Sermons

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

    • Lighting of the Advent Candle – 2nd Sunday of Advent – Martha & John Behlman
    • December 8, 2019 Sermon “Signs of Hope and Peace” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Isaiah 11: 1-10; Psalm 72: 1-7, 18-19; Romans 15: 4-13; Matthew 3: 1-12.
      • Signs of hope and peace come from many places. They may be seen in a government that sets things right for the poor, meek, and needy; in a prophet of wisdom, understanding, and equity; and in a people who know the power of repentance, who live in harmony with one another, and who seek knowledge of the reconciling world that God envisions.
    • December 1, 2019 Sermon “Keep Awake” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Isaiah 2: 1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13: 11-14; Matthew 24: 36-44.
      • Today marks the beginning of Advent – the time of waiting for the salvation of our God. Isaiah and the psalmist proclaim the day when all people will come to Jerusalem and worship the Lord. This will be a time of peace – a time when nations will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks (Isaiah 2: 4). The epistle and Gospel readings speak of our need to be vigilant as we wait for the Lord’s return. Salvation is nearer to us than when we first began to believe, so be vigilant. The Lord will come as a thief in the night and catch many unaware. In this time of joyful preparation, let us prepare our hearts anew to receive the author of our salvation.
    • Lighting of the Advent Candle – the 1st Sunday of Advent – The Pelnar Family
    • (Technical issues – no sermon video on 11/24/19)
    • November 17, 2019 UMW Sunday
    • November 10, 2019 Sermon “Take Courage” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Haggai 1: 15b-2:9; Psalm 145: 1-5, 17-21; 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-5, 13-17; and Luke 20: 27-38.
      • Where we focus our thoughts and energies defines our perspective and either opens or limits our possibilities. The Sadducees focus on denying the resurrection and tricking Jesus with challenging questions, and so they experience conflict rather than the new life and learning this holy man brings to their midst. In contrast, Haggai focuses on hope and courage, inviting the Israelites to envision two new beginnings and the glorious splendor of living once again as God’s chosen people. The writers of Psalm 145 and of 2 Thessalonians focus on gratitude, even in the midst of changing situations, cries of distress, and unknown futures. Focused on thanksgiving, these writers sing praise, proclaim hopeful confidence, and call us to do likewise.
    • November 3, 2019 Sermon “When Jesus Enters Your House” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Habakkuk 1: 1-4; 2: 1-4; Psalm 119: 137-144; 2 Thessalonians 1: 1-4, 11-12 and Luke 19: 1-10.
      • Watching and waiting is central to the spiritual life. In the face of injustice and abuse by the powerful, Habakkuk declares that he will watch and wait until God answers his petition for justice. In response to Habakkuk’s vigil, God promises a vision that does not lie – a vision where the righteous shall live by faith. Zacchaeus climbs a tree as he waits to see Jesus. In response, salvation comes to his house that day. The psalmist proclaims God’s righteousness and delight in God’s precepts. Surely this righteousness came to pass while a person of faith watched and waited in prayerful expectation. Can we do less?
    • Baptism of Elsie Abelha Grace Pounder 10/27/19
    • October 27, 2019 (No sermon – Dan Holmes Musical Presentation (see Dan Holmes under Special Music)
    • October 20, 2019 Sermon “Persist, Don’t Give Up” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Jeremiah 31: 27-34; Psalm 119: 97-104; 2 Timothy 3: 14 – 4:5; and Luke 18: 1-8.
      • The inspiration of scripture, the value of holding fast to God’s teachings, the need to keep the faith, and God’s promise to put a new covenant in our hearts tie these scriptures together. Jeremiah, the psalmist, and Paul all attest to the value of following and meditating upon God’s teachings. Luke adds Jesus’ admonition to constantly bring our petitions before God, who will hear and hearken to our pleas for justice.
    • October 13, 2019 Sermon “Grateful” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Jeremiah 29: 1, 4-7; Psalm 66: 1-12; 2 Timothy 2: 8-15; Luke 17: 11-19.
