October 21, 2018
(Proper 24/ 22nd Sunday after Pentecost / the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time)
Service for the Lord’s Day
Indian Hill Church
Job 38:1-7, (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Reverend Dr. Stephen Caine
10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42 So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:35-45, NRSV)
Let us pray: O God, in your Son Jesus Christ you richly bless us with all that we need, bread from the earth and the bread of heaven, which gives life to the world. Grant us one thing more: grateful hearts to sing your praise. Amen.
This is a stewardship sermon. However, I will not include any charts or graphs or statistics or percentiles. I will focus on gratitude and yes, I will mention money and finances, but my focus today is our rationale for giving. Numbers may tell the story, but they are not our inspiration for giving, people rarely give to a budget or numbers. Likewise, I’m not going to talk about the 2019 budget or how well our church has used your money to accomplish God’s purposes during this year. I believe with all my heart that money is not the heart of stewardship. Stewardship is not fundraising. Stewardship draws from a much different and a much deeper well. “Stewardship is about the joyous discipline of giving thanks.”
The kind of stewardship I am talking about is about giving something far greater than money. It is giving of our lives, and by that, I mean what we do with our time, our talents, our support and ultimately our money. If we give of ourselves, our hearts, our minds, our spirits, our prayers, our money will follow. The type of giving I am talking about is driven by gratitude. Benedictine monk, Br. David Steindl-Rast, suggests that two qualities belong in our basic definition of gratitude. The first is appreciation: You recognize that something is valuable to you, which has nothing to do with its monetary worth. The second quality of gratitude is that it is freely given to you. Gratitude is about what you value that was freely given, without any strings attached.
Robert Emmons, perhaps the world’s greatest authority on the science of gratitude explains, “we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves…We acknowledge that other people…gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.” As Christians we affirm that it is God who has given us those gifts and the goodness in our lives. A few questions to ponder: Do you think you did anything to be born into the family you were born into? Did you work hard and were you rewarded by being blessed with a healthy, driven, successful family? Did you fail and were you cursed by being born into a family of discord and brokenness? Did you warrant to be adopted into a family that you were blessed to have? Did you produce the body, brain, emotional make-up you have? I know that many of you studied very hard to build your intellect, you go to the gym and run, lift weights watch what you eat to have the healthy body you have but I hope that you see my larger point, what exactly did you do to get the opportunities you were uniquely blessed with? Sure, some of us work very hard, put in long hours in the office, the gym, the classroom whatever…We work. But we have been blessed with gifts, talents and opportunities that come from outside of our control. As Christians, we know that nothing we have is ultimately ours. What we have is purely and essentially God’s and given to us on loan. Our response to these blessings is what we give and how we respond is our gratitude.
Gratitude is inspired by God’s grace in Jesus Christ. We give because our hearts have been stirred by God. We give because we have been forgiven. We give because God is faithful. We give because Jesus first gave, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” A sense of gratitude grows from the recognition of giving our time, talent and treasure because “God wants all of me.”
You will be asked to turn in your pledge next Sunday morning. You will be asked to commit your money, your time and your talents to God. Why would you do that?
Because ultimately it is God’s. And our calling and our purpose in life is to use our gifts and our talents and yes, our money to glorify God. To give it back or to pay it forward…
I suppose pledging could be counted among other social obligations; you know, like a gift to The United Way or to your college’s annual fund drive or perhaps like a gift to the Symphony or the Cancer Society or some other “worthy cause.” How do you rank your church pledge? Is it a social obligation like other social obligation? It is certainly voluntary. Unlike paying taxes, you won’t go to jail or pay a fine if you don’t pledge to the church. You don’t have to give. You won’t be turned away at the door for not giving. It is purely voluntary. So why do it? Why give your money to God through the church?
Here is the theological basis for stewardship. We give because Jesus, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Stewardship is best understood as what we decide to do with our lives: how will we use what God has given us – skills and talents, energy and intelligence, opportunities and resources – in order to serve one another as God in Jesus Christ has served us. If Jesus is our pattern, then the shape of our life will be service.
Gratitude is the very heart of stewardship. You’re being asked to make a pledge to the church and return it next Sunday morning. You’re being asked to give your money to God. Why would you do that?
We give because Jesus, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Let us pray:
 Reverend Robert Hay, Presbyterian Foundation
Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well.
In SCREENAGERS, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.
Join Indian Hill Church and its Moms On The Move Ministry for this special, free, screening along with a discussion session after the viewing with a parent coach from Child In Bloom!
Sunday mornings 9:00 am in Guild Hall
We welcome the public to all forums. Please join us!
