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The Mission at Our Doorstep

Posted on 18 Sep 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Most of you have probably noticed by now that our theme for the 2017-18 program year uses the same language as our Capital Campaign emphasis – Wide Open Doors. We began exploring our Wide Open Doors theme in worship on Rally Day, August 20. In Alex Rogers’s sermon, she spoke of a good
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The Doors are Open for Praise

Posted on 10 Sep 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
In the summer of 1993, I participated in my very first mission trip, the first of what is now somewhere around 25 or so. I journeyed with 50 or 60 youth from Greenville and Spartanburg, SC to Homestead, Florida, just south of Miami. Homestead was recovering from Hurricane Andrew, a category 5
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Stretching With Springs, or Building With Bricks?

Posted on 04 Sep 2017, Pastor: Rev. Allysen Schaaf
Imagine you are a disciple of Jesus, just a few years after the resurrection of Christ. Now imagine a powerful Jew named Saul out breathing threats and murder towards disciples of Christ. What would you do? Would you invite him over for dinner? Better yet, would you go and seek him out, offer
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Christian Hospitality Opens Doors

Posted on 27 Aug 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Last Sunday, Rev. Alex Rogers kicked off Rally Day by introducing our theme for the year, Wide Open Doors. As Alex described in her sermon, opening wide the doors of our hearts to God and to others involves great opportunity, yet also involves some measure of fear and vulnerability. Today, the
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A Good Place to Start

Posted on 21 Aug 2017, Pastor: Rev. Alex Rodgers
Here we are at the beginning of a new program year in the life of Decatur Presbyterian Church. School has been in session for a few weeks now. For those of us who do not live by the school calendar, things may seem very much the same. But in the rhythm of our community, today is a new day, the
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Of Sheep & Goats

Posted on 14 Aug 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Matthew 25:31-46 – presented by the Children’s Ministries Skit Team: 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd
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Bridesmaids, Ready or Not

Posted on 07 Aug 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Holy God, by the power of your Spirit, illuminate your Word to us this day, so that we may hear again the promise of your coming kingdom and ready ourselves to meet you face-to-face, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Before reading today’s parable, we should note its context in the gospel of
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Grateful & Ungrateful Guests

Posted on 30 Jul 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Chapter 21 of Matthew’s gospel begins with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the whole city in turmoil as the Passover approached, not unlike the turmoil in Jerusalem this past week. Jesus immediately goes to the Temple Mount and drives out all those buying and selling in the temple
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Greed & Grace

Posted on 24 Jul 2017, Pastor: Rev. Alex Rodgers
I read somewhere this week that Martin Luther once said sometimes you have to squeeze the biblical passage until it leaks the gospel. Well, I’ve been squeezing this passage and I believe God’s grace just might leak out of it. The stories we find in Scripture can be really hard even when they’re
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The Great Reversal

Posted on 17 Jul 2017, Pastor: Rev. Alex Rodgers
We’ve heard over these summer Sundays that the parables are meant to challenge us, to surprise us, to make us uncomfortable, and I’m going to add that I think the parables are meant to change us. That’s my hope, at least. They are meant to cause us to think differently about what it means to
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Lost & Found Sheep

Posted on 10 Jul 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
In the Gospel of Luke, three similar parables are deliberately grouped together – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. These three parables beautifully describe the nature of God – the one who seeks and saves the lost. The setting for these parables in the gospel of Luke is Jesus is
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Fields of Wheat & Weeds

Posted on 06 Jul 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Just following parable of the sower, or as we called it last week, the parable of the soils, comes another parable of seeds sown in a field. In this parable of the wheat and the weeds, Jesus tells the truth about the human condition and refers to judgment at the end of time that belongs solely
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Rich & Rocky Soil

Posted on 25 Jun 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Matthew reports that Jesus went to the lakeshore to teach, and the crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a fishing boat, where he sat down to sow the seeds of the kingdom of God. The location of this teaching was most likely the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, not
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New and Old Garments

Posted on 19 Jun 2017, Pastor: Rev. Alex Rodgers
If you were to write a parable, how do you think you would start? Would you write about the nature of God or the in-breaking of God’s kingdom or about what it means to be a disciple of Christ? Perhaps it’s not a fair question on the second week of our summer series on the parables of Jesus
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Wise and Foolish Builders

Posted on 13 Jun 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
We begin this morning a summer series on the parables of Jesus from the gospel of Matthew. Parables have been called “earthly stories with heavenly meanings.” Parables are memorable, easy to recall. Once a person hears the parable of the prodigal son, they will likely be able to
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Unexpected Winds

