Posted on November 29, 2016 by Becca Girrell
The seasons of Advent and Christmas are filled with tradition—the traditions of ancient peoples, the traditions of the Christian church, the traditions of our own families. In our worship and life together this season, we will dig deeply into those traditions, and explore the life and love they carry. How did the Hebrew people preserve and teach their traditions throughout a long history of yearning for God, of drawing close and falling away? How was Jesus the fulfillment of the traditions of his people, and what does it mean when traditions are born into something completely new?
And then there are the traditions that we learn, or make, or keep. Maybe your family has a special practice or an honored prayer. Maybe you decorate with particular ornaments or sing specific songs. Maybe there’s a family recipe, a treasured heirloom, a part of the holiday or the celebration or the worship service that is everything Christmas to you. How do these traditions carry the weight and the importance of all our rich history? How are they little fulfillments of God’s promise and presence in the birth of Christ?
This season, let us explore together the gifts of our traditions, and let us look for the ways in which God is bringing something new to life in the midst of the old, old story. Let us be shaped by the stories we learn and teach, and by how they are made new again. Are we ready to see a tradition be re-born among us? How does the ancient truth find new life each generation through the passing down and the celebration of Tradition?
Sermons in this series:
November 27 – Reclaiming Tradition
December 4 – The Only Constant
December 11 – Sacred Foundations
(December 18 will be the children’s pageant)
December 24 – Old Truth, Newly Born
January 1 – Start a New Tradition
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Posted on September 6, 2016 by Becca Girrell
Life is full of rhythm and motion, the energy that moves in and around and through us. But of course, we don’t all dance to the beat of the same drummer, and the way energy moves through us differs from person to person. Is it possible that the way we move and where we feel at rest inform our worship and even our understanding of God?
Josephine Rathbone, Valerie Hunt, Sally Fitt and Betsy Wetzig were kinesiologists (those who study the mechanics of body movement), and through their research of muscular and brain activity, they analyzed different classifications of movement, noticing basic patterns and preferences. Worship design teacher Dr. Marcia McFee built on this research and applied it to how people worship, identifying four main ways energy—or the Spirit—move through our lives and our bodies. She suggests that the way we move and respond to different styles and aspects of worship not only informs our appreciation of that worship, but also forms, reinforces, or challenges our conceptions of God.
Our worship series this month will focus on the ways the Spirit moves in us. Are you most at home in relationship with others or in quiet contemplation? Is your faith affirmed by the tradition and ritual of the church, or by the call to go and do? Let’s explore together, as the Spirit moves us!
Sermons in this Series:
September 11 – Gather Each One (the energy of Swing)
September 18 – Go and Do Likewise (the energy of Thrust)
September 25 – A Song in Every Silence (the energy of Hang)
October 2 – For the World and Forever (the energy of Shape)
Of course, a sermon will only convey part of the full worship exploration, especially in this case! If you are able, please join us for worship at Lebanon UMC, 18 School Street, Lebanon NH, 10:30 a.m. each Sunday.
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Posted on February 16, 2016 by Becca Girrell
Lent is a time when we prepare ourselves for Easter, for the tremendous revelation of God pouring out God’s own self for all the world.
Such revelation is too much to take in sometimes! Instead, we will try to experience it through the imagined words and stories of the people who surrounded Jesus in his last week: a friend who anoints him, two disciples (Peter and Judas), a soldier who witnesses his execution, and his mother, Mary. As each sees an element—oil, water, wine, blood, tears—poured out, we all wait with hope for love and light and life to be poured out on Easter. Then, we will bear witness with seekers at the tomb of Jesus, including Mary Magdalene.
Here are the sermons in this worship series:
“Poured Out” (Sand- intro to the theme) 2/14
“Glimpses of Mortality” (Oil) 2/21
“Are You (really) Going to Wash My Feet?” (Water) 2/28
“A Bitter Cup” (Wine) 3/6
“Redeeming Blood” (Blood) 3/13
“A Time for Tears” (Tears- Palm/Passion Sunday) 3/20
“Seekers at the Tomb: Mary Magdalene” (Light- Easter) 3/27
Journey with us for worship this sacred season!
“Poured Out” monologues for Lent by Dr. Marcia McFee, (www.marciamcfee.com) used with permission. “Seekers at the Tomb” Easter monologues by Pastor Becca.
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Posted on February 2, 2016 by Becca Girrell
(January 31, 2016) What does it mean to define ourselves around the love of Jesus? Can we be formed into a new community, and a new family in Christ? (Luke 8:16-21)
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Posted on January 26, 2016 by Becca Girrell
(January 24, 2106) One part of our baptismal and membership vow as members of the Methodist Church is to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. So, that could be quite a lot, really… (Luke 4:14-21)
What’s your life verse?
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Posted on January 14, 2016 by Becca Girrell
Our theme in our worship and community life as we start 2016 is “Who Are You?”
The beginning of a new calendar year is a time when we often reassess direction and ask questions yet again about who we are and where we are going in life. This New Year we are taking a deep journey into the question, “Who Are You?” not only in our worship services, but in our spiritual practices and in our work as a congregation to discover where God is calling us as a church. We will discover that “who we are” is indelibly linked to “Whose we are.” What amazing things could happen if you lived into your best, most passionate, loving self? What if we lived into our best, most passionate, most loving beloved community?
Sermons in this series: Follow Your Star (1/03), Reflect Your Belovedness (1/10), Find the Meeting Places (1/17), Resist Injustice [“Whatever Forms”] (1/24), Live by Love (1/31), and Go Beyond (2/7)
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Posted on December 17, 2015 by Becca Girrell
(December 13, 2015) Mary and Elizabeth, two people who each failed at their one job (to provide their husbands with sons, of course), are perhaps in the best position to grasp and proclaim exactly how powerful God’s transformation is, and how much hope turns things upside-down, if we dare to hold on to it. (Luke 1:39-56)
Our advent theme is “It Takes a Village,” as we look at the people surrounding Jesus.
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