2016.05.11 19:16:19

 

The Inside Story

                   Order of Worship, Audio


Dear Friends,
 
This Sunday, we gather for Pentecost Sunday when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church after Easter. Acts 2:1-21 is nothing short of a party. The Spirit makes its grand entrance in a rushing wind while dancing flames do pirouettes on the shoulders of the disciples. It is a wonderful story which comes to us open-ended for the Spirit's mysterious presence continues with us today.
 
It really is going to be a party for us this week because this is Confirmation Sunday! Eight of our youth have completed a three-month course in United Methodist history, theology, bible study, worship and sacraments. In the midst of that, we have had fun learning and growing in faith together. Each student also presented a project and those will be shared on the patio this week. Join the party this Sunday as we celebrate the movement of God's Holy Spirit in the church and in the lives of these youth. Party attire: wear red!
 
The title for the sermon is "The Inside Story."

 

In Christ, 

 
Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 

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2016.05.05 15:01:34

Love the Face of Christ You See

                   Order of Worship, Audio

 

Dear Friends,
 
We are getting down to the heart of the matter with our texts this week. On this last Sunday of the Easter season, Jesus tells his disciples what is called in all four of the Gospels, "the Greatest Commandment" - Love one another. And on Sunday, which we know throughout the country as Mother's Day and throughout our denomination as the Festival of the Christian Home, we will look at how the love that Jesus taught his disciples is the same love we are called to nurture in and lavish on those in our families. The scriptures are John 13:31-35 and Psalm 97. The title of the sermon is "Love the Face of Christ You See."
 
See you Sunday and call your mother,
 
Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 



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2016.04.28 14:42:30

Going Up?

                   Order of Worship, Audio


 

Dear Friends,
 
This Sunday is an under-celebrated holy day called Ascension Sunday and it is the day that marks the end of the Easter season - the great 50 days during which time the risen Christ appears to strangers and friends alike, confirming the truth that God's love is alive forever more.  In Luke 24:44-53, the resurrected Jesus declares that the new world of forgiveness and repentance as the standard of living has been established.  It is now time for Jesus to ascend into heaven so that he sits at the right hand of God in glory. His last word is that, from this point on, the presence of the Holy Spirit will live and thrive in the midst of faithful people.  The second text, Acts 1:1-11 tells the same story with some interesting twists. Both texts emphasize the need for faithful and patient waiting on the part of the disciples.  The title for the sermon this week is "Going Up!"
 
As a congregation, we have been the recipients of several artistic gifts made by members and friends of our fellowship. In recent months, Mark Stengel has built a new liturgist pew that sits on the west side of the chancel. Both Chris Hildebrand and Joan Doucette have designed and crafted beautiful paraments which both announce and carry us through the Lenten and Easter liturgical seasons. And thirdly, Mike Sisson, a friend of our congregation and a master potter has made a full 19 piece set of pottery for baptism and communion use.
I am beside myself with pleasure over all of these gifts and I know you will share my gratitude when you experience them. So, this Sunday we will dedicate all these pieces in worship, giving thanks to God from whom all blessings flow!
 
Finally, I'll be hitting the sack early on Friday night so I'll be rested and ready to hike up Cowles Mountain on Saturday morning. Our Sherpa guide for this hike is Willy Holt and we will be leaving the church parking lot at 8:00 am. Feel free to join us.
 
If all goes well, I'll see you on Sunday,
 
Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 

 

 



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2016.04.20 18:40:02

The Power of Kindness

                   Order of WorshipAudio


Dear Friends,

 

The Book of Ruth is the story about a woman's life. It was written between 500 and 1000 B.C. Compared to other books in the Bible, it doesn't seem to be that much about God. When we think about the Old Testament, we think of the "big books" like Genesis that explain how God works in creation and on through Hebrew history. Or Isaiah and the prophets whose stories are filled with warnings about what God will rain down if the people don't get their acts together. It is not like the Psalms that are prayers about giving thanks or asking for help. There are some books in the Old Testament that are just stories - stories about how life unfolded for a particular people in a given time and how God was active and present in their lives. These special books also record people's faithfulness to God, regardless of the circumstances. The Book of Ruth is one of those books. This week, we will focus on the loving relationship between Ruth and Naomi in a sermon entitled, "The Power of Kindness." The scriptures are Psalm 146 and Ruth 1:1-18.

