The United Methodist website defines Reformation Day as a day set aside to recognize and celebrate the Protestant Reformation by remembering Martin Luther and the central role he played in the reform movement that split the western church of Rome. Rev. Daniel Bell goes on to remind us that on All Saints Eve in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" calling for the reform of the church to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany.

Some 221 years later, John Wesley's famous Aldersgate experience happened as he heard Martin Luther's "Preface to the Epistle to the Romans" being read. Luther’s insight on justification by grace through faith is also woven into our Methodist fiber.

There is much to be said about Methodism and the Reformation, but in the end, to celebrate the Reformation as United Methodists is "to celebrate the God who refuses to accept the separation, the division, the conflict that sin offers. It is to celebrate the God who does not just pardon sinners but who also sanctifies — breaking down dividing walls, overcoming hostility, healing the brokenness that is sin by making us one in Christ's love."

The call for acceptance and grace is also portrayed in the ancient story of Ruth and offers Good News for us all! Join us this Sunday - Reformation Sunday - as we explore the story of Ruth and what it looks like to truly live a reformed life.

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We have finished our 3 part sermon series on the book of Job. What a fascinating journey! On the surface, it's certainly not a book we will want to read for a quick pick-me-up. But, if we truly want to learn how to get honest with ourselves and God - you know - that gut-wrenching honesty that brings healing and refreshment of mind and spirit... Job is our guy.

For some of us, religion has taught us that to question God, doubt our faith, or complain is a lack of trust and respect. But that is not the message of Job and it is certainly not the Good News of Jesus Christ! Jesus invites us to come as we are - doubts, questions, anger, complaints, grief, uncertainty... nothing is off-limits when it comes to the grace God is inviting us to live into.

So, yes - the story of Job has an ending. Every story has an ending. Or does it? If we really stop and think about it - as human beings, as children of God - our stories intersect with other stories. Our lives are influenced by other lives and other lives are influenced by our lives - even beyond our lives.

Personal suffering will come and go as our situations change but one thing never changes - God's love, mercy, and grace. Even when God seems silent, God is always present... and God has a way of "picking-us-up" and inviting us into a life of peace, comfort, forgiveness, and grace. And that is a story worth repeating!

Please click the links below to join us on our journey with Job:

For the Children's Sermon with Nann:

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With a pandemic that won't go away, storm after storm, blue tarp after blue tarp, school starting, workloads increasing because of being short-staffed - I was more than a tad apprehensive about preaching from Job. He certainly isn't a story we turn to for a quick "pick me up!"

Yet, there was something about his story that resonates with us - especially those of us who are struggling to make sense of this thing called life. I admit, I was a bit taken back by the "best sermon" comments. I heard them from those present, those who worshipped online, those who listened to the sermon during the week.

If something in the sermon resonates with you in a powerful way, if God spoke a word of hope through this ancient text I would love to hear from you so that I may join you in praising God for the mountains you are climbing, the paths you are clearing, the relationships you are strengthening.

Here is a link to that sermon.

We will continue Job's story on Sunday, October 10 at 10 AM.

May your sunsets always bring you comfort,

Pastor Jo

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