December 2, 2019

Advent 1 Ps 24, Genesis 15:1-6, 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, Luke 1:5-25   Be ready ***************************************************************** Be ready. Don’t be afraid. Be prepared… for God’s Good News. One never knows when an angel might show up. Always remember  – Do not be afraid. But – Do – Be ready. Prepared… Zechariah the priest is serving in the Jerusalem temple. Doing God’s work in God’s holy place. He and his wife Elizabeth are old, getting older, still childless. Children were considered a sign of God’s favor, and they’ve been praying for a child – and they must be wondering – why is that we have not received this blessing that’s supposed to come to the righteous? And they are, both of them,  righteous and blameless we’re told. Yet they have no children. They’re still not seeing the blessing they believe they’ve been promised in spite of all their prayers. Zechariah the priest for sure knows the ancient biblical stories of Abraham and Sarah, childless for a very long time – till Sarah gives birth to their son Isaac (whose name means laughter) finally, when she’s 90 years old and Abe’s 100. Zechariah knows the biblical stories of Abe and Sarah’s grandchildren, Jacob and his twin brother Esau, born to Isaac and his wife Rebecca after 20 long years without children. He knows the story of Samuel the son born to Hannah after long years of childlessness and many tears poured out. He surely knows Psalm 113, where we’re told God“gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children…” And for sure Zack knows the first thing angels just about always say when they appear to people is “Do not be afraid.” But Zechariah is shocked out of his socks in fear and terror when the angel Gabriel appears… bringing good news of great joy…. And… Zechariah can’t quite bring himself to believe the angel’s words. Can’t quite believe all those prayers he and his wife have been praying all these years are finally being answered. Even though the first thing the angel tells him is “Don’t be afraid” – he is very afraid – literally terrified. *** And isn’t this still….the way life so often is? We know we shouldn’t be afraid –  especially not afraid to receive good news. We know we shouldn’t be afraid of the presence of God… Afraid of receiving the blessings we’ve been praying for. We remember Jesus telling us not to be afraid even of those who those who can kill the body, but not the soul. Long before Roosevelt said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” Jesus said, many, many times – “don’t be afraid.” Roosevelt, in that same speech named many challenges and difficulties that lay ahead in the worst days of the Great Depression. Jesus names many great challenges and difficulties that lie ahead for those who follow him. But Jesus never stops telling us “Do not be afraid.” Yet of course we still have fears… Which I sort of understand, on one level. We’re programmed instinctively to fear things that can hurt or kill us if we don’t watch out… But I have a harder time understanding – Why, I myself, and many other people… often seem afraid not only of fearful things –...

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December 9, 2018 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Family to Family Gift tags must be returned by December 16th. Prayer Group will only be meeting Wednesday December 12th this month. OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS Bourne Food Pantry Needs at this time include boxed cold cereal, jelly (plastic bottles), mayonnaise, snacks and hot cocoa packets. Thanks for your help. Bible Study will meet one last time on December 13th at 1pm, before taking a break until January Children’s Clothing Exchange  continues to accept gently used children’s clothes, sizes 0-14, which may be dropped off at the Thrift Shop. The exchange is open the first Saturday of each month at 10am. EVENTS EVERY WEEK Sunday   7:45 am  Choir practice Sunday   9:00 am  Worship Sunday    AA   Meeting Wednesday  7:30 pm  NA meeting Thursday  9:00 am    Exercise Thursday     7:00 pm     NA Meeting Saturday  9:00 am  Osteo...

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December 9, 2018 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, December 9th:                        11:00 AM     Worship Service Monday, December 10th:                       9:00 AM     DCOM                                                                    10:00 AM     Aptuxcet Wednesday December 12th:               10:00 AM     Prayer Group Thursday December 13th:                      1:00 PM     Bible Study Sunday,  December 16th:                      11:00 AM     Worship Service                                                                     12:15 PM     Living Gift Market                                                                       1:30 PM     Wrap and Tag  Party                                                                       3:00 PM     Piano Recital                                                                        3:00 PM     Girl Scouts    PRAYER GROUP will only be meeting Wednesday December 12th this month. BIBLE STUDY will meet one last time on December 13th at 1pm, before taking a break until January. PLEASE REMEMBER  all Family to Family Gift tags must be returned by December 16th. HEIFER SUNDAY will be celebrated on December 16th right after church. . THE PIANO RECITAL will be December 16th at 3pm. BACKPACK PROGRAM needs at this time include boxed cold cereal, jelly (plastic bottles), mayonnaise, snacks and hot cocoa packets. Thanks for your help.:) MENS BREAKFAST will be taking a break until January, more information to come. CHILDREN’S CLOTHING EXCHANGE: We continue to accept gently used children’s clothes, sizes 0-14, which may be dropped off at the Thrift Shop. The exchange is open the first Saturday of each month at 10am.                 ...

