Although we are back on-campus for worship, you, your family and friends may connect to our worship service on Zoom by clicking HERE or you can join us on YouTube at youtube.com/graceumcla!
Guest Preacher: Rev. Martin Finau
Rev. Martin Finau, also known as Matini has been serving as a local pastor since 2018. He is currently serving as the senior pastor for Temple City First United Methodist Church. Pastor Finau was born in Long Beach, CA but was raised in different cities and countries, from the Pacific Islands of Fiji to the countryside of Abilene, Texas. He is of Tongan descent and one of four brothers and one sister. He studied Sociology at McMurry University for his BA while attaining his Master of Divinity at Emory – Candler School of Theology.
Prior to serving in the local church, he has served in extended ministries including clinical chaplaincy, college campus ministry, and as chaplain for a refugee non-profit organization. He comes from a lineage of family members serving in ministry as his older brother, father, grandfather, and other extended family members retired or currently serving as clergy. Pastor Finau is passionate towards transforming lives through radical Christian love and compassion.
Kind and gracious Lord, you are the creator of all things, the author of life, and our loving God. We thank you for your faithful presence in our lives, and we thank you for Your Word.
As we prepare to study together, we ask you to open our hearts and minds so we can hear what you long to speak to us. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
Scripture: John 17:20-26 (Common English Bible)
20 “I’m not praying only for them but also for those who believe in me because of their word. 21 I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 I’ve given them the glory that you gave me so that they can be one just as we are one. 23 I’m in them and you are in me so that they will be made perfectly one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you have loved them just as you loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you gave me to be with me where I am. Then they can see my glory, which you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, even the world didn’t know you, but I’ve known you, and these believers know that you sent me. 26 I’ve made your name known to them and will continue to make it known so that your love for me will be in them, and I myself will be in them.”
In Eastertide, we continue in the season of Resurrection through God in Jesus Christ. With Resurrection comes renewed challenges, renewed hopes and renewed possibilities. In order to seize the day, we must reset to realign with God’s will for our lives.
Jesus’ prayer for us is that we be one. As God and Christ are one.
- What is a word, phrase or image that comes to mind when you read or hear the text?
- Jesus prayer for us is that we be one, as he and God are one. This prayer suggests that group having the same beliefs doesn’t necessarily mean they are on the same page and working together. How do we know when a group has become “one?” What must we do to become one as Jesus desires?
- What does this scripture teach you about coming together?
- What does God invite you to do, change or be through this passage?
Discipleship Huddle Questions:
- How is it with your soul?
- How does your soul prosper?
God who continues to open hearts and minds, we confess that too often we have crowded out your voice, being too attentive to the many noises that bombard us. Break our hearts to hear your voice and to hear the hurts and cries of those around us. Empower us to be your faithful witnesses in our homes and in all the encounters we face. Amen.