Jun 10, 2018
“Deep Sigh” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Romans 8:22-27
Series: Pentecost
Paul writes in his letter to the Romans about an eager expectation expressed by all of creation, even ourselves, for redemption from the bondage and cycle of decay; a return to the glory and presence of God. Paul identifies this expectation as being expressed in groaning. We all eagerly move toward reunion with God, and sometimes this movement brings dramatic change as we try to become aligned with the will of God. This is not a movement that we can initiate under our own power, but that is directed by the Holy Spirit, who as Paul writes; "intercedes for us through wordless groans." Sometimes, the most that we express in the midst of this movement back towards God is a deep sigh.
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  • Jun 10, 2018“Deep Sigh” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Romans 8:22-27
    Jun 10, 2018
    “Deep Sigh” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Romans 8:22-27
    Series: Pentecost
    Paul writes in his letter to the Romans about an eager expectation expressed by all of creation, even ourselves, for redemption from the bondage and cycle of decay; a return to the glory and presence of God. Paul identifies this expectation as being expressed in groaning. We all eagerly move toward reunion with God, and sometimes this movement brings dramatic change as we try to become aligned with the will of God. This is not a movement that we can initiate under our own power, but that is directed by the Holy Spirit, who as Paul writes; "intercedes for us through wordless groans." Sometimes, the most that we express in the midst of this movement back towards God is a deep sigh.
  • Jun 3, 2018Graduation Sunday – 2018
    Jun 3, 2018
    Graduation Sunday – 2018
    Series: Pentecost
    1928 Newark New Jersey Lightweight Campion - Rev. Gary Hilton - 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
     
    For most of us, we have objects in our possession that hold sentimental value to them, reminding us of loved ones past or those that live at great distances. For those that our hearts long for, we hold on to objects that have been passed down or given as gifts, and we feel as though they are still near us. Jesus gives us a similar gift in communion, for every time we look upon the elements we are reminded of His love and sacrifice made; every time we partake of the elements we are reminded of His covenant with us. Just like those objects that help us feel like those whom we long for are near, communion helps us feel the nearness of God, that He is with us wherever we go.
  • May 27, 2018America’s Sermon – Rev. Allan Brooks – Psalm 19:7-14
    May 27, 2018
    America’s Sermon – Rev. Allan Brooks – Psalm 19:7-14
    Series: Pentecost
    This Memorial Day, we take time to honor and remember all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to provide freedom and opportunity for our nation. We hear the words of President Lincoln during his second inaugural address, reflecting upon the nature of the civil war and God's will within it, as he prepares for the long struggle of leading a nation that needs healing. We would be wise to hear the prophetic words from our 16th president as he comments on the war being a form of God's judgement. We would be even wiser to head the words of Langston Hughes, who speaks of dream that was America, a land of unity, liberty and possibility. We allow ourselves to become divided over the simplest of things anymore, and refuse to act as a common people. Let us come together this Memorial Day to live as a people who love and support one another, living in unity to honor those who have sacrificed greatly for a way of life we all take for granted.
  • May 20, 2018“Just the Facts: Pt. II” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Galatians 5:16-17
    May 20, 2018
    “Just the Facts: Pt. II” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Galatians 5:16-17
    Series: Pentecost
    Having a glimpse into the world that Jesus stepped into, we begin to develop a better understanding as to why people reacted to Jesus' message the way they did. In a time when challenging the status quo could erupt into chaos, Jesus did just that. Having in mind the words of the prophets and knowing the judgement God brought for their unfaithfulness in the past, the jewish leaders became so legalistic in the law that they attempted to shut out the world. Instead of being an example to other nations, they tried to shut them selfs off and instituted extra rules to keep from breaking God's law, and in doing so lost their love for others. Jesus' message contained the truth they needed to hear and a difficult challenge to what they though was right: without love for others, adherence to God's law was next to meaningless. What is important to Jesus is love and compassion for those considered the outsider, and healing and grace to those considered unclean rather than the perceived righteousness of God's People. This was just as difficult for those that interacted with Jesus back then as it is for us today; we all suffer the same problem of thinking that we can have our faith all figured out and organized, that we can follow Jesus from the comfortable life we have built for ourselves. Looking at Jesus' ministry, there was noting safe or comfortable about it. He challenged the status quo and put God's grace on display for all to see.
  • May 13, 2018“Just the Facts – Pt. I” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Matthew 6:25-34
    May 13, 2018
    “Just the Facts – Pt. I” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Matthew 6:25-34
    Series: Easter
    We often attribute a great amount of mysticism when we think about Jesus and the events depicted in the Bible and recorded in history. And these places with legendary sounding names hold great spiritual importance, places like Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem. But these places still saw conflict, social tensions and international disputes; do these issues sound familiar? This led the Jewish people we read about in scripture to live and act a certain way, and primes the scene that Jesus enters into. As we get ready to celebrate Pentecost this year, we reflect on the powerfully radical message that Jesus brought to His people. This week, we look just at the facts, at the social climate that Jesus steps into so that we may have some context for the message He brings and the reaction it receives.
