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Freedom Sunday

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Order of Worship
Words of Welcome:
Good morning and welcome to Skyline FF and the day churches around the globe have conspired to proclaim “Freedom Sunday”; A day where we acknowledge the tragedy of human trafficking within the appropriate context of worship. We lament and repent. We focus on the creator and champion of liberation, Jesus. We invite the spirit to lead us into hopeful responses. We sing and celebrate.
Through this act of gathering, worship forms and informs us and is a catalyst for joy, hope, and action.
But Freedom Sunday is more than a day. It’s more than a worship service. Freedom Sunday is a movement of hope. Modern slavery is a symptom of the underlying problem of broken relationships, communities, and systems. The world is broken, but God is the healer. In partnership with God, we are agents of hope and healing.
This morning we will sing, we will confess, we will pray, we will listen, and we will be invited to give and act in the direction of freedom.
As we enter worship this morning, hear these words from the prophet Isaiah:
Opening Scripture & Video
Isaiah 58:6–10 ESV
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
Isaiah 58 ESV
“Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Worship is a Catalyst for Action—Video
Isaiah 58
Sing a Song
Worship in Song
Prayer for Freedom (Look at Slides)
Prayer for Freedom
Worship in Song
Prayer for Freedom
Worship in Song
Community Prayer—of Confession (see insert from IJM)
Merciful Father, We have gathered today in your name, and with great freedom. Yet we acknowledge not all people are free. We confess our tendency to live comfortably with injustice; we confess our use of liberty for personal gain and self preservation; we confess our ignorance and apathy towards those who are vulnerable and abused. Forgive us, Lord Jesus, and transform us people who share your heart for justice.
Prayers of the People
O God, our words cannot express what our minds can barely comprehend and our hearts feel when we hear of men, women and children deceived, transported to unknown places, force into prostitution or other forms of labor for the financial gain of traffickers—their slaveholders. Our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are transgressed through threats, deception and force. We cry out against this degrading practice of trafficking and pray for it to end. Protect all victims, especially our young and vulnerable. Let your tender love and care surround all present victims of trafficking. Deliver them, O God, from their perpetrators’ hands. Give us the courage and wisdom to stand in solidarity with them, that together we will find ways to the freedom that is your gift to all of us.
Prayer for the Victims
God of healing we come before you right now and ask for restoration of the dreams for the children, women and men who are enslaved. We ask that they would begin to know your royal priest hood in your kingdom and they would begin to believe of the wonderful possibilities you have for them. We say yes to the plans and purpose you have over their life. Please rescue the victims.
God of healing we come before you right now and ask for restoration of the dreams for the children, women and men who are enslaved. We ask that they would begin to know your royal priest hood in your kingdom and they would begin to believe of the wonderful possibilities you have for them. We say yes to the plans and purpose you have over their life. Please rescue the victims.
Prayer for the Victims’ Families
Pray for mission partners of the church, global and local, who are in some way engaged in the fight to end slavery in this generation. embarking on an investigation for those trapped in slavery at this moment.
Prayer for the Victims’ Families
Add prayer for mission partners of the church, global and local, who are in some way engaged in the fight to end slavery in this generation.
“God of grace and mercy restore the families of those enslaved throughout the world. Show them your love. Give them hope for tomorrow. We pray restoration for the family units and reconciliation of relationships to be as you have ordained families to be. We ask that you provide everything they need so that they will not be ensnared by slavery or human trafficking. Pour out your love on the hearts of the fathers and mothers and the children.
We especially pray for the church in TN that is reeling from a shooting during the worship hour.
Prayer for the Church
Prayer for the Church
Ask God to bless and protect those in our congregation and in our community who serve in law enforcement, child advocatcy, medical providers, first responders, social workers, and other government agencies. standing in the fights of injustice and with those who are victims of injustice.
“God of Wisdom and strength break our heart for what breaks yours, give us the passion to strive to end injustice around the world and even here in our own country. Give us the strength to spread awareness about what breaks your heart. Give us the wisdom and power to do something about it. Give your children confidence to know we can make a difference.”
Prayer for Organizations fighting injustice
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ask God to bless and protect those in your congregation who serve in law enforcement and public justice systems. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer for Organizations fighting injustice
Sermon-------------------Being the Church, A Living Framework for Freedom
“God of hope and power we pray for organizations that have risen up to defeat this injustice and to save lives of innocent people around the world. We pray that you provide them with the proper tools and knowledge to bring peace and life to the victims and their families. We thank them for their time and love they give to help save your children from slavery, for it is through your hope that gives us the power to help save lives.”
Prayer for the abusers
Prayer for the abusers
God of love and grace, it is hard to love the abusers, but your word tells us to love even our enemies. You see the abusers past and the pain and hurt they have gone through. We pray you touch their hearts and deliver them. Give us strength to love them like you do and to remember they are still your children.
Lord Jesus help us love like you love. Break the bondage of the injustice and set us free. We pray freedom for all. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Sermon-------------------Being the Church, A Living Framework for Freedom
Why does Justice matter to the church? Video
This morning I want to speak to Brokenness throughout the world, b/c of injustice in every facet of society. I want to remind us of prophetic words of God towards issues of justice. I want us to reflect and consider ways that we have contributed to or been complicit to acts of injustice. I want us to pray for wisdom and the will to tangibly embody steps in unfolding God’s justice in the midst of an unjust world. May we discover how to practically and realistically embark on a Living Framework for Freedom.
What does God require?
Ways we contribute to injustice?
how are we complicit?
What can we do? tangible steps in

