Showing posts with label peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peace. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Guide to Living With Others in Challenging Times

Romans 12:15-18 offers some great guidance for getting along with each other in highly charged times. Paul wrote, 
15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Advice like that just never gets old.  

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.”

Friday, June 10, 2016

Give Judging Others a Rest

In this highly charged political season, let's follow some sound advice from Jesus and from theologian Henri Nouwen. Henri Nouwen writes in his devotional, Bread for the Journey,
Essential to the work of reconciliation is a nonjudgmental presence. We are not sent to the world to judge, to condemn, to evaluate, to classify, or to label. When we walk around as if we have to make up our minds about people and tell them what is wrong with them and how they should change, we only create more division. Jesus says it clearly, "Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge; ... do not condemn; ... forgive." (Luke 6:36-37)
If you have to evaluate, classify, and label, I hope you are in one of the sciences. Otherwise, along with judging and condemning, don't do it, please! Be friendly, be open, be hopeful, and offer a helping hand instead. And forgive others who have not yet learned this lesson and walk a darker, more difficult path. Pray that they will find this better way to live, and soon!  

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.

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Blessing for Your Day

Go forth in peace, but not in complacency; be strong, but not arrogant; have conviction, but be understanding of the beliefs of others; be eager to love, but not meddlesome; be proud enough not to have contempt for yourselves, but sufficiently humble not to be jealous of your neighbors. Go forth in peace. 

From A Manual of Worship. John E. Skoglund & Nancy E. Hall

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

God's Blessing for You

God bless you and keep you.
God's face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
God look upon you with love and give you peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26

May this blessing warm your heart, put a spring in your step, and give you joy.

From your friends at Lansdowne Baptist Church

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Putting Aside the Hateful Meme

I am growing increasingly disturbed with hateful "memes" abounding on social media of all sorts.  So many of those pithy pictures and quotes are designed to divide people. A great many memes essentially say, if you do not agree with me, you are subhuman. Making people into subhuman "others" is the first step toward violence against them. Before sending another hateful meme, we should all pause and ask ourselves, "Who do I know who is being unfairly tarred by the gross generalization here?" Ask, "Does this stand with or violate the two great commandments to love God and neighbor (everyone)?"

Let's all do what we can to stem the tide of divisive hatred leading to violence.

Thanks.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Changing Plans

Based on Mark 6:30-34, 53-56, in which Jesus calls the disciples busy with ministry to come away to the wilderness to rest and to get back in touch with God. However, plans are changed when crowds need Jesus' help.
 

Friday, July 24, 2015

LBC Will Be At the National Night Out


On Tuesday, August 4, members of the Lansdowne Baptist Church, including the pastor and his wife, will be helping Lansdowne celebrate the National Night Out from 6 to 8 p.m. We were there last year and it was great to meet so many terrific members of this community. We hope to meet more of you this year, invite you to come worship with us on Sundays, provide a few give away items, and answer any questions you might have about us or about American Baptist Churches USA (our denomination). 

Here's what this night is all about, according to its organizing institution: "National Night Out is a cohesive effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back."

You'll find us on the North Highland Avenue parking lot, along with a great many other community organizations, free food and drink, and some great music. Come and meet us. 

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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Prayerfully Standing with Our Mourning Brothers and Sisters in South Carolina

"You, O God, have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God." Psalm 90:1-2

We stand in sympathy and pray for our mourning brothers and sisters in Charleston, South Carolina, who lost loved ones and peace during the murder of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church at the hands of a gunman during their evening prayer meeting. We have no words for this horror and depend on the Holy Spirit to convey our grief. We call on God to bring comfort and strength to all who lost loved ones and must go on.

May this young gunman, twisted and maddened by hate, be caught before he can kill again.

May Isaiah 41:10 give all who mourn strength: "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious hands."

May we take hope for the fallen from John 11:25-26: "Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

Finally, may we look to the promise of Revelation 21:3-4, "The home of God is among mortals. God will dwell with them and they will be God's peoples. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away."

Again, we of Lansdowne Baptist Church stand with you in this terrible time and pray for you.

For prayers from the Minister's Council of American Baptist Churches, USA, see: http://www.abc-usa.org/2015/06/18/the-ministers-council-abcusa-offers-hopes-and-prayers-following-emanuel-ame-church-killings/

For a sermon dealing with these awful events and challenging us to decide what kind of world we will live in together, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2015/06/why-are-you-afraid.html

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wind Fire and Spirit





For Pentecost Sunday, we explore how the Holy Spirit can make a mess of our tidy, neatly ordered worlds. That unfettered Spirit of God can also empower us to do far more than we ever thought possible. Based on Acts 2:1-21.



We're experimenting here with showing the PowerPoint presentation while the sermon plays. Maybe this will work. We'll see.



Have a blessed and Spirit filled day.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Friends Praying and Acting



For Baptist Heritage Sunday, this sermon explores the many ways Baptists have served in the world, and how we go about our business there. We Baptists have long grappled with major social issues, seeking God’s will through the Holy Spirit’s guidance on decisions like the end of slavery in the United States, the integration of freed slaves into society, women’s rights, and civil rights. Today we continue to seek God’s guidance in the challenges facing us. Like Barsabbas and Matthias, the vast majority of us do our work quietly behind the scenes.

Based on Acts 1:15-17, 21-26.

