Sermons and Children’s Message

Worship services are recorded weekly. Please click a date below to view the service

    • September 17, 2017 Children’s Message “Forgiveness” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • (No Sermon this week)
      • Scriptures: Exodus 14: 19-31 and Matthew 18: 21-35
      • Rescue and rejoicing tie today’s Exodus readings together. Forgiveness and refraining from judgment tie today’s epistle and Gospel readings together. Redemption and reclamation further unify the Exodus and epistle readings – for both are God’s gifts to the Hebrew people, just as they are Christ’s gifts to the Christian community. In the Exodus story, God rescues the people from Pharaoh, and Miriam leads the rejoicing of her people. God redeems the Israelites from slavery and claims them as the people of God. Likewise, in the epistle to the Romans, Christ redeems us and claims us as God’s own children.
    • September 10, 2017 “A Community That Agrees” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Exodus 12: 1-14 and Matthew 18:15-20
      • These scriptures reflect on what it means to lead a faithful life. Exodus describes the Passover meal, where Hebrews living under harsh Egyptian rule prepare to leave bondage on the journey to freedom. First they must prepare, then they must remember. Psalm 149 begins with a celebration of God and then moves to a call to overthrow the tyrants that enslave God’s people. Romans 13: 8-14 reminds us to obey the commandments, particularly the commandment to love. Matthew calls followers to the holy life of community, promising the presence of Jesus in their midst.
      • Children’s Message
    • September 3, 2017 “God Forbid” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Exodus 3: 1-15 and Matthew 16: 21-28
      • Love and serve. Serve with love. Serve because of love. These themes emerge in all of today’s readings, but most emphatically in Romans 12. The challenge to love with total empathy and compassion is surely as challenging as carrying one’s cross. It may even be the only way we can carry our crosses once we have decided to follow Christ.
    • (no video August 20 or August 27 – technical issues)
    • August 13, 2017 United Methodist Women Moment for Mission – Speaker Erica Reddy
      • Scriptures: Genesis 37: 1-4, 12-28 and Mattthew 14: 22-33
      • Even in the midst of our failings, God can turn human weakness into acts of deliverance. Genesis 37 begins the story of Joseph’s sale into slavery by his brothers. Psalm 105 proclaims that God used this act of betrayal to deliver the world from the ravages of famine. Paul proclaims that all who profess Christ with their lips and who believe in him with their whole hearts will be saved. Matthew 14 recalls the story of Peter’s fear and doubt as he walks on the water toward Jesus.
    • August 6, 2017 “Face to Face” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Genesis 32: 22-31 and Matthew 14: 13-21
      • It is an awesome thing to encounter God face-to-face. It can shake us to our very core. And of one thing we can be sure, we will never be the same again. On this anniversary of Hiroshima, we wrestle with our conscience, our very faith in humanity and, indeed, in God.  How could we do such a thing? In this wrestling, we come to a conviction that never again will we participate in or celebrate such massive destruction and loss of life. We limp along on our journey to reaffirm our humanity, turning to see the face of God and feeling the strength that comes through our encounter with God. For this God loves us unconditionally and is with us every step we take on our journey of discovery, repentance, and faith.
      • Children’s Message
    • July 30, 2017 “The Kingdom of Heaven” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Genesis 29: 15-28 and Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52
      • Good things come to those who wait. Or as Paul puts it: “All things work together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to (God’s) purposes” (Romans 8: 28). Today’s scriptures encourage us to trust that God’s realm is worth waiting for. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah rather than Rachel, but without this first marriage, we would not have ten of the twelve tribes of Israel. Waiting in prayer, we discover that the Spirit prays for us even when we cannot. Waiting for seeds to become trees, and yeast to become risen bread, we see how waiting with God and growing with God can bring God’s realm here on earth.
    • July 23, 2017 “Getting Rid of the Weeds” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Genesis 28: 10-19a and Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43
      • The Genesis text and the text from Matthew are profound examples of grace. In Genesis, Jacob receives a heavenly vision after an act of cowardice. His visit to Rebekah’s kin to take a wife was more of a ruse to save him from being murdered by his brother than a mission to find love. In Matthew, the weeds are allowed to grow in the field for a time, though they are more worthy of the fire. The two texts are tied together by the hopeful reminder of Psalm 139: God knows all about us, yet loves us still.