WHY FREEDOM SUNDAY?

-why freedom (Christ within, Christ through us, Christ for others)
-why freedom (Christ within, Christ through us, Christ for others)
Starts within (Set Free and made alive in Christ)
Starts in a community (Christ through us)
Unfolds through God’s Kingdom come (Christ alive in others)
shamed on FB for questioning climate change and the litany of competing information
stepped into hornets nest on issues of morality and social issues
regularly go n2 prison
my wife works as an advocate for at risk children
keep up with the news
-unfolding violence, anger, hatred,
OFFERTORY PRAYER Holy God, you sent us your Son to teach us how to live with one another, and Jesus made it so clear for us when he told parables of compassion and mercy. As we give our gifts this morning, we remember that our lives are a journey, and there are wounded and hurting all along the road. Some are where we can see, some are where we cannot see. May the gifts we offer this morning be used to bind up the wounds, to ease the pain, to give hope to those who wait in despair as the world seems to pass by on the other side. We pray as we serve, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Response Song
We’ve included not just service elements, but also important information about our Freedom Sunday partners: Restavek Freedom and Freedom United.
You’ll find social media images and the Freedom Sunday logo
You’ll find bulletin inserts and by mid summer we’ll send you an updated start up kit with videos.
A few other suggestions:
*Consider using the new FreeMo Journal: Urban Shalom with your small/discipleship groups as a way to go deeper into the solution. You can order it HERE
*Consider encouraging your people to wear one of our freedom focused Tshirts on Freedom Sunday. You can see the options and order HERE.
*Consider serving Camano Island Coffee at your church. It’s fantastic, fair-trade, organic coffee and they give 10% to help the Set Free Movement end modern slavery. Order HERE.
Freedom Sunday is “open source” meaning that you can do what you are led to do, use what you want, and also contribute to the overall experience of others. For example, if you have artists and they write songs, skits, dances, etc. . . If you write your own prayers or craft an amazing sermon. . . whatever, please share with us and we’ll share with others.
Freedom Sunday is about opening our eyes to issues of injustice
Where are we have contributed and where we have been (or are) complicit?

