June 13, 2021: Seed Time and Harvest – Communion: Grapes

Third Sunday after Pentecost

Seed Time and Harvest – Communion: Grapes


Scripture: Galatians 6:9 and I Corinthians 13:1-13

  • Sunday, June 16, 2021: Third Sunday after Pentecost
  • A Time for Centering: “Jesus Is the Song,” By David Danner, Arr. By Gayden Sikes; Donna Grubbs, piano, and Pauline Olsen, organ
  •  Hymn 144: “This Is My Father’s World,” by Maltbie D. Babcock; Tom Dowdell, Linda Jarvi, Becky Morgan, Melody Romeo, Alana Schmicker, Bob Schmicker, Jim Stoffer, Dennis Westeren, hymn leaders
  •  Hymn 408: “The Gift of Love,” by Hal Hopson; Tom Dowdell, Linda Jarvi, Becky Morgan, Melody Romeo, Alana Schmicker, Bob Schmicker, Jim Stoffer, Dennis Westeren, hymn leaders
  •  Special Music: “Gather Us In, ” By Marty Haugen; Tom Dowdell, Linda Jarvi, Becky Morgan, Melody Romeo, Alana Schmicker, Bob Schmicker, Jim Stoffer, Dennis Westeren, hymn leaders
  •  Scripture: Galatians 6:9 and I Corinthians 13:1-13; Ken Lillagore
  •  Sermon: “Seed Time and Harvest – Communion: Grapes,” Pastor Brad Beeman
  •  Dedication of Altar, Pulpit, and Baptismal Font
  •  Communion
  •  Hymn 581: “Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service,” by Albert F. Bayly; Tom Dowdell, Linda Jarvi, Becky Morgan, Melody Romeo, Alana Schmicker, Bob Schmicker, Jim Stoffer, Dennis Westeren, hymn leaders
  •  “Flourish on “Salzburg,” Traditional Hymn Tune Arr. by Douglas E. Wagner; Pauline Olsen, organ

A Review of last week’s list…

1. A firm conviction that God is to be in and throughout all that we do; a belief in a power greater than ourselves that moves through each of us and every aspect of Trinity.

2. The next key ingredient is a simple, guiding statement of our mission, and an accessible but challenging vision that unites all of us and moves us in one, focused direction together.

3. Active and Engaging Worship. Every aspect of our worship services need to accurately reflect our belief in the power of God; and include opportunities to engage the power and practice the presence of God.

4. A focus on our growth in faith. A model that grows discipleship.

5. Opportunities to build loving, trusting, and caring relationships.

This week…

The Dead Sea in Israel is dead for one simple reason. You would think it would be alive and healthy and even life-giving. The Jordan River flows directly into this sea. The Jordan is filled with nutrients, oxygen, life, and vitality. But something happens that kills all of that. Once it hits the brackish waters of the Dead Sea, the life that was once in the waters of the river quickly dies. They die because they become stagnant. They die because the salt almost immediately begins to kill the life. But the biggest reason is that The Dead Sea has no outlet. There is no flow, no movement of the water. As fresh water flows in, it picks up the minerals bound by the Sea, begins to evaporate, and quickly dies as it simply sits. The same happens in churches. Without living water flowing in, and then an outward flow of what God offers, a church becomes stagnant, self-focused, and slowly begins to die. No church should die, ever. Not with the power available to make it alive. So today we talk about the other elements that make a church alive, healthy, and vibrant. These are the more outward flowing elements. Surprisingly enough, some of these elements will happen right here within the doors of the church. Others move us beyond those same doors.

So, from the inward focus of last week, we turn to an outward focus for this week. Last week was all about being the Body of Christ, here, at the church. But there is more to vitality than an inward focus. If there isn’t an outward focus that is equally as important, a church will quickly become stagnant, and potentially die. But turning outward still begins right here, and it’s what I’ve heard over and over again as a priority at Trinity. It is the sixth ingredient needed for a church to be healthy and vibrant.

6. Strategy of Welcoming and Engaging New People. Most churches have a kind of turnstile effect. New people come in the front as others go out the back. There are implementable strategies that can help stop the effect, but it takes making a church-wide decision that welcoming is a priority. I say the whole church simply because everyone needs to be on board…to recognize new people, greet them, and then, the more challenging part, invite them to something, and then follow up with them.

7. Focus on Servant Leadership. Service can always begin within the doors of the church. It is still service, offering ourselves to the work and ministries of the church. For a church to remain healthy there have to be leaders who are willing to lead. But there are specific elements within that leadership that make it even more vital. Leaders need to feel well-equipped and confident. They need to be clear about their role and how that role impacts the rest of the church. One of the key elements, and one that sets us apart from a more corporate kind of culture, is that leaders in churches need to see themselves as servants; servants of God, servants to the mission and vision of the church; and servants of the congregation. It is the inverted triangle I keep talking about. The pastor is at the bottom, seeking to support the leaders. Within this element, there is also an easily understood organizational model that can be followed by anyone in the church.

8. Turning Outward in Mission. Mission and Outreach are priorities, and they reflect the mission and vision of the church. Those opportunities are focused, planned, detailed, and carry out the mission and vision of the church, this one is the focus of what happens beyond the doors.

9. A Simple Administrative Structure: that includes a wise and simple administrative structure that includes accountability among staff, church leaders, and the overall church. Every person who identifies Trinity as their home church will have a voice and a vote in the decisions and direction of the church. It is my hope to establish what I’ve called, “The Common Table,” a gathering of the Body of Christ to help guide the work of the leadership of the church. There will be a Core Leadership Team that may or may not reflect our denominational model. But at this point, first and foremost, the Body needs to know that they will have input in every major decision. And every decision will be covered in prayer, guided by our principles and core values, and ultimately made with full input from any who would like to be involved.

10. Wise and biblically-based stewardship – a heart to give sacrificially toward the ministries and mission of the church. Stewardship is often seen as something monetary, focused solely on money or financial giving. Stewardship is much broader than that. We’re dedicating this altar and pulpit today. The artistry and craftsmanship were offered without price by Andy Pitts. Other elements including the wood were given by a few families who see that as a part of their gifts to the church. Those serving in leadership are giving of themselves, as are those of you who work on anything around the church.

In the membership vows in a United Methodist Church are five specific commitments. Each represents a piece of our stewardship. They include: time, talents, gifts, service, and witness. That brings us to these two beautiful pieces of chancel furniture…

Altar and Pulpit Overview & Dedication with Andy Pitts and Gay Lyn Lillagore