One Spirit

Philippians 1:21-30

Writing from prison, Paul emphasized a unity of spirit and mind for the sake of the gospel. Though separated, Paul was still unified with the church in Philippi. The same is true today; though circumstantially separated, we are still on Church, united in spirit and mind. 

Questions: 

  1. What challenges come from being a church divided by Covid-19? 
  1. How does worship (even as it is today) help us stay united? 
  1. How can we maintain “one mind” while also maintaining social distance? 
  1. What defines our unity if not our physical presence? 

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 
 

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Forgiveness

We are back!  Worship in person at 1pm or via Livestream on our YouTube Channel!

Forgiveness

Have you ever thought of Forgiveness as essential to worship? 
Peace, Chess
 

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Hearts of Worship

Hearts of Worship

Psalm 149

With in-person worship resuming next week, this is a good time to look back on our virtual worship experience as it informs our future worship experiences. Psalm 149 provides a unique perspective on our year so far and the rest that is to come.
Peace, 
Chess
 
 

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline.

Scriptures: Exod 12:1-14; Ps 149; Matt 18:15-20; Rom 13:8-14

Questions for Reflection:

How do you reconcile a God who would “strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals” (Exod. 12:12) with a God who would die for the sins of the entire world?

Morning Prayer:

O God of this and every morning, as I begin this day, call my name; as I step into this day, guide my feet; as I live this day, care for those I love; as I learn this day, teach me your ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Evening Prayer:

God of stars and planets, the setting sun ends this day for us as it rises on a new day for others.  For us and for them, be light in every darkness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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Reorientation

Reorientation

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26

What if? What if Egypt never enslaved and mistreated the people of Israel? Would they have ever left? So what if their experience in Egypt was meant to disorient them away from Egypt and toward the promised land. And what if God uses our disorienting moments and experiences to help usher us into a reorientation toward God’s self and new possibilities?
Peace, 
Chess
Be sure to take our survey on your plans for worship as we regather. You can find the survey here.
 

Our Worship this Week:

 

Hymns for the Week:

 
 

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline.

Scriptures: Exod 3:1-15; Ps 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b; Matt 16:21-28; Rom 12:9-21

Questions for Reflection:
How can your life include a faithful response to Jesus’ charge that his followers must “deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24)?

Morning Prayer:

God of love, today help us to live peaceably with all. Help us live in genuine love: to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to love you, O God, with our whole heart, mind, and strength. In Jesus’ loving name. Amen

Evening Prayer:

Holy God, because you have been with us this day, we have stood on holy ground. Thank you. We know that you will remain with us through this night. Thank you. We know that you will be with us again tomorrow. Thank you. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.


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The Snare is Broken

The Snare is Broken

Psalm 124

Reading Psalm 124 feels like a personal guarantee of safety. Maybe it is a favorite hymn, or perhaps it gave you hope through hard times, but it is also the greatest story ever told. In poetic form, this psalm tells the story of the cross, but to get there we first need to remember the cross as a story of victory rather than a personal story of forgiveness. The question that’s left, then, is what have we done with our escape?
 
Peace, Chess
 

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline.

Scriptures: Exod 1:8-2:10; Ps 124; Matt 16:13-20; Rom 12:1-8

Questions for Reflection:

When have you succeeded in resisting the forces that seek to conform us

to the world? How has that felt like “spiritual worship”? What are the ways you most readily answer Jesus’ question: “Who do you say that I am?”

Morning Prayer:

Today, O God, help me receive your revelation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. It is in his name I pray. Amen.

Evening Prayer:

Holy God, for anything I did this day that was pleasing to you, I give you thanks and pray that you use me to your glory; for anything I did this day that was displeasing to you, I ask your forgiveness and pray that you redeem me for your glory. Amen.


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Kindred Unity

Kindred Unity

Psalm 133
 
Short, simple, and to the point, this psalm says what it means in the first verse: unity is a good and pleasant thing. Yet we seem to struggle deeply with unity and the world seems so full of division on just about everything. Psalm 133, however, leaves no room for misinterpretation.
 
Peace, Chess
 
As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship
Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline.

Scriptures: Gen 45:1-15; Ps 133; Matt 15:10-28; Rom 11:1-2a, 29-32

 

Questions for Reflection:
Why do you think Jesus resisted the Canaanite woman’s request? How does this fit with your idea of Jesus’ mercy and love? What changed his mind? How does this influence your faith in God?

Morning Prayer:
Merciful God, this day is full of your possibilities for healing and reconciliation, for new beginnings and restored relationships. Unite my heart with your will so that your abundant anointing will flow through me. Send me now with your promised blessings to preserve the lives of those in need. Amen.

Evening Prayer:
God of the night watches, guard me from torment, release me from distress. Call me close to you and kiss me with your favor that I may rest secure in you. Amen.


