Monday, November 23, 2015

Advent 2015 Liturgy Resources!

Here are all of the resources for the previously posted Advent 2015 worship series:  From Heaven to Earth!

Advent/Christmas 2015 Liturgical Resources

From Heaven to Earth

  • Advent 1 - Nov 29
    • Sermon Title:  “The Day is Coming”
    • Scriptures: Jeremiah 33:14-16
      • 2nd - 1 Thess 3:9-13
    • Candle - Hope
    • Creed:  Nicene (880)
    • Lighting the Candle of Hope:
While the people of Israel lived in exile, God was still at work. The people of God cried out for God to intervene on their behalf, but still they had to wait.  God works in God’s own time, but ever calls us to place our hope and trust in God’s plan.  From heaven to earth, God did come to our rescue and even now, especially now, the Son of David is still with us.  May we, as God’s children continue to hope in the Lord, even as God calls us to wait!
Let the candle we light today help God’s hope to burn brightly in our hearts!
    • Call to Worship:
Eternal God, we are here!
We are ready and waiting to worship you this day!
Now is the time!
And we are God’s people!
    • Prayer of Confession:
Righteous God,
We do love you.  We do praise you.  But we don’t always trust you.  It is our failure to do so that leads us astray from your will again and again.  We let culture dictate the work of your church.  We are distracted by trivial things like decorations, extravagances, and pride.  All the while, your saving work in the world, of which we are gifted to be a part, remains unfinished.  We avoid the homeless.  We refuse to see the hungry.  We ignore the disabled.  Give us clear eyes, God, and open hearts.  Hearts that are so full of hope that we can’t help to pour out your never ending love over all of your children during this season of expectation.  We expect you to come near to us God today; may we be mindful of your expectations when we leave this sacred space.  Amen.
  • Advent 2 - Dec 6
    • Sermon Title:  People, Get Ready
    • Scriptures:  Luke 3:1-6
      • Malachi 3:1-4
    • Candle - Love
    • Lighting the Candle of Love:
From the wilderness, John the Baptist comes to us today. Will we listen?  His message is the same today as it was then: God is on the way.  Yet, even as John was preaching, our Lord Jesus was already walking with God’s people.  Jesus was already preparing to teach us the ways of God, to show us what sacrifice looks like, to demonstrate to us that nothing is greater than the love of God.  Hear the call of John today; let us prepare to meet Christ not just on Christmas, but right now.
Let the candle we light today help God’s love to burn brightly in our hearts!
    • Call to Worship:
Prepare the way of the Lord, you people!
May God’s path lead straight to our hearts.
God’s salvation is already ours.
We give thanks, this morning, and everyday, for the good news of God’s love for us!
    • Prayer of Confession:
Loving God,
What are we prepared to do this Advent Season?  We say that we watch for you.  We say that we wait for you.  But shouldn’t we be working for you while we watch and we wait?  The prophets to tell us to look around, that you are ever near to us.  We confess that in our waiting we grow anxious about the calendar.  We grow weary of all the planning.  We fail see where you tell us to look … To the ‘least of these.’  To our children that need care.  To the hungry that need food.  To the immigrant that needs our hospitality.  God, help us to go where you would go and be the people that you’ve called us to be, people who are loved into your service.  Pull us out of the wilderness and open our eyes, Lord.  Prepare us to greet you this Christmas by loving those that need you the most.  Amen.
  • Advent 3 - Dec 13
    • Sermon Title: “Filled With Expectation”
    • Scriptures: Luke 3:7-18
      • 2nd - Isaiah 12:2-6
    • Candle - Joy
    • Lighting the Candle of Joy:
The voice crying out from the wilderness, calling us to ‘Prepare the way of the Lord!’ is still calling out to us today.  John the Baptist reminded Israel of who God created them to be: a holy nation, a holy people that were supposed to be caretakers of one another.  He was bold in his cries of injustice around him and among God’s chosen people, and if he was here today he would still be calling us out.  This is a season of joy, as we remember the arrival of Jesus on Christmas day, may we be reminded that the transforming work of Jesus is to be alive in us as his church.
Let the candle we light today help God’s joy to burn brightly in our hearts!
    • Call to Worship:
Call us out, God!
You are the reason for our worship today!
Call us out, God!
Draw us into your presence!
Call us out, God!
Have mercy on us, who joyfully wait for you.
    • Prayer of Confession:
Merciful God,
We confess this day that we, your people, don’t like to be told what to do.  We desire independence, to be individuals, choosing our own paths and making life all about ourselves.  We want our will more than your will for our lives.  But, this isn’t what we need.  We need to seek your ways, above all others.  We need to see what you see.  We need to cry out for justice where there is none, in a time when gathering more and more ‘stuff’ unto ourselves is the at heart of our Christmas culture.  Lord, call us to repentance again.  As we get ready to meet the Christ Child on Christmas day, make us more mindful of the unclothed, of the hungry, of the very poor.  Remind us that we are not alone, that we are all in this together.  Your kingdom come, amen.
  • Advent 4 - Dec 20
    • Sermon Title: “We Are Blessed”
    • Scriptures: Luke 1:39-55
      • 2nd - Micah 5:2-5a
    • Candle - Peace
    • Lighting the Candle of Peace:
The hope of the world came down to us at Christmas, but in order for that to happen a mother had to say “Yes.”  When Mary accepts the blessings and the hardships that would come with being the mother of Jesus, she changed the world forever.  When Mary sings her song, she recognizes something wonderful and totally opposite to how the world works: God came into the world through a family among the very poor.  Through Jesus’ birth, God sends a challenge to all of us to seek God’s movement in unexpected ways, and show God’s hope wherever we are.
Let the candle we light today help God’s peace to burn brightly in our hearts!
    • Call to Worship:
Are you all blessed?
Yes, we are!
Does God favor you?
Yes, God does!
God heard our cries for mercy.
And God sent us Jesus!
    • Prayer of Confession:
Holy God,
We are getting ready for Christmas.  Presents are being put under trees.  Dinner menus are being planned.  Last minute errands are being run.  Traveling has begun.  As we get wrapped up in this season of Christmas, we often forget what truly matters.  In all of our dealings with presents, we forget to be present for one another, especially those outside of the circle that we call ‘family.’  In our focus on things, we forget that the best gift many of us can truly share in the gift of our time.  Time for conversation.  Time for service.  Time for worship.  God, as Mary sings her song rooted in eternal hope in your mercy, may we share mercy where we can, when we can, in the many ways we can, sharing the love of God incarnate that Jesus Christ brought to us.  Amen.
  • Christmas Eve - Dec 24
    • Sermon Title: “From Heaven to Earth”
    • Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
    • Candle - Christ
    • Lighting the Christ Candle:
As we light the Christ Candle, we remember that long ago heaven met earth with the birth of Jesus Christ.  We called on the Lord for salvation, and not only did the Lord bring it, the Lord Our God appeared to us as a baby.  A baby to be loved and nurtured in a human family.  A baby Messiah that would grow up to preach the good news that all are welcome and loved in the Kingdom of God.  Today, we welcome Jesus Christ!
Welcome to you, Lord Jesus!  May this light remind us of the hope, peace, love, and joy that can only be found in you!
    • Call to Worship:
Let heaven and nature sing -
Joy to the world!
Oh come, all ye faithful –
Joyful and triumphant!
The herald angels sing –
Glory to God!
Jesus is here!
Jesus is here!
    • A Christmas Prayer:
God, we welcome you here.  We have been waiting for you, anticipating your arrival, expecting you to visit us today.  We need you God, and we are so grateful that you love us so much that you came to us in the form of a child.  You place so much trust in us, even trusting a humble family to raise your own son.  On top of that, you gift us with care over one another.  Yes, it’s a care that we often fail to give.  Thanks be to you God that no matter how often we forget to take care of each other, to love each other as you love us, your forgiveness knows no end.  Forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love that became incarnate in Jesus Christ.   Welcome to the world, Lord Jesus.  May singing your songs, sharing in your gifts, and looking to your earthly life bring heaven closer to us this Christmas.  Amen.  

