- This event has passed.
Introducing the Imago Dei Initiative
September 29 @ 12:54 pm
Middletown Christian Church is excited to announce the launch of a new ministry: The Imago Dei Initiative. Imago Dei is the Latin phrase for “image of God.”
Building on our welcome statement that all people are made in God’s image and are welcome here, the Imago Dei Initiative will help us create a church environment where people from all walks of life will not only feel welcome but like they belong.
Our welcome statement at MCC reads as follows:
Middletown Christian Church is a faith community that recognizes and affirms that all people are made in the image of God. We welcome people of every race, gender identity, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, economic circumstance, faith background, and political affiliation to participate fully in the life of our church.
The sacraments of baptism, communion, marriage, ordination, and parent/child dedications are open to everyone. We value a diversity of beliefs and are committed to real conversations as we share life together in this community. Wherever you find yourself on your faith journey, you are welcome here.
The Imago Dei Initiative will be led by a team of 6 congregation members who will guide the church through education opportunities and intentional action. The Imago Dei team will consider how effective Middletown Christian Church is at welcoming people into our congregation.
The team will serve two purposes: 1) Review Middletown Christian Church’s current efforts to fully live into our welcome statement; and 2) Develop opportunities to introduce our community to a diversity of perspectives.
You can listen to Brian Gerard’s sermon about this exciting new ministry here
Interested in learning more about this new ministry initiative?
Questions? Contact Rachel Freeny at [email protected].
Healthy at Church Updates: February 2022
September 29 @ 12:54 pm
2/12/2022: Updated COVID Recommendations
The Healthy at Church Advisory Team continues to monitor the conditions of COVID transmission in our local area and in accordance with CDC Guidelines. While we are all COVID and mask-fatigued, positive cases ARE occurring in our church family.
The Healthy at Church Advisory Team continues to STRONGLY RECOMMEND:
Indoor Activities at MCC Including Worship
- Members, staff, and visitors are strongly recommended to wear masks covering your nose and mouth regardless of vaccination status, for all indoor church activities, e.g. worship, small group meetings, appointments, etc.
- Masks are available at entry to the church building.
- If individuals choose not to wear a mask, they are asked to practice social distancing from those not living in their household.
- Recommendations for masks apply to ages 12 – adults.
- Children 4 years old-5th grade will be required to mask throughout the building.
- Children 2 -3 years old, masks are optional
- The MCC Children’s Ministry mask policy, mirrors that of the licensed MCC preschool.
- Worship participants are asked to social distance in the chancel and wear masks when not participating in worship.
- Staff are asked to wear masks when interacting with other staff in common areas and with visitors in the building.
Choir & Praise Band Rehearsals and Performance
- As noted, individuals participating in activities in the building are strongly recommended to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
- Singing masks are an option.
- Individuals participating in rehearsals are asked to practice social distancing in the choir loft and in the chancel area for rehearsal and performance.
- Music directors will provide guidance for rehearsals.
- All staff and volunteers, regardless of vaccination status, are required to mask at all times while working with children.
- Children, age birth-5 years (those not in kindergarten), are not required to wear masks, masks are optional
- Children, kindergarten age -5th grade, are required to mask throughout the building.
- The Children’s Ministry mask policy mirrors that of the MCC licensed preschool.
- Parents/guardians/others are required to mask in children’s wing when dropping off and picking up children.
- Preschool staff will be required to mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status.
- Parents and others are asked to mask when in the Children’s Wing and in other common spaces.
Vaccinations and Boosters
- Vaccination is required for all MCC staff members as well as volunteers in Children’s Ministries areas.
- Individual staff not currently vaccinated, are responsible for weekly COVID testing, at personal expense. The results are to be submitted to their supervisor.
- Staff are to monitor for signs and symptoms of illness (temperature, congestion, fatigue, etc.) and decline to work on days for which signs and symptoms are evident.
Actions following Exposure to someone with COVID-19/any variant/subvariant:
If fully vaccinated:
- If you’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. [ Close Contact: Someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes.] Learn more about close contact.
