“I’ll Stand” Part 1

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “I’ll Stand” Part 1 taken from Acts 25:23-26:14

“Fellowship in the Church”

FROM THE HEART OF BILL

For the next few months I want to touch on a few things that really make for an effective CHURCH.

Our vision statement at Medina United Methodist Church is:  “To Know Christ and to Make Him Known.”

This month I want to share with you some thoughts on FELLOWSHIP.   The church is called the BODY OF CHRIST.   That is, when believers meet together in His Name that the world ought to be able to see Him more clearly.  Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”   The church is very important in making Christ known.

One of my favorite movies is, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”  It is a comedy love story based on the real-life experiences of Greek American Actress Nia Vardalos.   At 30 years of age, this unattractive, slightly overweight woman seemed doomed to be a hostess in her father’s Greek restaurant for the rest of her life.  But Toula has dreams of a better life.  Those dreams cause her to made something out of herself.   She goes to college and then lands a great job where she meets and falls in love with a long-hair, non-Greek, English teacher, Ian.

Ian’s parents are a wealthy couple without any kind of real extended family.  One day they accept a dinner invitation at Toula’s parent’s home and are shocked at what they find.  As they drive up to the house, nearly 100 people – the entire Greek clan, greet them on the front lawn with hugs and kisses.  Amid the dozens of cousins, aunts, and uncles (most of whom are named “Nick”), there is a goat hanging on a spit over an open fire.

Toula’s father smiles and says, “Welcome to my home!”  Toula’s mother approaches the bewildered couple and gives them the traditional hug and kiss on the cheek. The initial shock eventually begins to wear off and soon they start to relax once they realize how much they are loved.

What a picture of what the family God can be!  I think the movie really captures a dimension of fellowship that is so rich and vital to the church.  I am so glad everyone at church doesn’t look and act alike.  How boring that would be!  God made us incredibly different in terms of taste and preferences.  I’m so thankful that there is rich diversity in the midst of our unity in Christ.  My prayer for all of us is that we might have a rich fellowship in which we truly let it all hang out and be real with one another.  (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)

In Christ,

Bill

“Resurrection Sunday”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church on Resurrection Sunday from 1 Corinthians 15:12-34

“Palm Sunday 2018”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church on Palm Sunday taken from Luke 19:28-44

“Faithful…”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Faithful…” taken from Acts 25:1-22

Resurrection Sunday!

If you were to ask me, “What’s the greatest event in history?” I would have a hard time answering because I can think of three different events that all involve the person and work of Jesus.   His birth… His death… and His RESURRECTION!

On April 1st were going to have our RESURRECTION SUNDAY.  You say, “That’s April Fools!”  That’s what makes it AWESOME!  It was the tradition in the early Eastern Orthodox Church of telling jokes on Easter.  You say, “Easter is not a laughing matter,” but they told jokes because on Good Friday the Devil thought he had won, but God got the last laugh on Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead.  The monks called it, “The Easter Laugh,” and it became known as a day of joy and laughter.

Easter is a time that a lot of NEW people come to church.  People think about coming to church who don’t regularly come.  Let’s begin praying about who God wants us to invite and how we can be more inviting.  Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  I believe we are already perceived by the community to be an extremely inviting church, but the question is, “How can we be more inviting?”

Try to imagine how intimidating it might be to walk into a crowded place.  It takes a great deal of courage to come to church for the first time.    Yet we have never been more crowded and studies have shown that when a church is 80% full, it’s FULL.  So we are not only FULL… we are way over capacity.

So, PLEASE if your able sit as close to the front as possible and leave the back pews open for our guest.  Park as farther away than usual if you can.  Also, be on the lookout for new faces and as you greet them, ask God to show you what to say and do.  Let’s not only prepare our hearts for what God wants to do in our lives, but also in the lives of others.

I also want to remind you that your pastor is only as good as your prayers.  Please pray not only for me, but for our Sunday School Teachers, Nursery Care Workers, Breakfast Club Crew, Safety Team, Worship Team, Greeters and Ushers that we would reflect Christ.

… and let’s gets excited to once again relive  THE RESSURECTION OF JESUS CHRIST!

See you in church,

Bill

“The Urgency of the Gospel”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church a message entitled, “The Urgency of the Gospel and the Danger of Procrastination,” taken from Acts 24:22-27

“Amazing…”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Amazing…” taken from Acts 23:16-35

“Be Encouraged”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Be Encouraged,” taken from Acts 23:11

 

God’s Providence

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “God’s Providence:  God Working Behind the Scenes,” taken from Acts 23:1-15