Online Services - Livestream and Vespers

September 2023 Services

September 24, 2023:  How do we remain united in a world polarized extremes? When deep divisions seem to be the norm is there a way to come together in the face of differences and still honor one another’s faith journeys? Is it even possible to “live peaceably with all”? Join us this week as we rediscover unity in all of our diversity. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

September 17, 2023:  Who’s in? Who’s out? Our society, our culture asks these questions daily. Do they apply to the church? Who are the gatekeepers? Who are the “they, them us”? All are invited to come, see and hear the “I Am” voice of the Good Shepherd… Bring a friend! Rev. Judy May preaches.

September 21, 2023: Grief may be the hardest emotion to carry. There is no right way to grieve nor is there a timeline for it. Is there encouragement from God about the journey of grief? Consider Jeremiah’s conclusions in Lamentations 3:21-26 as a way to deal with your grief. Tune in to find encouragement for yourself.  Rev. Rick Kress.

September 10, 2023:  All too often the world invites us to hide who we are and be something else. Robert Frost once said, “Home is that place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” What does it mean to be the community that others might call “home”; a place where people are welcomed for who they are? Invite someone to join you for food, fellowship, music, fun, and great food as we jump into the fall season. It’s a wonderful weekend to be at St. Paul’s!  Rev.Elbert Dulworth preaches.

September 14, 2023:  Anger is an emotion that can turn your world upside down. How can you deal with anger, with God’s help? Consider Paul’s counsel in Ephesians 4:26-27 as you learn to deal with your anger. Tune in to find encouragement for yourself. Rev. Rick Kress.

September 3, 2023:  You probably already know that Sabbath –intentional periods of rest –is both a commandment and a gift from God. What’s great about Matthew’s gospel is that Jesus doesn’t just command or recommend rest; he actually offers rest. We too can give each other rest; if not by offering them a place to lay their heads, then at least by making space for each person’s Sabbath. We can point out too for each other when we need a nap! Rev. Judy May preaches.

September 7, 2023: It’s too easy to get discouraged. There are many things and some people that can bring you down. Where does encouragement come from? Consider the story of Philip in Acts 8:26-38 as one way to think of dealing with discouragement. Tune in to find some encouragement for yourself. Rev. Rick Kress.

August 2023 Services

August 27, 2023:  So many of our solutions to life’s problems are geographic: if we move to a new town, if we get a job in a new office, if we can just get away for a while, then our problems will be solved. But the Gospel’s Good News is that we don’t need to head elsewhere for our beauty or our solutions. The solutions are already here, or if they’re not, salvation is headed our way on the double. Rev. Dr. April Gutierrez preaches.

August 31, 2023: God is invisible, but in Jesus, we have a visible image of God. What about Jesus shows you what God is like? How can you learn more about God by observing Jesus? Tune in to consider that, in Jesus, we have enough to know and love God more.  Rev. Rick Kress.

August 20, 2023:  We all have things we wish were different about ourselves: our bodies, our personalities, our abilities, our habits, our tendencies. And though there are plenty of parts of the Bible that call us to change or improve, it’s clear witness of Scripture that each of us is wonderful, loveable, and beloved, exactly as we are right now. That’s how God feels about you right now! Rev. Dr. April Gutierrez preaches.

August 24, 2023: In our series on images of Jesus, we consider Jesus as the Word. The Word is the cosmic glue that holds all things together, yet is highly personal because he became one of us. Tune in to reflect on how the living Word can make a difference in your life.  Rev. Rick Kress.

August 13, 2023:  Throughout Genesis, whenever God creates a new thing, “God saw that is was good.” Which is to say, creation has always been a garden of delights, from the very beginning. For many of us, summer affords more chances to revel in these delights than other times: you can read Genesis as the story of the first flowering of diversity. So let’s get out these and experience some of it! Rev. Rick Kress preaches.

August 17, 2023: Light is a universal symbol for goodness, justice, and peace. Jesus called himself the light of the world, but what did Jesus think that meant? Is the light of the world still relevant today? Tune into consider how the image of Jesus as light can encourage you today.  Rev. Rick Kress.

