Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Ep4ARY_OKPE
Finding Meaning in God's Word
Last week, our faith community celebrated our tradition of "Star Sunday" where everyone receives a "Star Word" – literally a paper star with a word written on it – and this will be their word for the year. We encourage everyone to pray over this word and ask God to show how he reveals himself to them throughout the year through this word. Pastors Kellie and Kate reflection on their Star Words from 2020 and talk about their word for 2021. If you wish to have a word for this year, follow this link that we provided for people to virtually receive their words this year.
What will your Star Word say? We acknowledge that we do not own the rights to "Goodness of God."
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/cxVBIWpo8yc
How to Hang On to Hope & Trust at the Close of 2020
There is no doubt we are all bone-tired weary – and every day it feels harder and harder to hang on to hope and trust as the year draws to a close. But make no mistake about it, no one knows our weariness better than Jesus Christ – and it is God "who bends down to us and hears our cry" (Psalm 40:2). There is joy in knowing we do not have to face these days alone. Trust that God goes before us – and Jesus goes with us – every step of each day. And that is hope worth hanging on to!
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/zdLwFB-OX98
What are you hoping for today? The end of the pandemic? World peace? A new job? A cure for cancer? We all have things that we hope for - and some of our hopes will be realized, but some not. So as we wait in anticipation and expectation for our hopes to come to pass, rest assured you can place your hopes in Jesus Christ, God incarnate, now. Because after this, what ever your "this" may be, God is still the one in whom all of our hopes are realized.
We acknowledge we do not own the rights to "The Hope of Christmas" by Matthew West
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/9akjxM1Q-LE
Thanksgiving For What?
It's Thanksgiving Week 2020 - what are you thankful for? Is there something inside of you that simply wants to say "thankful for what?" That is understandable. This week's Break Away & Worship spends some time looking at Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus and how he writes encouraging words to help them remain strong in the faith. And it's through these encouraging words that we can be reminded that God is bigger than any struggle we may be facing, and once we recognize that, we can begin to be reminded of all those things for which we can be thankful.
We recognize we do not own the rights to "All I Can Do (Thank You)" by Mikeschair
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/EapW794M_Mo
It's no secret that we all are becoming more and more weary with each passing day in the midst of this pandemic. And the cracks in our lives are starting to show more and more - our brokenness is becoming more and more apparent. Others might not see your cracks, or where you are feeling broken inside, but Jesus does - and he invites you to cast your cares and worries in his direction - to place your brokenness at his feet and let him heal you from the inside out.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/E6BpIdrk7OI
In this week's Break Away & Worship we take a moment to reflect on how we all have been called to be peacemakers and kind to one another. Like the Christian recording artist Josh Wilson sings, "Why does kindness seem revolutionary? When did we let hate get so ordinary?" So let's get revolutionary and continue to be kind to one another, especially when we realize we will never look into the eyes of someone God does not love. May we each reflect on the many ways in which we can bring about Christ's peace into this hurting world.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/FUNOZEGn6_4
Since 2014, RGPC has been a Military and First Responder Caring Congregation. In other words, as a congregation devoted to Jesus Christ and his model of servant leadership, we, too, wish to "Serve Those Who Serve." The main thrust of this ministry is to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support for military veterans and active duty, first responders and their families. In this worship service, we give thanks to God for this ministry and for all those who have served and continue to serve.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/15rrUBOLP3U
A MEMORIAL SERVICE IN CELEBRATION OF THE LIVES OF THOSE WE LOVE
All Saints Sunday gives us the opportunity to worship God and give thanks to him for the lives of all those who have come before us, but now rest from their labors. We are truly grateful for the impact on God's kingdom that these souls have and now rejoice that we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. Thanks be to God!
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Rds38yEzWTU
As American citizens, we have the blessing to participate in our country's electoral process. But it is not easy. And the responsibility is enormous. Scripture reminds us that we are all unrighteous sinners and we have been charged with the task to vote for an unrighteous sinner. As Christians, then, it is our responsibility to prayerfully seek God and his will for our vote – and then, be kind and respectful and peacemakers when all is said and done, regardless of the results. We own streaming rights to "November" as purchased through The Skit Guys. We acknowledge that we do not own the rights to "See A Victory" by Elevation Worship.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/-rZ7Tm-WX0Y
Reformation Sunday: Because We've Always Done It That Way
Did you know there is a theory called the "Emergent Church" that theorizes the church resets itself every 500 years? In 2017, we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation - and now, here we are in 2020, just over 500 years later and the church is clearly in the midst of deep change. Even though the look and feel of worship as we know it has drastically changed, one thing has not, the goodness and sovereignty of God and the love and grace of Jesus Christ!
