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First United Methodist Church
Plymouth, Indiana

Sermons and Messages

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I read something this week that suggested that one of the reasons Jesus was put to death was to stop all the stories he kept telling! When Jesus told stories, he had this annoying tendency to make the wrong people either the heroes or the bad guys. Two people go up to the temple to pray, one a pious, biblically learned religious leader, the other a compromised, evil collaborator...
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Wow!  This is a text that grabs your attention, isn’t it? It starts out telling us that large crowds are traveling with Jesus, but after hearing what he has to say, we can’t help but wonder how quickly some folks might have responded by backing away, not wanting to hear another word! This is another one of those times when our first response is: seriously, Jesus?...
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In my experience with Jesus, he’s not one to avoid answering tough questions. We pastors, on the other hand, learn through experience that one ought be cautious in responding to tough questions. “Preacher, what does the Methodist Church have to say about… gambling… the death penalty… euthanasia… human rights… immigration...

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Today is the first Sunday in the season of Lent.  Lent is the 40 days before Easter (not including Sundays, which are all little celebrations of the resurrection) when followers of Jesus Christ intentionally engage in prayer, self-examination, repentance and renewal to strengthen our faith by realigning our lives...
So, where do you find yourself today? I don't mean your location: the place, the address, where someone might "place" you via GPS. I'm thinking about your heart and soul. Where do you find yourself today? Are you feeling settled…happy…good…comfortable…okay? Are you feeling well?
I love music. I'm not a musician, I don't play any musical instruments, though as a teenager I was pretty competent with a kazoo. I have a very average voice, but I love singing close to the choir and along with folks who know how to sing. And I love listening to music. All kinds of music.
It's been 3 weeks now since Christmas, and we've just packed away the Christmas trees and decorations. I'd leave them up all year if I could, but you'd all think I was pretty odd driving by the house in March or July with the tree lit up in the living room.
Imagine you’re building a new house or getting ready to move into a new place, but you’re not quite ready to load up the pickup or the moving van.  The plumbing isn’t connected, the drywall hasn’t been painted or the flooring laid down.  There’s just an empty spot where the appliances will be.
A rocking chair seems like a good place to wait…to think back on those times when we've waited, and to know there will be different kinds of waiting in the days ahead.
As this season of Advent begins, I'm not sure that I need to tell you to "keep awake," really.  Too many of you are already operating in a state of sleep deprivation.  You have too much to do and too little time to do it. You are in the habit of being over-scheduled, and you do your best to get as much done as possible, and then fall into your chair at night, exhausted. 
Sunday, November 26th's special message “The End of Time: Paradise, Something Good and Right” by Rev. Toni Carmer concluding week 31 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, November 12th's terrific message “Paul’s Final Days” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 30 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, November 5th's great message “Paul’s Mission” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 29 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, October 29th's uplifting message “New Beginnings: God's New Creation Community” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 28 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, October 22nd's uplifting message “God’s Big Surprise: The Resurrection” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 27 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, October 15th's terrific message “The Hour of Darkness” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 26 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, October 8th's fabulous message “Jesus, the Son of God” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 25 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, October 1st's great message “No Ordinary Man” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 24 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, September 24th's wonderful message “Jesus’ Ministry Begins” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 23 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, September 17th's fantastic message “The Birth of the King” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 22 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, September 10th's great message “Rebuilding the Walls” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 21 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, September 3rd's wonderful message “The Beauty Queen Who Faced the Beast” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 20 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, Aug. 27th's fabulous message “The Return Home” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 19 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, August 20th's great message “When the Storms are Raging” by Rev. David Hogsett continuing week 18 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Another wonderful message “The Kingdom’s Fall” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 17 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Another fantastic message “The Beginning of the End (of the Kingdom of Israel)” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 16 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”
Sunday, July 30th's terrific message “God’s Messengers” by Rev. Toni Carmer continuing week 15 of a 31 week study of “The Story – The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People.”