“Grace 101: A Gift to Share” – August 28, 2022

Rev. John Shaver

Sunday, August 28, 2022 at 9:30 am
Livestream Worship

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Dear SDUMC Family,

What a wonderful Sunday we shared last week. It was a joy to be with so many of you and have a morning filled with joy, hope, and grace. Thank you to all who shared amazing messages last week. I hope you each left with a heart filled with joy and hope for our world. Of course, thanks to all of you in the congregation who share your gifts in so many ways.

Over the last few weeks, we've been sharing in the series Grace 101. We experienced grace through Communion at the beginning of August, discussed the meaning of grace two weeks ago, and now we'll conclude our series as we look at how to share this incredible gift from God.

Two weeks ago, we shared the parable of the prodigal son, a passage that we can always turn to for a reminder of God's grace (Luke 15:11-32). Recently someone sent me a parable of the prodigal parent, reminding me how we can share grace.

It was one of those evenings when everything went wrong. The kids were cranky while I made dinner, so I gave them some hot chocolate to tide them over. My daughter, who is five, decided to throw his marshmallows at her little brother, knocking his hot chocolate all over him. As he began yelling, the doorbell rang (and I foolishly answered it—with a screaming child in the background). My frustrations caused me to raise my voice, and then there were two crying children. I declared I was putting myself in timeout. I closed the door and tried to get dinner to be the only thing simmering. Everything changed ten minutes later when I caught sight of a yellow piece of construction paper sliding under the door. In the unsteady hand of a kindergartener was scrawled a message of grace that pierced my heart and turned me around: "Dear Mom, I still love you even when you're angry."

Take a moment with me and think about who has changed the course of your day by sharing grace, and look for someone who you might help by sharing a bit of God's grace.

I look forward to a grace-filled morning with you this Sunday. The Aloha Choir will be back to grace all of us with their ministry of music. My friend Rabbi Mark Blazer will also grace us with his presence. I hope you'll make it a priority to be with us at 8 a.m. for our shortened Communion service in the Chapel. We'll then move to a vibrant worship hour at 9:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. If you're traveling or away from the church this week, we'll Livestream the service at 9:30 a.m., which will be on our YouTube page later in the day.

I'll also be hosting a discussion on grace if you'd like to dig a bit deeper. We'll gather next Thursday on Zoom from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. (Email michelle@encinitaschurch.com to signup).

I hope you have a blessed weekend, and I'll see you on Sunday!

Grace, Peace, and Blessings,

P.S. Rabbi Mark Blazer will join us in Rooms 11 &12 to share a presentation on our Interfaith trip to Israel. Even if you can't join us on the trip, he'll be happy to answer any questions about life in Israel.

P.P.S. Sunday school, Youth Group, and the Nursery are happening throughout the morning and afternoon, and I hope you'll encourage your family and neighbors to join these wonderful ministries.

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