In the church calendar, the season between Easter and Advent is known as Ordinary Time. What is ordinary for a church? How are we to live together in such a time as this, which feels anything but ordinary?
At Hilliard UMC, we’ve spent the past three months getting to the heart of who God is. Next up, we move into a season of dreaming together about God’s call on our lives to allow God’s welcoming nature to transform us — that we might also be open to the ways that others might change us.
Through this transformation, we come closer to becoming the beloved community God calls us to be!
JULY 30 – GOD’S DREAMS FOR US – Testimonies from Vacation Bible School, 2 services in the Sanctuary – 9:30 (not 9:45) & 11am (no 8:30am service in The Sanctuary today; no 11am worship in Warehouse 839 today).
God has big dreams for each one of us and made us for a purpose. This week, our children will remind us of those dreams and the ways in which we are called to live them out.
AUGUST 6 – CHANGED BY THE OTHER: Jesus & the Canaanite Woman – Matthew 15:21-28, Pastor April Blaine speaking. Holy Communion celebrated.
In this strange encounter between Jesus and the Canaanite woman, we find this beautiful moment of vulnerability where Jesus is, in fact, changed by the power of this woman’s faith. Are we open to allowing others to change us as well?
AUGUST 13 – CHANGED BY THE OTHER: Jesus & the Samaritan Woman – John 4, Beth Palmer, Director of Adult Spiritual Formation, speaking
Jews and Samaritans did not interact. But Jesus invites this woman to give him water, and in doing so, he offers her the living water that her heart so truly longed for.
AUGUST 20 – CHANGED BY THE OTHER: Jesus & the 4,000 – Matthew 14:32-39, Pastor April Blaine speaking
The feeding of the 4,000 happened on the east side of the Sea of Galilee among the Canaanites. When Jesus saw them, he had compassion for them and laid out a feast, which must have become a place of connection and fellowship. Pastor April will dialogue with Pat Grafton about her years as a nurse and all that she learned about empathy and shared connection.
AUGUST 27 – CHANGED BY THE OTHER: Jesus & the children – Matthew 19:13-15, Pastor April Blaine speaking. Children’s Bible Sunday.
When the children were being brought to Jesus, the disciples tried to turn them away, but Jesus welcomed them and received them with grace, ready to encounter all that they offer.
SEPTEMBER 3 – ARE WE WILLING TO SURRENDER? – John 12:20-26 – Pastor Karen Muntzing speaking
Jesus speaks about the power of a grain of wheat that falls into the earth and dies so that it can bear much fruit. What part of our egos, our agendas, and our own personal preference must we be willing to surrender in order for God to bear fruit in our lives? Are we willing to let go?
SEPTEMBER 10 – ARE WE OPEN TO CHANGE? – Acts 10, Pastor April Blaine speaking
It was an extraordinary moment when both Cornelius and Peter encountered the Holy Spirit in a way they never imagined. Their experience opened the door for Gentiles and Jews to begin worshipping and learning about God’s grace together. Are we truly open to doing things in new ways that will make space for more of God’s people to experience the good news?
SEPTEMBER 17 – CAN WE KEEP WALKING THROUGH OUR FEARS? – Matthew 14:22-33, Pastor April Blaine speaking
Jesus believed that his disciples could do what he did, including walking out on the water toward him. When Peter begins to sink, it isn’t because Jesus didn’t believe in him. It was because Peter didn’t believe in himself. As we seek to live into God’s dream for us, how do we keep walking through the discomfort?