- You should also wear a mask around others for 10 days following exposure.
- If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.
- You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive.
If not fully vaccinated:
- Not fully vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, should quarantine.
- Stay home for 5 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- Monitor for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
Difference between use of terms of quarantine and isolate:
If you were exposed:
Quarantine and stay away from others when you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
If you are sick or test positive:
Isolate when you are sick or when you have COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.
EACM Thanksgiving Basket Donation List
September 29 @ 12:54 pm
Donate a Thanksgiving meal for families in the community. Meals distributed through Eastern Area Community Ministries.
Eastern Area Community Ministries serves families in Eastern Jefferson County, Kentucky who are experiencing a crisis or facing urgent needs. EACM provides emergency assistance with utilities and rent, access to our food pantry, and programming to empower and build self-reliance.
- Box of instant mashed potatoes
- 4 Cans of Vegetables
- Packaged or Canned Gravy
- 4 Cans of Fruit
- Boxed Stuffing Mix
- Pie Crust/Filling Mix or Cake Mix/Frosting
- Cranberry Sauce
- Evaporated Milk
- Tea / Lemonade Mix
- $25 Kroger Gift Card, if you are able.
Please place the gift card in lockbox outside of church office.
Bring in donations: 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7 through Thursday, Nov. 18
No perishable items please!
Questions? Contact Brenda Bailey, 502-235-1137 or via email: [email protected]
Holy Week at Home: Prayer & Scripture Guide
September 29 @ 12:54 pm
Lean into Holy Week at home this week with this daily scripture reading and prayer guide.
DAY 1: HOLY WEDNESDAY
DAY 2: MAUNDY THURSDAY
Today is Maundy Thursday.
Consider taking home communion with your family or by yourself as you remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.
Readings are here: https://bit.ly/2VazO8z
DAY 3: GOOD FRIDAY
Consider lighting a candle as you read the story of Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, and burial.
Read along in your bible or here: https://bit.ly/3c0W9Mn
DAY 4: HOLY SATURDAY
Palm Sunday Sermon Transcript
September 29 @ 12:54 pm
PALM SUNDAY // APRIL 5, 2020
Rev. Rachel Freeny
Matthew 21:1-11 NIV
Good morning everyone. It’s good to be with you on this Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week and the last Sunday before Easter.
Our text this morning is Matthew 21:1-11. I’m reading from the New International Version, if you want to follow along. It’s also cool if you want to just listen and soak in this story from the Gospel. Let’s read.
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
The word of God for the people of God. And God’s people did say, Amen.
This next sentence is a little weird and not something I ever thought I’d say, but here we go. When I think of some of the milestone moments in my life, there’s a parade in the background. In high school, my very first date ever was to Nashville’s Christmas parade. I was so nervous. And very, very cold. In fact, one of the few details about the parade that I remember is that at one point I couldn’t really feel my feet. We were sitting on a curb watching the parade go by, and all I could focus on was how to stand up without falling over and making a complete idiot of myself in front of my date.
After seminary, I moved to small town in Georgia where I didn’t know anyone besides my coworkers. I was so lonely. And then some new friends invited me to sit with them at the Memorial Day Parade, a huge tradition in that town. I remember spending the morning sitting in the grass on picnic blankets, watching the parade go by, and laughing with my new friends. It was the first moment I felt like maybe I could make a life there and it would be okay.
Last summer, I attended my first Pride parade here in Louisville. Even though I’d lived here for a year at that point, I still felt so new to town. So I was at the parade with friends from another local organization. As we neared the end of the parade, I suddenly heard this chorus of voices screaming my name. I searched through the crowd and I saw a whole group of friends from Middletown Christian Church waving and jumping up and down. They had tshirts and signs with words of love and support for our LGBTQ friends and shirts with our church’s name on them. And that was one of many moments when I felt so proud to be part of this church family. Because they took it upon themselves to be there and to put our words of love and inclusion into practice. That was another moment when I knew that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
The parade in today’s story was a significant moment in the history of our faith. Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem that day marked the beginning of the final leg of his journey to the cross. When we think of this Palm Sunday procession, we may envision something big and magnificent. Streets teeming with people waving palm branches and cheering as Jesus rides by waving like a politician or pageant queen.
