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READ ALONG WITH THE SERVICE:
The Monday Adult Bible Study will resume meeting on
Monday, September 12, at 10:30 am
at Rosewood Village on Greenbrier Drive.
Watch for a letter in the mail about our upcoming Re-Connect emphasis!
Sunday, September 11 – Connect with Christ
Sunday, September 18 – Connect with Community
Sunday, September 25 – Connect with Confidence
We hope to see you there!
Below are the passages that are still available in our 2015 Advent Devotional Booklet. Please sign up on the board or contact the church office to let us know which passage you would like! Thank you!
Please sign up (individually or as a family) for a passage below! Feel free to write a small reflection about this passage (max. 200 words) and/or a personal story that relates to the theme. Some questions are included to spark your imagination, but please don’t feel constricted by these. Alternatively, you could write a poem or hymn text, or you could contribute artwork related to the passage’s theme, perhaps with a brief explanatory text. Whatever you choose, we suggest ending with a one or two-sentence prayer. Please return responses to the church office by November 1.
WEEK ONE: PROMISE
Jeremiah 31: “31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”
[What does it mean to have the law written on your heart? How does that affect the way you live? … When the Israelites turned away, God always turned back, again and again. In your life, have there been ways that God kept returning with a new covenant, inviting you to make a new start?]
WEEK TWO: PREPARATION
Malachi 3:1-4 “See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.”
[Looking back on your life, do you see the work of those who “prepared the way” for your faith? Who helped prepare you to hear God’s good news? How do you help prepare others?]
Luke 3:2b-3 “God’s word came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3John went throughout the region of the Jordan River, calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins. 4 This is just as it was written in the scroll of the words of Isaiah the prophet, A voice crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord…’”
[Offer a reflection on John the Baptist and how he prepared the way for Christ. How do we show that our hearts and lives have been changed? How do we share that news with others and help them prepare for God’s coming?]
2 Peter 3:13-15 “13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. 14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.”
[When we wait for new heaves and a new earth, what is it that we are waiting for? How do we strive for peace while we wait? When is it hard to wait?]
WEEK THREE: PRAISE
Philippians 4:4-7, especially 4 “4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”
[Tell of a time you have rejoiced. How do you go about rejoicing “always?”]
Psalm 126: “1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy… 5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.”
[Has there ever been a time when your tears turned into shouts of joy? For whom that is weeping now do we pray, that they may find joy?]
WEEK FOUR: PRESENCE
Isaiah 9:2-7, especially “2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. 3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder…. 6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
[How might it have felt to see the “great light” of Jesus be born? Jesus has been called my many names by many different people—are any of these names particularly meaningful for you? Why?]
In my sermon this morning, I referenced two videos as illustrations of gratitude.
The first is a video called “The Science of Happiness: An Experiment in Gratitude.“
The second is a TEDx San Francisco talk by Louie Schwartzberg on “Gratitude.”
I hope you enjoy these two videos.
Join us this Sunday (June 29) in worship at 11:00 a.m. as our Sanctuary Choir presents its annual summer choir program!
Four of our former Ministers of Music — Carl Beard, Len Willingham, Mike Norris and Kevin Holland — will join Alba Beasley in directing the choir during the worship service.
It promises to be a wonderful morning of worship through music, and a joyous homecoming for our beloved former ministers of music.
Last Sunday, we celebrated a Parent-Child dedication service, in which we dedicated eight babies/young children along with their families. During the sermon, a video that was filmed and created by the parents was shown in which each parent said words of love and blessing to their children.
Below is the Prezi presentation showing the portraits of our young families and children, the video that our parents made for their children, and the video of Joseph Johnson’s parents expressing their love and blessing to Joseph upon this ordination as deacon at UBC.
(Click on the right arrow at the bottom of the Prezi presentation window to advance to the next element.)
Click on this link to view a YouTube of the worship service with clips from the parent-child dedication, the choir anthem and the sermon (which included the videos from the parents).