July 24, 2016

SERMON – JULY 24, 2016 (Guest preacher: Dorothy Cotter) This morning we continue with the adventures of Paul and Barnabas.  This time we find them in the region of Lycaonia, specifically the city of Lystra.  This is located in what is now modern Turkey.  It was known, in the ancient world, as an ignorant backwater, populated by superstitious yokels.  It looks like Paul and Barnabas’ work is cut out for them – not that it has been easy thus far… As per their usual agenda, one of them performs a miracle: discerning that a crippled man has the requisite faith, Paul tells the man to “Stand upright on your feet.”  Upon doing so the crowds immediately respond to the miracle by shouting out “The gods have come down in human form!”    They refer to them as the Greek gods Zeus and Hermes, and immediately bring garlands as tribute, and oxen for sacrifice. But this is not so unusual for the place that had been described as a backwater.  They would not have known that mere mortals, through the Holy Spirit, would be capable of such healing.  And the gods of the pagan world were capricious beings, following their own whims, good or evil, and often times taking their wrath out on humans for no good reason.  The gods were to be appeased, placated, appealed to for favors, but otherwise were to be kept as far from humanity as possible. And there is a story, told by the Roman poet Ovid, of the region of Lycaonia being visited by Zeus and Hermes, in human form.  They went from place to place, visiting thousands of people, asking for aid and shelter.  No one would welcome them.  But a poor, elderly couple, Baucis and Philemon, took them in.  Later when the region was flooded, and the whole population was wiped out, the couple was spared. Given this history, or mythology, if you will, the Lystrans were not going to make that mistake again!  Paul and Barnabas are disturbed at the attempt to worship them, and rend their garments, and tell the people that they are mortals, just as they are. And so we come to an impasse:  the Lystrans think that the apostles are gods; Paul and Barnabas know that they are not God.  But how to convince these folks of the one true God, and his Son, Jesus? They aren’t getting much help from the Jews, who come from Antioch and have Paul stoned.  Come to think of it, they aren’t getting much help from the local Jewish populations wherever they go.  They just came from Iconium, and the Jews there joined with the Gentiles to run them out of town, as well. So, some receive the message gratefully, while others are resistant, if not downright hostile, to receiving the Word. But now, fast forward to the present age:  Are people hearing the Word?  Is there idolatry still going on today, as with the non-Jews in Paul and Barnabas’ day?  And what are we, as Christians, to do about it? And so I would ask you three questions: How do you know of God?; How have you come to know God personally?; and How do you convince others of the existence of the one true God, and of his Son, Jesus...

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Week of July 24, 2016 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Bible Study meets on Thursdays at 1:00pm, at BUMC. OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS Bourne Food Pantry.  Please remember to bring in your food items. They are much needed! EVENTS EVERY WEEK Sunday                        8:00 am                        Choir practice Sunday                        9:00 am                        Worship Sunday                           7:00 pm                      AA Meeting Monday                          7:30 pm                       N/A Meeting Tuesday                        9:00 am                        VNA Exercise Tuesday                        7:00 pm                        AA Meeting Thursday                       9:00 am                        VNA Exercise Thursday                        7:00 pm                         N/A Meeting Friday                           7:30 pm                        Adult Children of Alcoholics Meeting Saturday                      9:00 am                       Osteo...

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Week of July 24, 2016 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, July 24th: 11:00 AM Worship Service Dorothy Cotter, preaching Thursday, July 28th: 1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Sunday, July 31st: 11:00 AM Worship Service A MEMORIAL SERVICE for Marion Bradley, Marsha Burt’s mom, will be held on Saturday, July 30 at 11:30 AM at the First Baptist Church, 1580 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington , MA, with a luncheon to follow. A LITURGIST IS NEEDED for next Sunday, July 31st. Please sign up! ALTAR FLOWERS ARE NEEDED for August 7th and 21st. CHURCH BLOCK PARTY: On Saturday, August 6th, from 4-7 pm we (that’s you! our church community) are inviting the people who live in our neighborhood to come for a get together.  It will be outside on our lawn but if it rains we will bring it inside to Crain Hall. The church will provide hamburgers/hot dogs and lemonade.  We are asking everyone to bring food to share, chairs and lots of happy smiles. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to give homeless children a better tomorrow. Do you have 2 hours each week to play with young homeless children in one of our shelter-based Playspaces in Bourne? Help a homeless child learn, play, and thrive. Upcoming volunteer training 7/27/16, 6-9p in Hyannis. For more info visit www.horizonschildren.org or call 508 510-3250.  ...

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