Saturday, November 22, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
Our Consecration Sunday speaker, Rev. Dr. Dennis Otto, shares the message on 16 Nov. Please note: We had some technical difficulties in recording this message. The opening is missing, and the rest of it is presented in 5 minute segments. Use this playlist to see the whole thing.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
From our District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Tom Salsgiver:
One of the similarities of the South Korean culture and the American culture is how busy people are. Talking with pastors we heard similar stories like we here in the US about how over-extended people are. Education is so highly valued in South Korea that there is great competition for tutors for the best classes. The graduation rate for High School in South Korea is about 90%.
In addition to the demand for study, most children and youth take music lessons of some kind, sports, physical fitness, martial arts. Over and over we heard and saw examples of how busy people are. We were told that often students with the amount of time they put into studying, extra-curricular activities, and church they often get only 6 hours sleep.
I am not lifting this up as healthy—but setting the stage for what we in the US churches hear all the time—“my kids and I are so busy we don’t have time to do anything at church.”
Not so in the churches we visited. Bupyeong Church where we stayed told us about how they train lay people as small group leaders and volunteers. The church does most of its ministry with volunteers.
In our culture where it becomes very difficult to find a volunteer to sit in the nursery, or serve on a committee, or spend 3 hours a week caring for the outside of the church, we saw a completely different understanding of church involvement.
In Bupyeong Church EVERY Saturday 40-50 come to clean the church. All during the week we marveled at how clean this large building was. It is these 50 people’s commitment to clean so that church money can go for mission and ministry.
Every week 8 people buy the flowers and come together to arrange them and put them throughout the church. The arrangements while we were there were unique and lovingly done not by a florist someone paid—but by church members.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Thursday, November 13, 2014
2014/11/09 Christ Church, Mountain Top
Children, Mark 12.41-44 (widow’s mite)
Message, Matthew 19.16-30
How many of you, as Carol shared the step chart, found yourselves really curious? Anyone feel awkward?
When we share these numbers, it is far too easy for us to reduce this conversation to one thing – money. “Churches are always asking for money.” Actually, because of your generosity and our careful management, we have had a great year financially as a congregation. So, we’re not doing this because as a church our hat is in our hand.
And, we don’t share these numbers for us to compare ourselves with each other. We’re human and we do that; it’s totally natural. We share these numbers to help us imagine a journey and plan and pray – intentionally – over the next steps in our story.
You see, each of these numbers is a story. I’ve heard many wonderful generosity stories over the years, and am grateful for the stories we’ve been hearing this season: Gordy’s story of a stressful weekend turned into family connections by the gift of time; Sue’s story of one blessed person passing along the blessing, lavishly, to her and her sister during a difficult time; and, later today, a story from Joel and Chris Shuman.
I’ve heard stories of people responding to the invitation to join Jesus in a generous life:
· a single mother on a tight budget who chooses to give up a coffee run each week so that she can give back more to God;
· a young family struggling with debt who decide to expand their giving and become debt free;
· an older adult on Social Security who nevertheless finds a way to give significantly;
· a young adult who gets her box of envelopes upon joining the church and exclaims, “I always wanted to be one of those envelope people”.