Fire, Shipwrecks and Serpents: Worship for Preparation and Easter

Pour it out4

You are invited to join our Cheatham Memorial Church family for worship!  This is a brief sketch of our Lent and Easter worship.  You can also follow us on Facebook and our website www.cheathamumc.net .  If you are in our corner of East Texas, don’t drive by, drive in.  We would be honored to show you our “Welcome Home”.   Here is our worship journey toward Easter

 We need a breakthrough.  In our hearts, homes and communities we need that breakthrough of awareness of God.  God is already at work in the parts of our lives that hold us spiritually hostage.  Have we intentionally sought God?  Have we taken personal responsibility for a breakthrough of Grace.  What we lack is the intimacy with God that is key to breaking the chains. 

For our part of the breakthrough, we will focus on three spiritual practices.  They are to GIVE-time talent or tithes, FAST-at least missing lunch on Wednesdays, and PRAY-specifically for that particular move of God we desperately want and need.   This is not a weight loss program nor manipulating God for a new car but a celebration of the living resurrection of Jesus!  God will provide direction and BREAKTHROUGH

Where is God moving in your life?  What is holding you hostage-habits, addiction, relationship, employment, finances fear, health, or other?

 

 The sermons are a 5 part journey through Acts . We will gather each Wednesday Evening at 5:30 for studies, centered on our Spiritual Gifts and practices.  We will have many of our traditions but our goal is to be prepared for a personal, walking around, and living resurrection. 

March 1: Ash Wednesday

Matthew 4:1-11  “The Desert Journey”. We are setting the stage for our Lenten preparation by meeting in the desert.  In the desert we are all on the same level and totally reliant on God.  The contest for the Christ’s will is the same temptations that we experience in our daily living.  Where will our BREAKTHROUGH come?  It starts with intentionally becoming more intimate with God. 

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 March 5:  The First Sunday of Lent , Lent Begins, Holy Communion Sunday

Acts 2:42-47  “A Community on Fire”

Pentecost started a spiritual fire in the homes and workplaces of the believers.  After the overwhelming breakthrough, the new “Christian” community responded by church worship, personal worship, prayer, charity, and fellowship.  Faith was for everyday living.  Where are we being led to take the Pentecost fire?

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March 12:The Second Sunday of Pentecost

Acts 6:8-7:3, 7:54-8:1  “Discipleship’s Cost

The walk with Christ is free of charge but very Costly.  What will we pay?  What riches will be receive?

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 March 19:  The Third Sunday of Pentecost- We will have a guest Preacher, Jesse Brannen

Acts 8:25-40  “Living Water Alive” (This is my study text for the series. 

We wear our baptisms and others find the living water for themselves. There is not shame in needing a guide!  In our words, ways and relationships, we will share our water with others. 

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 March 26:  The fourth Sunday of Lent

Acts 9:1-31”The New Transfiguration

Paul’s conversion mirrors the Christ at the mount of Transfiguration.  Where did God meet you on the road.  Where is the road before you headed? 

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 April 2: The Fifth Sunday of Lent  Holy Communion

Acts17:16-31  “Knowing the Unknown”

God is made known to us with the images and experiences of daily living.  God is shared with those who live with and around us.  It is not accidental that we have the story in the exact way we need to share with those around us. 

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 April 9:  Palm Sunday: with a reading by a child at the beginning, A Children’s Play, Special Music, Procession of Palms!

Matthew 21:1-11 read by a young person or persons and possibly using the “Voice” version  as a format. 

Acts 28:1-23  “The 29th Chapter of Acts”

Help me read the 29th chapter of acts!  Oh wait, you must write it first.  The Holy Spirit is writing it through you! Thank you Terry Teykl-Check out his book here!

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April 10-15:  Holy Week

We will focus our attention on a Good Friday ,“7 Final Words Service, with several speakers .  We will also offer a prayer Labyrinth and a time of praying through the Scriptural Stations of the Cross.  Pat and are  using the stations with Children’s Church. We will plan further use of the art work throughout the church. 

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April 16: Easter Sunday

 

Easter Sunday will be tradition rich with special music, breakfast at 8:30, Easter Eggs by age group at 9:00 and rousing worship! Watch for further details on the CMUMC Website

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Could it be as easy as a comment card?

 

connections-logo.jpgThere are two restaurants  that are  living and dying by their customer comments on Yelp and other sites.  One is reacting to negative comments online while the other is proactively courting comments through info cards at the table and interactive comments on the free wifi. The former is struggling while the latter is prospering. Interaction  is bigger than mere marketing it is how our neighbors make decisions.

The church has to decide to be more interactive in order to evangelize the mostly online driven  community around us.

Interactivity is expected from a broad cross section of our neighbors.  People in general  will not buy underwear or eat at a restaurant  without reading and sharing  comments and will not  explore the Christian faith without the opportunity of doing the same.

Quoting Justin Wise,  “the church and her mission will never perish. This much we know. What we do not know is what our co-creative role in building God’s kingdom will be. We do not know because it is mostly up to us. We can choose to become interactive as a church or we can choose to fade further into the cultural background.” ( The Social Church, by Justin Wise, p. 66)

Ok, but how. This can be done badly and many of our worshippers do not share this sense of urgency. Each church’s context and skills is unique There  is no one right  answer but two things are certain.  1-it is up to the church and not the public to figure out how and 2-it has to start now.  

What if engaging new people is as simple as our own members commenting on their congregation and courting the feed back of others in a shareable way?  The technical how-to’s are a bit more complicated but do-able and often free

This  site provides a starting place and clears  many of the pitfalls.  The 5-points of instruction in the marketing plan videos a great start for novice and expert congregations alike. CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT.

Church leaders!  Start!  Learn the skills of social media, word press and the various means of file sharing.  Spend a few bucks on training and a good website. Ask the members comment on why they follow Christ and worship in their congregation and POST them on your sight.  Could it be that easy to get started?

This is evangelism.  This is a part of our sacred mission.  This is urgent.

Cheatham Memorial is experimenting in making connectivity a ministry at edgewoodconnections.com. Watch our progress.