Sunday 2017-05-21

Order of Worship 7:459:00, & 10:30

The Church Sends

Acts 1:1-11

1In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with5 Or in water, but in a few days you will be baptized with5 Or in the Holy Spirit.”
6Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”


John 15:16  "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.  Matthew 9:37-38  “Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."  Luke 10:1-3  Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. "Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.  John 4:36-38 "Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. "For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.' "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor."  John 20:21  So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."  John 17:18  "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  Acts 1:8  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."  Matthew 28:19-20  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-05-14

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

The Church as Partner

Proverbs 22:6; Matthew 19:13-14

6Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

13Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

My goal for this morning: to encourage all parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, leaders, caring persons; and to pray over all of you.


Families - from then to now

Our “Chamily” - our church family (from our Jr. Highers)

What is the role of the church?

  • For moms and dads
  • Single parent moms or dads
  • For kids of all ages
  • For grandparents, guardians


  • They need a good foundation
  • They need a good root system
  • They need an honest person of integrity
  • They need some parameters - some discipline 
  • They need to hear I’m sorry


We need to model for them:

  • Forgiveness
  • Grace
  • Unconditional love
  • A life and lifestyle of godliness
  • Sacrifice and Service

Prayer of Blessing



Spiritual Parenting by Dr. Michelle Anthony

Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner, Carey Nieuwhof 

Takes a Village/Mentoring Concept:

Relentless Parenting by Brian and Angela Haynes

Extreme Grandparenting by Dr. Tim and Darcy Kimmel

Randy Reese 1 Up.png


Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-05-07

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Why the Church?

Hebrews 10:23-25

23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

1.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess. 

  • What does it mean for you to hold on unswervingly?
  • What is the hope?

2.  For he who promised is faithful.

  • How have you seen God’s faithfulness?
  • How have others seen and/or recorded God’s faithfulness?

3.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 

  • Others need us and we need others… remind us of the direction God has for us.

4.  Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing 

  • Corporate worship isn’t an activity we attend, it’s the place where the family gathers and is sent back out, where we celebrate around the table of forgiveness and the waters of baptism, where we share in living out God’s Word.

5.  But encouraging one another—

  • We aren’t asked to be disciples alone….we need each other.

6.  And all the more as you see the Day approaching.

  • There is more to come…..let’s prepare together.


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-04-30

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

The Limits of Forgiveness

Matthew 18:21-35

21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.22 Or seventy times seven
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold24 Greek ten thousand talents; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wages. was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. 28 Greek a hundred denarii ; a denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see 20:2).  He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

I.    What is forgiveness?
      A. Definitions
      B. Synonyms

II.    Levels of offenses
       A. Easy to forgive
       B. Moderately difficult to forgive
       C. Very difficult to forgive

III.   Christian faith requirements for forgiveness
       A. Optional or necessary? (Matthew 6:9-15)
       B. What are the limits? (Matthew 18:21-22) 
       C. Jesus sets the standard  (Luke 23:33-34)

IV.   Forgive and forget. . . What does this mean?
       A. Not forgetting as a forgiveness out
       B. Forgetting the offense but not the circumstances

V.    The offender-victim paradigm
       A. The victim forgives
       B. The offender shows contrition

VI.   Forgiveness does not preclude God’s judgment (Romans 12:19-20)

VII.  Forgiving those we love
       A. Why is it so difficult? The roles of love, trust, and betrayal
       B. The conditions that make forgiveness in these cases possible

VIII. The blessings of forgiveness

iX.   Conclusion
       A. Why all people SHOULD forgive
       B. Why Christians MUST forgive



Dr. Lloyd Hulit

Sunday 2017-04-23

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Dealing With Our Doubts

John 20:19-30

19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24Now Thomas (also known as Didymus24 Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin.), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.


1.  I have to see it to believe it…

  • What doubts do you have about following Jesus? 
  • What do you do with your doubts? 
  • Has Jesus given you enough evidence to believe? 

