We’ve made it to Jerusalem, the cross and resurrection. As one church, we recognize we are the body of Christ and disciples of Jesus Christ. The question is where do we go from here?
Our worship series, ONE, will help us answer this question, and provide a scriptural basis for a way forward. On Confirmation Sunday, April 23, Youth Ministries Director Christopher Wurpts and Squad 57 Coordinator Sam Henderson speak about Many Gifts, One Church based on 1 Corinthians 12:4-13. This is a precursor to Sunday, April 30, when Senior Pastor Dave Summers begins the ONE series looking at Ephesians 4:1-16. “One with Christ” focuses on the Biblical truth that “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all…”
On Sunday, May 7, Pastor Dave focuses on Galatians 5:1-6 and 13-15 for a sermon on “One with Each Other”: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor un-circumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working[a] through love. 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters;[c] only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence,[d] but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”
Sometimes we wonder whether the church can hold together. Can Paradise Valley United Methodist Church remain strong in the face of division? As Christians who seek to be faithful disciples, we seek unity instead of division, and community instead of polarization. Our Christian faith can hold us together as a church, if we are strong enough to love one another despite our differences, and hold fast to Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.
On Sunday, May 14, we celebrate Mother’s Day and Music. The message focuses on the resilience of mothers using the example of Mary as the mother of Jesus. We also celebrate our music ministry on this day.
Finally, on Sunday, May 21, we celebrate how we are “One in Ministry to all the World.” We look at the gospel of Matthew, when Jesus gives his disciples their great commission in Matt. 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Our church has had many ups and downs these past couple of years, indeed, since its founding more than 55 years ago! Jesus never promised us an easy road. Every day, we’re challenged to meet others where they are at, even when it means crossing a divide. But, we can, through the power of Christ, As Christ followers, we have no choice but to do as Jesus commands us.
Our vision to have a “love that crosses all barriers and embraces all people” gives us direction to be bold and all-embracing in our love for others. We profess that “all are welcome,” while we struggle with our own human prejudices and frailty. Indeed, “all fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The hope is that when we follow the Risen Christ, and walk with him, we meet others on the road who want to be a part of a faithful spiritual community. We continue to build a church drawing on the lessons, experience and hope expressed by Jesus and the apostles.
We all long for community, but what kind of Christian community do you want to be a part of? ONE invites us to be united as a church, with Christ at the center.
Click here to see more upcoming sermons, as well as who is preaching through May 21 and beyond.