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Deeper than Words: Living The Apostles’ Creed… our Sizzlin’ Summer Sermon Series for ’16

 The theme of our Summer Sermon Series will be the Apostles’ Creed. You may ask, ‘why are we choosing to do this?’ My first answer is: why haven’t we done this already?

The Apostles’ Creed is the cornerstone of Christian belief and has been since the middle of the second century, when a similar version of the current Creed was used by Roman Christians. For generations, Christians have used this Creed as the benchmark of understanding what the Church believes, and we, as part of Christ’s body, do likewise.

Using three guidebooks as resources, we will explore and explain the mysteries of this ancient and living guide to our faith.

“Should I say the words when I do not understand what they mean or why they are important, and when I am pretty sure I do not agree with them?” So asks Justo Gonzalez, in his book, The Apostles’ Creed For Today, Westminster John Knox, 2007.

“A pair of dissonant melodies will be playing in the background as you delve into the Creed: one will be an anti-creedal mode of those who want to decide for themselves, the other will want to misconstrue the Creed to be used as a litmus test.” So writes James Howell, in The Life We Claim, The Apostles’ Creed, Abingdon Press, 2005.

“God isn’t someone else. For the mystic, there is no difference between Creator and Creation.” So says Brother David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine Monk and author of Deeper Than Words, Living the Apostles’ Creed, Image Books, 2010.

Come, join in and follow along as we join the faithful in more than just the words of what we believe.

May 22 – I Believe
Psalm 27:13, Psalm 199:66, Mark 9:24
‘I believe, help my unbelief’
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

May 29 –  in God the Father
1Cor. 8:6, Matthew 6:9
“When you pray, say, Our Father..”
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

June 5 – Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth
Genesis 1:1  In the Beginning… or Psalm 8:3-6
“ When I look at your heavens, what are humans, that you are mindful of them?…”
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

June 12 – And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son Our Lord
John 3:16, John 5:39 “You study the scriptures diligently, supposing that in having them you have eternal life; their testimony points to me,”
Philippians 2:5-11 …’taking on the form of a servant…”
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

June 19 – Who Was Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary
Luke 1: 31…: And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.. Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

June 26 –  Suffered Under Pontius Pilate, Was Crucified, Dead and Buried
John 19:10  Pilate said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?”Romans 8:16-17  The Spirit of God affirms to our spirit that we are God’s children;  and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow-heirs with Christ; but we must share his sufferings if we are also to share his glory.
Amy Carlson, M.Div.

July 3 –  He Descended to the Dead
Matthew 27:59-60 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen sheet, and laid it in his own unused tomb, which he had cut out of the rock. He then rolled a large stone against the entrance, and went away.
1Peter 3:18-20, 4:6  Christ too suffered for our sins once and for all, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; put to death in the body, he was brought to life in the spirit.  In the spirit also he went and made his proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, those who had refused to obey in the past, … That was why the gospel was preached even to the dead: in order that, although in the body they were condemned to die as everyone dies, yet in the spirit they might live as God lives.
The Rev. Jenn DiFrancesco

July 10 – On the Third Day He Rose Again
Mark 16:6 He has risen, he is not here.
1 Corinthians 15:14 If Christ is not risen, our faith is in vain.
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

July 17 – He Ascended into Heaven, is Seated at the Right Hand of the Father
Acts 1:8-9 … you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will bear witness for me in Jerusalem and throughout all Judaea and Samaria, and even in the farthest corners of the earth.’ After he had said this, he was lifted up before their very eyes, and a cloud took him from their sight.
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

July 24 – And Will Come Again to Judge the Living and the Dead
Acts 17:30-31
God overlooked the age of ignorance; but now he commands men and women everywhere to repent, because he has fixed the day on which he will have the world judged, and justly judged, by a man whom he has designated; of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

July 31 – I Believe in the Holy Spirit
John 14:25-26 I have told you these things while I am still with you; but the advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have told you. 1 Samuel 10:6
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

August 7 – The Holy Catholic Church
Acts 2:42, 46-47  They met constantly to hear the apostles teach and to share the common life, to break bread, and to pray. One and all they kept up their daily attendance at the temple, and, breaking bread in their homes, they shared their meals with unaffected joy, as they praised God and enjoyed the favor of the whole people. And day by day the Lord added new converts to their number.
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

August 14 – The Communion of Saints
Hebrews 12:1-2  With this great cloud of witnesses around us, therefore, we too must throw off every encumbrance and the sin that all too readily restricts us, and run with resolution the race which lies ahead of us, our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay ahead of him, he endured the cross, ignoring its disgrace, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Amy Carlson, M.Div.

August 21 – The Forgiveness of Sins
Matthew 6: 12   Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us…
2 Corinthians 5:18  All this has been the work of God. He has reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has enlisted us in this ministry of reconciliation.
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

August 28 – The Resurrection of the Body and the Life Everlasting
1 Corinthians 15:17,19  If Christ was not raised, your faith has nothing to it and you are still in your old state of sin. If it is for this life only that Christ has given us hope, we of all people are most to be pitied.
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair