You Are... Brave

The world is a scary place these days! The news gives us steady images of violence and unrest. The economy, the job market, the supply chain - it's all so very uncertain and precarious. And to even leave your home or be with others is a risk to your health as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. What is one to do? It would be easy to turn inward, to retreat, to hide away until the danger passes. But will the danger ever pass? Is there another way? Scripture encourages us often (some say 365 times) to "not fear." And that admonition is often accompanied by the promise that "God goes with you." Even during fearful and uncertain times, we can live boldly and with confidence... because we live with God. With God, You Are... Brave. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AxOe-zDC1Q

You Are... Enough

How much is enough? When is your income enough for your needs, your wants? When is your house big enough to be comfortable, to impress your friends? When do you have enough closet space? When are you enough for your significant other, your children, your employer? We spend tremendous energy, time, and resources trying to get enough and do enough to be comfortable, well thought of, safe and secure. But what if you are already enough? In a world that never seems satisfied with itself, us, or others, God is already immensely pleased with who you are - in fact, God is the one that made you this way! Before you seek to do enough to impress others, trust that you are enough, just the way you are. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JutWttB8B2o

You Are (Already) Loved

It's nearly impossible to escape the messages and images that push us to be more and do more. If only we will buy the right car and dress like the influencers, then we will be popular and 'in.' If only we will be seen in the best places and hang out with the right people, then we will be happy. If only we will lose a few pounds, erase a few wrinkles, and keep our style up-to-date, then we will finally be loved. The world constantly calls us to be a certain way so that we will be loved. But Jesus says you are already loved, just as you are. And that in fact, there is nothing of this world (or in ourselves) that can separate us from that love. No need to go searching for love in this New Year... you are already loved! Worship link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlo74IH1j_Q

You Are... Called

January is the time for New Year's Resolutions, (re)commitment to noble goals and higher ideals, and of course, new diets, stepped-up exercise routines, and healthier living. And in the Methodist tradition, we are also invited to renew our commitment to Jesus and a life of faith. This time of year the world calls us to self-improvement and renewed resolve. Jesus calls us to live like him and walk in his ways. Both require some introspection and discipline; both will ask something of us. But the good news of Jesus' call is that it comes with everything we need to see growth and forward progress: a loving God, the power of the Holy Spirit, the faithful presence of Jesus, and a loving community to support and encourage. Step into the New Year with confidence, you walk with the One who both calls - and equips - you. Worship link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IicGCbmXHPY

Jazz Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled, When the star in the sky is gone, When the kings and princes are home, When the shepherds are back with their flock... The work of Christmas begins: To find the lost, To heal the broken, To feed the hungry, To release the prisoner, To rebuild the nations, To bring peace among others, To make music in the heart. ~Howard Thurman Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRRfEao_LwM

Christmas Eve Worship

Come to the manger! At this place, on this night, the hopes and fears of all the years meet. A child is born to us. All those on earth and heaven, rejoice, be glad this holy night. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwgQMtUFH4U

The Christmas season is a time of wonder and anticipation and joy... and stress and angst and being overscheduled and underfunded. Especially if you are an adult responsible for so many of the details of the season! Oh, that we could return to the innocence of a child at Christmas and experience the holiday without all the trappings we adults find ourselves wrapped up in. While we can't go back in time, we can let the children around us remind our hearts and spirits of the sweet anticipation and genuine excitement the season holds. This week in worship we are invited to rediscover the significance of Christmas by connecting with the Child of Christmas - and the child-like spirit in all of us. Worship link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPSDiP1v6AM

The Christmas story is one that has transcended time, culture, and context. We return to it year after year to refocus our faith and discover again its message of hope. It's comforting and encouraging to hear each year how God has come to walk through this often confusing, difficult, and uncertain existence with us. It's a theme so attractive, so powerful, that it is retold in countless ways. From "It's a Beautiful Life" to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" we love to be reminded of how God interrupts our lives, agendas, and plans, to do a new and beautiful thing in us. What is your favorite Christmas story? And even more importantly, how is God telling God's story of hope through you? Worship link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA5SCcTlje0&t=2060s

It has been said that "music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends." Indeed music has the power to transcend words, whether spoken or written. Most of us have songs deeply embedded in our spirits that connect us to special times and poignant moments. These are the songs that make up the playlist of our lives. And for many of us, it wouldn't be Christmas without the music of the season. As we celebrate this first Christmas together in two years, we look to the familiar songs of the season to rediscover the story of Christmas... the story of love of grace for each of us and the world. Worship link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgQfb5KQDds

Beauty Made Real

What is Christmas without the decorations, the lights, the trees, and the nativity scenes? The red and green that grace every store display, the colorful lights that show up on so many houses in our neighborhoods, and the decorated trees in our homes all signal that it’s a very special time of the year. And many of us put out a nativity set with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men and baby Jesus so that we feel like we are keeping the season ‘sacred.’ But truth be told, wherever we find beauty, we find the holy. If we only look, we will find the hope, love, joy and peace of God revealed, not just in the baby of Christmas, but also in the images and art of the season. This year rediscover the heart of Christmas as you enjoy the beauty found in simple decorations, extravagant light displays, lavish trees, or even a single ornament. The beauty of Christmas is that in the images of the season God is revealed - personally, gloriously, for all to see. Worship link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqRXP1zkorw

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