The FACTS

Talking Points about Modern Day Slavery and Faith
There are more slaves in our world today than at any other time in history. In fact, there is compelling evidence that there are more slaves in the U.S. today than during the civil war.
Slavery can be defined as: (1) people held by violence under the threat of violence; (2) unable to walk away; (3) doing things they don’t want to do.
Some important points:
*There are between 21-45 million slaves in our world today.
Current estimates indicate that there are at between 21 - 45 million slaves in the world today. These are not people paid a low wage who go home at the end of the day. Slavery is a huge money making business - $150 billion is annually made off the buying and selling of human beings. These are people trapped in violence, being threatened and abused in horrific ways. The Philippines has an estimated 400,000 slaves. Haiti may have as many as 300,000 child slaves called Restaveks.
*Slavery takes the forms of sex slavery and labor slavery.
*We are contributing to the problem by buying products made through slave labor. Slavery is in our closets, our cupboards, and our kitchens.
*There may be as many as 300,000 domestic minor sex slaves in the U.S. today.
Current estimates indicate that there are at between 21 - 45 million slaves in the world today. These are not people paid a low wage who go home at the end of the day. Slavery is a huge money making business - $150 billion is annually made off the buying and selling of human beings. These are people trapped in violence, being threatened and abused in horrific ways. The Philippines has an estimated 400,000 slaves. Haiti may have as many as 300,000 child slaves called Restaveks.
Modern slavery is not just a problem “over there”. A recent study of American cities found that sex trafficking generates close to $300 million yearly in urban centers like Atlanta. There’s even slavery in little towns like Greenville, Illinois. According to the U.S. Department of health, between 50% and 90% of trafficked children were in the foster care system at some point.1 It’s in our closets and kitchens, down the street and in every city and nation
What does God have to say about the need for Justice? Remembers .
Isaiah 58:6–11 ESV
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Micah 6 ESV
Hear what the Lord says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.” “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? The voice of the Lord cries to the city— and it is sound wisdom to fear your name: “Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it! Can I forget any longer the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights? Your rich men are full of violence; your inhabitants speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow, making you desolate because of your sins. You shall eat, but not be satisfied, and there shall be hunger within you; you shall put away, but not preserve, and what you preserve I will give to the sword. You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine. For you have kept the statutes of Omri, and all the works of the house of Ahab; and you have walked in their counsels, that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing; so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”
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We can also go to the book of Amos and Micah for further prophetic messages on justice.
Amos 2:6–8 ESV
Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals— those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and turn aside the way of the afflicted; a man and his father go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned; they lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
Amos 2:
Backrground
vss7-8, 10-11
: Seek me and Live. 4-6, 14
Backrground
-IN the midst of the Golden Era of Israel (following the time of Jonah & a generation away from entire annihilation)
-Amos, a shepherd from Judah had been sent to be a prophetic voice to the people of God.
-Denounces the great sins of the others: examples
Phillistines: “Because they deported an entire population to deliver it up to Edom.”
Tyre: SlaveTraders
Edom: Instense hostility toward Israel (the brother of Esau)
Ammon: Cruel means by which they imperialistically sought to expand their empire
Moab: Desecration of the dead
Judah: rejecting law of God, not keeping decrees, and following false gods
BUT to the people he was speaking, they were the worst of all (Israel)
Amos 2:6–8 ESV
Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals— those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and turn aside the way of the afflicted; a man and his father go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned; they lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
Amos words HERE
vss7-8, 10-11

Ever notice who the majority of the prophets were speaking against? Was it the enemies of God, or the people of God?

: Seek me and Live. 4-6, 14

Ever notice who the majority of the prophets were speaking against? Was it the enemies of God, or the people of God?

But He holds the standard high for those who should know better:
-these had been delivered by the hands of mighty Egypt, given the land of the wicked Canaanites, and had received the laws and precepts of God for life and peace.
-they had created a framework of injustice, which started in the ways they had systemically rebelled against the ways of God, it turned into a rejection of how they treated the righteous, the weak, and the poor.
Micah 6:1–2 ESV
Hear what the Lord says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel.
Micah 6:3–5 ESV
“O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
Micah 6 ESV
Hear what the Lord says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.” “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? The voice of the Lord cries to the city— and it is sound wisdom to fear your name: “Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it! Can I forget any longer the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights? Your rich men are full of violence; your inhabitants speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow, making you desolate because of your sins. You shall eat, but not be satisfied, and there shall be hunger within you; you shall put away, but not preserve, and what you preserve I will give to the sword. You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine. For you have kept the statutes of Omri, and all the works of the house of Ahab; and you have walked in their counsels, that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing; so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”
Micah 6:
How have I wearied you?
I brought you up
Micah 6:3
-
remember what Balak King devised
righteous acts of the Lord

The delivering God that saves has shown us how to be a people of deliverance and Freedom

Micah 6:6 ESV
“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
—with what shall I come before the Lord
-Shall I come with a burnt offering?
Micah 6:6
-Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams and rivers of oil
-Shall I give my first born for my transgressions?

