Beginning in June, we'll offer another worship opportunity on Sunday mornings. This new service will be an informal, contemplative gathering with times for reflection and prayer. Aaron Austin will be providing the music and Mark Johnson will be preaching a shorter version of the morning's sermon theme. Early Worship will begin at 8:45 am and continue until 9:30 so everyone will have an opportunity to participate in Bible Study.
This picture of two sisters was taken from a recent cover of The National Geographic magazine. While most would identify one sister as "black" and the other sister as "white," they are actually twins. With parents from a mixed race marriage, their story joined with insights coming from the scientific research and the human genome project is helping redefine what we assume and think about the issue of race. God's people have sung this same song and shared this same message for as long as we can remember. "All of God's children, all races, and all colors, are precious in God's sight." This Sunday, we will again claim this great Pentecostal theme as we faithfully continue the conversation and struggle for complete racial equality.
This sermon preached by Dr. Mark Johnson speaks of God's calling of love for the world, to extend to all persons and to all of the creation. It remembers how we have failed each other by not being responsible to the earth, taking from it more than we need and too often hoarding its resources for our own selfish gain. Today, we are witnessing the toil this price is taking through the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, by the increased burden being placed upon the poor who live in vulnerable areas and with a growing problem of waste that continues to negatively impact local habitats. Building upon the doctrine of the incarnation, we will be considering a Christian response toward positive action as caregivers of God's beautiful creation. It's not too late for us to help heal our land and back-up our witness to lend guidance and compassion to our broken world.
Our Christian experience is nourished and maintained by abiding in Christ. He models by word and example how we might lead lives full of meaning and fulfillment. But it is not easy. We are pushed and pulled by competing demands and divided loyalties. Perhaps there is no place this struggle is more evident than our American experience between the love of our country and the higher hopes we have for our country. This Sunday we seek to enter into the deep end of the pool between religion and politics, between the calling of our faith and the challenges of our practice. Such careful discernment is a crucial part of our abiding journey with the LORD who calls to a life of balance, everlasting peace, and eternal joy. Join us as we seek the higher and better way.
Last week I was in Dayton for the Alliance of Baptists Gathering. And I must say, as an Alliance congregation, I think we're in good company. From challenging speakers and thoughtful presenters to gracious and welcoming hosts, the Alliance continues to surprise me with it's ever-widening welcome and it's dedication to issues of justice for all people.
Few people like traveling in the wilderness. We like our comforts and conveniences, especially in these days that over-values pleasure, privilege and being protected from any appearance of a struggle. Yet, a truer and deeper life is forged against and within the testing of harsh and vexing realities. What might we learn and what is the good news we will celebrate again this week through our worship, sharing the word and the communion table together? A profound truth: God inhabits our troubles and provides for us within the experiences of our great need. Join us as we gather with one another and lift up the Risen Lord of light and love who provides for us the bread of life.
Movies are a great form of entertainment, but so often the movies we love have deep theological themes. The youth have been working through the Gospel of Luke this year as a way of understanding more the treachings and movement of Jesus. As we finish this journey together, there is a viewing and discussion about the movie Cool Hand Luke. Paul Newman stars as a prisioner who resists conformity and brings hope to the other inmates. Adults are invited to come and join the conversation and movie night on June 3 at 4:30 in the youth room. Popcorn and drinks will be provided.