Sunday, September 29, 2019     The 16th Sunday After Pentecost

Scripture Lesson: Luke 16:19-31
Sermon Title: “How Is My Vision?”                                                                                                                                                  The Rev. Dr. Larry Norris Preaching

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is filled with rich imagery and many theological nuances. Right at the start of the narrative we encounter the rich man’s opulence and what seems to be an endless bounty of life’s resources.

Lazarus is portrayed in ways that we find offensive, poor, unclean, diseased, and outcast. Then they both die, and the situation is reversed. So what is the problem? The rich man never persecuted Lazarus or deliberately mistreated him, and he not evil because he was wealthy. So why is he now in torment in Hades? Lazarus is now in paradise. What did he do to deserve that?

We are not told that his accomplishments, character or deep faith earned him the bosom of Abraham! In the end, we see that the message in this parable is about possessions, and their power to prevent us from “seeing” the needs of others. For Luke, wealth has the power to “blind.”

Sunday, October 6, 2019                 The  17th Sunday After Pentecost; World Communion Sunday;                                                                                       Back To Church Sunday

The Rev. Dr. Larry Norris, Preaching

Today we celebrate the theme of “TOGETHER,” the first of a four-week series that affirms our unity in Christ through Peace, Love, Strength, and Change! Welcome Home my friends!  

     Our lectionary readings for today all speak of peace. The Old Testament readings from Lamentations 1 and Psalm 137 speak of the reversal of fortune. They speak of Judah who have lived in comfort and wealth but who must now endure poverty and displacement in exile. They are a people not at peace as a country nor do they feel at peace in their own hearts and souls.

     The New Testament readings speak of a very different kind of peace. Ephesians 2 and Matthew 5 talks about the peace we know in our lives because we affirm that we have been saved through the grace of Jesus Christ. Nothing can guard our earthly treasures, and no person can promise world peace. But the grace of God in Jesus Christ guarantees the eternal treasure that has been entrusted to us. Jesus is the author and guardian of true peace.    

Sunday, October 13, 2019                The 18th Sunday After Pentecost

Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-20

Sermon Title “Together We Experience Love”                                                                                                                                                  The Rev. Pamela Wagner, Preaching

In our second of four sermons on the topic of “Together”, today we look at the cornerstone of all relationships—love. It is love that guides and unifies us and our efforts, and it is in Christ living in us that allows His love to grow in and flow through us. I has always been God’s plan for His people to experience love and be bound together in love.

Sunday, October 20, 2019                 The 20th Sunday After Pentecost

Scriptures: Ephesians 4:4-8 AND 11-16
Psalms 66:1-10 & 16

Sermon Title: Together We Grow Stronger                                                                                                                                  The Rev. Daniel Gómez, Preaching

As we enter into the third week of our sermon series Back to Church Sunday, we continue to explore the theme of Together as we draw lessons from the book of Ephesians.

In the previous two weeks of Back to Church Sunday, we explored the concepts that Together We Find Peace and Together We Experience Love.

On the third week, we are going to journey our way in exploring the truth that Together We Grow Stronger. Like the believers in the early church at Ephesus, we at Velda Rose UMC have also committed to journeying Together. As we study and explore the ideas presented in the book of Ephesians, we want to renew our commitment as a church to be a welcoming community of love, peace, and grace.

The church is a place where imperfect people can come together to  encourage and support each other, to discover the greater purpose and calling God has for our lives-as individuals, and as the collective body of Christ.

Let’s continue to journey Together, committed to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and at Velda Rose UMC. It is in this togetherness that we are able to grow stronger.