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Worship

Our worship service starts at 10 am, directly after the 9 am Sunday school.  We have an interim pastor, Reverend Scott Huie, who has been leading us since the latter part of  2016. 
We have a pot-luck dinner after service on the first Sunday of every month.  In conjunction with what we call our "First Sunday Fellowship" we also have a Change for Change collection during service.  At this time, the children reach out to the congregation for pocket change, which is then given to GraceWorks West.  It is a small step in teaching the children to pass our good fortunes to those who have less.  Anyone is welcome to join us; for service, or dinner, or both!  We would love to have the opportunity to meet you. 

The "From up Front" sections below are written by our Interim Pastor, Scott Huie, and are first distributed in our Wednesday newsletters which can be seen on the "newsletter" drop down tab under "About Us"


From up front…


November 29, 2017


Have you ever struggled to stay awake?  I mean, really struggled to stay awake—perhaps to the point where you could put a crow bar between the bottom of your eye and the eyelid to prop it open, and you still found yourself falling into oblivion?  Actually, I think it is probably a stupid question, for everyone at times cannot stay awake.

As for me, I think back to when I was a child sent to bed against my will on Christmas Eve.  I think of the time I was a truck driver spending much of the summer driving late night for hundreds of miles throughout the United States.  I think of my 8 o’clock math class in college.  I think of recent New Year’s Eves when I struggled just to stay up to the stroke of midnight.

Wakefulness does not always come easy for us.  Especially during Advent and Christmas, our world is full of distractions, of things that lull us into sleep.  And to the church in such an atmosphere, Jesus has this to say, “Stay awake.”  This Sunday we will unpack what that commands means for us today. 

Plus on Sunday we will welcome to our worship one of Christian music’s more dynamic new singers, BEC recording artist David Dunn.  You’ve probably heard his recent smash single, “I Wanna Go Back” on the radio.  But now you can experience it live.  Bring your friends to church, my friends, and don’t forget the potluck that follows worship.

“Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.  And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”                Mark 13:35-37

 

In God’s Gracious Grip,

Scott


November 22, 2017



And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”  Matthew 25:40


    A few years ago, pop singer Joan Osborne famously sang, “What If God were one of us, a slob like one of us?”   Look around right now.  Could God be among us slobs you encounter this week? It’s an intriguing, perhaps scary, perhaps exciting proposition. 


    Matthew 25 raises such a question, as it suggests that as we treat others, especially those often ignored and overlooked, the down and out, it is as if we are treating God himself. How do we measure up to this standard?  Do we serve others in order to gain favor with God, or do we serve others very simply because that is a natural expression of who we are?  Are our lives marked by actions of care for the “least of these”?  Or to put more crudely, are you a sheep or are you a goat?


     We’ll consider these questions and more in my sermon this Sunday as we look at Jesus’ last “sermon” according to the gospel of Matthew.  If Jesus saved this one for last, then surely it’s one he wants his followers to remember!  As we celebrate this Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the liturgical year, bring a friend to church, especially one who has no church home. 


    Meanwhile, everyone, have a blessed Thanksgiving and safe travels to our sojourners.  May we all have an “attitude of gratitude” for the bounty that we all have received.  See you in church!


 


In the Grip of God, 


Pastor Scott


Help us, O God, to be faithful, keep an “attitude of gratitude,” and serve others, especially those less fortunate than we.  Amen.





November 19, 2017


       Here is perhaps a new way to understand worship—it is saying “thank you” to God.  To borrow some words from Max Lucado, worship is when you’re aware that what you’ve been given is far greater than what you can give.  Worship is the awareness that were it not for his touch, you’d still be hobbling and hurting, bitter and broken.  Worship is the half-glazed expression on the parched face of a desert pilgrim as he discovers that the oasis is not a mirage. Worship is the “thank you” that refuses to be silenced.


    We have tried to make a science out of worship.  We can’t do that.  We can’t do that any more than we can “sell love” or “negotiate peace.”  Worship is a voluntary act of gratitude offered by the saved to the Savior, by the healed to the Healer, and by the delivered to the Deliverer. 


This Sunday, to help us get ready for Thanksgiving, my sermon will explore an “attitude of gratitude” as we celebrate and give thanks for God’s faithfulness.  To help with that, we welcome as our guest worship leader, Don Moen, one of the foremost worship singer-songwriters in America today, one who is internationally-acclaimed having led crusades on every continent except Antarctica.   See you in worship on this special day—and bring a friend!


In God’s Gracious Grip, 


Scott


 Thank the Lord because he is good.  His love continues forever” (Psalm 106:1).


 Dear God, May our worship be our “thank you” to you.  May our very lives be our “thank you” to you.  Make me and all here at EPC people of gratitude!  Amen.



November, 2017






October 25, 2017

On October 31, 1517, 500 years ago this Tuesday, Catholic priest Martin Luther, angry with Pope Leo X’s new round of indulgences to help build St. Peter’s Basilica, nailed a sheet of paper with his 95 Theses on the University of Wittenberg’s chapel door. Though Luther intended these to be discussion points, the 95 Theses laid out a devastating critique of the indulgences, good works (usually involving monetary donations) that popes could grant to the people to cancel out penance for sins, as corrupting people’s faith.  Great controversy followed over the next few years because of Luther’s protests. 
What led Martin Luther to raise such questions about the Church? While preparing a lecture on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, Luther read, “The just will live by faith.” He dwelt on this statement for some time. Finally, he realized the key to spiritual salvation was not to fear God or be enslaved by religious dogma but to believe that faith alone would bring salvation. This period marked a major change in his life and set in motion the Reformation. 
 
  In 1521 the Diet of Worms (A church council located in Worms, France) convened and told Martin Luther to recant his writings, books, and lectures. Luther said he would recant if the scriptures proved his writings wrong. He responded, “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.”    Because Martin Luther stood up for the integrity of the scriptures the Protestant Church is still alive and well five hundred years later.  This Sunday we celebrate this anniversary that began the Protestant Reformation.  Our guest preacher will be our very own Bill Bryant as he speaks on, “A Reformation for Today.”  We will also kick off our Stewardship Campaign for 2018.
 
May we continue to stand up for God’s word in our own lives and in the life and ministry of EPC!