Welcome to worship on this Heritage Sunday. Today we celebrate 36 years of life and ministry together.
As in years past, we’ve invited some of our founding and charter members to participate as worship leaders today. Seeing their faces, hearing their voices, and remembering some of the unconventional and creative ways we have gathered for worship and fellowship together give us hope that though we are in a season of “unconventional” right now, God is alive and at work among us, around us, and within us.
Even as we celebrate our past this morning, we look to our future with great excitement as we welcome a new member of our ministerial staff team, Dr. Christian McIvor. Today is Christian’s first official Sunday as Minister of Worship, Music, and the Arts. He’s written a song for Heritage Sunday that you’ll hear during the service. We hope you’ll sing along with us as the convergence of our dispersed voices makes its way from our lips to God’s ears.
This is our 26th Sunday of online services. Each week I count that number, then I count it again because it seems that it cannot be true. This week I checked three times to be sure. 26 weeks! Through that time, there have been ups and downs, moments of creativity and moments of tired despair. Will we ever get back to our sanctuary?
This week, reading from Exodus I realized the Israelites were in their wilderness for 40 years (and then another 40 more). I wonder if they knew from the outset it would take so long?
In the middle of waiting, without knowing when the journey will end, it can be hard to keep the faith. It can be hard to keep going through the ritual motions of personal devotional and prayer time, participating in corporate worship, and even taking communion. I wonder if we stick to it though, if we set our tables and go through the liturgy again this morning, will God meet us at the table with a bit of hope?
Today our scripture reading contains one of the earliest professions of faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the son of the Living God. With this bold proclamation, Peter becomes one of the first disciples to share a testimony, to bear witness to the work of God unfolding in the world through Jesus of Nazareth. That bold statement of faith becomes the rock upon which the church can be built. Peter is a living stone and his testimony a building block for all that is to come.
At Greystone, we often say that we are a church of living stones. That each of us has a story of faith and a testimony to share about how God is working in our lives. This morning, we will hear one of those stories from our sister in Christ, Susan Gardner. Susan has a miraculous story to tell about how God has been made known to her in a very real way.
As you listen to Susan’s words and hear her response to that same question that Peter answered, I wonder how each one of us might respond as well: Who do you say that I am?
Good Morning! What an exciting weekend this has been as we have been able to spend some time getting to know our Candidate for the Minister of Worship, Music, and the Arts position. In worship today, we read from Leviticus 25. While the whole chapter would be excellent reading for your personal spiritual practice this week, in worship we will focus on the first seven verses.
This scripture reminds us of God’s commandment to take Sabbath seriously, for ourselves and for all of God’s creation. What I have found is that this means so much more than simply remembering to “go to church” (whatever that looks like in COVID times). Taking Sabbath seriously means recognizing our humanity, releasing control, and trusting God enough to take a break from our work in order to delight in God’s creation and God’s presence with us. This is a challenge, especially in these days when the work seems to be never-ending.
In planning today’s service, Christian selected music that mirrors the text calling us to a healthy rhythm of work, rest, and the celebration of new life that is possible only after Sabbath.
Through music, prayer, scripture and the sermon today, let us draw near to the Spirit of God who invites us into the holy delight of Sabbath rest.
Good Morning! Welcome to worship on this warm and sunny day. It is hard to believe it’s nearing the middle of August isn’t it? It’s hard to believe so many weeks have passed since we last gathered in our Sanctuary for Sunday morning worship. Did you know this is the twenty-second week of online church? Hard to believe, isn’t it?
As I think about all that time, I realize that so much is happening in our personal lives and spiritual lives. Things that we would normally share with one another in hallways, classrooms, and pews. It makes me wonder how God is at work among us this day? How are we being transformed into God’s new creation, even now? And what kind of church will emerge on the other side of this pandemic?
Sometimes questions like this can seem daunting. We don’t really want to re-imagine things, we just want to get back to normal. Sometimes these kinds of questions are a life-line to a new and bright future.
In today’s scripture, I find great hope in the story of Naomi as she endures a long journey – perhaps one she didn’t want or ask for. Nevertheless she journeys onward, and the Lord does indeed bring her home. Join us in worship today so we can listen and learn from scripture together. Welcome, let’s worship our Lord with all that we have, wherever we are.
Good Morning! Welcome to worship on this warm and sunny day. Today starts the third week of our children’s Compassion Camp, a 5-week exploration of scripture that teaches us about showing the love and compassion of Christ with our whole lives. Last week we read a story from Mark’s Gospel about a man whose friends carried him up onto a roof and then lowered him down so that he could be healed by Jesus. As we read this familiar story, we remembered that sometimes showing compassion means having courage and being willing to overcome obstacles. This week we hear another familiar text, one in which Jesus challenges us to love God, love our neighbors, and love ourselves. Which one do you think is the most difficult?