Sermon Topic: Prayer
We know the invitation to follow Jesus is an invitation into freedom, but too often we put the emphasis on things we are free FROM. We are free FROM guilt, sin, shame ... all the bad things. Of course, it's good to let go of things that have not worked for us, but we do the greatest disservice to Christianity when we make it only a list of things we have to stop doing in order to go with God when the Christian walk offers so much more than just "freedom from." Our faith is very much a freedom TO enterprise. We do the greatest disservice to Christianity when we make it a list of things we have to stop doing in order to go with God. Paul tells us that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. That's an invitation to explore possibilities.
So let's do that this month! Let's take a few weeks to talk about the things we are free from and how that frees us up to creatively explore all we have been set free TO. Let's look together at what freedom looks like for us especially in this season, and just imagine what God can do! Can't wait to get started!
Can I just say ... last Sunday was beautiful! To hear so many deeply hopeful prophetic words spoken over individuals and our community as a whole ... just wow. We were called into hope, into deeper commitment, into hospitality, into remembrance and celebration. We were challenged not to be afraid that God might show up (what a word!), and encouraged that God is building a people of power. It was a special morning. Thank you for leaning in and trusting God to speak. This Sunday, we reach into the very heart of God as we explore God's love for all people. We will worship and adore him, then cry out on behalf of some of our precious ministries. I anticipate another powerful move of God, and look forward to joining you there.
In these first weeks of 2023, we are taking time to focus on the art of worship. That means taking a closer look at our usual "routines" on Sunday morning, asking ourselves how they not only feed our souls but feed into the heart of God. This week, we will listen more closely to the practices of confession and gratitude, noticing how those elements prepare our spirits for worship and right-size our egos. How do you walk into worship? What do you bring with you, spiritually speaking? What gets left at the altar? And how does that impact your walk with Christ? Let's explore together the practices that rightly humble our hearts before a magnificent, wise and powerful, beautiful God. ~ Carolyn
Worship is the centerpiece of Christian community, yet we often put this part of our lives on auto-pilot. We come to a building every week, do the things prescribed by those leading us, then go home without thinking much at all about the fact that we've just engaged in a transcendent experience. But what is it, exactly, that we do on Sunday mornings, and is that "worship"? What makes it worship? What does it mean to stand in awe as a witness to the work of a magnificent God? This Sunday, we will begin there, with transcendence. We will explore together what God has created us to do, if indeed we are designed to glorify God and enjoy him forever. I can't wait to experiment and experience together the art of worship. ~ Carolyn
Carolyn Moore and Bob Garrett (Alleluia Community) discuss what it means as a missional community to pray for our city, and how the work of prayer is a transforming agent.
Many years ago, when I was first contemplating the idea of planting a church, I came across a book, entitled, “Journey Inward, Journey Outward.” Just the title was enough to spark a revelation in me. It was the first time I’d put words to what I sensed the Church was to be about. It is to cultivate in every person a rhythm of contemplation and action, prayer and service. That rhythm is critical to a healthy and deepening spiritual life because it is only as we connect with God that we can genuinely and lovingly connect with the world around us. That rhythm is at the heart of the series we begin this Sunday. "The Deeply Formed Life" is an opportunity to explore that rhythm of prayer and service, using some very specific topics to guide the conversation. Along the way, we’ll discuss racial reconciliation, missional presence, sexual wholeness, and interior examination. I believe this conversation will call us deeper into our practice of the faith as it calls us deeper into our mission as a church. I look forward to diving in. ~ Carolyn
In the formation of the early church, there came a moment when the leaders realized that by trying to do it all themselves, they might actually end up neglecting the most important stuff. The solution is too simple: call forward those with the right gifts and give them authority to do the things they are good at doing. This is how the Kingdom is advanced. This week, we'll talk more about what the early Church can teach us about advancing the Kingdom without wearing folks out.
We finish our series of messages on prayer by listening in on Jesus' prayer in John 17. We'll learn how to pray specifically for those God gives us, but so much more. We'll learn to pray prayers that transcend our own needs. We'll learn how to use prayer to set the table for joy, for the gospel message, for deep fellowship, for lasting communion, for glory.
This week, we continue our series on prayer with the beautiful passage from Philippians that contains Paul's loving prayer over the church. In only eight verses, Paul teaches us what It means to love biblically. Paul's longing and desires for the early church are the same longings and desires God holds in his heart for us, that we love one another as God has loved us.
This is a message you don't want to miss! We have a special gift to share and are just so excited that we'll get to experience it together. We'll also talk about how to pray against the darkness, so that we are working in partnership with God to bring hope and healing where the enemy roams.