 

 

I look forward to seeing you Sunday.


Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 



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2016.04.14 14:38:01

            To Be the Cup Overflowing

                   Order of Worship, Audio


 

Dear Friends,

 

The 23rd Psalm is the star among the grouping of psalms called the "Psalms of Trust." From the very first line, the writer, who identifies himself as a sheep in the flock of a vigilant and compassionate shepherd, praises God for the abundant life that has been provided for him. His needs are graciously met. He is protected from danger and enjoys a good night's sleep. For such blessings, the psalmist finds his cup overflowing. On this Shepherd Sunday, we will look at the 23rd Psalm as an invitation to live gratefully and boldly, trusting in God's presence with us. The scripture for this week is Psalm 23 and Mark 6:34-44. The title is "To Be the Cup Overflowing."

 

In Christ,


Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 



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2016.04.06 17:01:11

            Feed My Sheep

                   Order of Worship,  Audio


 

Dear Friends,

 

Henri Nouwen wrote:


It is freeing to become aware that we do not

have to be victims of our past and can learn
new ways of responding. But there is a step
beyond this recognition...It is the step of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is love practiced among people who love poorly.
It sets us free without wanting anything in return.
 
Forgiveness is at the center of Easter proclamation. God has made a new way for us and beckons us to take the step to forgive and be forgiven. The scripture this week represents Jesus' last word on this matter. Before he ascended to heaven, he made sure that the one person who still shouldered the burden of estrangement was forgiven, and that was Peter. The scripture is John 21:9-19 and the title of the sermon is "Feed my Sheep."
 
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday,

Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 



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2016.03.24 23:02:16

            When In Doubt

                   Order of Worship, Audio


 

Dear Friends,


Easter has happened.  Jesus lives.  A new kind of life is offered to us.  The message is not just that death is defeated, death was part of the process that leads to a life that is larger and different not just in quantity, but in quality, and not just later, but now. 

 

One of two stories is usually the focus of the Sunday after Easter.  The first is the story in Luke 24 of Jesus revealing himself to two disciples as they journey rather forlornly home to Emmaus after the crucifixion.  As they walk they are joined by one they fail to recognize until they see him "in the breaking of bread."

 

The other story, from John Chapter 20, is the one we will examine.  It is the very familiar story of "Doubting Thomas."  That adjective, "doubting," is how we have learned to see him, but may not be all that negative.  Thomas has been a disciple all along and has been with Jesus from the start.  "How can he doubt?" is our usual and all too quick judgment of him.  

 

Many of us have been in church our entire lives and yet I doubt (pardon the pun) that many of us have never had moments that caused us to doubt, question or wonder about things that have been given to us to believe.  Things that we have always just "accepted" as truth because they came from people we trusted: parents, pastors, Sunday school teachers.  Truly, have we never prayed for a clear and definite understanding; prayed to be in a place where we didn't have to "believe" because we have had clear and convincing experience and now we "know."

  

Frankly, it is my doubts about the absoluteness "of things unseen" that have been the motivation to keep seeking.  What I have found is that certainty is not what I need; what I need is a God who goes with me on my quest.  A God who listens to the quest..tions of my heart and shows on me the path from His own wounds to healing and wholeness.   Our doubts are real and not a sign of faithlessness.  Thomas is an example for and to us I think.  So this Sunday let's look at what his encounter with the Risen Christ might offer us. 


Pastor Greg

Rev. Greg LaDue 


"Jesus' willingness to accommodate Thomas' unbelief is a reminder that God can handle our doubt. And that the rationalist doesn't need to see, touch, or run a lab test in order to believe in the resurrected Christ. Jesus told him, "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me" (Jn 20:29) This is not a plea to accept what goes against reason, but it is an invitation to discover a faith that goes beyond it. The example of Thomas is for the stubborn skeptic in us all."  

                                                                      - David D. Flowers 



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2016.03.23 21:02:38


Easter Family Service: Saturday, March 26th, 5:00 pm

Order of Worship


Easter Sunday Services: Saturday, March 26th, 8:30 and 10:00 am

Easter In Us

Order of Worship, Audio


Dear Friends,

 
There is a story about a minister who greeted a man who was an annual Easter service attendee. The minister spoke to the man after the service and he replied, "Maybe I'd come more often if you'd preach about something different." The truth of the matter is, as people of faith, every Sunday should be a proclamation in word, prayer, music and witness of the good news of Easter.
 
