The East Carolina University UKirk is a group of college Presbyterians who gather weekly for worship, food and fellowship. As a covenant church, HMPC invited UKirk to lead worship and our Youth Director, Maddie Beadell, who is a UKirk student preached.
"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.
A hug is how Easter began. And it changed the world. How can a hug change the world? When it happens between Mary Magdalene and Jesus the resurrection of Christ is witnessed and proclaimed — and ever since we've been proclaiming Christ's love to the world through the simplicity of a hug. Check out Rev. Ben's homily on how one hug changed the world and how you can be a part of the continuation of that change.
There are two Palm Sundays that happen simultaneously and we are called to live out both of them. One is characterized by waving palm fronds and dreams of what will be once Jesus is King; the other is the beginning of the end of Jesus' earthly ministry that begins on Palm Sunday. In this homily, Rev. Ben shares what characterizes each Palm Sunday and how both are essential to our faith.
Lenten Lectures took place each Wednesday night during the 40 days of Lent and were based on the study series Half Truths; God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say, by Adam Hamilton. Different members of the HMPC congregation led each week's study.
There is so much that happens when Pilate and Jesus have a conversation before Jesus is crucified. How do we process all that takes place and understand it? Rev. Ben suggests using a trick the author Anne Lamott does for writing, "use a tiny, one-inch picture frame to look through and write what you see." Taking little snapshots of what took place helps us understand better the love Jesus exudes for the world and the conflicted reality that befuddled Pilate as he was forced to make a difficult decision.
Scripture invites us to see a full view of God and God's people. When we take the time to look at the first part of the conversation between Jesus and Pilate we see more than our Lord and the Roman Governor, we see a conflicted man trying to do his job in the face of the Savior of the world. It changes him and the entire world and that's something to celebrate.
"The Gift of Peace," a homily by guest preacher Rev. Kate Fiedler.
Jesus washes his disciples' feet and it is unusual, awkward some would say. And he calls us to do the same thing — that's a leap of faith! But it is also an intimate experience between people who learn more about one another in the midst of a tender interaction. Watch as Ben digs into this scripture that calls us to follow Jesus' example.
When Mary anoints Jesus' feet and washes them with her hair, everything changes. What was a dinner party becomes an invitation to a life of faith that all of us are invited to join. Will you accept Jesus' invitation to the dinner party? Check out this homily and see how Jesus invites each of us to dine with him and everyone else as we become his disciples.
The Cub and Boys Scouts of Troop 49 led our worship service this day.
"Bound to Jesus"
Jesus has a plan. He always has a plan and it always involves spreading the love of God to everyone he meets. When Lazarus dies, all hope is lost and there is deep sadness that Jesus wasn't there to save him. Turns out that Jesus has a plan. Listen to this homily to see how Jesus continuously share God's love and how we, in turn, are called to spread the Good News of God's love to everyone.
"Once You Hear It"
Jesus tells us he is the Good Shepherd and his sheep know his name. What does Jesus' voice sound like? How do we know it is his voice — I propose there are three ways to know Jesus' voice. Take a listen and then go listen for Christ's voice in the world.
"The Right Conditions"
"Keep your eyes up," is the best advice I ever received. It applies to every aspect of life and helps us understand the world. When we look, we see where the Kingdom of God is already in existence; when we look up, we follow Jesus' lead and see children of God--like the man who was blind. Check out this homily about the power of looking up.
Watch the video of the homily on John 9 below.
"Knowing the Way to Bethlehem"
Watch the homily on Luke 2, from our Candlelight and Communion Service, below.
"Let's Be the Church"
Jesus teaches us how to be the church in this famous story of the woman who was caught in adultery. Instead of condemning, he use his posture, his patience and his proclamation of love to teach those present and each of us how to be the church. And then he invites us to be the church — something we continue to be invited to do. Let's be the church, friends!
"Surely, the Messiah can't come from Galilee?" is a question that reveals a doubtful faith. The person who uttered these words wondered if Jesus was really who he said he was, but was nervous to fully commit to the belief that Jesus was the Messiah. When we take the time to think and wonder, this question is a question we utter too. And when we look closely at scripture we realize that God keeps showing up whenever questions are asked; and we also realize that God keeps inviting people with doubtful faiths to come into the Kingdom. So take solace in your doubts as they usually reveal a desire for faith.
Watch the video of the homily below.
God always finds a way to give us faith. This theme was proclaimed throughout our worship on Sunday morning. As you watch the service, notice the many ways God finds a way to give each of us faith, reminding us that God loves us.
We installed a new camera and filmed the entire worship service. Enjoy the prayers, choir, hymns, homily and community you'll witness in this video. And we'll hope you'll join us for worship soon!
"What Did You Bring Today?"
John's story this morning is full of miracles. The biggest one is Jesus miraculously feeding 5000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread. What is also miraculous was that Jesus didn't just feed them that day — he created a space where they could bring their sicknesses and know that God was with them. His miracles continue today when we realize that each time we come to church or sit down to pray we bring a part of ourselves to Jesus and hope he'll listen, cure us, or just remind us that we aren't alone. What John's story reminds us is that Jesus' miracles continue today.
Watch the video of the homily below.