August 28, 2016 – The fullness of Christ

Pentecost 15   August 28, 2016    Acts 20:7-12, 21:7-14; Ephesians 4:4-16 The fullness of Christ ******************************************************** I’ve come to especially appreciate our first story today – the coming back to life of a young man named Eutychus (in the Greek language) – his name in Latin is Fortunatas – meaning fortunate in any language. His nickname’s got to be Lucky. I bet some of us can identify with Eutychus – getting sleepy, listening to the preacher go on and on… Till he (poor Eutychus) falls out of the window. Making for one very unforgettable sermon for Lucky Eutychus… (Even if he can’t remember a word of it…He won’t forget it…) My sermons probably go on a bit longer than some would prefer, sometimes. But nobody’s fallen out of their pew yet, let alone a third floor window…. And so far I don’t think I’ve ever preached more than twenty-five minutes in a sermon. (Even when it seems like hours, it’s usually actually less than twenty minutes)… And not to be too defensive, but notice how the apostle is speaking for quite a bit longer than that in today’s first reading…  Maybe a subtle hint to us from the word of God… to not be in any hurry to be done with church… Our daughter Rohi’s been studying the Pilgrims. The other day she read to me from one of her text books, about how Pilgrim preachers would sometimes preach for more than three hours at a stretch. I imagine that could make me sleepy – especially in hot weather like we’ve had this summer…. But people were used to longer sermons then – and spending most of the day, Sunday, in church… And falling asleep was probably rare in the pilgrim church –because they had guys walking around, carrying long poles – waking any wannabe sleepers, by tapping or smiting their shoulders… And even pilgrim pastors sound relatively concise…  compared with St Paul today – who is literally preaching all through the night… Till our guy Lucky falls out of the window, down to the ground, three floors below, in the middle of the night, where he’s lifted up and pronounced dead. But Paul goes down, picks him up – and pronounces him alive again.  Then goes back upstairs, has a little bread-breaking snack – and continues teaching till dawn… As if raising someone from the dead was something we do everyday… A minor interruption to the sermon. Coming back from the dead is probably going to be the main thing we remember  from that night – at least if we’re Eutychus, or his parents, or friends. But for the apostle Paul, the main event actually seems to be about getting people to hear the word of God better. The word of God, is, of course, the context in which all resurrection happens. Raising Eutychus from the dead is a beautiful sermon illustration. We wish we could always make it happen as visibly and certainly as this, every time… But even the apostles Peter and Paul do this only once each in the book of Acts. And it’s always God who does the raising up, as the book of Acts makes clear… We are supporting actors in God’s drama of redemption. So Paul doesn’t take credit for the wondrous sign....

read more

Week of August 28, 2016 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, August 28th: 11:00 AM Worship Service Monday, August 29th: 9:00 AM Church Office Open Thursday, Sept. 1st: 1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Sunday, Sept. 4th: 11:00 AM Worship Service THE CHURCH OFFICE will be open tomorrow, Monday, but closed on Tuesday the 30th. It will be open regular time on Thursday and Friday. THE SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER DEADLINE is tomorrow, August 29th. SAVE THE DATE! Rally Day will be on Sunday, September 11th, outside on our lawn, under a big tent. More details coming soon… LOBSTER ON THE CANAL: On September 11, from 5:30 to 7:30pm, there will be a sunset cruise to benefit the Upper Cape Chaplaincy. Tickets are $30 and include a lobster roll, potato chips, and dessert. Cash bar is available. For tickets, call Don (508) 454-2141. WANTED: singers, instrumentalists, musicians to perform “Special Music” during the offering. Accomplished or not, pro or amateur, adult or child. Anyone who wishes to offer praise is welcome to perform. Accompanist available. Contact Kari Fietek 774-392-2352, karifietek@gmail.com VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO VIDEOTAPE WORSHIP! Have you ever not been able to make it to church but found you could watch the service on our local public TV station? Do you know of folks that are homebound or in a care facility that watch our parish worship service every week? The broadcasting of our service is a valuable community outreach. We’re looking for folks, who would be part of a team, that would pick up the camera from the station on a Friday and film on a Sunday. It would involve a short training session on the use of the camera by the station personnel. If you might be interested in this ministry, please call Bob Burt. The Bourne United Methodist Church is looking for a Child Care Assistant. The position is primarily for weekly services every Sunday, 10:30 – 12:30, at the church, starting immediately. The pay is $50/weekly, with an annual commitment to the position. (2 weeks unpaid time off given with advance notice). Experience with children, including infants required, along with CORI background check. References required.  Please respond to the church office: bumcsecretary@verizon.net.    ...

read more