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Remembering our Future

Remembering our Future

Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22
So much of Israel’s identity is rooted in their shared experiences. A story about Joseph isn’t just something that happened long ago, but is an invitation to read yourself and situation into the story of Joseph. Psalm 105 is such an invitation that would shape our hopes for the future by remembering the past.
Peace, 
Chess
 

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship 

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline. 

Scriptures: Gen 37:1-4, 12-28; Ps 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b; Matt 14:22-33; Rom 10:5-15

Questions for Reflection:

Why did Jesus send the disciples ahead while he stayed to pray alone? How do times of turmoil and anxiety affect your trust in God?

Morning Prayer:

God of my destiny, thank you for a new day in which your purpose will unfold. Send me now as your servant to succor the suffering and as your disciple to declare the good news of your Son. Help me to remember during times of testing that your word goes ahead of me and upholds me. Amen.

Evening Prayer:

Son of God, this day has been crowded with work and service. This evening, bring me alone with you to the mountain to pray. Help me to know your reassuring presence with me through the night hours. May I come to you and rest in you. Amen.


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A Balanced Prayer

A Balanced Prayer

Psalm 17:1-7, 15
The author of psalm 17 finds himself in a situation that resonates with 2020. We don’t know the exact circumstances, but things seem dire. Like us, the psalmists prays for God to fix the world and set things right. But the psalmist also prays for God to stay close enough that he can see God’s face. There’s a balance to be found between these two prayer requests that I think would benefit us all this year.
Peace, 
Chess
 

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship 

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline. 

Scriptures: Gen 32:22-31; Ps 17:1-7, 15; Matt 14:13-21; Rom 9:1-5 

Questions for Reflection: 

“Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak” (Gen. 32:24). Why do you think God allows times of struggle in our lives? How have times of struggle affected your walk with God? How does your relationship with God affect your view of overwhelming problems in the world, such as hunger, poverty, violence, or injustice?  

Morning Prayer:  

God of daybreak, thank you for holding me through the night and awakening me to behold your likeness in this brand-new day. Go with me now as I walk with you.  Show me the world and its people through your eyes of compassion. Bless me, break me, and move through me to heal and feed those who hunger for you. Amen.   

Evening Prayer:  

O God, tonight I lay my failures, anxieties, struggles, and unfinished business at your feet. Hold me, bless me, and change me as I rest in you. Amen. 


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Faithfulness of God

Faithfulness of God

Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Psalm 105 and 106 are a dynamic duo. One proclaims the faithfulness of God while the other confesses the unfaithfulness of God’s people. It is, perhaps, the summation of the whole of scripture. But what does it mean for God to be faithful to an unfaithful people? How can that relationship work? I think the answers lie in the dynamic of faith and faithfulness.
Peace, 
Chess
 

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline.

         Scriptures: Gen 29:15-28; Ps 105:1-11, 45b; Matt 13:31-33, 44-52; Rom 8:26-39

Questions for Reflection:

Are there dilemmas or relationships in which you feel separated from the love of God? Can you imagine that God might be at work there, bringing life in unexpected ways? What would change if you were to claim the promise that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord?

Morning Prayer:

God of ferment, God of life, as I recall the night’s unsettled dreams… as I foresee the day’s demands… come to me in the desires of my heart, in the anger of the excluded, in all I might discount— until I find you everywhere, until your holy love leavens every impulse, for I pray in the name of Jesus, whose surprising call continues. Amen.

Evening Prayer:

Joy of my heart, thank you for this day’s unexpected turns: for provision when I was stymied and laughter born of grace. As I rest in your mercy open my heart to your unruly love  and the neighbors you have put in my path. Amen.

 

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The Omnis

The Omnis

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
For years we have called God omnipresent and omniscient, and for years those terms have been loaded and vague. Is it fair to reduce God’s omniscience and omnipresence to a guilt ridden sign on the side of the road that threatens, “God is watching you!”? Psalm 139 doesn’t think so, and has much more to offer.
 
Peace, Chess

Learn how to join us in a virtual House Church for Worship and Communion around the Lord’s Table

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship 

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline. 

Scriptures: Gen 28:10-19a; Ps 139:1-12, 23-24; Matt 13:24-30; Rom 8:12-25 

Questions for Reflection: 

How has your understanding of the relationship between suffering and faith (or vulnerability and trust) changed over time? What experiences of God’s grace do you need to acknowledge and anoint? 

Morning Prayer: 

In whatever shelter I wake this morningI know this place is holy because you meet me here. As I wash my body and prepare for the day, I remember baptismal waters and the claim upon my life. Wherever darkness looms, Sovereign God, traffic in mercy this day. Traffic in mercy this day. Amen. 

Evening Prayer:  

As darkness spreads over the land, I trust that you move in it. As I yield the night to sleep and dreams, I pray you would remake me into a servant bold, for the sake of Jesus. Amen. 

 


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