Showing posts with label Holy Spirit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holy Spirit. Show all posts

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Live Stream Bible Study Coming Soon

We are called by God to try new things, to follow where God (our great and glorious change agent) leads us. I am heading in one such direction where God is leading.

At this point, I have all the technology and programming to offer up an evening live stream Bible study, filled with applications for modern life, with Bible verses read in the biblical storytelling fashion. Lansdowne Baptist Church members, friends, and all seekers anywhere interested in participating will be invited to join in.

There are a couple of experiments needed to work out the finer details and then we will jump in with both feet. At that point, we will announce when the first meeting will take place (day and time), along with the YouTube channel through which you will be able to join in. If it is set up as I envision, chatting will be possible. There will be a few Bible-based rules for those conversations, but that will come later.

As one very astute individual who is jumping in early remarked, "We won't go for perfection at first, but we will walk toward it over time." Too true. Join us early and watch the changes happen.

Through it all we'll learn together what our loving God through the Bible, that amazing library of 66 books, has to tell us about living modern life well. We will equip ourselves with that knowledge. Then we will encourage each other to act on what we've learned to help others and grow in our faith.

Watch this blog for more news soon.

Until then, walk with God.

~Reverend Jeff Snyder

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Late to the Party



Sermon for April 8, 2018, the week after Easter, based on John 20:19-29, the story of Thomas, who arrives late to the party, so to speak, after Jesus has visited the disciples after his resurrection. Thomas has a lot of trouble believing what his friends are trying to tell him and expresses his feelings strongly. Watch and see what this means for all of us today.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Feasting with Friends 2018: Basic Information Provided


At this year’s Feasting with Friends community dinner, I decided it was time to get down to brass tacks—as my grandparents used to say. With a great deal of misinformation swirling around about who we are as American Baptists, why we serve the community we serve, and who we human beings are, I felt it necessary to get back to basics. The information was well received, which warmed my heart. The meal was also fantastic as always, well received, and well staffed by dedicated volunteers from our church family and friends. 

Who Are We?
       We’re at Lansdowne Baptist are part of the American Baptist denomination. As American Baptists, we believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and that the Bible is divinely inspired. That Bible is our reliable guide to Christian life and faith. We believe all Christians are called to approach God directly, free of any human go-between, and that as Christians we all have free will.
       All of us have been given special gifts by God, gifts that are intended to strengthen and improve our community as we share our unique gifts with each other. God does not intend for us to hoard these gifts, keep them “mint in the box,” or set them aside and play with that box.
       American Baptists believe in religious freedom for everyone. It was Baptists pushed out of Massachusetts who created the Rhode Island colony and declared everyone was welcome there.
       We American Baptists also believe in sharing the good news with others, both locally and internationally. We do this both in the words we speak and the actions we take. To share the good news well, we acknowledge that it is the duty of all believers to equip ourselves with knowledge and train with each other on Sunday morning, so we can live out our faith all week long.
       We American Baptists also agree that we are called to cooperate with other churches. We at Lansdowne Baptist work with Lansdowne’s First Presbyterian Church with the Interfaith Food Cupboard. As the pastor, I have also helped with their Sonrise Service early Easter morning and we at LBC have fed our Presbyterian friends breakfast afterwards.
       American Baptists also very strongly believe we are called to be Christian witnesses for justice and wholeness in a broken society, following Jesus’ excellent example. Since the movement to abolish slavery prior to the Civil War, American Baptists have been involved in every justice movement in the United States. Among them have been supporting women’s rights, including the right to vote, adopting women ministers roughly 100 years ago, supporting the civil rights movement, care of our planet and much more.
       We American Baptists also celebrate the fact that we are the most culturally and theologically diverse of all the US denominations. We embrace people from all around the globe.

Why Do We Serve?
       Why do we at Lansdowne Baptist go to all the effort to support Feasting with Friends and the other programs we are involved with to help our community and the world, people we know and those we will never meet? What is in it for us, people might well ask. Let’s turn to our reliable guide, the Bible, for some answers.
       We are called to serve by Mark 10:43-45: “whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
        We are instructed to love everyone in Luke 10:27: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” The parable of the good Samaritan, which follows this verse, illustrates our neighbor is everyone and we do whatever we can for neighbors in need.
        We are informed by Jesus that we will be held to account for our service to others, or our lack thereof, in Matthew 25:33-40: [Jesus] will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
       Finally, 1 Peter 4:10 calls us all to serve others out of the gifts God has given us: 10Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. It is amazing what the use of our gifts can draw out in others. During Feasting with Friends, our efforts draw out gifts from our own church community and from local businesses to make for a wonderful, meaningful day. We are grateful for all the blessings and mercies and free gifts from God and that gratitude makes us generous. We want to share. To quote from A.A. Milne’s character Piglet in Winne-the-Pooh: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” Or, as Psalm 23:5 puts it: My cup overflows.