The "Hosannas" from Palm Sunday, the taste of the bread and wine from the Last Supper and the dying words of Christ on the cross will be eclipsed by the shouts of "Alleluia" on Easter morning. This Sunday, we celebrate that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. The vestiges of death and darkness in our world cannot overcome the ultimate hope in and relationship with the living Christ.
 
Our scripture for Easter Sunday morning is John 20:1-18 and the title of the sermon is "Easter in Us." Kim Ports will lead the wonderful Family Service on Saturday at 5:00 pm.
 
As a gesture of hospitality to those who come on Easter to hear the "same ol' thing," I encourage those who are able to park on the unpaved lot across the street.
 
See you Sunday,  
 

 

Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 

 

 



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2016.03.23 20:59:23

                   Order of Worship


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2016.03.17 16:43:03

            The Chorus of Stones

                   Order of Worship


Dear Friends,

 

Our Lenten journey has brought us now to the outskirts of Jerusalem. As we gather to hear the Palm Sunday story, I invite you to bring a coat to donate to Father Joe's Village. Before the service, lay your coat down in the center aisle or chancel area, symbolically joining the crowd that honors Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. Ushers will be available to assist you in this effort. The text for this Sunday is Luke 19:28-40 and the title of the sermon is "The Chorus of Stones." After the second service, the congregation is invited to the All-Church Luncheon and Egg Hunt in the Fellowship Hall.

 

Palm Sunday begins our Holy Week observances. In faithfulness and praise, I hope you will participate in all of the services that are offered next week.

 

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday,  

 

Martha

Rev. Martha Wingfield


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2016.03.10 17:10:00

            Aroma Therapy

                   Order of Worship


Dear Friends,
 
There are not many gospel stories that are recorded in all four of the gospels. The story of the anointing woman is one of the few. This week, our text is John's account, John 12:1-8.  In this lovely passage, Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anoints Jesus' feet in an act of extravagant love that anticipates his passion and death that occurs six days later. The other stories of the anointing woman occur in Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50. In preparation for our experience of the John text on Sunday, I invite you to compare it with the others and become familiar with the particularities of each. The title of the sermon is "Aroma Therapy."
 
As we gather for worship this Sunday, we look forward to welcoming new members at the 10:00 am service. Don't forget to Spring Forward and bring your change for Change Sunday in support of New Entra Casa ministries.
 

 

See you Sunday,
 
Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 



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2016.03.02 23:42:06

            No Turning Back

                   Order of Worship, Audio

 

Dear Friends,
 

In his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, Richard Foster describes what is called the "Prayer of Tears."  "Tears are a sign - not an infallible sign, to be sure, but a sign nevertheless - that God has touched [our] center. Through the Prayer of Tears, we give God permission to show us our sinfulness and the sinfulness of the world at the emotional level.  As best I can discern, tears are God's way of helping us descend with the mind into the heart and there bow in perpetual adoration and worship."

 

The gospel reading this week (Luke 13:31-35) records Jesus in full lament over the sinfulness of Jerusalem. God's prophecy, delivered through prophets of old, declared that God was going to do a new thing - that the Kingdom of God was at hand. The people were to repent of their faithlessness and turn to God.  Jesus knew that God desired nothing more than to gather all of God's children into the embrace of love.  But the people remained unmoved - tied to the practices of the Temple.

 

This passage marks a pivotal moment in Jesus' journey - both inward and outward - to the cross.  In his travels, he is moving ever closer to Jerusalem, the city where great prophets of old had been reviled and killed.  It is also an inward journey as he accepts that his faithfulness to God will ultimately lead to his own suffering.  Getting ready to enter into the great city of Jerusalem, Jesus knows that his work there will be rejected by the very people whom he loved and for whom he was going to give up his own life.  And so, looking out over the city of his people, he prays a prayer of tears and prepares to enter Jerusalem.  As we gather for communion this week, the sermon is titled, "No Turning Back."