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/oOqiIDuA2OY
Did you know that vines that produce the best grapes are vines that have to struggle while they grow? Any good vinter will tell you that they purposely grow their vineyards in places that are less than ideal in order to produce the best tasting fruit. Similarly, we struggle in our own lives, as well, yet through our trials and difficulties, God will produce some amazing fruit on the other side. In this Break Away & Worship, we invite you to give God thanks for the struggles and trials in your life, even when it is difficult to do so, because you know he will do amazing things through your pain.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/d1sWAU5voIo
Celebration Sunday, The Building Fund
Join us in this worship service as we celebrate the blessing of our church building - God's House - and how it serves as a place of joy and comfort, as well as operating as a Mission Station - a physical structure used to build up the Body of Christ by making disciples so that we may "Go, therefore...." This is also our final week of our Stewardship Campaign, and fittingly so, this week is dedicated to the RGPC Building Fund. We give thanks to God, this day and all days, for his provision!
Click for Online Pledge Card (On app, click website above)
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/ZMeqPv4zfAY
The Joy of Giving
Did you know that giving was an act of worship? Spend some time in this Break Away & Worship to reflect on the ways in which you can trust God, not only with your life, but with your financial giving, as well. Prayerfully consider how your financial donations will bless "the least of these," and in so doing, watch how God will bless you, as well. "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." ~ Malachi 3:10
Click Here for Online Pledge Form
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/WZxR1EZsDzI
RGPC Mission Station at Work: Caring for Our Community With the Hands and Feet of Christ
We welcome you to this week's worship service and invite you into this space to have an encounter with Christ. The message from this service will examine a passage from the Gospel according to Matthew where Jesus tells his disciples that anytime they did something for "the least of these" they were also doing something for him. Jesus challenges each and everyone one of us to encounter him by taking care of those in our midst who need it most - those who need to be fed, clothed, comforted and set free.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/pgqZGzAelfE
"Come Away With Me"
In this week's Break Away & Worship we take you from the shores of Lake Michigan to the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus has invited you into his boat to come away for a while. In the Gospel according to Mark, Chapter 6, Jesus and his disciples have been kept very busy - so busy, in fact, that they didn't even have time to eat. So Jesus said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while." Jesus is inviting you to do the same thing - to set aside all those things are still clamoring after your attention and rest at his feet. Once rested, you will be ready to take on the next task that comes your way.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/LvMTHkMXf0E
Join us today as we celebrate World Communion Sunday with our brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the world. This Sunday, especially we are reminded that everyone is welcome at Christ's table, and no one will be turned away from his love and grace! So we will gather together and give thanks!
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/jC-7cIE7Oww
This Path You're On
As cliché as it may be, life is indeed a journey and we all have our own path to take. And though we do not know where the road of life may lead from one day to the next, we can be assured that Jesus is traveling right along with us. For this worship moment, Pastor Kate takes us backpacking through Isle Royale National Park and discusses the story of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Come break away and worship with us!
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/H4UxuOuYEA0
Today's worship service recognizes two wonderful events in the life of the church! First of all, we are celebrating the ordination and installation of our elders and deacons - members of our church who have boldly said "yes" to being leaders of this congregation in such unprecedented times.
It is also the kick-off to our 2021 Stewardship Campaign entitled "RGPC Cares: Encountering Christ for a Better Tomorrow." You are being invited to continue in your discipleship of Christ by recognizing that you are God's workmanship and have been created for good works by partnering with him in his ministry and mission to the world.
Prelude - "Morning Has Broken" arr. Dale Wood (text hymn #664)
Offertory - "God Whose Giving Knows No Ending" arr. Jeff Bennett (text hymn #716)
Postlude - "We Are an Offering" arr. Mark Hayes (text hymn #710)
We recognize we do not own the rights to "The Final Game" by Jerry Goldsmith
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/mOrphfGunP0
There are many analogies used to describe Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word made flesh. Jesus is the incarnate God. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus is the Way. Jesus is our Safe Harbor.
