Sept. 20 Online Service

Oconee Street United Methodist Church
Sept. 20, 2020 Online Service

Entire Service

Click to play the entire service

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Welcome

Pastor Laura Patterson

Prelude

“Go Down, Moses”
Maxine Easom, piano

Invocation

Katie Calkin

Opening Hymn

“Morning Has Broken”
Pershore Abbey

Readings

Exodus 16:2-15 & Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
Katie Calkin

Sermon

“How Free Do You Want To Be?”
The Rev. Laura Patterson

Anthem

“Holy Manna”
Performed by Cantus

The Lord’s Prayer

Katie Calkin

Closing Hymn

“Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken”
BuPyeong Methodist Church

Benediction

Pastor Laura Patterson

Postlude

“God Leads Us Along”
Maxine Easom, piano

Please consider making an online offering by clicking here.

Sept. 13 Online Service

Oconee Street UMC Online Service
September 13, 2020

Entire Service

_____________________________________

Welcome

Pastor Laura Patterson

Prelude

“Go Down, Moses”
Maxine Easom, piano

Invocation

Amanda Martin

Opening Hymn

“Come Ye Faithful Raise the Strain”

Old Testament Readings: Exodus 14:19-31, Psalm 114

Amanda Martin

Sermon: “Big Enough Faith”

Pastor Laura Patterson

Anthem

“Rescue” by Lauren Daigle

Prayers of the People

Amanda Martin

Closing Hymn

“Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Jehovah”
Tabernacle Welsh Baptist Church, Cardiff

Benediction

Pastor Laura Patterson

Postlude

“Wade in the Water”
Maxine Easom, piano

Please consider making an online offering by clicking here.

Sept. 6 Online Service

Oconee Street United Methodist Church
September 6, 2020

Watch the entire service here ….

Welcome

Pastor Laura Patterson

Prelude

“Go Down, Moses”
Maxine Easom, organ

Invocation

Robert Foster

Opening Hymn

“Lamb of God Hosanna”
Performed by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music

Reading: Psalm 149

Robert Foster

Sermon: “Ritual Resistance”

The Rev. Laura Patterson

Anthem

“Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor”
Performed by The Graduate Choir NZ with Nicholas Sutcliffe, organ

Prayer / The Lord’s Prayer

Robert Foster

Closing Hymn

“The Day of Resurrection”
Performed by Sanctuary Choir, First Methodist Church (Houston, Texas)

Benediction

Pastor Laura Patterson

Postlude

“Just As I Am”
Maxine Easom, piano

Please consider making an online offering by clicking here.

Sermon: The Gift You See is the Gift You Get

The “Parable of the Talents” (Matthew 25:14-30) is often one of the stories people who are disaffected with Christianity use to criticize our faith. And at a surface glance, that criticism is warranted. What kind of master gets mad when his servant attempts to save and preserve what is given to him?

But the parable is not about saving or producing wealth. Rather, the parable is about how we see God. In the story, the master does not get mad at his third servant until the servant communicates his mistrust and fear of the master. How do we see God? Do we see God as vengeful master, or as a loving Creator?

How we use God’s gifts relies on how we see God.

“What You See is What You Get”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Matthew 25: 14-30
Oct. 14, 2018

Sermon: Eat and Run

When Jesus comes back to the disciples in Luke 24, he doesn’t command their attention. He waits for them to accept him.

Throughout the Easter stories, we see God’s divine discretion. We have an ability to either invite God in or to let God slip away. Every day this invitation is open to us.

Jesus is always walking with us, regardless of whether we acknowledge him or not. And sometimes God leads us on a journey that we did not intend to take. Just know that wherever you are on your journey, Jesus is with you. Even if you’re walking away from church, Jesus is with you you. In every moment, Christ is here, knocking, asking to be your heart.

“Eat and Run”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Luke 24: 13-35
May 6, 2018 • Sixth Sunday of Easter

Lenten Devotional: Saturday, March 24

By Adrienne Bumpers

Mark 8: 22-26: They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him “Can you see anything?” And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, waking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and [the man] looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home saying “Do not even go into the village.”

I recently read through this scripture and was truly stumped. This is the first time that I remember Jesus performing a miracle in two stages. This seemed weird to me and sparked my curiosity so I started  looking at what transpired before this miracle to see if that could give me clarity. When I read from Ch. 8:11-21 (go read it!), it seemed as if Jesus was showing some frustration with the Pharisees and even the Disciples.

My first reaction was “did Jesus let frustrations pile up so much that He allowed it to distract him and He had to try twice to heal this blind man?”  I immediately laughed at my question. Sometimes I just want to see Jesus as human. I totally let frustration distract me at times, but that obviously wasn’t the reason for the two stages of healing.

So, after feeling even more stumped, I did some Google research and what I found was that you wouldn’t get the full effect of the miracle in v.22-26 without the context of v.11-21. The context reveals that Jesus is increasingly aware that everyone around him, specifically the Pharisees and even the disciples, are not fully getting it. The Pharisees wanted proof and the disciples keep forgetting, both displaying a lack of faith. Jesus ignores the Pharisees and lectures the disciples.

How frustrating that must have been for everyone.

So then Jesus’ next step was to respond to the need and the faith of this blind man in the next village. Some say the disciples were with Jesus at this time, so it makes sense to think that Jesus deliberately chooses to perform this miracle in front of them in two stages. The first stage the man can see but he doesn’t fully understand what he sees. Then the second stage Jesus allows him to see with full understanding.

