Who we believe these days has become quite a topic of consideration. Is your news source really a news outlet, or is it... something else. Who do you trust to speak truth, provide reliable information and advice, and have your best interests at heart? Most of us won't listen to just anybody. And those we trust the most are those with whom we have a shared history and know the best. And if we have good news to share, a blessing to pass along, or wisdom to impart, who might listen to us? It will only be those with whom we have a trusted relationship. God blesses us with connection not solely for our own benefit, but also for the benefit of those around us. When we share what we have with those we know and love, the entire community benefits. We are connected not to build ourselves up, we are connected to care. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FrsiAJcjNc

In nearly any given situation, it’s natural to ask ourselves, “What is required of me?” In a new job, we want to know the expectations and responsibilities. In a social setting, it’s helpful to know if we are in a casual situation or if we are in a more formal setting where our very best manners are called into play. Maybe we’re new to town, or a school, or a neighborhood… How are things done here? What is expected of me to be a good citizen, succeed in class, or be a caring neighbor? The Bible, our faith tradition, and our personal biases contribute to what we believe is expected of us as followers of Jesus. But maybe the best place to discover this is from Jesus himself. And, as much as we’d like to know precisely what the basic expectations are in certain areas of our lives, Jesus calls his followers to generosity and compassion in all areas. Jesus doesn’t ask us to just meet a list of do’s and don'ts, check off just so many boxes, or just believe certain things. Jesus asks us to give him our hearts, our relationships, and our physical and material lives - everything. To be a good steward of the abundant blessings and grace Jesus has poured into our lives, is to let Jesus have his way with our lives and possessions. Jesus expects more than our presence in church and a few dollars in the offering plates; Jesus expects us to go and do like he did… living and loving, generously, faithfully, and with an abundance of mercy and compassion. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0SI6pRv3uw

Run Toward It

Pain, trouble, heartache and brokenness... alienation, loneliness, and loss. These things are a part of every life. Nobody likes them. In fact, it's natural to want to run from them. Many people spend their entire lives doing all that they can to stay as far away from these things as possible. Jesus, on the other hand, spent his earthly ministry with people experiencing these things to offer them hope, love, acceptance, and grace. And in the Gospel of Luke he tells the story of a father running to embrace and kiss his estranged son when he sees him on the horizon. Jesus doesn't just welcome the hurting, he seeks them out, searches for them, and runs to them with love. God's love and grace as experienced through Jesus is tireless, tenacious, and persistent. Jesus doesn't just welcome us, he runs to us. Having experienced the love of God through Jesus when we felt we least deserved it, we might look with new eyes towards the hurting and needy around us and ask, "To whom are we running?" Worship link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQXJ2c4NXAI

Love Thy Neighbor

We are all seeking to be enlightened by a power greater than ourselves. Regardless of our faith backgrounds, we can find this peace through prayer, acceptance, love, and inclusion. Worship link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4yNkDyouvU

Called

Jesus has good news for those who are poor (literally) humble, lowly, the needy, the afflicted. Christ looks for those who have been passed over, the outcasts, who realize that they need Someone to come for them. He comes for those who know they are sick, not for those who think they are well. Blessed are the poor in spirit, Jesus would say. He has good news for those who realize just how desperately they need a Savior. In Luke 4:14-21 we find the ‘first sermon’ of Jesus being proclaimed in the synagogue. As followers of Jesus, we have a similar calling with the marginalized, the disenfranchised, those who are hurting and in need of Christ’s love. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQhlVNKXj68&t=1766s

Crooked

Just how long have you been living with that 'bend' in your life... that hurt, or anger, or bitterness? That misunderstanding, estrangement, or rift? All sorts of things get out of whack in our spirits over time, and the longer they go on, the harder they are to work out. Even if we wanted to straighten them, the crooked parts of us are so deeply kinked and bent that we don't have the power to smooth them. A woman who met Jesus in the synagogue one day had suffered a physical condition for eighteen years that had her "bent over." With his words and touch she was healed - her crooked spine was made straight! In all the ways of our crookedness, Jesus calls us to wholeness. Will you let him make your crooked places straight? Worship Link: https://fb.watch/fNAS6tuF7s/

Music Sunday!

Music has been a part of the human experience for as long as humans have existed. Research suggests that music developed right alongside spoken language. It seems our spirits are made to sing. Music has also always been a part of any and every faith tradition. It is natural for humans to express their most holy and sacred thoughts and experiences through song, in all its many forms. On Sunday, September 4, we will celebrate the faith we sing, as we hear the stories of some of our favorite hymns and worship songs, and lift our voices (or sit and listen) in song. Share your favorite hymn or praise song on our Facebook page, facebook.com/UnionChapelIndy. And invite a friend to join you for this uplifting worship experience grounded in the songs of our faith. In-person and online, 10:30 a.m. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u45eAaKgMMU

Feeling anxious? You’re not alone. Between things like financial pressure, health problems, and job stress, it can feel like anxiety is your only option. But your mind matters to God and He wants more for you. Whatever we meditate on becomes deeply rooted in our minds. In today's sermon, we close out the Anxious for Nothing series by focusing on the whatsoever things of God as God's goodness and grace washes over us. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUFf9p-mXsA

No Take Backs

Who do you trust most? Who would you leave your children with, share your deepest secrets with, entrust your finances to, invite to lead an important project at work? Some of us trust easily; some of us are more reluctant to fully give up control of anything that we value. Even when we take our concerns, problems, worry, and anxiety to God, we are hesitant to fully release them to God. Yes, we want God's help and peace. But it's hard to trust that God will work things out in the ways we want, with the outcomes we desire, on our preferred timeline. But God is fully trustworthy. And when we can learn to fully release our worries to God, we can grow in our ability to be anxious for nothing. Worship link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np5zKnzFDME

We each and all are impacted by the current mental health crisis in America. We either live with a diagnosed mental health disorder; or we occasionally experience a lesser degree of anxiety, stress or depression; or we are in relationship with someone who does. How do we best cope, help, and give hope as we discover anxiety in ourselves or others? When do we seek professional help? How does our faith inform and support us in the midst of difficult times and overwhelming emotions? Scripture invites us to seek help from God in prayer when we are anxious. Good advice! The Holy Spirit of God is a helper, an advocate, and a friend in times of trouble. And God often sends aid through others. When life is difficult, it's good to ask God - and others - for help. It's more than good... it's OK, it's healthy, and it's the right thing to do. On Sunday, August 14, as Union Chapel Indy continues the series, "Anxious for Nothing," The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Chandler, pastoral counselor and therapist, will bring the message to help us understand when it's appropriate to seek professional help for our mental health concerns, how faith helps when we have anxiety and stress, and how we can be helpful friends when those around us are suffering. Join us in-person or online at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, August 14. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I_nDOkS4vw

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