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The Immediate Word
Dean Feldmeyer

On the Other Hand

1 Kings 18:20-21 (22-29) 30-39; Galatians 1:1-12; Luke 7:1-10

“How long will you go limping with two different opinions?” Elijah asks the People of God. If YHWH is God, follow YHWH. If Baal is God, follow Baal. For crying out loud, just decide.
     But the Israelites “did not answer him a word.”
     Last week, the United Methodists weren’t so reticent. They did answer Elijah’s burning question “How long will you go limping with two different opinions?”
     Answer: Oh, about four years.
     At the General Conference meeting from May 10 to May 20, 865 elected delegates from United Methodist conferences around the world were given the authority to make decisions on behalf of the whole church. But faced with the question of whether or not to allow LGBTQ people full inclusion in the life of the church and risk a schism in the denomination, they decided not to decide. To use a painfully mixed metaphor, they both passed the buck and kicked the can another four years down the road.
     They instructed the College of Bishops to appoint yet another study committee to study all of the language in the Book of Discipline that has to do with human sexuality and to make suggestions about what to do with it by 2018. Then the bishops will study those suggestions for two years and bring their own suggestions to the next General Conference in 2020.
     Faced with heavy consequences whatever course they decided on, the delegates became like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, whose inner dialogue bounces almost endlessly between observations “on the other hand.” Afraid to act, the delegates to the General Conference left the denomination to flounder for four years while they examine what’s “on the other hand.”...
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SermonStudio

The Dream

It was an October Monday morning. Nothing much happened on Monday mornings, especially during the harvest time. The pastor sat in his office wondering how the sermon reviews were going down at the coffee shop. He would give them another hour, and then stop in for his coffee and wheat toast. He would get the summary of the reviews from Maryanne, the waitress.
      The door was open, so there was no knock. The man just kind of appeared, leaning against the sill and looking pretty uncomfortable. The pastor recognized the guy as being from town, knew a little bit about his family and where they lived, but didn't actually know his name. He did know that the guy had never been in the church here, and that was probably why he looked so uncomfortable.
      The pastor said, "Hello," and the visitor asked if he could talk for a minute. His hands were shaking, and his voice was quivering. This was not a simple case of the nerves. As he sat down, he explained, "You're probably going to think that I'm crazy, and maybe I am. But I just don't know who else to go to about this."
      He was asking permission to talk about something, and the pastor gave it. I'll try to retell the story exactly as the visitor told it.
      He began by saying that his name was Fred, and he talked a little more about his family and what they all did. In fact, he talked quite a bit about those things, the whole time sounding like he really wanted to talk about something else. The pastor tried to help him along a bit by asking, "So, what can I do for you this morning?"...
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David Coffin

Response to the call

All three of this week’s texts address how a person of faith responds to a calling God has given him or her. For example, a young person believes he or she is talented in the performing arts. His or her friends and family warn that they will not be able to earn a living unless they achieve “rock star” status. There is even more stiff opposition to this idea by the parents. Is the investment in money and time worth it if he or she ends up waiting tables or working in a factory? Another person feels called to an occupation where the credentialing is constantly being upgraded to higher levels of education. Is there a way of fulfilling their calling without the official credentials of the normative occupation? Another person hates their job and feels gifted to become a landscaper....
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StoryShare

Frank Ramirez

Too Good To Be True

Galatians 1:1-12

Wouldn’t it be nice to discover something important that no one else had and everyone wanted? Like an unknown photo of Abraham Lincoln, or a discarded scene from a famous movie like The Wizard of Oz, or, who knows, maybe a lost play by William Shakespeare? It’s not easy to find something that everyone’s looking for and probably doesn’t exist. Take Shakespeare. There is probably more known about the life of William Shakespeare than is known about any other ordinary person from the Elizabethan era. That’s because people are constantly searching for new information about him. And there have been recent discoveries...
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The Village Shepherd

Janice Scott

The Spirit of Wisdom

I'm not what you might describe as an inveterate traveller, but whenever I've visited other countries I have always been struck by the similarity in the children. No matter whether the children come from rich families or poor families, from a hot climate or a cold climate...
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CSSPlus (Children's Sermon Service...Plus

Cynthia Cowen

Key to Eternal Life

Object: keys to your car, house, church
The Point: Jesus is the key to eternal life so put your faith in him

The Lesson: Good morning, boys and girls. Thank you for joining me as we share God’s word together. I brought with me some keys....
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Gospel Grams 1 (Ages 5-7)

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Gospel Grams 2 (Ages 8-10)

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