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How Great Thou Art
This great song was originally in Swedish, then moved into the German and Russian languages and somehow kept its power and greatness as it was translated into English. We will let our souls sing in awesome wonder at this special worship service. Dr. Keck will preach a sermon on this splendid hymn and musicians Erin-Ann Scott and Ariel Merivil will deliver a deeply affecting rendition of "How Great Thou Art."
The Buddha on Lake Minnetonka
Buddhism is one of the great religions of the world, but many Christians know very little about it. With only about 1 percent of Americans being Buddhist many of us never rub elbows with this fascinating view of life. Dr. Keck will explore the idea that understanding the depth and power of another religion can strengthen ones own Christian faith.
The (Holy) Spirit of Stonewall
It has been 50 years since the uprising at the Stonewall Inn. On June 28, 1969, a brutal police raid of this gay bar sparked a spontaneous act of resistance that birthed a new movement of pride and human rights. Celebrate the spirit of this movement while tracing that same Spirit back to a watershed movement in the Bible - the movement the Spirit anoints the queering of gender and sexual norms.
Time to be Bold
We live in contentious times. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion, a soapbox, and skin too thin to hear anything different. With such combativeness in the air, it might seem like the most Christian thing to do is to hold our tongues, smile wide, and keep the peace. But, the Jesus movement was much more than a commitment to be neutral and nice. It was a movement compelled by love that was bold, vocal, and visible. This Sunday, let's take a closer look at the early shockwaves of that movement so we can see how those same shockwaves of love are coursing our world.
Delighting in the Human Race
There is a remarkable passage in Proverbs where cosmic wisdom is personified in the form of a woman. Although Christianity has been very lopsided in imagining the divine as primarily male, this part of our Bible gives a creative opportunity to bring the feminine into our concept of the divine. At the end of this scripture it says that wisdom knows to take "delight in the human race." Dr. Jim Keck's sermon this week will lift up some of the delightful aspects of our humanity.
How Many Candles
Pentecost - the day the Holy Spirit came upon the believers in Jerusalem - is often called the "birthday of the Christian Church." But some scholars believe the church did not really begin until much later, and that is was unclear that Christianity was not simply another form of Judaism for almost three centuries! Dr. Jim Keck will be our tour guide through the early history of the church and the incredible movement of the Holy Spirit through the ages.
The Gospel of Sufficiency
Rev. Darrell Goodwin - 11:59 Sermon
A Game Changing Holy Sheet Moment
The Bible is filled with profound moments. But, there are a select few that are complete game changers. This Sunday, let's courageously step into one of those game changing moments. It is a moment in which an ancient and robust way of conceiving the profane/unclean/unholy/sinful...CHANGES. God was the change agent in that moment. God still is in our moment.
Dorcas (or Tabitha) was a disciple in Joppa renown for her acts of caring and charity for widows and others in need. This loving woman has died and is surrounded by those remembering her acts of love and grieving the loss of such a wonderful person. Peter walks in and then unfolds a basic Gospel truth: Love never ends.
The Race of Faith
The Letter to the Hebrews uses the metaphor of running to describe the life of faith. This weekend is the Lincoln Marathon and Dr. Jim Keck will explore the delightful nature of "non-competitive competition" in a local marathon where only the elite runners try to "win" everyone else is competing to bring out the best in themselves and support others.
The Rise of Christianity
On Easter we celebrate that Christ was risen. But it also begins the rise of the Christian faith itself, and there are many surprising factors involved in how Christianity became the worlds largest religion. Join Dr. Jim Keck for an adventurous description of this amazing process.
Hummingbird Moments (Easter)
Beginning with a solemn procession, the promise of the Easter story is shared in a hope-filled scripture and an inspiring sermon, accompanied by the holy strains of the Plymouth Choir and orchestra.
This ancient and sacred service leads us from the darkness of death to the light of the empty tomb. Come experience the drama of the resurrection unfold.
On Being Great Enough to Be Humble
On Palm Sunday the church celebrates the moment Jesus enters Jerusalem riding upon a donkey. This has rightly been understood as the perfect display of the deep humility of the Christ. Kings and mighty warriors would ride in on a tall stallion. But our humble Lord comes to us in gentle and peaceable ways that seek the good of the other. Join Dr. Jim Keck this week for an exploration of the power of humility.
