Original post at http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/2014/09/sermon-august-31-by-rev-cheryl-foulk.html Wamplers Lake in Michigan is a beautiful setting for a vacation. For some families it has been a battleground ! For 25 years, six neighbors have fought over the use of a footpath that leads from cottages to a boat dock on the lake. Because of their friction, they have gone …
Original post at http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/2014/09/sermon-august-31-by-rev-cheryl-foulk.html Wamplers Lake in Michigan is a beautiful setting for a vacation. For some families it has been a battleground ! For 25 years, six neighbors have fought over the use of a footpath that leads from cottages to a boat dock on the lake. Because of their friction, they have gone …View full post
Our church will be including a new card (see below) in our pew pockets at church. This card includes thoughts on being a welcoming church for children and young families. We have been noticing an increase in the number of parents and children attending…View full post
Sunday in church we worshiped using the passage from Matthew 16:21-28. I preached about how important our work is in building the beloved community of God. Much to my surprise I was saying how it is by seeing our work as sacred that we can transform th…View full post
An article in the New York Times recently caught my eye. Titled, “Let’s Not Talk About Sex,” it is written by Paul A. Offit, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He writes despairingly of the very low compliance levels for the HPV vaccine. He…View full post
This week will be Communion Sunday at both churches. This would be an opportune time to invite the people of our churches who haven’t been in church for a while to come back. Please don’t hesitate to invite them to join you in worship.
Our readings for this week are:
Exodus 12:1-14 – Moses has confronted Pharaoh and ten plagues have taken place. Pharaoh’s heart continues to harden. In our reading the Lord instructs Moses and Aaron about the first Passover Meal. A year old male lamb (sheep or goat) is to be slaughtered and its blood painted on the doorpost and lintel of their houses. The lamb is to be roasted and eaten that night with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The hardest part of this reading is that the Lord will pass through the land and city and every firstborn son, human and animal, will be killed. The Lord will “pass over” the houses with the lamb’s blood. How are we to understand this passage in light of Jesus’ revelation of the Lord of Love?
Psalm 149 – The psalm praises God for God’s goodness to the people of Israel. Like many psalms, it takes a dark turn at the last part of verse 6. But who is the psalmist speaking about? In verse 5, the psalmist turns from speaking of God to speaking about the faithful people of Israel. The two edged sword is in the people’s hands. They are the ones who will execute vengeance and judgment. All for the glory of God. Does God need or want that kind of glory?
OR Ezekiel 33:7-11 – Ezekiel was a prophet during the time Babylon besieged Jerusalem, eventually destroying the city and its temple. In the first part of our reading, verses 7-9, God warns Ezekiel to proclaim what God says to him. God’s warnings are to help people turn back to God. In the second part, verses 10-11, the Lord proclaims that he has no desire to see the wicked perish and is ready to take back the repentant. In what ways do we fail to turn back to God when God is always ready to forgive? (Theological mind twister: Does repentance happen because we are forgiven or are we forgiven because we repent?)
Psalm 119:33-40 – We have encountered Psalm 119 twice before this summer. If you recall, this is an acrostic by stanza psalm. Each stanza is 8 verses and each verse in each stanza starts with the same Hebrew letter. This reading is the fifth stanza and the verses start with the letter “He” or ה. The psalmist appeals to the Lord to be taught the Law that leads to righteousness. He asks the Lord to turn his heart and his life to the Lord’s way. What does it take for us to be turned from the world’s ways to the Lord’s Way? How can we desire God instead of desiring things and power?
Romans 13:8-14 – The last two weeks we read all of Romans 12. The lectionary skips 13:1-7, which is about our being subject to the governmental authorities including paying our taxes (13:6). Paul returns to how we are to live as followers of Christ: love. Basically, he says that all of the commandments are fulfilled in the simple act of loving our neighbors. He then appeals to us to not gratify our human desires but to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Leave behind the works of darkness and put on the armor of Light living honorably. See my questions for Psalm 119.
Matthew 18:15-20 – This little passage is often called “The Rule of Christ”. What are we to do if someone in church hurts or sins against us? There are three steps. 1) Talk to the person who hurt you one on one. 2) If the first step doesn’t restore the friendship then take two or three others with you and have another talk. Those others are witnesses. 3) If those don’t work then take it to the church. If the offender still refuses to listen or change then she or he is to be put out of the church. They are to be like Gentiles or tax collectors. But what did Jesus do for Gentiles and tax collectors? He talked with them, ministered to them, healed them, and ate dinner with them. If the people we put out of the church are to be like Gentiles and tax collectors then we have a lot of work to do with them because the Good News is to go to all people.
May you be blessed by the readings this week. May God work through you to lead you in his paths of righteousness. May you love your neighbors inviting them into a life changing relationship with God and Jesus Christ.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor
This evening we launched the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Unit in the Beyers Naudé centre for Public Theology at Stellenbosch University.
In the front row of this picture are some of the most famous Bonhoeffer scholars (from left to right), John de Gruchy, Clifford Green, Wolfgang Huber, Dirkie Smit, Frits de Lange, and Wentzel Van Huyssteen next to Robert Vosloo.
