July 31, 2016

Pentecost 11 July 31, 2016    Acts 17 ****** In Thessalonica first, then in Berea – again we see the familiar pattern of the book of Acts – as Paul and his companions come into town – and go first, always, to the local synagogue, where they teach Jesus, the Messiah, risen from the dead. Some are  convinced and believe. Some take issue. Often confused responses to the gospel leads to attacks on disciples, sometimes even riots, wherever the disciples go. This is the  pattern we see at work throughout the book of Acts. But… What catches my notice most in all our readings today is – how the disciples keep functioning, pretty smoothly, through it all.. In our first reading they’re accused of claiming Jesus is king, not Caesar. The same crime Jesus is accused of in the gospels (Luke 23, John 19). (We know what happened to him.) Now his disciples are accused also…But that doesn’t seem to faze them. They know this pattern of mixed response to their message. They’ve learned by now to keep calm and pray on, preach on, teach on, move on…. And… What grabs my attention in our second reading is how, in Berea, the new believers are testing everything the disciples teach them – by reading the scriptures, every day. “As a result” (we’re told) “many of them believed…” There’s a sermon series here… We should of course do likewise. Test everything we hear with scripture. As I’ve heard even some of our radio preachers say: “Don’t take my word for it. Don’t believe the gospel just because I say so. Open your bibles – see for yourself…” (If you don’t agree with the gospel don’t blame me… Take it up with Jesus… Who has told us all along… ) Part of the gospel is that not everyone’s going to agree with the gospel. Some would rather “Do it my way.” (Me and Mr Sinatra.)  Not everyone is going to welcome the good news of Jesus Christ being king over all. This Way of Jesus we’re talking about is threatening to the power, privilege, and preferences of those who would rather do it our own way…Rather than taking the harder but much happier way of Jesus… And just as Jesus taught us, of course – we still need to love those who reject Jesus, and pray for them anyway… But we don’t have to – and ought not to – let other people’s disbelieving keep us awake at night… Because people rejecting God is also part of the story of God… From the beginning…(Know this reality. But don’t take it as the last word… This is the gospel balance….) And – knowing all this – when people are running amok in Berea – and knowing Paul is a bit of a lightning rod – his friends take Paul over to Athens to get some breathing room for him and for the church in Berea – time to chill and let things cool down… But Paul has a commission from Jesus to preach the gospel. And Athens is the intellectual and philosophical capital of the world… A wonderful challenge for an evangelist… So after a visit to the local synagogue Paul is soon  hanging out in the public marketplace, talking about Jesus, resurrected…...

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Week of July 31, 2016 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Bible Study meets on Thursdays at 1:00pm, at BUMC. OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS Today we are collecting for our Haitian Child, Christhofe Vilme. 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 31, 2016 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, July 31st: 11:00 AM Worship Service Thursday, August 4th: 1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Saturday, August 6th: 4:00 PM Neighborhood Block Party Sunday, August 7th: 11:00 AM Worship Service Monday, August 8th: 6:00 PM Worship Committee Meeting 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. ALTAR FLOWERS ARE NEEDED for August 7th and 21st. 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.  ...

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