New Faith

April 20, 2018

Ethan Linder  - John 20:24-29. When we come to church, we often hear people saying (like the disciples did), “I have seen the Lord!” while others, like Thomas, find ourselves farther from belief than we wish. This can produce isolation, shame, and unworthiness that propels us from the community of faith. This sermon will work to unravel some of that shame and doubt while exploring what happens when Jesus shows up and invites “those who have not seen” to “yet still believe.”

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New Beginnings

April 8, 2018

Rev. Steve DeNeff - Luke 22:24-34; 1 Peter 1:3-5. Most of us have too high, too ambitious an opinion of ourselves – “even if all the others fall away . . . I never will” (Matt. 26:33) – which makes failure doubly hard for us. But the living Christ has a very different view of us, both before and after we fail, so he is never surprised and he is never finished. In fact, he still prays for us. For all who have blown it, at one time or another, the resurrection offers a “new birth into a living hope” that we can begin again.

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Living Resurrection

April 1, 2018
Steve DeNeff - John 11:17-27. For many, Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection and the anticipation of our own someday. Like Martha, many of us have confined the resurrection to a day in the future when we will rise from the dead (John 11:23-24), and it is that as well. But the resurrection is a reality that we can live in now, for Jesus says, “I am the resurrection…” and he said it before he raised anyone, including himself. The resurrection is the beginning of a new story, a new world and a new way of living in it.  It’s a mindset, an awareness that heaven has broken in and the old order has been cast out. Easter is only proof of that. 
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By this everyone will know you are my disciples

April 1, 2018
Steve DeNeff - John 13:18, 21-38. In the middle of his last meal with his disciples, Jesus predicts that one will betray him and another will deny him. He is right both times. We have all experienced the sting of betrayal or rejection, even from those closest to us. But in between these, Jesus offers a better way to respond: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Said, as it was, in the context of betrayal this phrase becomes even more powerful. This sermon will address this command – to love one another – as the ultimate form of power in the presence of those who hurt us. 
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I have set you an example

March 18, 2018

Rev. Eric Crisp - John 13:1-17. Just before the Passover, Jesus gathered his disciples for their last meal together. In this solemn act, found only in John’s gospel, he “got up from the table, took off his robe and wrapped a towel around his waist,” (NLT). Then, after washing their feet he said, “Do you understand what I have done for you . . . I have set you an example.” This example has to do, in part, with the right use of power, position or privilege. In our world today, many are achieving power and position earlier in their careers and this can make them more entitled, less self aware and less sensitive to others. This sermon will discuss the temptation to use power or privilege wrongly, and speak of ways that we can sanctify it, “doing for each other what he has done for us.” 

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While You Have the Light

March 11, 2018
Rev. Emily Vermilya - John 12:34-36. When the crowd protested Jesus’ promise that the Messiah would die (“be lifted up”), he encouraged them to follow and he warned them to remember that they would not always have the choice: “Walk in the light before darkness overtakes you.” After this, he hid himself. To many, this was an exchange between Jesus and his inquisitors. But what if it is more? What if “the light” is coming and going all of the time, in windows of opportunity, in which we can choose to follow or choose to ignore? What if the most dreaded outcome for ignoring the light is darkness, in which no options are open to us, and no choice can be made? This sermon will encourage the devout to look for places where God is convicting us (the “light”) and show them how being open to these convictions brings more options, better choices and more light. 
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Now My Heart is Troubled and What Shall I Say?

March 4, 2018

Rev Steve DeNeff - John 12:27-33. As the Greeks appear, Jesus sees forward into his impending death and it is as though two roads appear, one called “Save me from this hour” and another called “Glorify your Name.” Jesus himself appears standing at the fork, where the roads diverge, and from here he says, “Now my heart is troubled and what shall I say?” There is, in every person’s life, at least one crisis that puts us at this fork in the road. Before us lies divergent paths – save me from this hour, and glorify thy Name – and we must choose which road to take. After we make our decision, our decision will make us and it will powerfully shape the rest of our lives. This sermon will help people find themselves, at the fork in the road, and encourage them to choose to glorify His Name. 

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If it dies

February 27, 2018

Steve DeNeff - John 12:20-26. After some Greeks came to see Jesus, he knew that “the hour was at hand” and spoke a proverb that is as true for our lives as it was for his. Indeed, it seems written into the very code of life: “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains a single seed, but if it dies it produces many seeds.” There are many today who speak of discipleship, of re-producing our lives in someone else, but according to Jesus, discipleship comes only after one has died to himself, only after he has lost himself in a message or a cause that is larger than himself. Yet there are many, as Fenelon said, “who want to die, yet attend their own funeral.”  The call of Jesus is to recklessly abandon our own agendas and to “be with him wherever he is.” This sermon will call us to do our best work in secret, to “preach, die and be forgotten” as Zinzendorf put it.

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The House was Filled with the Fragrance

February 18, 2018
Steve DeNeff - John 12:1-8. Today Jesus is in Bethany (which means “house of the poor”), in Mary and Martha’s home, at a dinner in his honor. During the meal, Mary pours a pint of alabaster, an expensive and potent perfume, onto the feet of Jesus and wipes them with her hair. This simple act of devotion creates controversy even outrage among Jesus’ disciples who have better plans for the money. But in this act, disciples of every generation are encouraged to pour their best, their possessions, their glory and the sum of their work onto the feet of Jesus.  Sooner or later, all that we have and all that we’ve done will end at the feet of Jesus.  So this sermon will call us to offer it now, intentionally and generously, while we can.
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Seen to Unseen

February 13, 2018

Dr. Bud Bence - Mid Week Bible Study

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