Passion Sunday, March 28, 2021

Due to technology challenges this morning at church, we are unable to post a video of the sermon. Below, is a written version of today’s sermon. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+15%3A37%2C+42-46&version=NKJV

Funeral Surprise (Mark 15:37, 42-46)

Surprises can be exciting! Some surprises can be shocking! Here’s a surprising story about the later of these two emotions… A couple had been married for nine years and had three children. The husband fell ill and within a few days died. With support from friends and family, she kept strong. After the funeral services and just before people disbursed, a woman came to the wife with a shocking surprise. The woman claimed she had two children with her late husband, a boy and a girl. The woman addressed the man as “our husband.” Sometime after the funeral, the woman presented birth certificates and pictures of the children with the late husband. The wife could not believe what she saw. The evidence was too strong to be disputed!

The journey to the cross and burial of Jesus holds some surprises. When John the Baptist died, Mark reports his disciples made preparations for John’s body (Mark 6:29). However, after Christ’s crucifixion, Jesus’ disciples are not around to take care of His body. With bewilderment, they had all quickly dispersed from the man they once held allegiance to. Moreover, Simon the Cyrene was a surprise character as he carried the cross for Christ when His disciples once again were not present (Mark 15:21). In addition, after Christ’s arrests, the disciples were no longer claiming Him as the messiah but what a glorious surprise when the centurion confessed what the disciples could not by stating, “Surely this man was the Son of God! (“Mark15:39).

The surprises do not stop at the crucifixion. Joseph of Arimathea. a member of the council of the Sanhedrin, took it upon himself to take care of Jesus’ crucified body. Why is this so surprising? The Sanhedrin were the religious leaders who sent Jesus to Pontius Pilot to be crucified. The Sanhedrin hated Jesus. Joseph was the exception. Joseph had been responsive to Jesus’ message of love. Jesus touched his life. Requesting Jesus’ body showed Joseph’s bold witness. Furthermore, Joseph demonstrated generosity. Joseph laid the body of Christ in his personal tomb and wrapped Jesus in expensive fine linen. Joseph went out of his way to honor Jesus. Joseph’s courageous witness and kindness displays discipleship. Shockingly, a member of the Sanhedrin gave us one of our first examples, post-crucifixion, of discipleship.

Joseph of Arimathea was demonstrating exactly what Jesus had been teaching, compassion and love. Jesus cared for others; He came, He showed compassion, and He died for us. Out of pure love for humanity, Jesus took our place on the cross to relinquish our sin giving Himself up as a living sacrifice.

The movie, Armageddon, focuses on a burly, oil-mining veteran by the name of Harry Stamper, played by actor Bruce Willis. Stamper had been called upon to take part in a last-ditch mission to save the human race from a massive asteroid on an unstoppable collision course with planet Earth.

Landing a space shuttle on the surface of the deadly rock, Harry and his compatriots drill a hole deep into the asteroid’s core and drop into it a nuclear bomb that might just split the asteroid in two with the hopes of it missing the Earth.

At the movie’s climactic moment when the charge has been set and the shuttle is about to lift off the asteroid, something goes terribly wrong, and it becomes clear that someone will have to stay behind and manually detonate the bomb. Without hesitation, Harry Stamper chooses that job. In the final minutes, Harry speaks by videophone to the command center in Houston and says his last words to his daughter, Grace. With tears streaming down her cheeks, the daughter burbles to her dad: “Everything good I have inside of me, I have from you. I love you so much. I am so proud of you. And I’m so scared.” “There won’t be anything to be scared of soon,” Harry assures her. “I’ll look in on you … I love you, Grace.”

Moments later, Harry kneels on the surface of the asteroid as it violently shakes with volcanic eruptions. Struggling to maintain hold of the detonator, he watches the shuttle safely escape. Then Harry stares … the beautiful blue planet rotating quietly in space. A gentle smile creases his rugged face as he whispers, “We win, Gracie,” and then presses the detonator.
Suddenly, the screen fills with a racing stream of images as seen through the love of this father’s eyes. We see back in time to a sunny day when Harry is pushing his laughing little girl on a backyard swing set. We’re treated to a blur of images reflecting the glorious and grainy moments of miraculous human life. We see a moment out in the future when Gracie will be dressed as a radiant bride on her wedding day. Then, the asteroid erupts in a blinding explosion, fractures in two, and careens clear of our planet, as the surprised, saved humans of the Earth explode in wild cheers!

