Category Archives: Connect, Building Our Lives Together

Connect: At the Table

We finished our sermon series, “Connect: Building Our Life Together,” on World Communion Sunday. Christians have connected through since the early days when the earliest followers of Jesus followed his command to remember him at the table.

World Communion Sunday began in 1933 at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, pastored by Dr. Hugh Thomson Kerr. It was adopted by the US Presbyterian Church in 1936 and then by the Federal Council of Churches (now the National Council of Churches) in 1940. And has been celebrated throughout ecumenical circles ever since.

In some ways, every time we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion is world communion Sunday. No church celebrates alone, every hour of every day the sacrament is being shared. It does connect us across ethnic, religious, denominational, age, gender and every other line one can imagine.

The color of our block this week was yellow, the color of hope, of new ideas and thoughts. Eighty years ago, World Communion Sunday was a new idea. The idea represents the hope and leans into the prayer of Jesus, “that they may all be one.”

The sermon itself focused on the lectionary passage from Luke 17 and the expectation of Jesus that we forgive and we do the work of faith every day. You can find the worship service or the sermon itself here.

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Connect: Service

We have only one Sunday to go before we finish up our sermon series, “Connect: Building Our Life Together.” This weekend was packed full. One of our Sunday School Classes, “Pneuma” celebrated their 40th anniversary as a class. Saturday evening was filled with people catching up, pictures, remembrances and lots of laughter. Today many attended worship together.

The color of our building block this week is red. Red is the color of action, strength and the Spirit. The word “pneuma” means spirit and the celebration of the “spirit” Sunday school class is a reminder to all that we are all called by the Spirit, and challenged by the Spirit.

This Sunday was the annual “mission reveal” which mean the mission trips for 2020 were shared. There are plenty to choose from including a women’s only trip to Arkansas during lambing season at Heifer Project, a family trip to Henderson Settlement, and several to work on disaster recovery in Puerto Rico, the East Coast, Houston and Oklahoma.

Today was also PRIDE weekend in Wichita and there were those that went to march in the parade with other United Methodist congregations to show God’s love for all. I am so grateful to serve in a place where we are constantly striving to be the hands and feet and heart of Jesus in the world.

You can find the whole worship service or just the sermon here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Connecting Through the Word

What a beautiful day we had together at First United Methodist Church. This Sunday we presented our third graders with bibles, commissioned a mission team and blessed our bibles at our Downtown Alive service. I love gifting bibles to third graders. Over the last few years the new ones are so colorful and inviting.

We have continued our sermon series, “Connect: Building Our Life Together.” We have used different colored building blocks focus on the various ways we are building our lives together: orange, the color of adventure for our work, the color brown representing stability and support and we focused on our relationships and today the color was blue for devotion and contemplation.

Our Hebrew text was from Jonah. I have been stewing for days because as I practice I kept substituting Noah for Jonah! So what did I do today? Exactly what I was afraid of, at least six times I said Noah instead of Jonah! Sigh. Stewing about it and practicing didn’t seem to change it, but nonetheless that is life.

Today’s worship service, or sermon alone can be found here.

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Connecting Through Generations

Today as we continued our sermon series, “Connect: Building Our Life Together.” Not only did we celebrate Grandparents Day, we took a special offering for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for the victims of Hurricane Dorian. This sermon series uses building blocks to represent the different colors and ways we connect to each other and to God.

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While I acknowledge Grandparents Day is not a liturgical holiday, we chose to focus on this important relationship and ask grandparents to invite grandchildren and grandchildren to invite grandparents to church. Following the Downtown Alive service, there was lunch of pizza and salad and everyone was invited to come down and to play and to do activities together.

There was a photo booth, board games, cards to write and send to far away grandchildren or grandparents. We gave cards with suggestions on grandparenting and then these yellow cards for grandparents to ask questions of their grandchildren and the green cards that had questions for grandchildren to ask grandparents. Our grandchildren will be sent a set of the green cards so we can talk in different ways.

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My associate Rebecca Goltry Mohr did such a good job creating this very meaningful event. In worship, I spoke of the church being intentionally intergenerational. Our community is not made based on genetics or nationality or ethniticity or age or background. We are created into community or family because of God’s grace and love.

I am grateful to be a grandmother, but I am also grateful to be in community with people of all ages. You can find the whole worship service or just the sermon here.

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Connect: Building Our Lives Together

We started a new sermon series yesterday in worship. Over the next six weeks we will be focusing on building our lives together using interlocking building blocks. Each person who came to worship received a small drawstring bag, an orange building block and a card with a prayer that will lead us through the next few weeks.

Next week, each person will received the next color of block until there is six different colored blocks. Each color has a different meaning

Our focus was our “work” both paid and unpaid as it was Labor Day weekend. For over two decades I have had an anointing service on Labor Day Sunday. I feel as if we underestimate how important our work is in the world. Sometimes we embrace our work with enthusiasm and with a sense of adventure and sometimes we do not. Regardless, our work connects us to God, to each other and to the world.

Our lives matter and work whether it is a vocation or a job or volunteer matters and how we share our work with the world says volumes about out faith in God.

You can find both the entire worship service or just the sermon here http://sundaystreams.com/go/firstwichita

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