message- "Would you rather be right or kind?" by Wendy Komori Stager

Scripture- 1 Cor. 1:  18-31 (NIV)


Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[a] 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[b]



October 11, 2020

Lector- Edie Parsons

Message- "Belonging to Christ" by Wendy Komori Stager

"Seeking to be Faithful Together:Guidelines for Presbyterians During Times of Disagreement" document Pastor Wendy refers to during sermon.

Pastor Wendy also refers to Braver Angels site.

Scripture-1 Corinthians 1:4-11 (NIV)

Thanksgiving

4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. A Church Divided Over Leaders10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.