THIS SUNDAY: Exodus 17:10-12 Psalm 107:1-16 Colossians 1:9-14 Mark 9:14-32 SERMON Mthr. Cinnamon Blomquist Devotional Life and the Book of Common Prayer Tim Sherratt One of my earliest memories of daily devotions features a classroom full of nine-year-olds at the end of an early 1960s English school day, fidgeting with the books we are supposed to be reading, giving sidelong glances at the clock on the end wall. Finally, the minute hand reaches twelve. “Clear desks! Chairs on desks!” And with much scraping and banging, we lift our chairs and set them on top of the desks—to make the cleaners’ tasks easier. Then, peering through the forest of chair legs, we announce in unison, Lighten-our-darkness-we-beseech-thee, O Lord, And-by-thy-great-mercy-defend-us From-all-perils-and-dangers-of-this-night For-the-love-of-thy-only-son-our-savior Jesus-Christ-AMEN! This daily liturgy was as formative, I believe, as it remains unforgettable. At the very least it helped my nine-year-old mind take God for granted, as real as the chair legs and the smell from the enamel stove that heated our classroom, and the sense of orderly security it helped affirm—though I’m sure I had only the haziest idea what “beseech” meant! When Fr. Adam asked if I would write on the [...]
What is BLESS? It's an ordinary-life approach to prayer and evangelism. It’s less about downloading information or memorizing scripts, and more about loving our neighbors well. It will be our focus for the next 10 weeks in the Sermons and in Cross Training. BLESS helps us get “unstuck” and practice evangelism more effortlessly. Using five simple missional practices, BLESS is an intentional pathway any Christian can walk alongside Jesus to make more disciples who follow Jesus, become like Jesus, and engage in the mission of Jesus every day. Developed by the Evangelical Covenant Church, this approach has been widely shared and practiced. We're so grateful for the resources they've made available! We'll be adapting and trying them out in our context here in Amesbury. Check out the video below, and explore some of the resources for yourself here. BLESS from CovChurch.tv on Vimeo.
THIS SUNDAY: READINGS II Kings 6:15-17 Ps 33: 6-12 Acts 16:6-10 Luke 11:1-13 SERMON Fr. Nathan Baxter Laboratories of Relationship By John Haile My wife Sue and I first got to know a handsomely mustachioed Jim Zingarelli and his wife Kathy at Collinsville Congregational Church in Collinsville, Connecticut way back in late 1984 or 1985—I can’t recall exactly. He and I were both the enthusiastic, idealistic teachers we remain today—teaching art at The Master’s School in Simsbury and English at Avon Old Farms, respectively. We were two couples embarking on the adventure of parenthood, with young children in tow or in the works. As we got to know one another, we both decided to join the same Small Group, and we met weekly with three other couples under the leadership of Ralph Mattson to share our lives and study the Bible together. Though the group changed and eventually broke up several years later as we all moved in different directions, the relationships forged in that group remain vibrant to this day. The bonds formed in the cauldron of laughter, joy, questioning and honest love have proven strong and durable, built around a [...]
THIS SUNDAY: LECTIONARY Judges 6:11-24; Ps 146 James 1:1-8; Mark 8:1-13 SERMON "From Resigned to Dedicated--God's Call to Gideon...and Us" --Fr. Nathan Baxter This coming Sunday (9/9) we'll begin our new Sunday Morning Schedule: 9:30 Worship Service (in Sanctuary) 11:00 Fellowship and Hospitality, (in Lower Church) 11:15 Teaching and Training Together, (in Lower Church) 12:00 Sent out (into the rest of the week) While our worship starts at 9:30am, I'd encourage you to come earlier to join in prayer for our life-together. At 8:15, every Sunday in the Lower Church, we'll be gathering to pray, offering thanks and interceding: for the many people who serve and volunteer on Sundays and throughout the week for the everything that will unfold in worship, fellowship, and training for individual and corporate "ears to hear" what God is saying to us, and united hearts to respond in trusting obedience for people God has placed around us at work, in school, in neighborhoods, in networks who may be more open to God than we might realize for courage and joy and fruitfulness as, throughout the Fall, we learn and practice ordinary ways of sharing Christ through the BLESS model—Begin [...]
THIS SUNDAY: READINGS Deuteronomy 4:1-9 Psalm 15 Ephesians 6:10-20 Mark 6:42-46 SERMON Fr. Nathan Baxter B. L. E. S. S. Rachel Danley “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. —John 4:34-36 Who has God placed in your life that he is inviting you to open your eyes to this year? When I was in college, God literally dropped someone into my life. Dhu, a new student from Vietnam, came to my table in the dining hall and asked, "Can I sit here?" We grew a friendship, but I was slow to see the opportunity in front of me. At work one day months later, I felt God saying he wanted me to invite her home for Thanksgiving. I was hesitant because I wanted rest after a [...]
THIS SUNDAY: READINGS 1 Kings 17:1-24 Psalm 145 Romans 12:9-21 Luke 10:1-9 SERMON Fr. Nathan Baxter Jesus said “As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” (Luke 6:46-49 NIV) I want to tell you a story that has a point. I hope the story is worth your time, because I know that the point I hope to make is definitely worth your time. One of my first paying jobs was mowing lawns. I had learned how to mow the lawn by watching my dad and learning from him. I bought my first lawnmower for about $80 and went around our neighborhood drumming up business. I made some decent money for a high schooler, and did some decent work. But I’m not much of a salesman, and my client base was pretty small. So I decided to go to work for a [...]