  • Sunday After Christmas - Dec 27
    • Sermon Title: “Love Came Down at Christmas”
    • Scriptures - Colossians 3:12-17
      • 2nd - Psalm 148
    • Call to Worship:
Merry Christmas, church!
And a merry Christmas to you!
The season is not yet over, there’s still time to celebrate the birth of Christ.
How can we celebrate today?
By sharing in the true gift Christ has given to us …
Love for all the world.
    • Prayer of Praise:
Jesus Christ,
We give you the glory this morning!  Where would we be without you?  Who would we be without your saving love?  As your family, we give you thanks.  For the journey you took to bring us hope, coming to us as but a little baby, we stand in awe of you - Emmanuel, God With Us.  You are the one for whom the angels sang, “Peace on earth and goodwill to all people!”  We remember you today, humble Lord Jesus.  Let us not forget to share with others the hope, peace, love, joy, and community that we have come to find in you.  Amen!
  • Epiphany Sunday - January 3
    • Sermon Title: “Searching for Jesus”
    • Scriptures: Matthew 2:1-12
      • 2nd - Psalm 72:1-7
    • Call to Worship:
From near and far, we come together in worship.
We have come here to meet Jesus!
What gift do you bring to the Lord this morning?
All honor, glory, and praise!
    • Prayer of Praise:
Lord Jesus,