 

As we continue on our congregational journey through Lent, I want to let you know about an upcoming sharing opportunity taking place on Palm Sunday. The Palm Sunday text from Luke records the people on the outskirts of Jerusalem laying their coats down in the road in honor of Jesus - a sort of red carpet treatment by those with scarce means.  The crowd that day gave all that they had as an expression of their excited hope in Jesus' arrival.  I invite you to bring a clean, gently used or new coat to lay down in the aisle and the chancel area on March 20th as we too honor the start of Holy Week and Jesus' teaching about how our sharing hastens the coming of the Kingdom of God. Working with an organization called "One Warm Coat," we will donate all the coats to San Diego charities. More information on that later.   Thank you to Lisa Harris for coordinating this effort.  If you would like to help on Palm Sunday, you can reach Lisa by EMAIL.
 
See you Sunday,
 
Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 



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2016.02.23 19:57:39

       What Are You Doing?

                Order of Worship,  Audio

 

Dear Friends,
 
This week we welcome my father, Rev. Mark Trotter, as our preacher in worship at both services. It is always a blessing for us to experience Rev. Trotter's witty, humorous and grace-filled sermons. The text for this week is Luke 13:1-9 and the title of his sermon is "What Are You Doing?" I can't wait to find out!

 

See you Sunday,


Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 

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2016.02.18 16:05:54

         Family Reunion

                Order of WorshipAudio

 

Dear Friends,
 
This week our scripture is one of the most familiar stories in the New Testament - the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32.) Its familiarity, however, does not lessen its power.
 
Suzanne Guthrie writes "I can't hear this story too many times. I am the son returning again and again. I am the father scanning the horizon watching for the impossible and then embracing it in my arms. I am the revelers in the far-away town, I am the servants in the father's household, and I am the older brother in tears of rage, uncomprehending and exasperated." As you reread this parable this time around, open yourself to the many perspectives on grace that fill this story. The title for the sermon this week is The Family Reunion.

 

See you Sunday,


Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 



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2016.02.10 22:50:54

          What Does It Mean to Be Me?

                Order of WorshipAudio


 

Celebration is a paradoxical thing.

It lives within the tension between anticipation and fulfillment,

longing and consummation,

the ordinary and the special,

work and play.

Seasons of play are sweeter when they follow seasons of work,

seasons of consummation are heightened by seasons of longing,

seasons of intimacy grow out of seasons of solitude.

Presence depends upon absence,

intimacy upon solitude,

play upon work.

In liturgical terms, we fast before we feast.

~ Ronald Rolheiser, OMI


So it is that we enter the season of Lent, a 40-day period of intentional preparation for Easter. "Intentional" and "preparation" are the key words here. It is a time to take stock of ourselves, to slow down, to look at the habits that keep us from being open to new life in our relationship to God and to others. It may mean being hungry or lonely or still or focused - whatever is required to take down and keep down the protections that prevent us from facing our brokenness and need.


In the Bible, the destination of greatest vulnerability is the desert or wilderness and it is there that Jesus voluntarily travels to prepare himself for ministry. In Luke 4:1-13, it says "he ate nothing during those days and when they were over, he was famished." At that point, in the presence of the devil, he faced his temptations. We will look at the story together and begin ourselves the important journey toward Easter. The sermon is entitled, "What Does it Mean to Be Me?"


Our sanctuary is graced with new paraments designed and made by Joan Doucette. We express our appreciation to her for providing such meaningful focal points for worship and vespers during Lent.


Finally, I want to thank the Fixer-Uppers, the UMW, the UMYF, Maria Banuelos from the preschool, Renata Freeland and Kim Ports for all the work they did to make our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast a wonderful evening. The pancakes were the best in town and the fellowship second to none.  Thank you, everyone!


In Christ,

Martha

Rev. Martha Wingfield


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2016.02.10 18:58:17

Order of Worship 


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2016.02.04 18:40:04

 

          Mystery Mountain

                Order of WorshipAudio

Dear Friends,


The start of Epiphany began with the star leading the wise men to meet the long awaited Messiah. Their encounter with this baby transformed their lives and brought into focus their priorities symbolized by their choice to "go home by another way." On this last Sunday of the Epiphany season, the light of a single star contrasts with great heavenly light that surrounds Jesus during his Transfiguration. Of all the revelatory stories about Jesus' identity, the Transfiguration story is the glorious climax when God identifies Jesus with the same title as was affirmed at his baptism. This time, however, God directs the disciples (and therefore all of us) "to listen to him!" (Luke 9:28-36.) The title of the sermon is "Mystery Mountain."

