Monday, October 8, 2018


I have neglected to post sermons for half a year. I will try to fill in the spaces as I keep up with the current.

Sunday, October 7, 2018


• Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. 
World Communion Sunday
with Hebrews 1:1-4 and Hebrews 2:5-12    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
This sermon (along with the entire worship service) was broadcast on Facebook Live 10/7/18

• As of World Communion Sunday I am beginning my sixth year at First UMC. The last five years I’ve had several major life changes, some needful. Three years ago it became clear to me that my alcohol use was squarely in the region of alcohol abuse. I had lost the ability to drink alcohol in moderation.
Blind in my own self-deception, I needed to be retrained with respect to alcohol. By the grace of God, by the support of my family, this congregation, my DS & bishop, and through AA, I learned anew things I thought I knew. This week I celebrate three years' alcohol-free.
I didn’t want to relearn, or get retrained. But I did need it.
My focus was out of whack.
• The book of Hebrews retrains a people with a distorted perception. People were worshiping angels instead of God. Hebrews shows that the Son of God is superior to angels. Hebrews reminds humankind that we are God’s beloved.
• Some things need retrained today. Let me tell you about how The UMC works.
Our church exists in connection. A federation of sorts. We are not an unconnected individual congregation. We are not in competition with other UMCs. We are a global body. Remember Paul’s verses about body parts working together, all necessary.
Our congregation is the charge conference, meets annually with the district superintendent. CC authorizes the Administrative Council to act on behalf of CC.
The Annual Conference is a connection of regional churches united in ministry and service.
• Some things need retrained.
Our church connection means we’re all in ministry together.
And we all foot the bill – called our “fair share” or our apportionments.
And together we accomplish more than we can as separate churches.
We benefit from connection.
• World Communion offering benefits disadvantaged students around the world.
• We participate in Church at the real incarnational invitation of Christ who is in us.

• Hymn in preparation for communion: In the Breaking of the Bread

Hebrews 1:1-4 (HCSB)
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made all things through Him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.ò

Hebrews 2:5-12 (NRSV)
What we’re saying is that God did not give authority over the world to angels. But scripture says:
“What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    or mortals, that you care for them?
You have made them for a little while
        lower than the angels;
    you have crowned them with glory and honor,
    subjecting all things under their feet.”
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying,
“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”