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Sermon: Coming Home

Kyle Nolan

Sermon    
Sunday, July 22, 2018

Do all dogs go to heaven? What about dinosaurs and dragonflies? Is all life resurrection eligible? And why are we compelled to ask these sorts of questions in the first place? Jeremiah — distinguished among Israel’s prophets by his ability to see beyond the possibility of exile to its inevitability, beyond the “losability” of the land that God had promised Israel to the absolute certainty of its impending loss — casts a hope-filled vision of what human vocation can be when we join God in welcoming all creation home. Join us in worship as Kyle Nolan preaches on Jeremiah 23:1-6.


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Sermon: The Plumb Line

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, July 15, 2018

“Has God ever been mad at anyone?” The reading from Amos 7 begins with a plumb line (a standard or expectation) and ends with a call to be a prophet — and in between God certainly seems mad at the people. We ask, "What else is there to know about this?" as we join in worship on Sunday at 10:00a. Rev. David Baak preaching; Sanctuary Choir.


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Sermon: Shake It Off

Rev Jeremy Bork

Sermon    
Sunday, July 8, 2018

For the month of July, we're responding to some of the questions we didn't get to in the Q&A last month. This weeks sermon responds to the question, "Are there ideas in the original Greek New Testament that you think got lost in translation to English?" as it pertains to our lectionary text. In these verses, Jesus instructs the newly called and sent disciples with these words, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” While it is easy to limit our understanding of this passage to these English words, let us take another step together in wondering what else Jesus might be teaching through them. Perhaps there's not only a message for those unwelcoming places but also good news for the disciples themselves. Join us in worship at 10am as we listen for how God's Spirit is speaking to us through this question and this passage.

Sermon: To Be Made Well

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, July 1, 2018

In the gospels, the healing power of God is evident and real. God comes to heal and to forgive, to make hearts whole and well. Why does it seems like sometimes there is no answer? As we ask that question, we remember that Jesus often answered questions with questions. This week: "Why wouldn't God answer prayers for good things?" Perhaps the question back to us is "What are we looking for, what are we expecting?"

Sermon: What You Do With What You Got

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 24, 2018

The pressures on human beings, whether they are four- or fourteen- or forty-year-olds, can be enormous. The way we wait for children to come forward on Sunday for the blessings is an attempt on our part to remember to honor children as they areand not as we want them to be. That honoring is a part of how we honor all people.


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Sermon: Who Isn’t Here

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sometimes the Great Commission has been taken very seriously by the Church. It reads: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. There was an imperative, an almost breathless urgency in the early church: the doors to God’s community had been flung wide open to the world—the nations, the gentiles were all given access to the transforming love of God. After all these centuries, people still wonder if that word is really for them. And yet somewhere along the way we seem to have lost our urgency.

Sermon: Witness

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 10, 2018

In the first year of my ministry at Westminster I wrote about the Six Great Ends of the Church. The sixth is the demonstration of the Reign of Heaven to the world—that is, the church is to be a witness to the Reign of God. People are supposed to be able to look at the church and see the way that God intends the world to be. Oh, my. It is an audacious goal—to demonstrate, to witness to the Kingdom of God, to show the way God intends the world to be. There are serious difficulties on the way to this goal. For one, this is a social reality that we are to point to. It is not an individual reality; it’s a communal reality. This demonstration is not simply a matter of personal morality or integrity. It is a kingdom, a commonwealth, a social reality—something we cannot do alone but do corporately. And to make things more difficult, it is not something we do in isolation from the world. And the world is broken, violent, unjust, inhuman—and we do not witness in isolation from that world but in the midst of its infectious bloodshed and banality. In our Reformed tradition we believe that are not directed to construct little enclaves of heaven and let the rest the world go to Hades. We do not allow ourselves that conceit. We don’t create monasteries or build enclaves behind walls of separation in isolation from the world; we live our communal life in the very midst of a fragmented society. We set ourselves right in the midst of it, right in the craters of a war-torn world. We do not even allow ourselves the conceit of thinking that all that brokenness doesn’t affect us—as Paul says, we groan inwardly; we need help in our weakness. We know that we share in that pain that infects the world. The world’s temperament touches our lives; we are not immune. So…, how do we witness to that Reign of Heaven?

Rev. Chandler Stokes Ministry Recognition Program

Sermon    
Sunday, June 3, 2018

A program to celebrate Rev. Chandler Stokes' 35 years in ministry held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on June 3, 2018.

Sermon: Welcome, Confession, Charge

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Welcome started with a memorial service in Oakland, California, and was offered at a memorial service here at Westminster some years later. And then through the intuition of Susan Jennings became a hallmark of our worship here. It’s Presbyterian through and through, and it has helped us understand ourselves and our place here in West Michigan.


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Sermon: The Song May Be the Reason You Believe

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 27, 2018

J.S. Bach was once called the Fifth Evangelist. In his day, he seemed to have touched upon the soul of his age in a such a way that people felt they knew the gospel through his music. I’m confident that many of us have experienced music often in that way, when there is a deepening of trust that can’t be spoken in words.


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Sermon: Elijah

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 20, 2018

1 Peter 3 says: But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. That will be some of the witness on Sunday at 8.30. However, the emphasis will not be on the "defense" but on the questions themselves. Join us.


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Westminster Camp Highlights

 
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Everyone is Welcome to Sign Up for Camp 2018!
Camp has horses for riding or petting, a giant swing, a cargo net, a zip line, lake equipment, boats, magic carpet rides, swimming, fishing, archery, lawn games, ball games, a talent show, relaxing by the lake, free time for leisure choices, arts and crafts, cookouts, campfires, singing, stories, board games, card games, worship, adult conversation, spiritual and intellectual development, and snacks and meals all prepared for you! WOW! It’s an all-inclusive resort!  However, most importantly, camp is a time and place when and where Westminster church can be together to laugh, learn, and love each other. A PDF of the registration form is available below.

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Sermon: Can These Bones Live?

Rev. Jeremy Bork

Sermon    
Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Prophet Ezekiel finds himself in a valley with God and some dry bones. Before this story's wild events unfold, God asks Ezekiel a question, "Can these bones live?" The question is both simple and profound. If God were to ask us that question today, I wonder what it might stir within us. Where in the world would we like to see dry bones live? What dry bones in our own lives would we like to see come alive? Join us on Sunday May 13 to wonder together about the living God who always makes a way.


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Q&A With Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

On Saturday, May 5, we enjoyed An Evening of Stories and Songs with Rev. Chandler Stokes as he answered your questions about his life and ministry. He played a few of his favorite songs throughout the evening while Steve Baron and Joel Schultze moderated the conversation. Chandler shared about his early life in music and ministry, his hope for the next generation, and where he hopes to go from here. We hope you enjoy this approx. 90-minute event.

Sermon: Fruit That Will Last

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, May 6, 2018

Every time we come to share communion, we prepare our hearts. We look within prayerfully at what the Spirit draws to our attention. What do we long for? What do we bring? This week we can prepare by answering this question: Where have we been abiding? How have our lives been abiding in God? Even as we pause and listen, we remember that God welcomes us. There need be no fear of what we might see, from God only deep and abiding love.


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