All posts by Pastor Kim

Sermon on Hope for the 2nd Sunday of Advent

Pastor Kim’s text was Isaiah 9:2 and 6 and Luke 2: 8-14  The sermon notes she refers to are as follows:

Advent 2 Hope  God Bless us Everyone!  Dec 10, 2017

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:2 and 6 New International Version

 

#1 Real hope is in ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________________________________

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 

Luke 8-12 New International Version

#2 Our hope is in ________________________________________

 

#3 Our hope is in ________________________________________

 

Hurry Up and Wait

Hurry up and wait. If this seems like your life, welcome to Advent.  Advent is all about waiting.  Most human beings are not particularly good at waiting. In this four-week season that begins Sunday Dec 3rd, we wait for the birth of our savior, Jesus.

Often waiting feels like a waste of time.  We wait for the rain to stop or the sun to rise. But Advent waiting is meant to be the opposite.  It is meant to be active waiting.  Henri Nouwen writes, “We live the present moment to the full in order to find there the signs of the One we are waiting for.” 

Advent waiting invites reflection. What brought meaning, true peace and joy this past year?  What do we need to change where those gifts were lacking?  Advent reflection is meant to bring us closer to Christ.  Where did we see God in ourselves, others and our world?  What spiritual disciplines help us grow?

Our children await Christmas day with great expectation, enthusiasm, and joy.  These gifts are possible for all if we are using Advent waiting to consider the ways we can grow closer to Christ, and thus see him more often, no matter the season.

Grace and Peace, Kim

Christmas Giving Opportunities

We are posting additional details on giving opportunities for Christmas Angels and the DCF Christmas Shop.

Christmas Angels:  The list from our local DCF social worker is out for children and teens needing help with Christmas. You take a tag, buy the gifts, wrap them, and make sure you put the identifying number clearly on the package or bag that has that child’s gifts. Our DCF Social worker, Andrea Grimm, will make sure the gifts are delivered. Place gifts in the Generosity Room, off northeastern door of Fellowship Hall. Speak to Shirley Parfitt if you have questions 425-3741. Return gifts to church by Sunday, December 17th

DCF Christmas Shop: Our Middlebury office of DCF is also hosting a Christmas shop this year. They are accepting new or almost new items that children can then use to give to parents and siblings. These items may go in the Generosity room. Toys, books, jewelry welcome. Anything left over will go to the HOPE Thrift shop. These items can be brought in every December Sunday through Dec. 17th.

“The Hidden King” sermon on Nov 26th, 2017

Pastor Kim’s sermon was based on Matthew 25:31-46 (sheep, goats, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty…?)  She discusses how this teaching is like the preventive check-up or teeth cleaning we hardly look forward to.

And she talks about the difference between “grace” and “cheap grace” – forgiveness without transformation.  She referenced Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book “The Cost of Discipleship“.  Click the link if you would like to learn a bit more about this concept.

 

“Give Thanks” sermon on Sunday, November 19th

You can view Pastor Kim’s message on the video below.  You will find the scripture and sermon prompt questions or phrases  below that.

Deuteronomy 8:7,10-14

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hils…Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments…When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of slavery….fed you in the wilderness with manna…But remember the Lord your God.

Sermon Prompts and Questions

Pilgrims and People of God teach us:

Real poverty is:

Both hardship and prosperity

Hospitality and giving are basic

Disaster Response, Churches, and UMCOR

Here’s how we are changing lives. FEMA depends on a number of religious groups for their expertise when disaster strikes, and each religious group has unique abilities. Through excellent communication with FEMA and each other, there is no duplication.

UMCOR, the United Methodist response group, specializes in case management, emergency kits such as cleaning buckets, and volunteers. Not only do we have a volunteer army of 20,000 people for early response teams who muck out homes, we have even more Mission trip leaders and participants. 

Trained volunteer case managers help families navigate the maze of aid and insurance to rebuild their lives. These case managers then work with our regular mission teams who do the rebuilding.  These volunteer hours are counted at $25 per hour towards the ~10% that states are supposed to match towards federal disaster aid. 

Already in Texas, over 6,000 homes have been “mucked” out by the specially trained advance UM volunteer teams, and 28,000 cleaning buckets are waiting to be shipped to Puerto Rico when that becomes possible.

Grace and Peace, Kim

What Do We Expect?

What do we expect?  Often we influence others by what we expect them to do. If we decide ahead of time that someone will laugh at us or turn us down, we tend not to invite them to church.  Or, if we expect that it is normal for teens and young adults to drop out of church we do little to reverse that.

Let God’s love challenge your expectations. Jesus did not give up on anyone. What if we had so many teens attending or young adults that they looked forward to seeing their friends on Sunday?  What if we “got it” that faith gets more important the older we get.  After all, it is people over age 12 who make the most life changing decisions that affect not only themselves, but their peers, families, and friends.

We already have some plans in place to improve Sunday school this year.  We are making further plans to be in an even better position to help teens and adults grow in their faith, and enjoy life giving Christian fellowship.

Will you pray for these plans?  Will you commit to a daily devotion time and/or a Bible study time with others?  It starts with you and me!  But I know Jesus expects great things and is eager to empower them.

Grace and Peace, Kim