Tranquility United Methodist Church 

 

Pastor Fred Laux 

Welcoming Words

Welcome to the United Methodist Church. Now I know that you are maybe thinking that your pastor has lost his mind by reminding us that we are Methodists. But the truth is how many of us truly know how welcoming Methodists are? We are the church of the people. Charles Wesley was a man of the people.  We have a lot to be proud of with our Wesleyan/Methodist heritage.

 

Pastor Fred

Opening Hymn

Let there be Peace on Earth

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgL1v8FZaNM

Let Us Pray / Gathering Prayer

Merciful God,
help us become the people you have created us to be.
We yearn to build communities of love,
but it is easier to tear down then to build up.
We long for the healing of the nations,
but it’s easier to harm than to heal.
We want to bear our grief with dignity,
but it is satisfying to parade our wounds for all to see.
Bind up our spirits, Gracious one,
that we might reconcile with those who have caused us pain.
Help us cast aside the things that chain our spirits, that 

Call to Worship

 

Leader: have you heard the good news
People: Christ cause us to be people of light.
Leader: have you felt the good news?
People: God offers us God’s love and grace.
Leader: have you lived the good news?
All: come! Let us worship the Lord
Leader: the night is long gone. Let us take up our work as children of light by sharing signs of Christ’s peace with one another. Please turn to greet one another in the Spirit of Christ.
ALL: Peace be with all of you! Amen

Opening Hymn

Majesty

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNnTFDNPT3U

Gospel Reading

Matthew 18:21-35 
Parable of the unforgiving servant


Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?”

Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times. 


Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 

When he began to settle accounts, they brought to him a servant who owed him ten thousand bags of gold. 

Because the servant didn’t have enough to pay it back, the master ordered that he should be sold, along with his wife and children and everything he had, and that the proceeds should be used as payment. 

But the servant fell down, kneeled before him, and said, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ The master had compassion on that servant, released him, and forgave the loan.

“When that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred coins. He grabbed him around the throat and said, ‘Pay me back what you owe me.’

“Then his fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he threw him into prison until he paid back his debt.

“When his fellow servants saw what happened, they were deeply offended. They came and told their master all that happened. 

His master called the first servant and said, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you appealed to me.

Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 

His master was furious and handed him over to the guard responsible for punishing prisoners, until he had paid the whole debt.

“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you if you don’t forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

 

The Word of God for the People of God-Thanks Be to God 

Junior Sermon

The disciples were going to the other side of the lake in their boat, the wind came up and the water began to get rough. The disciples became afraid that their boat would sink and they would be drowned. Then they looked, and they saw Jesus coming toward them and he was walking on the water. 

What would do if you saw someone walking in a storm on the water?

When Peter saw Jesus, he became excited and he said to him, "Lord, if that's really you, let me walk to you on the water.”
Jesus answered Peter and said, "Come."

Well Peter jumped over the side of the boat and started to run on the water to Jesus. Then he began to look around, he felt the strong winds and saw the waves and Peter became afraid.

What happened to Peter?

Peter started to sink. He cried out to Jesus, "Help, save me!" Jesus reached out his hand and saved Peter and Jesus said to him, 

"Why did you doubt?"

As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was walking on the water, but when he took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. 

As we go through life, there will be some storms. 

We will encounter some pretty rough water. As long as we keep our eyes upon Jesus and put our trust in him, we will be okay. But when we take our eyes off of Jesus and think we can do it alone, we will surely sink!
Let us Pray
Dear Jesus, when the storms of life come against us, help us to keep our eyes on you and to put our trust in you. Amen. 

Opening Hymn

Freely, Freely

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Message "Wesleyan Spirit" By Pastor Fred

I became a Methodist, quite by accident. 
My older daughter Jennifer was dating a very fine young man by the name of Stan whose grandfather was a Methodist pastor. 
I had been brought up as a Presbyterian. 
From my late teenage years throughout most of my life I didn’t attend any church. 
After going through a painful divorce my daughter Jennifer invited me to go to an Easter Service conducted by Stan’s Grandfather. 
I was very impressed by the openness of the Methodist denomination and I became a Christer.  You know, the guy who attends church only on Christmas and Easter.   

Being of Presbyterian descent I was amazed by the openness and friendliness of not just the Methodist  people but of the Methodist traditions.
 
