Each year the Boy and Cub Scouts of Troop 49 lead the worship service by reading prayers, preaching, singing, and serving as ushers.
“The Christian Life”
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us what the Christian life looks like. The challenge for us is to live it. Ben's homily focuses on an invitation Christ extends to each of us to live the life Jesus proclaimed in the Beatitudes and his proclamations about a myriad of subjects that make up the life he calls Christians to live.
“There Will Be One”
Jesus' temptations in the desert make us believe we, too, can overcome all the temptations the world can offer. Then we begin devising plans to prepare for all the temptations that may come our way. But life rarely follows a predetermined path. And what we find in this text is that Jesus shows us how to engage temptations — by pointing to God, trusting God, and, most importantly, worshipping only God.
“Do It”: Jesus’ Baptism
Being a Christian means have certain responsibilities and living our life as a Christian means finding ways to live out those responsibilities. What we find in Jesus' baptism is that Christ receives his call and we receive ours. That call comes in the form of doing what Jesus tells John the Baptist to do — baptize. In this homily, Ben delves into what happens once we receive our call and how we can best live out our call.
Guest preacher, Rev. Margaret Wilson-Stayton, preached on Epiphany Sunday. On this Sunday we celebrate the revelation that Christ is the King and Savior of the entire world. The Magi represent the first Gentiles to worship Christ as King and Savior and represent the truth that Jesus is Lord and Savior of the entire world.
“Stella the Christmas Star”
Rev. Bob Burns, pastor of HMPC from 1968-2002 wrote a Christmas children's story called "Stella the Christmas Star' about the star that led the shepherds and Magi to the barn where Jesus was born. This morning we read that story and the children acted out some of the parts!
Children’s Christmas Eve Service
Our Children and Family Christmas Eve service tells the story of Christ's birth with our children and families acting as the familiar characters. Enjoy the chaos and excitement of this story as witnessed through the actions and words of our youngest members.
Christmas Eve Candlelight & Communion Service
Choral Christmas Cantata
Our choir used "God Came Near: The Miracle and Majesty of Christmas" by Tom Fettke and Max Lucado to tell the story of Christmas.
“Can I Introduce You?”
The first 17 verses of Matthew's gospel is a genealogy that, ultimately, leads to Jesus. The first 17 verses are also Matthew's way of introducing God's family. More often than not we overlook or bypass the lists of names in scripture because they are too hard to pronounce or are insignificant. But look closely and you'll see God at work in these people's lives, reminding us that God acts in and through us — and God wants to act in and through our lives.
“Treasuring the Past”
We often cherish the past without paying much attention to how it leads us into the future. Given the importance of the past, in this homily we dug into the history of God's people as a way to understand how our past leads us into our future. What we find is that God is at the center of both our past and future; and we see that when we take note of the little things: the seminal places of our lives, the memories we have, and the blessings we offer to our children.
“A Little Help from My Friends”
We are losing our religious vocabulary and one way to reclaim it is to use it. But how? In the story of Jacob's dream, we find a man in need and in his time of need God enters his dream and calls him to slow down, listen, and proclaim what's happened. This is our call, too. And when we live it we begin to reclaim our religious vocabulary — as words like worship, prayer, and proclamation are used with more regularity. (Note: the opening story about pointing north comes from Jonathan Merritt's book, "Learning to Speak God from Scratch.")
“Remembering Who We Are”
Jacob wanted that blessing so much so that he will willing to do anything to obtain it. We, too, want blessings and are willing to do anything to obtain them. In his and our hope for a blessing, we begin to discover why he wanted it so badly and how his hope for obtaining the blessing reminds us of how God works.
Elder Adam Schultz preaching on Genesis 25: Jacob and Esau.
On Stewardship Dedication Sunday, we explored the story of Abraham and Sarah entertaining angels unaware. In this classic biblical story our attention focused on mimicking Abraham and Sarah's hospitality; there is more to this story than that. On a day when we are invited to share our financial gifts, Rev. Ben invites us to take note that God has given us gifts that we are called to use. Check out this homily to see how God is inviting you to use your gifts.
“The Dance of Fear”
I fear...was the statement we are called to finish today. In this homily, Ben explores where our fears come from and how we attempt to overcome them and the ramifications of our work. What happens when we are called to dance with fear and we can't do it? Or we are too fearful to attempt? Or we attempt to control our fears and create new plans? Using the story of Sarai and Abram who take God's promise into their own hands, Ben explores what happens when we attempt to control fear. Here's a hint: God keeps inviting us to dance!
”I want...” I invited the congregation to think about how they'd finish this statement. As we enter the season of stewardship we are called to consider what we can give. And what happens, more often than not, is that the scarcity mentality fills our brains and hearts. Then we read stories of God's abundance. When God takes Abram and Sarai and turns them into the parents of a nation; or when Jesus takes five loaves and two fish and turns them into a meal for 5000. God's abundance always supersedes our scarcity. If you need proof, watch the video of the HMPC children acting out the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 included below.
The Tower of Babel is a story of beginnings that focusing on the overarching question: What are we doing? The people of this story wondered what they were doing and came up with the idea to build a city, a tower and make a name for themselves — all commenced with the phrase, "Let us." Yet, God unraveled their plan by confusing their language, again with the same phrase, "Let us." Is God a part of your plans when you ask, "What are we doing?" As the Tower of Babel story shares, God wishes to be a part of your plans.
“Blessed are the Cains”
While the famous story of Cain and Abel is about the first murder committed in scripture, it is also about how humanity has responded when we've been punished by God. Cain cries out to God, reminding God that he will be lost without any protection or care. In the process, we see that God welcomes our cries for aid. So blessed are the Cains who cry out to God.
“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.
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!