Piedmont Park Apartments Playground Fundraiser on Sat., Jan. 25th

Join us for a spaghetti dinner 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The dinner includes spaghetti, salad, bread, and homemade desserts.

The Piedmont Park children deserve a decent playground and basketball court; our goal is to raise $15,000 ($10,000 for equipment and $5,000 for installation).

Fries Memorial is sponsoring the the fundraiser.  Every cent donated will be applied to the Piedmont Park Playground Fundraiser Project.

 >>Donate Now>> or send your donation c/o Fries Memorial Moravian Church, 251 N. Hawthorne Rd., Winston-Salem, NC 27104

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Don’t Lose the True Gift of Christmas in the Wrappings

Philipps Brooks, the author of  the celebrated Christmas Carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” once wrote that preaching is the communication of truth through personality. The preacher has a personality, a life, and so does every member of the congregation. Each should connect with and inspire the others.  With that understanding as background, I offer you a very personal set of Christmas memories, in hopes that they may evoke memories of your own.

Several years before my dad’s death we drove down to eastern North Carolina to attend a family funeral.  It was one of the last road trips I made with my dad, just the two of us.  We left Winston-Salem a little before  lunch, made the drive, attended the funeral,  greeted the few family members dad still remembered, and ate a sandwich. Then, as darkness fell, we pointed the car back up the road to Winston-Salem. The road was completely different after dark. On the way down, we drove through one little town that was so plain we hardly noticed it.  On the way back, the same little town was resplendent with light, and totally transformed.  As I drove, my dad kept up a running commentary on all the color. He commented on elves dressed in red and green, and on Frosty the Snowman, and the reindeer that leapt from corner to corner.  He absolutely effused over Santa Claus, whose full-figured likeness dominated the town square. Then, with no warning at all, dad stopped in mid-sentence, and said:

“Wait a minute, Worth!  There is  no nativity!  I have not seen a single angel, shepherd or wiseman, and the Holy Family has been left completely out. It is as if Jesus had never been born!  I am afraid that the leaders of this town have lost the true gift of Christmas in the wrappings.”

Then, looking over at me across the darkened automobile, he said, “Worth, that would make a good idea for a sermon,‘Don’t Loose the True Gift of Christmas in the Wrappings!’” Continue reading

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Advent Series: Peace-The Peaceable Kingdom

Isaiah 11:1-9 (This Sermon was preached at Holden Beach Chapel)

This morning I want to talk to you about peace.  In the Scripture peace takes at least four forms.

The Peace between God and humankind, that God achieves in the Messiah

The Peace we achieve in our own hearts and minds as the result of belonging to the Messiah.

The Peace which the Messiah will someday make between the nations .

And, finally, a peace we don’t think about very often: The peace the Messiah will make between humankind and the animal kingdom. I am pretty sure you have heard about the first three.  This morning I want us to consider the fourth.

In chapter 34 of the book that bears his name, the prophet Ezekiel tells us that when the Messiah comes in power, the LORD God will cause , “…the evil beasts to disappear from the land.”  After that, people will “live safely in the wilderness and sleep safely in the woods.” Continue reading

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Advent Series: Hope, In the End, a Beginning

It is hard to speak of “hope” without thinking of the oft told story of Pandora’s Box. The short form goes like this: Pandora has charm, beauty and wisdom. She is the total package. She marries Epimetheus who is equally handsome and bright. Together they spend an endless succession of sunny days picking fruit from the trees, dancing, singing, and living the high life.

Then, one day, winged Mercury arrives bearing a box, a gift from the gods. Epimetheus warns his love not to open it. He might as well have told her not to buy another pair of shoes. Pandora promises she will not open the box, but as soon as Epimetheus turns his back, she can’t help herself. Continue reading

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Don’t Lose Heart—Pray!

Psalm 1:21, 2nd Timothy 3:10-17, Luke 18:1-8

The texts this morning are from the Lectionary  However, in the bulletin, I have altered the epistle lesson, adding verses to the beginning, and taking verses from the end.  The verses I added at the beginning of the epistle lesson, bring out the apostle’s persecutions and sufferings. The text I deleted from the end of the epistle lesson, remove the apostle’s charge to his young friend Timothy to “preach the word.”

Ironically, the part of the text I deleted is very important to me. On July 21, 1973, my 24th birthday, Elayne and I were sitting at breakfast in our townhouse at Azalea Gardens in Jacksonville, N.C.  I had recently recommitted my life to Christ, and I was seeking God’s will.  As we ate breakfast, I opened the Daily Text, and read the New Testament text. It was 2nd Timothy 4:2:

Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.

I put down the text book, looked at Elayne and said, “Elayne, I am going into the ministry.”  Continue reading

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