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This is How We Change the World

 
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…and he saw that it was good (Gen. 1).
 
We look at the world God created, and, though we see much good, we also see much that we cannot call good. Why? Sin, evil, brokenness, corruption, darkness. Whatever you call the opposite of God, it has infiltrated our world down to the very cells in our bodies. 
 
Yet this brokenness does not have the final say. God has entered into the very parts of the world that are opposite God’s character and will transform all things again to good!
We are part of this story. As United Methodists, we talk about are part in this as our mission: 
 
Make Disciples of Jesus Christ
for the Transformation of the World!
 
A tall order, but, amazingly, true. God chooses to work through us when we choose to walk with God. We see God changing the world in powerful ways.
 
How do we join in God’s transformation of our broken world into the Kingdom of God? I believe God has something important and unique for every individual and every church.  As a church, we are hearing God move us to Change the world by focusing on this Purpose:
 
Memorial UMC is called in this time and place to
Connect, Ignite, and Nurture
a Spirit Filled Life
to, for, and with
South Dayton area Families.
 
Join together throughout January to explore how God is calling us to Change the World with and through the Power of the Holy Spirit! I’d love to talk individually with you about what God may be saying to you personally as well!
 
Together, God is making all things good as new!
 
See you Sunday if not before,
Pastor Jennifer Burns


Coming Home: Advent Worship Series

Coming Home – Advent/Christmas

Coming Home: Advent Worship Series
 
Coming Home Worship Series
(from umdiscipleship.org)
In the United States, Christmastime and thoughts of home just go together. “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” and “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays,” are two of the most popular holiday songs, year after year. Christmas movies and television shows regularly feature stories of people going to their family home or extended family home over the holidays. Among the rituals we create for this darkest time of the year in the Northern hemisphere, perhaps the majority of them are associated with either going home or doing special things at home– whether lighting candles and having a time of family prayer during Advent, or decorating a Christmas tree, or caroling through a neighborhood, or hosting festive “open house” parties for friends, neighbors, and colleagues. It’s all about home.
 
Advent and Christmas Season are about another kind of homecoming, the homecoming of Christ to redeem and renew us, this earth, and all creation till “heaven and nature sing” with joy eternally. The Scriptures the church uses for Advent focus first on the final fulfillment, and later on the beginning of that fulfillment in Jesus. As they seek God’s joyous desire, they also make plain just how far from it we have been and challenge us with just how far we have to go, ourselves, to begin to live into it.
 
This year’s Advent and Christmas Season series embraces the secular seasonal metaphor of homecoming to wrap the challenging biblical texts this season gives us. Each week’s service will invite us to “unwrap” something that leads us toward making our hearts, our lives, our families, our communities, and our world more like the home Christ’s ultimate homecoming will make it to be.


Love Does - 5 Love Languages sermon series

Five Love Languages

Love Does - 5 Love Languages sermon series

FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES SUMMARY

Called to Love:

Greatest Commands are to love God and Neighbor – Mat 22:37-39

We are shown how to love in many ways:

  • Quality Time – Luke 19:1-10
  • Receiving Gifts – John 3:16, Luke 22:19
  • Physical Touch – Matthew 8:1-3
  • Words of Affirmation – Matthew 15:10-20
  • Acts of Service – John 13:3-5

Key Reflections from Pastor Jennifer

  • Who are we loving? Are we loving the folks Jesus loved: sick, poor, outcasts, mentally ill, socially offensive but successful, theologically different from us? Mark 2:17
  • Intention matters! Are you serving with a positive spirit? Are you paying attention to how your physical touch is received? Is your mind as well as your body present? 1 Sam. 16:7
  • Love cannot be forced. “No one likes to be forced to do anything. Love is always freely given.” You also cannot make someone accept your acts of love. You can only offer and make requests. The freedom must always remain.

“Manipulation by guilt…Coercion by fear…[are] alien to love.”

  • Are we allowing others to love us? Sometimes it’s easier to give than receive. But Love is ALWAYS relational, two way. Do we allow someone to buy us dinner? Do we brush off their compliment? Do we make space for people to know how to serve us? John 13:3-5
  • Personal and world transformation is possible when our need to give and receive love is being met. ex. Zacchaeus, the healed sick, the power of Communion, martyrs, saints, etc.

Reflection Question:

How is the Holy Spirit moving me to love new people in new ways?



Fearless

Imagine your life without fear!

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7

 
God wants to give us this gift of fearlessness. With the power of God, the support of Christian community, and our commitment to trust God, we can begin to imagine our life without fear!
 

Check out the Book for our series:

Fearless by Max Lucado. We will be covering only 6 of his 15 wonderful chapters on different kinds of fear. Contact Pastor Jennifer if you’d like to continue the study further in small group.
 

Weekly Sermon Topics

7/30/17 – There’s a Dragon in my Closet – Fear of The Worst Case Scenario!
Take Home Message: Expose your worst fears to the light of Christ. Darkness cannot thrive in light!
8/6/17 – Woe, Be Gone – Fear of Running Out
Take Home Message: Worry doesn’t work! Employ Worry Stoppers
8/13/17 – Have it Your Way? – Fear of Change
Take Home Message: Allow the Holy Spirit to provide Stability in the midst of change
8/20/17 – This Brutal Planet – Fear of Violence
Take Home Message:Do not fear those who can harm the body but not the soul
9/3/17 – What if Things Get Worse? – Fear of Global Calamity
Take Home Message: Don’t freak out, give up, or give in, for soon you shall see victory!
9/10/17 –The One Healthy Terror – Fear of God getting out of our box
Take Home Message: God is not tame, but is good. In proper perspective, all other fears fade away.