SERMONS


Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost at Sanctuary

With the retirement of our senior pastor, we are in an important time of transition in our congregation. We’re all affected by an even more unsettling upheaval in our society and culture with the political hostility and the awkward uncertainties we experience in trying to manage the pandemic. In times of change and uncertainty, it’s important to get a sense of our history and heritage. This helps us know where we have come from as we look forward in hope in and with the Lord’s presence. That’s what worship does for us each week. It always has. Worship serves to bring each of us back to our baptisms, back to the Lord’s claim on us, and back to one another. For a number of years our congregation has enjoyed the blessing of adapting the elements of our historical worship patterns (called “liturgies”) in a successful effort to bring the power of the Gospel home to us in our everyday forms. In Sanctuary Worship, we have benefited from Pastor’s creativity in Blended Worship which is enhanced by the work of our musicians and choirs. In our 211 Sumner and 211 Yankee Hill Campus settings, we have seen the blessing of contemporary worship in the creative gifts of our Pastors, musicians and technicians. All of these settings are anchored in the Gospel and all of them have regularly and pointedly included the All of these settings also include the traditional elements of our time-honored worship patterns: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, and, above all, the assurance of the good news of God’s love for us in Christ. This Sunday in Sanctuary Worship we invite you to a unique experience of “knowing our roots.” We are going to make use of one of our traditional patterns of worship. Instead of hearing a typical sermon, the message of the day will be scattered all through the process of the liturgy. We are going to explain all these elements as we move through them. For some of you, this will be an experience of singing ancient pieces of worship that you grew up singing. (Not that you’re ancient…The songs are. Just saying!) For some of you, it might be a first encounter with the pattern. For us all, it will be, we pray, a helpful refresher. As we, then, make use of worship patterns we’ve grown familiar with—blended and contemporary—we can see more readily how our Pastors have crafted the Lord’s message to us.