<![CDATA[Pastor Jess - Sermon Podcast On A Journey with Jesus]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:45:43 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Prepare for Comfort for Rough Places]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 06:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/prepare-for-comfort-for-rough-placesEnjoy!  There are moment of quiet in the audio where the congregation is talking to conversation partners.  I've edited most of them out for this.  However, if you're listening while driving, I left a minute or two in for you to do your own thinking on the question.  If you want to discuss below:
Leave a Comment:
1.  Where do you find comfort in your faith?
2.  Who is on the hills of our world? Who might not be comforted when the hills are made low?
3.  How do we bring comfort to others?
4.  How does your baptism give you strength? 

Isaiah 40:1-11 and Mark 1:1-8, Advent 2

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<![CDATA[How Do We Keep Awake and Notice Jesus]]>Sun, 03 Dec 2017 06:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/how-do-we-keep-awake-and-notice-jesusHappy New Year!  
This is the First Sunday of Advent, and we start a new cycle of readings known as Year B.  This year, we'll focus on the gospel of Mark.  According to Matt Skinner, who is quoted in this sermon and wrote this article, this is the perfect time to be learning from the Gospel of Mark.  

Also, quoted is Rev. Dirk van der Duim, and you can read more about the church he serves Grace Lutheran Church, here.  

Finally, this sermon references our Compliment Box, so you canlearn more about that here.  

The text is Mark 13:24-37 and Isaiah 64:1-9

Homework (Or, Advent Discipline)

We keep awake by being Jesus in the world, and noticing where Jesus is in the world.  As the sermon discusses, we end the world of brokenness and oppression, and find that Jesus is here making a new world of love and hope.  Where do you see Jesus doing that this week?  Where is Jesus doing this for you, and where are you doing this for others?  Leave your comments below, or bring them to church on Sunday if you can be there in person.  Let's compliment Jesus in our Compliment Box this Advent!
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<![CDATA[Sheep, Goats, Kinship, and YOU]]>Sun, 26 Nov 2017 06:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/sheep-goats-kinship-and-youMatthew 25: 31-46

If we're all kin, and Jesus is the king of the kin-dom of God, and Jesus rewards sheep, what are we supposed to do?

If the sheep are to visit those in prison, whom have you visited?
If the sheep are to care for the sick, whose health care have to advocated to keep?
If the sheep are to feed the hungry, how much money could you share with a Food Pantry?
If the sheep are to give the thirsty a drink, what clean water projects have you funded?  

Are you taking the Bible seriously?  Are you part of the Kin-dom of God where you understand yourself in Kinship with all of humanity?  Where can taking your faith seriously take you? 
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<![CDATA[Are You Hiding Talents]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 06:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/are-you-hiding-talentsSermon on Matthew 25:14-30.  What talents do you have for God?  Are you hiding them?  Find out below, and be sure to share your results with Pastor!  Paper copies of the inventory are available at church.  If you're an online follower, please, still share.
Online SPIRITUAL gifts inventory
Share Results with Pastor Jess
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<![CDATA[aLL sAINTS sERMON]]>Sun, 12 Nov 2017 06:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/all-saints-sermonFor contexual reasons, Calvary had me preach on All Saint's Sunday on Nov. 12.  This decision was controvercial within our congregation and among other Pastors, and I learned much from the conversation.  This is not the place to re-have that conversation.  

However, if you would like to hear a sermon about All Saint's Sunday, my Dad's death 13 years ago, and how all of that relates to all being welcome at the Communion Table, listen to the sermon below.  

In other news, we are having First or New to Communion Classes on Thursdays in Lent from 4pm-5pm.  Dates are listed below.  The celebration will be on Maundy Thursday at the evening service on March 29, the night when we celebrate Jesus having his Last Supper with his disciples and instituting communion. All are welcome, regardless of previous church background or affiliation.  People of all ages are welcome to come to the classes on:
Feb. 22
March 1
March 8
March 15
March 22
   
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<![CDATA[Reformation Day service and Celebration]]>Sun, 29 Oct 2017 05:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/reformation-day-service-and-celebration
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Overview

Reformation Day at Calvary was really fun! We did joint worship with Mt. Zion Lutheran in Oak Lawn, and the creative service elements below were jointly created.  Pr. David Hulse is as much as author of this post as I am.  Please see below for our Opening Litany, Gospel Reading, Sermon (Interview with Martin Luther), Pictures, and Video Highlights.   

Opening Litany

OPENING DIALOGUE
P: We are here today to celebrate reformation.
C: God, please re-form us. 
P: Hold us, O God, and
C: Help us to experience you in new ways.
P: We are here today to honor our tradition and history.
C: God, thank you for all that has gone before.
P: We begin and celebrate in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
C: Amen
P: Let’s get this party started!
C: We’re ready!  Amen!