Our God is a sacrificial God: in like manner what can we do by surrender and sacrifice in our way of being and in our lifestyle so that others can taste freedom.

Micah 6:8 ESV
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Hear Gods judgement against lawmakers, greedy businesses, celebration of societal lies, and gluttonous consumerism.

Micah 6:10–16 ESV
Can I forget any longer the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights? Your rich men are full of violence; your inhabitants speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow, making you desolate because of your sins. You shall eat, but not be satisfied, and there shall be hunger within you; you shall put away, but not preserve, and what you preserve I will give to the sword. You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine. For you have kept the statutes of Omri, and all the works of the house of Ahab; and you have walked in their counsels, that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing; so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”
: 10-

We are not powerless:

We are not powerless:

We are not powerless:

There exist ways to respond that can unfold a living framework for freedom, within us, our communities of faith, and the world which we live.

-Underlying causes of trafficking should be acknowledged, including the ways that demand for cheap labor, cheap services, and cheap products leads to labor trafficking.
Underlying causes of trafficking should be acknowledged, including the ways that demand for cheap labor, cheap services, and cheap products leads to labor trafficking. As the church we also need to address the way pornography fuels the trafficking of children and adults for commercial sexual exploitation. If we have been complicit or unheeding in these areas, we need to be challenged to change and to work for a world free of the exploitation of other people for our benefit. Both individually and as the Body of Christ, we are called to respond in prayerful and practical ways. Our first priority is to pray for individuals who have been trafficked. Also, where possible, Christians should be actively involved in initiatives that seek to care for and offer healing and wholeness for victims of exploitation. Freedom and dignity must be restored to those who have been exploited. The Church seeks to stand alongside people who have been trafficked by protecting them and preventing this crime through speaking out to the powerful systems that enable this crime to thrive, systems that we are all a part of in some way. In conjunction with other concerned groups, the church has a duty to press for societal and structural changes to protect those who are vulnerable to exploitation.
-As the church we also need to address the way pornography fuels the trafficking of children and adults for commercial sexual exploitation. If we have been complicit or unheeding in these areas, we need to be challenged to change and to work for a world free of the exploitation of other people for our benefit.
-Both individually and as the Body of Christ, we are called to respond in prayerful and practical ways. Our first priority is to pray for individuals who have been trafficked. Also, where possible, Christians should be actively involved in initiatives that seek to care for and offer healing and wholeness for victims of exploitation. Freedom and dignity must be restored to those who have been exploited.
-The Church seeks to stand alongside people who have been trafficked by protecting them and preventing this crime through speaking out to the powerful systems that enable this crime to thrive, systems that we are all a part of in some way. In conjunction with other concerned groups, the church has a duty to press for societal and structural changes to protect those who are vulnerable to exploitation.

WHY HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS EVIL

Human trafficking strikes at the heart of what it means for humanity to be created in God’s image. It dehumanizes individuals who are trafficked, denying them their God-given value and worth and robbing them of their dignity and autonomy. Motivated by profit and greed, trafficking turns human beings into commodities. Traffickers prey on people in vulnerable situations, such as poverty and desperation. Trafficked people are oppressed and enslaved, losing their freedom through coercion, fear, false promises, or deception. Body, mind and spirit are affected.
As we have been reminded, God’s concern for justice is made abundantly clear in the Bible.
Yet God’s concern for justice is also made abundantly clear in the Bible. Set free from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites were called to live differently from surrounding nations—as God’s covenant people. They were told never to forget what it was like to be exploited and oppressed (). The Levitical code set out God’s instructions to ensure protection and provision for disadvantaged, poor, and vulnerable people such as strangers, widows, and people living with a disability (). The psalmist testifies that God upholds the cause of those who are oppressed, people who are hungry, prisoners, individuals who are bent down, strangers, orphaned children, and widows (). The prophets declare that God loves justice (), and they call for it to “roll on like a river” (). The obligation is clear to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” ().
*We are God’s holy nation, a royal priesthood; God’s chosen people who have gifts (, ).
*We are God’s holy nation, a royal priesthood; God’s chosen people who have gifts (, ).
*We are God’s holy nation, a royal priesthood; God’s chosen people who have gifts (, ).
*We are called to do justice (, Amos, )
*We were once slaves in the land of Egypt (Exodus); Jesus died on the very day all of his people were remembering this (Passover). God wants to set us free.
*Jesus mission statement is our mission statement (). We are called to proclaim, be filled with the Spirit, set captives free, and work towards the favorable year of the Lord.
The prophets of old and the voices in our time, crying out for justice, echo these words of
Isaiah 58:9b–10 ESV
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.

The way back from our estrangement from God, begins with reclaiming the justice of God’s kingdom.

Written into the DNA of God’s people and woven into the narrative of the ages, is a God and a people that embody righteousness within and carry the rampart of justice where ever the light of Christ shines forth.
For too long the darkness & the wickedness of injustice has trampled on our wicks and starved our lanterns.
It’s time for the people of God to enter the fray and hold the banner of Christ high--
Especially, those in holiness traditions – The Wesleyan Church, the Church of the Nazarene, the Free Methodist Church, which all were birthed out of freedom issues.
For those in holiness traditions – The Wesleyan Church, the Church of the Nazarene, the Free Methodist Church all were birthed out of freedom issues.
For those in holiness traditions – The Wesleyan Church, the Church of the Nazarene, the Free Methodist Church all were birthed out of freedom issues.
Injustice in our time is a symptom that is expressed egregiously through human trafficking, poverty, hatred, inequality, and the like. The real problem is that relationships, values, systems, and communities are broken. Human trafficking and many other injustices are symptoms of brokenness. It’s not enough to treat symptoms. So while we need solutions involving prevention, advocacy, rescue, and restoration, we need to do more than respond with compassion. Alongside effective, sustainable projects and programs, we need to work to bring healing to relationships, shift values, and recreate systems. In other words, we need to lean into community.

How do we move from the problem to the solution?

God is the only one who can bring healing to the brokenness. Jesus came to set all people free physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and offers both forgiveness and healing. This is the gospel. The church, with Jesus at the center, led by the Spirit, helps others find freedom; not just emancipation, but liberation. Liberation is the full expression that begins with freedom and moves to citizenship and human flourishing.
Shalom. Reconciliation. Community.

A Living Framework for Freedom:

Starts with Christ and begins to unfold in the community of Christ-Followers.
Within the people of God, knowledge of systemic systems must exist; we must admit and confess where we have been complicit and have contributed to issues of injustice; we must gather and grow in relationship with one another, experiencing freedom in Christ and discovering how to flourish as liberated people of God.
Our freedom in Christ, led by the Spirit, compels us to express and help others experience life, peace, and freedom in Christ. The people of God, living out the mission and the mandate, to be on the go, proclaiming the kingdom, making known the message and name of Christ, baptizing and discipling people into the ways of the Triune God; becoming change agents and ambassadors testifying to that which we have seen and heard, speaking life and bringing hope into the brokenness of our world.
Standing firm against the darkness and power of the evil one, the Light of Christ, the Power of the Spirit, and the Ways of the Father will break the chains and release the captives and restore the oppressed and afflicted; In the meantime, we watch wisely, we are at work constantly, and we actively wait for the final culmination when the Great Day of God’s Jubilee will pour out on the redeemed and restore His creation.
In the meantime, we look within & we look around for ways to live in the direction of freedom:
Each year on Freedom Sunday, Free Methodists join with others across the nation and around the globe to proclaim that God created us for worship, not for slavery. Giving is also part of the worship. Over the past six years we have raised more than $800,000 and launched more than 17 freedom projects.
Praise God! What better response than to worship? God is doing this. This year we invite churches to pray for and give towards three projects:
Invite people to give as the video is played, explaining that tithes will be taken and special offering received for Freedom Sunday, please use provided envelope for special offering to be received.
TELL them about the offering envelope and the information in the lobby

