Friday, January 23, 2015

Second Sunday after Epiphany - January 18, 2015 Courageous Conversations on Sexuality: Honoring God in Our Bodies

During Epiphany we are focusing on Christ being revealed through our lives, our actions.  Also, as our community begins a courageous conversation on sexuality and same-gender relationships, we are seeking to discover how this conversation can take place in ways which places Christ first, honors the purposes and mission of God.  The theme of Epiphany is to see and reveal the presence of God in the midst of our conversing together with one another - especially as we address these issues from theologically diverse positions.

This Sunday focuses on Paul's admonition of the Corinthian church and their ambivalence towards sexual immorality.  We are called to honor God with our bodies - what does that mean when we engage in this conversation on sexuality?  In one sense, we realize it is not only about our pleasure, we seek to honor God with and in our bodies as we follow after Christ.  

Link to Message: Honoring God with Our Bodies

First Sunday after Epiphany - January 11, 2015 Courageous Conversations on Sexuality: Baptized into God's Pleasure

During Epiphany we are focusing on Christ being revealed through our lives, our actions.  Also, as our community begins a courageous conversation on sexuality and same-gender relationships, we are seeking to discover how this conversation can take place in ways which places Christ first, honors the purposes and mission of God.  The theme of Epiphany is to see and reveal the presence of God in the midst of our conversing together with one another - especially as we address these issues from theologically diverse positions.

This Sunday focuses on Jesus' baptism as being baptized in to God's pleasure.  The learning we draw from this is that in all we do, and also in how we converse, are we able to do it in such a way that we bring pleasure to God.

Link to Message: Baptized into God's Pleasure

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014 - Advent 2 - O, That You Would Reveal Your Peace

This is the second Sunday of Advent, in which we reflect not only on God's incarnation in Christ over 2 millennia ago, but also looking forward to Christ's return.

Focus:  On this second Sunday of Advent, our focus is on peace.  It does not take much to realize that we live in a world filled with suffering, calamity and it is difficult to see God's peace amidst the strife and wars.  We complain to God, but the Psalmist calls us to listen to God.  

We are called to listen to God even before we understand God or God's ways.  It is in listening and obeying God, in living out new actions (even before we understand), repenting, walking in the way of Jesus, even before we understand what repentance will bring about in us, or what walking in Jesus' way will bring about in our lives, that we come across peace.

We struggle with listening to God, but as we do, we open our lives to receive the peace of God in a peaceless world.  

Link to message: Advent 2 - O, That You Would Reveal Your Peace

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Advent 1 - O, That You Would Reveal Your Hope

This is the first Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of a new church year, and the first Sunday of focusing on our Advent texts - not only reflecting on God's incarnation in Christ over 2 millennia ago, but also looking forward to Christ's return.

Focus:  On this first Sunday of Advent, our focus is on hope.  It does not take much to realize that we live in a world filled with suffering, calamity.  We live in the midst of Ferguson, Iraq, Afghanistan, hunger, poverty, homelessness - and we are more apt to cry out, "How long O Lord?" rather than being comforted by God's hope.  And so we pray, "O, that you would reveal your hope."

Link to message: Advent 1 - O, That You Would Reveal Your Hope

Sunday, November 23, 2014 Walk Humbly with God

This message is the last message on a brief series on Micah 6:8.

This focus on walking humbly with God also coincides with our annual Covenant Sunday in which we renew our commitment to follow Jesus Christ and to be stubbornly loyal to one another as a community.

Focus: Walking humbly with God calls us to live mindful of God in every area and aspect of our lives.  It is not about our being "good." It is about recognizing that only God is good and that as we live wide open to God, God's Spirit works in us to shape us and transform us into the image of Christ.

Walking humbly with God is not about us, but about living in such a way that God's presence is revealed in and through us in the going ons of our daily lives.

Link to Message: Walk Humbly with God

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014 - What Do You Want Out of Church? Tradition? Being the People of God

What Do You Want Out of Church?

This is a continuing series within our Fall Focus of Walking with Christ Jesus.

We have many reasons for coming to church - though we may not know how to articulate them.  We may be better able to articulate what we do not like about church.

So in these next four weeks we will be exploring four primary images of the church in the New Testament to discover what it is to be church - Body of Christ, People of God, Fellowship of Faith, and New Creation.  These relate to issues of comfort and diversity, tradition and Story, Community, and being a sign of a new way of being human in the world.

This week our focus was upon rehearsing our tradition in the story of being God's people, being a part of God's Story.


Focus: Being the people of God is to realize that we are God’s people – a people who share in God’s Story.  In this Story, we are a people to whom God has shown mercy, people to whom God has taken for God’s own.  Therefore, our response is to share this Story, by worshiping and giving thanks for God’s mercy, for God’s inclusion in the fulfilling of God’s redemptive Story in the world.  As we gather as God’s people, we engage in rehearsing this Story week after week.

Link to message: Tradition - Rooted in God's Story: Being the People of God

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014 - What Do You Want Out of Church? Comfort?: Being the Body of Christ

What Do You Want Out of Church?

This is a new series within our Fall series of Walking with Christ Jesus.

We have many reasons for coming to church - though we may not know how to articulate them.  We may be better able to articulate what we do not like about church.

So in these next four weeks we will be exploring four primary images of the church in the New Testament to discover what it is to be church - Body of Christ, People of God, Fellowship of Faith, and New Creation.  These relate to issues of comfort and diversity, tradition and Story, Community, and being a sign of a new way of being human in the world.

This week our focus was upon discovering comfort in the diversity of being the Body of Christ

Focus:  We are not alone – we are with Christ, participating in the “body” of Christ – and we are with one another – the body of Christ.  Inherent in this is comfort – because when we are “in Christ” we are not alone – we are held together with one another by the Spirit of Christ Jesus.

Link to message: Comfort in Diversity: Being the Body of Christ