Friday, May 15, 2015

After Recent Violence, ABC USA Calls for Peace

After the recent violence in our cities involving police and African American men, American Baptist Churches USA released the following article: http://www.abc-usa.org/2015/05/12/american-baptists-call-for-peace-following-recent-police-killings/

This is recommended reading for anyone. Here is the challenge the denomination gives to American Baptists everywhere: 

Therefore, as a sign of our prophetic calling, we call upon all American Baptists,
American Baptist churches, and American Baptist organizations to do the following:
1. To be peacemakers, builders of God’s shalom;
2. To work for the prevention of violence, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and just reconciliation;
3. To advocate for a more responsible media;
4. To challenge ideologies, structures, politics and policies that lead to violence.

Wishing you all peace ... and the desire to work for peace. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hosanna



When Jesus rode into Jerusalem at Passover, many were looking for a conquering Messiah to save them from the Roman occupation by force. Jesus had other ideas ... as we shall see in this Palm Sunday sermon.

If you should find yourself in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, this Easter, you are most welcome to join us as we celebrate our risen Lord. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Good News of Great Joy

For Christmas this year, wishing you all the joy of the shepherds when the angels told them of the coming of the long awaited Messiah. To the lowest on the social scale the angels came, making the shepherds who most looked down upon the messengers of good news of great joy for all people.  Here's how Luke tells the story in Chapter 2, verses 8 through 20. 
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rejoice Always





The apostle Paul calls you to rejoice this Christmas season, and throughout the year. It's a matter of trust and a defiance of fear. It's also a healthy way to live. Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Reflections on the Christmas Season

“Hark the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the new-born king’. Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” ~Charles Wesley 

        Welcome to another Christmas season. Welcome to our celebration of the moment when the world changed forever. Luke 2:1-20, especially 8-20, is my favorite rendition of the Christmas story. For me, I cannot hear or read the shepherd’s experience with the angels in the field without thinking of my childhood and A Charlie Brown Christmas, in which Linus, the crew’s pint-sized theologian explains the meaning of Christmas to a distraught Charlie Brown using this passage.

        There are the shepherds, out watching their flock in the field at night, social outcasts based on the “earthy” way they make a living. Yet, outside of Jesus' family-to-be, these are the first people among the nation of Israel to hear the “good news of great joy for all the people.” Assured not to be afraid of the angel’s visitation (a good thing considering the angelic choir that will soon appear), they are told of the birth of a Savior, Messiah, and Lord. Such powerful titles these are, the titles for a king. And yet, this king will be found wrapped in bands of cloth in a manger. Peace among those whom God favors refers to the nation of Israel, a people set apart, for whom this message was first delivered. Luckily for us all, while Jesus began by fulfilling Jewish prophecy, in time the reach of Jesus’ good news would extend much farther, and that joy and peace right along with it.

        Immediately after hearing this message and choir, those shepherds headed off to find Jesus. Their world had changed and they wanted to find the source of that change. They never questioned that a Savior, Messiah, and Lord would also be one who was submissive and humble too. What a wonderful leap of faith, given how loaded those three words were with expectations across many centuries for the nation of Israel. When the shepherds arrived and told their tale, no doubt with great enthusiasm, the people were amazed. I wonder if they were more amazed by the tale or the messengers? But Mary treasured and pondered those words, as we all should. Finally, the shepherds returned to their world, their night on the hillside with the sheep, to a world that would never be the same because of the birth of Jesus: Savior, Messiah, and Lord.

        Wishing everyone peace, joy, and wonder this Christmas season as we celebrate Jesus’ birth once again. 

~Pastor Jeff Snyder

What Is Advent?

Welcome to the season of Advent, the beginning of the new church year. Advent, comprised of the four weeks prior to Christmas, is a season when we remember all God has done for us. We look back to the newness God brought into the world with the First Advent, the birth of Jesus. How Jesus’ entry into our world changed everything! It is the season when we look ahead to Jesus’ return and the reign of peace and justice that will come in that much anticipated Second Advent.

Over these four weeks, we light the candles of the Advent wreath. The evergreen wreath reminds us of God’s eternal love for us all. The four candles around the wreath represent hope, love, joy, and peace. The central candle, the last to be lit, represents Jesus Christ, who was sent by God to bring us hope, love, joy, and peace. It is a beautiful reminder of all Jesus has done for us and all that will yet be done. God bless you in this wonderful, meaningful season of Advent.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Missionary Jeni Pedzinski Speaks at LBC

We were pleased to hear from Jeni Pedzinski, missionary to Thailand, on Sunday, November 16, 2014. Jeni is currently preparing to serve as the senior administrator of the New Life Center Foundation in Thailand. The center, established in 1987, serves young ethnic minority (tribal) women who are at risk of being, or have been victims of, human trafficking, forced labor, and sexual abuse. Jeni will provide support to the NLCF staff in administration, Christian discipleship, and financial literacy.

She is very well suited for the task at hand. Her presentation was moving. The story of how she was called to service by God through the stories of another missionary whom she met and spoke with when 11 was inspirational. It is amazing to see how God nourishes the seeds of faith planted in our lives by other faithful followers.

To learn more about Jeni Pedzinski's mission work, see: http://www.internationalministries.org/teams/529-pedzinski

There you can also find ways to support her vital work if God moves you to do so. For more on mission support, see: http://www.internationalministries.org/missionary_support_information

Jeni also lists a number of ways you may be involved in her ministry:

  • Join her Ministry Partnership Network (MPN)
  • Share information about her ministry with others
  • Go on a mission work team to her country
  • Give to her ministry individually or through your church
  • Send emails and birthday and Christmas cards
  • Pray for her ministry
We at LBC wish her all the best in her important work and will be praying for her continued success.