Posted on 08 Jun 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
The Sunday morning gathering of the people for the proclamation of the Word of God, for the breaking of bread and prayers, is the primal function of the church. Strip everything else away – the buildings and bulletins, the pews and the paraments, the committees and the councils, the choirs and
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Humble Resistance

Posted on 28 May 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Over the past three weekends, Melanie and I have attended three graduation ceremonies. Remarkably, all three were outdoors and all three enjoyed wonderful weather. Each ceremony was inspiring in its own way. We heard college presidents offer words of wisdom. We heard bright young scholars
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Accounting for the Hope

Posted on 22 May 2017, Pastor: Rev. Alex Rodgers
Friday night I attended the Baccalaureate service for Columbia Theological Seminary here in our sanctuary. It was a beautiful service and I hope an encouraging one for the students who graduated yesterday. We sang a hymn during the service that I had not heard before though it is in our hymnal.
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But Now You Are God’s People

Posted on 16 May 2017, Pastor: Rev. Allysen Schaaf
“Come gather around people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone And if your breath to you is worth saving Then you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changing”
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Live Freely

Posted on 08 May 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Hear the word of God from I Peter 2, 11-25. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and
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Love One Another Deeply

Posted on 02 May 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
I Peter 1:17-25 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold,
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Seeking Holiness

Posted on 25 Apr 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Today is the second Sunday of Easter, and we continue our Easter celebration by turning to the Apostle Peter’s letter to the early church and also to an ancient text of Israel. Peter wrote to first and second generation believers in Asia Minor, today’s Turkey. These churches were among the
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Running Afraid (Easter 2017)

Posted on 21 Apr 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Hear the good news of the gospel. Matthew 28:1-10: After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and
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Walking Together

Posted on 11 Apr 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
I love to travel. Traveling is wonderful, but, as you probably know, travelling can be stressful. Have you ever tried to get to the Atlanta airport during the Friday traffic rush? Have you ever tried to negotiate which restaurant your vacation group will attend for the evening – you know,
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Believing Beyond Belief: Dry Bones & a Dead Man

Posted on 03 Apr 2017, Pastor: Rev. Alex Rodgers
Dry bones and a dead man. A weary prophet. A day late savior. Grief. Despair. Lost hope. Beyond hope. Past hope. No hope. Resignation. Sadness. That which is dead is dead. What else can it be? Dry and dusty bones, long dead. A body four days in the tomb, the funeral spices no longer covering
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Acknowledging Our Blindness

Posted on 26 Mar 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Everyone loves a good story, and the older I get, the more I appreciate character development. An engaging novelist or an aspiring television producer will ensure that their characters come alive on the page or on the screen, that they are more than word or image, more than caricatures. A
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Reflections: DPC Senior High Youth

Posted on 21 Mar 2017
Rachel Scott’s Reflection Anyone who knows me knows that I am a planner. I always have been. My many Pinterest boards can show you that I’ve already planned in advance everything from the outfits I’ll wear for upcoming events, to how I want to decorate my college dorm room and future home. Now
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Asking Questions

Posted on 13 Mar 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Jesus invited Nicodemus on a fresh journey of faith, to embark upon a holy adventure. Every journey will entail questions along the way… Genesis 12:1-4 Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you
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Facing Temptations

Posted on 05 Mar 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
We will inevitably face temptations as we attempt to walk in faith. We pray that we may be fully aware of our temptations, name them and claim them, and ask God’s help in overcoming them. Gen 2:15-17 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the
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Listen to the Lord

Posted on 27 Feb 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Our psalm for today speaks of who God is. The Holy God, who rules over all peoples and nations, is a great and active King, This God loves justice and establishes equity. This highly exalted God hears the cries of those in need and responds in justice and righteousness. This God forgives
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Keeping Covenant

Posted on 23 Feb 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Psalm 119:33-40 33Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end. 34Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. 35Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. 36Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to
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Blessings and “Buts”

Posted on 13 Feb 2017, Pastor: Rev. Alex Rodgers
As we read a very small portion of Psalm 119 today, I want us to be aware of a few things. At 176 verses, Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the collection. It is a literary marvel and quite an achievement by the psalmist. It is an acrostic. In its original Hebrew, each line begins with a letter
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Delighting in God’s Commandments

Posted on 05 Feb 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Our focus on the psalms in worship over the past weeks has been invigorating. The psalms have a way of getting us back to what is most important about living a life of faith. Today’s psalm reminds us of the benefits of delighting in the commandments of God. Before I read the psalm, it should be
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Are You In?

