Bradenton-Sarasota Community of Christ
Online Service – January 23, 2022
A Call to Ministry
Welcome – “Be Thou My Vision” by Nathan Pacheco
Prayer for Peace
Dear God of All Nations,
Our eyes are closed—we do not see the sadness around us.
Our ears are shut—we are not aware of the cries of people in pain.
Our hands are still—we do not offer to carry, to hold, to hug.
Our hearts are cold—we worry we cannot make a difference.
And we want to change. We are your children and long to be compassionate.
Transform us, Lord.
So our eyes are open and we recognize the needs of our neighbor.
So our ears are ready and can listen to all your children.
So our hands will be busy and we will find a work that must begin.
So our hearts will overflow with love for all people.
Move us from complacency to loving service. Amen.
Disciples’ Generous Response
The principles of our Disciples’ Generous Response still apply today: receive God’s gifts, respond faithfully, align heart and money, share generously, save wisely, and spend responsibly.
As you share your mission tithes or if you give regularly through eTithing, use this time to express gratitude for God’s many gifts in your life and to reflect on how we respond faithfully to those blessings. When we understand God’s love and grace are given freely to us, we respond out of gratitude and are liberated to share freely in return.
We are all called to ministry. We are not alone. The whole world is hungering to find God and receive ministry. Let us start in our neighborhoods and our communities. Let it spread! Let it start with me!
Song of Worldwide Mission – “Let it Start with Me”
Message – by Elder Jo Fenn-Martin
Today’s scripture is found in the 4th chapter of Luke, verses 14-21. In these verses, Luke tells his version of the opening moments of Jesus’ public ministry. The earlier verses in Luke tell of Jesus’ baptism and his temptation in the wilderness. It is after those two key life events that Jesus returns to Galilee. According to Luke, Jesus goes to a local synagogue in Nazareth and chooses to read from a scroll that was handed to him.
Listen as Apostle Lachlan Mackay tells the story.
What’s the surprise Apostle Mackay speaks about? It has something to do with being thrown off a cliff. The rest of the story will be explored here next week when Rick Lindgren brings the message at our outside service. If you can’t wait, read the rest of the 4th chapter of Luke.
Remember those Mission Initiatives Lachlan talks about — those “What We Do” statements that President Veazey introduced in 2011? Invite people to Christ. Abolish Poverty, End Suffering. Pursue Peace on Earth. The church has been teaching Christ’s Mission is our Mission. Have we embraced it? Does your enthusiasm match that of Apostle Mackay?
During the last 2 years, as many of you, I found myself staying home and keeping away from people. I felt that my ministry was cut off, and I wasn’t doing a good job of adapting to the new norm. I am thinking about the every-day kind of ministry that is part of our lives as followers of Jesus. The holding a door open for someone, the making funny faces to a child sitting in a grocery cart ahead of you in line, the letting the driver who is obviously in a hurry go ahead of you without your saying or thinking an unkind word, the stopping to talk to a neighbor when getting the mail. Am I the only one who was feeling hampered?
I found that I need a reminder to keep me on the path of service. Do you? Perhaps that is why we come to church each Sunday. Here, as we study together, we learn where we can go or what we must do to live a life consistent with the gospel of Jesus. Here, as we worship God together, we are reminded of our Call to Ministry and encouraged to get up and move toward our goal. Here, as we fellowship together, we come to realize the needs of others and what we can do to help. It is here we practice living out our Call to Ministry before we move out into the world.
How do you see your Call to Ministry? Are you comfortable with your response to the Call? I am convinced that many of you have not allowed any distractions to get in your way. I was hoping that you would be willing to share with us the ways you are answering the Call. But since we cannot do that today as a congregation, let me share with you some of the ideas I have found and some of the things I know you are already doing. See if you can apply any of these ideas to your plan to expand your Ministry:
- Take a walk through your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors.
- Call someone who doesn’t get out much.
- Offer to get groceries for a friend.
- Drop off food to an area where homeless congregate.
- Take a meal to a sick friend.
- Listen to someone who needs to talk.
- Drive a friend or neighbor to an appointment.
- Send a card to someone who needs cheering up.
If Jesus’ mission is our mission, how can we respond to the Call? Where is God calling you that you have not yet gone? Are you ready?
The Summons (CCS 586)
- Look at your feet and say: “Lord, my feet walk with you. Send me!”
- Hold out your hands and say: “Lord, my hands bless your children. Send me!”
- Raise your arms upward and say: “Lord, my life announces your life. Send me!”
This service was prepared by Nancy Skene and Jo Fenn-Martin.