2.  If I believe I will see…

  • What do you already put your faith in every day? 
  • Are you living your life in gray scale or in the color of God’s grace? 
  • Where in your life do you need to take a leap of faith towards Jesus?

Going deeper:

  • How does the promise Jesus gives us in Matthew 7:7-12 relate to our doubts? 
  • What does it mean to “live by faith not by sight”? (2 Cor. 5:7)
  • What does it mean to be spiritually blind? (John 9:35-41)



Michael Pitzer is Director of Student Ministries at Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-04-16

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

It's Easter - He Arose!

Mark 16:1-8

1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Stories, stories, and more stories….

  • The story of the crucifixion
  • The story of a stone
  • The story of an empty tomb
  • The story of resurrection

The Story:  He Lives!!!!

The Story:  He Is Lord!!!!

What’s His story for you?    

What’s your story for Him?


Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC




Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-04-09

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

The Crucifixion of Jesus

Mark 15:25-39

25It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.
27They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. 2828 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Luke 22:37. 29Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
33At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).34 Psalm 22:1
35When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
36Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,39 Some manuscripts saw that he died with such a cry he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

It’s Friday.    

The Purpose of the crucifixion:

  • At the time of Jesus:
    • Animal sacrifices were used to receive forgiveness of sins….over and over again.
    • Forgiveness of sin.
    • A ransom:  Jesus said that he gave his life a ransom, lutron (λύτρον), used to describe liberating captives or slaves.
  • Today:
    • Forgiveness of sin.
    • A ransom:  freedom from bondage.

Jesus as liberator?  ‘Rebel?’

  • Those on the cross on either side of Jesus:  Lestes (λῃστάς), rebels, robbers
  • Liberator from what?

If Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins and to liberate us, what is holding us hostage:

  • What sin is gripping us, paralyzing our abilities to be the people God has created us to be?
  • What social sin?
  • What personal sin?
  • What is preventing you from letting Jesus release you from that sin?


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC





Sunday 2017-04-02

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Battle of the Soul

Mark 14:32-42

32They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”33He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,”he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36“Abba, 36 Aramaic for father Father,”he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  37Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,”he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?38Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  39Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.  41Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.42Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

The Garden

“The cup”

  1. The incarnation - fully God and fully man
  2. The weight of sin
  3. The consequence of sin

"Not my will"

  1. Not a get out of jail free card
  2. Total complete surrende

"Pray you will not fall into temptation"

  1. To fall asleep - to let the flesh take control of us
  2. To deny - making him your 3rd or 4th love
  3. To quit - do not grow wear


Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-03-26

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

The Need for a Traitor

Mark 14:1-11

1Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 2“But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”
3While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
4Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages5 Greek than three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7The poor you will always have with you,7 See Deut. 15:11. and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
10Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

It’s Wednesday of Holy Week

What happened on that day?

  1. Jesus was anointed by an unnamed woman in the house of Simon the leper.
  2. This woman was scolded for ‘wasting’ expensive oils.
  3. Judas went to the chief priests to betray Jesus.

How much is ‘too much’ when expressing our love for Jesus?

Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.” How is this Scripture misused in today’s society? 

The disciples dearly loved Jesus and had spent three years with him at this point.  However, they often still missed the point.  Even in our love and worship of Jesus, how might we still be missing the point?  What is it that we may be trying to do ‘right’ that is so wrong?


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-03-19

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Life Lessons: Keep it Simple

Mark 12:28-34; 41-44; 13:26-27

28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 32“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Lessons taught:

  • His authority questioned
  • Parable of the tenants
  • Paying taxes
  • Marriage at the resurrection
  • Greatest commandment
  • Whose Son is the Messiah
  • Warning against teachers of the law
  • The widow’s offering
  • Destruction of the temple and signs of the end times
  • Day and hour unknown

What’s most helpful to us/for us in reflecting on God during the Lenten season of 2017?

