From Pastor Dave Dockweiler

ADVENT
November 24 Sermon
November 17 Sermon

New Year New Intentions…

          I have never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I can’t even remember the last time I took seriously any New Year’s promises made to myself. Usually revolving around weight loss or money practices they have never stuck for more than a few weeks. Over the last year, Sarah and I seem drawn to the word “intentionality.” Coming from her deep love and practice of yoga, intentionality is something seems to have more of a draw than a resolution. I have set some goals for myself that I don’t consider New Year’s resolutions, but more a hope of an intention set. One in the spiritual realm, one physical and one for the benefit of our family.

I’ve been reflecting on my ordination and one of the things that I promised before God and community was to be diligent in my study of Scripture. Therefore, I am working towards reading the Bible in about a year. I’ve printed out a Bible reading plan and am already behind. But, I’ve read more scripture -outside of preparing for a sermon- than I can remember. To read the entire Bible in a year means reading 3 chapters a day. Usually that’s about 15-20 minutes of reading. So far I have read Matthew, Ezra and Judges. It’s early in my journey so I ask your prayers for fortitude. I also ask you to consider joining me on this journey.

          Take some time to review your life. Talk with a partner or friend about how you feel your life is going and if there are some goals to set, set them. Pray about it, ask God to join you-trust me God’s excited about it- and give it a try. I’m cheering you on! You can cheer me on too.

See you on Sunday, Pastor Dave

Our Mission Statement

Inspiring Change by Following Jesus.”
Inspiring change by following Jesus is why this place exists, why this community meets and what we are set on doing.

INSPIRING The angels inspired the shepherds to run to see the new born Jesus, the Spirit inspired the disciples to march with purpose out of the upper room where they were hiding after the death of Jesus and throughout the ages people have been inspired to share their faith with others. Through this inspiration people have been moved with compassion and it is the fuel that moves the church. “Inspiring” also is a means of how we are to function. We don’t use fear to scare others into faith (we know that doesn’t work) we show them what God has done in our lives and we invite them to wonder about what God can do in theirs. Being inspired to do something new is invitational, just like Jesus.

CHANGE Something is out-of-whack in our world, in our communities and within ourselves. One of the founders of the church, the Apostle Paul, wrote that he doesn’t understand what he does, and he does the stuff he hates. Change is hard, it takes time and tons of effort to redirect our efforts at times. We read countless stories in the Bible of Jesus meeting people in the most random places of their lives and offering them something far better. Physical, spiritual and mental healing, reconnecting someone with their community, lifting those that have been ostracized by others-Jesus brings change and we welcome God’s changes in our lives.

BY Here is how this inspired change is going to happen. Spoiler alert, it isn’t because of what we do.

FOLLOWING Jesus asks his disciples to leave their comfort zones. They walked away from jobs, family, friends, a life that they knew-to follow Jesus into one where they didn’t know much, except for the Rabbi. “Following” admits that we don’t know exactly where we are headed or how to get there. It is an act of humble worship and great trust to allow Jesus to lead our community and our lives.

JESUS Our leader, our rabbi, the one who has come into our lives and invited us into something greater. God’s dreams are better then our own, God’s vision for our lives is far more colorful and fun than we could imagine, so come join us in following our amazing God into a world we hardly knew existed.

Well that’s all good and nice, but how do we actually do it? There are three values that we uplift which will make our missional goal a reality.

First, we “worship to deepen our connections.” Using the cross itself as an example, we worship to connect with God (the vertical) and we worship alongside each other to connect with one another (the horizontal). If our worship doesn’t bring us closer to God or others, than we are doing something wrong.

Secondly, we value “education to challenge our understanding of God.” Growth always means some level of discomfort, and we welcome the challenge of seeing God in new ways. We need to push ourselves to see God in places and faces that we would have overlooked without becoming aware.

Lastly, we do what Jesus did. “Service with others to change the world.”  Jesus often brought people into his miracles to change the world around them. Changing the world is a big job but doing so means that we begin with God changing our world. We invite God into our lives to give us a glimpse of what God is up to, and what we are being invited into and we join together to get to work making God’s kingdom show up on earth.