The reality is, Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem was a humble one. Instead of chariots and horses and soldiers in their finest armor, we get Jesus on a donkey. We get a street full of a ragtag group of people who are already living on the margins of society. We get desperation and hope. So much hope.
The desperation is in the cry of Hosanna falling from the people’s lips. Hosanna is word we associate with praise and honor now, but then it was a word that meant, “save us.” So the people were filling the streets and asking Jesus to save them. They were living under the thumb of the Roman empire, suffering violence and poverty and religious persecution. Jesus’ reputation preceded him. He’d been teaching, healing, and performing miracles for three years now. They’d heard the rumors that Jesus is the Messiah, the promised savior and king that they’d been praying and waiting for for years now. They greet him that day desperate for him to be the one to change their circumstances. To make all that is wrong right again.
The hope is in the palm branches and the cries of hosanna. Palm Branches evoke the imagery of the Feast of Booths. The Feast of Booths is an annual Jewish pilgrimage celebrated during the annual harvest season. It commemorated the Exodus and God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Part of this pilgrimage included waving palm branches, among other things, as the people made their way to the temple, singing in the streets of God’s faithfulness.
One scholar writes, the palm branches signal the people’s joyful hopes that, like Moses, Jesus will lead a new exodus and deliver them from bondage. And likewise, by “spreading their cloaks on the road,” the crowds signal that they recognize Jesus as royalty.”
Hosanna means “save us,” but it is also used to express joy and praise for deliverance granted or anticipated. The people on the street that day were desperate, but they were also hopeful that God would fulfill God’s promises to deliver them once again.
When we read this story today, we have the benefit of hindsight. We know the end of the story. We know that Jesus is exactly who he says he is. That Jesus does make good on God’s promise to deliver the people.
But they didn’t know that, and a few days later those desperate and joyful cries of Hosanna turn to desperate and angry cries of crucify him.
I don’t know how much Jesus knew about what would happen after he entered Jerusalem that day. He clearly did know that things were about to get very difficult. In the days that followed, he was betrayed by a friend, abandoned by his followers, beaten and mocked and killed by the government. He would feel so hopeless that at one point he would ask God why God had abandoned him.
And still, he got on that donkey and rode straight into the heart of suffering and death in order to bring hope and new life on the other side.
Holy Week is going to look different for Christians all over the world this year. Instead of gathering together in our churches, ringing bells, and breaking bread, and singing loudly together that Christ the Lord is risen today, we will be in our homes, gathering online. It’s a Palm Sunday and an Easter unlike anything most of us have experienced and we might be wondering if this week and Easter can still be meaningful without the usual celebrations. I’ve found myself wondering that at times.
But church, I think this Holy Week and Easter are exactly what we need right now. How and where we celebrate and worship is not the point. The point is that we follow a Savior who loved us enough to ride right into the middle of our pain and suffering and be present with us. Who hears our cries of hosanna, save us, and shows us that new life can come out of the most hopeless of situations. Who showed us how to live and love others, no matter how hard life gets.
The invitation for all of us this week is to sit before God with our fear, our anxiety, our struggles, and ask God to be with us, to fill us with hope, to do something new, and to show us how to love our neighbors. We will not be the same after this pandemic is over, so why not start with experiencing Easter differently than ever before. Who knows what God will teach us this week? I guess we’ll have to lean in to find out.
God of Compassion,
We come to you with cries of Hosanna today. We don’t know what the road ahead looks like, but we know we need your hope and your love and your presence to be with us. Hear our prayers, God. Show us something new this week.
With open hands we ask all these things in Christ’s name. Amen.
Rev. Melvin LeCompte
This week I’ve been thinking about remembering. I remember the Communion Table in the church I attended while growing up.
On the front of the Communion Table there was an inscription that read “In Remembrance of Me”
Perhaps the church you attended had this same inscription as well as.
Of course during communion we remember the last meal Jesus shared with his friends, as well as his death, burial and resurrection, and we remember all he’s done for us, through us and will do for us.
But given the circumstance of the events we are living through today, who is Jesus in our world today. What does he look like, and who is Jesus in the “Remembrance of Me”
I believe Jesus is every healthcare worker, first responder and essential worker who is going to work everyday risking their life to help save others, and help to keep a safe environment; Do this in Remembrance of Me
I believe Jesus is the individual who is sick and is all alone and afraid. The family who has lost a loved during this time and yet could not be there with them; Do this in Remembrance of Me
I believe Jesus is the individual laid off or who business is now closed and worries about how to survive to pay the rent, the mortgage, the bills and buy food, and worries if there will be a job once again or a business to reopen. Do this in Remembrance of Me
I believe that Jesus is every student and teacher out there who is missing their friends and the excitement of school activities, whose school life has totally been disruptive and now every family who is now joggling home schooling and child care; Do this in Remembrance of Me.
I think you get the picture. I believe the presence and face of Jesus is in everyone, all around us. He knows our worries and our struggles.
He remembers you and now wants to share a meal with you just as he did with his friend some two thousand years ago when he took bread and after giving thanks he broke it and said this is my body broken for you.
And he took the cup and said this is cup of the new covenant filled with my love poured out for you.
As often as you share this meal, you recall that my presence is with you always!
May the peace of Christ be with you all.
Louisville Community Resources for COVID-19
September 29 @ 12:54 pm
Kentucky Statewide COVID-19 Information & Resources
The official state hub for Kentucky COVID-19 information and resources, including a hotline to call if you think you might have COVID-19, the latest prevention guidelines, and more.
National Crisis Hotlines
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Where to Get Food & Other Assistance In Louisville During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Eastern Area Community Ministries
Meals for Seniors-Middletown
The Louisville Metro Government Community Service will provide distributions of frozen meals for seniors above the age of 60 and older. Their number is 502-574-5223. No reservations needed. Meals are available on a first come first serve basis.
Meals will be available through the week of April 3 at different locations around the city. Each eligible adult must show proof of age, and will be eligible to receive one box per eligible adult. Each box contains 5 frozen meals.
The distribution for the Middletown area will take place on Wednesdays from 10AM-12 PM at The East End Government Center, 200 Juneau Drive.
Narcotics Anonymous, Louisville Area: 502-569-1769
Louisville COVID-19 Match: High-Risk Match Program
“Louisville COVID-19 Match Program wants to spread a message of hope and compassion by serving and loving our neighbors who are at higher risk of complications of COVID-19. If you are a healthy young adult with low-risk factors for getting COVID-19, sign up today to be paired with an elder or high-risk member in our community who could use your help throughout this COVID-19 adventure. ”
How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance
The Association of Community Ministries
One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund
Team Kentucky Fund
Middletown Christian Church Resources
Our staff is here for you during this time. You can reach out to any staff member with prayer needs or other needs by visiting this page, where you will find our staff directory. Email is the best way to reach staff member presently.
If you or someone you know has a need during this time or if you would like to help, contact Denise Ward at [email protected]. We will update this page with resources as they become available or as we are made aware.
MCC Online: Church Resources During COVID-19
September 29 @ 12:54 pm
Join us online every Sunday at 10 AM for a Message of Hope & Worship
Stream here: www.facebook.com/middletownchristianchurch
In keeping with recommendations from the CDC and the Governor of Kentucky, Middletown Christian Church will not meet in person for worship or large group events until further notice.
Though there will be no in-person small groups for the next 8 weeks, we encourage your small group to find a way to meet online or by phone.
To meet online, we recommend ZOOM, a free group video chat program. You can use your phone, tablet, or computer to host or attend a group meeting. Learn more here: https://zoom.us/
If you are not currently plugged into a small group, reach out to a few people and start your own during this time.
Contact: Rachel Freeny, [email protected]
We are here for you and your family during this time.
If you or someone you know has a prayer or care concern, please reach out to Melvin LeCompte at [email protected].