As the wise men who traveled so far to meet you, we give you thanks for the glory you reveal among us.  When the world needed a savior, in your great wisdom, you chose to come down to us in humility of a stable, to be raised by those who would be looked past by those around them.  We don’t have gifts to offer you that could even start to measure up to what you have given to us in your saving life.  Take all that we have and make it yours, call our lives to light the darkness of this world with your everlasting light.  Amen.

Advent 2015: From Heaven to Earth

Friends, this is a bit of a last-minute post, but here it is!  Hopefully most all of you are in the thick of your Advent planning - or it's done already!  Just in case, here's what we'll be offering this year at FUMC of Arlington, TX.

Liturgy resources can be found here.

Advent/Christmas 2015 Worship Series: November 29 - January 3

From Heaven to Earth

Advent 1 - Nov 29

  • Sermon Title:  “The Day is Coming”
    • Scripture: Jeremiah 33:14-16
      • 2nd - 1 Thess 3:9-13
  • Candle - Hope
  • Themes
    • Setting the series … From Heaven to Earth
    • What its like to wait … … And still be hopeful
    • Explaining Advent - it isn’t Christmas, yet
    • Speaking of exile (Jeremiah)
    • Who is actually waiting to meet Jesus?  Who needs to meet Jesus and hasn’t?
      • God’s long-view on deliverance and our work in the meantime. 
    • Nicene Creed
      • Light from Light, True God from True God

Advent 2 - Dec 6

  • Sermon Title:  “People, Get Ready”
    • Scripture:  Luke 3:1-6
      • Malachi 3:1-4
  • Candle - Love
  • Themes
    • Setting the stage … Luke is creating a backdrop of kings and emperors, while the King of Kings is coming out of nowhere and nothing.
    • Love means telling it like it is, sometimes - J the B.

Advent 3 - Dec 13

  • Sermon Title: “Filled With Expectation” 
    • Scripture: Luke 3:7-18
      • 2nd - Isaiah 12:2-6
  • Candle - Joy
  • Themes
    • How are we preparing to meet the Messiah?  Are we focused on our needs, or the needs of others?
      • Are we heading into a joyful season?  Is it joyful for everyone?
    • Unreasonable expectations
      • What do you expect to get from this season?  What are you prepared to give?  John stood his ground.
    • Trimming back to proclaim the good news.

Advent 4 - Dec 20

  • Sermon Title: “We Are Blessed”
    • Scripture: Luke 1:39-55
      • 2nd - Micah 5:2-5a
  • Candle - Peace
  • Themes
    • God’s peace comes with a special kind of justice
      • But it's the same theme that God has been working with since the very beginning: care for the least of these
    • Turning the world on its head … who would’ve thought God would choose a person like Mary to be mother to God?
      • Our God is a fan of the underdog

Christmas Eve - Dec 24

  • Sermon Title: “From Heaven to Earth”
    • Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
  • Candle - Christ
  • Themes
    • Incarnation
      • What does it actually mean for the world that Emmanuel would be a human baby, in actuality?
      • How does this amazing gift show how highly God thinks of us?  Or what brings out the best in us?

Sunday After Christmas - Dec 27

  • Sermon Title: “Love Came Down at Christmas”
    • Scripture - Colossians 3:12-17
      • 2nd - Psalm 148
  • Themes
    • The values that God sent Jesus to demonstrate to us:
      • Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience
    • Love
      • God so loves the world ...

