A central part of Worship at Catalina are the words and thoughts shared by our pastors. Their sermons may be long or short, theologically challenging or emotionally moving. We hope you hear a message that will bring you closer to God.

Queen Esther

In this sermon Rev. Dr. Dottie Escobedo-Frank talks about the story of Esther. This story reminds us to find the gifts God has given us and to use those gifts today, in our own special way. No one else has our unique voice so we must use our voice to make positive change in the world.

Prelude: It Is Well With My Soul by Philip Bliss (arr. Marilyn Arison)
Postlude: Halle, Halle, Hallelujah Caribbean traditional (arr. John A. Behnke)

Scripture: Esther 4:12-17 (CEB)

12 When they told Mordecai Esther’s words, 13 he had them respond to Esther: “Don’t think for one minute that, unlike all the other Jews, you’ll come out of this alive simply because you are in the palace. 14 In fact, if you don’t speak up at this very important time, relief and rescue will appear for the Jews from another place, but you and your family will die. But who knows? Maybe it was for a moment like this that you came to be part of the royal family.”

15 Esther sent back this word to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are in Susa and tell them to give up eating to help me be brave. They aren’t to eat or drink anything for three whole days, and I myself will do the same, along with my female servants. Then, even though it’s against the law, I will go to the king; and if I am to die, then die I will.” 17 So Mordecai left where he was and did exactly what Esther had ordered him.

David and Goliath

This sermon given by Rev. Dr. Dottie Escobedo-Frank talks about the Goliath’s in our lives and the gifts God has given us to face those foes and overcome them. Sometimes our Goliath’s seem greater than we can handle. Let this sermon inspire you to stand with God and use your God-given gifts to rise above.

Prelude: “Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart” Jan Sanborn
Postlude: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” Helmut Walcha

Reading: 1 Samuel 17:4-10, 30-37, 48-50

4 A champion named Goliath from Gath came out from the Philistine camp. He was more than nine feet tall.[a] 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore bronze scale-armor weighing one hundred twenty-five pounds.[b] 6 He had bronze plates on his shins, and a bronze scimitar hung on his back. 7 His spear shaft[c] was as strong as the bar on a weaver’s loom, and its iron head weighed fifteen pounds.[d] His shield-bearer walked in front of him.

8 He stopped and shouted to the Israelite troops, “Why have you come and taken up battle formations? I am the Philistine champion,[e] and you are Saul’s servants. Isn’t that right? Select one of your men, and let him come down against me. 9 If he is able to fight me and kill me, then we will become your slaves, but if I overcome him and kill him, then you will become our slaves and you will serve us. 10 I insult Israel’s troops today!” The Philistine continued, “Give me an opponent, and we’ll fight!”

30 So David turned to someone else and asked the same thing, and the people said the same thing in reply. 31 The things David had said were overheard and reported to Saul, who sent for him.

32 “Don’t let anyone[a] lose courage because of this Philistine!” David told Saul. “I, your servant, will go out and fight him!”

33 “You can’t go out and fight this Philistine,” Saul answered David. “You are still a boy. But he’s been a warrior since he was a boy!”

34 “Your servant has kept his father’s sheep,” David replied to Saul, “and if ever a lion or a bear came and carried off one of the flock, 35 I would go after it, strike it, and rescue the animal from its mouth. If it turned on me, I would grab it at its jaw, strike it, and kill it. 36 Your servant has fought both lions and bears. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them because he has insulted the army of the living God.

37 “The Lord,” David added, “who rescued me from the power of both lions and bears, will rescue me from the power of this Philistine.”

“Go!” Saul replied to David. “And may the Lord be with you!”

48 The Philistine got up and moved closer to attack David, and David ran quickly to the front line to face him. 49 David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone. He slung it, and it hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 And that’s how David triumphed over the Philistine with just a sling and a stone, striking the Philistine down and killing him—and David didn’t even have a sword!

The Long Road Home

Sermon by Pastor Jamie Booth

In this sermon, Pastor Jamie talks about times when we’ve experienced suffering, tragedy, or events that we can’t explain or understand. Sometimes we want to gloss over the difficult times and choose to see only the good. Sometimes it is important to acknowledge our own suffering so we remember to be patient when we are suffering, and to have compassion and charity when others suffer or experience hardship.

Prelude: “Peace, Perfect Peace” by Diane Bish
Postlude: “Great is Thy Faithfulness” arr. Frederick Swann

Scripture: Ruth 2:1-17 (CEB Version)

Now Naomi had a respected relative, a man of worth, through her husband from the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. 2 Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field so that I may glean among the ears of grain behind someone in whose eyes I might find favor.”

Naomi replied to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3 So she went; she arrived and she gleaned in the field behind the harvesters. By chance, it happened to be the portion of the field that belonged to Boaz, who was from the family of Elimelech.

4 Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem. He said to the harvesters, “May the Lord be with you.”

And they said to him, “May the Lord bless you.”

5 Boaz said to his young man, the one who was overseeing the harvesters, “To whom does this young woman belong?”

6 The young man who was overseeing the harvesters answered, “She’s a young Moabite woman, the one who returned with Naomi from the territory of Moab. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean so that I might gather up grain from among the bundles behind the harvesters.’ She arrived and has been on her feet from the morning until now, and has sat down for only a moment.”[a]

8 Boaz said to Ruth, “Haven’t you understood, my daughter? Don’t go glean in another field; don’t go anywhere else. Instead, stay here with my young women. 9 Keep your eyes on the field that they are harvesting and go along after them. I’ve ordered the young men not to assault you. Whenever you are thirsty, go to the jugs and drink from what the young men have filled.”

