September 16, 2018 — Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

“An Intimate God”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, we found out the truth that our lives are a constant renegotiation of our plans. This past week we read the second creation story. In it we find a reassuring word from God that we are called, given permission to live that call, and given boundaries. This pattern of call, permission, and boundaries guides our life of faith and it expands our lives to include a constant renegotiate our plans with God.

September 9, 2018 — Rally Day! Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

"Will We?"
We are created in God's image and given dominion over all of creation. Will we remember that? It is a choice we have to make each day as we consider God's call to us — will we? In today's homily, Rev. Ben explores what happens when we remember that all of us are made in God's image and given dominion. Also, a second video showing our Rally Day Worship with Presentation of Bibles, Backpack blessings and kids singing!

September 2, 2018 — Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

"Bored to Newness"
In the church we focus on time, space and numbers — how long does it take, what does our space look like and how many were there? are common questions we ask when we think about how we are to gather together as people of God. What if we used this short text from Acts — when Paul preaches so long that a boy falls asleep and falls down three flights--to consider two more important things: our words and invitations? Watch Rev. Ben's homily on altering our focus to what's truly important when we gather to glorify God.

August 19, 2018 — Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

The Mission Piece
What's the most important thing? That depends on what's happening in your life at the time. Thinking about that question in light of the story of Paul baptizing disciples in Acts 19, we find that the answer to our question is: God. Yet, as easy as it is to say that God is the most important thing, it is often a missing piece in our lives. Check out Rev. Ben's homily and explore how saying, "God is already here," gives you a reminder of that truth and helps you remember the answer to the question that started this homily.

July 29, 2018 — Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Why We Do What We Do
Carissa Spruill, a youth at HMPC, played a beautiful musical interlude between the reading of scripture. Rev. Ben then delved into a central question for all Christians: Why do we do what we do? At the heart of our call from God is a perplexing challenge — to proclaim the Word of God and then deal with the ramifications. Some times we fail to see that we need God because of our successes (or paths to success) and other times we fear what may come if we do proclaim the Word. This vacillation forms the heart of this homily as it invites us into the heart of the Christian life, where all are welcome.

July 15, 2018 — Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Being Prepared
It is important to be prepared, to be ready for whatever might come our way. In this homily, Rev. Ben delves into the challenges of being prepared when the Holy Spirit places us in places and situations where our preparations don't always work. As we find, we aren't the first ones to challenged by the Holy Spirit and we discover four ways to know when God is pushing us into a new place, where it doesn't really matter if we are prepared or not.

July 8, 2018 — Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Blessings of Being Busy
I wrote a letter to God. In it, I wondered why we are busy and what it means to be busy. Often, I want to be busy, to be doing something so I have something to show for my time; simultaneously, I want to relax and enjoy life. Can we have both? What does God call us to do and how does God enact control over our lives as we discern whether it is a blessing to be busy? Check out Rev. Ben's homily to find out more.

June 24, 2018 — Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Our Role
Stephen is stoned to death; Saul is complicit in his death. Stephen is a martyr and Saul is a villain. This line of thinking divides us as we take sides. Looking closely at the various roles we play and our justification for them, we find God at work. Using the story of our family's argument over the purchase of a minivan, Rev. Ben weaves a narrative homily about how God constantly pulls us toward middle ground where grace and love abound.

June 17, 2018 — Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Why I'm a Presbyterian...
How often do you utter the phrase, "I can't wait until..."? We are focused on future, what's lies ahead that we often forget what's happening around us. What calls you back to the present? For me, it is scripture. The stories of the Bible remind me that God is still actively involved in today's world. So the remedy for our desire to move into the future at the expense of the present is to find a go-to verse that grounds us. Turns out Acts 5 is a harsh, unlikeable text but has some potential for being a go-to verse; check out Rev. Ben's attempts to make it your go-to verse.

June 10, 2018 — Third Sunday after Pentecost

What Do You See?
Peter and John are on the way to worship at the Temple when they see something more than they usually see — there isn't just a man who was lame from birth, there is a child of God. What they find is that they can give him all he needs and it doesn't cost a thing. What does that mean for us as followers of Christ and descendants of the Apostles? How do we give Christ away? Watch Rev. Ben's homily as he explores God's call to each of us.

May 27, 2018 — First Sunday after Pentecost

Could we be the church that is described in Acts 2? That question leads us two ways: Yes or No. No is appealing because there are thousands of reasons why we can't be the church; yes, leads toward a transformation that begins with we ask, "How can we be the church?" Watch Rev. Ben's homily that provides a pathway for becoming the church described in Acts 2.

May 13, 2018 — Sixth Sunday after Easter

"Working on It"
A letter is a piece of encouragement — a sign that you matter and someone cares enough to tell you. The Apostle Paul's letter to the Philippians is one such letter. And what we find when we read it is that God sends us letters in many forms. Listen to Ben's homily as a means of encouragement to see the many ways God sends us letters.

April 15, 2018 — Second Sunday after Easter

"Call and Response"
How do we become a disciple of Jesus? This is a loaded question and one Christians (and non-Christian seekers) have asked since Jesus' ascension. How do we follow Jesus when we can see him? The first part of the 21st chapter of John's Gospel gives us a glimpse of how we might be disciples — by doing what we've always done. Check out Rev. Ben's homily to understand better how we do what we've always done and how that makes us disciples of Jesus.