The Lighthouse Keeper

Greetings from Pastor Kerry, former pastor of Spring City UMC. This blog contains my sermon outlines and/or manuscripts from my pastorate among the people of Spring City PA, from 2006 to 2011. Pastor Dennis is now the lighthouse keeper. Come and worship on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Taking Action

September 6, 2009
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Taking Action
James 2

Do you... really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? – James 2:1

You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – James 2:8

My sermon outline:

• Story of a pastor preaching in a crowded church, when a visitor enters late.... There was not a seat to be found, and the young man with jeans and sandals and tie-dyed shirt slowly made his way to the front of the church and sat down on the floor in front of the first pew. Attention gradually turned to a well-dressed usher who was slowly making his way down the aisle toward the young man. Everybody knew what had to happen, but nobody really wanted to watch. But you just don't act that way in church. The man finally got to the front of the church and slowly and carefully got down and sat on the floor next to the young visitor.

Said the preacher: “What I have said, you will never remember. What you have seen, you will never forget.”

• People judge Christians by their action (& inaction)

• Greet those who you don’t know... You could try sitting by other people once in a while.

• But there’s more than this gesture.

Due to Pennsylvania’s lack of a current budget, people are suffering needlessly. (examples given)

• Have faith but no works? Love neighbor as self? Join the bishop in writing a letter to your senators and representatives. (leave it here, it’ll get there) (print your name and address)

(see sample text of letter as a separate post)

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.
~ Deuteronomy 15:7-8

• Once upon a time a father and son were considering the affairs of the world & the son said I can do something to help them. I’m comfortable here with you, but I’m going to get involved. And Jesus said, “I came that they might have life abundant.” I’m going to get down on my hands and knees and serve them, and if I have to, I’ll die for them But I’m not going to sit by and watch idly while they suffer.

• Jesu, Jesu 432

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 52 in worship.

A Letter to PA Legislators

regarding the current budget stalemate

Dear (Governor, senator, representative, etc)

I am writing to you from the Spring City United Methodist Church. We are praying for you and our other leaders as Pennsylvania deals with an unconscionable budget crisis.

Communities are suffering because of the lack of a budget. Innocent people are being used as pawns. It is time for our leaders to set aside partisanship and reach a budgetary solution that will be good for all of Pennsylvania.

We expect our leaders to serve us – the people – and not their political ambitions. For ten weeks, funding has stopped for childcare, education, counseling, senior services, economic development, housing, foster-care and adoption. People are suffering.

Government has a moral obligation to protect the health and welfare of all Pennsylvanians. That is not happening during this crisis. Our leaders – both Democratic and Republican – have failed us.

We expect you to be part of the solution, and to set aside partisan concerns, as our leaders have done in many other crises over the years. Lives are at stake!

Legislative leaders must begin round-the-clock negotiations until the stalemate is broken. The solution must be a budget that does not cut necessary and vital services and jobs. We need a budget that is not only balanced on program cuts, but if necessary also includes reasonable revenue enhancements.

We believe God must be unhappy with what is happening in Pennsylvania. Because of politics, the poor, the hungry, the elderly, children, and families are suffering. This crisis must end now!

(name and address)

(approximately 50 letters were signed and delivered from this worship service)