God’s Invitation to a Christ-Centered Life will be the 2018-19 program year theme. As we were moving toward the choice of a theme, INVITE was our core practice which kept rising to the surface after focusing on CONNECT in the 2017–18 year. However, a year of simply encouraging each other to invite people to church seemed too small for such an important practice.
Stew Kerr (Director of Mission) shifted our conversation in a richer direction when he wondered what would happen if we focused on God’s invitation to us, rather than simply our invitation to others. Suddenly the possibilities seemed so much more plentiful!
The first sermon series will focus on the question of what a Christ-centered life looks like. Head of Staff Pastor Bill Ingersoll will preach three of the four sermons in this series, which will be the Sundays between September 9 and 30.
The next series (October 7 through October 25) will be God’s Invitation to Worship, when the sermons will center on different aspects of the Sunday service: communion, praise, confession, prayer, giving, and thanksgiving. This series includes both the Theologian-in-Residence, Dr. Christy Lang Hearlson of Villanova University (October 14), and stewardship season (October 21, October 28, and November 11).
In December we will consider God’s Invitation to Prepare, when we celebrate Advent using the Lectionary passages from the book of Luke. We will also have the chance to worship by listening to the Advent section of The Messiah at both services, 9:00 and 11:00 AM, on December 23.
During the Sundays of January 2019, we will focus on God’s Invitation to Connect, giving ourselves a refresher on the concentrations from this past year (connecting with self, God, each other, and neighbor). The next series, God’s Invitation to Learn, will be February 3 through March 3. We will look at the doctrines of the Trinity, of Creation, of Sin, and of Atonement on successive Sundays, with the children’s musical on February 24, 2019.
God’s Invitation to Serve will be the focus for Lent (March 10 through April 21). The sermons will cover profiles in servanthood from women throughout the Biblical witness. We will hear the Passion Week texts from The Messiah on Palm Sunday, April 14. The final series will be from April 28 through May 19, when together we will explore God’s Invitation to Bless. The scriptures for the sermons will track with the thread of the Bible that reminds us again and again that we are blessed to be a blessing.
It’s going to be a great year—pray that many, many will accept God’s Invitation to a Christ-Centered Life!