  • May 6, 2018“Life & Belief” – Rev. Allan Brooks – John 20:30-31
    May 6, 2018
    “Life & Belief” – Rev. Allan Brooks – John 20:30-31
    Series: Easter
    Does what you believe help shape your life? Does what you believe give you life or steal it? As the Apostle John concludes his gospel account of Jesus' life and ministry, he leaves this special note: "Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:30-31) This is the assurance John gives us at the end of his account, that these words we are reading are not some historical record we should memorize, rather they are here to point us to the truth that Jesus is the Messiah, that we may believe and have life in His name. Embrace the life that is offered by Jesus, and let your belief in Him radiate through your life everyday."May 6, 2018 Sermon Audio" by Chad Lewis. Released: 2018.
  • Apr 29, 2018“If This Alone be Done” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Mark 10:35-45
    Apr 29, 2018
    “If This Alone be Done” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Mark 10:35-45
    Series: Easter
    Jesus gives us a perfect example of what it takes to follow Him; service. Jesus lived in service to others and continuously told His disciples that if they truly wanted to become great, they must become servants. Even on the night Jesus was betrayed, he took on the posture of a servant toward His disciples to make this point clear. And yet, it wasn't until Jesus was gone that they understood what He taught them. Many times they would take pride in what they had given up to follow Him, and even sought positions of honor and power in Jesus' Kingdom, only to be rebuked and told that if they must become a slave if they truly seek greatness. It wasn't until Jesus was gone that they realized that His kingdom embodied humility and service. To show love to others. That was the Apostle John's teaching before his passing. To love one another. Tradition records John saying; "Little children, love one another. It is the Lord's command. If this alone be done, it is enough." So let us stop searching for our own greatness within the church, let us forget the things that we think we are owed. Our greatness and our purpose is in our service to others. It might not be glamorous, but it is exactly what the world needs. So let us love one another, and if this alone be done, it truly is enough.
  • Apr 22, 2018“Everyday Easter II” – Rev. Allan Brooks – John 20:17-18
    Apr 22, 2018
    “Everyday Easter II” – Rev. Allan Brooks – John 20:17-18
    Series: Easter
    “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17) The first instruction that Jesus gives after His resurrection; to go. Mary is so excited once she realizes that the man in front of her is Jesus, but she is told that she can't hold on to him there. In many ways, Mary is like us; when we find Jesus just want to stay with Him right where we find Him. Jesus tells us just as He told Mary, "Go, tell people about me." We want to stay, to know that we are near the One our hearts have been longing for, but we are sent back into the world to tell others of who we have found. But we can be assured that we are not alone, for Christ goes with us. He too is out in the world, fulfilling the work of redemption, and tells us we must go and join him.
  • Apr 15, 2018Some 23rd Psalm: Goodness & Mercy – Re. Gary Hilton – Gen. 2:9, 16-17; Ps. 22:1-2; Ps. 23
    Apr 15, 2018
    Some 23rd Psalm: Goodness & Mercy – Re. Gary Hilton – Gen. 2:9, 16-17; Ps. 22:1-2; Ps. 23
    Series: Easter
    "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...for thou art with me..." the famous line from Psalm 23, acknowledging fulness and fulfillment in God's presence and provision. But how many times does our faith reflect this feeling...how often do we make our faith contingent on how much we get from God or how much we know about God? Faith is not attained when we understand everything about God, nor is it sustained by what we get God to do for us; faith is strengthened when we are left with no choice but to trust what is revealed to us about God – in good times and in bad. We see this evidence itself through Psalms 22 and 23, as the psalmist, King David, comes to a greater realization of faith while suffering great things. He cries out in desperation, feeling as though God has forsaken him, a feeling that we can all relate to. And as David works through this hardship, he reminds himself of the truths he knows about God: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..." and then makes the pivotal transition to talking to God and acknowledges how God continues to be with him. Let us take David's cue, remind ourselves that God is always with us, guiding us and protecting us – and in all season of life say; "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...for you are with me."
  • Apr 8, 2018“Everyday Easter” – Rev. Allan Brooks – John 20:11-16
    Apr 8, 2018
    “Everyday Easter” – Rev. Allan Brooks – John 20:11-16
    Series: Easter
    Easter may be celebrated one day each year, but the realities of the resurrection that we celebrate last year round. We are an Easter people, living in Christ's resurrection; which means that Jesus is still alive and at work in the world and in our lives everyday. We know that the tomb was not the end Christ's resurrection work, rather it truly began with His resurrection. And so we live with the joy of Easter and the resurrection power, to join Jesus in His redeeming work throughout the world.