Not So Virtual Worship

Psalm 145: “Jehovah is near to all that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.”

Equipping skill-keeping worship genuine regardless of technology. (As I was writing this post, we had a Covid exposure and shut down our in- person worship for two weeks! It is more important than ever to keep our “in-video”worship REAL!)

Hearts open even with faces covered

We are in a chapter of Porter Texas-Friendship UMC’s history that has as many people worshiping online as are meeting in person. We have been calling this video worship, “Virtual” but what does that really mean.


According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of “virtual” is, “Adjective-almost or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition. “Similar, Near, Or near enough”,
to all intents and purposes not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so.

I will never again refer to our online worship as “Virtual”. It’s “In-Video “

When we gather to worship, whether online or in-person, ourworship is not “Almost” or just the appearance of being true worship. When we gather, we gather around the truth of God in Jesus Christ, expecting to meet Him face to face. THIS IS TRUE WORSHIP and not just “near enough.

Some prefer the video, I love the people, the buzz of interaction, and the unpredictability of the live and in-person gathering of God’s Called out disciples! But, here we are in Covid’s place when online, in-video worship is either our only option or our best option.

What can we do to create true worship from a remote location? Here are some suggestions that keep the Good News in our online worship experiences.

  • Pray for God’s presence to be touchable before turning on your device
  • Turn off non-essential stuff and tune in to the people around you. Use the largest screen available
  • EXPECT God to touch your heart. Ask him to show up
  • Worship with a Bible open, even if it is on your pajama clad lap
  • Watch all of the worship service and not just your favorite part
  • When its over ask, “What did I feel”, “What did I learn”, and “What am I going to Do!”
  • Prayerfully leave your device and then call someone from church and just talk for a while. We were never meant to worship alone!

God is near to all that truth-fully mean business in worship.  Whether on an Ipad or in a pew, God is engaged and inviting you and I to do the same. 

May your worship be warm, connecting and shareable. Jesus walks with you !

Worship outside when you have the opportunity

-Pastor Alan van Hooser

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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Cheatham Memorial September 2016 Worship!

The theme for September is is “A Work in Progress” and the image is the cross.  Yes, we have a cross in every sermon but these four message will give it more weight.  Do our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness flow from the cross of Christ or just adorn our t-shirts?  I am asking this of myself  during quiet time.  What amazing  power the cross has in our everyday living….when we choose to access it.  How do you do that?  Come to worship and see.  We will also explore prayers of blessing and host a two-week short course on prayer, September 15 and 22 at 6:30 PM.  See cheathamumc.net for details

September 4, 2016: 16th Sunday of Pentecost  Jeremiah 18:1-11   “The Potter’s House

We are all a work in progress.  Even when life is under pressure, faith can build us even if circumstances are trying to get us down.  The greater the pressure, the stronger the earthen vessel.

September 11, 2016: 17th Sunday of Pentecost, remembrance of 9-11,  1 Timothy 1:12-17  “Strength for the Falls”

The promise of redemption if from Jesus himself.  People of faith are strengthened for the everyday “falls” that inevitably come.  Like physical fitness or a baby learning to walk, it is through our trials that we are strengthened in faith.  This gift from the Christ is for all who believe and for all who don’t.  We are all walking redemption’s path.

 September 18, 2016: 18th Sunday of Pentecost, Gideon’s Sunday with special offering.  1 Timothy 2:1-7  “Levelling Prayers” 

In the prayer closet, kings and paupers are judged the same.  This epistle is inviting us to seek God rather than asking God to seek us. How are we praying for our own spiritual formation?  How are we praying for our political and church leaders in their life’s seeking of God?

September 25, 2016: 19th Sunday of Pentecost.  Luke 17:5-10  “A starting place”

This service will be an old school revival Sunday and include our favorite “Methodist Roots” hymns in an upbeat and tradition filled worship experience! The vision of a victorious end is the start of all good journeys.  Where is our starting place in the Christian life?  The truth is that we have many starting placed in Christ.  It is a journey of many steps.  We don’t begin our life of salvation all mature and filled many answers.  We start at the foot of the cross with the harsh reality that we are not finished yet, we continue with the present reality that we don’t journey along, and we live for the completion of our journey with eternity in Christ.  That being said, how do we begin?

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Coming Events:  Charge Conference! Fall Festival on October 15 and a celebration of our fund raiser on October 16!

Summer Sermons! July & August 2016

Following is our Cheatham Memorial UMC sermon Planner for July and August 2016.  Our church is open to anyone seeking to deepen their faith and take part in significant ministry as a way of life.  Our Motto is “WELCOME HOME” and we know our congregation to be about these three things:  Fist, our Mission:  Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World; second  our Vision: We are Christ’s Love in Action: Following Christ, Serving Others, Unifying the Church. And finally, Our motivation:  Loving God’s Word, Deepening the life of Prayer and developing ministering Skills.  For more information on how we do that, click here and check out our activities on the main website. 

July 3:  7th Sunday of Pentecost

Text:  Psalm 33:6-17, Philippians 3:17-21 “God Country”

We live in the greatest nation with the greatest faith, the largest economy and the greatest technology in the history of the world.  How did we get it and how do we keep it?  Things seem pretty uncertain and we desperately need to look for this answer!  Join us with a theological look at what it means to be a Christian in the USA today.

 July 10: 8th Sunday of Pentecost

Luke 10:25-37  “The very first Lawyer Joke”

There are many lawyer jokes but only one that I know of in the Bible and it comes from one of the best known of all of Jesus’ parables.  Which one?  Look it up and see.  Do you get the joke?  How does your, mine and our faiths fit together?

 July 17  Vacation Bible School Wrap Up Sunday

Luke 10:38-42  “Kids Remember What Grownups Forgot”

God speaks volumes through children.  If you want to know God-Sized answers to God-Sized questions you must take on the manner of a child.  What does that look like and how do I get it?

