Posts by PastorKB

Sermon August 6: Inseperable

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Sunday Message | 0 comments

http://faithsbvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Inseparable_E.mp3 Faith United Methodist Church August 6, 2017 Ninth Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture:  Romans 8:26-39 Prayer for Illumination: O God, open our hearts to hear your word of grace.  Give us honest spirits, that we may receive your gift.   Help us experience anew the surprise and joy that your presence in the word can bring.  Amen. Sermon: Inseparable The summer after third-grade I went to sleep-away camp.  Maine’s version of Covenant Hills or Sky Farm is Camp Mechuwana and I couldn’t wait to go.  It was a family tradition ~ my mother, my aunt, and my cousins had all gone before me.  The week arrived and my parents drove me the 45 minutes to Winthrop, ME.  As I dashed out of the car I barely looked back to say good-bye to Mom and Dad as I rushed off to meet my new friends.  Everything was good ~ for the first three or four hours.  Then the tummy ache started and the headache and I couldn’t sleep after lights-out.  I was homesick. And it didn’t turn out to be a minor case either.  My separation anxiety was severe.  The next day, when my counselor couldn’t deal with me any longer, I was allowed to call home.  It was decided that my mother would come up, just for the day, to help me settle in.  Once she arrived I was right back to playing and swimming and getting to know my new friends.  My mother loves to tell the story of how I whispered in her ear, “Mum, you’ll never believe it, but I don’t feel homesick at all since you got here.” Our Scripture lesson today, from Paul’s letter to the Romans, is rich with striking declarations of God’s promise to never leave us.  It’s a beautiful passage.  Paul affirms that when life is at its worst, when we can’t find the words to pray, when we don’t even know how, the Spirit steps in on our behalf.  Paul, who had himself been in the depths of despair more than once, insists that all things work together for good for those who love God and that nothing ~ absolutely nothing ~ can separate us from God’s love. But wait a second ….   In a world where refugees wander the globe seeking welcome and nuclear war seems an ever closer possibility and good people get cancer and fall behind on the rent and struggle to feed their families, how can this be?  Can all things really work together for good for those who love God?  It certainly doesn’t always feel that way, at least to me.  Maybe Paul was using a little hyperbole… getting a bit carried away.  All things work together for good.  Every cloud has a silver lining.  God never gives us more than we can handle.  When you are given lemons, make lemonade. And who could blame him?  It’s easy to get carried away sometimes, isn’t it?  Like when you’re just off a great week of vacation….or you’ve been offered that perfect job….or you’ve received good news from the doctor.  At those times it certainly seems like all things work together for good.  But then there are those other times. I don’t have to tell you about them.  You know what I am talking about.  Tough times.  Days, weeks, months when nothing seems to come together, when everything good seems just beyond reach. The truth is, tough times are part of being human.  No one can escape them.  The Christians in Rome knew this to be true.  Groaning under conflict within their community and persecution...

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Sermon July 30: Marriage, Children and Reconciliation

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Sunday Message | 0 comments

http://faithsbvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Marriage-Children-and-Reconciiation_E.mp3 Faith United Methodist Church July 30, 2017 Eighth Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture:  Genesis 29:15-28, Psalm 105:1-11, 45b Story Moment: Stories have been part of our human culture since the beginning.  Some of the earliest carvings found on cave walls are thought to depict stories.  Before stories were written down tribes would gather around the fire where stories would be shared.  Stories help us understand where we come from and who we are.  Stories strengthen communities and connect the present to the past.  Stories of being and meaning have been passed down through countless generations. If any of you are podcast fans like me, you might be familiar with StoryCorp.  StoryCorp’s mission is to record, preserve and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs.  The stories are recorded, shared on podcasts, and archived for future generations.  Listening to StoryCorp podcasts in the car I’ve laughed out loud and I’ve cried.  And I’ve come to realize that you can never presume to know another person’s story. Some might say that the stories we’ve been reading from Genesis the past few weeks are the original StoryCorp.  The stories of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel and Leah were passed down from generation to generation orally – told beside the fire or over a shared meal – so the people of Israel would know where they came from and who they were in relation to God. So today we are joining the ancient tradition of storytelling and having our own StoryCorp, of sorts.  First Bill and Lynn will share a story with us.  Then you will have a chance, if you wish, to share a story about your family…. a story that has informed your life, that tells us something about you that we may not know, or that helped you understand where you come from or who you are. Bill and Lynn……. Stories can celebrate our uniqueness or help us to appreciate our commonalities.  In a few minutes we will wrap up Jacob’s story as we come to the end of our journey through the family stories of Genesis.   Prayer for Illumination (Unison): God of possibilities, mold us into people of possibility.  Keep us ever mindful of your covenant love and grace.  Wake us up to watch and wait for your appearance and your guidance.  Let your Spirit rise within us, that we may bring forth the kingdom and influence others to this hope and promise in all that we say and do.  Amen. Sermon:  Marriage, Children and Reconciliation Earlier I said that we will wrap-up Jacob’s story today, but that is not completely true.  There really is no end to the story because Jacob’s story is our story.  That’s the thing about family stories – they often don’t wrap up all neat and tidy.  There is often the next generation or another branch of the family tree that keeps the story going.  And even if the family tree dies off, the influence of every family lives on in the communities or in the church families to which the family belonged.  Last week we followed Jacob into the wilderness where he fled from his brother to save his life.  You may remember that Jacob ran from Esau who was in a murderous rage after Jacob stole his birthright and his blessing.  Jacob escaped into the wilderness not knowing if he would ever be able to return home.  And it was in the wilderness that Jacob, in a dream, received a promise from God.  God assured Jacob that he would return home,...

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Faith UMC Update July 27, 2017

Posted by on Jul 27, 2017 in Krista Beth | 0 comments

Dear Friends in Faith,   Last Sunday afternoon we had a great time at the Church Picnic.  Many thanks to Tim for coordinating it and preparing hot dogs!  Fellowship events are a great way to get to know each other better and strengthen our faith community.  Jesus said that when, “…two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”  I’m sure that applies to church picnics, too!   Below I’ve included a prayer for confidence that we may ever more be who God created us to be. Please scroll down to read the announcements about events and opportunities in our church and community.   Your Friend in Faith, Pastor Kristabeth   Grant us the confidence, Lord to step out in faith and become the people we are meant to be, unapologetic in our love for you, wanting to be change-makers, bringers of hope, love and grace into an unbelieving world that has no faith but in itself, is almost blind and cannot see that all it seeks is found in you. Grant us the confidence, Lord to step out in faith and become the people we are meant to be. ~ Faith and Worship   Pastor Kristabeth’s Schedule and Office Hours Week of July 30-August 5 (Schedule may change as visitation needs and other pressing matters arise.) Sunday: Worship 9:30am, Leave for Vacation Monday: Vacation Tuesday: Vacation Wednesday:  Vacation Thursday: Office 10am-2pm, Barnes & Noble Open Hours 3:30pm-5:30pm Friday:  Office 8am-10am, Memorial Service 11am Saturday:  Pastor’s Sabbath   If you have a pastoral emergency while Pastor Kristabeth is away please call the church office (863-6764) between 9am-1pm or, if it is after office hours, call Kristabeth on her cell phone (825-8141).  There will be no Faith UMC Update next week.   Worship Sunday, July 30 – Family Stories Theme: The Next Generation Scripture:  Genesis 29: 15-28, Psalm 105:1-11, 45b Sermon:  “Marriage, Children and Reconciliation” Worship will include a “Story Time” for you to tell a family story of your own!    Worship Sunday, August 6 Theme: God’s Ever Present Love Scripture:  Romans 8:26-39 Sermon: “Inseparable” We will share Holy Communion.   Lake Monster’s Game with Fireworks Saturday, August 19 Ticket Prices: $6.00 – Adults and Children under 12, $4.00 Seniors and Children under 12 Deadline for Sign Up:  August 1 (Sign-up sheet on kiosk) See Tim Hess with any questions. Children’s Table in Sanctuary For those children who are too old for the nursery, but too young to be expected to sit quietly for an hour, we have set up an activity table in the sanctuary.  Children are not required to be at the table.  They are welcome to play at the table for part or all of worship, as they would like.  There are coloring sheets, books, and games available.  If you have an older child who would like to sit at the table and engage with the younger ones as a helper, that would be great too! We hope this creates a space in which parents can worship and children feel welcome and included.  Children are a blessing to our church and our worship experience, with all the joy and enthusiasm they bring!   Nursery Care Volunteer Needed First Sunday of the Month Our dedicated Nursery Care Provider, Sharon, takes the first Sunday of the month off so she can attend worship.  If you would like to volunteer to provide nursery coverage on the first Sundays of the month please speak with Pastor Kristabeth.  Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.  Those under 18 may serve as nursery assistants under an adult’s supervision....

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Sermon July 23: The Morning After

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Sunday Message | 0 comments

http://faithsbvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-Morning-After_E.mp3 Faith United Methodist Church July 23, 2017 Seventh Sunday after Pentecost Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture:  Genesis 28:10-19a, Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 Prayer for Illumination (Unison): Search us and know us, O God.  Test our hearts and know our thoughts.  See if there is any wickedness that clings to us like dew to the grass.  Search us and know us, O God.  Lead us in the way of everlasting life.  Amen.  Sermon:  The Morning After Do you know that feeling of waking up the morning after you’ve made a really bad mistake?  For a few seconds everything seems right with the world but then….. you remember.  You remember what you did and how it hurt the ones you love and how your life will never be quite the same because of it.  I suspect that is how Jacob felt on the morning we read about in our Scripture lesson, waking up with a stone pillow under his head. You see, Jacob was on the run.  He was fleeing from his brother who was in a murderous rage because Jacob tricked their father and stole two of the most precious things one could – his brother’s birthright and blessing.  As the great preacher Barbara Brown Taylor put it, “…he has simply pushed his luck too far and has left town in a hurry.  He is in-between times and places, in a limbo of his own making.” Because of his actions Jacob has become the black sheep of the family – the odd or disreputable family member who gets pushed outside the inner circle.  Jacob had always been a little bit of an outsider.  His brother Esau and his father Isaac liked the same things.  They were outdoorsmen while Jacob enjoyed being inside.  They hunted together and tended the flocks together while Jacob stayed with his mother to cook and clean.  Maybe he even longed for a better relationship with his father and brother, but didn’t how to make that happen.  Isaac and Esau probably made fun of Jacob, calling him a ‘mamma’s boy.’   And Jacob probably got fed up with it.  But what Jacob did put him firmly outside the family circle, on his own in the wilderness, running for his life. So when Jacob, physically and emotionally weary from running, falls exhausted for what he could only expect to be a fitful night of sleep in the wilderness he took a stone for a pillow and prayed that no wild animals would come along and eat him in the dark.  Instead of a restless night of sleep, though, Jacob received a beautiful gift, a dream that assured him his place in the family of God.  Jacob was not the black sheep in God’s eyes.  In his dream there were angels traveling up and down from heaven on a ladder.  One scholar suggested that the angels came down to earth to carry the fear, the guilt and the suffering of Jacob up to heaven.  In his dream, God also spoke, “I am the Lord…. the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring;… Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go… I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Jacob, whom some have called a cheat and a scoundrel, found out that he could not flee from God.  The morning after his amazing dream Jacob took his stone pillow and used it to mark the spot where he heard God’s voice and saw the angels.  Up until this point in the story Jacob had only...

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Faith UMC Update July 20, 2017

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Krista Beth | 0 comments

Dear Friends in Faith, This week we managed to string together a couple of sunny, dry days.  What a blessing!  I’ve certainly enjoyed not getting wet while walking the dogs.  I think it is true that we appreciate our blessings even more when we have to wait for them! Let’s pray that these blessings continue and the rain stays away for our church picnic on Sunday.  Yet, even if we are inside in Brand Hall the blessings of fellowship, food and fun will rain down on us! Below I’ve included a prayer celebrating God’s creation. Please scroll down to read the announcements about events and opportunities in our church and community. Your Friend in Faith, Pastor Kristabeth That we can glimpse you within creation is a beautiful thought, but also tells us that you desire to be seen, to be found and known. Open our eyes, Lord, as we walk through this world, feel the wind and sunshine, see the majesty of creation unfolding before our eyes. Help us to see you.  Amen. ~ Faith and Worship Pastor Kristabeth’s Schedule and Office Hours Week of July 23-29: (Schedule may change as visitation needs and other pressing matters arise.) Sunday: Worship 9:30am, Worship at the Pines 11:30am, Church Picnic 5:30pm-7:30pm Monday: Office 8:30am-11:30am, Office Work and / or Visits in Afternoon Tuesday: Lectionary Group 9am-10am, Visit, Afternoon Off Wednesday:  Worship at St. Michael’s 11:30am, Office 1pm-4pm, Trustee Meeting 7pm Thursday: Office 10am-2pm, Visit, Barnes & Noble Open Hours 3:30pm-5:30pm Friday:  Office 8am-10am, Office Work and / or Visits in Late Morning, Afternoon Off Saturday:  Pastor’s Sabbath   Rosemary, our Office Administrator, is on vacation July 24-28.  Office coverage will be limited.  Please call before you stop by the church office.    Worship Sunday, July 23 – Family Stories Theme: The Black Sheep Scripture:  Genesis 28:10-19a, Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 Sermon:  “The Morning After”   Summer Worship Series:  Family Stories – Bring Family Photos for Altar Ancient Families, Modern Stories, Sundays June 18 – July 30 We are nearing the end of our worship series “Family Stories.”  You may still bring your family photos to decorate the worship space!  These last two Sundays of the series you will have the chance to share a family story during our worship time and / or at other times during the service.  If you have a (short) family story you would like to share please let me know by e-mailing or calling the church office at 863-6764.   Church Picnic THIS Sunday, July 23rd 5:30-7:30pm at Veteran’s Park Pavilion, Dorset Park, South Burlington:  Hot dogs will be provided.  Bring a dish to share!  Rain location is at the church in Brand Hall.    Lake Monster’s Game with Fireworks Saturday, August 19 Ticket Prices: $6.00 – Adults and Children under 12, $4.00 Seniors and Children under 12 Deadline for Sign Up:  August 1 (Sign-up sheet on kiosk) See Tim Hess with any questions. Children’s Table in Sanctuary For those children who are too old for the nursery, but too young to be expected to sit quietly for an hour, we have set up an activity table in the sanctuary.  Children are not required to be at the table.  They are welcome to play at the table for part or all of worship, as they would like.  There are coloring sheets, books, and games available.  If you have an older child who would like to sit at the table and engage with the younger ones as a helper, that would be great too! We hope this creates a space in which parents can worship and children feel...

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