August 6, 2023:  This song’s inspired by an ancient Jewish (Hasidic) tale: every person should have two pockets, with a scrap of paper in each. One scrap should read, “I am but dust and ashes,” from the Book of Genesis. And the other should read, “For my sake was the world created,” a line from the Talmud. Whenever we feel too proud, the rabbis taught, we should read the first; whenever we feel discouraged, we should read the second.  Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

August 10, 2023:  In our series on images of Jesus, we consider Jesus as a prophet, one who called people to live according to God’s ways and intentions. How is Jesus’s prophetic message heard today? Rev. Rick Kress.

July 2023 Services

July 30, 2023:  Who are the people who inspire you? What gifts do mentors share with you? When we think about the people who have shared the most with us to make us who we are, we might be quick to answer these questions. What happens, however, when the questions become our own? For instance, whom have you inspired? In what ways have you mentored others? Join us as we celebrate the inspirational gifts of mentors and rediscover the gift of breathing life into the world around us. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

August 3, 2023:  One of my favorite images of Jesus is him as the anchor of my soul. An anchor holds a boat steady at port or in a storm, and that’s how Jesus’s living presence can buoy you, too. Tune in to consider how this spiritual anchor can fortify your life today. Rev. Rick Kress.

July 23, 2023:  The essence of Christian faith is not that everything’s been fixed and tied up with a bow, but rather that God is at work in the world bringing it back to life, and that we are on our way to a transformed world –not a heaven somewhere else but a new earth, a “New Jerusalem” where mourning and crying and pain will be no more. That world will be drenched in music, no doubt, lutes and harps and banjos and voices -and we can start that great sing-along even now, as we continue the journey. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

July 27, 2023:  For many, the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is a favorite. The image of caring and concern is very appealing; however, what does shepherding have to do with you in 2023? Tune in to consider how this beautiful image does still make sense for us today.  Rev. Rick Kress.

July 16, 2023:  At the center of Christian faith is Easter weekend, four days beginning with the sorrows of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and ending with the wonder and joy of the empty tomb. Those sorrows are essential –and they are not solved or eclipsed by the hope of Easter morning. The sad songs are still around us even as the dawning light of God’s love seeps back into the world. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

July 20, 2023:  Mindfulness: being aware of the present moment and living in it. How can the Spirit of Jesus help you do that? The key word is “abide.” Tune in to consider how to abide and be more mindful of your present moment. Rev. Rick Kress.

July 9, 2023:  Goliath looked unbeatable, and the sight of a young kid without armor or sword approaching the great giant must have been laughable to the Philistines – and terrifying to the Israelites! But God can make a way out of no way. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

July 13, 2023:  We’re in construction season, and that often means taking detours from our planned routes. Life gives you detours, too. How do you handle life’s detours? Where do you turn for guidance and support? Tune in to consider that even though detours happen, they can also be beneficial for Christ-followers. Rev. Rick Kress.

July 2, 2023:  Most ancient cultures has a “great flood” story; what makes the version in Genesis distinctive is its strong emphasis on love and care for all creation. The ark is a sanctuary from the storm for every living thing and the rainbow promise at the end of the story is an “everlasting covenant” between God and all life on earth. Rev. Dr. April Gutierrez preaches.

July 6, 2023:  I think the construction season has gotten us all a little riled up. It seems so hard to get anywhere! Still, the work of preparing a road can teach us about what it means to prepare a highway for God. What does it mean? Rev. Rick Kress.

June 2023 Services

June 25, 2023:  Full of twists and turns, the story of Jonah is about at least two things: 1) God’s pervasive and persistent love, and 2) stepping up to the challenges that change can bring. The love of God is at work in and through all the twists and turns in our lives, sometimes hidden, sometimes plain –and God’s mercy knows no bounds! Rev. Rick Kress preaches.

June 29, 2023:  It’s all too easy to just do what you’ve always done. Do you have a bucket list? Are there self-improvements you want to undertake that you just don’t seem to get around to? By getting your priorities clear, with God’s help, you can learn to take the time to intentionally pursue your personal growth. Rev. Rick Kress.

June 18, 2023:  A weekly Sabbath day is important (hey, it’s a commandment!), but summertime has the potential to be a whole season of Sabbath like no other. Let’s make some memories while we remember the Sabbath and keep it holy! Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

June 22, 2023:  The Holy Spirit has many characteristics that the Bible makes clear. The problem is, some of the Spirit’s characteristics are annoying. How do you deal with an annoying Holy Spirit? Consider how these things about the Spirit can actually be blessings in disguise. Rev. Rick Kress.

