It’s finally here. Seems like an eternity and a blink of an eye all at the same time. This Sunday, August 3, I will preach my first sermon in the Sanctuary services at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. A few thoughts as I approach this Sunday…
- I’ve already learned so much about Houston and the Chapelwood community in the past two months. I still have much to learn, but I am so encouraged by your support and excitement.
- In the past few weeks, I’ve been meeting with the staff, ministry teams, and others in the community just to get my head wrapped around things as we head into August. I wish each and every one of you could know EVERY single thing Chapelwood does and dreams to do through your generosity and support. It is absolutely amazing!
- I have visited all of our worshiping communities: Mercy Street, Esperanza, Upper Room, and Contemplative in addition to the Sanctuary services. I’ve even watched services online to get a feel of how it works. We are blessed with a diverse community. I truly believe that makes God happy.
- Every person I’ve met has shared words of excitement and encouragement about us being here. It warms my heart to know you love my family.
- This Sunday, I will preach on Mark 4:35-41, “The Calm and The Chaos”. It will help you know a little more about me and about how God will work in and through us as we move forward into the future. My desire is that each and every worship service will be a time of true and authentic worship where we experience the living Christ in our midst.
- August 3 will be a big day in other ways…the shuttles will resume and I hope you will take advantage of them. I plan to.
As a final thought, let me leave you with our call to worship for August 3.
Let us start this time well, by reminding ourselves:
That we are not here because of our goodness, but because of Christ’s grace,
That we are not here to enlighten ourselves, but to allow Christ to enlighten us,
That we have not come to be entertained, but to worship God with heart, soul, mind and strength.
With overflowing gratitude,
“You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.
I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.”
John, I enjoyed your blog entry and love the dialectic of your first call to worship…beautifully expressed…reminded me of something Niebuhr would have said. Blessings on your first Sunday!