A welcoming, reconciling congregation with open hearts, open minds and open doors to ALL

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all i want for christmas - peace

All I Want for Christmas – Peace

All I Want for Christmas is Peace. What a week to choose this topic with clashes and heightened tensions across the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. And tensions are running high in North Korea. We live in a world, in a country, where the gap between rich and poor is getting bigger, where human rights are not met.  In America, there are more guns than people with so much gun violence – two students were killed in a shooting just this Thursday at Aztec High School in New Mexico. And there is conflict in our communities, churches and families. Peace on earth seems as far away as ever. (Isaiah 11:1-10, Matthew 3:1-12)

all i want for christmas - hope

All I Want for Christmas: Hope

What are you hoping for this Christmas? Do you hope to survive the flood of Christmas bills or hope that there will be sufficient money to pay for your child’s college tuition or hope that the dentist won’t say it’s time for dentures? Perhaps you are hoping the GOP Tax Bill does not get passed?! Or that it does?! How hopeful are you that things will work out? (Romans 13:11-14)

running on empty

Running on Empty

This is a parable about the need to be prepared as we wait for Jesus. This morning we will ponder two things. First:. What is the oil? What is it that we need to be prepared with and must not run out of? Second: How should we wait? (Matthew 25:1-13)

500 Years of ReFormation

500 Years of ReFormation

You have probably noticed the title I gave today’s sermon was not “500 Years of  Reformation” but “500 Years of ReFormation. “The Reformation didn’t stop. The Church over the years has constantly been re-evaluating where it is. A line gets drawn and people protest that the line is in the wrong place. Some break off and leave and a new church is born. Who is in & who is out? What exactly do we believe? (Romans 1:16-17)

gods story our story

God’s Story, Our Story

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño was our guest preacher for our Church Anniversary service as we celebrated 30 years since the founding of Sierra Pines UMC and 25 years since we were chartered, Sierra Pines’ story, our story, is God’s story too. As we live out our mission to be “love in action” and Jesus’ instructions to “feed my lambs” we become the church that God is calling us to be, making disciples and transforming the world. (John 21:15-17)

altars everywhere

Altars Everywhere

Today, I want us to think about the gifts of the city, and how we are called to transform our cities, so that moving out of scarcity means staying where we are and building Altars Everywhere. It means showing the gifts of abundance to a fear-filled world. Sometimes that it means looking a little closer and opening our eyes to the gifts that we already have. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

the other side of the tracks

The Other Side of the Tracks

We cannot totally succeed in avoiding fear, but we do our best to try to protect ourselves from fearful situations. We build walls or fences and live on one side of the tracks. We stay with people who look like us, who think like us, who dress like us, who eat like us. And we hoard our resources to take care of ourselves because we are afraid that if we don’t that there might not be enough.  (Acts 15:1-12)