By one count, there are more than 45,000 Christian denominations around the world today. That number represents a mind-boggling amount of diversity in theology, religious thought, and faith practice. It's no wonder that those in the church - and especially those who are not - have questions about these things! What does my tradition believe about this or that? Why does my relative/friend/co-worker understand such-and-such so differently than I do? And why are there so many ways to think about religion, faith, and the Bible... isn't there one God, one Jesus, and one Bible? I'm so glad you asked! This week as we explore questions of faith, Pastor Elizabeth responds to the question, "So what's the deal with heaven and hell?" Together we'll begin to explore what the Bible says, and what the United Methodist tradition says, about these things. Worship Link:

It has been a great pleasure to unite in musical collaboration and love with the choir at All Souls Unitarian Church under the musical leadership of UCI's Minister of Music, Andy Riggs, and All Souls' Director of Music, Gabe Perbieri. Thanks to all who worked to make the music beautiful and meaningful -- and to all who made the trips to UCI and All Souls to meet new friends and support our respective choirs. May the sacred web that unites us with all people and all creation, ignite magnitudes of hope in a hurting world! Worship Link:

Students know the power of a pop quiz to both terrify and challenge them. Even the possibility of such a test keeps a student in the books and challenges them to internalize new information and insights. Questions from teachers - and others - invite us to dig deep and pull out bits of information to apply in this current moment. Deep in the Jewish tradition (and thus Jesus' religious tradition) is the power of questions to drive spiritual growth and deepen one's understanding of the Divine. Jesus asks lots of questions in the stories we find in the Bible. But he never asks them because he needs to know the answer. Jesus used questions to draw his listeners into deeper thought, more significant reflection, a new way of seeing things, and meaningful action. Got questions? Jesus sure did! Worship Link:

To encourage learning, dialogue, and new discoveries, many of us were taught that "there is no such thing as a dumb question." Though, few children need to be taught to ask questions. They are naturally curious and full of wonderment. But somewhere along the line many of us become uncomfortable with not knowing and go to great lengths to appear as though we know everything. By one source, in the biblical Gospels, Jesus is asked 187 questions. He answers (maybe) 8 of them. He himself asks 307. Maybe faith isn’t about certainty, but learning to ask—and sit in the complexity of—good questions. Got questions? Great! Jesus loves a good question (and doesn't think any of them are dumb!) Union Chapel Indy 2720 E. 86th Street Indianapolis, IN 46240 #unionchapelindy #questions #questioning Worship Link:

In today’s job market, you can compete with people from all over the country for just one opening. So there’s a lot of pressure to prove you’re the best candidate. You can spend hours optimizing your resume and preparing for interviews. When we go through all this work and don’t get picked, it’s easy to feel not good enough. Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t ask us to meet a list of requirements before he’ll start loving us. We are already qualified. And as we walk with Jesus, he helps us grow in love, wrestle with our faith, and spread God’s message of love and grace. Today, let’s see what Jesus has to teach us about love, faith, and belief. Our Preaching Pastor this weekend is Bree Dunscombe, a member of Plainfield United Methodist Church, where she attends worship with her husband, Luke, and three children. Originally from Chicago, Bree came to Indiana to attend Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer and ended up in Indianapolis a few years after graduation. She works full-time in communications and enjoys serving PUMC as a liturgist, prayer leader, council member, and lay preacher. Worship Link:

Surprise! He is Risen!

The best surprises catch us off-guard and wow us with their sudden joy. Like a group of much-loved friends and family jumping up from behind the furniture to wish us a 'Happy Birthday!", the best surprises delight us deep in our spirits as it dawns us that we are loved, all is well, and happiness is present. The Easter celebration is really about being surprised and awed by God's mighty power and amazing deeds. We might forget this as we busy ourselves with family meals, egg hunts, and new clothes. But this year, let us remember what a glorious surprise it is to find the tomb empty, Jesus alive, and new life bursting out all around us! Jesus is risen! He is risen, indeed! Happy Easter! Worship Link:

I am Jesus: The Way

Home means many things to many people. It's where we go at the end of the work day. It's where we visit parents and family. Many of us trust that "home is where the heart is." What about your spiritual home? Is there a place where your spirit is most at peace? Is there a place where you reconnect with God and connect with others in your spiritual tribe? Jesus talks about such a place and even offers to show us the way. In fact, Jesus says, "I Am the Way." Worship Link:

I Am Jesus: The Good Shepherd

If you've ever had to find care for your children, your parents, or even your pets, you know how difficult it is to find someone you can trust with the special people (and animals) in your life. Even with the best credentials and reputation, the hired nanny, caregiver, or dog-sitter is not the same as you being there. Will they really love and care for their charges in the same way you do? Will they truly look out for their best interests? Will they put the needs of your loved one above their own? What if there's a crisis, someone is hurt, or a situation becomes threatening? Can anyone else really love them like you do? But what about when we ourselves need love and care? Who can we trust to prioritize our best interests and put our needs above their own when we're hurting, when chaos breaks out, or when life seems uncertain? In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, "I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." Jesus knows us and loves us like no one else can. There's no need to be afraid or feel like you have to go it alone. Jesus is with you caring for you and guarding you, just like a good shepherd. Worship Link:

I Am Jesus: The Gate

As humans, we like to think we are clever and capable of handling our own business, making good decisions, and crafting our own fulfilling existence. It's probably closer to the truth to say that we get it wrong as often as we get it right; that we don't very often even know what we want; and that we make lots of mistakes as we seek to build a meaningful life. Is there a better way to do it, this thing called life, than meandering and making it up as we go? It might be helpful to have someone to guide, guard, and direct us. Jesus says he is just that person when he says, "I AM the Gate." Worship Link:

I Am Jesus, The Bread of Life

The very aroma of something warm and delicious can make us hungry. Soup simmering on the stove on a cold winter day... steak on the grill on a Saturday afternoon... fresh bread baking... And that first taste does more than stop the grumbling in our stomachs, it feeds our very souls. We call food that satisfies both body and spirit "comfort food." But we also have longings and desires that even comfort food can't satisfy. Our deepest hungers need something more than dad's mac and cheese or grandma's spice cake. In the Gospel of John, Jesus gives us seven different pictures of who he is. Jesus says, "I am... the Light of the World. I am... the Vine, the Way, the Good Shepherd, the Resurrection and the Life." He also says, "I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never be hungry..." It's Jesus that fully and finally satisfies our hungry hearts - today and always. Worship Link:

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