Rose Park Sunday School (Adults and Children) at 8:45 a.m. / Worship at 9:45 a.m.

Madison Sunday School (Adults and Children) 10:15 a.m. / Worship at 11:15 a.m.

On this day of new beginnings, we are going to acknowledge our common kinship through the Spirit.

Discipleship begins with relationship.

  • With whom — relationship?
    • Who are our kin?
  • Who is “us” in a world of “us” and “them”?
  • July 4, 2022: 246 years
  • Let there be less of a nation of boasting and more of a nation striving to be the light on the hill, the shining example of the kin-dom of heaven on earth.

Connection to the light!           The Light on the Hill       January 2021 Written By Pastor Liz Petry

Each night the light of love and mercy shines on the hill,

Awaiting the dawning of a new day, it shines

Through times of trouble and times of celebration

The light continues to shine.

For more than two hundred years, God’s name has been lifted in praise,

Parishioners have proclaimed the word of God in the mountains and valleys.

Sharing the light of the world with family and friends, neighbors, and enemies.

The light continues to shine.

Even the challenges of our present-day problems and unrest across our nation

Cannot dim the light. The light continues to shine.

Each generation of believers must pick up the cross and share the light.

So the light continues to shine.

Lord Jesus, you brought the light into the world with your birth.

You walked among us and taught us how to share the light.

Many have tried to extinguish the light,

But the light continues to shine.

In the best of times and in the worst of times, the light will lead us home. What/Where is home?

  • Some: always been at home
  • Others: more wandering
  • What/Where is home? For me, Indiana (left in ’84:38 years)@Z3DE4X
  • Jesus tried to go home (Mark 6)
    • Jesus went home because he is like us.
    • So, he goes home for the same reasons we go home. He goes home because, well, because it’s home! He goes for comfort; he goes for identity’s sake.
    •  Jesus went home.
      • He spoke in the synagogue, and they were astounded by him.
      • For a moment. When they listened to his words, they were knocked out of themselves for a moment.
      • They were swept up in his vision; they leaned into his promise.
      • Until someone said, “Wait a minute. Isn’t this that carpenter kid? Who does he think he is?” And everything fell apart. They turned away from him because they thought they knew him. They turned against him because they thought he should stay in his place. They called him names – “Son of Mary” “Carpenter”
      • Jesus went home, but home didn’t take him in. Some say that you can’t go home once you’ve left. Child of the 60’s Vietnam
      • there is within us the desire to go home. Or maybe better, there is within us the desire to be home, to be welcomed home, to feel at home. And if home won’t take you, what’s left?

Home is not so much a place as it is a level of relationship. It is a welcome.

  • Jesus welcomes us home.  Jesus is trying to help his disciples refocus by changing their understanding of home.  Home is where we are nurtured by our community of faith, a place of respite, of renewal. Again, turning our understanding upside down, or inside out. Looking past the visible, to the hidden bonds of family that provide our strength. 
  • We think of home as a place of renewal. We think we can go home and rest. And we can, but only if our focus is right. Home won’t renew us, won’t build us up, unless the focus of our home is on the One who raises us into a new kin-dom, a new reality. Jesus redefines our kin. Who is your mother? Who is your brother?
  • What is your home? Our true home, “not made with hands but eternal in the heavens.” That is the place of renewal, of strengthening. And it is available now as it will be in eternity. It is our peace, our grace now and a grace to be shared. A home to be built, here and now with all the people of God.
  • Let the Lower Lights be Burning! Jesus is our lighthouse, we must keep the lower lights
    • Lighthouse story!
  • As we celebrate the birth of our country, may we focus on a vision of what we could be, what we long to be.
    • I am a patriot and I love my country
      • we hope for more – more justice for all, more equality, more hospitality.
      • We celebrate who we are, even as we celebrate who we might be.
      • We all want a country that feels like home, which means we need people, all the people – of the people, by the people, and for the people – to show us the way to go home. Show us the way to be home, a home for all God’s children. For they are our bone and flesh.
      • The light will always be there to lead us home

For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it. Amanda Gorman