 

Please note Gary Lynn's important stewardship announcement below. As icing on the cake, I am so pleased to announce that, as of last week, we have surpassed our $12,000 Imagine No Malaria goal. Giving to this denominational initiative involved so many people through different events and opportunities in the past two years, including those who donated in honor of Rev. Sue Farley in June of 2014, our Christmas giving to others in 2014, Vacation Bible School in 2015, special offerings, Giving Tuesday incentives and finally, three of our members, Vance Mills, Stan Schroeder and Ed Hill were ¾ of a foursome in last week's South District Imagine No Malaria Golf Tournament. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


In Christ,

Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 
 

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2016.01.27 18:56:52

          Breathing Together

                Order of WorshipAudio

 

Dear Friends,

I have a good deal of respect for people who find themselves in the position to "church shop." As I meet visitors at church, some of them have the courage to tell me honestly that they are here "just looking." It is an important search. I suppose, sometimes, it might be one of those journeys where you don't know what you are looking for until you have found it. Personally, I have never been in the position to shop around for a church. As a minister, I am more like the catalog shopper who buys sight unseen. (I suppose you could argue that you are in the same position with the ministers who come your way!) But, I have wonderful and abiding expectations of what I will find at a church. Though the setting may be different and the names and faces are at first unfamiliar, what I seek and long for is a sense of community and a practice of Christian hospitality that is palpable and contagious.

 

One of the Apostle Paul's most palatable and lovely lectures to the early church on how to really "be the church" comes from his first letter to the Corinthians 13:1-13. We most often hear this read around Valentine's Day or at weddings. It works for those occasions but the gist of it is not romantic at all. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" is talking about what it means to be a church. It is the prescription for how we build and maintain community with one another and welcome those who are "shopping."

 

See you Sunday,


Martha

Rev. Martha Wingfield 

 

 



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2016.01.20 23:18:09

          Sleeping with Bread

                Order of Worship,  Audio

 

Dear Friends,

 

The Gospel of John does not record an account of communion at the Last Supper, but Jesus gets his final words in with the disciples in a lengthy conversation referred to in biblical studies as the Farewell Discourse (John 14 -17:26). For John, these are the famous last words. Our text for Sunday will be a small section of this discourse found in 14:15-21. These words include a commission and a promise. The disciples are called to go forth and be witnesses to the love of God in Christ, and they are promised that they will not go it alone. They will be empowered and emboldened by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The title of the sermon is "Sleeping with Bread."


Our Stop Hunger Now project last Saturday was a tremendous event. All of the participants contributed to our packaging 22,000 meals in 117 minutes! (We finished with 3 minutes to spare!) Special thanks go to Susanne Brookens and her team for their leadership and coordination of this mission outreach event.


In Christ,


Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 



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2016.01.14 16:06:34

          Forgetting Ourselves On Purpose

                Order of WorshipAudio


Dear Friends,

 

Thomas Merton, the contemplative priest wrote, "If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for."


This statement about identity suggests that we are so much more than what society deems as successful and worthy. Our wholeness comes in fulfilling our calling or our vocation to be fruitful, faithful and purposeful people, living for others in Christ's name. This is not news to us in the church. This is part of our job description as people of faith. In our fellowship in the church, we joyfully experience that God has gifted each of us with care and singularity. Those gifts are what we offer in service to others. This week, we will explore the gift of vocation, guided by Paul's letter to the Romans 12:3-13. The title of the sermon is "Forgetting Ourselves on Purpose."

 
One hundred of us will attend worship on Sunday, revitalized and probably a little weary from our Stop Hunger Now experience on Saturday in the Fellowship Hall. Thanks to your generosity, we raised close to $5000 surpassing our congregation's goal. The remainder of the cost was included in our 2016 budget. On top of that, we have a waiting list for participation in Saturday's event. What a joy to start the year with this opportunity to provide and package 22,000 meals for school children in underdeveloped countries.
 

On Sunday, the United Methodist Women will be providing worship leadership and we will recognize their officers during the service. The choir will be singing and the bells will be ringing. I look forward to seeing you there.


In Christ,

 

 

Martha
Rev. Martha Wingfield 

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