Somewhere around 20 years ago I was going through a truly toxic relationship with a woman that I was dating. 
One morning,  I found myself sitting at a Sunday Methodist service. 
Truly, I do not know how I got there. 
I tell everyone, “that day, I came home and I never left”. 
I’m really rather shocked at where I am and what I’m doing today.  Never did I think I would be on this path. 
I shouldn’t be shocked or amazed, but I truly am, I am also very humbled.
 
Then when I read about John Wesley,  my spirituality starts to fit properly together like a wonderfully spiritual puzzle beckoning for me to learn more.
Wesley sought to preach and teach in ways easily understood by ordinary people.  In the prefix to sermons on several occasions he made quite clear his attempt to speak plain truth for plain people that is in a way that could be understood by all. 
Wesley said “ I now write as I generally - speak to the bulk of humanity - to those who neither relish nor understand the art of speaking, but who notwithstanding our competent judges of those truths which are necessary to the present and future happiness. I mentioned this that curious readers may spare themselves the labor of seeking for what they will not find.”
   

As I remember growing up in my now defuncted Presbyterian Church, church was all about church.  Not about people. 
What personally excites me about the Methodist denomination is that Methodism is about the people of God. 
People that are broken,
people that are wonderful and mean,
people that are loving and hateful,
people that are beautiful and ugly,
but I like to think about people, as people just being people.

 

Wesley’s care for people extended beyond their spiritual wellbeing. 
In his time he was in the forefront of helping to alleviate the social ills of 18th – century England.  His care for souls extended to the whole person, especially among the poor, the uneducated, the sick, the dispossessed, slaves and prisoners.
He took it upon himself to educate those who did not have the means to get an education. 

 

As someone who was not raised in the Methodist tradition, I found John Wesley amazing.  We need John Wesley’s spirit today. We need more people to act like John Wesley with the care and love for humanity that he was a wonderful example of.
 

John Wesley believed in the Catholic Spirit.
 

A consistent trait of Wesleyan heritage and the Methodist churches has been a notable liberality, or openness to doctrinal issues.

 Methodists have historically made few doctrinal requirements for church membership, although they have held church members accountable for their teachings.  

 

Methodism has never claimed to be the one true church and has seldom claimed to be the “truest” of all churches, understanding itself rather as a religious movement with a particular mission among the broader body of Christian believers.

This holds true to my feelings about Methodism and religion today.  The day of taking the congregation and force-feeding religion has been long gone. 
Today people want to understand, and are not accepting of anything that they don’t understand.  I think people today, will reject what they don’t understand.  Methodism accepts people on the basis of who they are, not on the basis of what their religious doctrine wants them to be.  We all can be better Christians.  But if the door is not open, most will never come in.  

Fact is most people will not even look for an open door and that’s truly a shame. 
We need to invite everyone.

 

Open Hearts Open Minds, perhaps will be the only mantra that will work today
in our socitity.

 

Methodism gives us freedom. I would even say that Methodism has the spirit of freedom.  We as Methodists have been blessed.  We can believe that what is in our hearts will be accepted.  No one is going to put us down for our individual beliefs.  We can have the freedom to have our own intimate beliefs,  with the Methodist tradition having separate doctrinal statements adopted by communities, separate from our individual beliefs.  That is to say, Methodists may believe any number of things as an individual, but doctrinal statements adopted by communities can alone speak on behalf of those communities.
 

“C.S. Lewis wrote in mere Christianity, “Doctrines are not God, they are only kind of a map”. 
 

I think there needs to be a separation between doctrine and spirituality.  There is a difference between what God wants us to do and what man believes we must do.  In my humble opinion God wants us to simply follow his commandments.  The first and second commandments that we use all the time in reference to the great commandments of Christ are simply love God with all your heart and all your soul and love your neighbor as you would love yourself.  I will always tell you “do it first”.
 

I think God has simplified our lives.  We just have to follow him.  Love God with all your heart and all your soul and love your neighbor.  The rest is superfluous of man.  We need to love our Lord and our neighbor to truly worship God.  

However the rest of the things are our doctrinal responsibility.  It is ultimately a necessity for all of the us to maintain our doctrinal responsibilities.
 

John Wesley and the early Methodists became fascinated with the process by which women and men actually live out the life of grace.  John Wesley sometimes referred to this process as “the way of salvation”.
 

