Word Studies for the Week of November 19th, 2017

November 19 ● Welcoming the Kingdom: Be Bold ● Matthew 25: 14-30 Is the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14-30 really about money or is the point something else? Explain. How does this parable make you feel, when you compare it to your own life of discipleship? How do you think it is supposed to make you feel? Is there a relationship between how much you put into your discipleship and what you get out of it? Why or why not? A pastor friend says that you can see what really matters to people by looking at their calendar and their check book; is this ...

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High School Youth Group News November 2017

Holy Cross High School Youth are meeting selected Sunday Evenings. Our next meeting is November 12 at 6:30 PM. Please Check the Church calendar Holy Cross Youth will participate in a  service project.  We will be assembling blessing bags for women who are being housed by the Elizabeth Coalition for the Homeless.  We would be happy to give service hour credit for the evening.  We will be taking some pictures to be used to get other churches to think about ways they can help the homeless too.   We hope to see you there! RSVP  to attend Youth Gathering in Houston...

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Word Studies for the Week of November 12th, 2017

November 12 ● Welcoming the Kingdom: Be Prepared ● Matthew 25: 1-13 What practical steps do you take to be spiritually prepared for any contingency? Is being spiritually prepared different from being prepared physically for an emergency like a fire, hurricane, or snowstorm? Explain. In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25: 1-13, the foolish neglect to prepare for the bridegroom’s coming. What things in life get in the way of our own preparing for Christ’s coming into our lives? How will you make sure you have oil in your lamp to be ...

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Holy Cross to participate in the Homeless Sabbath Weekend December 17th

Community Access Unlimited, Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, Family Promise of Union County, Gateway Family YMCA, HomeFirst, Iris House, Monarch Housing and the Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council are asking us to please join them for this year for a “call to action” on the second annual Homeless Sabbath Weekend December 15-17, 2017, on behalf of all people who are homeless in Union County. We at Holy Cross are pleased to be a part of this ministry! So we will remember the homeless in worship and show how our church is working to house those in ...

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Word Studies for the Week of November 5th, 2017

November 5 ● All Saints Sunday - Welcoming the Kingdom: Be Blessed ● Matthew 5: 1-12 Carefully read Matthew 5:1, who is Jesus teaching primarily to and why would it matter? In your own words describe what the term "poor in spirit" might mean? Do the Beatitudes describe what has happened or what will happen? Explain your answer. Do you know people like those described in the Beatitudes? If so describe their situations and see if you can understand how the blessing Jesus addressed their situation? Which of the Beatitudes seems to be the most surprising to you ...

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Word Studies for the Week of October 29th, 2017

October 29 ● Reformation Sunday - Re-making God's People: Follow the Lord ● Matthew 22: 34-46 Is living out the Greatest commandment a good way to keep the focus of the church and your own individual life of faith where it should be? How might this work? What actions demonstrate your love for God, explain how they show love to God? How do you primarily show love to others? (i.e. buying gifts, complements, sending notes, helping in time of need, etc.) What actions of religious people make it hard for others to see the love of God? Is this what Luther was ...

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Word Studies for the Week of October 22nd, 2017

October 22 ● Re-making God's People: Give to God ● Matthew 22: 15-22 Matthew shows both Herodians (those with a liberal bent) and the Pharisees (those with a conservative bent) trying to pin down Jesus. While we should be careful about how we identify modern people in the biblical text, does this kind of thing go on today? Why is asking Jesus to take sides in an argument an attempt to trap him? What is it about taking sides that could negatively affect what Jesus is trying to do? Strict Jewish law forbade using human images on coins; the Romans tolerated no ...

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Word Studies for the Week of October 15th, 2017

October 15 ● Re-making God's People: Celebrate with God ● Matthew 22: 1-14 Because of the decline in church attendance in America today, do we read the parable of the wedding banquet in the text above in a new light? Verse 5 portrays those who respond to the invitation with apathy, verse 6 to those who respond with wickedness and violence.  How come each of them stand under the judgement of the king? What reasons do people give today for not participating in a life of faith? What reasons do people give for being hostile faith today? Who does the king order ...

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Word Studies for the Week of October 8th, 2017

October 8 ● Re-making God's People: Produce for God ● Matthew 21: 33-46 How does the story in the above passage make you feel? Is what happens to the tenants just? What about the behavior of the owner? What is the true sin of the tenants? Can you think of examples from daily life where we may be guilty of the same thing? What things does the owner build in the vineyard and what is the purpose of each? What does that tell us about the owner’s priorities? The priests and Pharisees are not equivalent to modern Jewish people, so who would they remind us of in ...

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High School Youth Group News October 2017

Holy Cross High School Youth Group plans to attend Youth Gathering in Houston Our young people are planning to join 30,000 other youth from around the country for 5 days of worship, fun, and service to a city this Summer. We will be asking for all to help make this possible. Please read the experiences from the last gathering in Detroit below: Why the Gathering? An article published in Detroit during the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering described how the “Skittles” were taking over the city. This was referring to the several thousand youth and adults in Hart Plaza ...

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