Sermon on Matthew 16:21-30, Romans 12:1-5, Exodus 1:8-2:10
Beloved in Christ we are in trying times as you know. We are in a time of multiple layers of complications, A season of pandemic, a season of unearthing of racism and racist structures in our nation, the school year starting up in a way far different than it ever has before- and about to add to it: election season, which you might say Continue reading →
White supremacy is a sinful infection that is a problem in our nation, and it is a problem in the church. It is killing our fellow people around us right now, and if we claim to follow Jesus we must root it out, we must change, we must be transformed by God. Thanks be to God who has given us a model in Jesus to do just this!
If ever we had ample reason to compare our lives to a wild storm on the sea, now we have reason to do so. There are genuine reasons to be afraid these days. The coronavirus is so very contagious, can wreak such havoc in our lives, we still so know little about all the ways it affects the human body and still some leaders would like to sweep Continue reading →
Beloved, God can do amazing things with what we are willing to give. But I want to start at the beginning of the passage for today. Our reading today starts out with, “when Jesus heard what had happened.” But what had happened? Herod the local ruler had beheaded John the Baptist. The one who baptized Jesus, whose refrain of, “repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near,” is the same one Jesus will repeat as he goes about in his ministry. Now Jesus hears about his violent death. He also hears we can assume, Continue reading →
Sermon for July 26. Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 and Romans 8:26-39. The last couple of verses today include Jesus talking about Treasures new and old. In Jesus God was doing a new thing. This is the first and only time God has become incarnate and walked around completely in human skin. And with that new thing of becoming enfleshed in Jesus of Nazareth, God was also bringing about a new sphere of being, Continue reading →
July 19. (Matthew 13:24-30 & Romans 8:12-25) My friends, Jesus does not sugarcoat or shy away from the truth. He does not try to bend reality into something palatable. He lays it out for his followers- there is some terrible evil in this world.
But there is also good news- God refines us to make the good, even better. God does not give up on us, even with all the bad. And it is God’ s place to judge, not ours. Continue reading →
July 12. (Romans 8:1-11 and Matthew 13:1-9 & 18-23) I am by nature, a people pleaser. I sometimes don’t speak up when I know the other person might be upset by what I say. It is my tendency to hold myself back, to make a good impression, find favor, keep things smooth.
I know that this is not the true way of Jesus. I’m working on it.
I know too that some people think they need to interact with God in this way. Hold back parts of themselves they think God won’t like. Try to be a different person than what is authentic, try to hide away what might make God upset.
So if you find yourself in that crowd, hear this phrase from Romans: There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
July 5. (Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30) This weekend our country celebrated its 244th birthday, a birth that began with a declaration of independence stating “all men are created equal” a birth that began with protests about taxation without representation- a protest about who has power over who, which led to a revolution – a turning over of power from the hands of the king of England, to the same people living in this land.
The words they wrote, “all men are created equal” from my faith perspective, I would edit to just say “all are created equal” that is what the creation story of Genesis affirms, the diversity of humankind bearing the image of God as well as the message of Jesus in the Gospels and other New testament writings such as Paul saying, now there is neither slave nor free, Jew nor Greek, male nor female, all are one in Christ Jesus. Our unity and our equality are affirmed by Scripture. Those are words to represent values of God’s kingdom that Jesus was preaching and teaching. The value of equality has been written also into our nation’s constitution. Now I know that at the time they did really just mean men and they really did only mean white men, the same value was not extended to Native or African descent peoples or women. But as our nation has grown and matured in wisdom that sense of equality really being for all people has been made clear through legislation and Supreme Court rulings. Continue reading →
There is plenty that people fear in this world. Some people fear death. Some people fear suffering. Some people fear rejection or unkindness or embarrassment. Maybe it comes out in that recurring dream. Even though some may say, I’m not afraid of anything, it turns out in some way we usually are.
Myself, when I think about it I still fear in some ways, though not as much as I used to, what people think of me. People thinking I’m weird or not doing good enough in certain ways. I recently had one of those dreams where I had forgotten some clothing items… I hadn’t had one in awhile. There’s a fear of being vulnerable somewhere in there perhaps.
Jesus says to his disciples in this passage, three times not to be afraid- and once to be afraid. Continue reading →
News from District Superintendent Debra Brady: United Methodist Churches in our area have created a new “COVID-19 Relief Fund” and there is a COVID-19 Response Team providing oversight for fundraising and awarding grants.
As you know, the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic will continue to wreak havoc on vulnerable people for months to come. Our purpose is to assist households that have been financially impacted because of COVID-19, specifically households that have not received sufficient financial assistance from local, state, federal or other sources. Usually this will mean undocumented workers, self-employed or people who run boutique-sized small businesses. Households will be eligible to receive up to a $400 cash grant. We want to reach as many as possible who need this special assistance.
Applications are available from local pastors and are in English and Spanish. Our Pastor, Michelle Magee, is the liaison for our area.
Contributions to the fund may be sent to:
Central Valley COVID-19 Relief Fund, UM Center, P. O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0250
We’ve added this fund as an option on our Giving page. Give Now
Update: 2/18/2021. Watch the video about the Central Valley Covid-19 project