Epiphany Sunday - January 3 

  • Sermon Title: “Searching for Jesus”
    • Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
      • 2nd - Psalm 72:1-7
  • Themes
    • Where do we expect to find Jesus?  Might that be a dangerous search?
      • Who would be the opposition?
      • The political cost of following Jesus, bending the Messiah to our vision, rather than God's vision.
    • God Revealed - the meaning of  Epiphany 
      • Welcoming the Gentiles to the Kingdom.
    • Offering a Wesleyan Covenant Service
    • The New Year

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Song of the Bow

Due to a few technical difficulties, we didn't get a video of Sunday's message recorded.  So, here is the message from June 28.  At FUMCA, we're currently following the Old Testament stream of the RCL, studying the monarchy of ancient Israel has handed down to us through 1st and 2nd Samuel.  Below is a sermon on 2 Samuel, 1:1, 17-27 - the "Song of the Bow".

What happened in Charleston was still running through my mind as I wrote this on last Thursday.  I'd never had to preach on racism before, and here God is calling to speak on it two weeks in a row.  I don't know if I got everything right, but I do know that in the face of such horrendous tragedy, maybe the worst thing a pastor can do is say nothing.


Have you ever had a tried and true enemy?  Someone who all-out opposed you every chance they could?  Where things just got more and more terrible?  Maybe this enemy is one of your closest friends … Or a sibling … Or a spouse … A surprise.  How have you dealt with adversity that came at you in the form of a person, or people?  With a hot head?  Or with peace?

Last week, we read one of the more popular stories of the Bible, probably one of the few stories that people inside and outside of the church probably know, David and Goliath.  David, the passionate servant of God, trusts in God’s power to save him and his Israelite family, and takes on a giant.  He took on an enemy of our God, and by God’s power, he won.

If you know your Bible, from that moment on, things get kind of hard for David.  King Saul, who had lost his faith in God and in turn lost the Lord’s favor, grows jealous of David.  Saul knows that God has chosen David over him to be King and he isn’t too happy about it.  David ends up being the most famous general in Israel, fighting for Saul, but soon Saul’s jealousy takes over and forces Israel into a civil war, pitting those who love David against those who love Saul.

Things go back and forth through the end of First Samuel, our book for the last few weeks.  In the end, Saul loses his life, not by David … David actually spares his life multiple times, even as Saul continually tried to murder David … Game of Thrones stuff … Saul suffers a defeat at the hands of the Philistine army, in the end taking his own life over becoming a prisoner of war.

What happens after that, is one of the most touching moments in the Word of God, that you’ve probably never read.  When David hears of the death of Saul, he loses it, in front of his people whom he was anointed to lead.  He never chose to be Saul’s enemy.

2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27 Common English Bible (CEB)

After Saul’s death, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, he stayed in Ziklag two days.
David mourns Saul and Jonathan
Then David sang this funeral song for Saul and his son Jonathan.  David ordered everyone in Judah to learn the Song of the Bow. (In fact, it is written in the scroll from Jashar.)

Oh, no, Israel! Your prince lies dead on your heights.
    Look how the mighty warriors have fallen!
Don’t talk about it in Gath;
        don’t bring news of it to Ashkelon’s streets,
    or else the Philistines’ daughters will rejoice;
    the daughters of the uncircumcised will celebrate.
You hills of Gilboa!
    Let there be no dew or rain on you,
    and no fields yielding grain offerings.
Because it was there that the mighty warrior’s shield was defiled—
    the shield of Saul!—never again anointed with oil.
Jonathan’s bow never wavered from the blood of the slain,
    from the gore of the warriors.
        Never did Saul’s sword return empty.
Saul and Jonathan! So well loved, so dearly cherished!
    In their lives and in their deaths they were never separated.
They were faster than eagles,
    stronger than lions!
Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul!
    He dressed you in crimson with jewels;
    he decorated your clothes with gold jewelry.
Look how the mighty warriors have fallen in the midst of battle!
    Jonathan lies dead on your heights.
I grieve for you, my brother Jonathan!
    You were so dear to me!
    Your love was more amazing to me than the love of women.
Look how the mighty warriors have fallen!
    Look how the weapons of war have been destroyed!

