⛪ Share Your Church Service! (2021 Archive)

The message in church this week was about love. The pastor went through each of the descriptions of love in 1 Corinthians 13.
After saying “Love is patient”, the pastor paused for a while. He then said “I’m making you be patient” and said that it made him feel loved. Starts at 19:00 in the video.

Our sermon was about Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23 that we would ask for hope and find it.

One lesson I heard today in church was regarding listening to the promptings of the Spirit.

There’s something that some 12-18 year old girls participate in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Girls’ Camp. Turns out one of the campers invited a Jewish girl there. During an activity where the girls were painting blocks with a picture of Christ, the Jewish girl wanted to paint a picture of Esther instead.

One of the leaders, before she knew any of this was going to happen, felt prompted by the Spirit to talk about the story of Esther. Then later she found out why.

Yesterday’s church service was about Mary! It was an Episcopal church, and the priest emphasized how they were kind of in the space between Catholics and Protestants, and with that comes a lot of views on how to approach Mary as a religious figure. She disagreed with Catholic veneration, but also recognized that in her religious studies, she’d come to recognize it’s more nuanced than “worshiping Mary.”

Additionally, she emphasized that Mary is so many different things to different people, yet in reality she’s all of them. She’s the obedient, devout Jewish girl. She’s the revolutionary who sang the Magnificat and recognized her role in changing the world. She’s the pure virgin, an inspiration to those who are abstinent or celibate, but also, there’s no reason everyone else can’t be inspired by that as well. And, of course, she’s the Theotokos, the Mother of God, who brought Christ into the world. These are all Mary, yet different people might be touched more by some than others, and that’s all okay!

This week was about how we’re all parts of the Body of God! Christ is the head, but we all have our own purpose to serve, and not everyone’s is the same. We serve God in our own ways, and maybe we can’t do some things someone else can. But we can do things only we can, and we’re all important. The pastor went on to emphasize that the pastor at a church is not the only one who matters. Every single one of us in the congregation is a minister. If the pastor serves God for an hour every Sunday, God’s will is being done for 1 hour. If a congregation of 100 then goes out and serves Him, loving others, glorifying Him, etc., then God’s will is being done for 101 hours. The pastor can’t do that alone. Church isn’t to be passively consumed. It’s to be learned from and participated in.

This morning I caught up on a sermon from a few weeks ago called “Free to Be: A Church that is open to all, closed to none”.

The main takeaway was that God loves us deeply, reaches out to humanity in love over and over again, and chooses the unlikeliest of people to carry out change in the world. Let’s extend that love to everyone, because as Romans 8:31-39 says, nothing can ever separate us from God’s love!

This week we talked kind of indirectly about sex and the dualist influence on puritanism. To dualists, the spiritual and the physical were completely separate, and to them, even monogamous, consensual, married sex was merely a biological necessity, not a positive thing. It was shameful but necessary. Despite how Christianity has (mostly) cast aside dualism (considering Jesus Himself is kind of the antithesis of it), this has still largely influenced Christian culture’s take on sex. Even to the point where a lot of Christians try to sweep Song of Solomon/Song of Songs under the rug, emphasizing that it’s purely about God’s relationship with His church. And to be fair, it is about that. But it’s also a very physical love poem, and it was intended as one. If it was purely meant to be a metaphor, the writer would have likely said something, after all.

Our bishop spoke to our congregation today about unity and loving one another. During Jesus’ Intercessory Prayer, right before he would go to the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed to His Father for his apostles, “That they all may be one” (John 17:21).
Our bishop shared a personal story of visiting a friend who had caught Covid-19 and nearly died from it. He was in a lot of pain, had lost a lot of weight, and was worried about what would happen to his family if he died. This individual had chosen not to get vaccinated. But even though our Church has urged its members to get vaccinated and do all we can to limit the spread of Covid-19, at this moment the thing that was most important was not to judge this individual for refusing to get vaccinated, but rather to be there for him and his family, to serve them however he could, and to show his love for them.
Christ wants us to be one. That doesn’t mean we’ll always agree, even on very important matters. It also doesn’t mean that we should never address those disagreements, for the sake of avoiding all conflict. But it does mean that we love and serve one another, in spite of those differences. After all, not a single one of us knows everything. In spite of our best intentions, all of us are going to get some things wrong, maybe even very serious things. But together we can learn from one another and shore up each other’s weaknesses. Together, as one, we can support one another on our journey to come closer to Christ.

This week the sermon was about the woman who approached Jesus and asked that her daughter be cured of a demon. At first He refused, and even insulted her, and yet she persisted… and then He praised her and without hesitation healed her daughter.