I recorded John de Gruchy, Dirkie Smit, Nico Koopman and Robert Vosloo’s short presentations at the launch. They were fascinating. I will upload that audio as soon as I have had a chance to edit it. So do look back – I found de Gruchy’s section on Bonhoeffer reception in South Africa and Beyers Naudé fascinating. As was Dirkie Smit’s talk on Russel Botman and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Tomorrow we will host a three day conference in honour of John de Gruchy. Many of these visitors are speakers at the conference. Others include Prof Graham Ward Regis Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and Prof a Serene Jones (President of Union Theological seminary – where Dietrich Bonhoeffer studied before his return to Germany). The prominent ethicist Larry Rasmussen will also be a speaker, as will Prof Iain McGillchrist from Oxford.
I will be chairing the panel on science and theology.
Here’s a peek at the program.
Wednesday 3 September 2014
Session 1: Engaging Dietrich Bonhoeffer [Chair: Robert Vosloo]
9h20-10h00: Wolfgang Huber: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s question: How a coming generation
is to go on living?
10h00 -10h40: Nico Koopman: Bonhoeffer and the Future of Public Theology in South
11h10-12h40: Panel Discussion: Clifford Green, Michael Phiri, Karola Radler, Frits de
Book launch: A Theological Odyssey: My Life in Writing (John de Gruchy) (Sun Media);
Chair: Len Hansen; Speakers: Keith Clements, Roderick Hewitt, Cas Wepener
Session 2: Theological Aesthetics [Chair: Lyn Holness]
14h00-14h40: Graham Ward: Sanctification: Towards a Pedagogy of Affect
14h40-15h20: Frank Burch Brown: The Aesthetics of Forgiveness: Representing
15h50-17h20: Panel Discussion: Janet Trisk, Marnus Havenga, Awet Andemicael, Johan
18h15-19h15: Welcoming function
19h15: Concert: Libertas Choir
Thursday 4 September 2014
9h00: Opening: Robert Steiner
Session 3: Christian Humanism [Chair: Elna Mouton]
9h10-9h50: Denise Ackermann: The Mystery of Hope
9h50-10h30: Jim Cochrane: The Spirit of Humanity: Contra Theologies of Death
11h00-12h30: Panel Discussion: Karin Sporre, Martin Prozesky, Nadia Marais
Book Launch: Denise Ackermann, Surprised by the Man on the Borrowed Donkey:
Ordinary Blessings (Lux Verbi)
Speaker: Dirkie Smit
Session 4: Theology and Science [Chair: Dion Forster]
14h00-14h40: Iain McGilchrist
14h40-15h20: J. Wentzel van Huyssteen: The Emergence of Personhood: Why the
Evolution of the Moral Sense and Symbolic Behavior defines the Human Self
15h50-17h20: Panel Discussion: Ernst Conradie, Gys Loubser, Larry Rasmussen, Rika
18h15: Evening reception: Clos Malverne wine estate
Friday 5 September
9h00: Opening: Bruce Theron
Session 5: The Struggle Continues [Chair: Edwin Arrison]
9h10-9h50: Serene Jones: Economic Freedom
9h50-10h30: Allan Boesak: ‘A Hope Unprepared to Accept Things as They Are’:
Reflections on John De Gruchy’s Challenges for a Theology at the Edge
11h00-12h30: Panel Discussion: Rothney Tshaka, Christo Lombard, Helené van Tonder,
12h30-13h00: Conclusion: John de Gruchy
Five months after Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls in Nigeria’s Borno State, the Islamic extremist group has begun occupying churches in the country’s northeastern region, church officials there said.View full post
The Methodist Church in Britain is hemorrhaging members and has been described by a leading religious affairs commentator as “a bit like an iceberg that’s just crumbling into the sea.”
The comments of Linda Woodhead, a sociologist at Lancaster University, follow the publication of a report called “Statistics for Mission” by the Methodist Church that shows a dramatic collapse of membership — to about 200,000 in the U.K. — in the last decade.View full post
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/09/sermon-august-31-by-rev-cheryl-foulk-what-about-our-enemies/
Sep 02 2014
Our church will be including a new card (see below) in our pew pockets at church. This card includes thoughts on being a welcoming church for children and young families. We have been noticing an increase in the number of parents and children attending…
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/09/thoughts-about-children-in-worship/
Sep 02 2014
Sunday in church we worshiped using the passage from Matthew 16:21-28. I preached about how important our work is in building the beloved community of God. Much to my surprise I was saying how it is by seeing our work as sacred that we can transform th…
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/09/sacred-work/
Sep 02 2014
An article in the New York Times recently caught my eye. Titled, “Let’s Not Talk About Sex,” it is written by Paul A. Offit, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He writes despairingly of the very low compliance levels for the HPV vaccine. He…
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/09/lets-talk-about-sex-umc/
Sep 02 2014
Cornerstone UMC ~ September 28 ~ 5pm
Register online here!
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/09/the-go-on-tour/
Sep 02 2014
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/09/spiritual-renewal-study-bible-a-review/