I guess the thing that encourages me most from all of this is that Jesus extends the invitation for others to see clearly and more fully understand. Through my process of trying to better understand the two attempts at healing,  I feel like that same invitation was directly extended to me. Might I remember the constant invitation that is extended to me to not only see but to exercise my faith and more fully understand.

Prayer: Gracious and loving God, give us the curiosity to see more deeply what you reveal to us each day. Heal us in as many stages as you need to show us the importance and majesty of your great love. Amen

Lenten Devotional: Wednesday, March 14

by Julie Dotterweich Gunby

Hosea 14:5-7 (ESV):

I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;
they shall flourish like the grain;
they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 7.32.26 AMBeauty like the olive, life, roots, shade, blossoming, flourishing … 

Of course this is what I want for my life.

I want to have real, genuine goods.

I want the patient humility of Father Jimmy Boyle, who with his missing fingers and mild manner celebrated mass for 35 years in not only the L’arche community, but also in the penal-like state institution for adults with developmental disabilities.  

I want the radical faithfulness of my coworker who now patiently tends the daily needs of her husband with early onset Alzheimer’s- the very husband who, when he was well, was cruel, distant, and emotionally manipulative.

I want the frightful courage of families who willingly adopt children from orphanages, knowing full well what the ravages that reactive attachment disorder will bring, and that love cannot heal their children’s wounds.

But, of course, that’s not true.

I don’t want those things.

I *want* to want those goods.

Patient humility, radical faithfulness, frightful courage — these have a beauty that is like the ancient olive tree, a gnarled, wisened beauty that matures over time, and still puts forth fruit after hundreds, even thousands of years. A tree that makes fruit both bitter and sweet, that is nourishing for food and for oil for anointing.

These kinds of deep, other-worldly goods are not what I actually want.

These are not what I rush through my work to get to.

No, what I want, at the end of the day, is another glass of red wine, a chance to binge watch some Netflix, a gushing word of praise about my own virtue, a clever thrift store find, a donut, a nap, a flash of self-righteous indignation.

The goods that I actually want are the moral equivalents of candy corn. Easy on the tongue, vapid and depleting in the end.

What would it take to cross this chasm, to want the goods I might, on my best days, almost want?

A hint comes a few verses earlier in this prophecy — in that day “we will say no more, ‘our God’ to the work of our hands.” (Hosea 14:3)

In these weeks of Lent, we have a brief chance to deny ourselves some of the trinket goods and vapid pleasures we make for our own enjoyment.

In so doing, we ask that God might give us a taste for olive oil, whole grain, and the fruit of the vine.

Real goods are an acquired taste.

We cannot force ourselves to enjoy them as good any more than a child can come from the womb craving spicy paneer bhurji.

We cannot cultivate a taste for mature beatitude any more than an orphan can force herself to form attachments after years of abandonment.

But here Hosea is right too– the promise of goodness is possible because Israel is known and loved by “the One in whom the orphan finds mercy.” (14:3)

Perhaps I must begin not by imagining myself as the adoptive mother who holds radical space to bring new life, but as the broken child tied to the bed, with knowledge of nothing but her own desire.

Prayer:
Oh God, we ask that you continue to tirelessly mother us,
   to set before us a table rich with Your food.
Bear with us when we can do no more than choke down tiny bites
   and reach for desserts of our own making.
Love us with patient, radical, frightful courage,
   forgive us when we fight you off and spit it back.
May we, in the end, return and “dwell beneath your shadow,
   flourish like the grain, and blossom like the vine.”

Sermon: “More Precious Than Gold”

peter-heals-1024x626.jpgSometimes it’s difficult to believe what’s in the Bible. In Acts 3:1-16, Luke tells us the story of how Peter healed a man “lame from birth” simply by telling him, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up an walk.”

In 2017, with our scientific and medical knowledge, how are we supposed to believe that this actually happened. And if it is that easy to heal people, why aren’t Christian churches around the world doing similar acts?

Although we find it difficult to believe this story word-for-word, we can all point to a time in our own life where we believe a miracle occurred. Whether it was surviving a disastrous accident, having a loved one overcome a debilitating sickness or witnessing an act that doesn’t seem humanely possible, we have all been filled with the Holy Spirit and something we can only describe as the work of God.

That’s what Luke was aiming for in Acts 3:1-16. We’re called, like Luke to be witnesses of God’s work. Like Peter, we’re called to be share experiences of God that do not fit scientific logic.

Sermon

“More Precious Than Gold”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Acts 3: 1-16
June 18, 2017

Sermon: Our work must be inspired by God

hands-1222866_960_720Although we may work for justice, our service needs to be inspired by something bigger or else we will falter. If you don’t have a vision of what God is doing in the world, you can’t wake up every morning and go work in the soup kitchen, because one day it will finally wear you out.

Jesus wants us not to just see the miracles he performed, but to understand the significance of them — the purpose of God to bring salvation, healing and restoration to the world. We must attune ourselves to the Holy Spirit to see what Jesus saw, and to hear what he heard.

Sermon

“Do You See What I See?”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Matthew 11:2-11
Dec. 11, 2016

Why is Jesus so concerned with manners?

"Peacock and Peahen." Art by Nagasawa Rosetsu, 18th Japanese painter.

“Peacock and Peahen.” Art by Nagasawa Rosetsu, 18th Japanese painter.

Why is Jesus so concerned with manners? He’s always telling his disciples where to go, when to leave, how to act, and most importantly, who to eat with.

The mystery of faith as much to do with manners as it does belief.

 

Sermon

“Manners and Mysteries”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Luke 14:1, 7-14
Aug. 28, 2016