      • Finding hope in hopeless situations challenges us on our journeys of life and faith, but today’s scriptures list examples of people who did just that. Jeremiah calls the Israelites to thrive, even in exile, and to create the beauty and wholeness of shalom (welfare) right where they’ve been exiled. Endurance and steadfast faithfulness, even in the midst of imprisonment and persecution, are themes of today’s passage from 2 Timothy. Perhaps most poignantly of all, ten outcast with leprosy are welcomed into health and wholeness when they cry out to Jesus for mercy, even though only one of them returns to give thanks. Hope binds us to God’s promises, just as hope binds these four disparate scriptures together thematically. 
    • October 6, 2019 Sermon “Compassion Activates Our Faith” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Lamentations 1: 1-6; Psalm 137; 2 Timothy 1: 1-14; Luke 17: 5-10.
      • World Communion Sunday often focuses on unity at God’s table, a vision of the beloved community. In a different tone, today’s texts invite an unblinking look at the calamities and upheavals affecting brothers and sisters nearby and far away: war, conquest, displacements, economic crisis, grinding poverty, even natural disaster. Faith calls us to see and testify that these exist and that their causes are often human. To lament and to grieve with the afflicted can prompt the spirit of courage to act, even if only with a mustard seed of faith.
    • September 29, 2019 Sermon “The Time is Now” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Jeremiah 32: 1-3a, 6-15; Psalm 91: 1-6, 14-16; 1 Timothy 6: 6-19; and Luke 16: 19-31.
      • The scriptures for today reminds us to live in God’s ways, even when life is pulling us away from God. The prophet Jeremiah speaks to the Israelites who have been held captive in Babylon. Though they are in a foreign land, living under a different ruler, in a different culture, and trying to hold onto their religion, Jeremiah proclaims that even in this situation, there is hope. The ability to purchase lands and settle down, even in a foreign land, is a sign of hope of God’s providence. The psalmist uses the image of God as refuge and fortress – someone to turn to when the world around us is swirling in darkness and distress. We cling to God’s love because we are God’s people. First Timothy reminds us that we are called to follow Christ and not allow worldly things to overwhelm us or to guide our lives. Our true guide is Christ, the “King of kings and Lord of lords.” And the Gospel of Luke points to the way of a godly life. We are to follow God’s ways and build a strong relationship with God through Jesus Christ, each and every day of our lives.
    • September 22, 2019 Sermon “Faithfulness” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Jeremiah 8: 18 – 9:1; Psalm 79: 1-9; 1 Timothy 2: 1-7; and Luke 16: 1-13.
      • Stewardship is a natural way to focus on these readings. While Jeremiah and the psalmist cry out to God for help in the midst of Israel’s distress, there is much that faith communities can do to ease the suffering of others. In Luke, Jesus tells a perplexing parable about the dishonest steward, who, after being fired for mismanaging his master’s accounts, acts shrewdly to ingratiate himself to those who owe his master money. Jesus challenges the children of light to be as wise with their generation as this dishonest steward. Proper management of our time, talents and treasure matters, for if we cannot be trusted to be good stewards of dishonest wealth, how can God trust us to be faithful stewards of true riches?
    • September 15, 2019 Sermon “Grace and Mercy” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Jeremiah 4: 11-12, 22-28; Psalm 14; 1 Timothy 1: 12-17; and Luke 15: 1-10. 
      • While many of us are uncomfortable speaking about sin today, we all know the pain and remorse we feel when we remember actions that we deeply regret. Paul (if he is the epistle’s author) remembers his life as a persecutor. Indeed, if not for his conversion, we would know him only as a collaborator in the execution of Stephen. But Paul testifies to an overwhelming presence that permits him, with the assurance of forgiveness, to live beyond the acts he regrets. Patiently merciful, God sought Paul, like a shepherd looking for a lost sheep and a woman seeking a lost coin. The parables point out the special importance of the lost to God.
    • (No sermon video 9/8/19 due to technical issues).
    • September 1, 2019 Sermon “Be Attentive to God’s Voice” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Jeremiah 2: 4-13; Psalm 81: 1, 10-16; Hebrews 13: 1-8, 15-16; and Luke 14: 1, 7-14.
