Summer events and activities at First Pres!
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Children and Youth
VBS 2022 August 1-5
Worship Passport Challenge
Picnic and Play in the Park
Friday Open Gym
Sermon Teachings Summer 2022
Text: Amos 7:7-17
Theme: When God Measures Your Life
Big Idea: Personal evaluation and divine evaluation are never equal.
Notes: This is the third vision of the Lord standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. A plumb line is a string with a weight on the end. When the string is held up, the weight is pulled directly down by gravity, and the result is a true vertical. When God is pictured as standing by the wall with a plumb line in his hand, this is a way of saying that he is about to check Israel to see if the nation is as upright as it claims to be.
Text: Amos 8:1-12
Theme: When the End Comes
Big Idea: The God of Amos does not overlook human sinfulness.
Notes: Each year at harvest time the people of Israel kept the feast of booths at which token offerings of the abundance of the land were brought thankfully to God. The feast was joyful because the blessing of the harvest, in which the fruit of the land had become ripe, was a promise of future years’ prosperity. It is likely that this festival lay behind the fourth of Amos’ visions: a basket of ripe fruit (8:1–2). Ripe fruit! What could be more luscious or more delightful? Yet God says that the basket is the nation of Israel and that they are indeed ripe—for judgment. “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.”
Judgment” is one of those chilling words that may send shivers racing up and down our spines. Yet there are times when judgment is also a gracious gift from God. The word of judgment God wants to say through his prophet Amos, however, is as dark as an unlit cave at midnight. Some may struggle to see any good news in Amos 8–but there is good news.
Text: Luke 11:1-13
Theme: Livin’ On a Prayer
Text: Romans 12:1-2
Theme: Scared Stiff (Guest preacher Jarrod Brown, president, Mission Lazarus)
Text: Genesis 15:1-6
Theme: Great is Thy Faithfulness
Text: Isaiah 5:1-7; John 15:1-8
Theme: Great expectations
Big Idea: Just as the farmer expects fruit from the crops, God expects fruit from us.
Notes: Agricultural images in Scripture typically carry connotations of growth—or lack thereof. Isaiah 5 opens with what looks like a light-hearted romantic ballad. A kind of troubadour opens this chapter by saying, “Listen up! I’m going to sing you a ballad about my beloved one–a song about the vineyard of our love!” But it does not take long to discover that this is not just another love song. It’s a divine lament, and a harsh one at that. Jesus comes as the Israel of God, the true vine, to bring his wandering and wounded home. In Jesus, God does not leave his people to suffer for their sin but sends Jesus to do what we failed to do.
Text: Jeremiah 1:4-10
Theme: You are chosen by God
Big Idea: When God calls you, God provides everything you need to fulfill the call.
Notes: God did wonderful things for Jeremiah before he was even born. He knew him. He formed him. He set him apart and appointed him as a prophet to the nations. He did all this long before Jeremiah drew his first breath or shed his first tear.
Text: Jeremiah 2:4-13
Theme: Why do we wander from God?
Big Idea: We wander from God when we turn to substitutes for God.
Notes: God’s devotion to Israel was incomparable. Both would have done anything for the other, and, in fact, did. Almighty God led Israel through that vast and howling wilderness and delivered them from all opposition. But almost as soon as Israel entered the Promised Land they wandered from their faithful Lord. Jeremiah explains the reasons for their desertion.
Preacher: Rev. Dr. Ray Hylton
September 4/Labor Day Weekend
Text: Jeremiah 18:1-11
Theme: The potter and the clay
Big Idea: God created us to live in conformity to His will.
Notes: Jeremiah 18 describes a contest of wills that is at the center of human history. This is a contest between the Sovereign Lord who rules heaven and earth and the Sovereign Self who came into being when the first humans bit on the tantalizing promise that they would “be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3).” Jeremiah 18 provides unique insights into the mystery and tragedy of that contest.
The ACTS Prayer Model
We believe regular time in prayer with God is essential to our growth in relationship with him and others. Here is an easy-to-remember prayer model you can use to begin the process of regular prayer with God.
A – Adoration: We bring glory and praise to God, acknowledging his greatness in each of his three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
C – Confession: Acknowledging where we have failed in walking in the ways we are called, we confess our sins, trusting completely in his desire to forgive them, and in the completeness of that forgiveness through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
T – Thanksgiving: We recall God’s specific goodness to us as individuals, as members of families, groups, and institutions, and as part of the local and universal body of Christ. We give thanks for the provision we have received and for the blessing of God’s presence in our lives.
S – Supplication: Knowing that God loves us, we bring our cares and concerns, desires, dreams, and needs, as well of those we know, love, work with, and are part of community with. We pray for our leaders at all levels of responsibility, from small group leaders to heads of state.
We also suggest adding the final step:
L – Listening: Be quiet and set your mind to listening to the Lord. Have a paper and pencil ready to write down whatever and whomever comes to mind, praying for them and asking God for wisdom about why these thoughts have come to mind.