July 24  “Lawn Chair Worship Sunday”

Revival Theme.  The text will be announces later for this morning of fun, barbecue and praise.  Outside service at 9:00 AM followed by too much food and lots of music!  See the main website for details.

 July 31  Lawn Chair Sunday Rain out Day

Colossians 3:1-11 “You Find What You Look For”

August 7:  Youth Service at 10:00 and Youth Rally at 2:00

Youth Speaker

August 14:  Block Party Celebration

Hebrews 11”1-13  “A Love Song for the Vineyard”

I’m tired, where is the faith I need for today?  The church is a fertile vineyard and Christ loves his church.  Still, some days we fall short of Christ’s vision.  The fruit of His vineyard is faith and faith is the seed where that fruit begins.  We will discuss our every-day starting place to find and cast that faith for ourselves.

August 21:  Back to School Consecration Sunday

Jeremiah 1:4-10 “Only a Child can Know”

We think of children as needing our teaching but often they are the example of faith for us grown-ups.  Faith is supposed to grow in us and mature .  Not knowing how the things of faith work is not an excuse.  I our “not-Knowing” are the seeds of exciting spiritual formation.  How do we build and plant that necessary faith?

August 28 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Hebrews 13:1-16  “Hospitality’s Gift”

Our church knows what hospitality looks like and knows that it is a FAITH BUILDER!  We are very strong in opening our home to others.  What do we get out of it?  Is it ok if we get something out of it?  We will discuss that gift that we get in return regardless of what our guests leave behind.

Coming Events:  Gideon’s Sunday on September 18,  Fall Festival on October 14 and a celebration service on October 15

 

Go to the main website!

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June 2016 Sermons at Cheatham Memorial

compass of faith

The Cheatham Memorial Family invites you to join us for worship at 10:00 am each Sunday.  We have a variety of activities and service projects that you can check out at our WEBSITE!

Do you ever feel like you have lost direction?  We will discuss ways to “Face the Fire by Faith”.  What do I do with faith in a world that seems so random.   Transformation is a mystery that begins and ends with faith.  The fun stuff lies in the middle.  Find your way with us as we seek Christ together.

June 5:  The 3rd Sunday of Pentecost, Communion Sunday,

Text:  1 Kings 17:8-24 “Now What”

Transformation in the soul is built by our experiences in the day to day.  We need companions for the journey and our eye on God.  With each day’s ups and downs, let’s face it, faith can just be difficult.  And yet we grow through these experiences.

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June 12: 4th Sunday of Pentecost. 

Text: Galatians 2:15-21,” Faith is Dead Right”

The way to faith is faith.  God is faithful to plant the seeds of faith within us and water them with our experiences. Faith expressed leads us to faith experienced.   “Paul speaks of what kind of sinner he is and asks, “what kind of sinner are you?”

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 June 19: 5th Sunday of Pentecost, Father’s Day

Text Luke 8:26-39  “Hey, those are my pigs!”

A dad’s promise does not come from a perfect life but by following a perfect Jesus.  Faith opens our eyes to our own brand of distress and randomness.  Rather than excuse our lives as “Just the way it is”, a new way is given, by faith, to all who will fearlessly face the challenge.

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 June 26:  6th Sunday of Pentecost

Text:  2 Kings 2:1-14  “Pass it on”

Faith is not a possession to hold but one to nurture and pass on.  Our companions in life feed our faith but also depend on us to build them up too.  Leadership is successful when we let god and watch another grow.

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 Welcome-Home-logoCheck our out main website at cheathamumc.net

 

 

May 2016 sermons at Cheatham Memorial UMC

The Cheatham Memorial Family invites your to a brand new year of Spiritual Growth in Jesus Christ?  We worship at 10:00 AM each Sunday with activities for disciples of all ages and places.  The Theme for May is preparation for Pentecost and titled, “God Led Change” and focuses on spiritual unity and prayers of discernment. Mother’s day is May 2016

Check out our website for more information about our ministry

May 1: The 6th Sunday of Easter, Communion Sunday,
Text: Acts 5:17-40, “ The First Church of the Cup Holder”
The question is asked, will we attend a church where we aren’t in control. The answer is yes because control is illusion to we who are in Christ. Discernment and not management are the goals for Christian living and the peace that it provides.
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May 8: Mother’s Day and the 7th Sunday of Easter. Prayers for General Conference
Text: John 14 23-29 “ ‘Cause Momma Says…”
Discernment is obedience, Obedience requires Discernment. True peace in our childhood came when we did what our parents said to do. However, that came with the comfort in knowing, even when we did not show it, that they wanted only what was best for us. Our heavenly father operates in that same loving way and is worthy of our trust. We will follow someone or something in our daily living. God offers a peace that we cannot find anywhere else.
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May 15: PENTECOST SUNDAY
Text Acts 2:1-21, “The Pouring”
You cannot discern what God wants apart from the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit IS God. Pentecost is not the beginning of the Holy Spirit but the pouring of that precious facet of God into the Church.
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May 22: Trinity Sunday
Text: Romans 5:1-5, “Produce the proper Produce”
Faith is where the life in Christ starts. The produce is character that proclaims truth and spreads the message of eternal hope. The Holy Trinity is merely a framework of understanding. How scary it is to pray for faith though! Faith is access, the open door and worth the risk
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May 29: Memorial Day Weekend, Annual Conference Kick off
Text : Galatians 1:1-12 “Winning”
Half of the struggle in Discerning God’s will for our lives is knowing what a “win” is. What is the goal line of the life in faith, What is a win for the church. Where is the win for our lives? Our congregation? Our Conference? Jesus has a direct and final answer!
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