June 11, 2023:  “Be strong and courageous”, God tells Joshua as they stand ready to enter an unknown land following forty years of wilderness wandering. A generation has passed and so has Moses, their fearless leader. How might God’s message for Joshua be ours today as we stand ready to embrace the future that God has in store for us together? Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

June 15, 2023:  Jesus has many characteristics that the Bible makes clear. The problem is, some of Jesus’s characteristics are annoying. How do you deal with an annoying Jesus? Consider how these things about Jesus can actually be blessings in disguise. Rev. Rick Kress.

June 4, 2023:  In Jesus’s last hours on earth, he challenged his followers to heed a calling to take the gospel to the world. Along with it came a special promise. How are you to live a life that honors that calling and takes advantage of that promise?  Rev. Rick Kress preaches.

June 8, 2023:  God has many characteristics that the Bible makes clear. The problem is, some of God’s characteristics are annoying. How do you deal with an annoying God? Consider how these things about God can actually be blessings in disguise. Rev. Rick Kress.

May 2023 Services

May 28, 2023:  This week, we’re celebrating the birthday of the Church as we remember how the Holy Spirit came down among the first disciples and sent them out as apostles into the world. Like the wind, we can’t always see the Spirit, but there are indicators of the Spirit’s presence at work among us. How might we be on the lookout for the movement of the Spirit among us in our lives? Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

June 1, 2023: Do you have a problem with inertia, that deflating feeling that makes any significant change or improvement in your life so hard to begin? By starting small, you can chip away at whatever your goal is. Consider how Jesus did this with his closest followers and what you can learn from it. Rev. Rick Kress.

May 21, 2023:  The Acts of the Apostles begins with an inditement towards action with a wild, straight out of a science fiction graphic novel event. As the disciples are chatting and spending time with Jesus, he is raised up, floating right up to the sky “returning from where he came.” Join us on Confirmation Sunday as we celebrate the youth who have been pondering big questions, acting in service and growing in faith over the past year. Rev. Dr. April Gutierrez preaches.

May 25, 2023:  Once your boundaries start to form, it might be difficult to communicate them to people who need to know about them. Consider biblical wisdom for how to tell people about your boundaries. Rev. Rick Kress.

May 14, 2023:  Families are often situated in multiple locations (states, countries), but the love in a family compels each person to stay connected. Connection happens because individuals want it to happen. In the church family, people are connected by the life and ministry of Jesus, and this is expressed in worship, small groups, service projects, prayer, and fellowship. As United Methodists, we celebrate our family connections all around the globe. It’s hard to be part of a family and not be connected because the other members of the family need you! Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

May 7, 2023:  Growing up in my family, I cherished the extended family dinners that we had each week. Often, even friends and neighbors were invited to join us. At times, it could make for interesting family dynamics at the table. Yet, we were always excited to pull out more another leaf for the family table. Join us as we discover again what happened when St. Peter expanded the table in the early Church. How might God be inviting us to expand the table today? Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

May 11, 2023: Boundaries are difficult to create and stick with, but they’re essential for a healthy life. Consider ways that God can help you avoid some boundary traps. Rev. Rick Kress.

April 2023 Services

April 30, 2023:  Jesus chose the disciples and they were quite a “different” bunch of people. Still, Jesus called them together as a new family with a new identity and task. Who is it that is excluded from the family? What might it mean to share at a family table that “welcomes all”? How do we extend the table? Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

May 4, 2023:  Everyone needs joy to lift their spirits, but how do you get more of it? God intends that our lives have joy to buoy us in all the ups and downs we experience. Tune in to consider ways to build more God-given joy into your life. Rev. Rick Kress.

April 23, 2023:  How is it that United Methodists come to understand faith issues? What sources do we use to understand what we believe? Come, let us reason together, as we dive into the scriptures, seeking to understand our traditions as well as our experiences in light of the faith that we have received and which continues to grow in us. Rev. Rick Kress preaches.

April 27, 2023:  In the mundane things of daily living, we often neglect the need for wonder and awe. There are mountain-top experiences, but most of life isn’t lived there. Tune in to consider how you can experience wonder in the ordinary parts of everyday life and experience God along the way. Rev. Rick Kress.

