Sermon Enhancer

10/11/2017 - Sermon Enhancer

Good afternoon church!

Hope you're having a great week!

Thank You: Thanks to all who have participated in our Cornerstone Classes these past few weeks. Mark Raddish did a great job with "Connecting people to God through worship". Ken Martin has been helping us to "Grow" in our faith through discipleship. Mary Suggs has been helping people understand the call to "Serve" others in the name of Christ by discovering their spiritual gifts. And Jan Griffioen has been helping people to develop and "Share" their testimonies. My prayer is that we have something that is easy to remember and share with others what our church is really about. True worship leads to a hunger for Discipleship, which leads to Service, which leads to sharing our excitement about faith. Every disciple of Christ is called to keep growing in each of these important areas for their sake and the sake of the world. These classes will be offered again in the Spring. Please take the time to appreciate these leaders who give of their time to help us grow stronger as a church.

On behalf of Pastor Anthony and myself we appreciate the cards of encouragement that have come in this month. This is a very loving and caring church and we're glad to be a part. Thank you for your love and support.

Upcoming Events:

October 20, 2017 Our Missions Team is sponsoring a Mexican Fiesta Dinner in the Light House. They will be featuring the "Las Mariposas Dancers" from Dade City Farm Workers Self Help. Free tickets are available thru the front office and they are almost gone. Later the same night our Band will be playing from 9:15-10:5 at St. Joan of Arc's festival. Please mark your calendars and plan to come out for this exciting opportunity to share our talents with the community.

October 21 we will be holding our second, "Bibles, Bikes, and Breakfast." The conference is excited about this new ministry and will be doing an article about us. We will meet in the front parking lot at 8 am, share a devotion, and then ride together through the country roads of Trilby and stop for breakfast. If you know anyone who'd like to participate, the ride is open to all. You can "like" us on the church's Facebook and "share" with your friends.

October 21 is going to be a busy day so please mark your calendars. One of our young adults, Johnathan Barker, has a heart for raising funds for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. UMCOR has been taxed lately with their help through the storms, earthquakes, and fires. He will be sponsoring a car wash in our parking lot from 9am-3pm. All donations will be received into the church and forwarded to UMCOR. You can volunteer by calling the church office and also come on down that day!

October 22 is our Unity Sunday. There will be one service at 10:30 am, where we all come together in Unity. Our Band and Choir will be featured with a joint hymn that's sure to get us excited as different people and styles come together for one great worship service. Later that same night we will be hosting our "cluster's" Charge Conference. There will be a worship service with 7 churches in attendance. Our choir and band will lead us in worship, and the Conferences will be presided by our new District Superintendent, June Edwards. We will be making important decisions about our church for the coming year and hear the hopes of our District Superintendent for all of our churches. We will be serving refreshments afterward for a time of fellowship.

Sermon Enhancer: this weekend is our Laity weekend. Lay people from our church will be leading all areas of our service. You may want to check out Matthew 28:16-20. Our theme is: Go and Make Disciples. Special thanks to our Lay Leader, Nancy McClellan for coordinating this special worship.

Christian Sympathy is extended to the family of Alice Barber who passed away at Hospice on Thursday, October 5, 2017. Graveside services will be held in Clearfield, Iowa.

God bless you all and thanks for being a part of our church at such an exciting time as this!

Pastor Greg


10/4/2017 - Sermon Enhancer

Good morning church!

Hope you're having a great week.

Upcoming Events:

Thank you to Nancy McClellan, our Lay Leader, for arranging our Laity Sunday, October 15.

On Friday, October 20, our band will be featured at the St. Joan of Arc Festival. They are slotted to play from 9:15-10:15 p.m. Please plan to come out and share in this community event and support our band. Way to go band!

The following week, October 22, is our Unity Sunday. There will be only one service that weekend as all five of our services come together for one great service. The choir and band will be participating, Pastor Anthony and I will share the message, and we'll receive new members. Please, please, please, plan to be in attendance and share in our common bond of love for Christ and this Church.