Wait For One Another
When we open the Bible to a book like 1 Corinthians, we often read it as Scripture addressed to the global church. But, in actuality we are reading someone else's mail. This Sunday, let's get nosy and find out just what sort of drama has seized First Church of Corinth. As we snoop around this letter, don't be surprised if Paul's imagination of what they can be transforms our imagination of what we can be.
A Closer Walk
During this Lenten series based on the great song, Dr. Jim Keck will be looking at the ways we can come alongside Jesus more closely during the great walk that is our lives. This week we will walk alongside Jesus as he overcomes the diabolos in the desert and faithfully keeps to his own path. Join us this Lent at First-Plymouth for a closer walk.
Kelly Tyrrell and Dylan Kitchen each share how walking with God is always full of new possibilities and beginnings. KellyTyrrell is a seminarian in residence at First-Plymouth and Dylan Kitchen, serves as First-Plymouth's Youth Director for our High School Ministry.
Preaching from the Choir
Tom Trenney shares his heartfelt personal calling to music ministry and invites us all to consider how we can offer our very selves to become instruments of God's love, both as worshipers in the church and as servants in the world.
The Face of God
The human face has a quality beyond easy description. It seems to display the soul to the world. "The face is an instrument of meaning and mediates between self and other" as one philosopher put it. It appears that no other animal relates face to face in the same manner of human beings Using the stories of how the faces of both Moses and Jesus shone after a divine encounter, Dr. Jim Keck explores how every persons face can light up when joy meets purpose.
He’s No Donny Osmond
Although Joseph's reputation has been at least slightly besmirched by the fact he has been played by Donny Osmond in a semi-bad rendition of the Technicolor Coat, he is actually one of the most psychologically complex figures in the Bible. And he shows a remarkable ability to grow and mature. Maybe we can learn from his journey in regards to our own hopes for full actualization.
Trust is an essential aspect of our human lives. Without a basic level of trust, our personal relationships, economy and society would fall apart. But it seems that trust in our institutions and leaders is eroding. Scripture calls for us to trust in God, but is even that much harder today?
One of the most delightful miracles in the Gospel takes place when after a long night of fishing and catching nothing, Peter is told by Jesus to lower his nets one more time and he brings in a massive haul of fish. Is this just another fish story? Or are there also some important spiritual insights that can be caught as well?
Longing of Soul
Our lives are mostly lived on the level of daily responsibilities and tasks, mixed with a measure of fun and entertainment. But our soul longs for something beyond the day-to-day utilitarian nature of our existence. Our soul needs to know there is SOMETHING MORE to life. The Psalms speak to this eternal yearning for connection with a higher purpose.
In a Nutshell
In the fourth chapter of Luke Jesus sums up his whole mission in two sentences. This is the best "elevator speech" of all time. Then he goes on to preach the shortest sermon ever by adding one more sentence. You can fit a lot in a nutshell. Dr. Jim Keck will offer his own one sentence sermon on Sunday (If you believe that, we have some swampland in Florida for purchase.)
In one of the last sermons he ever preached, Martin Luther King Jr. claimed that the basic impulse of all humanity is the desire to be important and surpass others. Dr. King praised our desire for distinction so long as it fit Jesus' paradigm of greatness: humble, non-violent, and unrelenting love. Honor the legacy of MLK by hearing anew Jesus' call to dethrone our desire for significance so we might enthrone our desire to serve one another no matter what the cost.
Take Me To The River
Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan but we can forget there were a lot of other people in the river being baptized at the same time. It was a communal movement that was underway. "Church" is a communal movement and the moment of Jesus' baptism gives us some wonderful clues about the nature of that movement today.
Then You Shall See and Be Radiant
Along with Easter and Christmas, Epiphany is one of the three oldest, and principal festivals of the Christian church. This day commemorates the first manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles represented by the Magi. Each of us must personally recapitulate this great festival by experiencing a light of recognition or an insight into the meaning of Christ. Come, let us seek the light together.