April 16, 2023:  We find ourselves firmly planted in grace even when we find ourselves struggling to believe. Thomas doubted and is met by Jesus whose grace turned doubt into a strong faith. Acts of grace are transformational for us. In the sanctuary during worship and after worship in Hickey Hall, we’ll have the opportunity to meet Nikita, a Ukrainian student, who is now studying at Adrian College as a result of connecting with one of our United Methodist missions in the Czech Republic. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

April 20, 2023:  Every life is confronted with obstacles of all kinds. Sometimes, life seems to be defined by struggles, doesn’t it? Still, with God’s help, obstacles can be a path to greater faith and resilience. Tune in to consider how to deal with obstacles as a way to spiritual maturity as you walk through them with God’s help. Rev. Rick Kress.

April 9, 2023:  As the women leave the empty tomb, filled with shock and breathless joy, they begin a new journey. In these moments, their personal wilderness blooms with beauty and promise. As Easter people, the journey for us never ends. With the Spirit luring us forward, we celebrate the glimpses of resurrection sprouting up in the dry and cracked spaces of our lives. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

April 13, 2023:  Everyone wrestles with doubts about God. Instead of ignoring those doubts, you can learn to embrace them as a necessary part of growing in faith. Tune in to consider how God reacts to doubt and how doubt can actually be a positive thing for you. Rev. Rick Kress.

April 2, 2023:  Palm Sunday fills our hearts with joy as we watch our children wave their palm branches high. Our souls and spirits soar as we join the parade. Yet, the week ahead will be difficult for our King. Join us as we face down Friday holding out the hope and victory of Easter. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

April 6, 2023:  In this series, The 5 Intentions, we consider how to waste time with God. Instead of going by a checklist and doing things, resting in God is an intentional way of deepening a personal relationship with God. Tune in to ponder different ways to take a break and find renewing rest. Rev. Rick Kress.

March 2023 Services

March 26, 2023: In a world of violence and injustice, it’s hard to think of winning a revolution that is beyond wars and weapons of warfare. How do we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us while still calling out for justice and accountability? Does “turning the other cheek” allow for abuses of power? Let’s discover how Jesus turns our expectations of the world upside down as he stands before the power of an empire. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

March 30, 2023:  In this series, The 5 Intentions, we consider how expanding our spirituality beyond ourselves can enrich us. Life with God, in community, is what Jesus intended. Tune in to ponder how you can be a more closely connected part of the community of faith.  Rev. Rick Kress.

March 19, 2023:  We often say that “God is love,” but what does that mean? Everyone seems to have her or his own definition of what “love” is. How might our human experiences of love reflect God’s story of love for the world? How might God’s love move us beyond even our limited definitions of love?  Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

March 23, 2023: In this series, The 5 Intentions, we consider how to fully develop a life with God. By intentionally taking small, first steps, God’s Spirit is able to reshape your outlook. Tune in to ponder how to take be open to taking the steps necessary to fall in love with God. Rev. Rick Kress.

March 12, 2023:  Sometimes life situations are not always as they seem. How do our own experiences and understandings reflect how we interpret the understandings of others? Gather together with us as we inspire others to dream anew when life has put their dreams on hold. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

March 16, 2023:  In this series, The 5 Intentions, we consider how to be intentional about find a satisfying life with God. Opening to God is spiritual and practical, a way to enrich your life. Tune in to ponder how you can open more fully to God. Rev. Rick Kress.

March 5, 2023:  In Les Miserables, the punishment by the law (in the person of Javert) is unyielding as Jean Valjean tries to build a new life. In a Gospel story, a woman caught in adultery comes face to face with Jesus. Those who accused her demanded her death according to the law. What would Jesus do? How does Jean Valjean’s story mirror this Gospel story in John 8:1-11? Can justice and grace exist together?  Rev. Rick Kress preaches.

March 9, 2023:   Do you have so much stuff going on every day that there’s little, if any, time for God? Tune in to consider how you can change that by being intentional about carving out time for God and spiritual pursuits. Rev. Rick Kress.

