Yay God! (Thanksgiving Sunday)

Many have been credited with coining the phrase, "talk the talk and walk the walk," which means to match one's efforts with one's words. The fact is that the gist of the phrase shows up repeatedly in various forms from the time of ancient philosophers to modern-day writers and leaders. At its heart, it's a phrase that invites someone to prove that they mean what they say by doing, living, and acting out those things. Not only has Union Chapel Indy been faithful in the last year in "walking the talk" by its faithfulness in outreach and mission, this week we also celebrate the One who is ultimately faithful in fulfilling their promises. This week we say, "Yay, God!" for God's faithfulness to show up in real and practical ways in and through the ministry and mission of Union Chapel Indy. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJdoR9xJ5VE

Recipe for Joy

With the traditional Thanksgiving Feast just days away, many of us are pulling out our recipe books and preparing to pour our hearts into our favorite dishes. Our efforts will include all the best quality ingredients, careful measuring and mixing, and lots of love. All with the hopes that the food we prepare and serve and make for a special and memorable gathering. This is also the time of year we look for the perfect blending of experiences, decorations, gifts, and embellishments to make for a special and memorable season. If we can only pull together the best, most special, grandest elements, we will truly have a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. Scripture invites us to consider another recipe for joy. One that doesn't have anything to do with tinsel or packages, but everything to do with ingredients like gentleness, hope, time with God and others, and the secret sauce - gratitude. This week we whip up some thanksgiving to make for a truly memorable holiday. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkMLtUXcd8g

Make a Joyful Noise (of Thanks)

As we move quickly from the Halloween celebrations and the seasonal fall festivities to launch right into Christmas planning, preparation, and celebrating, it's easy to overlook this season of Thanksgiving. We're busy raking leaves, making holiday plans with extended family, and beginning the annual stress over gift shopping, giving, and receiving. But the church calendar invites a short season of reflection, and yes - thanksgiving. The church calendar actually begins its new year on the first Sunday of Advent, this year on December 3. And so as we close out this church year, we take a few weeks to remember, give thanks for, and celebrate God's goodness to us in every season. This week we "make a joyful noise to the Lord!" as we discover more fully what it means to "give thanks." Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0U5rymqy40&t=4s

All Saints Sunday

Union Chapel Indy stands unique in its current time and place. There is no collection of gifts and graces, no accumulation of wisdom and experience, no place of joy or sorrow exactly like it anywhere else. This is because of the people who are right now a part of the ministry. And also because of all those who have gone before. On this All Saints Sunday we celebrate the light that remains among us of those faithful followers who have now gone on to glory. May we who call Union Chapel Indy home today glow as brightly for the world around us as those whose light still shines among us. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtGkNZK4DNk&t=15s

Fear Not: God is Bigger!

Fear is a powerful force. Sometimes it paralyzes us so that we can’t move beyond our current dilemma. Sometimes it drives out into greater danger. Sometimes it makes us overly cautious so that we are reluctant to step into a new role or an unfamiliar situation. Fear is real and often our caution is warranted. But the God who nudges us towards, calls us to, or just finds us in new territory is bigger than our fears. With God guiding, equipping, and providing we are more capable than we think. Fear not! God is greater than all that seeks to hold us back. With God, you are able, capable, and quite ready for whatever lies ahead! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xymndwIaUdI

Fear Not Week 3: Come As You Are

One of our greatest fears is being ‘caught,’ called out, or otherwise exposed when we’ve made a mistake or feel as though we don’t measure up to expectations. To think about being vulnerable, exposing who we really are, or revealing our darkest selves strikes terror into some of our hearts. And there are people with whom it is not safe to be totally open and honest. But Jesus isn’t one of those people. Not only will Jesus not judge us for who we are, he’ll love us into a new and better version of ourselves. Fear not when you open up to Jesus, he’s on your side! Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hgP6qMcidw

Fear Not Week 2: Not Alone!

The month of October and its big event, Halloween, remind us of just how many things we are afraid! We're afraid of imaginary ghosts and goblins that lurk in shadowy places. We’re afraid of the dark, of things that go 'bump' in the night, and powers we don't understand. We're afraid of heights, of snakes, and of spiders. We’re afraid of getting sick, failing in our job, and losing an important relationship. We’re afraid of tomorrow and of the unknown. And while all these fears are real, so is God. When you are afraid, cling to the God who promises, "do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." (Isaiah 41:10 NRSVUE) Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1isbNwRHjs4

Fear Not: Week One

The month of October and its big event, Halloween, remind us of just how many things we are afraid! We're afraid of imaginary ghosts and goblins that lurk in shadowy places. We’re afraid of the dark, of things that go 'bump' in the night, and powers we don't understand. We're afraid of heights, of snakes, and of spiders. We’re afraid of getting sick, failing in our job, and losing an important relationship. We’re afraid of tomorrow and of the unknown. And while all these fears are real, so is God. When you are afraid, cling to the God who promises, "do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." (Isaiah 41:10 NRSVUE) Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCgObykDt9E

At our favorite restaurant we have a menu of delicious options to choose from. While we might have a little trouble deciding what we want to enjoy on any given day, the choices are clear and we will select from that day's offerings. But what if we could choose anything we wanted?! What amazing meal would we design and ask the chef to prepare? We tend approach God in prayer as though we have limited options from which to choose... "God, help me with this... fix that... give me strength... forgive me..." But what if there was no limit to what God might do... no boundaries to God's goodness... no parameters within which we would expect God to work? Scripture says that God is able to do more than we can even ask or imagine - wow! Let's consider how we invite God to break through into our lives with that kind of power! Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZCwD_AF2ZI

Adventures in Prayer Week 3: Surrender

When was the last time you surrendered something? When did you last give up something of value or concede your victory to another? It's probably not a positive memory. We tend to think of surrendering as something negative. For many of us it means admitting we are not good enough; that we've been outplayed or outsmarted. But giving up something can also be helpful and healthy. To give up something that commands too much time on our calendar means that we have more time for the things we care more about. To surrender priorities such as success and wealth means that we can pursue other important things that serve our families and others. Is there anything you might give up to grow in grace and peace and walk more closely with the One who loves you the most? Surrender might not be such a bad thing after all! Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVZ8214pI0k

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