service to others

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November 2017

“Are We Amazed?” 11/5/17 Scripture: Mt 22:15-22; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Ps 24 (selected verses) by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |November 15th, 2017|Sermons|

          The Rev. Jill Duffield, editor of the Christian Magazine The Outlook, tells the story of a man, many years older than she was in her mid-twenties at the time, who came into the affluent church where she pastored in the early years of her ministry, and asked for assistance.  Certainly, in her experience, as well as mine and Rodger’s, asking for assistance is almost always indistinguishable from asking for money.  She took him through the richly appointed hallways into her beautiful office laden with theological tomes and expensive furniture.  She went to sit in her comfy chair behind the desk while he sat on the stiff, formal couch across the room from her desk. […]

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 10-15-17 Matthew 22:1-14; Matthew 13: 24-30, 47-49 Rev. Rodger Allen

By |November 1st, 2017|Stewardship|

               We had a wedding here last weekend. And a lovely, happy wedding it was. But it was a little different from the wedding described by Jesus in this parable. If our wedding had been like Jesus’, this is what it would have looked like: At about 3:30, half an hour before the ceremony was to begin, picture the bride’s parents sending the ushers and bridesmaids out into the streets to start rounding up the people who had been invited. “OK, we’re ready—everyone’s here. Come on in for the wedding now.” But the guests, to their surprise, don’t want to come in. They ignore the ushers and bridesmaids, and turn away; or even hit them, saying “Leave me alone, you and your stupid wedding.” So the attendants, rather startled, return to the church, reporting that the guests . . . are refusing to come! […]

June 2017

“No Marionettes Here!” 6/25/17 Scripture: Romans 6:1b-11; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, 11 by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |June 26th, 2017|Sermons|

            I have pondered the topic for my sermon for this morning quite often, especially when some tragedy befalls my family, this town, our nation, or the entire world or when I feel God is pushing me in a way I don’t want to or feel competent to go.  The topic of my sermon this morning is partnership with God.  On several occasions, Rodger has heard me say, in response to something I hear or when we’re discussing peoples’ opinions concerning something, “We aren’t puppets”.  We do have free will to choose God or not, to follow the way Jesus Christ wants or not (even if we do say we believe in him,) to decide if we want to go the way God seems to want us to go or not. […]

September 2016

Haggai: Superordinate Goals By Reverend Rodger Allen 9-11-16 Joint Service with New Providence Haggai 1:1-9, 14; Psalm 137: 1-6

By |September 13th, 2016|Sermons|

  The setting for the beginning of the short book by the prophet Haggai is given rather succinctly in the final verses of the book of Chronicles. The story begins 66 years before Haggai: “The priests and the people of Israel were exceedingly unfaithful, following the abominations of the nations around them; and they polluted the house of the Lord that God had consecrated in Jerusalem. “The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word persistently to them by messengers, because God had compassion on the people and on God’s dwelling place; but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising their words, and scoffing at the prophets, until the wrath of the Lord against the people became so great that there was no remedy. “Therefore God brought up against them the King of the Chaldeans, who killed their youths with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or young woman, the aged or the feeble; God gave them all into his hand. “All the vessels of the house of God, large and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his officials, all these he brought away to Babylon. They burned the house of the God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious vessels. He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons. And the land lay desolate.” End of quote […]

July 2016

Who Else Is My Neighbor? 7-3.16 Luke 10: 25-37; Deut. 6:1-7; Lev. 19:18 Rev. Rodger Allen & Rev. Laurie Williams

By |July 7th, 2016|Sermons|

{The following was presented as a dialogue sermon by Rev. Laurie (“L”) and Rev. Rodger (“R”). The “shift in direction” in the middle of the sermon was suggested by Arthur McGill in his book Suffering.} L: Our New Testament lesson . . . R: Excuse me! Do I understand correctly, that you’re planning to tell us that old Good Samaritan story again this morning? Because my impression of these folks, by now, is that they’re pretty good Christians—they go to church, they know their Bibles. So that’s one story they’ve already heard, and know all about! […]