October 18, 2020

We belong to God
Bradenton-Sarasota Congregation Online Service
October 18, 2020

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16 (NIV). “For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.” (New Living Translation)


Music ministry –  For Everyone Born a Place at the Table by The Beyond Walls Choir:

Message by Elder Jim Brougher


In 1999, my job required lots of travel, sometimes to foreign countries and often to large cities within the USA. On one particular trip to New York City, I rode the subway for about 15-20 minutes, getting off at the 42nd Broadway stop. I saw the many different people of all colors, and many different cultures, and a wide range spoken languages. Thousands of people on the streets, subways, and housing in the cities.

That particular trip I went to Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City for a meeting regarding the upcoming Y2K computer work regarding the coming of Year 2000. My company was partnering with the bank in a venture to get the computers ready for the coming of Year 2000.

In 1999 there was a shortage of computer programmers and the approach was to import a work staff from Russia, India, and Europe. This work staff would make the date changes on thousands of computers to accommodate the year 2000 and beyond. The U.S. State Department had the worker’s work permits and IDs. My company was the interface agent to facilitate this project and work with Chase Manhattan & its customers to make this project happen. My company provided computer workers all over the US and this project was something we could make happen. My staff worked in the cities of New York, Cleveland, Detroit.

This project came with different problems for me but the most daunting was the language barrier. After all the workers were in place at New York City, Detroit and Philadelphia, the task of project mamgement began. I realized these folks were from India, Russia, and Arabia. They came from different religions: Suni, Muslim, Hinduism, and Russian Orthodox. We helped them with banking, grocery shopping, apartment issues, and public transportation. We installed language translator programs on their computers to help us understand
their broken English.

The project ran fairly well for 6 months. Then came New Years Day, January 1, 2000 and Armageddon did not happen and the world was again running with the new dates on their computer network. The next day I was at the Newark airport and eating with my Lebanese friend Serge Melchi. Most of the workers had gone home, back to India, Russia, and Arabia. Our new friends in Christ.

My friend Serge Melchi commented, “Yes, Jim, it is a wonderful world.” The Lord’s presence was evident for Serge as he recalled the last 6 months and the fact that our Y2K workforce was made up of Hindus, Sufis, Muslim, and Russian Orthodox workers. They all found a way to worship their God either in their group or visiting a church. We as human beings all belong to God!!!!

A bilingual Sufi woman gave her testimony before flying back to India. She said,  “We seek the truth of Divine Love and knowledge through a direct relationship with God. We want to experience a state of – Fana – or divine love and BAGA a prolonged condition of complete indwelling with GOD.” Nateech also made this statement: “You know God loves all mankind on planet Earth, for WE ALL BELONG TO GOD HE IS OUR PARENT.”

Disciples Generous Response

Our lives can become so familiar to us that we stop noticing the generosity of God that surrounds us. We take so much for granted, focusing on what we are lacking, choosing to count our problems rather than our blessings. We overlook the many blessings that we should be grateful for – good health, our families, school, work, gifts, and talents. Lord, we thank you for our blessings that make our lives easier, or more enjoyable and meaningful. Lord today we remember all you do for us as our Loving Parent.

On this Sunday Morning I thank you for your donations and always remember your funding helps your church meet the financial needs of our church here and the world church.

May you be content knowing that you are a CHILD OF GOD. Let this presence settle into your body, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, and Praise God. It is there for each and every one of you. AMEN!!!!!!” (Teresa of Avila)

Prayer for Peace

Lord God you promise the peace of a still Lake even in the midst of a storm.

You promise the peace of a slumbering child even in the middle of tension and disagreement.

You promise the peace of a poppy field even in the place of heartbreak and devastation.

The promise of a peace that surpasses our human understanding.

So I choose to rest by the still waters, to lie down and rest amongst the poppies.

Your resurrection declared peace over trauma, power over death, and life everlasting.

Thank you Jesus I am a child of God, for I am Born Again!

Closing music – My Peace – Maranatha Singers

This service was prepared by Jim Brougher.