Sermons and Children’s Message

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

    • November 11, 2018 “Give With Abundance” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Ruth 3: 1-5; 4: 13-17; Psalm 127; Hebrews 9: 24-28; and Mark 12: 38-44.
      • The love of God is not a measured, half-hearted gift. Neither does God ask us for only some of our love, but for a love that encompasses all that we are. The women of today’s scriptures model total devotion: the poor widow who gives all that she owns to God; and Ruth, who offers herself as a wife to Boaz so that she and Naomi may have new life. Psalm 42 voices a similar devotion to God, and a longing for God’s help in the midst of hardship.
    • November 4, 2018 Guest Speaker Josie Gobel “Be Just, Be Green”
    • October 28, 2018 Special Music Performance by Singer/Songwriter Dan Holmes
    • October 21, 2018 “Being Good Servants” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Job 38: 1-7, 34-31; Psalm 104: 1-9, 24, 35c; Hebrews 5: 1-10; and Mark 10: 35-45.
      • The readings from Job 38 and Mark 10 address who God is and what we want God to do for us. As James and John before us, we often expect some reward for following Jesus. At the very least, we want to believe that being faithful to God will spare us from great pain and suffering. When it doesn’t, we are left to wonder, like Job, if God cares for us at all. Today’s readings remind us of a simple truth that is both humbling and liberating: God is God, and we are not. And through Christ, the God who created the universe came and dwelt among us, teaching us to serve. 
      • (No Children’s Message this week)
    • October 14, 2018 “Where Are You” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Job 23: 1-9, 16-17; Psalm 22: 1-15; Hebrews 4: 12-16; and Mark 10: 17-31.
      • The absence of God in Job 23 and Psalm 22 contrasts with the confidence of Hebrews 4 that we are all welcome at God’s throne through the sacrifice and grace of Christ Jesus. Which is true? Is Hebrews simply a faith statement, or can we claim confidence in this hope? Or are both true? The man who comes to question Jesus about finding eternal life points to this possibility: the journey is challenging, confusing, and filled with contradiction. Following Christ is challenging and will likely bring sacrificial suffering, despite any sacrificial gift of love, Christ has offered to “save” us. Bad things happen to good people, and good people feel the absence of God. Even still, we are invited to continue the journey, hoping that God is with us. We are invited to follow Christ, even if we have wandered paths that diverted us elsewhere. Following Christ isn’t a talisman against harm and God won’t always rescue us from troubles. Yet we can continue the journey, finding meaning along the way, and perhaps discovering that we are not alone, even in times of greatest sorrow.
      • Children’s Message (Please turn volume up when playing)
    • October 7, 2018 “One Big Family” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Job 1: 1; 2: 1-10; Psalm 26; Hebrews 1: 1-4, 2: 5-12; and Mark 10: 2-16.
      • Our World Communion Sunday readings remind us that all God’s children encounter suffering and evil, yet all are welcome in the arms of Christ to experience God’s love and grace. This is truly the Word of God for the people of God.
      • No Children’s Message
    • September 30, 2018 “Do Not Stop Them” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Esther 7: 1-6, 9-10; 9: 20-22; Psalm 124; James 5: 13-20; and Mark 9: 38-50.
      • Trials and tribulations abound in these passages, as does the theme of rescue from suffering. Esther asks the king to spare her people from the evil designs of Human, and they are spared. The psalmist rejoices; if God had not been on their side, enemies would have swept them away like a raging river. James encourages those who suffer to pray, for the prayer of the faithful heals many ills, and the intervention of the faithful brings those who wander back to the paths of life. Jesus assures his disciples that they will be salted with fire. Suffering and trials are unavoidable, but when we are tested, God gives us the strength to maintain faith and peace among ourselves. But woe to one who causes a little one to fall into sin. Like Esther, we can all be agents of God’s refuge and healing grace. We can also be the cause of additional suffering. If we are salty, faithful, prayerful Christians, we will find refuge and peace.
      • Children’s Message (turn volume up)
    • September 23, 2018 “Carrying Your Own Agenda” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Proverbs 1: 20-33; Psalm 19; James 3: 1-12; and Mark 8: 27-38.
      • God calls us to embrace wisdom and righteous living. In Proverbs, a good wife is industrious and wise; she is “far more precious than jewels” (v. 10 NRSV.) The psalmist warns that those who are happy do not follow the advice of the wicked, nor do they sit in the seat of the scoffers, but delight in God’s law. James proclaims that those with wisdom and understanding are pure, peaceful, gentle, obedient, merciful, and righteous. This “wisdom from above” does not seek greatness in power over others, but in servitude. Jesus gathered a child into his arms, proclaiming that true greatness comes from welcoming one such as this and aligning with God’s kingdom. When we draw near to God, we discover the wisdom from above, and we find the strength to follow Christ. 
