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Worship is the heart of the church! Sunday morning worship services are at 10:00 a.m.
Church school for children preschool through grade 8 is offered during the worship time September 8 through May. Children begin in the sanctuary for worship for the first 15-20 minutes, and then are dismissed to their church school classes following the Children’s Time.
The first Sunday of the month is usually a Communion Sunday and Family Sunday, No church school classes are offered on those Sundays. Children are invited to participate in worship with their families. All may participate in Communion, including young children, if their parents believe they have some understanding of the special nature and meaning of Communion.
“God’s Strange Directions” Psalm 22:25-31
Rev. Sean Weston Acts 8:26-40
Lyonsville Congregational UCC, Indian Head Park IL
April 29, 2018
The Church was having a wonderful time: more and more people wanted to follow Jesus, baptisms took place one after the other, it was amazing. But then a persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and everyone except the twelve apostles fled Jerusalem and scattered into the countryside. Enter Philip: he had been a table server, helping make sure that the hungry were fed each day. I imagine he was content with his role – glad to be part of sharing the love of Jesus in the world. Now the church was on hard times and for whatever reason – we don’t know why – Philip did something new: he began to preach in the city of Samaria and heal people of their ailments.
I suspect that for Philip to start preaching and healing in Samaria he would have needed a pretty direct call from God. After all, Philip and his companions would not have been fans of Samaritans. They weren’t the right kind of people, and they didn’t have the right kind of religion. There was a long-standing rivalry. Yet, somehow, Philip the table server became Philip the preacher and healer and Samaritans were baptized into the church! Boundaries were broken.
It is this Philip that would soon get a message from an angel of the Lord: “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” Luke, our writer, wants to make sure we know it is a wilderness road. Continue reading
Sermon 4-15-18 Sean Matthew Weston Installation at Lyonsville Congregational UCC,
Indian Head Park, IL texts:
Numbers 11:16-17, 24-30; and Luke 9:57-10:2
The Rev. R. Kent Cormack
To you who are salt and light and leaven, the saints of Lyonsville Congregational United Church of Christ: grace to you and peace in the name of the one who is, and who was, and who is to come.
You have prayed and evaluated and prayed and interviewed and prayed and discerned and prayed and listened, and you have called a pastor. And you hope that it is a match made in heaven. You have called someone who will tell you that he has been called—called to preach and teach and listen and heal, called to ordained ministry in this amazing, beautiful, cantankerous, prophetic strand of the holy catholic church that we call the United Church of Christ. I am grateful to be invited to be here today, for I have had the privilege of witnessing certain aspects of the call of Sean Matthew Weston firsthand. I was not there to hear your borning cry as the hymn says, you were, I think, in fourth grade when your family arrived in the congregation in 2002. Certainly you wasted no time becoming involved. A search of my computer files revealed some things I had forgotten. Did you remember that, a few months later, you and your sister landed the roles of Joseph and Mary in the Christmas Pageant? Or that within months you were a regular part of the rotation of lectors reading scripture in worship? If any of you are wondering how leaders are formed in the Christian community, take note. They are formed, in part, by being invited into leadership, where from time to time, the Holy Spirit ignites and calls in ways that may surprise and disturb.
During the past couple of weeks, considering what I would say today, two memories in particular kept surfacing. You didn’t invite me to preach today thinking I wouldn’t tell any tales did you? The first memory was of Pentecost, when the youth and their fearless leader (Sean’s mom) prepared a really cool “tongues of fire” to be part of a dramatic reading of the Pentecost story in our outdoor worship service. They had filled a metal garbage can lid with sand and soaked the sand with charcoal lighter fluid. The trial run before worship produced a controlled, but fairly impressive, conflagration. Eventually the time came in worship for the tongues of fire to be ignited. Someone struck a match and tossed it on the sand … and we watched the match go out. Then a couple more folks came forward with butane lighters, but the results were the same. Soon there was a small ring of pentecostal wannabes gathered around that stubborn pile of sand something like the Prophets of Baal (at least as I imagine them) gathered about the altar, calling down fire from heaven, and having about the same success. Continue reading
“When Jesus Shows Up” Luke 24:36b-48
Rev. Sean Weston
Lyonsville Congregational UCC, Indian Head Park IL
April 15, 2018
One of my favorite TV shows of all time is the political drama “The West Wing.” At one point, one of the main characters, Josh, is recovering from an assassination attempt, struggling with post traumatic stress disorder. He talks to another character, Leo, who has struggled mightily with addiction. Leo tells a story:
“This guy is walking down the street when he falls down a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor walks by and he shouts, ‘hey you, can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on. Then a priest comes by and the guy shouts up ‘Father, I’m down in this hole, can you help me out?’ the priest writes down a prayer, throws it down the in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, hey Joe it’s me can you help me out, and the friend jumps in a hole. Our guy says ‘are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, “yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.’”
In today’s gospel story from Luke, Jesus showed up to the disciples after his resurrection. They were a small bunch, still reeling from the crucifixion, still believing their movement had been defeated. When Jesus showed up they were terrified, thinking he was a ghost. Seeking to prove that he was really him, he showed them his hands and his feet. Continue reading