Later that Sunday evening, October 22, at 6 p.m., the band and choir will be back for an encore at our Cluster Charge Conference. We are part of a new district and the District Superintendent, June Edwards, has chosen to do Charge Conference in groups. I am the leader of the "Silas Mission Field" which consists of six pastors and seven churches. It is designed more as a worship service. We'll be voting on important leaders for the coming year. Hopefully, all will plan to be in attendance as we host this important event in the life or our church and district.

✞Christian sympathy is extended to Gerard & Robin Schneider and family. Gerard’s mother, Kate Schneider, was promoted to The Church Triumphant on Friday, September 22, 2017. A Memorial service will be held Saturday, October 7th at Noon at the Meadowland Funeral Home in New Port Richey.

Sermon Enhancer:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of the Las Vegas shooting, just as they continue to be with those who are still recovering from the storms. It can be a frightening time for many people. It's also a reminder of how fragile life can be. We should never take it for granted. Last week we looked at overcoming the fear of death. Many of us fear some kind of future looming event that frightens us. Paul encourages us in Romans 8:31-39 that we don't have to be afraid of anything, not even death, for "nothing can ever separate us from the love of God".

This week we'll be looking at some things that are causing us anxiety in the present. We'll find hope and encouragement in Paul's letter to the church at Philippi. Please read Philippians 4:4-9 and the surrounding passages to get a full understanding of why Paul says we don't have to be "anxious about anything".

God bless you all. In light of current events, it's a great time to bring someone new to church.

Pastor Greg


9/27/2017 - Sermon Enhancer

Good afternoon Church!

Hope you're having a great week!

Celebrations - Good news the roof repair has begun. It should take around 3 weeks to complete. Thanks to all who participated, and continue to participate in the above and beyond giving for the roof fund. Please be careful around areas that are roped off. Please don't park near, or walk underneath any of the roped areas for safety's sake.

We also had our first Bible, Bikes, and Breakfast ride last Saturday. We had 11 people participate. All had a great time. We'll keep you posted on our next event.

Expanded dinner time tonight - to try to accommodate those attending 6 pm Bible studies, dinner will be available at 5:15 p.m. You may attend even if you didn't plan for it tonight.

Commission on The Way Forward - We had six members of our church attend our Bishop's Town Hall meeting at Hyde Park UMC last Sunday evening. Several others were able to watch online. The following is a link to a video of the meeting on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDo5pRBnT18. The main thrust was the acknowledgment of the struggle, but our Bishop hopes we can still maintain unity.

Sermon Enhancer: I heard there was a run on McDonald's fries after last week's "Parable of the Happy Meal". Several are also working on the dance moves from the "Tithe Rap" video from 12 Stones church in Atlanta. Who says you can't have fun in church??? This week we start a new series, "Overcoming: Fear". With all the threats of hurricanes, struggles within the UMC, Stewardship and Halloween, seemed like a good time to acknowledge and learn how to overcome our fears. We’ll start with a strong passage from Romans 8:31-39, remembering in Christ we are more than conquerors.

Stewardship: Please remember to bring your pledge cards this weekend. We’ll place them in baskets at the altar. Everyone’s is important, because everyone is important to God. Please prayerfully consider what God is calling on you to do in the coming year.

God bless you all, and thanks for being a part of our church,

Pastor Greg


9/22/2017 - Sermon Enhancer

Good morning church, I hope you're having a great week.

Thank You: 1. We had a terrific response to the hurricane relief effort. In addition to the financial giving we took a truck load of supplies to Brooksville UMC who's acting as a collection site for our district. 2. We also had a terrific response in our giving last week. "Oh me of little faith"... I was afraid our week of missing worship would cause us to be short. You, however, responded generously and I stand, happily, corrected.

Prayers: We want to keep our prayers going for Puerto Rico and the islands hit by Maria. Many have lost lives, most are without power and could be for months. Also please keep our friends and neighbors in prayers as the Withlacoochee River is flooding.

Bibles, Bikes, and Breakfast: Our Irma postponed Bike ride is on for this Saturday. We'll be gathering this Saturday morning for Devotion and then heading out for breakfast. Everyone welcome.

