Sermon Series: Joined

5/20 - 6/24/2018

The church has held for 2000 years, an almost unimaginable amount of time. One secret to its longevity is a healthy tension between tradition and innovation - between staying connected and stretching to grow. Such tension is vital to a healthy church. Like joints that attach the parts of the body together, these essential, shared convictions and obligations keep us strong as we both hold to tradition and seek new ways to innovate.

Messages

6/23 - 6/24/2018 | In The Middle

In an age of church division, it can seem fashionable, even righteous, to be willing to divide the church for the sake of ideological purity. While not eschewing the need for sound doctrine, Methodism counters this divisive trend by emphasizing relationship and community. Since its beginning, Methodism has been a vast river that cuts through the middle of the wide range of Christian faith.

6/16 - 6/17/2018 | United In Community

Understanding how to reconcile the idea of a single body of Christ with the reality of so many different beliefs and institutions is one of the greatest challenges to Christian faith. If we are one, why are there so many denominations? We dismiss people because they’re different, and emphasize our rightness, but in Christ, we’re called to live as one body.

6/9 - 6/10/2018 | In God's Image

The Trinity is both mysterious and central to Christianity. It is the belief that God exists as three persons, but is one being, having a single divine nature. The members of the Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - are co-equal and co-eternal, one in essence, nature, power, action, and will. The Trinity is both relational and of one essence.

6/2 - 6/3/2018 | Access to Jesus

Debate over which gospels and letters were true and which weren’t led the church body to formally declare a canon, or an agreed upon understanding of what makes up the Scriptures we hold to be true. Though we may disagree on interpretation, these shared texts have remained constant for centuries. It is through them we have access to Jesus.

5/26 - 5/27/2018 | Fully Human, Fully Divine

In the third century, some began to teach that Jesus was a created being and therefore different and subordinate to God the Creator. Eventually the church declared what seemed like a paradox: Jesus is fully God and fully human. We continue to debate this today when we emphasize the divine or human side of Jesus. As the two natures are equally present, the challenge is to live set apart from, and yet sent into, the world.

5/19 - 5/20/2018 | One In The Spirit

The presence of God's Spirit is the sign of the new believer. Yet some in the early church insisted that new believers adopt certain laws, too. Do we do the same today? We teach that grace is sufficient, yet do we expect the Holy Spirit to see to it that other people become like us? What does it mean to be one in the Spirit?

All Series

More Than Conquerors
5/14 - 6/19/2022
In the early first century, culturally speaking, everything was positioned around the idea that a nation ought to expand and conquer to accumulate power and influence. In this way, the movement that began with Jesus was positioned well to be a religion that was focused on going out in the world, spreading its message to new nations, and converting others to this system of beliefs. The world was primed for a religious movement that would respond to the great commission, and in effect, go forth and conquer. Yet, the church was not about conquering. It did not hope to extinguish and assimilate every other person and culture. Instead, the early church grew on the basis that it had the ability to universally speak to the human condition of brokenness and offer hope and promise in the wake of that very condition. The church would be more than the conquerors. Everyone was coming to believe in the promise of God. The Gospel reached into different cultures, differently idioms and languages altogether. In this message, they preached and believed that Jesus would return again, and would return again sooner rather than later. Nobody could have fathomed the idea that 2000 years into the future, we would still be waiting on this return. They were teaching each other lessons and lifting each other up in the hopes that they would be alive to see the grand return. However, those lessons taught have a practicality that transcends any time period. In growing over this time, the church moved beyond the disciples. What was once an effort of individuals and leaders who had all had direct connections to, and conversations with, the risen Lord now transitioned to a movement of different ages, nations, and races of converted believers who had simply heard the Good News of the Gospel. They would lean on their own spiritual experiences of the divine rather than tangible interactions with God Incarnate. What will leadership look like in this new Church? Who can be a part of this faith movement? What will be required to participate? Most importantly, how do those messages speak to us today?
Appeared
4/23 - 5/8/2022
Easter has come, Christ has been resurrected. We have enjoyed the big celebrations, the Easter egg hunts, and the family meals, but we forget that there was more than an empty tomb after Christ was resurrected. There were more visits than the brief encounter of the women in the garden. A fully resurrected Christ is a free Christ. Jesus could have gone anywhere and done anything after the resurrection, and yet he chose to search for the disciples. Jesus sought out the ones who abandoned and failed him more than anyone else. The ones who swore loyalty disappeared. The ones who followed in his footsteps for three years turned their backs on the suffering Savior. The ones who pledged to help transform the world abandoned the mission in fear and shame. Yet the story of the cross and resurrection is true for each of us through the power of God’s grace: we are more than our worst moments. The worst thing is never the last thing. What might those disciples have been feeling after the cross? Can you imagine the deep silence between them? The shared knowledge of their failures? The unrelenting question: “What now?” Brene Brown defines shame as “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.” It is not hard to imagine the deep shame of these disciples, one that each of them knew intimately and yet did not want to name. Shame assigns identity based on our worst moments. It thrives on secrecy. It is “the fear that something we’ve done or failed to do, an ideal we’ve not lived up to, or a goal we’ve not accomplished makes us unworthy of connection” (Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart, 137). We see over and over again in the Gospels and Acts scenes of redemption and healing through God’s grace. Jesus could have chosen to abandon the ones who left him at the cross, who pretended they did not even know him, to start from scratch with better disciples. Yet in God’s infinite grace and unrelenting love, the disciples were chosen for connection, relationship, and entrusted with the mission of Christ. Jesus confronts their failures head on. This is the Christian story: our deepest shame is redeemed and we are transformed into world-changing disciples