The New Order

May 6, 2018

Steve DeNeff - Revelation 1:12-18. "Stuck on the island of Patmos on the Lord’s day.” That’s how John describes himself moments before he encountered the risen Lord.  Patmos was a kind of Alcatraz for the Romans – a place where prisoners go and are never heard from again – but as John stands on the shores, contemplating his grim future, he turns around to see “the Living One...(who) was dead and behold, is alive forever more,” (Rev. 1:17-18). What John discovers is that God has a plan for, not only him, but the whole world. There is a new day coming. God has a plan for the ages.

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A New Creation

April 29, 2018

Steve DeNeff - Acts 22:2-21; 2 Cor. 5:16-18. Salvation is often portrayed, in evangelical circles, as the acquiescence to a series of good beliefs – Jesus died, Jesus rose again – but the resurrection reminds us is that Easter is, at its core, about a personal encounter with One who is alive and active in this world. Saul (turned Paul) was one who came late for Easter, who was “abnormally born,” as he put it (1 Cor 15:8). The conversion of Saul is a window into how active Jesus is for the gospel today. Who do you know that is late for Easter? What hope do you have that they will ever find it? Take heart in the story of Saul, that even though your friends are far from God, He is still pursuing them. He still has a plan for them and He will not rest until He has found them.

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New Hope

April 22, 2018

Steve DeNeff - Matt. 27:57-61; John 20:10-18. Anyone who has attended a funeral knows how solemn, and sometimes devastating a moment that can be. So Mary has come to the garden to pay her respects and finds, to her amazement, that Jesus’ body is gone. There can only be one explanation: someone has stolen it. But this is no ordinary funeral. On Easter, things are not as they seem. This is a different garden and there is something that Mary doesn’t know. And what she learns, that first Easter, is good news for everyone like her who search for hope.

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New Faith

April 15, 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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“The one who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.”

March 25, 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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