It’s a curious passage, considering Jesus is “the bad guy” in a sense. My pastor questioned if it meant that Jesus was wrong sometimes, but honestly, I don’t think so. I agree when she recognized an important theme here: Women being willing to be listened to, and making sure to stand up and speak. In a world like that of the Bible’s (and, to a lesser extent, today’s), women were marginalized and had men speaking for them. But when they speak up, and even stand up to male authority to make sure they’re heard, they’re making sure the gifts God gave them get used for good just like the gifts God gave men. My interpretation was that Jesus was testing her, and she demonstrated what He knew she could do: be adamant about a problem and make sure that if she doesn’t have the power to change it herself, those who do do. Jesus wasn’t mad, or embarrassed, or anything, after she “won.” He instantly cheered her own.

So, what can we do to make sure women are heard more, and have a place at the table making decisions?

We had an artist do a painting onstage during the sermon and the last couple of worship songs! The Scripture reading was the (first account of the) Creation and the sermon was about how everything that God created, He called good. Everyone has a place at the table, and that’s going to be a big theme for our sermons in the coming year.

This week our service discussed the role of women. The pastor read from the final chapter of the book of Proverbs, a poem about the makings of a “capable wife.” Where each line starts with each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. What’s notable about this was that despite being written about a patriarchal society, there was a great deal of leadership and importance asked of the “capable wife,” or as it could also be translated, “woman of valor.” She runs a business. She protects her home. She teaches others. She gives to the needy. Her husband admires her. How does this model of a “woman of valor” match up to how women should act today? Would we really be fitting the spirit of that by pushing women aside and letting men take all the positions of power, in church or elsewhere? Is not such a “woman of valor” something the church need?

The priest today made a good comparison between Scripture and the stars. The stars are eternal (by our frame of reference) and unchanging (by our frame of reference), always there in the sky, and yet the Earth is turning and moving. How we relate to the stars changes, though the stars do not change. We should treat Scripture the same. A good example is the stars themselves: The Genesis account is, as we now know, not astronomically accurate. Yet how humanity was at the time, it was how people could be reached, with their understanding, to be told how God is behind our creation and how He called it good. Similar too would be many of the cultural artifacts which exist in various books of the Bible. We need to ask ourselves this: Is God enshrining them, or is He working through our imperfections to create goodness? Jesus even tells the Pharisees, when asked about divorce, that Moses’ allowance of divorce was because of the hardness of the peoples’ hearts at the time, not anything eternal.

My church has been doing a series on how everyone is welcome at God’s table! This week’s sermon focused on Exodus 16, the story of the manna from Heaven.

Sometimes God will give us just enough of what we need when we need it. “Manna” means “what is it?” so maybe curiosity, rather than complaining, is the food that nourishes us. Try making manna your main course. Trust that what is before you is enough. What you don’t want recognize as food today might be the fortitude of faith that will get you through tomorrow.

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This week was the anniversary of our church! Our sermon was on giving and how we, as a church, can use our resources to reflect Christ and create concrete change in the world. The pastor also encouraged us to tithe, but said that only about half of that really needs to go to the church; there are many ways we can do God’s will with our resources, and there are many other ways we can do charity!

Our sermon this week was about saying yes to God even when we might not seem like the “ideal candidate” to do something. Case in point: David was the youngest of Jesse’s sons, just a shepherd boy, but God called him to do so much for his people. :green_heart:

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It’s the day before All Saint’s Day! At my church, the bishop talked about how even though the saints are dead (by definition), God is outside of time, and they can still walk beside us! We should learn not just from their example, but also from one another. A Christian should never ever feel like they can walk this journey on their own. It’s why going to church is so important. So we can all lean on each other and support each other in our journeys of faith.

Of course FFC helps with that too, but no internet community is a substitute for an in-person one!

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You know Christforgivness is a good one to check out they have solid Bible-based teachings, they have pretty good live church services and many vids of them evangelizing too.

Is that the church you go to?

Only when I can’t go to church in person

So you go to a different one when you watch online?

This week I was working at the hospital all day. :frowning: But I managed to sneak aside to attend church on my laptop and nobody paged me so yay!

This week’s sermon was about the poor widow who gave just two copper coins to the temple, whose gift was greater than all the wealth given by the rich. The pastor emphasized her righteousness, but also cautioned against focusing too much on the oppressive environment to women and especially widows. Doing so would be selling her short and making her a side character in the story of oppression. No, she should be the focus. Adoration, not condescension. She’s the main character in her story of righteousness. She is an admirable person whose example we should follow. When we give to God (whether at church or in charity in general), our gift is part of us. Regardless of how much we have to give, when we offer it, it’s as admirable all the same.