Readings and Notes for the Homecoming Message at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist church

Call To Worship

Leader: Bless the LORD, O my soul!
                           And all that is within me, bless God’s holy name!

People: The steadfast love of the Lord
                  is from everlasting to everlasting upon the faithful,
                  the righteousness of the Lord to children’s children,
                  to those who keep his covenant
                  and remember to do his commandments.
All: Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
                                      Let your glory over all the earth be found.

 

NIV Micah 6:6 With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

NIV 1 Corinthians 3:1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly– mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men? 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe– as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.

NIV Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

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Life is like a mountain railroad

With an engineer so brave

We must make this run successful

From the cradle to the grave

Watch the curves, the fills the tunnels

Never falter, never fail

Keep your hand upon the throttle

And your eye upon the rail

 

Oh, blessed Savior, thou wilt guide us

Til we reach that blissful shore

Where the angels wait to join us

In God’s grace forever more

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Today we gather together to celebrate our journey and our rich history. Today we gather together to celebrate 170 years of history. Our community set aside today, to look back on our journey so far, to take stock of where we are now and  to dream about the future.  Today is about our hopes and dreams.

 

Welcome to our visitors, welcome to the friends we have not seen for a while. Welcome to all the members who faithfully gather to worship God in this community and within the walls of this building.

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Every journey has milestones to celebrate, sights to see, memories to reminisce about, and, unfortunately, loses to grieve.

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As we look at the images and reflect on stories from the past we learn the history of our church, and we come to appreciate the dedication, perseverance and faith of those who came before us. Some of our ancestors planted seeds of faith, some watered the soil and nurtured seedlings, but it was God who made this church grow because of their faithfulness and dedication.

 

It is our turn now to plant seeds, to water them and provide an environment where God can make our church continue to thrive.

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Prophet Micah said it best when he said,

Micah 6:8 (The Message): But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women.

It’s quite simple:

Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,

be compassionate and loyal in your love,

And don’t take yourself too seriously—

   take God seriously.

When we do that our neighbors have a chance to see our witness and to hear our stories, to see the fruits of our relationship with God and hopefully recognize the joy of knowing God. That is how churches give their testimony and give hope to those around them. That is how churches serve God by serving the world around them and making disciples for Jesus Christ.

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In the letter that our Bishop Peggy Johnson sent to our church congratulating our community on reaching 170 years of history, she echoed Micah’s sentiment when she wrote:

I am confident that you will each rededicate yourselves to be a faithful presence in the future as you continue to witness and serve God and God’s children both around the corner and around the world, across the street and across the seas.

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Every generation of Christians builds on the accomplishments of the previous generation. With every new generation, our community looks like the sapling of a tree that sprouted from seeds planted and nurtured by the previous generation. My hope and prayer is that OUR SAPLING, will grow into a mighty tree, that will serve the community of Vinegar Hill for years to come.

 

On a day like today, there does not need to be much of a sermon. Our story becomes the sermon; the way we live, the way we understand the presence of the Holy Spirit in our community becomes the sermon.

 

My hope and prayer is that our message is like beautiful music in the ears of our God and like a pleasant aroma in his temple.

 

Soli Deo Gloria — To God be the glory!

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