      • Jeremiah and Psalm 81 are both laments that God’s people do not listen. The Scriptures this week remind us to listen for the voice of the Divine and to be attentive to all the ways we find holy sustenance. They call us to rejoice in this awareness.  Hebrews and Luke call us to have empathy for others and care for them as we have been cared for by God. Listen. Rejoice. Care. Share God’s sustenance with others.
    • August 25, 2019 Sermon “God’s Grace Without Limits!” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Jeremiah 1: 4-10; Psalm 71: 1-6; Hebrews 12: 18-29, and Luke 13: 10–17.
      • Today’s scriptures remind us to listen for God’s miraculous presence – whether God’s voice comes as a call to ministry (Jeremiah 1: 9-10), a promise of salvation (Psalm 71:3), a prophetic warning and promise (Hebrews 12: 22-29), or a word of healing (Luke 13: 12). Recognizing God’s presence in our lives opens new avenues for life and growth, if only we open our minds to hear and receive the messages sent from God.
    • August 18, 2019 Sermon “The Signs Are Obvious! Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Isaiah 5: 1-7; Psalm 80: 1-2, 8-19; Hebrews 11: 29 – 12:2; and Luke 12: 49-56.
      • Isaiah and the psalmist proclaim that God lovingly planted the vineyard Israel, but its walls have fallen and the vineyard is being destroyed. But while Isaiah claims that this is God’s doing in response to Israel’s injustice and bloodshed, the psalmist holds out hope that God will yet save the people and give them new life. Hebrews implores us to follow the great cloud of witnesses who have set aside the weight of sin and death, that we may look to Christ, the perfecter of our faith. In Luke, Jesus yearns to bring fire to the earth to bring true judgment to all. God is not just the one who plants us like a vineyard, God is the one who destroys the vineyards that bears bad fruit. And yet, it is this same God, in the midst of our destruction, to whom we look for our salvation – salvation through fire and baptism. The great cloud of witnesses testifies to our need to follow Christ, who is our hope.
    • (No sermon August 11 – technical issues)
    • August 4, 2019 Sermon “Watch Where You’re Leaning To” by Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Hosea 11: 1-11; Psalm 107: 1-9, 43; Colossians 3: 1-11; and Luke 12: 13-21.
      • God loves us and gives us good gifts. It saddens God when we deceive and abuse one another, when we are greedy or jealous or violent, and when we live without love and compassion. When we live in gratitude for all that we have received, and when we place our trust in God rather than in material things, we die to our old selves and become one in Christ, so that we may serve the world.
    • July 28, 2019 Sermon by Erica Reddy
      • Scriptures: Hosea 1: 2-10 ; Psalm 85; Colossians 2: 6-15, 16-19; and Luke 11: 1-13.
      • The contrast among today’s scriptures is not uncommon in the ordinary season. One theme is to center on Hosea’s depiction of the absolute devastation of losing touch with God and with God’s call in our lives. The psalmist echoes this feeling of abandonment but recalls God’s steadfast love and God’s promises of hope and renewal. The epistle challenges the community of faith to embrace the promises of God. It likewise challenges individuals within these communities to continue growing on their journeys of faith. Finally, the Gospel contains the Lord’s Prayer and the encouragement to seek the Lord for those who seek, find; and those who ask, receive.
    • July 21, 2019 Sermon “May You Be Strong and Well” A Healing Service Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Isaiah 43: 1-5, 7-10 and Matthew 26: 36-45
    • July 14 – Ecumenical Worship in the Park (no video)
    • July 7, 2019 Sermon “God’s Healing” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: 2 Kings 5: 1-14; Psalm 30; Galatians 6: 1-6, 7-16; and Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20.
      • There is an elegant simplicity to the healing and ministry expressed in each of today’s scriptures. Simply “wash and become clean” and Naaman is healed. “I cried out for help, and you healed me,” the psalmist sings to God. The epistle advises, “Carry each other’s burdens and you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Jesus instructs disciples to simply offer God’s peace from house to house. No advance training, no fancy words, and no elaborate rituals are required as we answer God’s call to serve and to heal the world.
