Changing Lives

You are changing lives by being Christ’s warm transforming love:

During the past several months, Jane and I have been the recipient of an outpouring of support, prayers, phone calls, cards and emails from many of you, which has been overwhelming.  The time you took to contact us made a big difference and will not be soon forgotten.  Thankfully, I am much improved as I write this.  We are now anticipating returning to North Ferrisburgh this summer and seeing everyone again. You – our Vermont church family – are the best and you provided much comfort and gave us hope!  Feeling blessed, and with gratitude, Bruce Werner

I cannot even begin to tell you how much your cards, emails and prayers have meant to me. You have been God’s arms around me during this crazy time. When we moved to Charlotte 13 years ago, we were blessed to find you.  Much love, Jill Wilkens

“I am sorry to be so late thanking you for the Christmas gifts. I was alone Christmas with my husband Sam in the Arbors and my children away. I was feeling sorry for myself when Chick came with all the wonderful gifts!  It made my day that someone cared. Thank you for caring and making my holiday so nice.  God bless, Joan Cutting.” (Joan is one of our shut-ins who received the Craft gifts in December)

Grace and Peace, Kim

“Lift Up” sermon on March 18th

Pastor Kim’s message is based on John 12: 20-33 . Jesus came so that all people could be lifted up into God’s love. What uplifting message do we pass on to others?

Sermon Notes 

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23       John 12: 20-22

  1.  Are we open to people we least expect being open to Jesus?

Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.          John 12: 23-26

2.  So Jesus attracts us by love for love.  Jesus reaches most people through friendships with other people.

3.  Put a name down after each category below of someone you would invite to try something at our church: worship, Mid-week study, Alpha, Men’s group Wildberries etc.  But first pray about this and let the Spirit guide you and that person.

a. friend

b. family member

c. neighbor

d. co-worker


“Light Up” sermon on March 11th

Pastor Kim’s sermon text is John 3:14-21 NRSV

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.      John 3:14 NRSV

  1. When we are facing a tough challenge is our first thought to the ways God has been faithful to us in the past or is our first thought about how we can’t possibly deserve this current challenge and why isn’t God erasing it without any effort on our part?
  2. Do we believe that there are no problems for Christians only opportunities to live our faith?
  3. Love yourself enough to be honest about your own darkness, and love Jesus enough to get to welcome his love into your life so that you are on the path to healing, the path of love.  That is the Christian path to living joyfully, courageously, and hopefully in the present.

Why Bodhidharma Went to Howard Johnson’s
“Where is your home,” the interviewer asked him.
“No, no,” the interviewer said, thinking it a problem of translation,
“when you are where you actually live.”
Now it was his turn to think, perhaps the translation?
~ Jane Hirshfield ~
(The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry)

“Take Up Your Cross” sermon on March 4th

What does it mean to take up our cross?  Christians are NOT to take up unnecessary suffering.  We are to be faithful witnesses to Jesus’ love, no matter the cost.

Sermon Notes:

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?    

Mark 8:34-37 New Revised Standard Version

We have choices if we are to take up the cross:

  1. The first choice is to run from or run towards our transformation in Christ.
  2. The second choice is: Have we come to die to selfishness?
  3. The third choice: Are we following a transformed cross?


Come and Find Yourself “Beloved” Sermon on Feb 25th 2nd Sunday of Lent

Sermon Notes

Based on Mark 1: 9–11 NRSV: In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;  with you I am well pleased.” 

#1 Jesus is baptized in order to show his solidarity with us.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,  in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.                                             2 Peter 9-10 NRSV

#2Low Self-esteem, whether it leads to cattiness and envy or to beating up on ourselves unnecessarily, does not honor Jesus or our baptism.

#3 Choose one of the next questions that really strikes you, and then try to answer it.

  1. If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most dear to you, what would it be in 25 words or less?
  2. Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo?  Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?
  3. Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for?
  4. If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?


“Store Up True Treasure” Sermon on Feb 18th 1st Sunday of Lent

Sermon Notes       “Store up True Treasure”   February 18, 2018

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust[b] consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.                       Matthew 6:19-21  NRSV


#1 Are you looking at life with ___________________________  in the midst of whatever life is dishing out to you?

#2  Prayer and all spiritual disciplines are about ______________________

Or to put it another way true prayer leads us to ______________________

#3 How do we function in our modern society and honor Jesus?

___________________________________________ from the light of God’s love.



  1. Are you looking at life with the enthusiasm of a child, convinced that you will find a God of love in the midst of whatever life is dishing out to you?
  2. Prayer and all spiritual disciplines are about growing more faith, hope, love and joy in our lives.  Or to put it another way true prayer leads us to more faithful living.
  3. How do we function in our modern society and honor Jesus?     Question everything from the light of God’s love.

“Forgiving Spirit – Final Challenges” Sermon

This sermon reviews the previous sermons on forgiveness in this series, and then examines issues that are particularly hard when it comes to forgiveness including apologies, reconciliation, and the lack of either.

At the end, Kim tells of a powerful story of forgiveness and transformation among  a man (Azim Khamisa) whose son was killed by another man’s grandson, that grandfather (Ples Felix) and now the grandson himself.  You can watch the TED Talk of Azim and Ples by clicking on this link:  Aziz Khamisa and Ples Felix

Ideas and Plans from Our Planning Day Jan 20th

On Sat, Jan 20th, twenty people of all ages gathered for an awesome planning day.  Ed Wilkens, our leader, made it fun and lively. Said one new member who had to slip out early: “I don’t want to leave, this is fun.” 

We looked at developing new ideas for 1) children, 2) youth, 3) young adults and parents and 4) Faith Deepening Studies (any class that helps our faith grow).  We also hope to expand lay leadership.  Below is a more detailed look at the ideas that came under each of these areas:

  1. For faith deepening study: We will offer “What in the World” Wednesday sermon review discussion studies.  These begin on Feb 21st thru March 28th at both 10–11:30am and 7–8:30pm.  Choose which time is best for you.
  2. For Youth: Hold monthly activities and survey the youth to find out their interests.  For example, Kathy Quesnel and Rob McKay begin a new high school class during worship Sunday, Feb 4th.
  3. For Children: Offer regular fellowship activities for children as well as Sunday school.  Crafts, hikes, cooking, grandparent/mentoring activities.
  4. Young Adults/Parents: offer mid-week gathering at the Pavilion for picnics, music, games, playground, socializing.

As we look forward, we rejoice that God is blessing us in many ways.  In 2017 our average attendance grew to 84, when many churches are shrinking. Our giving, service, and fun activities increased as well! Sunday Feb. 4th we add a Sunday school class for High School students 9th-12grade!  We are so blessed!

Grace and Peace, Kim

“Forgiving Builds the Future” – sermon for Jan 28th

Pastor Kim’s sermon this week in her series on forgiveness reflects on how the past can be a burden that drags like a dead weight.  Or it can give us the building materials to create a better and more generous future.

Sermon Notes:

#1  God forgives in order to invite us into ____________. God’s ___________________. Another name for this is the _______________________.

#2  What if the past we drag around beating each other up with could instead be a ______________________________________.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

#3 Do you not think it was clear that their new reality __________________?

#4 You assume a __________when you wrong me.  I assume an inclusive and even more important ___________when I forgive and ______________________________________.


#1  God forgives us in order to invite us into God’s life, God’s abundant life.  Another name for this is the kingdom of God.

#2  What if the past could instead be a bridge to a bright and gracious future? 

#3  Do you not think it was clear that their new reality was a gift from God?

#4  You assume a power when you wrong me.  I assume an inclusive and even more important power when I forgive and refuse to remain hostage to your wrong.