For Proper 9 | OT 14
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Sermon helps for Proper 9 | OT 14
Water Won't Quench the Fire: Sermons For Sundays After Pentecost Anybody Listening?
Sermon helps by William G. Carter based on Mark 6:1-13 excerpted from Water Won't Quench the Fire: Sermons For Sundays After Pentecost (SermonStudio)
His name was George, and he sat in the back row of the sanctuary on the preacher's right. A permanent scowl was chiseled on his face. His posture announced to all that he was a man not easily pleased. Ushers tip-toed around him. Whenever his name came up in conversation around church hallways, someone would always ask, "Why does a grouch like that keep coming to worship?" here for the full sermon

Children's Sermon for Proper 9 | OT 14

A Time To Plant: 52 Children's SermonsSomething To Hang On To
Children's sermon based on 2 Corinthians 12:9a by Teresa L. Major excerpted from A Time To Plant: 52 Children's Sermons (SermonStudio).
Object: A pair of ski poles
Have you ever seen any of these? (Display poles.) Do you know what they are used for? (Children respond.) These are ski poles and people use them when they go skiing down the mountain. They go swoosh! swoosh! and use these poles to help them keep their balance and to point them in the direction they want to go. (Demonstrate by pretending you are skiing.)...
click here for the rest of the children's sermon

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The Immediate Word
Robin Lostetter

To Choose Weakness

How many times have we as preachers or teachers encountered the question “Are you willing to die for your faith?” And how many times has that question rung hollow for those of us living the good life in the United States of America? Teens in my confirmation classes, for example, have continued to play with poorly hidden smartphones and made eyerolls at their more sophisticated peers. The question might apply in some far-off land with an unpronounceable name, but not for Christians in Everytown, USA.
     But the shooting of nine innocents on June 17 at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, may change the context for that question. Amid questions of “to carry or not to carry” and newly raging gun regulation debates, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 becomes highly pertinent. Every time worshipers step into a church sanctuary, the tacit understanding is that one is entering a non-combative zone (except for theological debate) and “sanctuary” from outside attacks. June 17 -- though not the only incident of a violent attack inside a church building -- is the herald of a public change in that perception.
      How do we interpret this “new normal” for American Christians on the Fourth of July holiday weekend? In a country of rugged individualism, Second Amendment pride, and a rate of gun violence higher than most industrialized nations, it is counterintuitive to choose weakness. What meaning will it carry if we choose not to arm our pastors, elders, or ushers? If we choose not to use metal detectors or pat down those attending Bible study? If we choose weakness? The members of Mother Emanuel’s Bible study group showed Judeo-Christian hospitality to Dylann Roof and welcomed him into their discussion of sacred text. Their weakness nearly changed his will to violence. What can we learn from June 17 and its aftermath? Will we choose weakness and hospitality, or will we choose guns? Are we willing to die for our faith?...
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Who Wuda Thunk It?

In 1969 the New York Mets won the World Series, becoming the world champions of baseball. Riding the strong arms of Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, and "Terrific Tom" Seaver, the Mets beat the Baltimore Orioles. Many baseball experts considered the Baltimore Orioles to be the best team to come down the pike in years, but the Mets beat the Orioles in convincing fashion. Just a few years earlier, the New York Mets had set records for losing 120 games in a single year. They were called the "amazing Mets," because they found a new way to lose every day. They had been the epitome of futility, but in 1969 they won the World Series and earned the title the "Miracle Mets." The headline in Sports Illustrated quoted former Met manager Casey Stengel in his classic "Stengelese" when he said, "Who wuda thunk it?" "Who wuda thunk" that the New York Mets would be World Series champions?
     And who would have thunk that David, anointed king twelve years earlier, was finally king of Israel? The very same David who was anointed king as a young shepherd boy; the very same David who was the eighth son and not even the favorite son of an obscure Bethlehem farmer; the very same David in whose veins flowed no royal blood; the very same David who was taught under a Judean sky and not by a palace tutor; the very same David who as a boy stood before the towering giant, Goliath, risking life and limb; the very same David who narrowly escaped two attempts on his life by the very king he replaced; the very same David who for at least seven years was hunted like an animal with dogged persistence by powerful King Saul; the very same David who survived battles with the Geshurites, Grizzites, Amalekites, and the sophisticated and learned Philistines...
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Frank Ramirez

Victory in spite of

Each one of this week's scriptures can be viewed as victory as God's will is done, yet these stories are also paired with sadness, defeat, disability, and/or pain. As I like to put it, no one rides free.
     David fulfills his destiny from the time he was anointed king as a boy, but his friend Jonathan is dead, and a price has been paid. Paul rises to the third heaven and though he is reluctant to brag about it, his ecstatic experience is paired with an affliction which despite his prayers he is not healed from. Jesus commissions his disciples who cast out evil spirit and anointed many with healing, but his ministry to his hometown was a total failure....
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John Fitzgerald

The Shepherd King

2 Samuel 5:1-5,9-10

We come to Worship this morning with thoughts of America?s birth in our mind. This nation has maintained a noble experiment in liberty since it?s Declaration of Independence first unfurled on July 4, 1776. Over the years several representations of freedom have become popular with citizens of this fair country. The Statue of Liberty remains our most powerful symbol of freedom and liberty. It is appropriate to consider a famous poem mounted on the base of this iconic statue....
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The Village Shepherd

Janice Scott

Whenever I am weak, then I am strong

I recently heard a Christian testimony. In some respects it was a moving account of the ways in which Jesus had worked in the speaker's life and it seemed to reveal a deep faith, but as a listener I was left feeling a little inadequate and slightly resentful.
     One of the major problems with testimonies is that the listeners are often left feeling inadequate, for who can compare with the wonderful spiritual experiences which are described by the speakers?...
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CSSPlus (Children's Sermon Service...Plus

Cynthia Cowen

Telling About Jesus

Object: Your most favorite video
The Point: Tell others about what has brought great joy to your life.
The Lesson:  Girls and boys, it brings me joy to be able to share this time with you. Thank you for joining me. This is my most favorite video. (Briefly tell the video story and why it is special to you.)...
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Gospel Grams 1 (Ages 5-7)

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Gospel Grams 2 (Ages 8-10)

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