Gathering Time

How do we experience God?
A central message of the Reformation is that everyone has access to God.  What ways do you experience your faith?  How is your life impacted by God?  Today, you have the option to attend several stations around the room to interact in your relationship with God.  Later, we will move into the sanctuary and return to traditional worship.  Just as they did 500 years ago, we hold our old traditions and our new ways together as a way to look ahead to the next 500 years of life in the church that centers God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Station 1: Praying Through Color: Join Barry as he leads you through learning to pray through art.  Just as Martin Luther said that people could pray directly to God and that was new for his church, let’s try praying in a new way today.
 
Station 2:  The Door and Compliment Box: Martin Luther, 500 years ago, is said to have nailed his theses about life in the church to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.  What theses do you have about the future of the church?  What are your important beliefs about God?  What do you think needs reforming in the church today?  Write it down, nail it to the door, and also leave a Compliment about the Church in the Compliment Box.
 
Station 3:  Sit and listen as Jean reads the Martin Luther Pop-Up book!  For those teens and young adults who would like their graphic novel, visit Pastor Jess. 
 
Station 4: Tape your illustrated Bible verses to the wall.  Let’s celebrate that we can read the Bible in our own language!
 
Station 5: On a notecard, write down what gifts you have to offer the ministry of God and for the church.  Martin Luther taught that everyone was given gifts to offer.  Tie your note onto one of the many red flower and plants, and even though we are all unique, we make a beautiful bouquet for the Kingdom of God!

Gospel Reading

Romans 3:19-28
The New Revised Standard Version of this text is at the above link.  This is the version we normally use in worship.  Today, since we are exploring new ways of experiencing faith, we’ll read this passage from The Message as a call and response.
 
Paul asks the church in Rome:
 
P: So where does that put us? Do we Jews [ or, we who are already here] get a better break than the others? Not really. Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it:
 
P: There’s nobody living right, not even one,
    nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.
C: God, please re-form us.  
P: They’ve all taken the wrong turn;
    they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.
C: God, please re-form us.  
P: No one’s living right;
    I can’t find a single one.
Their throats are gaping graves,
    their tongues slick as mudslides.
C: We all need to be re-formed. 
P: Every word they speak is tinged with poison.
    They open their mouths and pollute the air.
C: We all need to be re-formed. 
P: They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,
    litter the land with heartbreak and ruin,
C: We all need to be re-formed. 
P: [We] don’t know the first thing about living with others.
    [We] never give God the time of day.
C: God, please re-form us.  
P: This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place!
C: God, please re-form us.  
P: And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else? Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin.
C: God, please re-form us.  
P: But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened.
C: Thank God for Re-formation!
P:  The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
C: Thank Jesus for Re-formation!
God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.
C: Thank the Holy Spirit for Re-Formation!
P:  So where does that leave our proud Jewish [people who are already in church]  insider claims and counterclaims? Canceled? Yes, canceled.
C: God, please re-form us.
What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.
C: We all need to be re-formed.  Thanks be to God, Jesus, and the Spirit who are always Re-Forming! 

Sermon audio: 
Interview with Martin Luther

Video Highlights

Coming soon!

Pictures

To be added soon.  If you have some, please send them to Pastor Jess via facebook message, e-mail, or text.  If you don't have that contact info, please send her a message here
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<![CDATA[God's Blessings (And BUTT??!?!)]]>Sun, 22 Oct 2017 05:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/gods-blessings-and-buttYes, I'm behind on posting sermons.  Life, ya know?  Anyway, I was gone on Oct. 8,15, and Nov. 5, so there won't be sermons from those days.  For those of you who follow, I apologize for the delays.  I'm trying to catch up today and tomorrow. 
This sermon is from Exodus 33:12-23 and 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10.  It begins with a new reading of Thessalonians, "To Chicago, IL" is how the new letter starts.  What if Paul was writing to us?   
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<![CDATA[God Gives Us What We Need]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 05:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/god-gives-us-what-we-need
Based on Exodus 17:1-7.  Is God like a parent, or different?  Can we have what we need?  What's a good process for when we get worried about things?   Add your comments below!
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<![CDATA[Strawberry Pickers Are Human]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/strawberry-pickers-are-humanIt was 92 degrees at church on Sunday, in a sanctuary without any air conditioning or much ventilation.  So, I decided to do the children's sermon and adult sermon mostly together.  Our picture taker was not there, and I started recording a little late.  However, you can imagine that there are three groups of children standing up in the font, and the kid in front of each group is holding a sign.  This is where the recording picks up.  Part One is the kids acting out Matthew 20:1-16 as modern day strawberry pickers hanging out in front of a store hoping for work.  Part Two is a commentary on it.  Enjoy!
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<![CDATA[Hope and Forgiveness in Three Acts]]>Sun, 17 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMThttp://pastorjess.com/onajourneywithjesus/hope-and-forgiveness-in-three-actsParting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:19-31) and Jesus telling us to forgive (Matt 18:21-25) and how hard is it when God makes a way for us, but we don't always want to take it.  However, we are promised some amazing hope this week, and given practical tools to live out that hope in our congregation and our lives. 
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