Sunday’s Sermon, Scripture, & Music

Sunday’s Sermon


Rev. Dr. Brad Gabriel, Executive Minister


Mark 8: 27-38

Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Adult Sunday School

Please check out the list of lessons and teachers
below for September 12 and join us!

Please check out the list of lessons and teachers below for September 12 and join us!

John – Gospel of Light and Life by Adam Hamilton (Don Rhoads). 

Agape meets in Room 132, Chapel Building.

GUMC Present and Future (Jimmy Wright). 

Alpha meets in Room 136, behind the Fellowship Hall.

Saving Grace – A Guide to Financial Well-Being (Class Member Led).

Apostles meets in Room 338, Hamilton Ministry Center.

Acts – Catching Up With the Spirit by Matthew Skinner (Allison/Fritz). 

Asbury meets in The Cottage.

Stewardship Committee Presentation (Carolyn Crawford). 

Celebration meets in Room 134, Chapel Building.

Chronological Bible Study. 

Emmanuel meets in Room 131, Chapel Building.

Saving Grace – A Guide to Financial Well-Being (Dave Thompson). 

Emmaus Class meets in the OLEC Dance Room.

United Methodist Colleges and Universities (Bryan Barger).

Fellowship Forum meets in Room 339, Hamilton Ministry Center.

The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians (Jim Borden).

Fiser Covenant meets in Room 233, Chapel Building.

Reflections Sunday 

Foundations meets in Room 133, Chapel Building.

Sermon on the Mount by AJ Levine (Dick Carruth).

Gilbert meets in Room 232, Chapel Building.

Seeking God (Chesley Porteous)

Horizon meets in Room 2, Adult Ed Building

How to Be Rich by Andy Stanley (Ed Clark).

Lamplighters meets in Room 342, Hamilton Ministry Center.

GUMC Present and Future (Henry Evans). 

Seekers meets in Room 1, Adult Ed Building.

Moses – In the Footsteps of the Reluctant Prophet by Adam Hamilton.

Trinity meets in Room 145, Chapel Building.

Class Reflections and Elections

Wesley 2.0 meets in the Fellowship Hall

Registering Attendance

Please register your attendance through our website ( if you are Live Streaming our services from home. The form will be opened every Sunday closer to service times. If you have any trouble, please contact Leanne Bailey at

Sunday School Locations

Children’s Sunday School: Elementary Sunday School meets in person weekly from 10:00-10:45 AM. Please drop off your Elementary children no earlier than 9:50 for Sunday School and pick them up by 10:50, so that our volunteers have enough time to get to Worship. The Hamilton Nursery will be open during our two worship services and Sunday School. Please preregister your Elementary and Nursery children in advance by noon each Friday on the church’s website under What’s Going On-Open Registrations-Youth/Children’s Sunday School/Nursery This Week.

Hymn Stories

#152 I Sing the Mighty Power of God FOREST GREEN

It’s Isaac Watts day! I know, contain yourself you hymnody lover! Isaac Watts helped take congregational song to another level. Prior to his influence, if a text was sung in worship, it was a biblical text. Probably a Psalm, and that was that. There were no hymns that chronicled personal experience or reflection. As historical things go, it is often hard to determine who was the first of anything. Often an underserved segment of the population has input stolen, borrowed, or not mentioned at all. I understand that while Watts may not have been the first, he is important because he wrote so many hymns at a time when hymns of this sort didn’t exist. The first word of our first hymn helps tell the Watts story. “I”. I Sing the Almighty Power of God, in this case, the mighty power that offers us creation, nature, and a star filled sky. This sense of wonder can be found in the Psalms, Watts put this majesty of God in his own words. And we still sing them 306 years later!

The recording features an arrangement of this hymn led by my FUMMWA friend, Chris Goodson, and his crew at Plymouth UCC, Des Moines.

#157 Jesus Shall Reign DUKE STREET

We continue with another Watts hymn, this text borrows images and ideas from Psalm 72. It took my reading of Dr. Michael Hawn’s work in History of Hymns to make a connection, that in decades of singing this hymn, I had yet to make. Watts was paraphrasing Psalm 72 when writing this hymn, but Christ wasn’t yet around when the Psalms, (Old Testament) were written! Remember that Watts sought ways to express the Christian experience and the Psalms were commonly sung texts of the day. How did he link the two? He had to write an original text! This scripturally based creativity influenced all that would follow. The great Anglican Priest and hymnwriter of the Methodist movement, Charles Wesley, would certainly follow in Watt’s rather large, scripturally creative, hymn writing footsteps.

We’ll keep it in the creative Iowa Congregationalist camp with our next recording. It will feature an improvisation on the hymntune DUKE STREET, performed by Tom Trenney, organist and music director at Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Worship Music

Traditional Service

I Sing the Mighty Power of God

Jesus Shall Reign

Contemporary Service

Holy Spirit


Living Hope

What a Beautiful Name

For Sunday’s 9 a.m. Bulletin, click here.

For Sunday’s 11 a.m. Bulletin, click here.