Family of Hope House Church November 2015
My First Official Sermon—Fifty Years Ago
On September 12, 1965, I delivered my first sermon as a newly licensed minister at Zion Mennonite near Broadway, where I served for over twenty years.
I’m not always comfortable with the messages I gave back in those days, but this one I would gladly repeat, on the theme “Every Believer is Called to Ministry”, based on Mark 10:35-45, one of our lectionary texts just a few Sundays ago. In this passage Jesus is reproving his disciples for arguing over who should be considered the greatest in the God-movement Jesus was establishing. Jesus' answer is that in his upside-down kingdom we become great only by becoming servants of all.
Fifty years ago I stressed that the God's "calling" is not just for a select few, but is essentially that all believers follow Jesus together and continue the work he began while here on earth. The location and manner in which we carry out that calling--that of bringing healing and blessing to a broken world--are unique to each of us, based on our gifts and opportunities, but the calling is the same, that of each person becoming an active part of a community of faith that lives, loves and serves others together.
This means one never stops being a part of the "laity" (from "laos", the people) when one is appointed a pastoral leader or a teaching elder in the congregation. In other words, there should be no lay-clergy distinctions, no individuals with special titles or status in this community, but all are fellow-servants under one master, the servant Jesus.
But through the ordinance of ordination we have created an elevated and specialized system of leadership. And I became a part of that paradigm, in spite of my initial sermon. Even our church architecture promoted this kind of elevation, with pews arranged to focus everyone's attention on the pulpit set in the center of a platform above the level of ordinary lay people, rather than our gathering together in some form of circle, such as in our Family of Hope gatherings. - Harvey Yoder
Notes, prayers and praises
- NOVEMBER BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS Neal Nelson 11/2, Rachel Stoltzfus 11/5, Paul Swarr 11/10, Emily Zhou 11/11, and Guy Vlasits 11/21. Neal and Elly Nelson’s 25th anniversary is November 26!
- WE ARE INVITED to worship with The Table Fellowship at 4 pm on Sunday, November 8, at the corner of Water Street and Old South High Street, across from the Community Mennonite Church. Bring food!
- OUR MY COINS COUNT total for this year’s Relief Sale was $267!
November Lectionary readings
1 Isaiah 25:6-9 Psalm 24 Revelation 21:1-6 John 11:32-44
8 Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 Psalm 127 1 Kings 17:8-16 Hebrews 9:24-28 Mark 12:38-44
15 1 Samuel 1:4-20 1 Samuel 2:1-10 Daniel 12:1-3 Psalm 16 Hebrews 10:11-25 Mark 13:1-8
22 2 Samuel 23:1-7 Daniel 7:9-14 Psalm 93 Revelation 1:4b-8 John 18:33-37
29 Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-10 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 Luke 21:25-36
November services worship at 4, meal at 6
1 Location: Annual Festival of Praise at EMHS at 4 pm, followed by a meal and sharing at James & Ruth Stauffers, 1250 Parkway Dr at 6 pm.
8 Location: We will be meeting with the Table congregation at 4 (see above announcement) in the house across Water Street from the Community Mennonite Church. Carry-in Meal
15 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Dr. K’town 908-0391
Worship and Sharing: Guy and Margie Vlasits
Bible Study: David Gullman, Pleasant View Home chaplain and author of a new book, Teachers of the Soul. Carry-in Meal
22 Location: Family Life Resource Center, 273 Newman Ave 432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Elly Nelson
Bible Study: James Stauffer Finger foods meal
29 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Drive 22801 564-1524
Worship and Sharing:
Bible Study: Dick Dumas Thanksgiving Meal