Celebrate the Gospel of Grace with Us
READ, LISTEN, WATCH
Attend one of our vibrant Sunday morning worship services at 8:30 or 11 a.m. The 8:30 a.m. service incorporates contemporary music with a band and a brief, casual service while the 11 a.m. service is traditional and features our adult choir. Both services offer a sermon designed to teach, challenge and lift you up. Visitors are always welcome to join us in praising and sharing God’s love.
Children in Worship
We believe your kids getting the word is more important than your kids getting the wiggles. So don’t feel you have to silence them in the sanctuary. To make your job as a parent easier, though, the following options are available for your convenience:
Childcare: Our nursery is staffed by caring professionals who love children and are strongly committed to their safety and security. Nursery care for infants through kindergarten is available from 8:15 a.m.— 12:30 p.m. on Sundays and many other church events. The nursery is located in room 207 on the same level as the sanctuary. Rocking chairs are also available, outside the sanctuary, if you prefer not to take your child to the nursery.
Worship folders: Even the most creative and interesting worship experience can be a long time for children. Worship folders are available just outside the sanctuary for children to use during worship. The folders include Children’s bulletins that are directly tied to the day’s scripture, coloring pages and small toys. Please remove used pages and return them so they will be available for the next Sunday.
Upcoming Sermons and Series:
Taming the Tongue – Feb. 2019
Next month, we’ll be starting a new sermon series called “Taming the Tongue,” in which we work our way through the epistle written by Jesus’ brother, James. Martin Luther famously quipped that the Epistle of James was no better than straw. Certainly that’s no compliment to the epistle, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Luther meant the straw that lined the manger that held Christ, the Word of God. In other words, the Epistle of James serves a practical purpose rather than a Gospel-proclaiming purpose.
Often Christians think of James as the book which commends hands-on Christian action (“Faith without works is dead…”). What’s interesting, however, is that much of James’ epistle deals not with what Christians should do but with how Christians should speak. Christ is the Word made flesh. The Gospel is an announcement of news. The Holy Spirit sends us out to convey a promise.
Christianity therefore is a language before it’s anything else; likewise, the character of the Christian community is revealed in and determined by how our speech to and about one another is tempered by our faith.
James 3:5 tells us “the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.”
The problem, according to James, is no one has found a way to tame the tongue. Because the tongue cannot be tamed, it becomes a “restless evil, full of deadly poison.” The tongue is the source of discord because it makes it possible to bless the Lord and Father yet curse those who are made in the image of God. That we bless and we curse from the same mouth is but an indication of how dangerous the tongue is for Christians.
If James is right, and I certainly think he is, then the first form of Christian service begins not with our hands or our pocketbooks but with our mouths, and the neighbor whom we’re called to serve is no further than the next pew. What Jesus’ brother commends in his letter is what Jesus teaches in Matthew 18. There, Jesus commands us not to take out our grievances against a brother or sister through gossip or side conversations but to give your brother or sister the courtesy of expressing it to them directly. Because we did not create the church, nor are we its head, it’s not up to us to make the church come out right — so there’s no need to hold back what’s bothering us in the name of “not upsetting the church.” The same holds true for when the church speaks to its pastors. In my previous congregation, I had a watercolor framed and hanging above my office door with Matthew 18 scripted on the canvas. Translation: Don’t bring gripes to me about a staff person or another congregant if you’ve not yet spoken to them yourself.
Matthew 18, I think, is possibly the most neglected of all of Jesus’ commands — neglected by Christians.
Like his brother, James would say that one way to tame our tongues is by telling our pastors face-to-face what’s on our minds and weighing on our hearts. It may sound like a small, picayune thing, but if Christianity is indeed a language, then it couldn’t be a more important matter. The medium (you and I) can get in the way of the message, or we can echo and amplify the gospel of grace by blessing one another with the same tongues with which we praise God.
To learn to be a Christian, to learn the discipline of the faith, is not just similar to learning another language. It is learning another language. But to learn another language is a time-consuming task. It takes practice. You can never — or at least you should not ever — take for granted the locution that Jesus is our peace.
Because it takes practice, during February we’ll work our way through this “straw” so that we might learn to speak Christian better.
- March 6 (Ash Wednesday) – What is Law? Romans 7:14-24
- March 10 (Homily with Requiem/10:30 service) – What is Grace? Romans 5:18-21
- March 17 – Law and Grace: 1 Peter 3:18-22
- March 24 – The Four Pillars of Grace (Todd Littleton, guest preacher): 2 Corinthians 3:1-11
- March 31 – Grace in Families (Brian Zahnd, guest preacher): 2 Corinthians 5:14-16, 19-21
- April 7 – Grace in Politics: Romans 3:9-20
- April 14 (Palm Sunday) – Grace in the Church: Colossians 2:9-15
- April 18 (Holy Thursday) – Grace in Prayer: John 17:1-6
- April 19 (Good Friday/Seven Last Words) – Vicarious Grace: Romans 4:16-17
- April 21 (Easter) – Grace in Everything: Romans 4:18-25