Welcome

Welcome to the scribblings of one Methodist pastor.  Here you will find devotions, sermon clippings, pastoral letters, and other assorted thoughts and reflections.  The most significant categories can be accessed through the menu at the top.  These include:

  • Beyond Sunday: These are follow up materials related to sermons I preach.  If you would like to hear the audio for the sermon, it is generally posted by Tuesday on my church’s website.
  • Open Source Liturgy: Prayers, readings, and sermons series crafted by myself, my team, or posted with permission.  You are free to use and adapt these with attribution.  Pictures or stories of how they worked for you are always appreciated.
  • Faith and Art:  For more than two thousand years artists across the world have produced moving works based on Biblical texts and the stories of the Christian faith.  I use many of these in preaching but often can’t delve fully into them so the extra reflections end up here.
  • Leading: Reflections on leadership, change, and being a pastor.

Enjoy!

This is Us: We Welcome All [Beyond Sunday]

Core values are the things that define one church from another. We are all united in the mission of making disciples, but just like people, God crafts congregations with unique hearts and gifts. DPUMC is a people of welcome. We want all people to come and feel at home here. Our efforts might not always be perfect, but we try to live into our call: Because Christ welcomes us, we welcome all to a community of love.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Hebrews 13:2

Genesis 17&19

Reflect:

  • When have I needed someone to welcome and embrace me?

Do:

  • Welcome Someone New: Look around in the places you frequent this week: church, work, your favorite hangout. Find someone who needs a welcome and engage them. Learn their story and share some of yours.

Share:

  • Share an invitation to church. Invite someone to come with you next week and experience our welcome.

 

Hero Central: Heros have Hope [Beyond Sunday]

Heros know the power of hope. Our great hope is not just that God is present in our suffering, but that the kingdom God is building is a place where no one will suffer again.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Revelation 21

John 14

Reflect:

  • How does my life offer a witness of hope to others?

Do:

  • Be a light of hope: Everyday this week, find a place to tell someone about your hope in Christ.

Share:

  • Share a picture of someone you think has the heart of a hero to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Hero Central: Heros have Wisdom[Beyond Sunday]

Heros do not live by the conventions of the world, but see life with the eyes of God and their actions are governed by God’s wisdom.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Isaiah 11:1-9

Reflect:

  • What voices do I let direct my actions? (ie family, common sense, political positions, friends, ideologies) How do they align with my faith?

Do:

  • Step out of line: This week, everytime you find yourself reacting to a piece of gossip or a news story, pause and reflect on what the upside down logic of God’s kingdom challenge yourself to respond with wisdom.

Share:

  • Share a picture of someone you think has the heart of a hero to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Hero Central: Heros have Courage[Beyond Sunday]

Heros have the courage to do what’s right. They are not controlled by others opinions, but stand up for themselves and those who need them.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Jesus Welcomes the children Matthew 19:13-15

Peter defends the gentile church Acts 11:1-18

Reflect:

  • Where do I let fear of other’s disapproval govern my actions?

Do:

  • Make a new friend: As you go through your week, look for an opportunity to start a conversation with someone you don’t know. Be brave like Abigail and learn the story of someone who’s different than you.

Share:

  • Share a picture of someone you think has the heart of a hero to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Hero Central: Heros have heart [Beyond Sunday]

Some heros are born and some are made. But what defines a hero is not necessarily their physical strenth of special skills, its how they live. Heros have a heart for others and are willing to give of themselves.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Check out another story of David’s heart. Look at 1 Samuel 17 and 2 Samuel 6.

Reflect:

  • Where does your heart most often focus?

Do:

  • Be Someone’s Hero: Check on an elderly or sick friend. Ask if there is anything you can do for them like pick up groceries, change a light bulb or work in the garden. If you have teens or kids, serve together as a family.

