Jul 22, 2018
Where We Have Been – Rev. Allan Brooks – Genesis 15:1-5
Series: Pentecost
Last year we completed a survey with how connect with our church and our hopes for the future. Today, we discuss where we have been as a church and review the results of this survey as preparation for setting our vision, dreams and prayers for the future.
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  • Jul 22, 2018Where We Have Been – Rev. Allan Brooks – Genesis 15:1-5
    Jul 22, 2018
    Where We Have Been – Rev. Allan Brooks – Genesis 15:1-5
    Series: Pentecost
    Last year we completed a survey with how connect with our church and our hopes for the future. Today, we discuss where we have been as a church and review the results of this survey as preparation for setting our vision, dreams and prayers for the future.
  • Jul 15, 2018This is Holy Ground – Rev. Gary Hilton – Genesis 49:29-33
    Jul 15, 2018
    This is Holy Ground – Rev. Gary Hilton – Genesis 49:29-33
    Series: Pentecost
    The Old Testament, as it follows Israel's lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, recounts an inheritance as an important function of society. One of the most important things you can inherit is land; the land of your father, the land of your ancestors. God's inheritance for His people was the promised land, a place they can call home and be an example to the world. Yet, as the people fell to their own immoralities, God removed from them their inheritance and gave it to others for a time. We too have an inheritance from God. Blessed with the Gospel and adopted into the household of God, we inherit a place with Him, in His family. We are given the church, the commission to live, serve and love as Jesus did. We are blessed to be a part of God's life giving work throughout the world. And yet, unfaithfulness breeds a loss of that inheritance, for if we neglect the charge God gives us and are unfaithful to Him, He will choose another. Let us focus in on God's will, that our inheritance not be wasted and live in Christ's example.
  • Jul 8, 2018Icon of Friendship – Rev. Allan Brooks – Hebrews 4:14-16
    Jul 8, 2018
    Icon of Friendship – Rev. Allan Brooks – Hebrews 4:14-16
    Series: Pentecost
    Throughout church history, icons would be used to aid worshipers during worship gatherings and in prayer. This particular icon, known as the icon of friendship throughout tradition, depicts Jesus with his arm around an abbot. While we are given the description of who this other man is, tradition allows for anyone to fill the place of this other man as a reminder that Jesus is with us always, that we most definitely have a friend in Jesus.
  • Jul 1, 2018All Fields Need Work – Rev. Gary Hilton – Matthew 13:1-9 & 18-23
    Jul 1, 2018
    All Fields Need Work – Rev. Gary Hilton – Matthew 13:1-9 & 18-23
    Series: Pentecost
    We all have areas in our lives that distract us from God, but praise be to God that His grace falls on each of those areas. May we learn to be more aware of God's grace in action in every area in our lives.
  • Jun 24, 2018Fire & Rain – Rev. Allan Brooks – Isaiah 43:1-3
    Jun 24, 2018
    Fire & Rain – Rev. Allan Brooks – Isaiah 43:1-3
    Series: Pentecost
    As we reflect and celebrate another successful year of Vacation Bible School, Pastor Allan recalls his childhood, when he was the age of some of the kids we served this past week. "Fire and rain" he says, one of his favorite songs, a great representation for all that happens in life. Isaiah 43, our theme verse for VBS, proclaims God's great promise; "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." God first tells us that we belong to him, He claims us, then promises to be with us in all circumstances. How awesome it is to know that God is with us at all times and claims us as His own. We have our God with us, through fire and rain. Amen.
     
  • Jun 17, 2018“Unforced Rhythms of Grace” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Matthew 11:16-19; 25-30
    Jun 17, 2018
    “Unforced Rhythms of Grace” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Matthew 11:16-19; 25-30
    Series: Pentecost
    Sometimes we allow ourselves to be distracted and led by the worries and troubles of this world and very quickly loose sight of God's work. Even within the church, we can become more concerned with dogma and how the church operates than living the grace that God bestows. Christ is calling us to follow him in the "unforced rhythms of grace;" living in tune with God's will, recognizing God at work each day, and serving others in simple ministry. It is about living and working in worship at Jesus' feet. All the worries and troubles that we face will be worked out, our task is to work and live in the grace that flows from Jesus' side. Let us be concerned with serving as Jesus served and not the "who, what, where, and why" of serving. Let us live, move and work in the unforced rhythms of grace.
  • 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.