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December 2, 2018 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, December 2nd :                     11:00 AM     Worship Service                                                                   12:00 PM     Hanging of the Greens Monday, December 3rd:                      12:30 PM     UMW Potluck Wednesday December 5th:                10:00 AM     BWC                                                                      6:30 PM     Aptuxcet Thursday December 6th:                       1:00 PM     Bible Study Friday December 7th:                              7:00 PM     Cookie Walk Sunday,  December 9th:                       11:00 AM     Worship Service    THE UMW POTLUCK and Luncheon is Monday December 3rd at 12:30 THE COOKIE WALK is Friday December 7th. if you signed up to bake cookie please be sure to label due to allergies. PLEASE REMEMBER  all Family to Family Gift tags must be returned by December 16th. BACKPACK PROGRAM needs at this time include boxed cold cereal, jelly (plastic bottles), mayonnaise, snacks and hot cocoa packets. Thanks for your help.:) ON DECEMBER 6th  Steve Bryant, from the Upper Room Ministries, will lead a workshop: Living from the Center: Prayer Practices for Strengthening your Spiritual Core. East Greenwich UMC, 1558 South County Trail, East Greenwich, RI  02818 Please let Pastor Tim know if you would like to attend. Rides to be available. PRAYER GROUP meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in the downstairs nursery at 10 am. CHILDREN’S CLOTHING EXCHANGE: We continue to accept gently used children’s clothes, sizes 0-14, which may be dropped off at the Thrift Shop. The exchange is open the first Saturday of each month at 10am.                   ...

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Christ the King Sunday November 25, 2018

Christ the King Sunday   November 25, 2018   Psalm 47, 1 Samuel 8:1-9, Revelation 1:4-8, John 18:33-38a ************************************************************** Clap your hands, all you peoples – shout to God with loud songs of joy – for the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth…. Sing praises to God, sing praises – sing praises to our king, sing praises – for God is the King of all the earth – sing praises with a psalm…. God is King over all the earth Psalm 47 tells us joyfully and emphatically. But…as I read the daily news, it still feels like most of the world is in all-out rebellion against God. Not at all willing to have God rule… Arrogance, hatred, bragging, disrespect, doing our own thing without regard for others – disregarding God’s law of love – still seems to be considered normal…especially among those who have the most power in this world. Even in Israel of old, in our first reading today, all the elders of the nation ask Samuel, the prophet and judge of Israel, to give us a king like all the other nations. Samuel is dismayed to hear God’s people talking like this. But God tells Samuel “it’s not about you, it’s about me. They don’t want me, God, as their ruler. They want a king like all the other nations have. Someone who will tell them how great the nation is and what a great leader he is… while leading the nation into idol worship and ruin…” So when God sends his only Son into the world to rule with him and save, teach, and heal the world and establish God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven… it shouldn’t be a total surprise… When God’s Son is rejected, mocked, scorned, crucified and buried. Even now, to this day – it often seems as if Christ our King still suffers through endless reruns of his trial before Pontius Pilate – as all the spiritual descendants of Pilate and Herod in every land still interrogate King Jesus, asking, a thousand and one different ways, the same dismissive questions asked by Pontius Pilate, concluding with – “What is truth?” Pilate, the governor over Judah is really not interested in truth. But he is interested in the politics of Jesus. He understands quite well the politics of self-preservation and self-advancement…And he does want to know “Are you the king of the Jews?” He really is curious to know: “What have you done… to get yourself sent here to me to be crucified?” Probably even Pilate senses something much more in Jesus…than he’s ever known. And as Jesus tells him “my kingdom is not from this world…” We can almost hear Pilate and all the kings of this earth ever since with him… breathing sighs of relief.  We can almost hear them say to themselves, “thanks be to God. (Even if we don’t believe in God.) Thanks be to God that Jesus says his kingdom is not from this world.” And yes, what a nightmare for this world’s kings it would be… if Jesus were to say my kingdom is of this world and I’m here to fight with all the angels of heaven to install myself as king… Sometimes the church has acted as...

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