      • No Children’s Message
    • September 16, 2018 “The Power of Words” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Proverbs 1: 20-33; Psalm 19; James 3: 1-12 and Mark 8: 27-38.
      • God yearns to be known. With generosity and extravagance far beyond human understanding. God reaches out to us, offering joyful, relational, and blessed lives. One of life’s great mysteries is that we not only reject relationship with God, we choose ways of living that bring harm to the planet, to other people, and even to ourselves. Today’s readings from the Wisdom tradition call us back into relationship with God. There are warnings of destruction for those who do not follow God’s way, and there are promises of success for those who do. But Jesus turns even Wisdom upside down, picking up his cross and embracing failure, rejection, and death as the way to eternal life.
      • Children’s Message
    • September 9, 2018 “Trust in the Lord” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Proverbs 22: 1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Psalm 125; James 2: 1-17; and Mark 7: 24-37.
      • God shows no partiality, loving everyone equally. Proverbs warns the rich not to exploit the poor because they are poor, for the Lord will take up their case. James warns the church not to show favoritism, for those who show partiality for the rich over the poor deny the faithfulness of Christ. While the Gospel reading seems to suggest God’s partiality for Jews over Gentiles, when pressed by the Syrophoenician woman, Jesus gladly heals her daughter and is impressed with her faith. The psalmist lifts up a secondary theme, that God will protect the righteous from the twisted ways of slanderers and evildoers. Proverbs advances this theme with the promise that a good reputation is more to be desired than much wealth. Finally, James urges us to show mercy and live our faith, for faith without works is dead.
      • Children’s Message
    • September 2, 2018 “A Heart Check-Up” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures:  Song of Solomon 2: 8-13; Psalm 45: 1-2, 6-9; James 1: 17-27 and Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, and 21-23.
      • The human heart and the heart of God are at the center of today’s scriptures: The human passion found in the beautiful poetry of Song of Solomon; the overflowing heart of the psalmist; the heart of care in James; the warning of the risk within the human heart when passion brings acts of anger in Mark. We are called to come away, but we are not summoned to escape the world. Instead, we are called to care for those most in need. We are called to attend to our own hearts, so that our passion may prompt us to live out the words of our faith. We are called to arise from inaction to actions. This day could be a heart check-up.  How are we living out our faith through loving acts? (In the United Sates, these readings fall on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. A theme of “Labors of Love” could tie the scriptures to the secular holiday. For students and academics, this launches a new year and could serve as an opportunity to refocus the “New Year” with loving acts at the center.)
      • Children’s Message
    • (No video August 19 or 26 due to technical issues – sorry!)
    • August 12, 2018 Sermon “The Call to Live by Faith and Become Tenderhearted” Rev. Edwin Foster
      • Scriptures: 2 Samuel 18: 5-9, 15, 31-33; Psalm 130; Ephesians 4: 25 – 5:2; and John 6: 35, 41-51.
      • “Be angry without sinning…only say what is helpful.” This reminder in Ephesians 4: 26, 29 is an echo of God’s teachings throughout both testaments. If only David and Absalom had lived by such teachings, war and sorrow might have been prevented. If we are to live these teachings, we need the bread of life to nourish us and the grace of Christ to restore us, for we are often too angry and sinful to say things that are truly helpful.
    • August 5, 2018 Sermon “Healthy Food!” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: 2 Samuel 11: 26 – 12: 13a; Psalm 51: 1-12; Ephesians 4: 1-16; and John 6: 24-35.
      • Leading a life worthy of our calling, a life worthy of the blessings we have received, sometimes goes sideways. Even with all the blessings King David received from God, he coveted Uriah’s wife and had Uriah killed to claim her as his own. The psalmist pleads for God to wash us clean of our failings. Paul urges us to use our spiritual gifts, that we might overcome forces of disunity and become one body and one spirit. Jesus challenges doubters to forsake the food that doesn’t last and partake of the food that endures to eternal life. In Christ, God is always giving, always strengthening, always feeding our greatest needs. In Christ, we are able to lead lives worthy of our calling.
    • Easter Sunday, 4/1/18 “He Lives!” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures:  Acts 10: 34-43; Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15: 1-11; and John 20: 1-18.
      • Evil may prevail for a day, but the life and the power of God are stronger than death; indeed, death has lost its sting. The steadfast love of God, spoken of by the psalmist, has raised Jesus from the dead. How ill we recognize our risen Savior? Jesus calls us each by name – a call to discipleship and service. The hymn “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” says it all. Everything else is commentary. 
      • Children’s Message
      • December 24, 2017 Christmas Eve Worship 7:00 p.m.