All posts by Pastor Liz Lowry

Join us on Wednesdays!

Take a breath midweek and join us every Wednesday through Lent! We begin with Ash Wednesday on February 14th and continue until March 21st.

Even let your creative juices flow by sitting down at our coloring table during dinner – you’re never too young or too old to color in-between (or hey, out) of the lines!

5:30pm: Dinner

6:30pm: Classes for All Ages

7:30pm: Service of Prayer and Worship

Sunday Sermon Series

In the gospel of John, Jesus makes several “I Am” statements to reveal who he is to us and to our world. Join us through the season of Lent as we explore these statements and what they mean for our lives.

February 18: The Bread of Life
February 25: The Light of the World
March 4: The Door
March 11: The Way, the Truth, the Life
March 18: The Resurrection and the Life

Worship during Advent

On December 6th, our Wednesday night Advent worship begins. Join us for beautiful music, candlelight and prayer at 7:30pm.  This is a part of our regular “Messiah Night” – you are also invited to join us for dinner  at 5:30pm and programs for adults and children at 6:30pm.
This year we’ve also put together a daily devotional to move us through the season. Each day is assigned a word and you are invited to let your creativity spark from that word – take a photo, write a poem, draw a picture…anything! You can share your expressions on Facebook with the hashtag, #adventmessiah2017, email them to the pastors, or drop them off in the Welcome Center. At each Wednesday night service, Pastor Liz and Pastor Karl will incorporate your creativity into their reflections for the week.
 
Take a breath this season and join the body of Christ as we prepare for the coming Messiah!

Welcome to Messiah Night!

All are welcome to dinner at 5:30pm followed by activities for everyone!

For Youth:

6:00pm

VIP Children’s Choir

 

6:30pm

Little Angels (Preschool-PreK)

Kids for Christ (K-2nd Grade)

God’s Quest (3rd-5th Grade)

Confirmation (6th-8th Grade)

Come for worship, Bible study, games and crafts!

For Adults:

6:30pm

Christian Basics led by Pastor Karl

Using clips from seminary professors, scripture and great discussion, we will explore: Who is God? Who is Jesus? Who is the Holy Spirit? What kind of life does the Spirit want us to live?

FaithWalk led by Pastor Liz

We will gather each week to share on a different topic with scripture. What are we struggling with this week? How do we see God working in our lives? The first four weeks will be on doubt, hope, anger and healing.

Whole Again led by Lois Beery

For those grieving the death of a loved one, the loss of relationship or any loss in their lives. All are welcome as we talk, share, listen, read, and do activities that lead us in the way of feeling “Whole Again.”

 

D.C. Mission Trip: Reflections by the Youth

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Sarah:

This week I learned so much about people experiencing homelessness. We often see them as lazy or people who made bad decisions, but this isn’t true.

We had the opportunity to do a poverty simulation and it was so hard. We had to make tough decisions, and we learned how a minimum wage isn’t always a living wage and how high the prices are in places like D.C. Immediately my “older brother” had to drop out of college; we didn’t even think twice about it. My “twin sister” and I were 13. We couldn’t be on our own and spent all of our school time planning. Our father was in jail and we were alone. Our “baby brother” cost so much. Halfway through the simulation, my “twin sister” was expelled from school and a lot of our neighbors were evicted and had to live with us. I felt stressed and like a burden to my family. There was no time for our family to actually spend quality time together. People experiencing homelessness are often considered rude, but when you are constantly worried about just getting through the week, you have to yell at the bank worker, not pay attention in school or be late to work because you have to buy a transportation ticket you are just now able to afford, to get there.

Throughout the week after the simulation, I started thinking about people experiencing homelessness in every situation and how fortunate I am. The heat was unbearable. Sometimes it felt like 104 degrees. I can’t imagine someone living in that with no relief in sight. I learned how a fresh pair of socks could mean so much. I learned how good it felt for them to just have someone say your name rather than pass by without even looking you in the eye. I learned how I have been wrong, that if you can’t give money, you can give your time by talking to people experiencing homelessness. This mission trip will change me forever.

 

Luke:

For my reflection I did it on what things impacted me:

One of the things was how nice and friendly the homeless people were. It was so unsettling that these people have so many problems and yet are so happy.

We did a poverty simulation and in my group of family was my mom and sister, because Dad left us with ten dollars. The simulation was so stressful and angering. We knew it wasn’t reality, but we still felt stressed.

