Pastor's Ponderings

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I am starting to plan for the sermons I will be preaching in 2017.  I like to have a variety of sermons that inspire and uplift, teach and deepen our commitment to Christ as well as those that equip the community for service and provide a welcome place to connect with those who are open to learning more about what it means to be a disciple.

As I am planning, I invite you to offer your suggestions. What might you think would be helpful to you? Here are some of the kinds of sermon series I am planning to do:

I like to offer some sermons of general interest just after Christmas and another in September. This would be topics that might be attractive to someone who doesn’t typically go to church. Some examples would be a series on the intersection of science and religion, marriage and dating or how to have less clutter in your personal life.

I also like to go through a section of scripture, typically by preaching through a book of the Bible. I’ve just done the Philippians. Some other examples are one of the Gospels, selected Psalms, or sections of Genesis.

And a third category are those sermon series that are focused around a theological or ethical teaching, such as what can say about suffering, the Trinity or our United Methodist heritage.  I am thinking about offering a series on forgiveness and how God makes forgiveness a possibility in our lives.

If you have any suggestions, I would be glad to hear them. You can send them to me at or write me a note to the church office at 131 West 2nd Street, Frederick, MD 21701.

See you in church!

Rev Steve

Did You Love God?

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This week I want to point to the words of Hannah Adair Bonner who posted on www.ministrymatters.com on September 27. The article is shortened somewhat to fit here.

“One of the greatest temptations that we bear as Christians is allowing our focus to become narrowed upon our own perspective, our own needs and our own wants….

Just a week ago as #WhiteChurchQuiet trended on Twitter, it could not be any more clear that the wound many were feeling in their soul was being ignored by the majority of white Christians in the United States… many took to social media to challenge their white friends who were silent about this wound to speak up in a variety of ways, with a variety of responses.

At moments like this, as white Christians, we do not need to have all the answers: that is unnecessary. We do not need to take charge: that is dis-empowering. We do not even need to fully understand: that is impossible. All we really need to do is be Christians; by that I mean listening to the cry, believing it expresses a real need, and caring enough to do something.

Is it any wonder that that was how Jesus divided the sheep from the goats, those who belonged to him from those who did not belong to him? His determination was based on how did you treat others. When they were thirsty, did you seek to end their thirst by giving them something to drink? When they were in prison, did you seek to end their loneliness by visiting them? When they were hungry, did you seek to end their hunger by giving them something to eat? When they were racially profiled, did you seek to end their dehumanization by speaking up? When they were stopped & frisked, did you seek to end their criminalization by demanding reform? When they were shot in the street, did you seek to end their endangerment by demanding accountability?

Did you stand when they stood, kneel when they kneeled, mourn when they mourned, rejoiced when they rejoiced? Did you listen when they spoke to you; believe what they said to you; do what they asked of you? Did you live like their life mattered just as much as yours; like their truth mattered just as much as yours; like their children should live just as long as yours?

All of this could really be summed up with one question: did you love God?

See you in church!
Rev Steve

Things to pray about this week:
• Those who live in fear of the police and racial profiling.
• The families of those who have lost loved ones from gun violence of any kind.
• For those who serve in law enforcement that they may be able to do their jobs well and return home safely each day.

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