Posts Tagged "Silent Auction"

Sermon August 30: Is Church Cool?

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Sunday Message KB | Comments Off on Sermon August 30: Is Church Cool?

Faith United Methodist Church August 30, 2015 14th Sunday after Pentecost / Silent Auction Sermon Rev. Kristabeth E. Atwood Scripture: James 1: 17-27 Prayer of Illumination: God of all wisdom, source of truth, come to us that we may be filled with your Word. May our lives be testimonies to the hope that is found through you. And may the words that I speak and the thoughts that we form be acceptable in your sight. In Jesus name, Amen. Sermon:  Is Church Cool? Today I am preaching my “Silent Auction Sermon.” You see, back in May I auctioned off a ‘sermon’ at our Ham Dinner and Silent Auction. The idea was that the winner would get to choose the topic for today’s sermon.   Our winner, Lynn Rowe, and I talked and e-mailed about potential topics. One that is dear to her heart is connecting college students with a community of faith. This naturally led to a conversation about young people and the church. Why do we so often see our young people drift away from their faith communities sometime between Confirmation and High School graduation? How can faith communities connect with young people who haven’t been raised in a faith tradition (what some are calling the ‘nones’)? Lynn had other great ideas that would have made for interesting sermon topics, including Christian acceptance in the midst of cultural diversity.   (She’ll just have to win the sermon again next year!) In the end, I decided to go with this one ~ The Millennial Generation and the Church. Is church cool?  Now I may be dating myself by even using the term ‘cool.’ Maybe a better question would be, is church ‘rad’ or ‘da bomb’? The Urban Dictionary reassures me, though, that I’m okay using the word ‘cool.’ As they put it, the word ‘cool’ is “…the best way to say something is neat-o, awesome, or swell. The phrase ‘cool’ is very relaxed, never goes out of style, and people will never laugh at you for using it.” So there you go, my question stands. Is church cool? What do you think? Yes? No? As far as pastors go, I like to think I’m kind of cool. Maybe a little cool? We have PowerPoint. Does that make us cool? We have a website. Does that make us cool? We have a ukulele. That definitely makes us cool!! In our epistle lesson today ~ surprisingly ~ James (the brother of Jesus) didn’t seem all that concerned about being cool. In fact, he wrote, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the God of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James doesn’t seem at all concerned about what is in fashion and what is not. Bell bottoms or skinny jeans? iPhones or Droids? 2-D or 3-D? What James concerned himself with is the eternal. He continues, “Religion that God… accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Lots of studies have been done about the Millennial generation and why they are not in church. (Millennials being those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s.) Some experts think churches aren’t high tech or entertaining enough. Others think churches need to brand themselves better (make church more cool and create brand loyalty). A few churches have designed their buildings to be like malls, with pastry shops, movie theaters and espresso bars.   Some churches live tweet their services and others offer drive through communion. Yet is that really...

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