One thing that hit me hard was the Holocaust Museum. It gave me this empty feeling and there was a different section on Syria. We talked about it that night and I said that there is so much violence and death in Syria, it’s not even news anymore and yet no one does anything.

 

Avril:

Going to Washington, D.C. has been an amazing experience. I believe that through our workshop, simulation, and personal experiences that we as a group have grown mentally and grown in God. One of my most memorable experiences this week has been the poverty simulation. The poverty simulation really showed what people experiencing homelessness and poverty deal with every day. There are so many stereotypes describing people living without a home or dealing with poverty as lazy, mentally ill, and having poor priorities. The reality of it is so much different – many don’t make a living wage, living in a home is expensive, travel is difficult, and many don’t know the benefits that are available to them. During these situations, things can decline very quickly. After this week’s experiences, I have learned to be open-minded, and that I have many things to be grateful for in life.

 

Lilly:

During our week in D.C. I learned and experienced many things that change the way I view the world.

Handing out care packages to men experiencing homelessness made me realize the fear and discomfort I was feeling was due to stereotypes I heard growing up.

I saw God in the workers at kitchens we volunteered at. They were all so patient and kind, even though their daily work is combating such a huge issue of poverty and homelessness.

Overall, this trip leaves me with the knowledge that poverty and homelessness is an issue that everyone should want to end and work towards that common goal.

 

Kayla:

This week has caused me to feel many emotions. Empathy, hope, sadness, and disappointment are only a few of those emotions. I felt empathetic for the less fortunate and those experiencing homelessness. I felt hope when I listened to John’s and James’ stories. Sadness when I saw the Holocaust Museum and disappointment because of how everyone reacted to the Holocaust and now during the Syrian refugee crisis/war. I learned so much about poverty, homelessness, and the Holocaust.

I enjoyed everyone who came on this trip. We shared many laughs and tears. We had very great discussions and talked about numerous things. Everyone was funny, kind, and friendly.

 

Jovi:

The most important thing that I learned from this is that God will overcome and He is always with you. At the Holocaust Museum, it was crazy to think about how people being slaughtered and sent to their death knew that God was still with them. Also, when experiencing homelessness, one may feel unloved and alone, so it is important for them to always know that they are not alone. God will never forget you.

 

Carol:

Many words or thoughts have been spoken by many, including myself, about people experiencing homelessness and poverty. Most of the time they are words that speak a story created in our own mind. Who of us would appreciate someone telling a negative story of us without ever meeting us. Words like lazy, poor priorities, mentally ill, addicts, etc. These are words spoken of people of homelessness and poverty. Through our experience, we learned the truth about this problem people experience. The top five causes are never the stories we tell. As people of God, who are called to love our neighbors. We need to seek to know people so that we can be empathetic and show God’s love.

What now? – Thoughts on the Election

Dear Messiah Family,

As predicted, following Tuesday night, half of the country is rejoicing and the other half is grieving. We have seen in this bruising election and divided vote that we are a country of hurting people. We are a congregation of hurting people.

Many who have seen their livelihoods disappear or who feel at risk are experiencing hurt and anger. Leaders have not responded to the realities they are facing and they hope the next president will. Their pain is real.

There are also those who fear that the rhetoric and promises of this election will lead to a continuation of the oppression and violence they have experienced throughout our country’s history. I have been with those this week who have shed desperate tears. People who already felt vulnerable are feeling more vulnerable today. Their pain is real.

What now for the people of God?

The answer has always been in Christ. Christ who got dirty. Christ who lived among dirty people. Christ who stood with the outcast and marginalized until he was crucified.

It’s time to get dirty. It’s time to take up our cross. It’s time to bind up wounds, live alongside hurting people and seek justice and righteousness. We are called to love, and love is dirty and costly.

Love will have us getting into the mix of things. And in the mix of things, we are called to bind up the wounds of all those in our divided country. We must bind up the wounds of rural and working class people. We must bind up the wounds of immigrants, Muslim-Americans, and sexual assault survivors. We must bind up the wounds of people of color, LGBTQ folks and people who are poor. We must bind up the wounds of one another.

But as children of God, we must not only bind up, we must confess and repent of the wounds we inflict, and once doing so, we must speak out against those who would inflict wounds on others. As people of Christ, we must be clear that we are called to repent of any prejudice or violence in our words and actions. We must be clear that we will call others to do so as well.

What now is a good question to have and so we ask it of God. While the election has ended, God’s loving work continues. As the body of Christ, we will continue to seek to know the hope of God’s call. And we will do it together.

The Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring love;  Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.