In a time where many in our church and community are especially at risk, we’re mobilizing people that can run errands, drop off supplies, and provide support. Contact Denise Ward at [email protected] to share a need we might meet OR if you would like to provide help.
We will update this page with more resources & specific opportunities to serve in the coming days.
Each Sunday, we’ll upload a children’s worship guide with scripture readings, activities, and links to videos.
This is a great way to keep your kids connected to church (these are the same videos they watch each week for the story). We desperately miss your kids and want them to know how much we love them!
Watch a weekly worship video by Amanda & members of the kids’ worship team every Sunday at 6 PM here.
Weekly Youth Small Groups will be held via Zoom. Every Sunday night for the next 8 weeks, we will have a time of togetherness from 7-7:30 PM. Contact Tracey Spann at [email protected] for the link to the Zoom meeting.
We also encourage students/families to participate in daily time of devotion. Daily devotionals can be found at d365.org
Corey Miller will spend a different day each week trying to connect with each grade. If your youth has a cell phone, and Corey does not have their number please send it to him at [email protected]. (If you have a middle school youth, Corey most likely does not have their number.)
Check in Schedule
Monday- 12th Grade
Tuesday- 11th Grade
Wednesday- 10th Grade
Thursday- 9th Grade
Friday- 8th Grade
Saturday- 7th Grade
Sunday- 6th Grade
We appreciate your continued faithful giving to support the ministries of Middletown Christian Church during this time. Though church looks different at the moment, your giving makes it possible for us to continue to minister to both our church family and the city of Louisville during this healthcare crisis. Thank you for supporting us.
12 Authors Who Challenge How We Think About the Bible, Jesus, & Being a Christian
September 29 @ 12:54 pm
- Rob Bell–Love Wins
- Marcus Borg–Reading the Bible Again for the First Time
- Greg Boyle–Tattoos on the Heart
- Shane Claiborne–Irresistible Revolution
- Pete Enns–The Sin of Certainty
- Rachel Held Evans–Searching for Sunday
- Adam Hamilton–Making Sense of the Bible
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.–Letter from a Birmingham Jail
- Henri Nouwen–In the Name of Jesus
- Jon Pavlovitz–A Bigger Table
- Howard Thurman–Jesus and the Disinherited
- Bryan Stevenson–Just Mercy
Psalms for Every Occasion
September 29 @ 12:54 pm
Psalm 27, Psalm 56
When Disaster Threatens
Psalm 34, Psalm 91, Psalm 121
Psalm 23, Psalm 37, Psalm 42, Psalm 55, Psalm 90
When Facing a Crisis
Psalm 34, Psalm 46, Psalm 118, Psalm 121
When Friends Fail
Psalm 27, Psalm 121
When Leaving Home
Psalm 27, Psalm 35
When Needing God’s Protection
Psalm 27, Psalm 62, Psalm 91, Psalm 139
When Needing Inward Peace
Psalm 37, Psalm 85
When Needing Prayer
Psalm 4, Psalm 6, Psalm 20, Psalm 20, Psalm 22, Psalm 25, Psalm 42, Psalm 51
Psalm 32, Psalm 38, Psalm 91
When We Sin
Psalm 6, Psalm 51, Psalm 139
Psalm 40, Psalm 42, Psalm 43, Psalm 51
Psalm 1, Psalm 73, Psalm 101, Psalm 110, Psalm 139
Psalm 65, Psalm 84, Psalm 92, Psalm 95, Psalm 100, Psalm 103, Psalm 116, Psalm 136, Psalm 147
When in Trouble
Psalm 2, Psalm 16, Psalm 31, Psalm 34, Psalm 37, Psalm 38, Psalm 40, Psalm 139
Psalm 6, Psalm 27, Psalm 55, Psalm 60, Psalm 90
Some Psalms of Lament
Psalm 3, 4, 5, 11, 13, 16, 17, 22, 26, 27, 28, 31, 35, 41, 42, 43, 44, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 69, 70, 71, 74, 77, 79, 80, 83, 84, 86, 88, 89, 94, 102, 109, 120, 123, 129, 137, 140, 143