To how many people are you connected? 20, 50, 200? Our social media accounts would possibly suggest many hundreds. We count those people among our friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, and neighbors. In the church and in the United Methodist tribe, in particular, we are also connected to many hundreds of thousands, even millions, through the trust we have in Jesus and the commitment we have to the United Methodist Church. Worship Link:

At the Table: Comfort Food

"Comfort food" came into the American English lexicon in the mid-1900's. It quickly came found its place in our language to indicate those foods that bring us feelings of comfort and safety, that satisfy a nostalgic longing, or even make us feel loved. Coming to the table where a favorite dish is served can fill more than just our empty stomachs. Jesus invites us to bring all of our longings to his table. Especially those longings that can't be filled with chocolate or macaroni and cheese. When Jesus said, "I am the bread of life," he meant to give us hope that with him, we can find everything we need to be filled, satisfied, nourished, and loved. At Jesus' table, we find not only welcome and good company, but life itself. Worship Link:

At The Table: It's a Party!

Audrey Hepburn famously said, "Life is a party. Dress like it." What a wonderful invitation to live most fully in each moment and celebrate every day! But Hepburn was not the first to liken life to a party. The Jewish tradition has long likened the coming reign of God as a festive banquet. And Jesus carried that theme into his ministry. Jesus encouraged us to make every meal a festive occasion, inviting everyone near and far to join the party. Pull up a chair, have a seat, and join the fun! You are invited, too! Worship Link:

At the Table: A Picnic

Sometimes when we meet a person outside of the usual context we might not recognize them. For example, when we encounter the doctor's receptionist at the grocery, we might not recall their name or recognize them at all! Then when they speak, or smile, or extend their hand, the familiarity of those actions place the person for you. Suddenly you remember exactly who they are! Following Jesus' death, no one expected to see him again. Even those closest to him did not understand that he would return, nor what that experience would be like. So when Jesus shows up to walk with two of his followers on the road to Emmaus, they don't recognize him. Only when Jesus performs the familiar act of breaking bread and offering wine to them do they realize who they are with. In Scripture Jesus often revealed himself at the table. He does the same today. Come, have a seat, meet the Master. Worship Link:

At the Table: A Wedding Banquet

Some of our most memorable experiences with friends and family, even strangers, have been around a table. The relaxed conversation shared over good food has a way of drawing us closer together. As we tell stories, hear about the lives of others, ask thoughtful questions, and wonder about life together, we develop deep connections that sustain us when we are away from the table. Jesus knew the power of the table. A close look at the stories of Jesus in the Bible reveals that he spent a great deal of time at the table with all kinds of people. It was there that people were welcomed, fed, loved, encouraged, and even challenged sometimes. It was there that community developed and outsiders found their place. It was at the table that Jesus revealed who he was. Worship Link:

Four Faithful Friends

What is the wildest, most outrageous thing you've done with a group of friends? Maybe as a teen you and your friends hoisted a car onto the school roof just before graduation. As young adults, maybe you and your friends back-packed across Europe or the US. Maybe you started a garage band in middle age, or you all jumped out of an airplane to celebrate your 80th birthday. Friends are important to us and have the potential to powerfully influence our attitudes and actions. In the New Testament book of Mark, we find four friends who went the extra mile for their paralyzed friend. Hearing that the Healer Jesus was in town, they sought to get him an audience with Jesus. But when the house where Jesus was staying was so full that they couldn't get in, they broke through the roof and lowered him into Jesus' very presence. And none of their lives were ever the same. By the faith of his friends, the man was healed. What difference can our faith make for our friends? What would we do so that our friends could get close to Jesus? What is in the way of people experiencing Jesus in the big "C" church, and at Union Chapel Indy? What wild, outrageous thing is God calling us to do to create access to the One who welcomes, loves, heals, and makes whole? Worship Link:

Better Together

Better Together: Today's Worship Experience The word “church” holds different meanings for different people. Some would finish the sentence, "Church is...," with descriptions of a building or an organization. Some would talk about the services and programs that a congregation provides. Some would talk about worship, or about the feelings, they associate with the 'church.' And some would nostalgically recall the faith experiences of their childhood. When the Bible talks about the 'church,' it usually uses the phrase the "body of Christ" suggesting that the church is not just a place, an activity, or a feeling, but is in fact something that is vibrant, alive, growing, moving, and impacting its members and the world at large. In a physical body, each part is important. And so it is in the church, the body of Christ. Without you, the church is less than God designed it to be. With you, the body has all it needs to be Christ present in the world. We truly are... better together. Worship Link: