The kids are going back to school. Summer vacations have come to an end. Everyone is beginning to turn their attention to new starts, new projects, and new opportunities. Here at St. Andrew, with the start of a new program year, we kick-off with a new worship theme: Chosen & Called.
For the next six weeks we will discover together how God has chosen each of us (and ALL of us together as the church) to a purpose and mission. We are indeed called to something special here in Toms River: to share faith, hope, and love. What is it? Where do we start? How will we do it? Who will we meet along the way? These are questions we will explore on this journey of faith. Here's an outline of what we have planned.
In this six week worship theme we explore each chapter of Paul's letter to the Ephesians looking for insight into the nature, identity, mission, and purpose of church. The letter is not believed to be intended solely and specifically for the church at Ephesus, but rather a circuit letter meant for all churches... even ours today! Each week we will discover part of God's specific will and plan for our church St. Andrew UMC in this season of ministry. At the conclusion we should be able to chart a clear course forward in mission and ministry!
9/10/2017: Jesus is Lord: Ephesians 1:18-23
When we were saved our lives became free from slavery to sin. With that freedom we live our lives for Christ. It's not our church that we point in the direction of Jesus. It's JESUS' church that we point in the direction he chooses for it
9/17/2017: From Death to Life: Ephesians 2:1-10
The grace of God saves! All of us, no matter how different we are, got our start in Christ. We are nothing together if we are not a people that support and encourage all to start, restart, and continue in their faith journey. A big part of church is being the community where everyone has a chance to make a new start in life.
9/242017: To the World: Ephesians 3:2; 6-12
God doesn't just call us to be the church for our own sake. We are not an 'insiders-only' club, but are called to proclaim the love and grace of God in Jesus to all 'outsiders' who are not-yet-Christian.
10/12017: Equipped to Serve: Ephesians 4:11-16
The marks of a mature church is the diversity of gifts, callings, members who are unified into one body (Christ's Body) and equipped to serve and growing in maturity, unity, and love in that service. Christian living may begin with personal disciplines but culminates in interpersonal disciplines
10/8/2017: Beware Our Lesser Selves: Ephesians 5:5-11
Checking our motivations is healthy for spiritual growth and maturity. A church cannot thrive unless it's people are full of the light of Christ not dwelling in their darkness
10/15/2017: Standing Orders: Ephesians 6:10-17
The Christian life is not easy or without daily challenge. That's what we sign up for when we put our faith, hope, and life in Christ. In the struggle between good and evil we have to know where we stand, what we stand for, and what we stand against. Only then can we advance, extend, and expand the Good News and God's Kingdom in word and deed.