Pledge Cards: I know many of you have received them in the mail this past week. We plan to collect them next weekend, Sept. 31/October 1. Some of you eager beavers have already sent them by mail, which is awesome. What's the purpose of the cards? Simple, to allow you time to carefully look at your provision and search your heart for what God is calling you to do next year. It has nothing to do with budget. It has everything to do with your heart for faithfully serving God. Please prayerfully consider what God would have you do and be ready to make your commitment next week.

Sermon Enhancer: We wrap up our Malachi series this week with 3:6-12. We've been talking about Radical Faith. God is angry with Israel for they'd become half-hearted in their worship. In Chapter 3 He challenges them to "return". They've been robbing God by failing to bring a full tithe into the temple. We'll be sharing a "parable", a made-up story that makes a spiritual point, in "God's Happy Meal". Could be incredibly creative, or just plain silly. Either way, should be interesting. We'll conclude with a special video at the end.

God bless you all and looking forward to worshipping with you this weekend.

Greg


9/19/2017 - Sermon Enhancer

Good morning church!

Hope you're having a better, drier week!

Thanks to all that donated finances and supplies for Irma relief. I delivered an SUV full of water and supplies this morning. We'll be collecting over the next few weeks if you'd like to donate.

Church Chat: We had a very good turn out yesterday. We received reports from Administrative Team leaders:

Finance - in the plus column income over expenses, very good for this time of year.

Trustees - made it through Irma with the help of two generators, didn't lose any foods due to lack of power. We also continue in maintenance around campus - most recent Light House painted, walkways being painted, doors of Light House, Fellowship Hall and Burns Hall next, Sanctuary roof should start in the next few weeks, a reserve fund started in anticipation of outdated A/C's needing replaced in the future. And, the possibility of improving our visibility by an LED sign. The sign will improve our visibility, our ability to communicate with passing traffic, and a fresh new look that indicates we are technologically savvy and welcoming to younger families.

PPSR - very happy with our latest hires of David Pletincks, Choir Director, and Ashley McCall, Worship Leader, for our contemporary services.

Ministry Team: We will be looking into the future by relooking at our mission and vision statements which will set the tone and direction for the church. This will lead us into reflecting on who we are, whom do we want to be, and necessary steps to get there. We are currently looking at ways to improve our worship services and how we can do a better job of inviting more people into worship. Suggestions received ranged from improving the way we thank guests, to the possibility of looking into a new name. The UMC name while special to us, may be an invisible barrier to new Christians who don't know what we stand for. Studies show "community" churches are growing. We would not be changing our doctrine, just the way we present ourselves to the community.

No Administrative Team meeting tonight.

Commission on the Way Forward - Sadly, the UMC has been struggling for the last 15-20 years over their stance on same gender marriage and ordination. At the General Conference of 2016 a special "Commssion on the Way Forward" was tasked with coming up with a plan to allow different churches, pastors, conferences, etc. to think differently regarding the acceptance of same gender marriages, and ordination of such individuals and stay unified. Our current stance is while we affirm all persons of worth, same gender marriage and therefore, ordination of self-proclaimed PRACTICING homosexuals are inconsistent with Scripture. While it's been a struggle, the ordination of a gay/married Bishop out west has deepened a great divide. Conservative Methodists prefer to continue their stance of compassion yet hold to the Scriptural standards for marriage, and ordination. "Progressive" Methodists are willing to overlook the Scriptural understanding to perform same-sex weddings, and accept self-proclaimed, practicing, homosexuals into ordained ministry.

We have developed our own "Commission on the Way Forward" for our church. It is an ad hoc team tasked with studying the issues and helping our church respond to the findings of the larger Commission. The larger Commission will share their plan at a special called General Conference in February of 2019. We want to carefully study and be prayerfully prepared to respond, rather than react, to their plan. We will have several more Church Chats where we will give you updates and solicit your ideas. A final decision will be rendered by our church at a Church Conference where all members of the church will have a voice.

This is very serious. The Commission is way down the "field" and some sort of division is in the works. The divide is that serious. Please keep us all in prayer.

Finally, while this is upsetting to us, God is not surprised. The Church of Jesus Christ will endure whether or not we are a UMC. This church will continue to be a place of invitation, worship, discipleship, equipping and sending church for the Church of Jesus Christ, for His sake and for His Kingdom!


God bless you all,

Pastor Greg