Just as planet Earth was headed towards destruction in the movie, we were headed towards devastation because of our sin. God took it upon Himself to offer His son as a sacrifice for humanity. The surprise in this part of the journey is God still loves us despite our despicable, selfish ways! Surprise! God loves you despite _ (you fill in the blank here)! The Father and God the Son looked with compassion at the children of this Earth and chose to intervene in a way that required a cataclysmic self-sacrifice. Jesus’ death was for all of humanity. We are loved by God! Thanks be to God! Amen.

In-Person Worship THIS Sunday (FEBRUARY 7, 2021)!

We have good news….this Sunday we will reopen our church!!!
We will have a service at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. We will continue to have online presence with the service being seen on YouTube, the church website, and Facebook page. We will live stream the service on zoom. If you would like a zoom link please email us at wmumc.chatt@gmail.com.
Here are the guidelines for us to have a safe and successful service.
Persons in the age group of 65 and older or those who live with people in this age group are encouraged to stay at home.
Persons with significant high-risk health conditions are encouraged to remain at home.
The nursery will be closed. Please plan accordingly.
If you are feeling sick or have a positive diagnosis with COVID-19, please remain at home.
Entry to the church will be limited to the main sanctuary entrance/Osborne Drive in the front of the church to assist in aiding in social distancing.
Temperature checks will occur as people enter the building, anyone with a temperature with a 100.4 and above will not be allowed in the church.
At the end of the service, congregants will exit through the door at the mail center to aid in social distancing.
Entry and exit of the church building will be clearly communicated and marked.
Cloth masks, face coverings or disposable masks shall be worn by all participants in the church during the entire service.
*Face coverings under the age of 2 is not recommended in addition to anyone who has trouble breathing or anyone who is unable to
remove the mask without assistance (these persons should remain home at this time).
Ushers/greeters should avoid shaking hands and/or hugs. Greet with head nods, elbow bumps, hand wave etc.
Greeters wearing masks and gloves will welcome everyone and suggest using hand sanitizer available.
Greeters will open doors for persons to allow for a touch-free church.
Ushers will escort people entering and exiting the sanctuary to assist with maintaining social distancing.
Ushers will seat congregants starting from the front of the sanctuary to the back. Ushers will assist with exiting persons starting from the back of the sanctuary making their way towards the front (entering seat front to back, exiting leading out back to front).
Every other pew will be marked for seating to ensure social distancing of 6 feet or more. Families are encouraged to sit together.
Each week, the pews available for seating will be rotated from the previous week’s restricted seating.
Attendance records will be kept of all persons attending the service. This is essential so the District Superintendent, the Bishop and Hamilton County Health Department can be contacted with a list of persons in the event an attendee testing positive for COVID-19.
Offering plates will not be passed during the worship service.
An offering plate will be placed where the congregants exit the church building or congregants can continue to pay their tithe on-line.
The person counting the tithe will wear a mask and gloves.
When Holy Communion is conducted, it will only be with pre-packaged self-served communion elements made available when entering the sanctuary.
Paper bulletins will not be available.
The order of worship will be displayed on the projection screens at the front of the sanctuary.
Congregational singing has been suspended.
In the event of a soloist or a small group of singers, extended social distancing beyond 6 feet will be implemented among the singers and congregants.
Instrumental music will be used without congregational singing.

Sunday Morning Worship Service, January 31, 2021

Please fast forward to 2:21 for the service to begin. Thank you.

Greeting

Prelude

Call to Worship
L: Come to worship this day. Bring with you all your joys and sorrows.
P: Jesus will offer hope.
L: Come to worship this day believing in the power of God through Jesus Christ.
P: Jesus will bring us healing.
L: Come to worship this day feeling the presence of God.
P: Jesus will teach us new ways to live. AMEN.

Hymn: He Leadeth Me

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Hymn: Freely, Freely

Scripture: Mark 1:23-28

Sermon Rev. Dr. Joshua Felton

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn: Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Benediction

Postlude

Sunday Morning Worship Service, January 24, 2021

Greeting/Announcements

Prelude: Surely the Presence Michael Rodgers

Call to Worship

L: Come, let us praise the Lord!

P: We praise God with our whole heart!

L: God’s works are great!

P: Open our hearts and spirits to see your works, O Lord!

L: Come, let us worship the Lord who has saved us!

P: May our lives reflect the wondrous love of God that all may see and know of God’s greatness. AMEN.

