Sermon Topic: Presence
This Sunday well finish our series on Ezra with a word on the need for discernment and the discipline of waiting on the Lord. Because like a pendulum, the world seems to swing from one extreme to another. We desperately need to develop real discernment. Amidst a fast-paced and distracted culture, discernment requires a willingness to wait on the Lord. For most of us, waiting on the Lord sounds passive, and ... boring. However, what if waiting is our best opportunity to bring our most authentic selves before God? What if it also opens the door for us to participate in God’s solutions to the world’s problems? What if God’s ways are worth the wait? Join us Sunday and we'll explore those questions and so much more.
This week, we continue our series on the Art of Worship with a message on what it means to worship and pray in expectation - in expectation of God's dreams for us individually and corporately to be realized, in expectation of miracles to happen and for breakthrough to be a real thing for real people. And most of all, that the supernatural presence of God meet us where we are and draw us into a new, deeper reality.
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
This week, we conclude our series based on Rich Villodas' book, The Deeply Formed Life, with a conversation about missional presence. I genuinely hope this series has given you a richer understanding of the connection between the journey inward and the journey outward. We're learning that our personal spirituality directly affects how we engage the world as followers of Christ. Let that fact challenge you toward practices that call out more faith and call you out into the world.~Carolyn
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
This Sunday, we begin a new series. We'll let the Christmas story as told in the book of Luke inform our choice to be present, be realistic, be gentle and be grateful. Along the way, we'll get involved in some opportunities to serve our community. We'll also endulge in an Advent devotional reading plan to help bring our community together.