Happenings at an inner city church in Allentown

Archive for January, 2013

“An Invisible Thread”

The book we are reading currently is “An Invisible Thread” written by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresiniowski. It is about a woman working in New York, walking down a street one day when this little boy comes up to her and asks her for some change. At first she continues to keep walking but something makes her turn around and go back.

This is their story of how two people connected on a busy street in New York. One thing leads to another and they spend a lifetime caring for one another. It is a wonderful book about life, and how we often save each other through our friendships.

We will be meeting Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 10AM in the parlor for discussion. You are welcome. Pastor Lorraine

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For Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sermon Title: “The Nazareth Syndrome”
Scripture: Luke 4:21-30

The reading for February 3rd, starts at the verse last week’s ended – Jesus’ assertion that “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” The congregations response to Jesus’ claim, is a bit negative. They spoke well of him but were also astonished that his words are those of a local boy, the son of a carpenter.

Jesus provokes them, ridiculing where there thoughts are heading. They think he needs help, the decide. They are ready to help him, off a cliff. Luckily, Jesus was able to take himself out of the situation before things went from bad to worse.
The truth is that sometimes God’s truth comes to us in ways and through people through whom we would have never expected.

If you would like to hear more of this message on how God uses the people near us as channels for his messages, come to church on Sunday, February 3rd. We will also be having our Souper Bowl Sunday soup after worship in the Fellowship Hall.
The cost is $5.00. Resource: Homiletics

Thought for the Week: “It is much riskier to open your heart to God each day to listen and to ask, ‘Lord, what are You
telling me today?’ – Bruce Larson

Let us pray: Merciful God, we are bombarded with information, all of it claiming to be the truth. Yet we know there are false messiahs among us who seek to exploit rather than serve us. Into this, you come as the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Thanks be to you, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

Pastor Lorraine

For Sunday, January 20th

Sermon Title: “Abundance”
Scripture: John 2:1-11

This is the story of the wedding at Cana where Jesus miraculously turns water into wine when his mother lets him know that they have no more wine. This is the first of Jesus’ miracles in the gospel of John.

Weddings were a big deal in Jesus’ day, often lasting for an entire week. Seven days was the Jewish custom. That’s seven days of feasting, drinking, abstaining from work, and enjoying the company of loved ones, all as a way of celebrating and sharing in the new family’s joy.

Now if we did that kind of partying for weddings, we would not be able to afford it since an average wedding (a few hours) costs $27,000 today or maybe even more, depending on who you talk to about it.

The story goes that Jesus, his mother and his disciples are at this wedding in Cana. Jesus’ mother Mary, tells him that they are out of wine. At first he responds with “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” Then she tells the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” And he does it. Does she know her son and that he would respond as she had hoped?

There are at least four reasons why Jesus did provide more wine for the party. Come to worship on Sunday, January 20th and discover these reasons. Worship begins at 10:45AM; Sunday School for adults at 9:30AM as we continue our study of Revelation. Resource: Homiletics

Thought for the Week: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
– Written by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let us pray: O God, we thank you for the blessing of life. We pray for those who do not know you, that they may receive the good news of Jesus Christ. We pray for those who need to be touched by your healing graces, and for those who need
renewal, that they may receive the newsness of spirit. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Pastor Lorraine

For Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sermon Title:   “A Sign of God’s Grace”

Scripture:   Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The lesson for this First Sunday after Epiphany is the baptism of Jesus.  Remember the story of Christ’s baptism.  John the Baptist was baptizing people in the River Jordan.  People were flocking to hear him and his message.  Among them was Jesus of Nazareth who was John’s cousin.  Jesus stepped into the water and was baptized by John.  The Holy Spirit had descended on him in a form like a dove.

In the case of Jesus, the symbolism of the dove is important, as it represents peace and meekness.  From this we can see that Jesus was a different kind of Messiah, for he comes as a peacemaker and a servant. 

What about your baptism?  Many of us were baptized as infants and do not give it much thought as we journey through life.  But it truly is a rite of passage to a new life.  Come and join us in worship on Sunday as we look at baptism and how it is a sign of God’s grace.

Thought for the Week:   What do you expect of God – and from that, what do you expect of yourself?

Let us pray:    We give you thanks O God, for this new year and the promises and blessings we will receive.  Be with all those who need to be touched by your healing graces.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Pastor Lorraine