Friday, February 12, 2016

Body Life (4): Meet and Eat (2016-0207)

2016/02/07 Christ Church, Mountain Top; The Lord’s Table
Children, Luke 9.28-36
Message, 1 Corinthians 9.19-27, 10.14-23 (10.16-17, 10.21-22), 11.17-34

3 weeks ago:
      Members of Christ patronizing prostitutes, uniting with
      Bodies are made for Union with One – exclusive, covenantal
            With God, with another
2 weeks ago:
      Members of Christ and gifts of the Spirit
      Unity of the Body of Christ based in the Holy Trinity
      Diversity of the Body of Christ based in the Holy Trinity
1 week ago:
      Confusion over, and rejection of, resurrection
      Bodies are made for eternity – with God and transformed
      Both death and sin are defeated by Jesus’ resurrection
This week:
      Conversation over mission and the Lord’s Table
      Reference to “body” both as our individual human bodies and the metaphorical Body of Christ
      What is the nature and extent of our Communion? With others who share our faith (unity and reconciliation), and with those who do not (mission)?

The problems Paul is addressing:
Expected role of apostle (chapt 9):
      “Super” apostles who enjoy the privileges of leadership
            Appeals to Corinthian super strong spirituality
      Paul: all things to all – Jew, Greek, WEAK
            Debates this week: true progressive/conservative
            Paul would not fit
            Mission is first, not privilege
            Body made a “slave” to the mission

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Flood and Tornado response

Over the Christmas and New Year’s week, severe storms caused major flooding that inundated parts of the South and Midwest, and also spawned powerful, deadly tornadoes.

About 25 people were killed after tornadoes barreled through Texas. According to the National Weather Service, 11 of the deaths were in the Dallas area, which was struck by nine twisters, including an EF4 tornado in nearby Garland, with wind gusts up to 200 miles per hour. 

Flash floods due to record rainfall in Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas, Arkansas, and Tennessee caused additional fatalities and damage in what became a weeklong outbreak of severe weather. 

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responded to the flood and tornado outbreak with emergency funding to the Central TexasMississippiNorth Texas, and Tennessee Annual Conferences. The agency is in contact with the Missouri and Great Plains conferences to provide aid for disaster recovery in those areas. UMCOR is also working with national partners in planning for additional flood response along the Mississippi River, where floodwaters are moving downstream. 

For more on this story ...

Transfiguration, with the children

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ecumenical Scout Service (2016-0205)

We enjoyed the opportunity to host the Two Mountains District's annual ecumenical service on Feb 5. The entire service is included here. For those looking for a specific portion:

  • Opening Ceremony at the very beginning
  • National Anthem at 1:00 of the first segment
  • Open Table band at 15:20 of the first segment
  • Scouts reading Scriptures at 26:50 of the first segment
  • Message begins at 31:30 of the first segment
  • Prayer for the ministry of Scouting at 18:25 of the second segment

Message Title: Ask the Animals  
2016/02/05 Christ Church, Mountain Top
SCRIPTURE, Job 12:7-10                                 pew Bible OT p. 438
PRAYING the PSALM, Psalm 145.8-21           p 857-858
SCRIPTURE, Luke 12:22-34                             pew Bible NT p. 70

Ask the Animals : Wisdom
      Job and his context

      Job: “the hand of the LORD has done this”
      Arnold Lobel, Fables, Lion King and beetle

      Consider the ant, Proverbs 6.6-11
      Jesus: Do not worry, Luke 12.22-34
            Responsibility is to the Kingdom, “build your kingdom here”

      Orchids, perfectly matched to their exclusive pollinators
      Diversity among human beings

      Me and Dean in the woods, water moccasin

Quotes on Orchids:
In European species of the genus Ophrys, flowers have a labellum that looks like the body of a fetching female bee or wasp—complete with the requisite shape, iridescent colors or colorful markings, and hairs. They also exude a scent that simulates the pheromones produced by receptive females.

The flowers of most moth-pollinated species, such as angraecoids, are green or white and are often very fragrant only at night so they can be found by these primarily night-flying insects. The flowers of orchids pollinated by flies or carrion beetles, such as many of the Bulbophyllum species, typically come in browns and fleshy reds and emit the odor of rotting meat. The stench of Bulbophyllum beccarii is so foul that it has been said to smell like "a herd of dead elephants."

Retrieved from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website on 5 Feb 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

"My Muslim Problem"

A wonderful personal story by Omar Rikabi, a United Methodist pastor in Texas and the son of a Muslim immigrant from the Middle East:

I have a Muslim problem.
I am a Christian pastor in North Texas. I am also the proud son of a Muslim immigrant from the Middle East, and I have a very wonderful—and large—Muslim family.
This is a problem, because when I hear about San Bernardino, or Paris, or any other terror event, my first prayer is to hold my breath and hope the killers do not have names like mine.
This is a problem because down the highway from me some men with guns protested outside a mosque, then posted the names and home addresses of local Muslims online.


Yes, there are Muslims who commit horrible acts of violence. But violence is not unique to Islam. It is common to all humanity. In our fallen depravity, all of us are radicalized by sin.
This is not a Muslim problem.
This is a human problem.
We need to get our stories straight, because  the Gospel of Christ does not discount anyone from grace and salvation… even terrorists. Take Paul, who started out as a religious militant, overseeing the execution of Christians he saw as infidels because he thought that put him on God’s winning side.
He went on to become the author of most of the New Testament.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Surprised by Grace

Rev. Greg Henneman, Director of Healthy Eating and Living, reflects on the 'divine economy of abundance' at CD4AP:
We call it a divine economy of God’s abundance. It could more simply be called faith. A faith I am still learning to live in to.

Every week at Community Development For All People, I’ve seen this practice in action. Opportunities are lifted up in prayer and prayers are answered. This may not be a new concept, I’ve just never seen it so deeply ingrained as organizational praxis.

On a recent morning, only three people were around to unload 10,000 pounds of produce. How would we process, stock, and distribute food to a hundred people? By mid-morning the market was bustling with volunteers, some I had never seen before who worked tirelessly. We went from undermanned to overwhelmed. A divine economy of God’s abundance.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Body Life (3): Body 2.0 (Resurrection) 2016-0131

2016/01/31 Christ Church, Mountain Top
Call to Worship, Psalm 92
Children, Luke 6.39-49
Message, 1 Corinthians 15 (1-14, 35-58)

The problem in Corinth:
      The “spiritual” who do not need their inferior bodies
      Believe in Christ’s resurrection, but NOT that of his followers
            Just the immortal (and superior) soul
      Body issues

Paul’s response:
      Resurrection of Jesus at the center of the gospel proclamation
      Resurrection of Jesus is the reason that we will be resurrected
            Can’t have one without the other
      Death and sin are partners
            Can’t defeat one without defeating the other
      What does resurrection mean for the body? 2 analogies
      KEY: What does resurrection mean for our living?

Afterlife conversation:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mushed M&M's

The warm-up song for our children's choir and more fun from Sunday.