Two things strike me:

  1. Remembering/reclaiming the greatest commandment and the 2nd as well.
  2. Giving what we have.

We bring ourselves to the Lord’s table this morning, just as we are, all in need of His mercy and grace and favor, and giving to others that same mercy, grace, and favor that we receive.


Randy Reese is Co-Directing pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-03-12

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Trouble in the Temple

Mark 11:12-21

12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. 15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 18The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 19When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. 20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”


It’s Monday of Holy Week

What happened in Jerusalem on this day:

  • Jesus curses the fig tree.
  • Jesus drives out those buying and selling in the temple. 
  • The religious leaders begin looking for way to kill Jesus.
  • The crowds are amazed at Jesus' teaching.

Amos 5:21-24:  “I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon.  Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.  But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

What does Jesus see when we worship:

  • Are we seeking people who are being excluded?
  • Are we waiting for opportunities to celebrate those who others degrade?
  • Is our worship for our own edification or to prepare us to go out and serve others?

Today's Preacher

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-03-05

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Unlikely Messiah

Mark 11:1-11

1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ” 4They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,“Hosanna!”“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 10“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 11Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

“Two processions entered Jerusalem on a spring day in the year 30.  It was the beginning of the week of Passover, the most sacred week of the Jewish year.  In the centuries since, Christians have celebrated this day as Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week.  With its climax of Good Friday and Easter, it is the most sacred week of the Christian year.”                                                                                                          (The Last Week - Borg and Crossan)

  • Jeremiah 9:9-10


  • 2 Processions:
    1. The Imperial Procession - Pilate
    • imperial power
    • imperial theology

              2.  The Kingdom Procession - Jesus (also called the Peasant Procession)


  • Whose parade do we want to join and be a part of?


Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-02-26

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Family of Origin: Ezra

Ezra 1:1-4; Nehemia 8:1-3

1In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: 2“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:“ ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. 4And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’ ”

1all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. 2So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
  • How were Ezra and Nehemiah connected with one another?

Ezra’s focus was rebuilding the temple and religious reform.
Nehemiah’s focus was rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem
and political reform:  in that day, politics and religion were

  • What’s happening here?  

God’s people are rediscovering who they are and whose they

  • What are our family resemblances to the Hebrew children?


  • How are we discovering or rediscovering who we are?


  • What is God calling us to do/be based on what we’ve learned from our Family of Origin over these past 8 weeks?


  • Where do we go from here?

Today's Preacher

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-02-19

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Family of Origin: The Prophet Jeremiah

Jeremiah 33:6-16

6“ ‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. 8I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’ 10“This is what the Lord says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more 11the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying,“Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,for the Lord is good;his love endures forever.”For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the Lord. 12“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In this place, desolate and without people or animals—in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks. 13In the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hand of the one who counts them,’ says the Lord. 14“ ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. 15“ ‘In those days and at that timeI will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;he will do what is just and right in the land. 16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety.This is the name by which it will be called:The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’


  • Approximately 55 prophets: 48 male, 5 female
    • Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah, & Esther
  • The Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel
    • Major because of the length of their writings
  • Micah 6:8 - A Minor Prophet


  • What's happening - the context?
    • Kingdom of Israel - Assyrians
    • Kingdom of Judah - Babylonians
    • Jerusalem fell in 586


  • What's God's story?
    • It's about the covenant


  • What does it say to us?
    • How's my covenant keeping doing?

