During her sermon on the 8th Sunday After Pentecost, Rev. Jenny Smith Walz explained the real meaning of Justice. My take-away from her sermon is this beautiful quote, and I think we can all live by it.
She stated that we resort to Charity because Charity is a lot easier for most of us than Justice work is. “Justice work makes us uncomfortable,” she added. She preached on the topic of the “Parable of the Persistent Widow and the Unjust Judge” based on Scripture from Luke 18: 1-8. In this story, we see a poor widow constantly asking a corrupt judge to help her get justice. Pastor Jenny concluded by saying, “If we want justice for others, we must love and respect them.”
Click here to watch Rev. Jenny Smith Walz preach about “Justice.”
It is an inspiring quote on forgiveness by Rev. Jenny Smith Walz. During her sermon on the 6th Sunday of Pentecost, also Communion Sunday, Pastor Jenny admonished us about the merit of continued forgiveness. The Scripture was from Matthew 18: 21-35.
“Jesus freed people from their sins over and over again, and it got him crucified,” reminded Pastor Jenny. “Yet Jesus went from that Cross, into death and resurrection,” she said, “showing us that Freedom from all of those sins is released through God’s long action of love and forgiveness.” “Forgiveness frees us from captivity,” she added. Failure to forgive holds us captive to our bitterness and keeps us in a cycle of revenge. Forgiveness requires us to name the pain and the hurt while we see those in need of forgiveness as also God’s beloved children.
“What if we were to have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that allows people to tell their stories of pain and victim hurt, that allows the pain and hurt to be felt, and Freedom to be found?” Pastor Jenny mused. “Then, we can love each other and together transform the world!” Ask yourself: Where is it that you need to be set free? Where is it that you need to be redeemed?
Click here to listen to Rev. Jenny Smith Walz preach about “Forgiveness.”
On the Firth Sunday of Pentecost, Pastor Rebekah Anderson preached on “Baptism” while “Exploring the Depths” and left us with this quote. The Scripture was from Mark 1: 1-14.
Pastor Rebekah reminded us that we are all incredibly vulnerable, and our vulnerability connects us. She stated, “Baptism calls us to open our hearts to the vulnerability of ourselves and others so that we can recognize that we are all inextricably linked through God’s love. At Baptism, God’s redeeming grace washes the old away and creates in us a new life.”
Even though we are baptized once, we must return what our Baptism means, over and over again. This way, we open our hearts to be made new each day. There is a new life for us in Baptism, again and again when this happens. This new life offers us the forgiveness that we can give to ourselves for hurting others and, to people who have caused us harm.
What to focus on now:
- Return to what Baptism means for us.
- Dive in again and again deeply into the depths of these waters.
- Take a hard look at ourselves and the world’s brokenness and recognize our culpability in its pain.
It will wash away hurt and resentment in incredible ways that will make more room in our hearts for love and joy. “May we find that path to the water and dive in again and again, together,” said pastor Rebekah. Click here to listen to Pastor Rebekah preaching about “Baptism.”
On the Fourth Sunday of Pentecost, Rev. Eric Skitch Matson preached on “Celebration,” referring to God’s Jubilee, and left us with this critical quote that is good to remember always.
The Scripture was from Leviticus 25: 8-13. God had promised Jubilee living would flourish throughout all the land for all its inhabitants. Jubilee living should also be “the time to pause, reflect, ask for forgiveness, and discern what God calls us into next.” For Rev. Matson, “Jubilee resets the affirmation of what the future should look like, and allows for freedom to dream dreams of a better future for all.” He reminded us that “the Jubilee Scripture was a crucial part of the call for freedom, even when it meant going against the norm of the day.” It was also a call to end slavery, and we should be happy that Juneteenth is now a Federal holiday. Therefore, we must not forget to reconnect with God and allow God’s Holy Spirit inside us to guide us forward into the work we need to do.
What to focus on now: Start Jubilee living now by celebrating and having a reset. Come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church and be a part of our beloved community. If you missed all or part of the service, Click here to listen to Pastor Skitch preaching about “Celebration.”
On the third Sunday of Pentecost, Rev. Michael Reed, Executive Director of Maker’s Place, gave us at PUMC this great quote on abundance! So, if you are thinking of having an abundant life, you must try to remember this quote. Rev. Michael Reed preached together with PUMC lead pastor Rev. Jenny Smith Walz about ‘divine abundance,” as worship this week is about “God’s Time To Shine.”
On honoring Lori Pantaleo, for receiving an award for her work at The Maker’s Place, Rev. Reed explained how Lori was always the one to go first. Then, she gave her time, gifts, and experience to others. Maker’s Place distributes diapers to over 500 struggling families at five locations in the Trenton area.“You must be the one that goes first.” advised Rev. Reed. “When you go first, when you offer what you have to others, that will kick up abundance for others.”
What to focus on now: “We must take what we have and give it to God and allow God to multiply it for God’s purposes.” Rev. Jenny Smith Walz reminded us, “Abundance is where all people can flourish, where there is enough for all of us to flourish as a community.” She has always told us that we are enough because God is enough! We can all experience divine abundance. So come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church and be a part of this beloved community. CLICK HERE to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to the sermon.
In her sermon on the Second Sunday after Pentecost, Rev. Jenny Smith Walz preached about “Sabbath Rest.” The Scripture was from Luke 6:1-11. “Sabbath,” said Pastor Jenny, “is a way set apart for rest, for holiness, bearing witness to the glorious love and providence of God.”
“When we are supposed to rest, how much do we rebel against that?” mused Rev. Walz. “How much do we struggle against being still, being quiet, allowing things to happen around us without being caught up in them?”
On the Sabbath, God rested. We, too, are meant for Sabbath rest. We should not be worried about not having enough. God owns everything, and God will provide for us. What then is Sabbath rest? “How can we create times of rest without being idle or lazy?” Pastor Jenny asked us. Let’s share our answer on the PUMC Facebook page. If you can, specify the effect her message had on you.
What next? It’s time to practice Sabbath. Take a rest and experience God’s Holy Spirit in your life. Come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church, and be a part of this beloved community. Click here to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to Pastor Jenny’s sermon.
In her sermon on Pentecost Sunday, Rev. Jenny Smith Walz encouraged each of us to ask the Holy Spirit to “tear our hearts apart for God’s people.” We should also ask the Holy Spirit to “anoint us to be God’s speakers, sending us forth into the world on the winds of his ‘Holy Trouble’ to continue Jesus’ work in the world around us.”
On the Day of Pentecost, the miracle of speaking in tongues and hearing many different languages was stirring up trouble among the people. “The Holy Spirit stirred up a lot of ‘HolyTrouble’ in Jesus Christ, and he went to the Cross for that,” said Pastor Jenny. In the Scriptures, we also see other instances of God stirring up ‘Holy Trouble.‘ God not only did it with Jesus, but he also did it with Moses, Peter, and others.
Pastor Jenny asked us, “How is God stirring up ‘Holy Trouble’ in your heart?” Share your answer on the PUMC Facebook page. What next? Ask the Holy Spirit of God to inspire and instigate you to make a change in yourself and in the world.
You, too, can experience God’s Holy Spirit in your life. Come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church, and be a part of this beloved community. Click here to watch the PUMC worship Pentecost service and listen to Pastor Jenny’s sermon.
Image source: UMC Images
In her sermon on the last Sunday of Easter, PUMC Intern Tayler Necoechea preached on the Scripture as recorded in Psalm 93. “We know that the sea is mighty and great and beautiful, but God is more majestic than the sea,” she said. Tayler encouraged us to try to understand the glory of the Lord and to sing and yell to exclaim God’s majesty. Scripture tells us that “Majesty and terribly loud noise go hand in hand.” We make a loud noise when we seek reconciliation and strive for justice and truth and love in our world. It shows that God is near. She reminded us that God is a force for justice and love, and our hope is in the truth that this servant king is good yesterday, today, and tomorrow. “Will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to advocate and care for your neighbor?” Tayler asked.
You, too, can experience God’s love, justice, and truth. Remember, Jesus’ love for you is mightier than the waves of the sea. Come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church, and be a part of this beloved community. CLICK HERE to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to Tayler’s sermon.
We were blessed to have Rev. Dr. Deborah Blanks, pastor of Mt. Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church, as our guest preacher on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 25. In her sermon, Rev. Blanks preached on the subject “The Good Shepherd,” as recorded in the Scripture John 10:11-18.” We hope you enjoyed your time here with us, Rev. Blanks, as much as we enjoyed having you and listening to your powerful message.
She assured us that Jesus the Good Shepherd knows us better than we know ourselves and cares for us beyond our knowing.” God knows each of us as though we were the only sheep in the world,” she told us. “It is a blessing to know the one who is the ground of our being and the mover of this very universe,” added Rev. Blanks.
She made some interesting points throughout her sermon. Still, this one kept me thinking a lot, especially about how we do business: “In our way of thinking, a 99% return on our investment would be most desirable, but not this shepherd. He left the 99 to go in search of the one lost sheep,” stated Rev. Blanks. Yes, Jesus is the Good Shepherd to all of us. If only we can love Him as much as He loves us and love our neighbors as ourselves, what a wonderful world we would be living in!
You, too, can experience God’s love and love for others in return. Come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church, and be a part of this beloved community. Click here to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to Rev. Blanks’ sermon.
[Image Source: Google]
In her sermon on the Second Sunday of Easter, Interim Pastor Rebekah Anderson preached on the story of “The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith,” as recorded in the Scripture Mark 7:24-30. She stated that when people are brought into direct contact with the truth, they are transformed. Whatever is obstructing their view is removed and allows them to see clearly something they couldn’t see before. In the case of Jesus, it’s as if, for one moment, he lost sight of his mission. He seemingly forgot that he had just taught the crowd of Scribes and Pharisees that “what comes out of our hearts supersedes the law.”
The Syrophoenician woman of great faith asked Jesus to heal her daughter. She, who was a Gentile, not Jewish, taught Jesus to be more tolerant. This woman brought Jesus into a direct encounter with the truth and reminds him of his mission’s entire point, thus empowering him to transform others. Pastor Rebekah reminds us “that as Christians, we are called to listen deeply to ourselves, to others, and to God.” We are often afraid to listen, she said, “because when we do, we are often confronted with things that are really uncomfortable.” She invites us to honor God with our hearts and actions by listening to those who are different from us, who can remind us of what we are called to be. God’s unconditional love for us will help us listen deeply.
You, too, can experience God’s love and transformation. Come worship with us at Princeton United Methodist Church, and be a part of this beloved community. Click here to watch the PUMC worship service and listen to the sermon.