Sunday, September 26, 2010

Facebook Question: What Is The Holy Spirit?

The Facebook question for October is: “What is the Holy Spirit?” Simple yet profound. There are many directions you could take this question. What is the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit do? Where is the Holy Spirit? What is your favorite image of the Holy Spirit? What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit? The list of questions could go on and on. Please answer the question in any way that is most meaningful to you. What is the Holy Spirit? Please click here to join the discussion on Facebook. Every reply will enrich every reader.

Responding to Luke 16:19-31

Today in worship we explored Luke 16:19-31. What if Jesus really meant it? How would this change our lives? For Shane Claiborne, this meant learning from Mother Teresa and then starting The Simple Way. For each of us, it might mean something else. Here are five ways that we can live out the radical message of Luke 16:19-31: (1) Pray for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. (2) Simplify life. (3) Make a donation to Neighbors In Need. (4) Sign the One Campaign's petition to eliminate the transmission of mother-to-child AIDS. (5) Continue to come to church and read this blog to discover opporunities to live out the Gospel in the community through our mission activities.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This Sunday: Parables Gone Wild

Jesus was an edgy guy. This Sunday we're going to look at his teaching in Luke 16:19-31. It's about the rich man and Lazarus - and what happens to them later in their lives. Apparently the Gospel of Luke isn't a fan of rich people who ignore the poor. So, this Sunday, we're going to explore this text. Does God have a special care for the poor? Does God have a special plan for the rich? Is the Gospel of Luke pro-poor, pro-rich, or pro-everyone? What does this say about Jesus? What does this say about us? As we explore this parable, we might find some surprises as we go along. Plus, there will be live music, authentic prayers, and a refreshing worship expereince. All are welcome this Sunday at 9:30.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spiritual Creative Writing Group

Set your creative side free! Join us in exploring and experimenting with all kinds of writing as a spiritual practice. We agree with Brenda Ueland who said: "Everybody is talented, original, and has something important to say." Each person who participates will be proof of this fact. Plus, everyone will be invited (but not expected) to share their writing with the group. The hope is that we’ll grow as much from our own writing as from each other’s writing. These sessions will be relaxing, encouraging, and fun. Come for all the sessions - or come for just one. All are welcome.

Dates: September 26th, October 3rd, October 10th, October 24th, and October 31st
Time: Ten minutes after worship (10:40-11:40)
Location: Sanctuary
Leader: Sara Klosterboer

Click here to check out our other opportunities for going deeper in our faith.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Installation Celebration

Come one! Come all! On Sunday October 3rd at 4:00pm, Pastor Brian will officially be installed as the pastor of Faith UCC. There will be music, food, stories, and more. Rev. Jonna Jensen will be preaching, Sara Klosterboer will be providing music, and members of Faith UCC will be hosting. Let's make it fun - and pack the place. We'd be glad to have to set up extra chairs, so feel free to pass this invitation along to others who may be interested. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rally Sunday

Everyone is invited to Rally Sunday this Sunday. Worship will include a time to explore our hopes and rally around ways to live abundantly. After worship there will be many fun activities to kick off the Fall season. Potluck Lunch "featuring" Pastor Brian's Famous Spaghetti. Bocce Ball. Ladder Ball. Wii Bowling. Previews of upcoming events. And probably even more! Please join us for this fun time of worship and rallying. Just bring yourself and some food to share.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Prayer Around the Cross this Sunday

Join us for prayer around the cross this Sunday. It will be a meditative worship experience like no other. It will include: silent meditation, candle lighting, scripture reading, reflective prayer, and contemplative music from the Taize and Iona communities. If you're having a busy Labor Day weekend, this service would be an excellent opportunity to experience a moment of peace, relaxation, and deep Sabbath. All are welcome.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Faith Happenings Letter

Dear Members and Friends,

Fall is upon us! That means it’s time for cooler weather, turning leaves, football season, visiting local apple orchards, and so much more. Plus, after a busy summer, the Fall is also a return to more regular schedules. Often, for the church, this means more people are able to come to worship on Sunday morning. And that is an exciting prospect at Faith.

Lately, we’ve been trying different styles of worship. One of the more interesting has been conversational sermons. This is where I give some background on a text, introduce a theme, and then invite the congregation to preach the sermon with me. Basically, it looks like a Bible study during worship. It’s been fun to get different perspectives on a text or topic each Sunday.

During the August 29th sermon, we discussed the problems that face the church as well as our hopes for the future. Many good ideas were shared, as we explored ways to help the church thrive. The list that was generated gave me a lot of hope for the future of this congregation. If we begin to implement even a few of these ideas, it will help us remodel the church in some exciting and effective ways. And that reminds me of HyVee.

HyVee on Waterfront is undergoing a remodeling project. While they are working on the store, they are remaining open for business. It’s a little awkward. But it’s working. Their true-yet-slightly-cheesy slogan is: “pardon our progress.” It’s a way to acknowledge the current messiness of the work, yet invite people to focus on the benefits of the remodeling. In the church’s ongoing work, perhaps we too need a sign that reads “pardon our progress.” We don’t need to close the church. We can do the remodeling work as we, too, stay open. And, we, too, can focus on the end result of a remodeled and renewed existence.

It’s an exciting time to be at Faith. Please come to worship each Sunday to join us for conversational sermons that explore relevant topics such as hope for the future of the church, protecting marriage equality, honoring the Sabbath in our busy lives, etc. You never know when a conversation we have in worship might just appear in Faith Happenings – or even be the start of a change in the congregation. All are welcome to be a part of the action!

Please keep reading Faith Happenings to check out some of the exciting upcoming events. Fall is going to be a fun season at Faith UCC!

Peace,

Pastor Brian

Facebook Question: What Is Church?

The Facebook question for September is: “What is the Church?” Simple yet profound. There are many directions you could take this question. What are we meant to do? What is our mission? Who are we? Whose are we? Who are we called to love? The list of questions could go on and on. Please answer the question in any way that is meaningful to you. What is the Church? All are welcome to go to the discussion section on our Facebook page and discuss their understanding of the Church. Every reply with enrich every reader. Click here to add your thoughts.