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This Week’s Message

It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Creator is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before God in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship God must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.
John 4:23-24

Progressive Church: What it Means for Us

Progressive Church: Definitions of progressive Christianity include characteristics such as spiritual vitality and expressiveness, a willingness to ask questions, an affirmation of human diversity, a sincere respect for other faiths, and a concern for the environment.

At Gentle Spirit Christian Church, our culture and values intersect with each of those characteristics in both subtle and profound ways. Perhaps our most striking and symbolic expression of our view of God’s true attitude to us is that when we celebrate the Lord’s Table at every service, we view the Table as an open invitation to all that comes directly from God. Another is that we hold our Sunday worship service outdoors in a public park so that there may literally be no barriers between us and the world.

  • We believe Jesus made his divine sacrifice for all people, without exception, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or any other human-created division of the human race.
  • We are a fellowship dedicated to the spreading the Gospel of Jesus the Christ to all people in an open, affirming and inclusive manner.
  • Our mission is to bring the message of redemption and grace to those people who have been victims of oppression, rejection and misinformation and to assure them they are true heirs in the realm of God.
  • We envision an inclusive church community committed to worshipping God freely in an atmosphere of grace, forgiveness, unconditional love and individual growth.
  • We strive to be a community where each member is viewed as a unique creation of God.
  • We believe in participation in those activities which promote social justice and equality for all.
  • We welcome everyone without regard to ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital/economic status, physical ability, political affiliation, age, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. We are open, positive and inclusive.
  • We are an independent Christian congregation where people are encouraged to have a personal relationship with God that is supported, not defined, by the church.

Our core belief is that God has a passionate desire for a direct, unfettered relationship with each of us — and that no one or nothing should be able to get in the way of that.

Our congregation comes from many spiritual backgrounds, but we agree on the following things and invite anyone to come worship with us and experience God’s love in a whole new way:

  • God loves you unconditionally, just the way you are, and passionately desires a relationship with you.
  • No one, no institution, nothing, should come between you and your relationship with God.
  • When you are in relationship with God you can own your faith, and no one, no institution, nothing, should be able to take that away from you.

Join us at a worship service and you’ll see the difference right at the beginning, as we start by greeting each other and saying, You’re in the Right Place.

Why Christmas is Dangerous

Why is Christmas dangerous? Because the message of Christmas is love. And what makes true love, God’s love, dangerous is what it calls us to do in response to it.

www.gentlespirit.org

Sermon for December 21, 2014
Gentle Spirit Christian Church
Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Atlanta, Georgia

Advent IV, 2014: Lighting the Candle for Love

From the order of worship for the fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)

Voice: Last Sunday we lit the candle of joy. We light it and the candles of hope and peace again as we remember that Christ will come again and bring us everlasting peace and joy.

A person lights the candles of hope, peace, and joy.

Voice: The fourth candle of Advent is the Candle of Love. It’s light is meant to remind us of the love that God has for us.

Voice: Jesus shows us God’s perfect love. He is God’s love in human form. The bible says that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Voice: Love is patient, love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful or conceited, rude or selfish. Love is not quick to take offense, it keeps no records of wrongs, it does not gloat over other people’s troubles, but rejoices in the right, the good, and the true. There is nothing that love cannot face, there is no limit to its faith, to its hope, to its endurance. Love never ends.

Voice: We light this candle today to remind us of how God’s perfect love is found in Jesus.

Light the Fourth Candle.

All Sing: First four verses of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Voice: Let us pray. Loving God, we thank you for your gift of love – shown to us perfectly in Jesus Christ our Lord. Help us prepare our hearts to receive Him. Bless our worship. Help us to hear and do your word. We ask it in the name of the one born in Bethlehem. Amen.

The Biggest Obstacle to Feeling Blessed by God

How do you experience joy? How do you feel God’s blessing in your life? If either of these things is unclear, there’s one very simple thing you can do to make both of these things much more apparent.

www.gentlespirit.org

Sermon for December 14, 2014
Gentle Spirit Christian Church
Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Atlanta, Georgia

Advent III, 2014: Lighting the Candle for Joy

The Candles of Advent (Year B)

The Third Sunday of Advent: Joy

Voice: Last Sunday the candle of peace was lit.  We light it and the candle of hope again as we remember that Christ will come again and bring to the world everlasting peace.

A person lights the candles of hope, and peace.

VoiceThe third candle of Advent is the Candle of Joy.  It reminds of the joy that Mary felt when the angel Gabriel told her that a special child would be born to her – a child who would save and deliver his people.

Voice: God wants us all to have joy.  The angel who  announced to the shepherds that Jesus had been born told them: “Do not be afraid.  I am bringing you good news of a great joy for all people – for to you is born this day, in the City of David, a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Voice: We light this candle to remember that Christ brings the promise of a new life – a life in which the blind receive sight, the lame walk, and the prisoners are set free.  We light it to remember that He is the bringer of true and everlasting joy.

Light the Third Candle.

All Sing: First three verses of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Voice: Let us pray. Loving God, we thank you for the joy  you bring us.  Help us prepare our hearts for this gift.  Bless our worship.  Help us to hear and to do your word.  We ask it in the name of the one born in Bethlehem. Amen.

The First Step Toward Peace

On the second Sunday of Advent we light the candle for peace. And the first step toward peace is one we all can take: To change our thinking. It’s what Jesus’ ministry was all about.

www.gentlespirit.org

Sermon for December 7, 2014
By Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Gentle Spirit Christian Church
Atlanta, Georgia