Monthly Sermons

January 2013 - Pastor's Note

Are you a Disciple of Christ, Jesus our Lord”?

As Disciples of Christ, you have chosen to be loyal to God and to the

United Methodist Church by doing all in your power to strengthen its ministries.

As disciples of this congregation we are encouraged to faithfully participate in its ministries by our prayers, presence, gifts, service, witness and time. The United Methodist Hymnal

A Disciple from a New Testament perspective is a follower of Jesus, although it is also used to describe followers or other religious leaders.

Mark 2:18 ”…the disciples of John and (The disciplesof the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him (Jesus), “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

John 9:28 “Then they reviled him (The man who was born blind) and said, “You are His (Jesus) disciple, but we are Moses disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”

Three circles of disciples may be identified in the Gospels:

1. A large group of followers, from which the Twelve are chosen… Luke 6:12-7

2. “The Twelve”, who were designated as “apostles” and were especially called by Jesus to travel with him and learn. Mark 3:16-19

3. The inner circle of Peter, James and John, who alone accompany Jesus on certain key occasions (e.g., the transfiguration Mark 9:2-13, Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter Mark 5:21-37 and the garden of Gethsemane, Matthew


Luke indicates that in the early Church the term “disciple” came to refer to the growing band of believers in Jesus, i.e., to Christians.

DiscipleshipEerdmas Dictionary of thBiblDavid Noel Freedman Editor

Bishop Robert C. Schnase in his book Cultivating Fruitfulness states that we are committed Disciples of Christ when we choose to Practice…

1. Radical Hospitality means we pray, plan and work to invite others and help them feel welcome and to support them in their spiritual journeys. We offer them home away from home.

2. Passionate Worship means an extraordinary eagerness to offer the best in worship, honoring God with excellence with the purpose of connecting people to God.

3. Intentional Faith Development refers to all ministries that help us grow in faith outside weekly worship: it refers to deliberate effort that is high in our priority.

4. Risk-Taking Mission and Service pushes us out of our comfort zone, stretching us beyond service of people we already know to improve conditions of others in the name of Christ.

5. Extravagant Generosity describes practices of sharing and giving that exceed all expectation, and the Christian’s unselfish willingness to give in order to make a positive difference for the purpose of Christ. “Are You a Disciple of Christ, Jesus our Lord”?

Happy New Year

Pastor Alston

Join us at 10:45 each Sunday in January for our Sermon Series: Discipleship

January 6 Epiphany of Our Lord

John 1:29-39

Come and See

January 13 Baptism of the Lord

John 1:43-51

Making the Connection

January 20 2nd Sunday after Epiphany

Luke 5:1-11

What’s God Saying and Doing in Me?

January 27 3rd Sunday after Epiphany

Mark 6:35-38

What Do I Do Next?

December 2012 - Pastor's Note

Eleven months ago, we were celebrating a brand new year. 2012 brought new opportunities and possibilities. 2012 brought a time for refection and new beginnings.

     Now let us fast forward to today. Believe it or not, it’s December. Where did 2012 go? Are you still praising God for those new possibilities and opportunities or are you asking for forgiveness and mercy?

“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus (Savior), for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

     Joseph, in the above scripture, received a word of prophecy from the angel of the Lord, saying, your wife Mary will bring forth a Savior (Son) and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save his people (all who choose to believe) from their sins…

   "…for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…"  Romans 4:23

     As we enter into this Season of Advent. Let us take this time to give thanks and praise for a God who looked beyond our sins and saw our needs.

”Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and she will call His name Immanuel (God-With-Us)”  Isaiah 7:14
“the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’;” Isaiah 40:3

     As believers of Christ at Christ, let us enter the Season of Advent, Christmas and the New Year prepared to open our hearts and prepare ourselves for a new experience in Jesus. Jesus was given to the world to save us from the penalty of sin and destruction.

“my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I all so will reject you…says the Lord.” Hosea 4:6
“if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us for all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Today, let us embrace the attitude of Mary when she was confronted with a new experience with God.

     The angel of the Lord said to Mary, “Do not be afraid…for you have found favor with God…you will conceive and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus…” And the angel said to her…”The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

     Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let be to me according to your word. Let us open wide our hearts through faith and receive ‘Jesus’ God’s gift to the world to save us from our sins.”

God bless you as we worship the newborn Savior,     
    Pastor Alston

Join us at 10:45 each Sunday in December for our Sermon Series: Jesus, Our Lord and Savior

December 2     First Sunday in Advent

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Luke 21:25-36
The Lord, Our Righteousness 

December 9     Second Sunday in Advent

            Malachi 3:1-4
            Luke 3:2-6
            Prepare the Way (Heart) for the Lord 

December 16 Third Sunday in Advent

            Isaiah 12:2-6
            Philippians 4:4-7
           The Lord is at Hand

 December 23  Fourth Sunday in Advent

            Psalm 80:1-7
            Luke 1:39-55
           According to Your Word

December 24  Christmas Eve

            Luke 2:1-20
           The Savior is Born

December 30  First Sunday after Christmas

            1 Samuel:2:18-20
            Colossians 3:12-17

            Encountering God

November 2012 - Pastor's Note

“Remember your Baptismal Covenant”

The United Methodist Hymnal, printed in 1989 Nashville, Tenn.

 Brothers  and sisters in Christ at Christ, through the sacrament of Baptism we are initiated in the Christ’s holy church. We are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation and given new birth through water and the Spirit All this is God’s gift, offered to us without price. Do you remember the promises made? 

John 1:12  …as many as received Him (Jesus), and to them he gave the right (authority) to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.

   On behalf of the whole church…do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of your sin? Yes ( ) No ( )

Acts 1:8  …you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;

and you will be my witness… 

   Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?   Yes ( )  No ( )

James 4:7-8  ...Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee (run away) from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you… 

   Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord?  Yes ( )   No ( )

 Romans 10:9-10…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and

believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

  Will you nurture one another in the Christian faith…and care for one another?  Yes ( )   No ( )

Matthew 22:37-39  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…soul…and mind…’you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’   

Do you believe in God the Father?  Yes ( )   No ( )

Do you believe in Jesus Christ?  Yes ( )   No ( )

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?  Yes ( )   No ( )

Romans 3:23    …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Matthew  1:21  …Jesus came into the world to save his people for their sins.

John 3:5  …unless one is born again (born from above by faith) they cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Remember your baptism and be glad.

 Pastor Alston

Join us at 10:45 each Sunday in November for our Sermon Series:

Understanding Why We Give

November 4  All Saints Day

23rd Sunday after Pentecost

  1 Chronicles 29:14

  Matthew 6:19-21

All Belongs to God

November 11   Loyalty Sunday

  Genesis 14:20

  Romans 9:15-17

Recognizing Our Dependence on God

November 18  Confirmation Sunday

  Leviticus 27:20

  2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Giving Is Central to Worship

November 25  Christ the King Sunday

  Malachi 3:10

  Luke 6:38

Who Do You Trust?