David often chose music and poetry to express his emotions.  He even danced on occasion … We’ll get to that one in a week or two … Seventy-one of the hymns in the Book of Psalms have his name in the superscriptions - “A Psalm of David” - while at least twelve of them clearly describe events in his life.  He was a warrior poet, and here he composes a lament for the dead, a song of mourning for those he would consider dearly departed, a song that he would make all of Israel learn.

It’s amazing to think that Saul tried over and over again to murder David, and still, he would write this song.  And to have to compose these words so personally at the end to memorialize his very best friend, Jonathan.  It’s a beautiful song.  How would you write of your enemies?  Could someone write this one for you?

As a worship minister, I participated in the music for an awful lot of funerals.  Many while we were in Louisiana.  But the biggest one I ever participated in wasn’t for a person, it was for an event, and event names after a person … A hurricane named Katrina.

The storm changed that church and community in vivid ways that are still evident when you walk the streets of Slidell, especially in the outskirts of the town.  But on the fifth anniversary of the storm, my pastors decided it was time for the community to put it to rest.  We mourned the losses that day.  Friends that had to leave, never able to return due to houses lost.  Friends that could return, only to have to rebuild their lives once the waters receded.  The loss of many lives in a region that wasn’t ready.  We sang songs of lament … but then we celebrated a community that was able to rebuild.

We concluded the services with a style that only that region has … A song welcoming the saints … complete with a second line and hankies in the air.  Because with any funeral, we celebrate that the worst thing is never the last thing, right?

However, how do you mourn an enemy?  David stops everything in Israel when he hears the news of Saul’s death.  Everything.  The fighting.  No rejoicing.  David feels a deep loss in his soul for himself and his nation, a loss of one who was anointed to lead.  But there is further weight on his shoulders … He’s going to have to rebuild this nation after its civil war.  It would be years before David could unite north and south again.

It’s just got me thinking about how we treat our enemies, with those that oppose us.  When you watch the Cowboy game, right, when a player is injured on the field, everything stops, even if we're playing against Philadelphia.  You know what I mean.  Maybe our cornerback made the most amazing tackle on the Eagle’s wide receiver.  A game saving tackle when a player was on a break away.  Even so, everything quits.  The hush falls over the crowd when trainers and coaches rush onto the field, even for a player from the Eagles.  Players are standing over their comrade.  If it’s bad a stretcher comes out and the cart that comes with it to hurry the player across the field to the locker room, perhaps even to an ambulance.  And everybody falls into a hushed stillness.  People that have their faces painted in team colors, with signs that say terrible things about the opposing team.  All still.

And the player is loaded onto the stretcher.  And then the cart.  His neck is immobilized and you can’t hear what the people are saying.  But then you see him give a thumbs up as he’s driven off the field.

What does the stadium do?  It claps.  It cheers.  Breaths that were held are let out.  People that jeer are booed.

Why?  Because there’s a difference between wishing your enemy to fail and wishing your enemy harm.

Do we get that?  We are called to always seek to “Do no harm.”  Regardless of the opposition; we pray for changed hearts.  And changed minds.  And changed lives.

The events of last week are still weighing heavily on my heart.  A young man does to a church and accepts the hospitality of a faith family, even though he looks drastically different on the surface than they do.  After studying the Bible with them for an hour, he commits an act of terrorism, and nine of God’s children perish.

How does the church react?  It falls into a hush, but then it sings songs of mourning.  It laments that the stain of racism still hasn’t been washed clean from our world.  It prays that Jesus is still at work, that the Holy Spirit is still moving to fix people’s hearts.

I call us all to search our souls for what the Lord’s justice would look like in today’s world; what people who ultimately believe in God’s hopeful reconciliation would bring to the table.  I pray for the enemies of justice to fail, and I hope that God will change their hearts.

I grew up in Farmers Branch, TX.  Not a town that’s done super well on race relations, in recent history, but that doesn’t mean that amazing things can’t happen in the midst of dealing with an influx of immigrants just trying to find a home.  In high school, I did a little tutoring in a reading program at Central Elementary in Carrollton.  At the time it was full of little kids learning English as a second language.  You’d guess that most of them were coming to English from Spanish, and on the whole, you’d be right.  But, back then, there was a surprise when you walked in the front entrance, a sign, that said hello in every language represented by the student body, which was 3rd through 5th grade.

