Who Is My Neighbor?

A Sermon Series for Lent

Beginning March 12, David will be preaching a Lenten series of messages about our neighbors and how Jesus is always enlarging our neighborhood. We’ll discover that God will never be any bigger than the size of our neighborhood. “Who Is My Neighbor?” is a series about crossing boundaries to discover God in some surprising places.

As a church, we’ll be reading Who Is My Neighbor? Lessons Learned From a Man Left for Dead by Wayne Gordon (ISBN-13 #978-0830757657). Pick up a copy on Feb. 26 in the main foyer for only $5! Cash or check, please.

We’ve put together a Lenten guide that includes suggested daily readings, a devotional guide, information about new groups and the Hear My Story Forums. To download the guide, click here. For the same material online, scroll down.

During the 40 days of Lent, we encourage you to start each morning by spending some time alone with God. The process centers around scripture and a corresponding chapter in Wayne Gordon’s book Who is My Neighbor? As we journey through Lent together, talk about neighbors, and hear people’s stories, these morning devotions will help you prepare for your call by making space for God’s voice.

About the Book:
Who Is My Neighbor? Lessons Learned From a Man Left for Dead by Wayne Gordon (ISBN-13 #978-0830757657) is a good resource for conversation. It expands the idea of “neighbor” into 40 easy-to-read chapters, each with a different focus. Chances are, you’ll find things you agree with and things you disagree with in this book, and that’s great! Enjoy it, wrestle with it, ask questions of it, and let it inform your role as “neighbor” with the people in your life.

How to Use This Guide:
The questions will be the same for each day, but your answers will change based on the subject of the chapter and the scripture. The list of suggested readings is on pages 5-6 of this guide. You may find it helpful to use a notebook alongside this guide so you can record your answers and observations as you go. You may also want to write or highlight key ideas directly in your book.

Listen

  • Read the chapter for today. It’s short, so take your time. You may even consider reading with a notebook, pen, and highlighter handy.
  • Read the scripture passage for today, then consider the following questions.
  • In the context of “neighbors,” what stands out to you from this passage?
  • What is God saying to you about being a neighbor?

Reflect

  • What stood out to you in this chapter?
  • What questions arose for you as you read?
  • How does this chapter connect to today’s scripture?
  • Where have you seen this kind of need before? What did you do?
  • Have you ever been the person with this kind of need? How did that change your perspective?
  • How can you be open to this type of neighbor?

Respond

  • What action can you take today?
  • Take a few minutes to pray. Ask God to open your heart to your neighbors. Offer thanks to God for faithfulness, grace, and love for everyone.
  • Be sure to share your story here or by using #MCCHearMyStory. (See below for more.)

Click here to download a one-page,  printable list of the suggested readings.

New groups are forming now that will read and discuss this book together. Some existing groups will do the same. If you are interested in finding a group, fill out the simple form below or contact Tracey Spann, Belong Coordinator, [email protected]middletownchristian.org or 245-9793.

New Groups Forming

These groups are forming now and will meet for six weeks beginning on the date given. Unless a specific age or other factor is indicated, all are welcome.

Sunday Morning • 9:50 a.m. • Beginning March 5

Facilitators: Ed and Nancy Staton, [email protected]
Location: Room 223

Sunday Morning • 11:10 a.m. • Beginning March 5

Facilitator: Jeff Wellkamp, [email protected]
Location: Room 104

Sunday Morning (Young Couples) • 11:10 a.m. • Beginning March 5

Contact: Chris Cherry, [email protected]
Location: Room 223

Sunday Evening • 6:30 p.m. • Beginning March 5

Facilitator: Charles Love, [email protected]
Location: Room 223

Monday Evenings (Empty Nesters) • 6:30 p.m. • Beginning March 6

Facilitators: Jim and Janet Sims, [email protected]
Location: 708 Park Creek Circle (Sims Home)

Wednesday Evening (High School Students) • 7 p.m. • Beginning March 8

Facilitator: Corey & Jessica Miller, [email protected]
Location: 10514 Hite Creek Road (Miller Home)

Featured Groups

These are existing groups that are reading “Who is My Neighbor?” and inviting others to join them this spring.

Sunday Morning • 9:50 (The Tribe) • Beginning March 5

Facilitator: John Willen, [email protected]
Location: Room 103

Sunday Morning • 11:10 (Reckless Christians) • Beginning March 5

Facilitator: Eric Hitzelberger, [email protected]
Location: Room 110

Wednesday Morning • 7:30 a.m. • Beginning March 8

Contact: Dave Seely, [email protected]
Location: Heitzman’s Bakery Middletown

Thursday Mornings (Women’s Group) • 9:00 a.m. • Beginning March 2

Facilitator: Jean Kellett, [email protected]
Location: 350 Evergreen Road Suite #103 (Kellett Office)

Stories are all around us. But we never seem to have the time to hear them in our day to day lives. During the Lenten season we are asking you to stop and listen. Listen at work. At the store. In your church.

Each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. from March 9 through April 13, we will host a 90-minute forum on a topic of interest. In an atmosphere of radical love, you’ll have the opportunity to hear personal stories from people in our church community.

Race • March 9

Moderators: Bill Wilson, Engagement Coordinator and Elder, Middletown Christian Church and George Irvin, Stephen Minister and Elder, Middletown Christian Church

Addiction • March 16

Moderator: Joseph Pusateri, Senior Minister, Simpsonville Christian Church

Sexual Orientation • March 23

Moderator: David Emery, Senior Minister, Middletown Christian Church

Families & Special Needs • March 30

Moderator: Janet Sims, Principal at Strategic HR Consulting and Chairman of the Board, Middletown Christian Church

Refugees • April 6

Moderator: Marissa Mason, Volunteer Coordinator, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing resettlement services to refugees through faith- and agency-based co-sponsorship.

Violence • April 13

Moderator: Dr. Eddie Woods, CEO of LIFE Hope Center, Inc., which works for safer schools and communities through gang, drug, and violence intervention.

Our church-wide goal this year is 1,000 people crossing boundaries to be the message! We hope to hear stories of inspiration throughout the year from everyone that calls Middletown their home. We’re called to be the message wherever we live, work, and play and are called out of our comfort zones to embrace people wherever they are.

Already this year we’ve collected stories of significant impact. Even small stories are big in God’s eyes!

  • Two church members with very different world views coming together over lunch and finding common ground.
  • A longtime friendship with a co-worker who practices a different faith tradition and what that has meant to both of them.
  • A young woman crossing the political divide to talk with a family member about why they hold differing beliefs.
  • A professor talking to a student of a different faith tradition about her hopes and fears related to recent developments related to immigration.

And we’d like to hear from you! Throughout this series you’re challenged to think and learn about your neighbors, either through the lunch challenge or the forums.

How to Share Your Story

  • Email David Emery directly if you wish to remain completely anonymous.
  • Visit MiddletownChristian.org/hearmystory and fill out a simple form. You may opt to remain anonymous or give permission to share your name with your story.
  • Tell your story on social media and use the hashtag #MCCHearMyStory.