Who Are We All?
       Finally, there are many folks who are ready and willing, eager even, to define us negatively. The world, or society if you like, defines us by our jobs, our credit scores, social status, skin color, gender, age, diseases, or addictions. I could go on. Needless to say, today’s world judges humanity harshly.
       But the good news is that is not who we are. We American Baptists, we Christians, work hard to see humanity as God sees us, as Jesus taught us, as the Holy Spirit guides us.
       We see everyone as a beloved child of God, one so loved God sent Jesus to tell and show all just how much they are loved. Jesus came to rescue us all from terrible, harmful ways of living that are against God’s plan and intention for humanity. God’s plan is the way of love and hope, a way filled with generosity, service, and devoid of fear. The ways in which we stray from God’s plan are referred to as sin.
       We are taught that humanity is made in God’s image and has God’s characteristics. Sadly we stray.
       However, from the very beginning God loved us and called us good. We are not the labels society applies to us. We are the beloved children of the Creator of the universe. Please remind one of your neighbors of this fact sometime today. That will be a wonderful way to love God and neighbor alike.
      
Open Invitation
**If this sounds good to you, you don't have a church of your own, and you would like to come by and worship with Lansdowne Baptist Church to see what it is like, you will be most welcome. Consider this an open invitation. God bless you on your journey. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Whole City Gathered



Sermon from February 4, 2018, based on Mark 1:29-39. In it we review Jesus' healing of Simon/Andrew's mother-in-law and Jesus' desire to leave the safe and known town of Capernaum and its friendly crowd. Jesus calls us to leave the cozy equivalent of Capernaum and head out to be about Jesus' mission. Listen and discover the details. Have a blessed and adventurous day!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Worthy or Not, Here We Go!



Sermon based on Mark 1:4-11, the baptism of Jesus. John the Baptist, despite his many accomplishments, did not think of himself as worthy of untying the thong of Jesus' sandal, much less of baptizing Jesus. Jesus saw things differently and found John worthy. Jesus sees us differently than the world sees us or we see ourselves. Discover the good news.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Nothing Impossible: Christmas Eve 2017 Sermon



Sermon delivered on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017, based on Luke 1:26-38. The angel Gabriel assures Mary, when delivering the message that she will be Jesus' mother, that "For nothing will be impossible with God." Discover what that means for us today.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols 2017

On Christmas Eve this year, we at LBC have a special treat for everyone who wishes to celebrate Jesus' birth. At 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 24, we will offer a variation on a service of lessons and carols. We will be singing, reading much-loved scripture passages and responses to those scriptures, hearing a brief meditation from the pastor, and closing with a beautiful, candlelit singing of Silent Night. During this simple service, all who attend will be offered the opportunity to slow down, pause, and remember why we celebrate Christmas. It will be a time of worshipful release from the tension, the expectations, and the anxieties that so often accompany this Christmas season. Together we will experience the joy of Jesus' birth once again. All are invited to join us that evening. 

Merry Christmas to you all!  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Love As God Loves



Sermon for Sunday, November 12, 2017, based on 1 John 4:7-21. The sermon addresses how Christian churches and individuals respond in an age of fear and the senseless violence of terrorism. Please listen and consider.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

LBC Visioning Meeting

Members and friends of Lansdowne Baptist Church, join us Wednesday night, November 1, 2017, in Westphal Hall for a potluck dinner and visioning for our future together. This will be an exciting meeting discerning where God is leading us now. Come and give us your vision for our future together. 

Fair Balance: Stewardship



Sermon from October 29, 2017, based on 2 Corinthians 8:7-15. Paul guides the Corinthian church and us in how to live generous, joyful lives, creating fair balance and having a positive impact. Following Paul's advice for living is character changing. To succeed, however, requires a lot of trust.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Don't Remain Silent



Sermon delivered on September 3, 2017, exploring  the scripture Luke 18:1-8. This sermon reminds us we must be as persistent as the widow seeking justice from a corrupt judge. See how prayer plays into that persistence and what it has to do with us in this day and age.

As time was limited, we didn't get into some of the other ways Christians are working for justice. We prayed for and provided guidance to all interested in helping the survivors of Hurricane Harvey during our announcements and pastoral prayer time.

For another perspective on persistence, see: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/08/persistence-is-key.html

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Catching Fire


Sermon based on Acts 2:1-13, telling the story of Pentecost and the power of the Holy Spirit. Be careful watching this one: the Holy Spirit goes where the Spirit wills, and powerfully!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Pastor Walking Neighborhoods with Invitations

The green shows where invitations have been delivered so far
In an effort to get to know the neighborhoods around Lansdowne Baptist Church better, and provide personal invitations to come worship with us, our pastor has taken to the streets. He is walking the neighborhoods when time and weather permits, leaving personal invitations on doorknobs everywhere he goes. Of course, he never leaves an invitation at a house where a "No Solicitation" sign is present as irritating folks is not his intent.