“Hello” was written on this sign in thirty different languages.  Thirty languages.  Quite the job for the teachers, right?  But they did the work for those precious children.

I pray for those that perpetrate racism in our nation to fail, and those that would divide God’s children up into categories to have changed hearts.

David prayed for his enemies, and mourned their loss, because they were children of God.  But, our Lord Jesus Christ takes things a whole lot further than that.

‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Listen, whether you’ve joined this faith family or not, I’m just going to assume for a moment that you’re part of the Body of Christ.  If you are, if we are, Christian, how is it that Christ called for us to be known in the world?  By our love.  We’ve been studying the monarchy of ancient Israel, learning about leadership and how God calls us to lead.  However, we follow something other-worldly, an alternative Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom based on a value of love that is above all and eternal.

May we hear the call of our Lord, to share God’s perfect love, with imperfect people, that someday we may all set aside what we think sets us apart, and just be children of our Heavenly Father.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter Worship Series - Counter Cultural Community

Coming off the heels of Easter, FUMC of Arlington is launching into a series on the Acts of the Apostles and the building of the first Christian Community:

Here's an outline of the fun with a few (rough) ideas as to where we're going with things!

Easter Season Worship Series:  Counter Cultural Community
April 12 to May 10

The first church of Jesus, the Acts Church, was a revolutionary community.  Not only was it founded on the teachings of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, but it was a community set apart entirely for the glory of God.  Yet, it was still in the world – in the world, but sharing in values that were not of the world around it.  It was a counter-cultural community, anointed by God to spread the good news of God’s love to the nations.  What would that first church say to our church today?

April 12 – “Counter-Cultural Community”

  • Lesson – Acts 4:32-35
    • Ideas
    • The first church lived in community, everything was shared and everybody had enough.  What could be more opposite to culture than that?
    • They lived in an attitude of worship, their very lives testifying to the Resurrection.

April 19 – “Turning to God”

  • Lesson – Acts 3:12-19
  • Ideas
    • How have we turned from our old lives and back to God?
      • Metanoia, Repentance
    • Dispelling fear and ignorance – we can’t live in ignorance any more.
      • Do we ignore the problems of the world, hiding in our sanctuaries?  Worse, do we ignore the problems that we cause?
      • Taking responsibility and moving forward.
    • What does conversion look like?

April 26 – “Fearing Rejection”

  • Lesson – Acts 4:5-12
  • Ideas
    • How do we work counter to a culture of bureaucracy that seems to lack care?
      • Or, how do we work within it to make a change?
    • Remembering that Jesus was rejected, so sometimes we, as bearers of good news, will be rejected as well.
      • We can’t fear going against the grain of things.
    • The power of community to overcome obstacles.

May 3 – “Wherever You Go”

  • Lesson – Acts 8:26-40
    • Ideas
    • Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
      • We’re out in the mission field.
      • Sharing our faith by building relationships with people.
      • Slow evangelism, the practice of hospitality.
    • The Holy Spirit goes where we go.  We are the church wherever we are.
    • Knowing your Bible – being equipped to witness

May 10 – “For the World”

  • Lesson – Acts 10:44-48
  • Ideas
    • Again, we’re out in the mission field, with God sending Peter to the Household of Cornelius
    • Baptism of the gentiles – the Kingdom is open to the world.
      • Christ came for the salvation of all, Christ is for the world.
    • Being United Methodist – how is [YOUR CHURCH] making disciples for the transformation of the world?
      • Might be good to work in something on mission ministries that your church facilitates
      • Looking at UMCOR …


These are all really just ideas from my notes that I hope you might find helpful!

As a side project for this series, we're gathering faith stories from within our community, asking people the questions -
"What difference has being a Christian made in your life?"
"What difference has being part of the church made in your life?"

We're gathering stories from across demographic lines and will include these short testimonies in our worship and post them online as we go.  The first clip is below.  I'm telling you - you have somebody in your church that can do this for you.  The most vital thing that the church can do to bring more people in is to tell its story and the difference that is made in being part of the community.

April 5, 2015: Counter-Cultural Community from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.