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Pastor

Gary Willis




Past


What Are You Fighting For?

September 13, 2020

Rev. Gary Willis

Romans 14:1-12

On a number of occasions in Paul’s letters we see his pastoral side. Unfortunately, it is often because he is addressing some conflict among his flock. We are sinners and humans, so the church is not immune to conflict, but our inability to love and to maintain a unity in Christ threatens our witness. Perhaps the greatest gift we could give the world, especially now, is to model a better way to live together under a common mission, in spite of diverse opinions.

Pricking Our Conscience

September 6, 2020

Rev. Gary Willis

Exodus 3:1-15

The burning bush calling of Moses by God is a classic story, which means we come to it with engrained preconceptions. I will argue that this encounter is not so much a revelatory mandate upon Moses’ life, but rather a reminder of what Moses already knew about his people’s plight. God’s primary accomplishment here is not lighting a bush on fire, but reigniting Moses with a passion for deliverance. With God’s help, Moses moves to obey his conscience.

To Thine Own Self Be True

August 30, 2020

Rev. Gary Willis

Romans 12:2 & 9-21

Paul wrote this letter to some of the first Christians, who did not always know the difference between right and wrong. It may sound like a list of “do’s and don’ts,” but Paul is trying to tell them much more here. We aren’t good so we can be for Jesus, if we are for Jesus our goodness becomes whose we are.

Wrong Way Jesus

August 23, 2020

Rev. Gary Willis

Matthew 15:21-28

One of the most perplexing scriptures and provocative words ever spoken by Jesus. We think, “This must be wrong. This isn’t like Jesus.” Reading between the lines may reveal that, as always, Jesus knows what he’s doing, and the world is given another illustration of divine grace and inclusion.

Wet & Windy

August 16, 2020

Rev. Gary Willis

Matthew 14:22-36

The story of Peter attempting to walk on water is an exhilarating moment in his life. Wind and water become metaphors for the kind of life to which Jesus invites all of us. Discipleship is not meant to be a comfortable, self-controlled existence.

You Give Them Something to Eat

August 9, 2020

Rev. Gary Willis

Matthew 14:13-21

The story of the feeding of the five thousand is a lesson in discipleship and trusting Jesus. Sometimes we forget that it is also a reminder of the problems of hunger, poverty and inequities in our world. Through Christ, the lesson becomes an encouragement to act with whatever we have.

Assaulting Grace

August 2, 2020

Rev. Gary Willis

Genesis 32:22-31

Not all our encounters with God are sweet and gentle. As illustrated in the story of Jacob’s wrestling in Genesis, God can be confrontational and challenging. Through the struggle we emerge with a new identity, proving even the most difficult brushes with God are filled with grace.

The Treasure

July 26, 2020

Rev. Gary Willis

Matthew 13:44-52

From the parables of the Kingdom, Jesus compares it to a treasure of the highest value. This treasure demands our all, because we must belong to Christ to obtain it.

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