Jesus is everything we need for all moments and circumstances of life - for the joys and trials. And of course, in the midst of the trials and tribulations, when the seas of life get rough, the night grows dark, and the shores are rocky, Jesus is the light that shines out of the darkness to lead us safely to shore. Quite simply, Jesus is a Lighthouse.
Come away with us to the water's edge - break away from life for a few moments and worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lighthouse of our lives.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/XmxR05O8yig
Today's worship service is taking us "Back to Square One: Because There is Nowhere Else to Go". It is also our "Mission Report Sunday" where some of high school students will share about their experiences on this summer's Mission Retreat. Due to the pandemic, this trip was reworked 5 different times, forcing us to always go "back to square one" with our planning. And each time we did, Jesus met us right where we are at and we are so grateful for the trip he guided us to. May this worship service remind you that oftentimes when we have nowhere else to go, Jesus is the greatest destination.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/whJJHo3cWEQ
Hardwired for Hope
Hope is a familiar feeling and we all have a sense of it. We hope this pandemic will soon be over. We hope our kids have promising futures. We hope for a job offer. We hope for a relationship. When you’re in the midst of adversity, you hope for a quick end or conclusion. Hope is a familiar feeling to us all. However, nothing is sure in this life, and we can hope all we want for specific things and certain outcomes but it still may not be enough. Yet God invites us into a relationship that is sure and true - a relationship in which we can place our hope and our trust. This Break Away & Worship time gives space to consider where it is we place our hope, and invites you to place your hope in Jesus Christ.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Wd6T1Jurzg0
Back to Square One: Grow Where You're Planted
This week's Sunday worship service gives God thanks for our ability to plant seeds of faith, hope and love - and what a gift that is for our world. We also take some time to hear from some of our teachers and pray for them and give thanks for all that they do.
Worship Where You Are
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/X4AoxFeYIeg
There is a short passage in scripture that simply says this "And Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff." (Genesis 47:31b) There is beauty in the simplicity of that verse as it reminds us all that worship can happen at any time and in any place. Those who have a church that they call "Home" have been removed from their worship spaces for many months now, and we all have been forced to worship in new spaces and new places. Yet Jesus reminds as all that he is with us wherever we may be and he receives our worship from wherever it may come. So today, take a moment to break away and worship this amazing God who does not reside in buildings of stone or wood, but resides in our hearts.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Y5_VNWvHWJE
This year's Labor Day Weekend worship service takes a look at the life of St. Paul and how his career drastically changed after encountering Jesus on the Damascus Road. We recognize that this year's Labor Day celebration may not be much of one as many are furloughed or unemployed - while those still working more than likely have had to figure out a new way of doing their jobs. The Damascus Road is a road of change and it's a road we all get to travel together - it's also a road where we meet the greatest traveling companion ever, Jesus Christ.
"You Are The Way Jesus"
audio from video: https://youtu.be/WOHVuOW8fxo
Following in the footsteps of Jesus gives our lives meaning & purpose as we become more like him every day. Like tracks that keep the train steady, Jesus guides us out of our doubts & fears into his hope-filled horizon. May we each proclaim “Jesus is MY Way, MY Truth & MY Life.”
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/0R7V6XlOha0
Life is a race, full of trials and difficulties - but don't give up. Keep on running - and fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith and the one on whom we can draw strength. And remember those who are a part of your great cloud of witnesses - those who sit in the stands of your life - those who cheer you on and those who run the race of life with you.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/7OekQ-ySsK0
A worship service of healing and wholeness ~ a joint effort by the communities of Garden City, Rosedale Gardens, St. Paul's, and St. Timothy Presbyterian Churches.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/IrXrVVRFFLg
We welcome you to take a moment of pause in your day to sit at the feet of Christ to feel his graceful presence. Grace is a gift bestowed upon us all by God so we invite you to this time of worship to reflect on this truth.
Audio from YouTube video: https://youtu.be/q0bkR8LWew4
This is a service is brought to us by the synod of the Presbyterian Church USA. This was done so pastors and worship leaders could take a break and worship without planning and leading a service.
Pastors Kellie and Kate are excited to see the 22 worship leaders participating in this special service.
