This Sunday in Worship

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Consider the Lilies

Sunday, November 22, 10:15 a.m.

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Consider the lilies of the field; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. If God so clothes the grass of the field, will he not much more clothe you?”
from Matthew 6:25-33

Are you stressed? Are you tired of balancing the demands of your busy life? Are you overwhelmed by sad news from around the world? Are you weighed down by the sorrows of people you care about? Are you frustrated by problems you can’t seem to solve? Are you discouraged because, no matter how hard you try, things never really get better? Are you worried about making ends meet? Are you worried? Don’t worry. Jesus says don’t worry. Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt preaches a God big enough for all our worries.

This Sunday in Worship

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Built Together

Sunday, November 15, 10:15 a.m.

“You are no longer strangers and aliens, but . . . members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.”
from Ephesians 2:17-22

It’s Stewardship Sunday! If you’ve never been to one before, this is when we gather up all our pledge cards for the year to come, dedicate them, and then have a big party to say thank you to everybody for once again being incredibly generous in their support of this church. Join us as Pastor Curt ties up all the threads of our Stewardship theme, and gives us a peek at what exactly we’re being “built together” into.

This Sunday in Worship

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Tithing

Sunday, November 8, 10:15 a.m.

Jesus sat down and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “This poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she, out of her poverty, has put in everything she had.”
from Mark 12:38-44

If you’ve never heard of tithing, it’s the practice of giving one-tenth of your income to the Church. It’s often held up as the gold standard of giving. If you tithe, well, you must be a pretty great person. But here at Lakewood UCC, you won’t hear much about tithing. So, what do we believe about giving? Here’s a hint: the poor widow in the story from the gospel of Mark has something to do with it. Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt preaches widows’ mites, generosity, and what it means to be “living our giving.”

This Sunday in Worship

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Cloud of Witnesses

Sunday, November 1, 10:15 a.m.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.”
from Hebrews 12:1-3

Oh, when the saints . . . Oh, when the saints . . . Oh, when the saints go marching in . . . Do you want to be in that number? Or at least, do you want to be in the number who join us on Sunday as we celebrate All Saints Day? If so, please come. We’ll be lighting candles, remembering those who have gone before us, and listening to Pastor Curt preach about that great cloud of witnesses. And don’t forget that Daylight Saving Time will be ending, so set your clocks back!

This Sunday in Worship

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Pine Ridge

October 25, 10:15 a.m.

Mitakuye Oyasin. It’s a Lakota term that means “all my relatives” or “we are all related.” Mitakuye Oyasin. It’s used as the opening phrase or the refrain in many Lakota prayers and songs. Mitakuye Oyasin. It reflects the belief of the Lakota that everything on earth is connected. Join us on Sunday as the participants in our summer mission trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation lead us in worship and share what they learned from the Lakota people. And a special thank you to Lucy Preston for designing the image for this week’s Bulletin Cover and worship preview!

This Sunday in Worship

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Power and Glory

October 18, 10:15 a.m.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward and said to Jesus, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” He said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” They said, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But he said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.” 
from Mark 10:35-45

This is a pretty gutsy move on the part of James and John, right? This is like if you marched up to the CEO of your company and said, “Hey, my brother and I want to be your Vice Presidents. Forever.” James and John don’t just want to be run-of-the-mill disciples. They want to be special, set apart, with an ownership stake in the Jesus revolution. They want to make sure they get a big slice of the pie when Jesus is finally in charge. And to all of this, Jesus says, “Sorry, but that’s not how it works . . .” Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt preaches power, love, and standing at the back of the line.

This Sunday in Worship

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World Communion Sunday

October 4, 10:15 a.m.

“The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing.”
from 1 Corinthians 12:25-31 (The Message)

We use the word “church” to mean a lot of different things. Sometimes “church” is a building. Sometimes it’s the people who meet in that building and the stuff they do together. Sometimes it refers to a local congregation, like Lakewood UCC. And sometimes it refers to a whole bunch of congregations joined by common history or theology. So, the United Church of Christ is a “church”—it says so, right there in the name! These are all useful ways to talk about “church,” but there’s a bigger meaning of the word, and that’s the meaning behind this Sunday’s worship service. Join us as we, together with Christians all over the world, celebrate the unity of the global Church.

This Sunday in Worship

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Prayer of the Righteous

September 27, 10:15 a.m.

“Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord . . . The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”
from James 5:13-20

Do you pray? And what do you say when you pray? What do you do? For some people, prayer is a time to unload the worries that feel too heavy to carry. It’s saying in desperation, “God, I can’t do this on my own anymore.” Sometimes it’s about saying sorry, or saying thank you. And sometimes it means not saying anything at all, but sitting in silence, or making a space feel sacred with candles and incense, or walking for miles at night, or dancing wildly, or finding your way through a prayer labyrinth. But however you pray, here’s the secret . . . shh . . . it actually matters. God is still speaking, and God is still listening. Prayer changes things. Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt preaches prayer power.

This Sunday in Worship

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First and Last

September 20, 10:15 a.m.

Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and the servant of all.”
from Mark 8:27-36

Oh, the disciples. If there’s a way to totally miss the point, they’re going to find it. Like in this story, where they’re walking along some dusty road in Galilee, squabbling about which one of them is “the greatest.” Jesus overhears them and asks what they’re bickering about. You can just picture the scene: twelve grown men looking sheepishly down at their sandals, too embarrassed to say a word. And you can picture Jesus sighing, sitting them all down, and saying wearily, “Okay guys, let’s go over this one more time . . .” Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt reminds us that we can’t snicker too much, because we do exactly what the disciples did, trying to be “great” in ways that don’t matter, while overlooking the ways that do.

This Sunday in Worship

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Who Do You Say that I Am

September 13, 10:15 a.m.

Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”
from Mark 8:27-36

After 2,000 years of Jesus paintings, Jesus sculptures, Jesus books, Jesus movies, and, just in general, a whole lot of Jesus, it’s hard to have a new thought on the subject. And yet, in spite of all the Jesus paraphernalia in our lives (or maybe because of it), most of us still struggle to answer the question posed above:”Who do you say that I am?” Who was Jesus? What was he trying to accomplish? Why does it matter? Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt preaches, our choirs are back in action, and we kick off a new program year with worship and a celebratory potluck. You don’t need to sign up for a specific dish—just bring whatever strikes your fancy.

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