Pentecost 15 – September 22, 2019

Luke 16:1-13 Make friends for yourself What is Jesus saying to us? – in this rather strange story of a dishonest manager – who, facing loss of his job, unilaterally reduces debts owed to his boss – and wins the approval of his boss? If we’re puzzled by this story that Jesus tells, we’re in good company. Church father St. Augustine back in the 4th century, who believed the bible was absolutely always the word of God – considered this story of the Dishonest Servant so hard to understand that he couldn’t quite believe Jesus really said it. And what we hear in any story of course always depends on what we bring to the story. In his book, What Do They Hear?, seminary professor and bible scholar Mark Allan Powell explores ways people hear the stories in the bible differently. For example – Powell likes to have his seminary students read a bible story aloud, then retell the story from memory. He once asked a dozen seminarians to retell the parable of the prodigal son (the familiar story we talked about last week). All the students told almost all the story accurately – but all of them left out the part about the famine that occurs while the younger son is off in a far-off land and all the money he had is gone. Curious about this omission, Powell followed-up with a more extensive study, involving 100 American seminary students from diverse ethnic, economic, and denominational backgrounds – and still only 6% mentioned the famine. Later, Powell taught for a semester in Russia, and did the same exercise with seminarians there. There 84% named the famine when they retold the story – and most heard the famine as an essential part of the story. Why such radically different results? It didn’t take Powell long to realize – Russian seminarians’ families had experienced famine, within living memory. In follow up conversations Powell also learned the parable of the prodigal son was nearly universally interpreted in America as about a sinful son repenting of spending his inheritance on womanizing and strong drink. In Russia, however, the parable was interpreted not as about what the money was spent on – but about the son leaving home in the first place – and putting a monetary value on family. The larger point is – we all hear selectively. It’s almost impossible not to. Where we hear the main message of a story depends on how the story intersects with our own experience. What we like in a story usually corresponds with what we like in life. And so – I like what Jesus says about those who are faithful in even a little are faithful also in much – since I think I can be faithful in a little. I’m not so sure I like what Jesus says about those who are unfaithful in even a little are unfaithful also in a lot – because I know I’ve been unfaithful to God some of the time… I usually like the way the parables of Jesus make me think outside the box. I don’t always like the way his parables keep seeming to change meanings on me… every time I consider another part of the parable. Like – why does Jesus keep reminding...

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September 22, 2019- Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, September 22nd:                   11:00 AM    Worship Service Monday, September 23rd:                  10:30 AM     Aptucxet                                                                     6:00 PM     Finance Committee                                                                     7:00 PM     Church Council Wednesday, September 25th            10:00 AM     Prayer Group                                                                   10:00 AM    BWC (Perry)                                                                     5:30 PM    Aptucxet Thursday, September 26th:                 1:00 PM    Bible Study Friday,  September  27th:                   10:00 AM    Craft Group Saturday, September 28th:                  9:00 AM    Work Party                                                                  12:00 PM    Brookside Sunday, September 29th:                   11:00 AM    Worship Service                                                                  12:30 PM    Pumpkins Arrive FINANCE/CHURCH COUNCIL MEETINGS have been rescheduled for   tomorrow evening. CRAFT GROUP will meet at Sue DeWitte’s house OUR PUMPKIN PATCH WORK PARTY isSaturday 9/28 9am, to prepare for the arrival of the pumpkins the next day. Please let Marsha know if you can help. A LITURGIST IS NEEDED for Sunday, September 29, please sign up on the table in Crain Hall. PRAYER GROUP will meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. DINING FOR A CAUSE on September 24, at Stir Crazy Cambodian Cuisine, from 11:30am – close, 20% if your bill will be donated to UCC.        ...

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September 22, 2019- Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Council and Finance meeting – Wednesday, September 25. Upcoming concert: The Kempters, Americana Worship, at the Bourne UMC the evening of October 10th. This concert will be preceded with a meal. More information coming soon. ADDITIONAL ANNOUNCEMENTS Bible Study is on Thursdays, 1pm, in the Perry Room at the Bourne church. EVENTS EVERY WEEK Sunday         7:45 am         Choir practice Sunday        9:00 am         Worship Sunday        7:30 pm         AA Meeting Monday       9:30am         Osteo Exercise Monday       7:30 pm        N/A Meeting Tuesday       9:00am         Exercise Tuesday      7:00 pm         AA Meeting Thursday    9:00 am         Exercise Thursday   7:00 pm          NA Meeting Saturday   9:00 am          Osteo Exercise...

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September 22, 2013 – Pentecost 18

Luke 16:1-13 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” *** Pentecost 18 Sept 22, 2013   Luke 16:1-13   The Shrewd Manager ***************************************************************** What is Jesus trying to tell us? – in this rather strange story of a dishonest manager, who, facing loss of his job, unilaterally reduces debts owed to his boss – then gets a thumbs-up approval from his boss? Well, if we’re puzzled by this story Jesus tells, we’re in good company. Bible interpreters through the ages have been baffled by this story. Even St. Augustine, back in the 4th century, who believed the bible was absolutely always the word of God, considered this story of the Dishonest Servant so difficult to understand that he couldn’t quite believe Jesus really said it. And what we hear in a story of course depends on what we bring to the story. In his book, What Do They Hear?, Mark Allan Powell explores some of the ways people hear the bible differently:             When I was in high school, way back in 1969, [Powell writes] my mother told me that she liked “that song about the bathroom.” She didn’t usually like Top 40 music, so I was intrigued–but I had no idea what song she was talking about. She explained: “The one that goes, ‘There’s a bathroom...

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Bourne Week of September 22nd, 2013

USHERS WANTED!!! We are in need of people to help with ushering duties, as we do not have enough people to serve as ushers. We would like to rotate the duties so that it does not fall to the same folks week after week. We also would like someone who would like to learn the Powerpoint procedures – it’s easy! Please sign up in Crain Hall or speak to Robby Cotter if you are interested. Thank you! CHURCH OFFICE HOURS will now be Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays, 9:00am to 1:00pm. NEW ENGLAND CONTRA DANCE in Crain Hall this Saturday, September 28th, from 8pm to 11pm. An event open to the public, with experienced caller and musicians. Admission fee: Adults $8; Youth 10-16 $4. THE PUMPKIN’S ARRIVE NEXT SUNDAY, September 29th, following worship. Please plan on staying to help unload the truck. Lunch WILL NOT be served so please bring it with you and eat when you want. There will be desserts and beverages provided. Dress accordingly....

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