As Christians we want to follow our Lord Jesus the Christ and we want to follow our traditions and theology.  To do this properly, we have to see how John Wesley believed in “the way of salvation” through God’s grace.
John Wesley believed in “Prevenient grace” ( God’s grace coming before we believe in Christ), “justifying grace” (God’s grace enabling us to believe in Christ), and “sanctifying grace” (God’s grace leading us to holiness). 
   

It’s the Prevenient Grace, the grace that comes before our faith that through repentance becomes Justifying Grace when we have the faith in God to be forgiven.  God’s Justifying Grace is given to us freely without hesitation.  It is in our process of seeking this grace or perhaps accepting God’s grace that we find the path of our salvation. A path to sanctifying grace leading us to holiness.
 

Methodism today creates a spirit of a newness.  Methodism makes me feel like we are connected to God, not in the ways of the past, but in the present and this connection gives us hope for the future especially when we are in a world where everyone is looking for something.  Our Methodist spirit allows God to stand out like a shining star.  A Spirit talking to each and every one of us, saying “I love you just the way you are”. 


We can go to God and through our repentance and faith,  God will give us justifying grace.  Believe in God as God believes in you!  

Come in Love and God will give you sanctifying grace.  The Holy Love that you personally will share in common with our Lord. Amen.

Closing Prayer

Gracious God, renew our minds with the power of your Holy Spirit. Cleanse our spirits with the mercy of your grace. Bring us into fellowship with one another and grant us courage to defend the lowly. Part the waters of our troubled thoughts, that we might see others as you see them. Protect us with your powerful hand, that we might sing of your faithfulness and dance to your glory. Amen.

A Pastoral Prayer

Father, we love to say, “I may forgive, but I’ll never forget!” And we think that we are truly following the ways of Christ. How blind we are, O Lord. Forgiveness means wiping the slate clean, not retaining the hurt. It works both ways: letting ourselves make a decision for healing and reaching out to the one who has hurt us to offer forgiveness and redemption. None of us is perfect. We know that. But Jesus reminded us that love is the ruling component in lives of faithful living. 

 

Father We Lift up >>>>

Help us, O Lord, really receive the love that you have lavished upon us. Help us understand that love as an agent of forgiveness. As we have brought before you the names of people and situations that are on our hearts, we seek your healing mercies and tender love for them. Remind us that the same mercy and love is continually offered to us, though we falter and fail, though we seek and strive. Be with us, gracious Lord, all of our days. AMEN.

Individual Prayers
 

WE NEED PRAYER WARRIORS WHO WILL PRAY. - WITH LIFE IN JESUS -
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!"
Doug Higgens; Mark Hart Jerry’s Brother; Tom Rizzi; Mark Rizzi; Scott VanNess; Betty Drake; All Of Our Men and Women abroad;Pat Hart; Bullis Family; The victims of the Corona Virus; Dan Slack; Jack Stearra; Bishop Schol; Peg Freeborn; Sue and Charlie Z;
Fred Kattermann Jr. & Family; Fred Kattermann Sr.; Robert Cavalero and Family; John Higgins, Manny; Laura Silvero(loss of her son) & Family; Lance Battersby,
James Battersby; Shannon & Antonio Hunter; Sue Harden; Conkling Family, Samantha Deuche (Corona); Jessica Jaskot; Mark Rizzi; Amy Garrett; Stan Gardner; Virginia Scheffler

Megan

 

Please Join us in the prayer that Jesus taught up to pray.

 

 

THE LORD'S PRAYER.                                                           PLAY VIDEO BELOW

Our Father,
who art in heaven, 
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our trespasses, 
as we forgive those that trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, 
and the power, 
and the glory, 
forever.

Doxology
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQUTvMtUhw4

Offering Prayer

With hearts filled with song, let us bring forth our gifts and offer Christ are very lives, that God may work miracles of hope through giving in our living.

Closing Hymn

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Click to hear (click on skip ad if required)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slOBjPXqDDM

Benediction   

Leader: God has put a new song in our hearts.
People: We go to sing a new song to the Lord.
Leader: God has put a song of justice and peace in our souls.
People: We go to bring a new song to the world.
Leader: God has put a song of joy in our very being.
People: We go to live a new song with every step we take. {a} footnote
All:“Now Let us Go out and show The World who the People of Christ, truly are”


 
You can now give on line.
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Follow the simple directions and click on submit.

Our Church Number is 2058. 

 

Thank you in advance, Pastor Fred.

© 2016 by Tranquility United Methodist Church

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