Projects for Freedom Sunday

ICCM and HAITI - ICCM’s 2017 Freedom Sunday project will tackle the problem of domestic slavery of Haitian children. “Restavek,” Creole for “live with,” is a system in which more than 300,000 children are now serving a household without pay and without the freedom to leave. ICCM Haiti will partner with an organization called Restavek Freedom (RF). RF personalizes the situation this way: “TOMORROW MORNING IN HAITI, children like Celeste will wake up to cook food they will never eat and wash clothes they will never wear. She will fetch food from the market and water from the well, all for a family that isn’t hers, that will probably never treat her as one of their own.” Donations to the Freedom Sunday offering will support a thorough plan of orientation for all ICCM’s school and church personnel. Teachers, pastors, church members and parents will participate in a 12-week Justice Curriculum training course. We believe this will empower our 53 schools and their partner churches to create and spread a culture of freedom for children in their communities by taking a stand against this unjust system of child slavery.
Set Free Movement in Philippines - Children are amongst the most vulnerable to slavery in the Philippines. Boys and girls as young as 2 and 3 are sexually exploited online - sometimes by their families - through cyberporn, which is a billion-dollar industry in the Philippines. Our team in the Philippines is training Free Methodist pastors, mobilizing churches, and engaging youth and college campuses to be compassionate and informed responders to human trafficking.
Foster care in Seattle - Our team in Seattle intervenes by: (1) caring for foster children; (2) supporting foster parents; and (3) supporting social welfare employees. The team will also host a conference in 2018 for girls ages 12-18 in foster care to build self- esteem, cultivate spiritual development, and connect them to strong female mentoring relationships.
• A portion of offerings will also go to the Set Free Movement general fund for oversight.
Further, as you leave this morning, I invite you to take the flyers available in the lobby, that give tangible suggestions of living in the direction of Freedom.
Shop in the Direction of Freedom
Consider ways of Ethical Purchasing?
Alternative to the Coffee which you consume.

Coffee Club

Ethical Purchasing

Ethical Purchasing

Shop in the Direction of Freedom

Talking Points

Modern slavery is not just a problem “over there”. A recent study of American cities found that sex trafficking generates close to $300 million yearly in urban centers like Atlanta. There’s even slavery in little towns like Greenville, Illinois. According to the U.S. Department of health, between 50% and 90% of trafficked children were in the foster care system at some point.1 It’s in our closets and kitchens, down the street and in every city and nation. But it’s not the main a problem. It’s a symptom.
The real problem is that relationships, values, systems, and communities are broken. Human trafficking and many other injustices are symptoms of brokenness. It’s not enough to treat symptoms. So while we need solutions involving prevention, advocacy, rescue, and restoration, we need to do more than respond with compassion. Alongside effective, sustainable projects and programs, we need to work to bring healing to relationships, shift values, and recreate systems. In other words, we need to lean into community.
How do we move from the problem to the solution?
How do we move from the problem to the solution?
God is the only one who can bring healing to the brokenness. Jesus came to set all people free physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and offers both forgiveness and healing. This is the gospel. The church, with Jesus at the center, led by the Spirit, helps others find freedom; not just emancipation, but liberation. Liberation is the full expression that begins with freedom and moves to citizenship and human flourishing.
Whatever you hear this morning or however you feel compelled to respond, let me close with these words of the Apostle Paul, while languishing in prison for the sake of Christ
emancipation, but liberation. Liberation is the full expression that begins with freedom and moves to citizenship and human flourishing.
Shalom. Reconciliation. Community.