    • June 30, 2019 Sermon “Our God of Freedom” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: 2 Kings 2: 1-2, 6-14; Psalm 77: 1-2, 11-20; Galatians 5: 1, 13-25; Luke 9: 51-62.
      • No matter how much we don’t want it to happen, no matter how unprepared we feel to be on our own, mentors and guides eventually leave us, forcing us to carry on without them. Elisha follows Elijah until the very end – when his mentor and master is carried away in the whirlwind – for Elisha knows he cannot follow in the great prophet’s footsteps without a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem, knowing there is no return. The disciples will soon feel this loss. The psalmist cries out to God in distress, remembering God’s great capacity to make everything right again. Galatians does not fit into this theme, but beautifully describes the fruit of the Spirit available to those who live by the Spirit. We see this fruit in the lives of Elijah, Elisha and Jesus; indeed, we see it within our own lives when we love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
    • June 23, 2019 Sermon “There Is Hope in the Wilderness” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: 1 Kings 19: 1-15a; Psalm 42; Galatians 3: 23-29; and Luke 8: 26-39.
      • Even in the midst of calamity, God is there. When Elijah was hunted and wanted to give up, angels nurtured him, and God gave him rest. The psalmist speaks of the longing of the human heart for God when events turn against us, and expresses confidence in God’s help. Galatians celebrates freedom in Christ and the removal of all distinctions that society uses to judge some people as less worthy than others. And Luke calls the story of Jesus freeing the strong man from the demons and the chains that bound him. God is always there to set us free, always there to bind up our wounds, always there to lift us above the hatred we find in the world.
    • (No Sermon June 16 – Pastor at Annual Conference)
    • June 9, 2019 Sermon “Committed to Christ” and Confirmation – Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Acts 2: 1-21; Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b; Romans 8: 14-17, John 14: 8-17, 25-27.
      • There is a unity of Spirit that pervades both the Pentecost experience and the lectionary scripture readings. The unity of a diverse group of people (Acts 2), the unity of all of Christ’s followers adopted into one united family (Romans 8), and the unity of love connecting both our Trinitarian God and our human community (John 14), are also echoed in the psalmists celebration of creation’s expectant praise.
    • June 2, 2019 Sermon “The Glory of God” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Psalm 97 and John 17: 20-26
      • Ascension Day is a time to recognize God’s glory and rule over the earth. Jesus has been given power and dominion over all things. This Sunday, we can highlight this regal Jesus, our humble king of kings. The music and atmosphere of worship this day should reflect the reign of the ascended Christ over all things. It should also draw us to a place where we recognize that our calling comes from the most high – we must search for the hope to which God has called us.
    • April 21, 2019 Easter Sunday Sermon “Seeing is Believing” Pastor Maribel Celiz
      • Scriptures: Acts 10: 34-43; Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15: 19-26; John 20: 1-18; and Luke 24: 1-12.
      • The power of perspective drives the story of Easter Sunday. Are we looking for hope in the message of Jesus the Christ? Are we prepared to discover life in the midst of death? Are we ready to receive faith in the midst of doubt? Even when we aren’t sure what we’re looking for, Christ comes. Christ lives. Christ is present. We are not alone, and both life and love win. This is the victory of the Easter story.
    • (Sorry – technical issues – no video for 4/14/19)
    • December 24, 2018 Christmas Eve Worship
      • Scriptures: Isaiah 9: 2-7; Psalm 95; Titus 2: 11-14; and Luke 2: 1-10
      • This is a night for rejoicing – a night to sing a new song to God, a night to celebrate the salvation brought through the birth of Jesus, a night to embrace the light that shines in the darkness. God’s light and salvation shine forth through a child who will rule with justice and righteousness. This is a night to sing with all creation the glorious salvation of our God.
    • December 9, 2018 Sunday School Christmas Program “The Working Angel’s Guide to Christmas”
    • October 28, 2018 Special Music Performance by Singer/Songwriter Dan Holmes