10 Then she bowed down, face to the ground, and replied to him, “How is it that I’ve found favor in your eyes, that you notice me? I’m an immigrant.” 11 Boaz responded to her, “Everything that you did for your mother-in-law after your husband’s death has been reported fully to me: how you left behind your father, your mother, and the land of your birth, and came to a people you hadn’t known beforehand. 12 May the Lord reward you[b] for your deed. May you receive a rich reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you’ve come to seek refuge.” 13 She said, “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, sir, because you’ve comforted me and because you’ve spoken kindly to your female servant—even though I’m not one of your female servants.”

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here, eat some of the bread, and dip your piece in the vinegar.” She sat alongside the harvesters, and he served roasted grain to her. She ate, was satisfied, and had leftovers. 15 Then she got up to glean.

Boaz ordered his young men, “Let her glean between the bundles, and don’t humiliate her. 16 Also, pull out some from the bales for her and leave them behind for her to glean. And don’t scold her.”

17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed what she had gleaned; it was about an ephah[c] of barley.


Joseph the Dreamer

Today’s sermon comes from the life of Joseph and the coat of many colors. Joseph was a dreamer which teaches us some important lessons about our own dreams and the power of dreaming. The Bible teaches that our young people will see visions and our old people will dream dreams.

Pastor Dottie shares a little about her dreams for the church. Some other things about dreams she shares are that dreams come true with hard work. Some questions we have to ask ourselves are:

  • Are you calling forth the dream God has given you?
  • Are you speaking it into existence?
  • Are you nurturing the dream God has given you so it will come true?

Watch the full sermon:

Prelude: The Swan by Camille Saint-Saens (arr. Alexandre Guilmant)
Postlude: Nun Danket Alle Gott by Sigfrid Karg-Elert

Scripture: Genesis 37:1-11 (CEB Version)

Jacob lived in the land of Canaan where his father was an immigrant. 2 This is the account of Jacob’s descendants. Joseph was 17 years old and tended the flock with his brothers. While he was helping the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, Joseph told their father unflattering things about them. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was born when Jacob was old. Jacob had made for him a long[a] robe. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers, they hated him and couldn’t even talk nicely to him.

5 Joseph had a dream and told it to his brothers, which made them hate him even more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had. 7 When we were binding stalks of grain in the field, my stalk got up and stood upright, while your stalks gathered around it and bowed down to my stalk.”

8 His brothers said to him, “Will you really be our king and rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of the dreams he told them.

9 Then Joseph had another dream and described it to his brothers: “I’ve just dreamed again, and this time the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

10 When he described it to his father and brothers, his father scolded him and said to him, “What kind of dreams have you dreamed? Am I and your mother and your brothers supposed to come and bow down to the ground in front of you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father took careful note of the matter.


Baby Moses grows up — Heeding God’s call

In today’s sermon Pastor Jamie Booth encourages us to read the stories and lessons we think we know with open minds and open hearts. What deeper messages are lying beneath the surface? What knew wisdom and insight can they give us? Ask the Holy Spirit how these stories might apply to our lives, today.

Just like Moses, we are drawn out of the waters. Baptism reminds us we are Called by God, out of the chaos. We are called to draw the world out of their chaos and to the love of God. When God calls, do you heed?

Prelude: “Soliloquy” by David Conte
Postlude: “Now Thank We All Our God” by John Carter

Exodus 1:22-2:10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every boy that is born to the Hebrews[a] you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.”

2 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. 3 When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. 4 His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” 8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. 10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses,[b] “because,” she said, “I drew him out[c] of the water.”

Do we pester God with our prayers?

Sunday Worship Service, July 8th 2018 (Live Recording)
Rev. Dr. Dottie Escobedo-Frank

Today’s sermon is taken from the Parable of the Unjust Judge (also known as the Parable of the Importunate Widow or the Parable of the Persistent Widow). The parable is specifically about the persistence of prayer followed with action.

Luke reports the parable as follows:

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she will not eventually wear me out with her coming!'”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
— Luke 18:1-8, NIV

What does it take to be “Chosen”?

Sunday Worship Service, July 1st 2018 (Live Recording)
Rev. Dr. Dottie Escobedo-Frank

Today’s sermon is from the parable of the Wedding Feast. The moral of this parable is that many are called, but few are chosen. All are invited to God’s Kingdom. Through God’s mercy, we can choose to enter in.


Lessons from The Prodigal Son

Sunday Worship Service, June 24th 2018 (Live Recording)
Pastor Jamie Booth

Today’s sermon is taken from the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Many of us identify with the Prodigal Son, afraid of how God will judge or receive us. What shame might we be holding on to? The story of the Prodigal Son reminds us that there is a loving Father in Heaven waiting to welcome us home.

When God calls, do we hear?

Sunday Worship Service, June 17th 2018 (Live Recording)

Today’s sermon is based on the book of Samuel and the story of Samuel and Eli and God’s call to Samuel.

God is calling you, can you hear?