Starts with Christ and begins to unfold in the community of Christ-Followers.
Within the people of God, knowledge of systemic systems must exist; we must admit and confess where we have been complicit and have contributed to issues of injustice; we must gather and grow in relationship with one another, experiencing freedom in Christ and discovering how to flourish as liberated people of God.
Our freedom in Christ, led by the Spirit, compels us to express and help others experience life, peace, and freedom in Christ. The people of God, living out the mission and the mandate, to be on the go, proclaiming the kingdom, making known the message and name of Christ, baptizing and discipling people into the ways of the Triune God; becoming change agents and ambassadors testifying to that which we have seen and heard, speaking life and bringing hope into the brokenness of our world.
Standing firm against the darkness and power of the evil one, the Light of Christ, the Power of the Spirit, and the Ways of the Father will break the chains and release the captives and restore the oppressed and afflicted; In the meantime, we watch wisely, we are at work constantly, and we actively wait for the final culmination when the Great Day of God’s Jubilee will pour out on the redeemed and restore His creation.
In the meantime, we look within & we look around for ways to live in the direction of freedom:
Each year on Freedom Sunday, Free Methodists join with others across the nation and around the globe to proclaim that God created us for worship, not for slavery. Giving is also part of the worship. Over the past six years we have raised more than $800,000 and launched more than 17 freedom projects.
Each year on Freedom Sunday, Free Methodists join with others across the nation and around the globe to proclaim that God created us for worship, not for slavery. Giving is also part of the worship. Over the past six years we have raised more than $800,000 and launched more than 17 freedom projects.
Praise God! What better response than to worship? God is doing this. This year we invite churches to pray for and give towards three projects:

ICCM and HAITI - ICCM’s 2017 Freedom Sunday project will tackle the problem of domestic slavery of Haitian children. “Restavek,” Creole for “live with,” is a system in which more than 300,000 children are now serving a household without pay and without the freedom to leave. ICCM Haiti will partner with an organization called Restavek Freedom (RF). RF personalizes the situation this way: “TOMORROW MORNING IN HAITI, children like Celeste will wake up to cook food they will never eat and wash clothes they will never wear. She will fetch food from the market and water from the well, all for a family that isn’t hers, that will probably never treat her as one of their own.” Donations to the Freedom Sunday offering will support a thorough plan of orientation for all ICCM’s school and church personnel. Teachers, pastors, church members and parents will participate in a 12-week Justice Curriculum training course. We believe this will empower our 53 schools and their partner churches to create and spread a culture of freedom for children in their communities by taking a stand against this unjust system of child slavery.
Set Free Movement in Philippines - Children are amongst the most vulnerable to slavery in the Philippines. Boys and girls as young as 2 and 3 are sexually exploited online - sometimes by their families - through cyberporn, which is a billion-dollar industry in the Philippines. Our team in the Philippines is training Free Methodist pastors, mobilizing churches, and engaging youth and college campuses to be compassionate and informed responders to human trafficking.
Foster care in Seattle - Our team in Seattle intervenes by: (1) caring for foster children; (2) supporting foster parents; and (3) supporting social welfare employees. The team will also host a conference in 2018 for girls ages 12-18 in foster care to build self- esteem, cultivate spiritual development, and connect them to strong female mentoring relationships.
supporting foster parents; and (3) supporting social welfare employees. The team will also host a conference in 2018 for girls ages 12-18 in foster care to build self- esteem, cultivate spiritual development, and connect them to strong female mentoring relationships.
• A portion of offerings will also go to the Set Free Movement general fund for oversight.
Also,
Whatever you hear this morning or however you feel compelled to respond, let me close with these words of the Apostle Paul, while languishing in prison for the sake of Christ
Ephesians 3:14–21 ESV
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
is a powerful prayer that sums up the above. Within a context of unity and community, the author reminds people that God is the Father and that Jesus is the center of our family. Three times the author states that God has empowered us to learn more, be more, and do more and in v. 20:
is a powerful prayer that sums up the above. Within a context of unity and community, the author reminds people that God is the Father and that Jesus is the center of our family. Three times the author states that God has empowered us to learn more, be more, and do more and in v. 20:
“. . . Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. . .”
The power of God is at work within us to do more than can be imagined or asked! We live in the power of the resurrection (). God being our helper, we can be the community of God and end modern slavery.
God has called us, gifted us, blesses us, leads us, and empowers us to join the mission of freedom in the name of Jesus. We can protect vulnerable children in the Phillipines and Streets of Seattle. We can prevent the selling of Haitian children. We can bring healing into our own broken cities.
How we engage is just as important as what we do. Will we unite? Will we serve with humility? Will we partner strong with others? Will we begin to discover how to be the church, Embodying and Living out a Framework of Freedom?
Raise your voices on Freedom Sunday. Sing, rejoice, lament, pray, learn, and give generously. Be the people of God and let the worship be catalytic. Kick against the darkness until it bleeds daylight. Hammer slavery back into the history books and worship as you act.