      • Children’s Message
    • July 16, 2017 “Bearing Fruit” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Genesis 25: 19-34 and Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23
      • Focusing on our priorities, on our spiritual well-being, and on following God’s teachings leads to growth in the Spirit. When we lose focus, earthly matters and cares easily distract us. Once distracted, we draw away from the paths that bring fulfillment and lead to faithful discipleship. In various ways, the need for focus arises in all four of today’s readings.
    • July 9, 2017 was the Ecumenical Worship in the Park. (No video)
    • July 2, 2017 “Keeping Faith” Rev. Ed Foster
      • Scriptures: Hebrews 11: 1-3, 8-12, 23-28, 39: 12:2 and Matthew 10: 40-42
    • July 2, 2017 Children’s Sermon Rev. Ed Foster
    • June 25, 2017 “Fear Not” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Genesis 21: 8-21 and Matthew 10: 24-39
      • These scriptures are hard to hear. In the Genesis passage, Abraham is asked by his wife to “cast out” Hagar and her son. And in the Matthew passage, we hear Jesus proclaim that he has not come to bring peace, but a sword to sow conflict among family members. But through these stories, and through the words of the psalmist and of Paul, we realize that God provides for us, especially in the midst of adversity. God brings healing and new life. God proclaims, “Do not fear,” and those who hear and follow Christ find new life.
      • Children’s Message
    • June 18, 2017 “Things Don’t Always Work Out the Way We Want Them to”  Erica Reddy
      • Scriptures: Psalm 116: 1-2, 12-19 and Matthew 9: 35 – 10:8
      • With God all things are possible. These hopeful words of Matthew 19:26 are reflected in all of today’s readings. When Sarah laughs at the absurd idea of finally bearing a child in her old age, Abraham is reminded that for God, “nothing is too difficult” (“wonderful” in the NRSV). Just as miraculously, we are all saved by faith, not by works, and even humble disciples are empowered to cast out demons and cure all manner of illness. These are the miracles of God, providing a hope that passes all understanding.
    • June 11, 2017 “Commissioned to Love” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Genesis 1: 1-7, 24-31; 2: 1-2 and Matthew 28: 16-20
      • Trinitarian theology shows that the nature of God is relationship and communal. In relationship we live and move and have our being with God and with one another. But because the Christian Trinity is a 4th century construct, we should not expect these texts to illuminate Trinitarian theology. We can, however, use Trinitarian theology as a lens to view these texts. While the first creation story focuses on the goodness of creation, it begins with God (v. 1), Spirit (v.2) and Word (v. 3), and ends with God creating human beings in God’s (“Our”) likeness. The psalmist continues with the blessings of creation. The letter to Corinth speaks of the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. Finally, Matthew’s Gospel issues Christ’s great commission: to make disciples of all nations and to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    • June 4, 2017 “Light the Fire Again” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Acts 2: 1-21 and John 7: 37-39
      • As Jesus’ disciples huddled together in fear, the Holy Spirit entered their dwelling in rushing wind and tongues of fire. In that moment, the Church was born. Without Pentecost, the gospel would not have moved beyond that group of disciples huddled in the upper room. The Spirit that was promised to the prophet Joel is active in our world today, granting visions and dreams to our old and young alike. The power of God to create and renew life is in the power of the Holy Spirit. We see this power in the psalmists’s hymn of praise. We behold this power in Paul’s discussion of adoption in Christ through the Spirit. And we see the promise of this power in Jesus, as he comforts his disciples before his death.
    • April 16, 2017 Easter Sunday “He Lives” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24 and John 20: 1-18
      • Despite appearances, death does not have the last word. The truth of God’s love is revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; in the life of the Church ;and in our lives today.
      • Children’s Message
    • December 24, 2016 Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship
    • December 18, 2016 Sermon “God With Us” Pastor Maribel Celiz
    • December 18, 2016 Lighting of the Fourth Advent Candle (Jeff, Mary & T.J. Neiger) 
    • December 11, 2016 Sunday School Christmas Program “Christmas Returns”
    • July 10, 2016 Ecumenical Worship in Phoenix Park
    • June 5, 2016 (No Sermon – Special Music Presentation by Dan Holmes, Christian Singer/songwriter)