October Topic: Impact of Globalization
Globalization, according to Wikipedia, is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture. In 2000, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified four basic aspects of globalization: trade and transactions, capital and investment movements, migration and movement of people, and the dissemination of knowledge. Further, environmental challenges such as global warming, cross-boundary water and air pollution, and overfishing of the ocean are linked with globalization. Globalizing processes affect and are affected by business and work organization, economics, socio-cultural resources, and the natural environment.
Globalization is a phenomenon that has remade the economy of virtually every nation, reshaped almost every industry, and touched billions of lives—often in surprising and ambiguous ways. It is meant to signify integration and unity, yet it has proved, in its way, to be no less polarizing than the Cold War divisions it has supplanted.
Come and join us at The Indian Hill Church as we try to untangle the importance of various aspects of globalization.
October 2nd— Brexit: A warning shot against Globalization
Speaker: Rich Lauf, Board Chair—Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council
Rich Lauf is the Board Chairman for the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council.
He had a long career at Procter & Gamble, where he worked on such international projects as restructuring their European manufacturing and distribution as the EU borders opened, dealing with the Venezuela hyper-inflation, and integrating the Richardson-Vicks acquisition into P&G de Mexico. He served in the U.S. Army as an infantry platoon leader in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and the Purple Heart. He holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. His PhD work centered on network models for human, business, and economic networks, including the application of network science to national security problems.
October 9th— Free Trade Agreements: The Pros and Cons
Speaker: Joe Dehner, Partner—Frost Brown Todd
Joe concentrates his practice on multinational business and securities disputes. He counsels a wide variety of companies—domestic and foreign—on issues confronting global business, including: transnational investment, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, global personnel matters, cross-border tax, Customs and trade issues, international business structures, distribution and agency agreements, and the resolution of international disputes. He is business counsel to emerging technology and other firms. He represents companies, owners, investors, securities brokerage firms, brokers, and public customers in disputes involving the securities laws and claims involving takeovers, fiduciary duty, fraud, negligence, and securities statutes, and is a nationally recognized expert in structured settlements. In 1975, Joe joined Kyte Conlan Wulsin Vogeler in Cincinnati, Ohio, after a two-year federal appellate clerkship. That firm merged into Frost & Jacobs LLP in 1978, and became Frost Brown Todd LLC in 2000. Joe has chaired the firm’s International Services Group for over twelve years.
October 16th—Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio
Speakers: Allison Herre and Dan Sarell
Understanding a Migrant’s Journey—Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio answers the call to welcome the stranger through its newly established Immigration Department.
Allison Herre, director of the department, leads Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio’s Legal Immigration Department and provides representation to unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America who are facing deportation.
Dan Sarell serves as the Director of Mission Advancement for Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio. For over twenty years, Dan worked in Catholic ministry in parishes and dioceses, including as administrator of a rural parish without a resident pastor. He will share stories of the clients served, many of whom are children who fled Central America alone to reunite with family here.
October 23rd— World Migration in Age of Globalization
Speaker: Mary (Peggy) G. Shukairy—Frost Brown Todd
While countries have sought to promote integrated markets through liberalization of trade and investments, they have largely opposed liberalizing migration policies.*
The number of people living outside their country of origin has risen from 120 million in 1990 to an estimated 215 million in 2012, or 3.05% of world population. War, internal strife, arid climates, and starvation are large reasons for growth of population migration.
Why do people leave their countries of origin? Is it because of political reasons, armed conflict, starvation due to climate changes, sexual slavery, etc.? Peggy G. Shukairy will address the overall issue of these migrations, how they can change governments, cause the possible toppling of the current European Union, etc.
Peggy practices U.S. immigration and nationality law. She primarily represents clients in obtaining non-immigrant and immigrant employment-based visas for foreign national employees. She has lectured at bar association seminars and civic meetings .
*from Suny Levin Institute
Who: All students in 7th grade and older are invited to come on the mission trip. Friends are welcome too!
When: We will leave early on June 5 and return around 6:30 on June 11.
What: This is an unique opportunity for your students to be immersed in a Christian camp with a focus on serving others with their peers from home. For students with high school community service requirements, I would estimate that the student should be able to earn 40 hours of community service hours during the trip. I am including a pdf of the daily schedule for the week.
Cost: The cost is $300 per student. Full and partial scholarships are available.
Randall Davidson, Jennifer Taylor and Ellen Neumann will be the adult chaperones on the trip.
This is a wonderful opportunity for our youth to grow spiritually and personally this summer.
Here is a link to the camp website