Today's Preacher

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-02-12

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Family of Origin: David

I Samuel 16:1-15

1Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. 2This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroyall that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ ” 4So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. 5Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. 6Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites. 7Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. 8He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed. 10Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11“I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night. 12Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.” 13When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” 14But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?” 15Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”


  • Born in Bethlehem, the 8th and youngest son of Jesse


  • Anointed by Samuel when he was 10-13 to be the next king of Israel


  • Saul’s paranoia about David being ready to take over the throne


  • Fights and takes the life of Goliath, a Philistine ‘giant’ teaching him that God will ultimately defend those who are His


  • Ruled only over the tribe of Judah…..for 7 ½ years


  • After that, both kingdoms claimed him as their king


  • Attacks the Jebusites in Jerusalem and takes over that city….that’s why Jerusalem is called, ‘The City of David’


  • Jerusalem becomes the capital city


  • Led several successful military campaigns


  • Bathsheba and the murder of her husband to cover it up


  • Taking a census to determine the size of his army rather than trusting God


  • His son Solomon is the next ruler


  • 73 of the 150 Psalms are attributed to David


  • There are 974 references to David in the Bible: 54 references to David in the New Testament


Given all of this information, how are we like David?  What ‘family traits’ of David do you want to reflect?



     Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC


Sunday 2017-02-05

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Family of Origin: Saul - I'll Do It My Way

Joshua 24:14-15; I Samuel 10:17-27

14“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
17Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the Lord at Mizpah 18and said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.’ 19But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a king over us.’ So now present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.” 20When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was taken. Finally Saul son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.” 23They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. 24Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.”Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!” 25Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the Lord. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes. 26Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched. 27But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.

More from the Word:

  • I Samuel 8:6-7
  • Psalm 81:12
  • Romans 1:24-25
  • I John 5:11-12

What’s happening here - from Joshua to Saul?


What’s God’s story?


What do I need to learn from my forefathers?


What can I think about as I approach the Holy Communion experience this morning?


Today's Preacher

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-01-29

Order of Worship for 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Family of Origin: Rahab & and the Spies

Joshua 2:1-7

1Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. 2The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.” 4But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” 6(But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) 7So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.


  • God chose Joshua to take the Israelites into the land promised to them. (Numbers 27)


  • Where do we see this in the New Testament?
  1. In Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus:  Matthew 1.
  2. Hebrews 11:31:  By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
  3. James 2:25:  In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
  • What are our family resemblances to Rahab?
  1. Are we willing to believe that God would accept us in our sinfulness?
  2. Are we willing to risk that God will care for us?
  3. Are we willing to take risks to help others?
  • What is God calling us to do/be based on this member of our Family of Origin?  



Today's Preacher

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC


Sunday 2017-01-22

Order of Worship for 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Family of Origin: Moses

Exodus 2:11-12; 12:33, 40-42

11One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
33The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!”
40Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lordʼs divisions left Egypt. 42Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.

From the bullrushes to the palace to the desert, back home again, talking with my stepdad, the bold move, the red sea, the desert, the Ten Commandments, looking at the Promised Land.  Whew - what a life …...


1.  What’s happening here?



2.  What’s God’s story?



3.  What does this story say to us?



“What’s your day look like tomorrow?  I needyour help.”


Randy Reese 1 Up.png


Today's Preacher       

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-01-15

Order of Worship for 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Family of Origin: Abraham

Genesis 17:1-9

1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” 3Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” 9Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.

The life of Abraham begins to be told with his birth in Genesis 11:27 and concludes with his death in Genesis 25:11.  Read these chapters for a colorful, powerful, sometimes amusing narrative of Abraham’s life.

Three Questions to Consider:

1.  What’s happening in this time period?


2.  What’s God’s story?


3.  What does the story say to us or for us?


Today's Preacher

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-01-08

Order of Worship for 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30

Family of Origin: From Adam to Noah

Genesis 1:1-3, 5:1-2, 6:8-9

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
1This is the written account of Adamʼs family line.When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.
8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9This is the account of Noah and his family.Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.
  • General Reading: Genesis 1:1-11:26

A Bit of History:

  • What we think we know or believe
  • Possible time frame

Three Questions to Consider:

1.  What’s happening in this time period?

2.  What’s God’s story?

3.  What does the story say to us or for us?


Today's Preacher

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC