This Sunday in Worship

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Dove

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

When Jesus had been baptized, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
from Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Christmas is over. We’ve taken down the lights, stashed away the decorations, and gobbled down the last of the chocolates. At church, we’re closing the lid on the Christmas box too. Seems like we just got Jesus born, right? Well, we’re fast-forwarding. We’re leaving the miraculous night of his birth, and moving through his childhood and adolescence and early adulthood, to another day, thirty years later, on the dusty banks of the Jordan. Jesus is all grown up. He’s almost ready to begin his public ministry. But there’s something that has to happen first. Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt preaches baptism with water, baptism with fire, and baptism with the breath of God.

This Thursday in Worship

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Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 23, 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered . . .”
from Luke 2:1-7

“In those days . . .” The words are so familiar we could recite them by heart. We know this story. Mary and Joseph. No room at the inn. A baby in the manger. Shepherds in the fields. Angels singing glory, glory, glory. We know this story, and yet we need to hear it again and again. Join us this Thursday at 4:00 p.m. for our family service, or at 7:30 p.m. for our traditional service (music begins at 7:00 p.m.), as we sing carols, light candles, and remember the wonder of that night when heaven and earth intersected.

This Sunday in Worship

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Advent Is 4

Sunday, December 20, 10:15 a.m.

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
from Luke 1:39-49

Love. The fourth Sunday of Advent is all about love. So why did we choose this passage from the gospel of Luke as our scripture for the week? Well, read it again. Read it closely. There’s a lot of love here. Mary the teenage nobody, unmarried and pregnant, comes to the house of her older, wiser cousin Elizabeth. She doesn’t know what to expect. Will Elizabeth believe her? Or will she be met with doubt and scorn? In the end, what she gets is pure love. Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt preaches this kind of love: gracious, unearned love.

This Sunday in Worship

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Advent Is 2

Sunday, December 6, 10:15 a.m.

“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
from Luke 1:68-79

Each Sunday in Advent, we light a candle. Last Sunday, we lit a candle for hope. This Sunday, we’ll light a candle for peace. Right now, when every week brings with it the news of another tragedy, it feels like the world is as deep in the valley of the shadow of death as it’s ever been. So what does it mean to light a candle for peace in the face of so much that’s wrong, so much that’s broken? Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt preaches peace, real peace.

This Sunday in Worship

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Advent Is 1

Sunday, November 29, 10:15 a.m.

“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promises I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
from Jeremiah 33:14-16

What is Advent? It’s the weeks leading up to Christmas. It’s the shortest, darkest days of the year. It’s a time of preparation, of not-quite-yet. During Advent, we light candles and we wait. We wait for the one on whom the whole course of human history turns. We wait for the one in whom all of God’s promises are fulfilled. Join us on Sunday as Pastor Curt preaches the waiting game.

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!

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