Sermons

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.

Personal & Social Holiness

In today’s sermon Pastor Jamie talks about sanctifying grace in which we acknowledge that the Christian journey is a process of continually becoming holy as God is holy. To progress we must understand what Christian perfection is not. Christian perfection is not:

  • Freedom from mistakes
  • Freedom from temptation
  • Freedom from physical or mental infirmities
  • Perfections of knowledge
  • A list of meaningless do’s or don’ts

There will always be things we don’t know or only partially understand. We will continue to make mistakes. We will experience physical, mental and emotional hardship. We will always be on a journey of growth and perfection.

Christian perfection IS…Perfection in love: Loving God and loving our neighbor. As people who are being made perfect through God, with God and by God, we do our best. We grow by participating in the means of grace, those things we do that help us connect to God, e.g. prayer, scripture reading, fasting and receiving communion.

Prelude: “Lamento e Giga” by Carson Cooman
Postlude: “Venus Toccata” by Carol Williams

Scripture 1 Peter 1:13-17

13 Therefore, once you have your minds ready for action and you are thinking clearly, place your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 Don’t be conformed to your former desires, those that shaped you when you were ignorant. But, as obedient children, 15 you must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. 16 It is written, You will be holy, because I am holy.[a] 17 Since you call upon a Father who judges all people according to their actions without favoritism, you should conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your dwelling in a strange land.

Unity in the Body of Christ

In today’s sermon, Pastor Dottie uses the analogy of our hand and asks the question, “If we had to do without one part of our hand, which part would we give up?” When it comes down to it, every part of the the hand is vital to its ability to function. We are part of the human family and the Church Family, and every part of that family is needed. Part of what it means to progress as a Methodist is reaching toward perfection of love. Love is what matters. Despite differing opinions and understandings, what matters is that we remain loving toward each other. God continues to pull us forward into the way God wants us to be, and that is to be united in love.

Prelude “How Great Thou Art” by Hine/Hayford
Postlude “Trumpet Tune In D Major” by David N. Johnson

Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-6

Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. 2 Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, 3 and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. 4 You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.

Three Simple Rules

In this sermon, Pastor Dottie talks about a specific Methodist doctrine, more on the practical side of what it means to be a Methodist follower of Jesus Christ. John Wesley shared three simple rules we must follow to be “marked” as Christians who follow the Methodist lifestyle:

  1. Do no harm
  2. Do good
  3. Stay in Love with God

Watch the full sermon and service for inspiration and to share in the love of Christ and his community:

Prelude: Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke
Postlude: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee by Frederick Swann

Scripture: Colossians 3:12-17

12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. 14 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. 16 The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.

On Deep Grace

In this sermon Pastor Dottie talks about the grace of God. Grace is a gift, something we don’t deserve but receive through God’s love. In Methodism we believe there is nothing we can do to deserve or remove God’s grace from our lives. That is the power His love brings to our lives. Listen to the full sermon and view the whole worship service below:

Prelude: Litany of the Bells by Robert Hubble
Postlude: Festive Trumpet Tune by David German
 

Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-10

At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. 2 You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. 3 At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.

4-5 However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! 6 And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. 7 God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus.

8 You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith.[a] This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. 9 It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. 10 Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.

The Methodist Story

Today’s sermon given by Rev. Dr. Dottie Escobedo-Frank talks about the origins and history of the Methodist Church. The Methodist Church was built on the foundation of contributions made by the church laity. The beginnings of the church in the Americas included many sacrifices and hard work by its builders. One of Pastor Dottie’s favorite quotes is by co-superintendent Thomas Coke:

“Light yourself on fire with passion and the people will come to watch you burn.”

As Methodists our mission is to continue what the founders started. We are finishing the job started by the Wesley brothers so that God’s word gets to the people who need to hear it. We are here to help change the world for the better.

 

Prelude: Variations on “Ubi Caritas” by Denis Bédard

Postlude: Sortie by Denis Bédard

Scripture 2 Corinthians 8:7-11

7 Be the best in this work of grace in the same way that you are the best in everything, such as faith, speech, knowledge, total commitment, and the love we inspired in you. 8 I’m not giving an order, but by mentioning the commitment of others, I’m trying to prove the authenticity of your love also. 9 You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although he was rich, he became poor for our sakes, so that you could become rich through his poverty.

10 I’m giving you my opinion about this. It’s to your advantage to do this, since you not only started to do it last year but you wanted to do it too. 11 Now finish the job as well so that you finish it with as much enthusiasm as you started, given what you can afford.

Jonah and the Big Fish

In this sermon Pastor Dottie talks about the story of Jonah who was thrown into the stormy seas by his shipmates in the hope of saving themselves. Jonah cried out to God for help. He asked God to forgive him and give him a second chance. Then he offered to make a sacrifice of thanks to God for saving him. As the story progresses, Jonah becomes incensed for failing to destroy the city of Nineveh like Jonah prophesied. The story becomes one of God’s mercy. Who should God be merciful to? Us? Others? Why or why not? Listen to the full sermon to learn of God’s mercy and wisdom.

Prelude: Gabriel, ”Messenger of God”, from Archangel Suite by Craig Phillips
Postlude: God is my light by Craig Phillips

The Road Not Taken

In today’s sermon Pastor Jamie talks about the paths we take in life. When we stray, how do we find our way back to God? The faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego serves as an example for us all. God rewards our faith and shows us the way back.

Prelude: Adorote Devote by Everett Titcomb
Postlude: Toccata by Eugene Gigout

Scripture Daniel 3:19-30: (CEB)

19 Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and his face twisted beyond recognition because of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In response he commanded that the furnace be heated to seven times its normal heat. 20 He told some of the strongest men in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace of flaming fire. 21 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were bound, still dressed in all their clothes, and thrown into the furnace of flaming fire. (22 Now the king’s command had been rash, and the furnace was heated to such an extreme that the fire’s flame killed the very men who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to it.) 23 So these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell, bound, into the furnace of flaming fire.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in shock and said to his associates, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound, into the fire?”

They answered the king, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He replied, “Look! I see four men, unbound, walking around inside the fire, and they aren’t hurt! And the fourth one looks like one of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar went near the opening of the furnace of flaming fire and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. 27 The chief administrators, ministers, governors, and the king’s associates crowded around to look at them. The fire hadn’t done anything to them: their hair wasn’t singed; their garments looked the same as before; they didn’t even smell like fire!

28 Nebuchadnezzar declared: “May the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be praised! He sent his messenger to rescue his servants who trusted him. They ignored the king’s order, sacrificing their bodies, because they wouldn’t serve or worship any god but their God. 29 I now issue a decree to every people, nation, and language: whoever speaks disrespectfully about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s God will be torn limb from limb and their house made a trash heap, because there is no other god who can rescue like this.”

30 Then the king made Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego prosperous in the province of Babylon.

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!