Hymn:             Be Thou My Vision                  Michael Rodgers

Scripture:        Psalm 111                               Lynda Reese

Hymn:             He Touched Me                      Michael Rodgers

Scripture:        Mark 1:21-22

Sermon                                                           Rev. Dr. Joshua Felton

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn:             Seek Ye First                           Michael Rodgers        

Benediction Postlude

Sunday Morning Worship Service, January 17, 2021

Greeting

Prelude

Call to Worship 

L: Christ is calling you as disciples
P: Lord Jesus, let us follow you faithfully.

L: You will be led into fields of mission and service.
P: Lord Jesus, where you lead us, we will go.

L: Listen for Christ’s call to you.
P: We are ready to serve the Lord. AMEN.

Hymn: “Are Ye Able”

Scripture: Psalm 62:5-12

Hymn: “Take Time to Be Holy

Scripture: Mark 1:14-20 

Sermon

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn: “Rescue the Perishing”

Benediction

Postlude

Baptism of Our Lord Sunday, January 10, 2021

Welcome/Announcements

Prelude

Call to Worship

L: Lost . . .
P: wandering without purpose, meaning,  

     value, acceptance, or place.
L: We wander lost. But the Spirit of God descends like a

    dove upon us. We hear the ancient words that name and

    claim us as children of God.
P: We are cleansed, refreshed, and made new in the love

    of those words.

Hymn:       Wash, O God, Our Son and Daughters          UMH #605

Scripture: Psalm 29

Hymn:       Baptism in Water        TFWS #2248

Scripture: Mark 1:4-11

Sermon

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn:       Shall We Gather at the River        UMH #723

Benediction Postlude

Wesley Covenant Service, January 3, 2021

Prelude (We Three Kings)

Call to Worship

L:     Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations

P:     You are the one true God who reigns forever.

Opening Prayer

Hymn: O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing   pg. 57

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

Hymn:  O God, Our Help in Ages Past   pg. 117

Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46

Sermon

The Proclamation

The Confession

Words of Assurance and Pardon

Hymn: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross   pg. 298

The Invitation

The Covenant Prayer

Hymn: A Charge to Keep I Have pg. 413

Dismissal with Blessing

Postlude (My Hope Is Built pg. 368)

Sunday Morning Worship Service, December 27, 2020

Welcome

Prelude

Call to Worship 

L: Darkness—we who walk in darkness

P: have seen a great light: 

L: a light that is a joy for all the earth,

P: a light that announces new life.

L: In joy we greet this light. 

P: In this light we see that our savior has come.

Hymn: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-14

Hymn: Rock-a-Bye, My Dear Little Boy

Scripture: John 1:1-14

Sermon

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn: Go, Tell It On the Mountain

Benediction

Postlude

Sunday Morning Communion Worship Service, November 1, 2020.

Thank you to everyone who helped us with our first in-person worship service in several months. Today was my first in-person service with Wesley Memorial and it was a blessing! Thank you to Suzanne Burnett for being our liturgist and H. Steven Walker, Director of Music Ministries for our hymns, prelude, and postlude. Sermon Title: Gentleness. Scripture: John 8:1-11.

World Communion Sunday Morning Worship Service October 4, 2020

Please come to the church at 11:00 am today for drive thru communion. Scripture: Romans 8:1; Sermon: Peace by Rev. Dr. Joshua Felton. Thank you to Lynda Reese for helping with the communion liturgy. Prelude: Sweet Hour of Prayer and Postlude: Hymn of Promise by H. Stephen Walker, Director of Music Ministries. Because He Lives and Let Us Break Bread Together by Michael Rodgers, Soloist.

Sunday Morning Worship Service September 6, 2020

***After the song, Let Us Break Bread Together, please come to the church for drive thru Holy Communion at 11:00 AM (Sunday, September 6) outside the church. Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14 Sermon: Restoring Dry Bones by Rev. Dr. Joshua Felton. Prelude: Sweet, Sweet Spirit and postlude: Nothing But the Blood by H. Stephen Walker, Director of Music Ministries. Michael Rodgers, Soloist, Dem Bones, Let Us Break Bread Together, and Give Thanks.

Worship Online 7-19-20

Sunday Morning Worship Service 7-19-20, Scripture: Ezekiel 4:4-8, Sermon: Not Another Day by Rev. Dr. Joshua Felton. Prelude: “Holy, Holy, Holy” and Postlude: “God Will Take Care of You” by H. Stephen Walker, Director of Music Ministries. “Farther Along” by soloist Tyler Vanderkooy. [Since the recording of this video, the city and county mayors have joined together and agreed to educate businesses and individuals who are not wearing masks initially, but if the mask mandate continues to be violated, fines will be distributed.]