Giving & Response Song

Invite people to give as the video is played, explaining that tithes will be taken and special offering received for Freedom Sunday, please use provided envelope for special offering to be received.
OFFERTORY PRAYER Holy God, you sent us your Son to teach us how to live with one another, and Jesus made it so clear for us when he told parables of compassion and mercy. As we give our gifts this morning, we remember that our lives are a journey, and there are wounded and hurting all along the road. Some are where we can see, some are where we cannot see. May the gifts we offer this morning be used to bind up the wounds, to ease the pain, to give hope to those who wait in despair as the world seems to pass by on the other side. We pray as we serve, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Invite people to give as the video is played, explaining that tithes will be taken and special offering received for Freedom Sunday, please denote (handout
Benediction:
Go out in peace and bring freedom to all we find and affect. Be anointed to bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ Go out with the peace of God, the purpose of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit. To love and serve the world. In the name of Christ. Amen.
Isaiah 58:6–8 ESV
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
What is Human Traffiking
BIBLICAL REFLECTION THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL God went far beyond the call for justice and mercy. In Jesus, the Word became flesh (). In self-emptying love and humility, God entered our world, making possible life “to the full” for all people (). The stated mission of Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy of , makes clear God’s redemptive purposes—particularly for those living in poverty, those deprived of freedom, those who are suffering, and those who are oppressed (). Restoration, renewal, and reconciliation are offered to everyone through Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection (). This powerfully demonstrates God’s love for us and the value placed on humanity. In Jesus, God was prepared to make this self-offering in order to re-create, renew, and restore all of creation (). GOD’S KINGDOM ON EARTH When we respond to God’s love, we begin to live with different values—God’s values. We live the prayer “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (). We learn that the overflow of truly loving God is to love our neighbor as well (). As people who have been reconciled to God through Christ, we join in God’s reconciling work in creation (). Like Jesus, we learn to care for people who are called the least and the lowest (). In such ways, we strive to make God’s kingdom here on earth a visible reality. This is a struggle, a spiritual battle (). PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN RESPONSES TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING Our response to the evil of human trafficking is based on what we believe about God and God’s purposes for humanity. We also have an obligation to listen and to learn from survivors of human trafficking. Their voices are central to shaping and transforming both our theological and our practical responses to trafficking. Their plight cannot be ignored. Their needs are urgent. As you prepare to lead in worship on Freedom Sunday, take time to reflect on the issue of human trafficking from a biblical perspective
CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN Christians believe that human beings have a unique place in God’s creation. Created in God’s image (), humanity reflects the glory of God and has God-given dignity and worth. We are also gifted with individuality, autonomy, reason, and creativity, and we have the capacity for knowledge and moral awareness (). Reflecting the nature of God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we seek relationship and fellowship both with God and with one another. We are created with an innate longing for deep spiritual communion with our Creator (). HOW OUR WORLD AND RELATIONSHIPS BECAME DISTORTED Often our attitudes, choices, and behaviors fall far short of God’s creation plan for humanity (). In conflict, hostility, and division and in the mistreatment of people, it is evident that relationships with God and with one another have become fractured and distorted. The use of power to abuse and exploit other people is further evidence of a broken world.
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