“Light Sabers”

Service Notes for the Virtual Worship service on March 22, 2020: “Light Sabers,” based on Ephesians 5:8-14a (GNT)   [With the suspension of our in-person ministries for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now providing “virtual community” through periodic prayer, reflection and scripture online. Once a week, we will add a more detailed “mini-service” to reflect on scripture, pray, sing, etc. This is one of the first of those services – my colleague, Rev. Laura Bachmann will be uploading her videos as well. Both can be found on the South Church Rochester channel on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCtJ2XBNiJQxuVMrVq97SMg?).  As with … Continue reading “Light Sabers”

“The Purell of Prayer”

“The Purell™ of Prayer” Romans 5:3-8 (MSG); John 14:15-19 (AMP) Video Worship March 15, 2020 [With the suspension of our in-person ministries for the duration of the COVED-19 pandemic, we are now providing “virtual community” through periodic prayer, reflection and scripture. Once a week, we will add a more detailed “mini-service” to reflect on scripture, pray, etc. This is one of the first of those services – my colleague Rev. Bachmann will be uploading her videos as well. Both can be found on the South Church Rochester channel on YouTube.  As with all sermons – but especially with the unfolding … Continue reading “The Purell of Prayer”

“Trusting the God Story”

Romans 4:1-5; John 3:1-18(MSG) Fellowship of Faith @ St. John’s Meadows March 8, 2020 Romans 4:1-5 (MSG) So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things? If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to … Continue reading “Trusting the God Story”

“Un-knowing What We Know”

Genesis 2:15-27, 3:1-7 (MSG) Fellowship of Faith @ St. John’s Meadows March 1, 2020 Genesis 2:15-27, 3:1-7 (MSG) God took the Man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order. God commanded the Man, “You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don’t eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you’re dead.” The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” … Continue reading “Un-knowing What We Know”

“Salt, Light, and the Law”

Mt. 5:13-20 (MSG) Fellowship of Faith @ St. John’s Meadows February 9, 2020   Matthew 5:13-20 (MSG) “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make … Continue reading “Salt, Light, and the Law”

“Truth be Told”

Mt. 28:16-20 (MSG) Fellowship of Faith @ St. John’s Meadows February 2, 2020 – Annual Meeting Matthew 28:16-20 (MSG) Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally. Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, … Continue reading “Truth be Told”

“Plenty of Work to be Done”

Isaiah 49:1-7 (MSG) Fellowship of Faith @ St. John’s Meadows January 19, 2020   Isaiah 49:1-7 (MSG) Listen, far-flung islands,    pay attention, faraway people: God put me to work from the day I was born. The moment I entered the world he named me. He gave me speech that would cut and penetrate. He kept his hand on me to protect me. He made me his straight arrow   and hid me in his quiver. He said to me, “You’re my dear servant,  Israel, through whom I’ll shine.” But I said, “I’ve worked for nothing.   I’ve nothing to show for a life … Continue reading “Plenty of Work to be Done”