Sermon Scraps by Pastor Chris

Sermon Scraps

SERMON SCRAPS I have lots of material on the cutting room floor, so to speak, from my last two sermons. These two Sundays brought us incredible texts from the Gospel of Matthew – two readings that were really just one scene spread out over two weeks. In Matthew 16:13-28 we...

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Prayer for Leaders

Praying by Name

Praying by Name Since shortly after the pandemic disruptions began, we have prayed every Sunday morning for the President and Governor by name, usually in a prayer petition asking God to grant wisdom to our nation’s leaders and to give a generous spirit to all during these extraordinary times. Grant...

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Returning to In-Person Worship—Outdoors

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ, We are pleased to announce that on Sunday, July 12, New Joy Lutheran Church is returning to in-person, outdoor worship at our new pavilion. Services will continue to be streamed online via YouTube for those not attending in person: New Joy YouTube Channel We...

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Daily Lection App

Reading the Scriptures in Worship and at Home

Reading the Scriptures in Worship and at Home In worship on Sunday I mentioned that we are at the beginning of a long, slow, continuous read of the Gospel of Matthew during what some churches call “Ordinary Time.” With the seasons of Lent and Easter and the festival of Pentecost...

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Connected – Finding Connection in a Disconnected World

Finding Connection in a Disconnected World

Finding Connection in a Disconnected World I love our new seasonal worship graphic. It depicts two hands reaching toward one another, each hand emblazoned with words evoking the spirit of coming together. “Reach out.” “Collaborate.” “Assist.” “Unite.” The hands aren’t quite touching, but they’re getting there. It’s a hopeful image....

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Returning to In-Person Worship?

Returning to In-Person Worship?

I skipped "Pandemic Pastoring 101" at seminary. As Indiana slowly returns toward a tentative full opening on the 4th of July – even as Carmel’s 4th of July parade has already been canceled – houses of worship around the state are making their own faithful, local decisions about when and...

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Let Us Pray

Let Us Pray

Let Us Pray I invite you to pray with me. This week it was announced that the coronavirus has killed more Americans than did the Vietnam War, and has disrupted the economy and our daily lives in unprecedented ways. Nearly four months after news of the coronavirus was first reported,...

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The Church Still Gathers

The Church Still Gathers

The Church Still Gathers Following the death of Jesus his followers were full of fear and anxiety. News of his resurrection didn’t go viral at first – it’s not like the people had Twitter or Facebook to stay atop the latest religious or political news. They were afraid and dejected,...

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"The Jews" did not kill Jesus

“The Jews” on Good Friday

"The Jews" did not kill Jesus Christians have a bad history when it comes to how we speak about, treat, and honor our Jewish sisters and brothers. For centuries Jews have suffered at the hands of Christians in religious and civil authority, scapegoated for everything from plagues to economic crises....

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Zoom for Ministry

Zoom Meetings for Ministry

Dear Partners in Ministry Download the Zoom Instructions Below are some guidelines to help improve our experience of fellowship when using Zoom, and to avoid possible hacking of calls with inappropriate material. This is especially important for all New Joy leaders who may host a Zoom call for church …...

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Home Communion Guidelines

Coronavirus Home Communion Update

Order for Sharing Holy Communion During Social Distancing March 25, 2020 Download the Instructions If you are unable to join in the livestream service: Live on Sundays at 9:30 am, or an archived recording of the service at a later time – use this order of prayer together with the...

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Holy Communion during the coronavirus outbreak

Holy Communion Amidst the Coronavirus Disruption

Holy Communion Amidst the Coronavirus Disruption The coronavirus has ushered us into a time of disruption. Our homelives are disrupted. Schools are disrupted. Business and the economy are disrupted. And most certainly, the medical community is disrupted. The church, too, is disrupted. We’re scattered in our homes, unable to come...

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Governor Holcomb announces a stay-at-home order

COVID-19 Update 03-24-20

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ, On Monday at noon Governor Holcomb addressed the state announcing a "stay at home" order for all residents for the next two weeks. In his announcement he praised the efforts of medical professionals to safeguard our public health and care for the sick. We...

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Worship Suspended due to COVID-19

Worship Suspended

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ, For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under the sun ... a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces. Ecclesiastes 3:1,5 New Joy Worship Services Suspended New Joy Lutheran Church is suspending worship services in response to the...

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Addressing the Coronavirus from Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

Addressing the Coronavirus By ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton ELCA presiding bishop addresses concerns about COVID-19 Originally posted 3/6/2020 at elca.org/News-and-Events/8025 ​In 1527 the plague returned to Wittenberg, Germany. Two hundred years earlier the plague had swept across Europe killing up to 40% of the population. Understandably, people were anxious...

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"Giving Up" for Lent

“Giving Up” for Lent

"Giving Up" for Lent By Pastor Chris Duckworth There’s something perfect about coming back to church after a year-long deployment only to return at the start of Lent – that purple season of fasting and discipline, of repentance and renewal. It might seem easier if I came back during the...

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Countdown to Race Day

Countdown to Race Day

Countdown to Race Day By Pastor Chris Duckworth Back in May I registered for next April’s Carmel Marathon. I have never looked ahead to a race so far in advance. Perhaps that means I’m taking this race more seriously … or perhaps it’s just a function of the longings of...

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New Joy in Fondwa, Haiti

Haiti Mission Trip Recap

New Joy Went to Fondwa, Haiti! August 31 – September 7, 2019 Wow! 10 people from New Joy went to Haiti and we came back full of love and gratitude. I can’t pretend to understand the complexities of life in Haiti but what I do understand is that life is...

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Community Outreach

Outreach Ministry Community Meetings

Outreach Ministry Community Meetings   Would you like to join me? As the Outreach Coordinator, I spend quite a bit of my time organizing opportunities for the congregation to demonstrate the love of Christ in our community. We have been able to serve with organizations like Open Doors, Habitat for...

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Parroquia San Germán de Auxerre, San Germán, Puerto Rico

Sanctuary

Sanctuary For many Christians, the word “sanctuary” refers to the space in which they gather for worship. It’s a holy space, set apart for the radical, intimate encounter we have with our Lord when his Word is proclaimed and his Sacraments are shared with God’s people. A sanctuary is where...

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