Share:

  • Share a picture of someone you think has the heart of a hero to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Losers: The Women [Beyond Sunday]

Who gets to decide what defines victory? When we don’t live up to the world’s expectations, are we failures or are we just finding a different path to glory? The women of Jesus era are often in the background of the gospel story, but without their faith and support Christianity would not exist as we know it.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Track the journey of the female disciples through the Gospel of Luke. Specifically look at Luke 8, Luke 23: 26-56, Luke 24: 1-12

Reflect:

  • What about your faith calls you to defy cultural expectations? How often are you tempted to conform rather than transform?

Do:

  • Try to Define Yourself: Make a list of who you think you are. What are your strengths and weaknesses, your passions and dislikes, your talents and struggles? Ask a love one to look it over and give you some feedback on how well you see yourself.

Share:

  • Share a lesson you learned from failure to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Losers: Balaam [Beyond Sunday]

Victory isn’t always pretty. And it doesn’t always come in the way we’d expect. Balaam tried hard to be faithful. Even though he ended up feeling foolish, God’s victory was still worked.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

The whole of Balaam’s story in the book of Numbers, Chapter 22-24

Reflect:

  • Which is more important to you: winning or looking good doing it? Is there any place in your life God might be at work in messy ways?

Do:

  • Try Vulnerability: Identify an area with which you are struggling. Find a trusted friend to share your difficulty with. Ask them what they see that you might have missed.

Share:

  • Share a story about a messy win to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Renovation Update

I hope you’ve seen the growing donation total in the Gathering Area. We continue to progress toward our 3 year goal and projects are underway.

The Food Pantry has a new permenant wall and door thanks to Rick Sullivan, Junior and Penny McBride, Tim Camp and other willing volunteers. It looks terrific and provides the Pantry with more storage space and a clean, welcoming look.

We are also starting work on the roof over the Choir Hall. The Sanctuary is progressing. HOwever we hit a snag with Church Interiors. The Trustees are now pursuing additional bids. They want to do such a large project well, but we hope to have the funds raised by the time a bid is finalized.

DPUMC continues to grow in being a welcoming place and your gifts are making possible for our buiding to reflect our Spirit. If you have not yet set up a regular gift ot the renovation fund, you can contact Susan Greer in the office to do so.

Losers: Samson [Beyond Sunday]

Part of the attraction of sports is that we love to cheer for winners and pity losers. But the dynamics of competition can skew our understanding of what it means to be successful in faith and life. Victory ultimately belongs to God. As we see in Samson’s story, when we lean on our own strenghth, arrogance and appearent succuess can lead to tradgic downfall. In humility and sacrifice, we are made greater than we could ever be on our own.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

The whole of Samson’s story in the book of Judges, Chapters 13-16.

Reflect:

  • Samson’s mother dedicated him to God, yet often his actions did not reflect that status. When you look at your own life, what actions match the faith you profess? What parts of your life still need to be turned over to God?

Do:

  • Give of Yourself: Identify a strenght you love to show off and a place it might be needed. Volunteer your time and talents without seeking recognition or reward. 

Share:

  • Share a story about a time you were humbled to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).

 

Saved for More [Beyond Sunday]

Every Easter we come to the story of the resurrection, and hopefully, we hear it again anew.  This is our central story, the one that makes us who we are as Christian people.  In the account of the resurrection, we discover that not only are we saved from death, but we are saved for a life of abundance.  We are saved for more than we could ever imagine.  [hear sermon audio]

Devotion time is crucial to your growth in faith.  Here are some resources for yours this week:

Read:

Reflect:

  • How does each account of the resurrection differ?
  • What might be most important to each writer?
  • Why is the resurrection important to your life?  How do you live differently because of it?

Do:

  • Bring Life:Look around your life and community.  What is dead or struggling and in need of new life?  Does a garden need to be planted?  Do people need to be fed? Does a relationship need to be restored? Make a simple plan and take the first step this week. 

Share:

  • Many poems have been written about the resurrection.  Find one and share it to our Facebook group or on Twitter and Instagram (tag us @dpumc).