Onaway & Millersburg UMC
Monday, April 12, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
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Sermon

ONAWAY / MILLERSBURG UMC
HOME WORSHIP SERVICE

Confirmation Sunday, April 11th, 2021

Bringing the Light of Christ

Opening Hymn               Easter People, Raise Your Voices                     304

Call to Worship                         
What great joy we have!
Our Lord is risen!
This is the good news which we proclaim to you.
Jesus Christ is raised from the dead!
Walk in the light of his love.
Live in the light of his teachings and healing mercies.
Come, let us worship the One Who overcame death.
Let us celebrate the triumph of our Lord. AMEN.

New Testament Reading                                                       1 John 1:1-2:2

Worship with Tithes & Offerings

Announcements

Prayer of the People

Scripture Reading                                                              John 17:20-26

<Service of Confirmation>

Introduction to the Service

Presentation of Confirmands
- Kyler Nowak & Allie Nowak (Onaway)
- Carlee Selke (Millersburg)

Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith

Reaffirmation of Our Faith - The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
          who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
          suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;
          he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
          is seated at the right hand of the Father,
          and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
          the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
          the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.

Reception into the UMC & the Local Church

 

Message                                        Believers

What a great day! Today is a really happy and special day!!! We celebrate Allie, Kyler, and Carlee's confirmation, at which they proclaim their faith in front of all of us and become our two newest beloved members of this church. Of course they have been members before since they were baptized in this church, but as they express their willingness during the confirmation they become full, official members of Onaway/Millersburg UMC. I am really excited! How about you? It is a blessing for our church.

I've really enjoyed the confirmation classes with them during the last couple of months. The classes were a little demanding, but they participated and followed very well.

Again, I would like to say "Congratulations Allie, Kyler, and Carlee! I am really proud of you!"  and also "Thank you to everyone here to celebrate their confirmation together. Especially, the families of Allie, Kyler, and Carlee coming to celebrate."

I will give you really short sermon today. Through the confirmation liturgy, we not only confirm these new members but also re-affirm our faith and recall our own baptism and confirmation. That is the personal part of this liturgy but the confirmation has a communal meaning as well. As I said, it is a time to celebrate the proclamation of their faith and joining of our faith community. 

The passage from the Gospel of John is a part of Jesus' prayer on the night when he was arrested, so I read it during Maundy Thursday worship service. This is Jesus' prayer for all believers.

He prayed for us who live today, for the whole church throughout all ages. He prayed for "unity." He wants his people to experience a spiritual unity that is like the oneness of the Father and the Son.

"22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."

In our confirmation class, we discussed the "Trinity," which is a core component of our Christian faith. It is mysterious and hard to understand and explain sometimes; however, it clearly tells us that God, our creator, and Jesus, our savior, and the Holy Spirit, our sustained are three persons in one.

So, this truth also gives us the lesson that as the Father and the Son are one we should pursue to becoming one in Christ. That mysterious and wondrous miracle can happen for us as we are one in Christ. Think about how amazing that is, we are all different - we have different thoughts, ideas, ages, and races, but we don't look the element of our first birth, we look beyond and build our fellowship on our new birth in Christ and work for Jesus' glory together. That is the mysterious and wondrous thing we are experiencing now. 

When we do it right and faithfully, one of the things that most impresses the world is the way Christians love each other and live together in harmony. It is this witness that our Lord wants in the world "may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me (v21)" The lost cannot see God, but they can see Christians, us, and what they see in us is what they will believe about God. If they see love and unity, they will believe that God is love. If they see hatred and division, they may not find love in the gospel, which we are to share with them.

In Jesus' prayer, we can clearly hear that Jesus wants us to be one in him. There is every reason why believers should love one another and live in unity. We trust the same Savior and share the same glory. We will one day enjoy the same heaven. We belong to the same God and seek to do the same thing - loving God and others and pursuing becoming like Jesus. We believe the same God and truth, and witness it to the world. Of course, we all have our own differences but we have much more in common and this should encourage us to love one another and promote true spiritual unity.

Romans 12:5... "5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another." As we are loved by God, just as we are, we, who are many, are one in Christ. Look around now, who you can see? Can you see the members of our faith community? We are one in Christ. Let live in unity.

Now we will celebrate holy communion together. It is a time of celebration and remembrance of Christ's cross and resurrection, the celebration of a living Christ present with us here and now. It is a banquet of joy, a foretaste of the heavenly banquet to come. Also, it emphasizes communing together as a body of faith, fellowshipping together as God's children. One of the most important aspects of Communion is joining together in fellowship as a body of believers, of celebrating our oneness in Christ. We celebrate Communion together as a way of saying that through Christ and in Christ we are one.

Holy Communion offers us so much, forgiveness from sin, a refreshing of our souls; a time to remember all that Christ has done for us and to celebrate the living presence of Christ in our lives today and always. It should be a time to give thanks for the community of faith Christ has built with us and within us, to celebrate our oneness in Christ Jesus. And it is a time to come before God with joy and gratitude to receive the gift that he offers over and over to us, his gift of grace.

Now, by singing the hymn: "One Bread One Body" we will begin holy communion. I would like to encourage you to think on the lyrics of this hymn as we sing and to remember that we are one in Christ. Today, our beloved new members, Allie, Kyler, and Carlee will serve this to us as communion ushers. As they do, please welcome them into our community in your hearts, and celebrate our oneness in God. 

Communion Hymn          One Bread, One Body                                        620

Communion

Worship in Response           Come, Christians Join to Sing                           158

 

Prayer of Dismissal & Blessing