Posted on 30 Jan 2017, Pastor: Rev. Allysen Schaaf
Prayer for Illumination Dear God, the journey is long. We are tired and we are hopeful. Send your Spirit to be a light to our path, that by illuminating the way for us we might walk hand in hand with you and our brothers and sisters towards your vision of grace and truth. Amen. Introduction to
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Seek the Lord

Posted on 26 Jan 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Before we sing together our psalm for the day, consider the story behind the words. This psalm, attributed to David, speaks of vulnerability and fear. Powerful enemies are at hand and the songwriter feels abandoned, alone, in need of refuge. Trembling and afraid, he claims that false witnesses
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Trust in the Lord!

Posted on 15 Jan 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Psalm 40 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in
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Worship the Lord!

Posted on 10 Jan 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Psalm 29 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor. The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is
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Praise the Lord!

Posted on 02 Jan 2017, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord all the creatures! Praise the Lord all the creation! Praise the Lord all the peoples! Praise the Lord all the nations! Let everything that lives and breathes praise the Lord! “The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard.”
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Unto Us a Sign is Born

Posted on 26 Dec 2016, Pastor: Rev. Alex Rodgers
I’d like to read to you a story. It’s a story of God’s great love for us. It’s a story of new life and salvation. [Luke 2] A few weeks ago, one of our elders said to me, “I just want a sign that everything is going to be alright.” It’s been a tough year, you see. There is so much violence and
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From Weariness to Immanuel

Posted on 20 Dec 2016, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
What is the world waiting for? For what or for whom does the world wait? This is one of the primary questions that we have been asking at church during this Advent 2016. We have been wondering out loud and sometimes to ourselves what is it, exactly, that the world is waiting for this Advent
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From Thirsty Ground to Desert Streams

Posted on 13 Dec 2016, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Our text for this third Sunday in Advent is Isaiah 35, a message of hope and comfort. Isaiah offers a promise of the assurance of God’s divine care, even in the midst of strong words of warning and judgment. When we study the psalms, we often categorize them as psalms of orientation,
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From Inequity to Understanding

Posted on 06 Dec 2016, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Perhaps like me, you have experienced a mix of emotions this week. Amidst the joy of decorating this sanctuary, putting lights on our Christmas tree at home, and enjoying the simple pleasure of another exciting sports game on TV, we are also keenly aware of killer forest fires and threatening
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“You Taught Me Everything I Know About Exterior Illumination”

Posted on 27 Nov 2016, Pastor: Rev. Allysen Schaaf
As the family gathers on the snow-covered lawn, the extension cord is plugged in and the every-one stands in awe of the 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights that are now lit up and covering every square inch of the house. Clark Griswold goes around and hugs each family member and
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The Kingdom of Giving

Posted on 20 Nov 2016, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Did you know that today is the last Sunday of the year? not in the secular calendar, of course, but in the Church’s liturgical calendar. In the church’s calendar, shared across many denominations, the new year begins next week, not with a big party and fireworks, but with the season of advent,
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Witness

Posted on 14 Nov 2016, Pastor: Rev. Jamie Butcher
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you
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On Level Ground

Posted on 07 Nov 2016, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
On this All Saints’ Sunday, and what happens to be the Sunday before our national election, our text is a portion of the Sermon on the Plain from the gospel of Luke. Along with the Sermon on the Mount in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus’ words to the first century Galileans still stands at the very
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Saved by Grace

Posted on 01 Nov 2016, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Before we read our text for today, it will be help to remember the role of the tax collector in first century Palestine. Tax collectors were charged by the Roman government to collect taxes from their neighboring villagers by whatever means they deemed necessary. The Romans did not care how
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Passing the Torch

Posted on 24 Oct 2016, Pastor: Rev. Dr. Todd Speed
Joel 2:23-29 O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he has given the early rain* for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. The threshing-floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and
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The Olympic Trials of Faith (Youth Sunday)

Posted on 21 Oct 2016, Pastor: DPC Middle School Youth
[SCENE] (Organ plays Olympic Theme Music as announcers walk up and sit on their stools, grab their fake mics) Announcer 1: Good morning and welcome back to the latest edition of the Olympic Trials of Faith! We’ve been here for the last couple billion years recounting some of the greatest
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The Long and the Short of It

Posted on 10 Oct 2016, Pastor: Rev. Alex Rodgers
Someone asked me once why I wear a clergy collar sometimes. My simplest answer is that it reminds me of my call. It reminds me that I am called to this preaching, teaching, serving, sharing, life. It gives me an identity. Put another way, it reminds me of who I am. I haven’t always worn i
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