Sermon Topic: Hope
This Sunday, we welcome Peter Pereira, our long-time mission partner and friend. Peter and Esther have spent their ministry serving Christ both in the U.S. and southeast Asia, where they care especially for those in poverty through basic needs, education, vocational and leadership training. Their work is deeply rooted in a hunger to see every person come to know life and truth through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Peter has been a particularly strong voice in our ministry, speaking encouragement into our community. This Sunday, he will bring a prophetic word around unleashing, freedom, and how God is using both women and men to spread the good news. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
This week, we finish a month of talking together about how loss affects us and how this long season of uncertainty has contributed to our sense of loss and longing. We've talked about the loss of life, of meaning, of dreams, and we've used Ecclesiastes to help us explore the hope and purpose that can be found even in the most difficult of circumstances. This week, we conclude our series with a look at how God can redeem even the loss of our health by calling us into new ways to appreciate God's good gift
We've all lost through the pandemic. We've lost routines, rhythms, hopes, relationships, jobs. Some of us have lost loved ones. Others have felt the pain of prior losses more acutely. When we are struggling to cope with a complicated life, we feel our feelings deeply. We may struggle with loneliness, struggle to remember our purpose in the world, struggle with memories and derailed dreams. Beginning this week, we'll take some time to talk about how we can redeem our losses, using the wisdom of Ecclesiastes as our guide. We'll explore the hope and purpose that can be found -- maybe not in our circumstances -- but certainly in a good, loving, all-seeing God. I look forward to jumping into this study with you! ~Carolyn
This week, we will wrap up our Always Family series with a word on what it means to always persevere. Ours is a faith that believes God for his promises, even when we struggle to understand how God will work it all out. It's a faith that calls us to wait in holy expectation, and to hang on long past good sense. And ours is a community built on that faith and steeped in the truth that in Christ we already have what we need to always persevere.
For all the "hard" that has been this whole pandemic season, I hope you've also managed to uncover some blessings along the way. Maybe they have come in the form of a new job or a fresh take on what's most important. Maybe you've rediscovered the joy of cooking or the art of slowing down. Because we serve a creative God, we know there are blessings embedded in most any circumstance. Ours is to explore until we find them. This week, we'll talk about hope in hidden places as we continue our journey to a manger, where we find the most glorious Hope of all. I hope to see you Sunday!
What a great summer read Isaiah has been! We have been following the thread of worship through Isaiah for several weeks, and every week it just gets better. This Sunday, Isaiah will help us get off the mountain that has us stuck and onto a mountain where we can stake our claim in the Kingdom.
Paul tells us in Romans 15 that God is the God of Hope. God is both the source and the object of our hope. Our circumstances will never be the secret to a hope-filled, joy-filled life. This week we will explore the difference between worldly hope and Biblical hope, and we'll learn some simple, practical ways that we can cling to hope in these uncertain times.