First Presbyterian Church

Sermon Series (Controversial Topics) AND World Communion Sunday

The following is this months article from the Newsletter. I hope you read it and are planning to attend Sunday (October 7) and bring an item, a picture, etc. from abroad as a way of more deeeply participating in World Communion Sunday. I also asked for feedback about the sermon series for the month. No one said a word! No one shared any ideas of a controversial topic you would like to hear a sermon about. Maybe you aren’t controversial (neither am I). Maybe you don’t care (Please care!). Surely there is some topic like Global Warming or Abortion or _______ that you would like to hear more about. I welcome you to tell me that ASAP;. In case you missed the newsletter article, here it is again…

On Memorial Day or July 4, you might find us singing “God Bless America”. While the anniversary of the birthplace of our country or the recognition of the lives and sacrifices of those who lost or gave their lives protecting/defending our country, the first Sunday in October is called World Communion Sunday.

World Communion Sunday originated in the Presbyterian Church (USA). In 1936, for the first time, the first Sunday in October was celebrated in Presbyterian churches in the United States and overseas. From the beginning, it was planned so that other denominations could make use of it and, after a few years, the idea spread beyond the Presbyterian Church. The day was a call for all Christians – of whatever background – and of whatever theological tradition – to recollect that we are in fact one in Christ – and that the table we receive from and communion at is God’s table – not our own. Picture the image of men, women, and children of every language, color, and nationality gathering in fields, straw huts, brick schools, wooden shacks and stone cathedrals entering into both a physical and spiritual communion with one another.

For our own World Communion on Sunday, October 7, we will come to worship (much like usual) and be invited to the table (much like usual) and listen to a sermon (Well, two out of three ain’t bad!). But our coming to worship will be met by greetings from Christians world-wide who write to tell us of their lives and their ministries in tabernacles and tents. Our coming to the table will be done in union with Christians across the globe who join us at their own tables in solidarity of our mutual faith in Jesus Christ. It is absolutely one of my favorite Sunday’s of the entire year. To further our insertion into a global atmosphere for worship, the deacons will provide bread for Holy Communion reminiscent of various countries. May I also suggest that you bring to worship:
*Pictures of your trips and travels
*Foreign items that you have purchased that highlight for you the culture of that country
*Clothing from other cultures that you may have collected.
Tables will be set up in the hallway and back of the sanctuary for you to display your items.

The month of October is the final (HURRAH!!!) few days before the 2012 election. If you are like me if you never see another political commercial in your life, it would not be a disappointment. But agree or disagree with this candidate or that one, it is our right and our duty to express our citizenship through our vote. One thing that these final weeks will underscore is the multitude of issues for which there are no easy answers. Often we can make as many arguments for as we can against most of the issues. Have you ever wondered “Is there a right/wrong position for all the issues- a Christian stance, as it were?” “What does the Bible say about the controversial issues you and I are bombarded with regularly?” Have you ever wanted to hear a sermon on the controversial issues facing us? (I hope so) because October will be our opportunity to suggest and to hear the CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES SERMON SERIES. Let me hasten to explain that I do not believe politics belongs in the pulpit. I believe that those pastors and churches who tell you how to vote and what to think are wrong to do so. I do not believe most issues have a strict black and white answer. Most are filled with loads of gray areas for which God expects us to “faith our way through”. What we can do is to look at the issue, examine the scriptures (if there are any that address said issue) and engage in healthy dialogue to help guide us in a better understanding of the issue. First, I welcome your suggestions on particular CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES upon which you might like to hear a sermon.
In light of World Communion Sunday and the highlighting of various cultures, our CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE that will begin our series on October 7 will be “IMMIGRATION: I Was A Stranger And You…” Come expecting God to guide us into deeper understanding and faith. In the meantime please indicate to Pastor Mitch if you would like to hear a specific sermon in October on a particular CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE____________________________________.