Messages from our Ministers

Anticipate the Miracle

November 29, 2020 

Pastor Joel Plisek               

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:5-25

What event lets you know that Christmas is right around the corner?  How do you know the season of Advent is here?  Apple pie for breakfast tells me Advent is here.  I walk into the kitchen after Thanksgiving Day and find some pie left over, and I weigh my options between pie and cereal. It is the most wonderful time of the year; it is a trigger for me that lets me know that Christmas is coming.

What about you?  Maybe it is a movie on TV?  Or Christmas parties?  Or maybe it is putting up lights and decorations.  Do you have those little triggers that indicate to you Christmas is coming? 

Here is the interesting thing that I have noticed, as we grow older, we can lose the eager anticipation.  The reason is that there are a lot of to do lists.  There are a lot of responsibilities. The eager anticipation that we have as children can be replaced with


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Do the Right Thing for the Day of the Lord is at Hand

November 22, 2020

Pastor Charles 

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25: 31-46

Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Today’s scripture reading is perhaps one of the most famous parables in the Bible. It is a powerful reminder of our shared responsibility to care for the most vulnerable, the “least of these,” the last, and to care for one another. This story is important to everyone as we are called upon to protect and care for each other from the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Today’s parable uses a very traditional Middle Eastern plot where the king goes to wander the streets of his kingdom disguised as a commoner or a poor person to see for himself how things really are. The important question here is: How do we act when no one is


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Watch and Be Sober

November 15, 2020

Pastor Charles

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

In last week’s sermon we learned that Christ’s death has turned our death into sleep, and thus we should not be afraid of death anymore. Sleep is a good thing when it brings a long-expected rest to us. But sleep can also be a bad thing – especially when we are not supposed to be asleep. Falling asleep while driving may result in a serious accident. We can see how important it is for those who perform critical tasks to stay awake and remain alert. This will help us now to understand our own need to watch and be sober as we live the Christian life in the last days.  Paul writes the brethren in Thessalonica to Watch and Be Sober as they wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

1. Why We Need to Watch and Be Sober 

A. We are called to do so for the Day of the Lord is approaching (1 Thes 5:1-3)

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Preach, Pray, or Die

November 8, 2020

Pastor Joel Plisek
 

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:1-13

Our former Bishop Scott Jones loved to make this statement on the Annual Conference floor when the business was winding down; he would turn to one of his senior staff members, wanting them to do a closing prayer, and he would say, “Jack Preach, Pray or Die…it’s your choice.”

The idea was that as pastors we needed to be ready at seconds notice to do one of those three things: Preach, Pray or Die. 

I bring that up because pastor Charles called me Friday evening to let me know that I would be preaching on Saturday and Sunday.  Pastor Charles was at a pastor’s gathering and it turned out that one of the other pastors there came down with COVID-19.  As a precaution Charles is taking a test, but he can’t take it until Tuesday.  So, he and his family are isolating themselves, please keep them in your prayers. At this time, he does not feel like


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We Grieve with Hope

November 1, 2020
Pastor Charles
 
Scripture Reading:  1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
 

          Today’s message comes from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonian congregation. Tradition says that this letter is the first written document in the New Testament. This letter may have been written from Corinth around AD 50-51 immediately after the Jerusalem Council of AD 49-50 as recorded in Acts 15.  When Paul was pastoring the church at Thessalonica, he told them about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and how Jesus had defeated death, giving Christians the promise of eternal life. As time passed, the people in the Thessalonica church began to die, just as happens today.  They were concerned because they thought that as believers they would not die since Jesus had defeated death.  They believed the promise of eternal life for all believers.   So, why were members of the church dying?   Were they notfaithful enough?   Today’s scripture reading is Paul’s response to these concerns.


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We Are All Neighbors

October 25, 2020

Pastor Charles

Scripture Reading: Luke 10:25-37

Today’s sermon is based on the story of the Good Samaritan. This is a well-known passage of the Bible. The Society is so familiar with the story there are at least half a dozen Hospitals in the US named after the Good Samaritan. In this story, Jesus teaches his followers a new concept of neighborliness, one not defined by social, cultural or ethnical boundaries, but one rooted in love, mercy and forgiveness. As I was preparing this sermon our communication leader Leah told me of Mr. Rogers’s song called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” after listening to it, I decided to title today’s sermon “We Are All Neighbors.”

  1. Jesus and the Lawyer

In today’s story we are told that a lawyer asked Jesus, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered with a counter question. He asked, “What is written


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You Are Invited

October 11, 2020

by Pastor Charles

Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:1-14

Praise God we are back in our sanctuary. We have been away from this beautiful place of worship for around 7 months now. We welcome you to today’s message as we listen to a story told by Jesus to his followers. Prior to today’s story Jesus had just entered Jerusalem a few days before and his critics are on overdrive asking questions on what authority he was doing his ministry. Jesus responds with three (or four, depending on how we count 22:1-14) parables of judgment. These parables all “speak of people who do not live up to expectation and so lose their place of privilege, to be replaced by a more surprising group.” Today’s message is therefore saying to each one of us, get dressed and come to the wedding banquet. You are invited.


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Rejoice in the Lord Always

October 4, 2020

by Pastor Charles

Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:1-20

Today is our last Sunday worshiping at the Park. Next Sunday (October 11) we shall all be back into our sanctuary. Rejoice in the Lord always. Today brings to an end our sermon series “Be a Faithful Steward.” We want to thank all who participated in different ways for the success of this drive. Some of you gave testimonies, read scriptures, preached, or prepared the bulletins and announcements, may God bless each one of you.

In today’s message we celebrate what God is doing in our lives as we journey together in this beautiful garden in Finnup Park. Our scripture reading comes from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Paul ministered at Philippi during his second missionary journey, spending about three months in the city. During his stay in Philippi several people believed in Paul’s message about Jesus Christ. Among them were Lydia, a


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Your Body, God’s Temple

September 27, 2020

by Pastor Joel Plisek
 

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

 

Today’s culture in which we live is obsessed with getting people to be stressed over the look, feel and size of their bodies.  It is a multi-billion-dollar industry.  With the media and the internet, there are billions of dollars to get us focused on and obsessed with the size, feel, and look of our physical bodies.  You’re told if you have a little more of this, or if you had a little less of that, your body could always be better.  In other words, you’re never going to arrive at this ideal.  You’re constantly told you are not good as you are; you need something more.  If you would start eating this, or stop eating that, or stop doing this, or stop doing that, or start wearing this.  If your hair was thicker, your teeth were whiter, if your chest was bigger, your buns were smaller, if your feet didn’t stink… you know


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