“The Stewardship of Presence” - Common Ground Contemporary


Pastor Bruce JohnsonNovember 5, 2023All Church, Holiday

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Passage: Matthew 5:1-12

On Sunday, November 5, 2023, Pender observed All Saints' Sunday. Pastor Bruce Johnson delivered a sermon titled "The Stewardship of Presence" based on Acts 2:43-47, and the Gospel Lesson for the day was from Matthew 5:1-12.

All Saints' Day is a time for United Methodists to publicly remember and honor those who have passed away, typically celebrated on the first Sunday in November. Rituals like lighting candles, ringing bells of remembrance, and calling out the names of those who passed away in the previous year are performed to honor the impact their lives had on the community.

Pastor Bruce Johnson began by discussing All Saints Sunday, a day in the Christian calendar to remember deceased believers and emphasizes the belief in the communion of saints. The sermon touched on the importance of being present and engaged in the church community, especially during difficult times such as persecution.

Pastor Bruce underscored the significance of God's presence throughout history and the embodiment of faith in the community of believers. The vows taken by church members to be present for each other are seen as a response to God's presence among them. The message warned against the temptation of settling for virtual worship and emphasized the importance of being physically present in the fellowship of believers.

The Common Ground Praise Band, led by AJ Rios on keyboards and including Jane McKee and Arlet Williams, performed several songs during the service, including "Shalom to You," "Holy Water," "Cornerstone," "Holy Spirit," "If We Are The Body," and "Hallelujah, Your Love Is Amazing."

Maya Berry delivered A Moment for Missions, asking for prayers for Levi & Stephanie Mberego with Bridges International at George Washington University in DC.

Worship Leader Jane McKee shared a story about the Beatitudes and the importance of happiness and mercy during the Children's Time segment.

The service also included the observance of Holy Communion.

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