February 2023 Services

February 26, 2023:  As we begin this Lenten season, we journey with Jesus to Jerusalem and to the cross. It’s often difficult to see the hope of Easter when we’re facing what feels like the end of the road. Join us as we rediscover grace when we’re looking down. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

February 22, 2023:  The in-person Ash Wednesday service has been cancelled due to inclement weather. An online service is available on our Facebook page beginning at 7 p.m. Find us on Facebook at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church-Rochester.

February 19, 2023:  Who is Jesus? Early in their time with Jesus, the disciples thought they knew. In their gospel accounts of Jesus, we hear Matthew, Mark and Luke tell of a mountaintop experience for Peter, James and John. Jesus invites this inner circle of disciples to a time away. There, on the mountain, the three experience an epiphany…Moses and Elijah appear, Jesus is transformed, transfigured, and God’s voice identifies Jesus as the beloved Son, with whom he is well pleased. The disciples are told to listen to Jesus. It’s a beautiful sight indeed. Peter wants to stay in that moment. Who wouldn’t? But Jesus says, “No, down the mountain we go!” What are we to do with our mountaintop experiences of Jesus, when we have epiphanies of who Jesus is for us? Come hear Jesus give the instructions for going down the mountain, carrying our own transformation into our daily lives. Rev. Judy May preaches.

February 12, 2023:  Why do bad things happen to good people? Is suffering God’s will? How can God allow evil to happen to faithful people? Is there a purpose to our suffering? Join us as we search for faith in times of suffering and struggle. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

February 5, 2023:  If you could ask God one question, would it be, “Why? I prayed but got no answer.” What happens to faithful pray-ers when God is silent? Or, what happens when faithful pray-ers hear “no” or “wait”? Let’s gather to examine what prayer really is and see how the apostle Paul and Jesus dealt with unanswered prayer. We will also celebrate the Eucharist, where everyone is welcome at the table of Christ! Rev. Judy May preaches.

January 2023 Services

January 29, 2023:   Do all religions believe almost the same thing? Do all faiths lead to the same place? What will happen to my family and friends who follow other faith traditions? What about heaven and hell? Join us as we discover faith in Jesus in a diverse world. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

January 22, 2023:  Is the Bible God’s word? How does God speak to us through the Bible? Is the Bible infallible? What do we do with the contradictions we have seen in the scriptures? Is the Bible relevant today? Join us as we wrestle with these questions and more about the Bible and its role in our faith and life as Christians. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

January 15, 2023:  Does God exist? Does God love me? How do we know? What is doubt and faith? Is it okay for faithful people to doubt? Join us as we reflect on how doubt can be the fertile ground of faith. Rev. Judy May preaches.

January 8, 2023:  What is baptism? What happens at baptism? The week, we’ll dive into the waters of Jesus’ baptism and rediscover who we are as we celebrate and remember our baptism together. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

January 1, 2023:  Joseph is faced with a decision for his young family: move to Egypt with Mary and Jesus or risk the wrath of Herod. Forced to flee, the holy family became refugees in exile. In the land of Egypt, there is safety and a new beginning for them. The king of a nation is sent out into the world. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

December 2022 Services

December 25, 2022:  Join us to celebrate on Christmas morning with a service of Lessons and Carols.  Rev. Dr. April Gutierrez leads worship.

December 24, 2022:  Christmas Eve 10 p.m. Candlelight service in the Sanctuary.  Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

December 18, 2022:  When Scrooge faces the Ghost of Christmas Future, he cringes in fear before his own grave and what is becoming of his life. He realizes what happens when there is not a change in his heart. Yet, the night always seems darkest before the dawn. When he awakes in the morning, Scrooge is given a second chance. How do we respond when we awake from our own fearful nights to a new morning?  Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

December 11, 2022:  The Ghost of Christmas Present forces Scrooge to look upon him and to know him better. While the ghost seems to have abundance, the ghost calls out the vast difference between those who experience abundance and those who live in poverty. God has a heart for those in poverty and injustice. In the Christmas story, we rediscover a God who meets us in those who live on the margins. Are you searching for God this Christmas? Join us as we look to the margins. Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.

December 4, 2022:  Christmas brings with it all the joy of the season. Yet, it also brings memories of lost dreams and times of struggle for others. When visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge had some regrets about his life. How does Christmas continue to break into our lives and bring hope from moments of heartbreak, shame, or regret?  Rev. Elbert Dulworth preaches.