Handicap accessible restrooms are located in the basement. Elevator is available.
August 19, 11:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Holy Assumption Church’s Halupki Festival.
Nancy Smith will preach and lead worship on August 26. Rev. Kay will be on vacation August 21-27.
September 20, Thursday, 7 p.m. Council.
Ohio Conference UCC Annual Gathering will be held September 28-29 at Westerville Community UCC. This year’s annual conference will feature a Friday night concert by Ken Medema and keynote speaker Rev. Starsky Wilson on Saturday.
Church Office Phone 419-798-4612 Rev. Kay’s Home Phone 419-333-0433
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to call Rev. Kay at the church or at home anytime.
NO-COST OPPORTUNITIES AT LAKESIDE
For the week starting Sunday, August 19, the Lakeside Preacher of the Week is the Rev. Brent Wilson. He is a pastor in the West Ohio Conference, United Methodist Church, and currently the Superintendent in Shawnee Valley District with office in Chillicothe. He is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary. His theme will be “A Fearless Yes” in response to feeling small in a complex world. The Faith for Living Hour will be Mon-Wed (no thurs), 9:15-10:15, in Orchestra Hall. There are complimentary gate and auto passes for anyone to attend Faith for Living. These passes are available 8:30-9:15 am Monday-Thursday, valid until 2 p.m.
Sunday vespers on West Dock at 8:45 pm with guitar music. Tuesday and Thursday, 7:15 pm—evening vespers held at Pavilion, East Dock.
Everyday – a shopping/meal pass is available for 2 hours (must be validated at a restaurant or shop)
The avowed purpose of this church shall be to worship God, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to celebrate the sacraments; to realize Christian fellowship and the unity within this church and the church universal; to render loving service toward humankind; and to strive for righteousness, justice and peace.
Thinking through the faith on your feet
Our passage today is a moving reminder to us in the United Church of Christ of who we are, and who we are called to be as followers of Jesus, to understand "what we are living for." Within our own congregations and within our denomination, we are called to be one, to be reconciled, to be strong, to strive to be worthy of our calling.
And yet we are called to seek that same unity across congregational and denominational lines, too, to reach out to our Christian sisters and brothers and to find common ground, common hope, common calling. All of this is to bear witness to the loving God who "laid down the earth's foundations," thinking of us, focusing an immeasurable love on us, intending for us to be whole and holy through the power of that love.
God is working through us
That power doesn't come from within us as our own resolve or determination or intelligence. This wasn't our great idea; it's God's dream for us. This dream won't happen because we make it happen; God is bringing it to fulfillment. We participate in the great unfolding of God's plan for the world.
This is, indeed, really good news: God's own power "at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20, last week's Epistle reading), so we never need to feel overwhelmed or overpowered, because God's power is limitless and it's at work within us, always. We may think we dream big and aspire for great things, but God's power is already working towards a dream far bigger and greater than anything we've thought of or imagined.
What an incredible statement that is, and it sets up today's reading, which begins with such a significant "therefore": "I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called…"(4:1 NRSV).
Called to remember, or rather, to un-forget
Paul's exhortation is rooted in all that he has laid out, including the amazing illustration, as he sees it, of the reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles, bridging the gap so that Gentiles "have become fellow heirs, members of the same body and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel" (3:6 NRSV).
Reconciliation calls us to remember, to recall, to "un-forget" that we are one, deep down, that there is one body and one Spirit and one hope, and that all our divisions and discord are marks not of God, or of God's dream for us, but of human failing, human pride, human striving against that dream.
Years ago, I read that the word anamnesis, which means recalling or remembering, can also be translated as "un-forgetting," and that does sound more fitting when we look closely at the word itself, and connect it with "amnesia," or loss of memory. Often, it feels as if we once knew something deep in our souls but our heads have forgotten it, or we have forgotten to live our lives by its truth, and we need to "un-forget."
Learning to walk the talk
Our reading from Ephesians is a good illustration of how important it is to "walk the walk" in addition to "talking the talk." In fact, Carl R. Holladay says that the phrase "lead a life" in Paul's exhortation is a translation of the Greek for "walk" (Preaching through the Christian Year B), so walking the walk is a good way to imagine and embody our call as Christians.
How easy it is to think that talking, preaching, and proclaiming are all there is to it! How much more difficult it is to live a life worthy of our calling, in humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance. Very little in our culture today exhorts, supports, or even permits us to lift up such virtues when the goal of life is to acquire everything we can and to get ahead of everyone else.
Perhaps that brings home best the clear difference in Paul's claim that Jesus is our one Lord, for, as John Dominic Crossan says in much of his work, "If Jesus is Lord, Caesar is not" (see, for example, In Search of Paul). "Caesar" today may be materialism and greed, militarism and violence, pride and self-righteousness, as individuals and as communities, too. All of these things, Paul would say, are unworthy of the calling to which we have been called.