So far over 640 personal invites have been delivered with more on the way. An additional 80 were handed out along the parade route during the 4th of July parade. He intends to keep this up, wearing down shoe leather in order to extend the invitation to come worship God with us, meet Jesus Christ, and be transformed by God's Holy Spirit. At this point, Lansdowne Baptist has been having an increase in visitors and our pastor is being discussed by folks around town. As a confirmed extrovert, he is also having a wonderful time meeting great people everywhere he goes.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

End of School Year Bash Was a Blast!

Lansdowne Baptist Church kicked off our summer season with our annual End of the School Year Bash. We had a great deal of fun with our congregational family, friends, and neighbors (just so you know, when LBC holds an outdoor event on our most wonderful piece of property--the lawn at the corner of Lansdowne and East LaCrosse Avenues, you are invited to join us there). The day started off with a brand new project, our youth raised bed vegetable and flower gardens (it was three beds that day, but due to God's abundance and the powerful movement of His Holy Spirit, we now have four beds). The children and youth planted our vegetables in anticipation of the coming harvest. We plan to share the produce with our kids and the local Interfaith Food Cupboard this fall, God willing. We had lunch using our locally famous lemonade stand. Then the pastor did a little Christian clowning and discovered the fun of involving more of the audience in the performance. This was followed by some terrific games (the flying disc toss trying to ring traffic cones was particularly popular with kids and adults alike). Then came our next new event, a pony ride for the kids. Some children were so in love with this event they rode that pony four or five times in the hour she was with us.

I want to take a moment to say a great big thank you to everyone who made this event so successful and memorable. All of your hard work and preparation and involvement are greatly appreciated. We could not do this without each and every one of you.



It was a blessed day and we look forward to doing it again next year. Who knows what new things we'll have added by that time? Come and find out. You are always welcome.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Powerful Statement from Our Denomination Following the Shootings in Orlando

American Baptist Churches USA is the most diverse denomination in the United States. Our churches have a great deal of autonomy, we are equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, and we have varying interpretations of particular passages that have been the focus of recent cultural and religious debated.

Yet, in the midst of turmoil, our leadership provided the following powerful message of love. Please follow this link and read: http://www.abc-usa.org/2016/06/17/abc-interim-general-secretary-addresses-orlando-shooting/

A few highlights:
We offer our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims of the horrible tragedy in Orlando. We extend love to those of our family directly affected. We grieve with our American Baptist brothers and sisters who are part of the LGBTQ community. My message to them is, never mistake our debates and disagreements with the depth of our love for you as part of our family. To the rest of the ABC family my message is, even in the midst of profound disagreement, let us love as Christ loved. 
~Interim General Secretary Dr. Susan Gillies


Following Gillies remarks, Rev. Judy Fackenthal said, “As President of ABCUSA, I concur with Interim General Secretary Susan Gillies that any act of violence against any part of the human family is fully outside the vision of God’s gracious love for all people. While American Baptists may not agree on a wide variety of issues, we claim God’s love as a just and all-encompassing love. I pray for the people of Orlando, particularly the LGBTQ community as well as the Hispanic community that has been particularly affected by this horrific violence. May we work together to seek to end hate and the outcomes associated with it.”


“The events of last week hurt me deeply, as a Christian, Baptist and as a Puerto Rican,” said Dr. Josue D. Gómez-Menéndez, vice president of ABC. “At this time I would like to express my solidarity with all the people who are suffering from the effects of violence, misconceptions and separation. In the end what we discover in the depth of love is that we find our essence and human reality, our claim to the dignity of the human being and our real choice to reflect Jesus in every step.”

Monday, May 30, 2016

Fire, Spirit & Understanding

Sermon for Pentecost Sunday, the church's birthday, based on Acts 2:1-21. Like the disciples, the Holy Spirit drives us. Find out how ...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Peace

Sermon based on John 14:23-29:

23Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will
love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you
hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

25”I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate,
the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you
everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I
leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the
world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be
afraid.

28You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told
you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

Explores what it means to be gifted with the peace of Jesus.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Who Was I?



Sermon based on Acts 11:1-18 in which Peter, minding his own business in Joppa has an extraordinary vision, challenging his understanding of what is clean and proper. After that shocking moment, he is called by three Gentile men (Gentile grossly defined as "not us") representing the Roman centurion Cornelius. Peter and his crew are called to Caesarea to confer and eat with Cornelius and his family. Back home in Jerusalem, a faction of Christians are angry with Peter and insist he explain himself. A powerful moment comes when Peter sums up with the powerful question "who was I that I could hinder God?"

An exploration of the power of the Holy Spirit and consideration of where the Spirit might be leading us today. Listen, pray, and consider making Peter's question your own.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Go In Peace



Based on Mark 5:21-43 in which Jesus responds well to a day of interruptions ... and what we can take from that. Hint: it has a lot to do with faith and love.