“Help Beyond the Hills and High Places”
The Reverend Gregory E. Bryant was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After a conversion experience during his teens, he understood and received a call to the preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a graduate of Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, with a Bachelor of Science in History. He is also a Master of Divinity graduate of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. Reverend Bryant has done additional graduate work in the field of Education at Oakland City University in Oakland City Indiana; and doctoral work at Christian Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is currently a member of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit. Reverend Bryant is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit.
Rev. Bryant has served as the Senior Minister of several congregations in Indianapolis and has just completed an eight-year tenure as Senior Minister at United Christian Church of Detroit (Disciples of Christ). He is currently a high school history and social studies teacher at American International Academy located in Inkster, Michigan. Rev. Bryant is the author of two books – The American Church in Black and White: Navigating Minefields to Become God’s Intercultural Community; and Like Roses Rising from Concrete: 52 Reflections on Christ, the Black Church, and Urban Culture, both are published by Authorhouse Books. He is a member of the National Urban League of Detroit and has been involved in various community and ecclesial organizations in Texas, Indianapolis and Detroit. Rev. Bryant enjoys reading, sports, art, and jazz. He is married to Crystal Alecia Bryant, a reading specialist and elementary school teacher with the Detroit Public Schools; they are the blessed parents of two sons, Gregory and Isaiah; one daughter, Christiana; and a grandson, Khristian.
“Joy Is Not A New Year’s Resolution, It’s A Habit”
“May the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in him,
so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“Don’t Let a Little Uncertainty Talk You Out of Dreaming”
Joel 2:28 “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophecy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
“Jesus Loves You into Being…JOY-FILLED”
Philemon 1:7 N.T. pg 216
“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brothers and sisters, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”
Video before sermon: https://youtu.be/lA7n7TwPDmw
"It's A Wonderful Life! – Broken Banisters Redeemed"
Isaiah 43:2 New International Version (NIV)
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."
Video before the sermon:
"It's A Wonderful Life! – Broken Banisters and All!"
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 New International Version (NIV)
Video before the sermon (start watching at 3:10):
“It’s a Wonderful Life! – God Intervenes When We Pray”
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Video Clip before the sermon:
"It's A Wonderful Life! – Valuing Others Involves Sacrifice"
“And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Video Clip in sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4ne13Zft9Q
"Cold Leftovers & Warm Thanks"
2 Corinthians 9:8 "And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every way."
"Thank You God ..."
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Give thanks in all circumstance; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you ...”
Video shown before the sermon: https://www.dropbox.com/s/00j8e0yam9hne62/Letters-of-Thanks_Skit-Guys-HD.mp4?dl=0
“Called to Confront the Staus Quo!”
SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY Acts 17:6
“. . . they began dragging Jason and some brethren before the city authorities, shouting, ‘These men who have upset the world have come here also.’”
"Scatter Seeds of Joy: Plant!"
Luke 19:5-6 "When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay in your house today.' So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him."
SERMON IN STORY "Could I Have Said No? Voice of Mother Mary"
Written by Bill Dunphy, in his book, Voices From the Word read by Pastor Kellie Whitlock
SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY – Luke 1:38
Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord.”
"Lost But Found"
Luke 15: 6-7
Jesus said, “…Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner
who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons
who need no repentance.”
VBS 2019 Meditation
Day One: Psalm 18:1
“I love you, Lord; you are my strength.”
Day Two: 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“So encourage each other and build each other up.”
Day Three: Philippians 4:6
“Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything!”
Day Four: Psalm 119:105
“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
Participant Reflections - Braden Fitch, Evelyn Sowerby, Maggie Benton, and Amanda Gerger
Senior Reflection - Grace Futrell
Meditation - Pastor Kate Mackie
1 Samuel 25:6
“Thus you shall salute him, ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.’”
Pastor Charon Barconey is the associate executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Detroit.
1 Corinthians 13
"Humble & Kind"
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Video referenced in sermon - Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind"
"Don't Let What You're Afraid of Steal Your Joy"
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
"Tithe From Your Pocket and Your Heart"
"Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for a friend."
"Face It – God Is Crazy About You!"
John 3:16 - New International Version (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
"It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
Matthew 22:36-39 New International Version (NIV)
Romans 8:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Meditation on VBS
Psalm 27:10 "The Lord will hold me close."
Psalm 34:19 "The Lord comes to the rescue each time."
Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God."
Ephesians 1:19-20 "This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead."
"How to Be A Grown Up Child"
(Please note: due to technical difficulties, the beginning of the sermon is not available)