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Speaker: Rev. Thomas G. James

Pastor Thomas has been the Lead Pastor at WSUMC since July 2015. He has a B.S. in Psychology from Ferrum College and an M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary.

Change, Reflection, & Mission Rev. Thomas G. James April 24, 2022 Watch

The apostles stood before the temple council unafraid to proclaim the truth of God in Jesus Christ. Their witness to God’s love in the world stands as an invitation for us who call themselves disciples today. As we reflect on the history of our congregation, we claim God’s invitation to change through our convocation in our mission.

Recognizing the Resurrected Lord Rev. Thomas G. James April 17, 2022 Watch

Even after 3 years of ministry, of teaching and witnessing to the promise of God that would lead Jesus to the cross and beyond, the disciples still didn’t understand the empty grave. They were frightened when they found the tomb empty. Mary was shocked when Jesus called her name. Yet, for all that we might ask about the church … for all the “Why, Church?” criticisms we might have to ask, we also have a promise and proclamation to make: THIS is why. Even when we fail, God remains steadfast. Even when we are broken, God offers healing. Even when we don’t “get it,” God still shows up can calls us by name.

Why, Church? (Are We So Silent?) Rev. Thomas G. James April 10, 2022 Watch

We are so quick to proclaim a Palm Sunday attitude, celebrating and shouting Hosanna as we proclaim the love of God in Jesus Christ. We love to celebrate Jesus’ life-giving love as it pertains to our well-being. But, in the face of the perils of society – the isms that offer persecution (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc), there’s a question that we must ask. Why, Church, are we so often silent?

Why, Church (Do We Not Listen?) Rev. Thomas G. James April 4, 2022 Watch

The Church has not always done the best at proclaiming life for its neighbors. From the crusades, to the witch trials, to colonialism … the Church has often been the cause of death. One might wonder, how would we respond if we heard the stories of those persecuted and killed by the church? Luke seems to think we wouldn’t care. If we didn’t heed the words of Moses and the prophets before killing them, why would we care after hearing their stories again? Why, Church, do we not listen?

Why Has the Church Become a Country Club? Rev. Thomas G. James March 27, 2022 Watch

The toxicness of institutionalism and nationalism have so perverted the church, that we’ve become comfortable creating country clubs in place of churches. We like to control who is in and who is out. We like to determine who gets seats of honor and who is welcome at the table. Jesus has thoughts, and so the question is worth asking, Why, Church, Have We Become a Country Club?

Why, Church? (Are We So Nationalistic?) Rev. Thomas G. James March 21, 2022 Watch

Jesus was often critical of the Pharisees, but perhaps never is he as critical as he is about their focus on Jerusalem. The nationalistic focus around Jerusalem becomes a major critique of Jesus. The apostle Paul picked up on this critique when calling us to claim our citizenship in heaven. Why, Church, are so in bed with American nationalism?

Why, Church? (Are We So Institutionally Focused?) Rev. Thomas G. James March 13, 2022 Watch

The Biblical text is full of guiding words to help govern the life of the church disciple, and the work of the Church. Every bit of this guidance is to help the church proclaim a witness of God’s love in and God’s will for the world. Yet, instead of focusing on God’s will and God’s love, we often structure the church for the furtherance of the institution. Why, Church, are we so institutionally focused?