Archive for Worship

Following Jesus: How do we become people of faith

The stories of what happened to the followers of Jesus after he ascended into heaven in the Book of Acts are rather astonishing.  If we aren’t careful, we might be lulled into thinking that all was neat, cozy and tidy about this new movement of Jesus.  But if we think about it a bit more, it was nothing of the kind.  This new Jesus movement was upturning 1,000 years of history and breaking a lot of rules in a very traditional society.  It was allowing people to gather together who had not before.  It was a new social/religious movement with great spiritual power behind it, and with it, great risks.  Following Jesus was not taking the safe road.

Upcoming sermon series:

June 3 – Following Jesus: Finding Sabbath Time
Image: Jesus as spiritual leader
Scripture: 
Mark 2:23-3.6

June 10 – Following Jesus: a new kin community
Image: Jesus as Abba
Bilingual service; communion
Scripture: 
Mark 3:20

June 17 – Following Jesus: Learning to Garden the World
Image: Jesus as Source of Life
Scripture: 
Mark 4:26-34

June 24 – Following Jesus: Courage Amid Chaos
Image: Jesus as Controller of Seas
Scripture: 
Mark 4:35-41

July 1 – Following Jesus: Healing for All
Image: Jesus as Healer
Mark 5:21-43

July 8 – Following Jesus: Being Sent Out
Image: Jesus as Peacemaker
Scripture: 
Mark 6:6b-13

Holy Week Services

PALM SUNDAY
Sunday, March 25, 10:00AM
This service begins Holy Week, and commemorates Jesus entering Jerusalem in a parade on the seat of an ass. What was Jesus telling us about his mission when he did this?

MAUNDY THURSDAY
Thursday, March 29, 7:00PM
This evening at San Jose First will feature a simple soup supper meal with the whole congregation plus St. Paul UMC members, a bilingual service commemorating Jesus last meal with his disciples, and welcoming new members to our congregation

GOOD FRIDAY
Friday, March 30, 5:00PM
Join an ecumenical Christian witness outside the MLK library at the corner of S. 4th and San Salvador. We will remember the crucifixion of Jesus as an act of violence of the Roman Empire and raise our voices in lament and calls for the end of state sanctioned violence today. We will be led by PACT clergy leaders and join the weekly peace vigil.

EASTER SUNDAY
Sunday, April 1, 10:00AM
This is one of the major festival Sundays of our faith, as we celebrate the resurrection life in Christ. We will have special music, bells, communion, and an inspirational message on the theme of “The Gift of Unlimited Love!”

Lent: Gifts of the Dark Wood

Our Lent worship series, “Gifts of the Dark Wood,” is about “seeing life through new eyes.” When we allow ourselves to accept the journey within the Dark Woods, the Holy Spirit Guide tends to nudge us, awaken us, to a fuller life. But life is messy. Life is uncertain. Rather than a problem to be solved, what if we saw uncertainty, failure, emptiness, and loss as gifts? What if we saw how these uncomfortable times can actually help us let go of all we cannot know so that we can live more wholeheartedly? Let us begin the journey…

February 18 – The Gift of Uncertainty
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:11-12, Stilling of the Storm
Service will include ashes, perhaps also dissolving paper in water

February 25 – The Gift of Emptiness
Scripture: Mark 15:22-38

March 4 – The Gift of Being Thunderstruck
Scripture: Job 37:1-5, Luke 13:1-9

March 11 – The Gift of Getting Lost – Bilingual Service
Scripture: Psalm 42, Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

March 18 – The Gift of Temptation
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:16-19, Luke 4: 1-13

March 25 – The Gift of Misfits – Palm Sunday
Scripture: Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29, Luke 19:29-42a

April 1 – The Gift of Unlimited Love – Easter Sunday

Seeking After God

This Sunday we begin a new sermon series: Seeking After God.  What does it mean to search and follow God? We may think such journeys should be carefree, but often this searching is filled with initial success, then failure, uncertainty, and pondering. Let’s look at the models of seeking we find in our scriptures!

January 21 — Faithful Following – Mark 1:14-20
The disciples by the sea immediately follow Jesus – and find community in a different life. Where are we willing to risk for our faith?

January 28 — Re-turning to God – Book of Jonah
The story of Jonah and the whale is far deeper than a “big fish” story. It’s the story of 2nd and 3rd chances given to us by God. It’s the story of how we make mistakes and still get called into relationship with a loving God.

February 4 — Seeking Healing and Recovery – Mark 1:28-39
Those who serve well, also need to remember to rest and wait. In fact, waiting is not such a passive thing — it is essential to seeking God!

February 11 — The Way of Seeing – John 9:1-41
Bilingual Service / Transfiguration Sunday
The transfiguration moment on the mountain leads the disciples to see more, and learn to serve differently. Where am I blind to those who are in need? How can I learn to “see” more?

Worship During Advent and Christmas

“Do not be afraid.” – The Angels

The angels that appear in the story of Jesus’ birth would have been very comfortable in our world of tweets and hashtags. Their messages were often short and to the point–their favorite line being #DoNotBeAfraid. As we look at the stories of these winged messengers to Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds, and their reactions to them, we will contemplate what messages we can offer that will counteract a culture of fear and bring #morehope, #morepeace, #morejoy, and #morelove to the world.

December 3: Advent 1 – Make Ready a People #morehope – Luke 1:1-25, 57-80

Have you ever had a moment in your life after which you knew nothing would ever be the same? In the midst of great change, hope is always a welcome thing. Advent can remind us that God makes us ready for whatever unknown may come our way and calls us to be messengers of #morehope in an ever-changing world.

December 10: Advent 2 – Nothing is Impossible #morepeace – Luke 1:26-56

Have you ever struggled with finding your purpose and being at peace with it? Or are you yearning for more peace in your life and relationships? #morepeace in the world happens when all of us feel #morepeace within ourselves and live out that message each day.

December 17: Advent 3 – Do Not Be Afraid #morejoy – Matthew 1:18-25

Keeping up “appearances” can rob us of our #morejoy. Let us be messengers of encouragement and steadfast support, as Joseph was for Mary and Jesus, for that which the Spirit is birthing in the world.

December 24: Advent 4 – This Will Be a Sign #morelove – Luke 2:1-20

This will be our bi-lingual service for December at our usual 10:00 am time. The service will feature a telling of the Christmas story – in both Spanish and English, and remind us of God’s love for the whole world. Enjoy Christmas carols as we offer up to God our voices in praise.

December 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 10:00pm – I Bring You Great Tidings #DoNotBeAfraid

This service will look at our angel messengers and focus on the great news of the angels to the shepherds, the least of their society. With both our house band and the JuBELLation bell choir participating, we will enjoy music of the season and light candles as our sign of being God’s messengers bringing hope, peace, joy, and love into a hurting world.

December 31: First Sunday of Christmas – Get Up and Go – Matthew 2:1-23 #morelife

Joseph and his new family were in danger from the Roman Empire; now he needed the angels timely warnings more than ever. Jesus, the Savior of Humankind becomes a refugee–forced from home by oppression and violence. We ask ourselves how we might usher in #morelife in the face of that which feels destructive. One last time in this series we hear the message #DoNotBeAfraid to get up and go–leaving those things that weigh us down and moving into the new year with new life.