Pastor Note #73: No “Us” and “Them”: Race, Ethnicity, and the Mandate of Love

No “Us” and “Them”:  Race, Ethnicity, and the Mandate of Love A Sermon Preached at Venice Presbyterian Church on August 20, 2017 Pastor Gary A. Chorpenning Venice Presbyterian Church Cecil Township, PA Acts 15:1-21 Since you can’t help but notice it, let me acknowledge that I’m going to do something here this morning that … Continue reading

Sermon #64–Death Defeated, Part 1: What is Death?

Death is all around us.  It is woven into the fabric of our world.  It’s not supposed to be like that.  But it is like that.  The Bible has a lot to say about death, because we need to understand death–its origins, its meaning, its consequences for us, and its remedy.  This message is the … Continue reading

Pastor Note #65 — A Congregational Vision for Prayer and Healing

A Vision for Prayer & Healing in the Life of our Church The Ministry of Prayer in the Life of our Congregation             The presence of God is sought and found in a diligent and unremitting pursuit of God through prayer.  Prayer is not the work of a few.  It … Continue reading

Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Purpose for Being What is your church’s purpose at this period of our history? What is its reason for being at this particular moment in its life as a congregation? These are important questions that churches can easily get out of the habit of asking. In fact, … Continue reading

Sermon #55 — The Victor’s Battle Cry and our Easter Victory Gift

AN AUDIO SERMON [see link below] By rising from the dead — raising us up with him — Jesus Christ has won the great victory and has, thus, restored to us our eternal significance which death had stripped us of. Death is a powerful and ever-present reality for human beings.  And for us death doesn’t … Continue reading

Sermon #53–The Fullness of God: Alive in Christ

The Core Idea Behind this Sermon:  Because Jesus Christ is “the fullness of God in bodily form,” and because we are “in Christ,” the transforming power of Christ’s presence and identity is applied to our lives, making us genuinely new beings, who are forgiven in Christ, made alive in Christ, and who triumph in Christ … Continue reading

Prayer Note #41 — An Advent Devotional Prayer — Isaiah 47:1, 3b-15

  The Death of Evil, the Birth of Hope   Isaiah 47:1, 3b-15               O Lord, your anger frightens us.  When we read such passages of scripture as this one, we are made uneasy.  We move on quickly to happier lines and brighter verses.  Through your prophet Isaiah here … Continue reading

Sermon #33 — Loving our Brothers and Sisters — 1 John 3:11-18

  Love is freedom.  Love is like laying down a burden that we really can’t carry in the first place.  That burden is our own self.  Cain was a man gnawed by fear.  He was afraid that he wouldn’t get is due (as he saw it).  He lived with a desperate need to fulfill his … Continue reading

Pastor Note #44 — Coffee Mugs and Robust Coffee, Churches and the Powerful Presence of Jesus

There are several steady coffee mugs in my life.  In our kitchen cabinets at home, we have quite a stable of coffee mugs.  Coffee mugs seem to just accumulate over time.  Recently, we cleared some of them out because we were running out of room on the shelves.  I’m willing to drink coffee out of … Continue reading

Pastor Note #39: A Statement of Faith

            God is not an idea or a concept but is rather a Personal Being of infinite power, beauty, and goodness.  He is a Being who desires to be known and reveals himself to us.  He makes himself known to us through the works of his creation and through direct experience of his Holy Spirit.  … Continue reading